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Making the 64-bit Jump (w/ Windows XP Professional x64)

So I’ve had a copy of Windows XP Professional x64 for quite a while – I never bothered to install it because all of my machines, except one, are 32-bit only.  My main desktop has an older Athlon 64 (3500+) processor, but I recently bumped up the RAM to 3GB for some photography and development work – so I decided it was time to give the 64-bit world a try.  I’m not sure why exactly, but after about 2 weeks of running x64, my machine is still blazing fast.  With XP Pro 32-bit, my machine was really taking a while to startup and would get bogged down quite easily.  I’m sure I have less software installed on the machine now, but I have my main applications installed now and things are quite nice.

I was a bit worried that some of my hardware wouldn’t be supported under a 64-bit Windows OS (which is one reason I haven’t been in a hurry to jump on the Vista bandwagon…I know there is 32-bit Vista, but if I have a 64-bit machine, I’m running a 64-bit OS…).  Anyway – the experience of getting things up and running was really quite nice.  Some applications went and installed just fine without any modification at all.  Others did require that I download a 64-bit version of the installer (as the 32-bit installer refused to run at all), but this was pretty painless.  Even my Brother multi-function laser printer and my Garmin Legend C GPS device had 64-bit compatible drivers, which was pretty surprising.  Interestingly enough, the only application I’ve really had trouble with is Apple’s iTunes.  I have the latest version of the software and the install process went fine, but when it came time to sync my iPod, I got all sorts of errors.  I ended up “restoring” (i.e. reformatting basically) my iPod 3 times, disabling all syncing except music, and rebooting a few times…now things “work”.  I still get funky error messages every once in a while, but my music plays on the PC and my iPod appears to have my music again.  I noticed that Apple has a page saying 64-bit Windows (XP Pro and Vista) aren’t actually supported by iTunes at this time – which is kinda funny because now I’m seeing quite a few posts from iBroke iPhone owners that are upset that they can’t sync the iPhone since they run 64-bit OSes.

Anyway, I thought I would post my base application list in case anyone else is curious about what works in the 64-bit world:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom v1.1
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Visual Studio 2005
  • Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (* 64-bit installer required)
  • Garmin City Navigator v7 (* after 64-bit driver download for GPS unit)
  • Quicken 2006 Home and Business
  • Microsoft ActiveSync
  • Apple Safari (Beta 3)
  • Alcohol 52%
  • Mozilla Firefox

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