Hardware

Installing Windows 10 on an External USB 3 Hard Drive for Boot Camp

External Boot Camp Drive **UPDATE**: Aug 05 2016: Surprisingly, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607) installed on this installation okay, although only via the VM (running under VMWare Fusion). It would NOT install when running from the bare-metal installation (option boot from EFI partition). Trying to install from the EFI booted partition results in the 'Cannot upgrade due to unsupported disk layout for UEFI firmware' error. Once the update was complete on the VM guest, it also booted fine from the EFI partition. I have no idea how, or why this worked. ;-)

**ORIGINAL POST**

A success story is a nice way to start the New Year. The internal drive on my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) has been getting a little full, and the Boot Camp partition was taking up about 45GB of space. I also wanted to run a proper Windows machine (including developer tools) and 45GB wasn't really enough to do much. And so began my quest to see if I could achieve the following:

  1. Install Windows 10 Pro (build 1511) on an external USB 3 SSD hard drive.
  2. Have my MBP recognize this drive as a boot option when pressing the option key at boot (turning my MBP into a Windows computer).
  3. Have VMWare Fusion recognize the external Windows installation as a valid Boot Camp source, allowing Fusion to run the _same_ Windows installation as a virtual machine while in Mac OS X.
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The Mouse That Called Home

Razor Orochi

In the photo included in this post you can see my new Razor Orochi mouse. It's a pretty cool mouse, but I confess I'm not entirely sure if it actually belongs to me - or at least which parts of the mouse belong to me.

In the photo you can see that there's a light in the mouse wheel. It's on at the moment, but to turn it on I had to first download the Razor Synapse software, register with the company that made the mouse [Razor], 'log in', and then change the settings of the mouse so that the light would turn on.

I wasn't impressed. Nor were a lot of other people as you can see here, and here. Razer Creative Director Min-Liang Tan attempted to respond to the criticism in a Facebook post. Sorry Mr Min-Lian Tan, but I'm calling bullshit. The opportunity for Razar wasn't about giving gamers' an online profile and cloud-based settings. It was about the incredibly useful data they're able to collect for the retail sales of their products on a global scale.

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BlackBerry Tour

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"281","attributes":{"height":"278","width":"212","alt":"2009-07-01_083947_270x355","title":"2009-07-01_083947_270x355","class":"media-image media-element file-media-large alignleft"}}]] I'm still in watch and wait mode - being torn between the iPhone 3GS and a BlackBerry device.

I partly want to own an iPhone just to be part of the iPhone phenomena - not to mention use the device that has totally changed the landscape of mobile communication.

I also really admire the BlackBerry devices. I noticed a few reviews for the new BlackBerry Tour - and thought 'oh that's nice'. Great specs - a refinement of the BlackBerry World Edition and Bold all rolled up into one - and then the bottom fell out. No WiFi. ? WTF? Here’s a good review of the Tour.

Still waiting and watching....

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The Little Printer That Could – My HP 930c

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This is probably more ‘tweet’ worthy than blog worthy – but what the heck. You see that little printer to the left? That’s an HP 930c DeskJet inkjet printer – and I’ve been using it now for eight years. :-) You can buy one used on Amazon (and no doubt from eBay) for about 10.00 USD. I love the blurb for this printer. “ This remarkably fast little printer enables you to produce letters, memos, and reports, plus photo-quality prints. Handling up to 100 pages of input and 50 pages of output, the HP DeskJet 930C color printer is a practical companion for your desktop or laptop computer.” Talk about a lesson in positive branding. I’ve been recommending HP printers to friends and co-workers for at least as long. I suppose having good quality HP printers in the office over the years has helped as well. On the other side – after a traumatic experience with Epson printers years ago, I’ve never forgiven Epson (and always thought their software was a bit wonky). Totally illogical and non-analytic I know – but that’s what branding is about I guess.

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The Internet is Amazing

As if anyone needed more proof.

In my quest to find the world's best computer keyboard (here in Part1 and Part2), I've recently settled on my IBM SpaceSaver II and Logitech G9 Laser mouse combination. The mouse is great - but as I wrote earlier - the key action on the keyboard was just a little off - feeling a bit 'plasticy'. Some keys were actually a little stiff and squeaky as well (it's at least five years old - purchased second hand from e-Bay).

I figured there must be at least one other IBM SpaceSaver II owner out there that has taken their keyboard apart, cleaned it up, lubricated the keys and put it back together again - and I was right.

I found this page... How to Clean, Upgrade, Repair, Mod, Disassemble an IBM Computer Keyboard, with the two links below at the bottom of the page... in Japanese.

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In Search of The World's Best Computer Keyboard - Part 2

Update: 24 Sept 2011: I've since switched to using a MacBook Pro as my main computer - and despite previously thinking that the ThinkPad Keyboard was the world's best computer keyboard - I think the MacBook Pro backlit keyboard on my early 2011 MBP is simply the best keyboard I've ever used. The mini Mac keyboard is nearly as good - just a shame they don't make a backlit USB version (only bluetooth now).

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Replacing a Hard Disk on a Notebook with BitLocker Installed

Awesome - my new 2.5" 320GB Hitachi 7200 rpm 16MB cache Travelstar 7K320 hard disk arrived today. The drive was actually made in Thailand - but I had to order it from Singapore... grrr... Last March I purchased a ThinkPad T61p. I love this notebook... but I made the mistake of not putting a large enough drive in it at the time. Here are the steps I took to swapping the drive and resizing the partitions.

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In Search of The World's Best Computer Keyboard - Part 1

Update: 24 Sept 2011: I've since switched to using a MacBook Pro as my main computer - and despite previously thinking that the ThinkPad Keyboard was the world's best computer keyboard - I think the MacBook Pro backlit keyboard on my early 2011 MBP is simply the best keyboard I've ever used. The mini Mac keyboard is nearly as good - just a shame they don't make a backlit USB version (only bluetooth now).

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Shuttle SD37P2, NVidia GeForce 8800 and Vista Aero

I’m not a hard core gamer, or a hardware freak per se, but in my quest to build a small form factor (SFF) PC that will last a few years before having to upgrade I decided to push the envelope on SFF PCs. I have three boxes on the go at the moment including an older Shuttle SD31P. Space is an issue, and I’ve always liked the idea of being able to grab my main box – put it in a  carry-on luggage bag and fly off knowing that my ‘office’ is in the bag (for longer journeys of course).

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