The best of both worlds (or, at least, both worlds)

In my ongoing effort to design a testbed for my teachers to examine OS X, Windows Vista, and Ubuntu before I start spending money in July, I fired up Boot Camp on my MacBook.  Boot Camp is a utility built into OS X much like the GNU Partition Editor (gparted) in Linux that allows users to create and resize partitions on the fly to facilitate dual-boot options.

In my ongoing effort to design a testbed for my teachers to examine OS X, Windows Vista, and Ubuntu before I start spending money in July, I fired up Boot Camp on my MacBook.  Boot Camp is a utility built into OS X much like the GNU Partition Editor (gparted) in Linux that allows users to create and resize partitions on the fly to facilitate dual-boot options.  While it's not as powerful as gparted, it, like most Apple applications, is a no-brainer, easily creating a target partition, and then prompting users for an installation CD/DVD.

Better yet, Boot Camp launches the install of a second operating system and then, once installed, provides a Windows application (found on the OS X restore DVD) for managing default operating systems and installing appropriate drivers.

I used Boot Camp to install Vista Business (SP1) on the 32GB partition it suggested I create.  The install was quick (less than 45 minutes, although I was building IKEA furniture at the time, so my sense of relativity may have been out of whack) and, once booted into Windows, it only took a couple minutes to install drivers and the Boot Camp control panel.

While I could simply use Parallels or VMWare to virtualize Windows (and Parallels can actually access my new Boot Camp partition), this gives my users and me a chance to fully evaluate Vista on identical hardware at full speed (Parallels is quite snappy, but shared memory and resources obviously can't match full hardware speed).

If you must dual boot, Boot Camp makes it extremely easy.  I have enough XP licenses that I could easily load XP on every machine I roll out if we chose to deploy Macs for the teachers.  My concern, though, is that many teachers would ignore OS X and always boot into XP for the sake of familiarity.  Maybe that isn't a problem; maybe it provides a greater degree of flexibility.  What do you think?

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