In my last post about moving from a PC to Mac I gave some general observations about the experience. Now a week later I know a stack more about Macs. I am still impressed and expected the teething problems to be worse.
What is interesting is that the overall experience of using a laptop at work and home for most stuff has not changed. Still surf, still download, and still way to easy to get distracted at night when I should be doing something else. Not surprising really. The only hitch I’ve had is email, which is still running in a Windows partition until we get all the new contacts, mail, etc sorted out.
What did surprise me was how easy it was to get going with the Powerbook on World of Warcraft. It was simple. Here is a quick summary of the migration process, and a few neat things I found out about along the way.
Setting up WoW
- Downloading the client from a mirror (Internode traffic was free of me), or you could grab it from Blizzard’s page.
- Install on the Mac using default settings.
- Login and patch the install (5x repeats here as you download the incremental patches that I didn’t bother to grab).
- Login for the first time to setup my user account folder under the WTF folder. If helped to login to a few of my toons so that they would have their folders setup too.
- Backup the Interface and WTF folders from the PC’s Warcraft installation.
- Backup the new Interface and WTF folders on the Mac.
- Copy the contents of the Interface folder from the PC backup into the Mac’s Interface folder, except for the Blizzard mods that are already there.
- Copy the content of the Account name folder within WTF from the PC backup to the same folder on the Mac.
- Login to Warcraft and adjust the Unit Frames mods layout to suit the increased monitor resolution on the Mac.
And that was it.
Setting up Ventrillo
Vent config is a bit more trouble. For starters the Mac version requires a codec that some Vent servers don’t support – so as a Mac user you’re a 2nd class user. Expect to not connect to some Vent servers.
However I’m testing a solution using Parallels for Mac which allows you to run a Windows partition on the computer and have both Windows and Mac software accessing the same hardware. Setup in Parallels allows mapping of the virtual devices that the Windows environment sees to actual hardware on the Mac. I’ll have to test this shortly on a live run, but my initial test seemed to work.
The secondissue I found was that Vent handles sound devices in a strange way on the Mac. This mean that sometimes my default inputs would not be detected correctly and sound would not be recorded or received. The solution was to buy a USB headset with a mic and then its easy as cake. You switch into the Mac Prefs and set the USB device as the input and output, then do the same in Vent, and its all go.
I suspect the Teamspeak and all the other mods are the same. I use Skype for internet calls and that had a few odd things involving the sound hardware, but simple stuff if you tweak it for about 15 minutes.
Patching your Add-ons
This might have been hard if I was not already using things like AceUI Updater and WoW Matrix, but its simple. Install WoW Matrix and hit update. It has both a Mac and Windows build too. Mod maintenance is as hard as you wish to make it, and I’d rather be playing that patching, so I recommend totally using a tool like this.
Even on my PC WoW Matrix was awesome.
The Final Result
I can happily say that I have run a few 5 mans (Bot and Mana Tombs) and a Kara run using the Mac and its now pretty familiar. I still sometimes hit 1 rather than 2 for the hotbar, which is due to the different sized keyboard – and that’ll be an adjustment thing.
WoW on a Mac is totally viable, and is excellent.