Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Kathy does Apple!

I have always been in awe of the Apple hardware, but, being the terminally left-brained user that I am, I have been a diehard Windows user since the early DOS days.

I know the two platforms have gotten a lot closer in the past few years, and I even bought a little 12" iBook G4 last year to see if I was able to get over my trepidation. I still got frustrated using the iBook, but became a little better cross-platform user. I think the frustration had more to do with the little things that interrupted the work process for me-- different key commands, different navigation practices, etc.-- rather than the software available for each platform. However, there is some software that I require that is only available on the Windows side (Homesite for HTML coding for example.)

I DO realize it is not about platform, but choosing the best tool for job at hand (which I constantly preach!), so I wanted to get over my phobia. With the release of Bootcamp for the new Intel-based iMacs, I decided to take the plunge and try it out. I bought a 20" Intel-based iMac to replace my main machine at home. (Okay, I did not let the Windows desktop go too far, and have two other laptops in case everything failed miserably...I am left-brained, remember!)

You have to understand, as the Gadget Queen, I probably have more devices hanging off my PC than most of you (at last count, it was 14), so I really did not know if the transition would be as seamless as the newsgroups (and Walter Mossberg) were saying it would be.

Well, I would like to share that it was REALLY easy! The directions for the install of Bootcamp and Windows XP Pro are clear, and there are only two decisions to make-- what size you want each platform's drive size to be (I chose to divide it right down the middle at 125GB each) and whether to format the Windows side as FAT32 or NTFS (I had to choose NTFS which limited my ability to see the Mac side from within Windows, but allowed me to choose the large hard drive partition.)

Windows installed easily, and all of my many, many Windows programs work flawlessly (and fast!). All of the hardware, once I downloaded the drivers for both platforms, work like a charm-- HP multifunction device, stand-alone USB scanner, external Firewire hard drive, PocketPC Smartphone, Logitech Orbit camera (needed on the PC side since the iSight does not have Windows drivers, yet), USB mic, Microsoft wireless mouse, external NEC LCD monitor as a second monitor, Wacom drawing tablet, yadda, yadda.

Now, I feel I definitely have the best of all worlds-- a fast Windows machine, access to the Macintosh programs to learn more about them, and a beautiful, 20" wide-screen display!

Hum, I wonder when the dual-boot Apple OSX/Windows Tablet PC OS will be available?

From both sides of my brain,
Kathy Schrock