Windows 7 on my MacBook

So, I started to do a little fiddling with .NET. On the train home today, I was doing some work in Visual Studio 2010, in my Windows 7 VM (via Fusion on my MacBook). The MacBook is not speedy, 2.0Ghz Core Duo processor with 2GB of RAM and an Intel graphics card… the crappy kind that shares main RAM. Despite these limitations, the VM runs nicely for most tasks. But when I tried to enable Aero Glass, things got sluggish. Too sluggish even though I was just editing text files and creating simple command-line utilities.

Then I remembered  that I upgraded the hard drive on my MacBook to 250GB, mostly because I knew at some point I was going to install Windows on a separate partition and install BootCamp to get all of the hardware drivers working. Now seemed like a good a time as any.

Installation of Windows 7 is a bit complicated, though. It seems as if Windows 7 isn’t directly supported. You need to install Vista first, then Windows 7. In fact, these are  the steps I followed:

Burn necessary disks

The first thing I needed to do was burn Vista x86 and Windows 7 x86 disc images. This didn’t take too long as I have an MSDN subscription and broadband.

Run Boot Camp Assistant

Boot Camp Assistant is a program built into OS X. It’s installed when you install the OS and gets updated periodically whether you care or not. As you probably know, it partitions your drive and gets it ready to receive a copy of Windows.

Reboot, install Vista

Hopefully the last time I need to install Vista. At some point, say I boot camp my Mac Pro, I’ll try and skip this step and go directly to Windows 7. For now, this is what I did. Vista installation worked like a charm.

Install Boot Camp Software

Boot Camp Software is installed under Windows from the Mac OS X install DVD. For my Snow Leopard disk, it installs version 3.0 of Boot Camp. After the install, all of the MacBook’s devices came alive. I downloaded Boot Camp 3.1 from the Apple Website and installed that, which was recommended.

Install Windows 7

The Vista to Windows 7 upgrade is pretty seamless. It worked on my work PC and I expected to have no problems here. Unfortunately, out of the box, the upgrade failed. Apple had a fix for it and when I applied that, the Windows 7 install started to proceed as normal. Then, I ran into an issue where the version of Windows 7 I was using could not be used to upgrade my version of Vista. Ug. So, I opted to install Windows 7 from scratch. This is why I mentioned above  that if I did this again I would go directly to Windows 7. The install ran fine and Windows 7 is now running on my MacBook, all drivers seem to be working.

Install Visual Studio 2010 RC

Now, I can actually continue where I left off on the train, finishing my .NET twiddling on a native, Aero Glass-enabled, Windows 7 install on my MacBook.


Wild February

February has been a roller-coaster. We went skiing as a family three weeks in a row, Giovanni navigated a small mogul trail after just 3 weekends since putting on skiis for the first time*, Antonio learned the names of the top players on every NFL team, my daughter turned 4, and Marco wrestled his way to Gold at  the Bethpage Wrestling tournament.

Antonio has always done Flag football, perhaps for the last 3-4 years. All of his friends do it and he always has a blast. Before this year, though, it was impossible to get him to watch a full football game. All my adult life, getting into football has been a challenge because none of my local friends were into it and my kids were too young. Now? No joke, Antonio has seen more full football games t han I have in my life, many times over. Sometime this fall, he got the bug and was a voracious consumer of videos. He watched the highlights of every game, every matchup, each week. In December, he hit me  up for a two-month membership on to gain access to the nfl archives. So, for the past 3 months, he’s been watching every game from the 2008 and 2009 seasons with no commercial interruption. What games? What team does he follow? Well, he’s a die-hard Jets fan but he doesn’t discriminate on watching games. He simply watches them all. Couple this fanaticism with his preternatural memory and you have a nine-year old boy who can name the starting players on every team in the NFL. He also knows their numbers. It’s scary.

Skiing was awesome this year. I spent years being too lazy to take the family on ski trips, opting instead for solo trips with my buddies at Hunter, Stratton a few times, and once in Vancouver. About four years ago, I went to visit my dad and I took Giovanni and Antonio for a lesson. I think Marco maybe was 2 and Sera wasn’t born yet. They had a 1-hour lesson since I was too naive to put them in a full-day so I could get a good day of skiing out of it. Anyway, years went by and I finally decided it was time. The  long story, told quickly, they all did awesome! In the three-weekend crash-course, I loaded them up with plenty of half and full-day lessons and plenty of time with Daddy on the trail. On the first weekend I took all three boys out together and that was a pain in the ass. They all went at different speeds and directions and I had a hard time managing them. By the end of the third weekend, I took all three out and it was a dream. They helped each other, stuck together, and we had a blast! Sera was in day-care for the last weekend and skied twice, but I didn’t get to see her ski. Next year, I’ll take her out on the bunny hill and see how she does. All of  the boys did fantastic, but Giovanni was a natural. I can’t believe how good he got in three weekends. On the last day of skiing, I accidentally took him on a short black diamond and I got really worried for him. But he just slid over the moguls with no  fear. Kids, with their lower center of gravities (or whatever) aren’t partaking in the same sport that adults are. The mountain isn’t as scary, and they don’t seem to get hurt when they wipe out. I guess this makes sense since my kids can jump in the air and land on their knees without a second thought. For most adults, that’s gimpy time.

Sera turned 4 on February 17 and we had family over for our usual Codignotto Brunch. She’s growing up and has shot up in height in the past six months. She’s also smart as a lick… and tough! Of course, she’s growing up with three older brothers.

Throughout December, January, and February, Marco joined wrestling and religiously attended each week. He loved it. I was thrilled he was starting a sport I had done in Junior high (though I was too heavy to be competitive) and for which my Dad was a Long Island Champ, my brother a Nassau County Champ, and my cousin a national champ. In Marco’s first tournament, he lost to a tough wrestler, mainly because he didn’t know how to wrestle. He had no experience and didn’t have a repeatable way to get another kid on his back. You can view the video here. But a few months later and plenty of hours on the mat, Marco learned what to do. On Saturday, he faced three opponents. Two he pinned and one he won by points. That video is here. I must have watched it 20 times already! He completely dominated the other kids. I was so exciting to watch.

March is here. This is when I officially start training for my Triathlon season. Two sprint tris and one olympic. Plus, I’m participating i n a 150 mile relay race. I need to run 3 legs of about 4-6 miles each, over a 24-hour period with 11 teammates. Wish me luck!