Ask TUAW: Power adapters, Windows 7, iWork refresh, and more

Welcome back to Ask TUAW, our weekly troubleshooting Q&A column. This week we've got questions about MacBook power adapters, Windows 7 in Boot Camp and virtualization in general, resetting the Mac Setup Assistant, the next iWork refresh, and more.

As always, your suggestions and questions are welcome. Leave your questions for next week in the comments section at the end of this post. When asking a question, please include which machine you're using and what version of Mac OS X is installed on it (we'll assume you're running Snow Leopard on an Intel Mac if you don't specify), or if it's an iPhone-related question, which iPhone version and OS version you have.

Tofa asks

I have a 15" MBP (unibody 2nd gen) and a 13" MB. I noticed that their power supplies are different. There is a 60W(13") and an 85W(15"). Is it bad for the battery if i use one on the other?

Check out this Apple Support Doc. Basically it comes down to this: it's fine to use the higher wattage adapter with the lower power device, but it may not work so well in the other direction.

Matt asks

I've installed Windows 7 on my (late) 2006 24" iMac. The best thing about Windows 7 is Windows Media Center, which I'd like to be able to use while still being logged into the OS X side of things. First question, can I now buy Parallels or some other software to run my Windows 7 from the Bootcamp partition? I don't want to have to reinstall Windows 7 again if I can help it. Second, can you recommend a USB Tuner that will work with Windows Media Center to capture over the air broadcasts?

Both Parallels and VMware Fusion allow you to use a Boot Camp installation in virtualization. That is, you can run your Boot Camp partition as if it were a virtual machine. As far as tuners go, I'd probably try for something cross-platform so you could use it straight from OS X as well. Check out this site (scroll down) for some suggestions from Equinux and Hauppauge.

CozartDono asks

I have a late 2007 Macbook Pro running the latest Snow Leopard and a Boot Camp partition running Windows 7 32 bit. I have the retail upgrade version that includes 64-bit and 32-bit.The last time I checked, there wasn't a way to install 64-bit Windows 7 with Boot Camp. But I noticed the Boot camp update has a download for 64-bit Windows 7. Whenever I've tried to install 64-bit, I can't get the disc to boot up and start the installation. Is there a way to install 64-bit Windows 7 with Boot camp that I was never aware of? Is there a guide I can look at? And most importantly, can I do an upgrade from my existing installation of Widows 7 ?I'm thinking most likely this is case.

According to this Microsoft FAQ the only way to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows 7 is to backup and reinstall. The most recent version of Boot Camp 3.1 supports 64-bit Windows 7.

John.B asks

After doing a fresh install (assuming Leopard for my Blackbook, but interested in the Snow Leopard answer as well), can't I log in once with an administrative account to get the Mac fully updated with the latest updates and patches, then blow away that user's home directory to get the Welcome screen to run for the new owner.

It is possible to do this, but it's not completely straightforward as you'd need to do it from the terminal in Single User Mode. Check out this hint from Mac OS X Hints for the low-down. There's also this Clean that's a bit easier to use, but you'll need to be booted onto a different volume.

James asks

Hi, I recently got a 27 inch iMac core i7. In general I'm thrilled with it but the dvd player software that comes with it isn't that great. I'm not keen on using front row because I want to be able to do other thing's while the dvd's playing. Is there a decent dvd playback programme for the mac ? I've tried myself to find one but mostly they seem to be about ripping and burning dvds rather than watching them !

You don't say what you dislike so much about the built-in DVD player application, so I'm not sure what you would think is decent. That said, I can suggest you have a look at VLC for a free alternative.

Jo asks

Since the January event is over, and we still have no iLife X, will we see it anytime later this year? I'm considering getting iWork and iLife now....

trevor asks

Will there be an iLife 10? I've looked everywhere and found no sign of it. Am I better off just buying 09 now as I am still running 07's version.

As with all Apple hardware and software releases, there's simply no way to tell for sure regarding unannounced products. As it happens, there was about a year between iWork '05 and '06, but 19 months between '06 and '08 and 16 months between '08 and '09 (source). It's been a little more than a year since iWork '09 so I would expect to see something this year, but I have absolutely no hard information. Personally, I think it's likely that an update would come on the heels of the release of iWork for the iPad in the late Spring or Summer, but that a pure guess.

behindthecurtain asks

I LOVE using Remote on my iTouch to control iTunes on another computer, but hate being limited to that device. Is there a widget or app that does the same thing on my Macbook Pro?

There are several applications out there designed to do this, but it seems like none of them have been updated recently. You might want to check out TuneConnect 2iTunesRemote and iTunes Remote Control.