For college I upgraded to an HP ENVY, HP’s MacBook lookalike. The PC is as I just said, a PC, but has all of the sleek benefits and little gimmicks that Macs have, like a multitouch trackpad, backlit keyboard, seamless case, slot load disk drive, etc. Anyway, in the transition, I have learned some important things that I would like to share, in case someone like myself happens to come across this blog and find the answers they seek.

Firstly, HP changed the way that they format their hard drives. I had been planning to immediately set up a dual boot system with OSX86 on a partition, and then a FAT32 partition to share files. My Pavilion had a single restore partition, so in my mind, this would all be possible. The new HP PC’s have a boot partition with Windows 7, a recovery partition, and then two other partitions with recovery files. This means that the maximum number of partitions are met for simple hard drive formatting, and dynamic disks (5+ partitions) do not allow more than one partitions to boot. That essentially makes a dual boot system impossible unless you delete the recovery partitions, which I was not about to do. This discovery was a bit disheartening, but in the end, made the setup quite a bit simpler. I’ll just have to use my existing Apple hardware to program instead of carrying around one unit that does everything. (If I really needed dual boot, I would just have deleted the partitions and used my recovery disk if I needed it. Recovery disks are no longer sent with the hardware, but are made by the user with a tool included in Windows.)

On the topic of Apple hardware, my next topic can be covered. On my Apple setup I have the main sync profile for my iPod and use that OS for my Objective-C programming. When I got the ENVY, I wanted to have my entire iTunes library present, and be able to sync normally, without loosing the ability to program. To accomplish this, I copied the entire iTunes folder from OSX to 7 after installing the same version of iTunes from there I just had to delete the content of the iTunes library on 7. Do not edit the XML iTunes library, do delete everything in the iTunes library formatted file. Once the corrupt file is detected, the library will be rebuilt from the XML file. Assuming that your music is well organized, everything should work. The XML file only stores local file locations, not the full path, so that did not create a problem. From there I synced with the new pc and then disabled autosync on the Mac. From here I will just sync with 7 and then program with OSX. Life is good. Problems will only arise if I sync within OSX. While this method worked with OSX to 7, it should work the same for anyone wanting to upgrade their computer. The best part is that it did not erase my iPod, because I copied the sync identity. That means that everything was faster and I didn’t have to rejailbreak anything.

Other things I did… I had to upgrade the trackpad driver to get multitouch gesture support, and I upgraded the bluetooth driver. Everything else auto updated.

I think that’s about it. It is awesome to have a computer that can play modern games and turn on without having to be plugged in. I’ll probably blog about my experiences with L4D2 and splitscreen support + bluetooth PS3 controllers at a later date.

EDIT: The computer is quite good. I am very pleased with it, and will save comments of that sort for a post at a later date.

Nathan