Saturday, October 27, 2007

BootCamp bait and switch

Last night, around 11pm, I was about ready to leave a flaming bag of dogshit on Steve Jobs' doorstep.

See, Apple programmed BootCamp to remove itself from your Mac on the day that Leopard shipped. That's right, it just disappeared from the "Startup Disk" menu in MacOS X. I noticed this when I was getting tired of trying to print an airplane boarding pass in MacOS for the third time and having it screw up because Macs apparently don't ship with decent HP deskjet drivers and I guess I need a real operating system for such an arduous printing task.

Thanks for the head's up there, Apple. Way to warn someone that their software is going to delete itself. Hey, Microsoft's stealth Windows update at least that didn't delete functionality.

I searched around on the web and it turns out that you can still boot into your BootCamp partition, but you have to use the option key to do it. You can't do any kind of adjustments to BootCamp with the BootCamp manager. Apparently I have to drop $130 on Leopard if I ever want to change my BootCamp partition even if I don't intend to ever boot into MacOS.

I'm not going to argue that Apple can never stop giving away BootCamp and start charging for it. That's fine. The problem here is the fact that everything just disappears on the day their new OS launched without any warning or "hey, this is going away, do you want to set it to boot into Windows so you can get what you need?".

This is just one of the many ways in which MacOS X is so non-user friendly that I'm astonished when people say it's more user friendly than Windows. Can you imagine if this had happened to someone who was not technically savvy?

Anyway, Microsoft doesn't get completely off the hook in this post. After seeing that BootCamp was going to require an upgrade to MacOS X, I wanted to wipe the entire MacOS partition and install Vista on there, move the existing Vista data to there, then reformat the other partition of the drive for data. Sounds simple, right?

Bzzzt.

Enter Microsoft draconian licensing. I can't install the same license of Vista twice on the same machine. It actually tells me "You already have a partition with this license, boot into that to upgrade." Yeah, thanks for the tip idiots, I'd do that if it wasn't for freakin BOOTCAMP!

Maybe I should buy Leopard after all and dump Vista, not the other way around. I want some of that CoverFlow coolness if I need to drop $130 to keep BootCamp going.

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