Dual booting Windows on new Macs…

I got VERY close to plunking down $2,000 for one of those new MacBooks that Apple came out with. Why? Cause it is able to dual boot both Windows and Mac OSX and I wanted to have a machine that could have run both. An article showing how to do this is on Memeorandum right now.

But Steve Jobs pulled one of his favorite tricks. He removed a popular IO system and put in a new slot that no one uses yet. It’s called an ExpressCard. I’m sure it’ll be very cool soon, but today there’s no peripherals that use this.

Why does this matter? Well, go down to Sprint and ask for an EVDO card. Or Verizon. Or Cingular. They all have them. I would say these are all now NECESSARY for a traveling businessperson. I just got one yesterday and I’ve said goodbye to Wifi forever. My friends are all buying them (Phillip Torrone showed me his running on his 17-inch Apple Powerbook at Macworld expo).

Now that I have this capability I’ll never buy a machine that isn’t compatible. Torrone told me that’s why he’s not buying one of the new Macs either.

How about you?

By the way, I say this is a Steve Jobs trick because he famously pulled a floppy drive out of his NeXT computer which made it very futuristic (very few computers today have floppy drives, just 17 years later) but also made it hard to use at the time.

145 thoughts on “Dual booting Windows on new Macs…

  1. Apple is so innovative! I thought I was experiencing a melt down on my current pc, so I started talking to the folks at the Apple store. I can’t quite afford to just throw down and buy a mac “just because,” but as soon as it’s time I’m gonna be more than willing! http://capatrex.org

  2. Apple is so innovative! I thought I was experiencing a melt down on my current pc, so I started talking to the folks at the Apple store. I can’t quite afford to just throw down and buy a mac “just because,” but as soon as it’s time I’m gonna be more than willing! http://capatrex.org

  3. My company stumbled on the same thing. However – just an FYI for others out there we did this…..

    It seems that the PCMCIA disappearing is not the end of the world. We ended up talking with Sprint and not only figured out it was cheaper – but almost more convenient to have another phone. Sure, the purchase cost up front is more, but it is like 76 bucks a month versus 80 for the card. I keep the bluetooth phone in my backpack and it works great. Two good things, for one – I don’t have to worry about snagging my PCMCIA card putting it into and removing it from my backpack. The other plus the PCMCIA card doesn’t run and suck my battery die when I am on the train commuting!

    Maybe not the best answer – but it got us around the one big issue with getting a MacBook. I am typing this now from one – and it so far it has been well worth the money. Makes the Mac, well, usable again. :-)

    Scott
    San Francisco

  4. My company stumbled on the same thing. However – just an FYI for others out there we did this…..

    It seems that the PCMCIA disappearing is not the end of the world. We ended up talking with Sprint and not only figured out it was cheaper – but almost more convenient to have another phone. Sure, the purchase cost up front is more, but it is like 76 bucks a month versus 80 for the card. I keep the bluetooth phone in my backpack and it works great. Two good things, for one – I don’t have to worry about snagging my PCMCIA card putting it into and removing it from my backpack. The other plus the PCMCIA card doesn’t run and suck my battery die when I am on the train commuting!

    Maybe not the best answer – but it got us around the one big issue with getting a MacBook. I am typing this now from one – and it so far it has been well worth the money. Makes the Mac, well, usable again. :-)

    Scott
    San Francisco

  5. And only Robert would plunk down money based on something that hasn’t happened with any reliability yet or in a way that’s safe and predictable.

    but he’s not an edge case

  6. And only Robert would plunk down money based on something that hasn’t happened with any reliability yet or in a way that’s safe and predictable.

    but he’s not an edge case

  7. Well, i don’t have an Intel Mac yet, and when I see independent verification, I’ll take it more seriously. I’ve had some shady dealings with that site before.

  8. Well, i don’t have an Intel Mac yet, and when I see independent verification, I’ll take it more seriously. I’ve had some shady dealings with that site before.

