My Life with a Mac


Last Friday I took the plunge and switched (mostly) from a Windows-based system to a Mac. My new employer, Object mentor provided me with a new laptop. This page captures a few notes and experiences.

The Machine

I've been waiting for the Intel Santa Rosa chip set to make it to a laptop. I also wanted a laptop with a good video card. Enter the updated Mac's. Here's the vital stats:
  • 2.4 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo (Santa Rosa Chipset)
  • 2 GB Memory (I might upgrade to 4 if necessary but I don't think I'll need it)
  • 160 GB, 7200 RPM Hard Drive
  • NVidia 8600 GeForce 8600 GT
  • Hi-Res, Matte finish monitor (1920 x 1200)

This is a lovely machine.

Boot Camp

I still occasionally work with C# and when using it work with the Microsoft tools, so I needed either two laptops or one machine that can run both - it's not that I cannot use C# in other environments but rather I only used C# for teaching and when I do I'm mimicking the students' environment. I decided to give boot camp a try.

OK, the first try was a failure as was the second. The third attempt was good but I got it right on the fourth try. Here's the problem I encountered and then the fix:
  1. Installed boot camp on mac (successful)
  2. Created drivers DVD (successful)
  3. Created 32 GB partition (successful)
  4. Installed Windows XP, SP 2 (successful - note you have to use SP 2)
  5. Installed drivers off DVD (failure - messed up XP)

One Successful Path

Follow the steps above but do not install the drivers off the DVD
  • Important I formatted with FAT to allow the Mac to write as well as read the drive. Raw OS X will not write to an NTFS drive. When I selected FAT, the XP installer switched to FAT32 given my partition size.

Apply XP Updates Before the DVD Drivers

After a lot of trial and error I managed to find a repeatable (I've done it twice) process that works.
  1. You need a network driver. I found the driver for the wireless card on the drivers disk.
  2. Explore the DVD and go to the following directory: Drivers/Atheros
  3. Execute: AtherosXPInstaller.exe
  4. Configure your wireless network
  5. Run the windows Updater
    1. I ran it once, it updated the updating software and I rebooted
    2. I ran it a second time and it had 77 downloads (I used custom installation, not express, to skip upgrading IE)
    3. Reboot if told to do so

Finish Install

    1. Install the drivers DVD, and you are ready to go. It works like a champ.


Subversion For All

OK, I installed a subversion client on my PC. I've had subversion running on my PC for some time now and I wanted one repository for both systems. I took th easy way out:
  1. I backed up my repository (svnadmin dump)
  2. I installed subversion on the PC side of my Mac
  3. I created a repository at c:\subversion_repository (svnadmin create)
  4. I configured a few users
  5. I restored a repository (svnadmin load)
  6. I installed a subversion client on the Mac
  7. I use the file system URL rather than running a service or using Apache
  8. The PC driver appears on the Mac under /Volumes. I renamed mine to XP so I can find my XP installation at: /Volumes/XP
  9. The repository is relative to that so it's: /Volumes/XP/subversion_repository
  10. The URL is: file:///Volumes/XP/subversion_repository

I mostly use Subversion in Eclipse:
  1. Install subclipse
  2. Configure subclipse to use SVNKit: windows:preferences:team:SVN:SVNKit (Pure Java)