.net and other musings

Ben Lovell, an agile developer living in the UK.

Category: Apple

Windows 7 on the unibody MacBook Pro via bootcamp redux

If you follow me on twitter you would know I recently upgraded my Windows development environment from the first beta installation of Windows 7 x86 to the latest available build. This time round I’ve gone for the 64bit edition to make use of the 6GB of RAM I have installed in the beast.

I have to admit I’ve never performed an upgraded installation of an operating system before as I much prefer starting from scratch. So as you can imagine I was more than curious to see how this would pan out. Especially since the machine is pretty critical to my work — in the .net world at least. Well I’m pleased to say the whole experience went by completely without incident. The process took around one hour in total which included the OS install and the migration of all my applications, settings and the rest of the gumph.

I tend to spend more time in OSX lately since I’ve been working with Ruby a lot more recently but I will say this: Windows 7 is becoming a pleasure to use with each new build. For beta software it is rock solid and the MacBook Pro is very well supported driver-wise. The fact I rely on it daily for work is testament to that. A good acid test for me is seeing which OS I boot into for my day-to-day web browsing, tweeting and like… It almost pains me to admit that this has been Windows 7 more than OSX lately. However despite the wait, we’ll see if the balance is restored when Snow Leopard arrives.

Windows 7 on the new Aluminium MacBook via Boot Camp

I’ve spent a lazy Sunday afternoon installing the latest Windows 7 beta on my MacBook via BootCamp and everything has gone swimmingly.

To install I had to:

  1. Burn the ISO. I chose the 32 bit edition.
  2. Run the boot camp assistant on OSX to partition the drive. I created a 45GB partition for my initial experiments.
  3. Reboot the machine with the installation DVD in place.

Pretty simple. After the installation had done it’s thing, Windows started up in a pretty skanky looking desktop. This was cured pretty easily by running the boot camp setup from the OSX installation DVD. This installs the necessary drivers for the iSight, system devices, track pad and your other Mac hardware. A quick reboot and I was back in business and sporting transparent windows and a screen resolution greater than a pocket calculator.

I couldn’t get the Apple wireless keyboard and mouse to pair up over bluetooth but I’m certain a fix for this isn’t too far away.

One small hiccup I did solve was with connecting the 24” LED cinema display. After extending my desktop onto the display I noticed the brightness of the external display was very low compared to the MacBook’s display. This was solved by running the boot camp control panel and altering the brightness from there.

Windows 7 absolutely screams on this machine in boot camp as I expected. I’m still installing Vs2008 and the rest of the .net tools so I’ll report back once I get going.

MacWorld 09 Keynote 5PM (gmt)

OK so only a couple hours until the MacWorld 09 keynote kicks off. I’ll be following it at macrumorslive.com and on twitter via macrumors.

I’m hoping to see a new mac-mini which will supplant the Apple TV I have sitting in my front room. Other notable rumours:

  • MacBook Pro 17″ refresh. Should be moving to unibody design, possibly announcements of quad-core.
  • Some kind of merger between Apple TV software and the new mac-mini. Hoping for this one.
  • LED Cinema Displays replacing the existing cinema displays.
  • Larger form-factor iPod Touch like device. Would be ultra-cool but unlikely in my opinion.
  • Refreshes across the MacPro and iMac lines. Potentially quad-core in the iMacs.
  • Mini DisplayPort added across the board.

Excited yet?

iPhone not appearing in iTunes (error 18)

I’ve had a few issues with the phone today: namely the thing isn’t being recognised by iTunes, plus my music and videos have mysteriously disappeared from the iPhone itself.

Upon trying to restore the iPhone from a backup in iTunes I got the dreaded message:

The iPhone “iPhone” could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (-18)

Luckily after a bit of jiggery-pokery I managed to get it functioning as normal with all data and settings restored following these steps:

  • On the iPhone, go into Settings > General and do a full delete of settings and data
  • Hard-reset the iPhone by holding the power key and the home key until the Apple logo appears
  • Plug back into iTunes
  • iTunes recognises the iPhone and offers to set it up fresh or perform a restore. Pick restore
  • Bingo!

Phew got a bit worried there for a moment. Hopefully this might help someone in the future!

Apple iPhone

I was lucky enough to receive an iPhone for Christmas and have been using it pretty solidly now for the last few days. You’ve no doubt read the huge reviews of the device a million times by now so I won’t go on about it, except perhaps  to say  it must be the single coolest device I’ve ever owned and used.

There a couple of things the iPhone is lacking of course, again these have been well publicised but the ones affecting me the most are the SMS functionality, more specifically the inability to address an SMS message to more than one recipient at once. The camera isn’t superb, being only 2MP and lacking a flash. I have a digital camera for taking proper pictures so again this doesn’t irk me too much. A native application for uploading pics to Flickr would have been a nice addition. I’m sure this will surface shortly after the iPhone SDK drops.

EDGE coverage is great in the Reading area, as is London of course. I tend to stick to the iPhone optimised sites and email on the move so the lack of bandwidth doesn’t affect me so much. As part of the o2 contract I can hop on to the Cloud’s wifi hotspots at most train stations, pubs etc as well which is nice when EDGE doesn’t cut it.

I’ve so far resisted the urge to jailbreak the phone to install the 3rd party native applications as I did with my iPod Touch which incidentally has been deprecated by the iPhone 🙂 Time will tell however if I can stick to the Apple endorsed software.