  9. John, this guys claim they can run a VM on an Intel iMac, Windows 98 boot time of 15 seconds. Do you think it is bogus? It is based on Bosch (which I have unsuccessfully tried to install on PowerPC Macs). I was thinking of buying it when I got my MacBook Pro if nothing else was available… Would be interested in knowing if you have experience of opinions about it… Thankx!

  10. John, this guys claim they can run a VM on an Intel iMac, Windows 98 boot time of 15 seconds. Do you think it is bogus? It is based on Bosch (which I have unsuccessfully tried to install on PowerPC Macs). I was thinking of buying it when I got my MacBook Pro if nothing else was available… Would be interested in knowing if you have experience of opinions about it… Thankx!

  11. Considering we can’t yet run a VM on an intel mac, we don’t REALLY know what the performance will be yet.

    However, the chances of a VM fuxxoring my hard drive is MUCH less than a dual boot.

  12. Considering we can’t yet run a VM on an intel mac, we don’t REALLY know what the performance will be yet.

    However, the chances of a VM fuxxoring my hard drive is MUCH less than a dual boot.

  13. Yeah, Games and Video encoding (note – not editing) are the reasons for me wanting to dual boot. Plus a plethora of programs that I really like. I bought a MacBook Pro anyway… hope I can dual boot for those CPU intensive tasks Windows has good programs in…
    By the way, dual booting is alot less CPU intensive, hence preserving battery life. Need more reasons? I can think of a few more, but I have to get back to work…

  14. Yeah, Games and Video encoding (note – not editing) are the reasons for me wanting to dual boot. Plus a plethora of programs that I really like. I bought a MacBook Pro anyway… hope I can dual boot for those CPU intensive tasks Windows has good programs in…
    By the way, dual booting is alot less CPU intensive, hence preserving battery life. Need more reasons? I can think of a few more, but I have to get back to work…

  15. I suspect that that desire for dual boot is because of games. If there is viable virtual machine support, then only games and maybe some need for a particular driver will require actually booting into Windows.

  16. I suspect that that desire for dual boot is because of games. If there is viable virtual machine support, then only games and maybe some need for a particular driver will require actually booting into Windows.

  17. The other issues with dual boot are, if it’s sufficiently fragile, you can’t guarantee a reliable method from hardware to hardware. It has huge potential to hairball your drive, and again, as a Virtual Server user, it’s simply smarter, easier and SAFER to go the VM route.

  18. The other issues with dual boot are, if it’s sufficiently fragile, you can’t guarantee a reliable method from hardware to hardware. It has huge potential to hairball your drive, and again, as a Virtual Server user, it’s simply smarter, easier and SAFER to go the VM route.

  19. Okay, I may be swimming in over my (lack of) technical expertise here, but I have to agree with John on “dual boot”. Why go through the trouble of trying to get Windows to recognize Mac hardware, when you can just create an environment where the MacOS relays the I/O to and from Windows.

    I presume, to some degree, that this is what Virtual PC does.

    All things considered, if I ever have to run Windows on a Mac, I’d rather trust MS to provide a means to do so rather than some hack. MS in the loop about the latest hardware for macs (or at least as much as any other major Apple developer is), and is for obvious reasons in an excellent place to be sure that Windows will work within this environment.

    So, if you’re interested in the new MacBook Pro for running Windows, Robert, go see the crew at the Mac B.U. and ask when they’ll be ready to run VPC on Intel.

  20. Okay, I may be swimming in over my (lack of) technical expertise here, but I have to agree with John on “dual boot”. Why go through the trouble of trying to get Windows to recognize Mac hardware, when you can just create an environment where the MacOS relays the I/O to and from Windows.

    I presume, to some degree, that this is what Virtual PC does.

    All things considered, if I ever have to run Windows on a Mac, I’d rather trust MS to provide a means to do so rather than some hack. MS in the loop about the latest hardware for macs (or at least as much as any other major Apple developer is), and is for obvious reasons in an excellent place to be sure that Windows will work within this environment.

