Windows XP on Intel Macs using Apple Boot Camp

Boot Camp iconWhen the first Intel Core-based Macs came out and people were asking if they could ever run Windows on it, Apple's response what they don't support it, but they won't do anything to stop it either. However, the decision to use EFI instead of BIOS basically stopped it from happening on a hardware level.Today Apple released a beta of Boot Camp, which enables dynamic, non-destructive partitioning of a Mac hard disk, and installation of Windows XP that will run natively on Intel-based Macs. It even burns you a CD containing all the necessary drivers to support the hardware of the Mac you're installing it on. You still need your own copy of Windows XP (Home or Professional) though. Boot Camp then allows selection of the boot partition on start-up when the option(alt) key is held down. Boot Camp functionality would be incorporated into the next major version of Mac OS X 10.5, code-named Leopard, and would probably be called something else by then. This step is HUGE for apple, and leapfrogging ahead of Microsoft's feeble attempts to port Virtual PC which it acquired from Connectix. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think VPC even got as far as being optimised for the PPC G5. I would personally prefer a full virtualization environment where Windows would be running concurrently, either within a window, or a separate switchable desktop, at native speeds of course. In the meantime, a dual boot option like this is a good start. So now, when you buy a Macintosh, you get a machine that can run both Mac OS X and Windows natively, but the reverse isn't true. It's already been proven time after time that Macintosh hardware is no more expensive than similarly configured brand-name PCs from Dell or HP. Why wouldn't you want to buy a Mac now? But in all honesty, if you've bought a Mac, the question should be - Why would you want to boot into Windows for? Oh, and I love Apple's interpretation of the 4-paned windows logo, as greyscale diamonds, with a glassy, embossed effect.

iTunes Australia

It's about 2 weeks since Australia got its own version of the iTunes Music Store. It had a few glitches in the opening week with pricing of some albums still being adjusted, and some other oddities like tracks being labelled as 'Album Only' purchases, yet where the 'Buy Album' button should be, it says you can only buy it "By Song Only".Despite launching without music from Sony BMG's catalogue, it was been very warmly received by the press and although no sales figures have been released, it seems like the Aussies are on a shopping spree after having made to wait for this long, and after several false alarms with rumoured launch dates. Apple Australia has struck an agreement with Coles-Myer Limited for them to be the exclusive distributor of the pre-paid iTunes Music Cards, which means you can get them from Myer, Officeworks, Coles, Coles Express, Bi-Lo, Harris Technology, Target and K-Mart. I've already purchased some music and it is just too easy to buy songs there. My first track was Madonna's new single, Hung Up which is a very catchy track that has a sample of Abba's Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. I also bought The Sims 2: Nightlife Soundtrack which is unlikely to be found in stores here. These are tunes from the latest Sims expansion pack with new music and some familiar tunes from the game are given a dance twist by big-name DJs. I've also downloaded some of their free-music-of-the-week tracks. I've also created my first iMix, which is basically a playlist you publish onto iTMS. I compiled a list of songs used in the iPod Ads. It is not complete as iTMS Australia doesn't carry all the tracks that I found in my research. With such a high market penetration of the iPod here in Australia, it's surprising how long it took for Apple to bring the iTunes Music Store to these shores, but now that it's here, I'm sure it would be hugely popular like everywhere else they have opened up.

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Minty stats

I purchased Shaun Inman's Mint stats application for and I'm finding that it's heck a lot more useful than the other stats packages that come with most web hosts. One bit of information that Mint brought to light was how popular my Wallpapers section is, and I'm getting loads of visits to that section, mostly via Google's Image Search. I've gotten close to 1,500 hits to that page alone this month so far, compared 440 to the blog page, and 270 to the site index. The best thing about Mint is that it is extensible with plug-ins called Peppers, and I've seen some really useful Peppers come out already.Maybe I should start making more desktop wallpapers? What say you?

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NewsGator buys NetNewsWire

I can't believe this actually passed me by. NewsGator, an online RSS aggregator service (both free and subscription-based) has bought up Ranchero Software and along with it, NetNewsWire which is probably the most popular standalone RSS reader on the Mac. They too bought FeedDemon some months ago, which is for Windows. Collectively, they've got all 3 bases covered and I suspect that gives them the largest market share of any RSS-related company.What this means for us NNW users is yet to be seen, but I believe the first thing they would be doing is integrating synchronisation of your subscriptions between NNW and NewsGator so you can keep up to date with your feeds from any browser.