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Beginning a series…MBP & GIS

I am going to start posting a little more regularly here at the lbtc. I am going to focus on something I have kept on the VerySpatial blog since it started, GIS, but I don’t want to swamp that blog since it goes out to so many people thanks to PlanetGeospatial. So over the next month or so I am going to try to keep a journal of my shift to a Macbook Pro from my great little Toshiba Portege M200.

I will start with the fact I bought the low end 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 1 GB RAM, 120GB 5400 RPM HD. I would have preferred a 7200 RPM drive, but I will probably run larger projects off an external 7200 drive anyway. I have installed Boot Camp and Parallels thanks to a couple of decommissioned Windows systems at the bottom of my closet. I will be adding another 1GB of RAM this week, though in theory the system could hold up to 4GB (2x2GB) even though the spec site stated a 3GB limit (1×1 & 1×2). So far everything is running fine and I hope to even begin recording the podcast with the MBP in the next couple of episodes.

So far I can only comment on ArcGIS 9.1 in running in Parallels. It is definitely good enough for editing and your everyday cartography. If you start to get into heavier projects then I am pretty sure that booting into windows will be required. I think one of the limiting factors might be the memory swap file. I have toyed with the idea of forcing the swap file to use a USB flash memory drive kind of like the feature in Vista, but I can’t find my 1GB memory stick today and I am not sure how well the USB translation work in the virtual machine. I will let you know how this pans out.

Either way, if you want to use globe or scene, or a project that requires significant amounts of memory, then plan to be patient or just boot into a Windows partition.

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