    So, if you’re interested in the new MacBook Pro for running Windows, Robert, go see the crew at the Mac B.U. and ask when they’ll be ready to run VPC on Intel.

  21. Dual booting? Bah. I want virtual machines. Dual booting lets me be half as productive in twice the operating environments. Virtual machines let me be MORE productive in n operating environments. Give me good VMs with near native – boot speed, and I’ll write the check for the licenses now.

  22. Dual booting? Bah. I want virtual machines. Dual booting lets me be half as productive in twice the operating environments. Virtual machines let me be MORE productive in n operating environments. Give me good VMs with near native – boot speed, and I’ll write the check for the licenses now.

  23. Aww, you beat me to it Alfredo! I just saw that too.

    Too bad we still haven’t found a way to dual boot on the intel macs…

    If you want uptodate info on that stuff go to http://www.osx86project.org/ .

    They have a couple people there messing around with it… apparently the newest Vista beta (from MSDN) can’t even be recognized (only through USB can it even be seen). Maybe you could talk to the guys over at Microsoft who are working on EFI… that’s the main problem – getting past it, or booting from it. The problem seems even bigger for us Windows XP users…

    Like I said, check out the site.

  24. Aww, you beat me to it Alfredo! I just saw that too.

    Too bad we still haven’t found a way to dual boot on the intel macs…

    If you want uptodate info on that stuff go to http://www.osx86project.org/ .

    They have a couple people there messing around with it… apparently the newest Vista beta (from MSDN) can’t even be recognized (only through USB can it even be seen). Maybe you could talk to the guys over at Microsoft who are working on EFI… that’s the main problem – getting past it, or booting from it. The problem seems even bigger for us Windows XP users…

    Like I said, check out the site.

  25. Try a Palm Treo 700w – it is EVDO and Windows Mobile and makes me wish we had EVDO here as we won’t get 3G chips that will fit in something small with reasonable battery life until 2H 06.

    Real-life figures from Palm on downloads.
    GPRS 20k/sec
    EDGE 60k/sec
    EVDO 400-700K/sec

    Apple can push the envelope like this because their market will accept it where the mass market won’t/can’t. Maybe it will get Express to everyone a little sooner. I saw 16 Express prototypes at IDF Fall last year, all promised for this year.

  26. Try a Palm Treo 700w – it is EVDO and Windows Mobile and makes me wish we had EVDO here as we won’t get 3G chips that will fit in something small with reasonable battery life until 2H 06.

    Real-life figures from Palm on downloads.
    GPRS 20k/sec
    EDGE 60k/sec
    EVDO 400-700K/sec

    Apple can push the envelope like this because their market will accept it where the mass market won’t/can’t. Maybe it will get Express to everyone a little sooner. I saw 16 Express prototypes at IDF Fall last year, all promised for this year.

  27. “there’s a difference between supporting it and forcing you to use it.”

    And there’s a difference between NECESSARY and “just getting it yesterday.” Probably a bigger one.

    “I don’t think Apple is gonna do a Tablet.”

    Ha, ha, ha! A year and a half and $100 that you never paid too late. Pay up.

  28. “there’s a difference between supporting it and forcing you to use it.”

    And there’s a difference between NECESSARY and “just getting it yesterday.” Probably a bigger one.

    “I don’t think Apple is gonna do a Tablet.”

    Ha, ha, ha! A year and a half and $100 that you never paid too late. Pay up.

  29. Oh yeah, and every time you enjoy the plethora of USB toys out there, you should face Cupertino and thank Steve Jobs. Because what was it that drove USB adoption and use through the roof? It certainly wasn’t MS or the PC companies. Windows 98? BWAAHAHAHAHAAHA…yeah, if you could find stuff besides the same tired demos. A mouse or two. a Keyboard. maybe a joystick.

