August 21, 2006
The friendliest way I can think of is, while you're running Boot Camp and still inside Mac OS X, it should ask you to pop in your Windows CD and Boot Camp installs Windows for you. Then, you reboot, and voila: Windows. (Which is kind of like saying: "Voila: Shit sandwich!")
Is this possible? Well, yes, I think so.
Right now Boot Camp allows you to sort-of repartition your boot drive while you are using it without losing any data, which is really cool and is something us PowerPC types have wanted for years (and still want, hint hint, Bertrand). I say "sort-of" because the partition it creates isn't formatted and isn't formattable by Disk Utility, either (you can select the partition but all the buttons are grayed out). I reckon this is because of EFI mumble mumble blah blah I honestly have no idea.
But here's what I think:I think it's possible to just go ahead and format that partition as a real Windows (FAT) volume from within Mac OS X. I'm pretty darn sure of this because, well, you can format floppies or CDs or external USB or Firewire drives in Window format(s). FAT's a pretty known science by now.
So, imagine Boot Camp formats that new partition in a nice, Windows-friendly way, then unpacks the relevant files from your Windows CD onto this new partition, and then copies its special drivers into their known locations, all from the comfort of Mac OS X. Voila! Bootable Windows! With no stupid hassles!
Now, this actually may be a bit more complicated for Apple than I make it out to be, because it may be that the unpacking of all that Windows crud is actually pretty involved. Apple could cheat a little since they know the exact configuration of the machine that WIndows is going on, but, it still might be hard. Honestly, I know little to dick-all about how Windows installation works. I'm happy in this ignorance, the way some people are happy believing that global warming is a giant hoax put on by greedy environmentalists who stand to profit by... uh... wait, environmentalists don't really make a lot of money, do they? I mean, not compared to, say, oil companies... but I digress...
Anyhow, even if actually installing windows is too complicated, there's a slightly-less-cool solution -- Boot Camp could just copy the Windows install CD verbatim onto a subdirectory in the new partition it makes (into, say, c:\windows install\), and then do the same with the custom drivers, and then reboot that partition and have it install onto itself. This is an old trick we used to do all the time on Windows machines when I was a wee lad, because Windows always used to keep its extra drivers only on the CD, so every time you'd plug in a new mouse Windows would ask you to dig up the Windows CD so it could find a driver (even if it already had one installed), but if you'd installed from a copy of the CD you'd made that was still on your disk, it'd look there first, so you wouldn't have to keep those damn disks around all the time.
One problem with all this is that Mac OS 10.4 can't write to NTFS volumes, only to FAT volumes, and NTFS is the wave of the future for Windows filesystems (and needed for volumes over 32GB). But, Apple should add full NTFS support to Leopard anyways, because interoperability is just a damn good thing to have. Well all need that crap. I need to be able to download my game patches and shit under Mac OS X and then just drag them onto my Windows partition -- don't make me use IE to download Firefox or something, and then have to download some wack-ass decompression programs for Windows (7z?) and then virus protection because I touched the internet and then basically I'm in a living hell just because I want to play me some Elder Scrolls: Oblivion this year instead of two years from now and twice as slowly.
No, I say. Make it easy for me to make tiny, stupid little Windows installs on my MacBook, so I can burn them off-handedly, like matches, and as each one's tiny, stupid little immune system flutters and finally flickers out under such heavy viral loads, I'll simply wipe them clean and burn them again, with a single click in my future perfect Boot Camp.
And I will laugh. Because we have totally pwned Windows.
I write the software for
I'm kept alive by Delicious Library
I'm kept alive by Delicious Library
- I'm briefly talking at WWDC Friday...
- Memes that need to die.
- Snaps on Windows Vista: The OS of the Future
- Dude, Kyle's Not Here
- Crazy ideas: A possible future for document-based ...
- Note to Bill Gates: I'll take your bet, for $10,00...
- Pimp My Code, Part 11: This Sheet is Tight
- E*Theft @ E*Trade...
- Thomas Dolby Rocks.
- Pimp My Code, Part 10: Whining about Cocoa
Pimp My Code
- Free Programming Tips are Worth Every Penny.
- I will insult your code!
- Part 1: Code Insults, Mark I
- Part 2: self = [stupid init];
- Part 3: Gradient TableViews
- Part 4: Returning late to return early
- JPEG2000: Cool but SLOW.
- Unit testing is teh suck, Urr.
- Part 5: Special Apple Sample Code Edition...
- Interlude: Free Code
- Pimp, Pimp Thyself.
- Frameworks are Teh Suck, Err.
- Part 6: The Pimp Before Christmas
- Thinking, boxes, & what kittens can do to them.
- Part 7: Pimplette?
- Part 8: Mary, Mary, why you buggin?
- Part 9: Beginner Code
- Part 10: Whining about Cocoa
- Part 11: This Sheet is Tight
- Part 12: Frozen in Carbonite
- Part 13: The Pimp Before Christmas, Redux
- Part 14: Be Inflexible!
- Part 15: The Greatest Bug of All
- Part 16: On Heuristics and Human Factors
- Part 17: Lost in Translations