Settling in with Boot Camp

by Kevin Hemenway

I've been fiddling with Boot Camp on a MacBook Pro 2GHz since its release, and I'm ready to settle in: I can just expect games to work with all their gee-whizardry enabled and the highest widescreen resolution. Half-Life 2, Dungeon Siege II, Tomb Raider: Legend, and Oblivion: all working wonderfully. The one question remains: which of the zillion MMORPGs whose doors are now opened do I want to explore? (Yes, I play World of Warcraft, and yes, I do so only under OS X).

I've given up on the wireless connection for anything but casual online browsing or downloads (such as small patches) - various folks have suggested Windows XP's wireless capabilities are "flaky", and I've no real desire to fix it when I can wire into my router easily enough. Last night, I started a free trial of R.O.S.E. Online (which is at least entertaining enough to want me to play for a second day), and I'm debating City of Villains and this week's Auto Assault (though, fie!, do I wish there were demos).

My final notes on the Boot Camp experience (see my previous posts for more):

  • remapkey.exe, a utility that will allow you to remap keys (so that you can "Delete" on a MacBook Pro, where the existing Delete mimicks Backspace), isn't actually included in Windows XP, as I originally assumed. Instead, it's part of some Windows utility/resource pack, along with a bunch of other junk. Worried about hard drive space (see below), it's relatively easy to find a standalone copy of the .exe on Google, and I can confirm it does what it professes.

  • I originally chose 25 GB for the size of my Windows partition, so that I could read and write to it from OS X (where I'd be downloading demos and so forth whilst I accomplished real work). With three recent games installed, however, I'm already down to only 10 GB left, which is a bit less than I had hoped for. Granted, "how many games can you play at once?" and all, but still, a bit disconcerting. Hopefully Leopard has some way of writing NTFS filesystems.

  • Oddly, when I plug in my headphones to the MacBook Pro running Windows XP, sound will continue to spit out of the laptop speakers. I discovered this accidentally when I was kicked out of the local Borders - apparently, audio erotica is not appropriate whilst enjoying a tasty cheesecake at their cafe. Explanations that I was working on my memoirs, How I Learned Romance From Big Brown Riding Hoof, persuaded them little.

Any questions?


Small Paul
2006-04-11 07:54:15
Aw man, that's a genius Borders story :) Apple did mention the issue in the notes. I guess it needs to be in bigger writing :)
2006-04-11 08:03:30
did you really get kicked out of borders? haha!
Marcus Peaston
2006-04-11 09:37:20
In reference to your note that you are already running low on disk space in your Windows partition, do you know if it is possible to resize partitions on a Mac without having to nuke the existing ones? Evidentially the Boot Camp application is able to do this in order to create the initial Windows partition but I wonder if it is possible to resize it later. Is there something like Partition Magic on a Mac to do this job? I've been using a PowerBook for the the last 3-years but have never needed to do anything like this.
Morbus Iff
2006-04-11 10:18:03
I know that Boot Camp can revert the created Windows partition and resize the Mac partition back to 100%, but I don't believe it can dynamically resize the two partitions it has created. As for a Partition Magic clone, I'd recommend the GParted/LiveCD combo - while I haven't actually used it on a Mac yet, I've had grande success with it on resizing Linux/Windows dualboot partitions. For Mac-only stuff, supposedly iPartition can do the same thing, but I've not touched it.
2006-04-11 16:05:30
I work on a 15" TiBook and Alienware XP machine side-by-side day in and day out. You are 100% correct that wireless on WinXP is flakey at best. Compared to my trusty old TiBook, I find myself constantly "repairing" the wireless connection in XP (whatever "repair" means for buggy software). Keep up the postings, love the updates.

2006-04-13 21:06:24
If you're into SciFi, might want to check out EVE on-line(
2006-08-24 11:58:34
Ha! Nice work with the Border's reference. I found it very amusing.
2006-08-24 11:59:26
Post 2
Ha! Nice work with the Border's reference. I found it very amusing.