    Hell, as late as 2002-2003, when I’d be setting up new Dells at MIT, you couldn’t do it without a PS/2 keyboard. You HAD to have one. So much for MS or the PC companies driving change.

    It was the iMac. 90 days after its release, the USB market suddenly had over a million new customers clamoring for toys. Now if the PC makers would just get around to properly shooting PS/2 and serial ports, the last of the 286 – era motherboard remnants could go away.

    Maybe in another 5 years. That’s about how long it takes the PC manufacturers to really change.

  30. Oh yeah, and every time you enjoy the plethora of USB toys out there, you should face Cupertino and thank Steve Jobs. Because what was it that drove USB adoption and use through the roof? It certainly wasn’t MS or the PC companies. Windows 98? BWAAHAHAHAHAAHA…yeah, if you could find stuff besides the same tired demos. A mouse or two. a Keyboard. maybe a joystick.

    Hell, as late as 2002-2003, when I’d be setting up new Dells at MIT, you couldn’t do it without a PS/2 keyboard. You HAD to have one. So much for MS or the PC companies driving change.

    It was the iMac. 90 days after its release, the USB market suddenly had over a million new customers clamoring for toys. Now if the PC makers would just get around to properly shooting PS/2 and serial ports, the last of the 286 – era motherboard remnants could go away.

    Maybe in another 5 years. That’s about how long it takes the PC manufacturers to really change.

  31. They won’t do a “pure” tablet. But I can see, when the tech gets cheap enough, them building a laptop with a screen that would be supported by Ink. It’s not like they don’t have any experience with that. (Robert, remember that whole “Idea without good implementation will fail” thing? Yeah. The Newton. Great example.)

    But Robert is not really an edge case. He doesn’t live on the bleeding edge, he’s not even particularly leading edge. Oh he’ll run Vista betas, and use the new toys, but that’s just being a tech fanboy. If he didn’t work for MS, he wouldn’t even be runnning Vista. That’s just him being an evangelist more than a trailblazer. Part of his job is to show people tablets and their features, and to do that for Vista he has to run Vista. Any implications to the contrary are well-executed PR, (and this whole Gawrsh-shucks image he tries to project is really one of the best PR things i’ve ever seen).

    He’s at the front of the pack, but he’s still well within the safety of numbers. He just has fewer dogs between him and a clear view.

    Toys != Trailblazer

  32. They won’t do a “pure” tablet. But I can see, when the tech gets cheap enough, them building a laptop with a screen that would be supported by Ink. It’s not like they don’t have any experience with that. (Robert, remember that whole “Idea without good implementation will fail” thing? Yeah. The Newton. Great example.)

    But Robert is not really an edge case. He doesn’t live on the bleeding edge, he’s not even particularly leading edge. Oh he’ll run Vista betas, and use the new toys, but that’s just being a tech fanboy. If he didn’t work for MS, he wouldn’t even be runnning Vista. That’s just him being an evangelist more than a trailblazer. Part of his job is to show people tablets and their features, and to do that for Vista he has to run Vista. Any implications to the contrary are well-executed PR, (and this whole Gawrsh-shucks image he tries to project is really one of the best PR things i’ve ever seen).

    He’s at the front of the pack, but he’s still well within the safety of numbers. He just has fewer dogs between him and a clear view.

    Toys != Trailblazer

  33. Bubba: I don’t think Apple is gonna do a Tablet. I’d like to have a Mac since my son has one. But, I’ll probably just get a small cheap one like what he got.

    Lee: booting it is one thing. Supporting it well is another. I bet the iSight won’t work. Neither will some of the mouse and other features. At least they won’t until drivers get written for them.

  34. Bubba: I don’t think Apple is gonna do a Tablet. I’d like to have a Mac since my son has one. But, I’ll probably just get a small cheap one like what he got.

    Lee: booting it is one thing. Supporting it well is another. I bet the iSight won’t work. Neither will some of the mouse and other features. At least they won’t until drivers get written for them.

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