Clean Machine

If you ever seen the film Amélie you'll know how good it is. If you haven't, then I envy you, because you get to have the experience of seeing it the first time. One of the best films ever. Ever.

Anyhoo, it has a scene at the start where it describes how her father likes to pass the time by emptying out his toolbox, cleaning it and then putting everything back in the right place.  It captures perfectly the idea of someone who likes to have one small part of his life completely under his control, and which he can make how he wants it. I think I'm a bit the same with my PC.

Today, for a number of reasons, I wiped my MacBook clean and restored everything from scratch. I've done a lot of work too, I've read all the final year project reports that I'm marking and I've also made a start on tidying my office. You can get a lot done when your computer is broken...

I've been meaning to re-install Vista for a while, there is a broken install of an old XNA version which is stopping it working with the Zune and it doesn't pick up my camera properly. It also has some software on it which I'd be happier without, and I wanted to re-partition the hard drive to give more space to Vista and less to OS X. Nothing wrong with the Mac operating system, it is just that Vista does all the things I need to do, and I know how to make it do them. I like using the Mac, and GarageBand is a program I'd love to spend more quality time with, but I don't think I need to give it as much disk space as I did.

So, after taking complete backups on four different disk drives I wiped the Vista partition and tried to use the Mac BootCamp program to create a larger one.

And there the fun started. The first time BootCamp didn't work, and told me that it couldn't move the partitions because some files were fixed. The second time it tried it crashed the machine, leaving the disk file structure a bit awry. I fixed that, tried it for a third time and had the same problem. So, I wiped OS X and did a complete install of that, so that I could then put Vista on afterwards. 

Operating installation is nowhere near as fraught as it used to be, both OS X and Vista loaded themselves onto the machine with a minimum of fuss. There were occasional moments of high drama, updating the firmware in the Mac was a bit scary, as was the part where I found out Apple was updating one part of the system whilst Microsoft was twiddling with another at the same time, which could have gone badly, but all in all it was just a case of looking up from what I was reading and clicking OK every now and then.

By the end of the day I'm about back to where I stared operating system wise, now all I have to do is put the applications and my document files back into place.