I’m about halfway there on the upgrade of the larger notebook harddrive and 10.5.4 with XP BootCamp (all of this is to get SolidWorks 2008 Education version running, mind you).  Leopard is noticeably faster than my old run down version of Tiger.  Or at least that’s what they’d have you believe.  No seriously, this system is running snappier with the fresh install. I’ll still need to migrate all my iPhoto stuff, as the version of Leopard I bought didn’t come with iLife.  I’ll need my address book and some bookmarks but that’s about all I need to migrate.  It’s pretty straightforward.  I did create a bootable external drive backup of Tiger in case something goes wrong using, Carbon Copy Cloner.  That worked pretty well too. You just hold down the (alt) option key at startup and choose the firewire disk you want to boot from.

Currently the TimeCapsule is backing up this fresh install.  The TC 500GB drive is a little loud when writing even though its encased in white plastic.  We were able to play a DVD video_TS file over 802.11n the other night to the TV.  As a note, you should turn off Time Machine automatic backup when you’re planning on watching something on your laptop because it’ll keep trying to backup while trying to stream the video and it’ll get choppy.  Lesson learned.  Under XP it said we’d connected to the router at 128 MB/s.  So yeah, this stuff seems to be working alright.  Another nice feature of Leopard is in the Dictionary Application it goes to Wikipedia as the default.  Pretty cool.

Big drives & faster weefee

My first generation (Rev. A) MacBook Pro (Core Duo 2.0 GHz Intel 32 bit Yonah) has starting to slow a little.  The 100GB hard disk is full and I can’t add any more RAM (2GB’s maxed out) but swapping in a bigger faster 7200 RPM laptop HD drive (say like a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320 GB) and upgrading the mini-PCI wireless LAN card to 802.11n will get me by.  As I recall, Apple took about a year and a half to upgrade to the Core 2 Duo chipset with 64 bit capabilities and even then Leopard didn’t come out until Fall 2007.  I was an early adopter and I’ve been pretty happy with this machine.  So now I’m looking to either stay with OS X 10.4.11 or possibly go the whole hog to 10.5.5, either way I’ll need XP Pro SP3 for CAD software using either BootCamp or rEFIt as a bootloader.

In Leopard with Time Machine data backups should be seamless, my only concern now is application compatibility and system stability.  Z’s white MacBook 2.2 Core 2 Duo came loaded with Leopard 10.5.1 and seems to have stabilized in 10.5.4 (though I think it does need more RAM).  From what I’ve read, somewhat like Vista, Leopard has a basic “footprint” of 512MB, so really 2GB is the minimum you need in practice with multiple applications running.  Tiger apparently has something like a 128MB starting point.

I took my first 3D rendering class in SolidWorks today at NYU.  It seems pretty cool.  NYU sells an educational copy that should work under XP and the MacBook Pro supposedly works alright with it.  We’re going back to Jimmy’s No. 43, I’m excited.