We have been homeschooling our oldest for two years now. My wife and I decided on using BJU as the homeschool curriculum which has been great. They have three options for accessing the teaching content: DVD, Harddrive and online. Each progressively getting less expensive. The first year we used the DVDs which were easy to use but they were prone to skipping and we had one that would not even play. When you have multiple lessons on one DVD it can set you back a few days until you can get a new one in. So this past year we decided to save a few dollars and go with the Harddrive option. Only one problem they do not work on a Mac (OSX). Windows only and we only have mac laptops in the house! Well nothing like that ever stopped me. So we made sure to get the unit early in case we had to return it and go to back to the DVDs. I was able to get things working so we could use the BJU Harddrive on a Mac and I wanted to document the process I went through here for others to follow.
- First you will need a way of running windows on your mac. I used Parallels Desktop but I would imagine you could use VMware Fusion, Virtual Box (free!) or the software built into the mac called Bootcamp. However bootcamp requires you to repartition the harddrive and take dedicated space away from OSX.
- Next you will need to install a copy of windows. I used Windows 7 64bit but any supported BJU OS will suffice (XP, Vista or 7). Installing is as easy as putting the Windows 7 disc into your computer and selecting the option to install from a disc under Parallels. It does the rest. Easy! (can take a little while to finish depending on your hardware specs)
- Then you will need to plug in the BJU Harddrive and select that USB ATA Bridge under the Devices->USB menu under Parallels (or equivalent program). You need to tell windows to take over the USB device from the Mac.
- Now we can install the software as explained in the install instructions (See the getting started guide on the Harddrive page) The drive should show up as E: if you don’t have additional drives plugged into your Mac.
- That’s it!
You should now have a working BJU grade installed on the desktop all under a virtual windows on your mac. BJU harddrive uses a custom vlc player and portable firefox to access DRM’s files on the harddrive. So if you are used to using vlc player then it will be pretty straight forward.
- If you plug in and install the software on a 32bit operating system. Such as 32bit XP you will not be able to run it on a 64bit OS and vise versa. However the BJU technical team was more than happy to help me. After I called them I was instructed to email them a file which they converted and sent back. They walked me through the whole process. Just make sure you plan on installing it on the machine it will be used on first. You can however move from 32bit to 32bit machine and 64bit to 64bit machine without incident.
- The volume on a MacBook Pro can be low and hard to hear some of the lessons. I used the Boom app to increase the Mac’s volume which has worked out really well. It can get very loud now.
If anyone has any questions on any of the steps please feel free to comment or email me. Thanks.