Tag Archives: Mac

Macbook Pro – Parallels vs VMWare Fusion


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Subscriber Michael Gutierrez is a long time Mac user. He asked if we could help him decide whether he should use Parallels to run Windows on his Mac, or wait until BootCamp is out of Beta. Personally, I prefer VMWare Fusion.

I did a blog post on my personal blog several months ago which discusses VMWare, Parallels, BootCamp and Crossover. Let’s see if we can’t go more in-depth this time, to try and help Michael.

Michael writes: “The ability to run Mac OS X 10 and Windows XP side by side is phenomenal. I now want to be able to run Windows Vista. I know Parallels supports Vista but I have read about some limited functionality like not being able to run Windows Aero. I am also concerned about the memory usage. I have 2 GB of RAM installed. Reading the requirements for Vista, I am assuming you would need at least 1 GB of RAM just for Vista to operate.

I have read about Apple’s Boot Camp being up to snuff with Windows Vista with providing full driver support for all hardware and it can even run Windows Aero. Although this would be a great solution to my problem, I do see some down sides:

  • Partitioning the HD for Vista Installation
  • Rebooting each time when needing to get into a particular operating system
  • No sharing of files.
  • Still in beta release.”

I have to agree with Michael as far as using Boot Camp at this point in time, mainly because it is still in a beta testing phase.

Parallels Virtual Machine software is an application which allows you to run any operating system inside of OS X. Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and even Solaris can be easily used on a Mac. You can switch between the different operating systems without having to reboot, and even drag and drop between them. Parallels has long been a staple for many Mac users who still need to make use of certain Windows functions or programs. However, it does have some performance issues, such as screen redraws related to video issues in the Coherence mode. Some users don’t like that there is no right click function, nor a delete key. There’s also no drag and drop support.

Personally, I use the newly released VMWare Fusion. You can do virtually all of the same things with Fusion that you can with Parallels, but Fusion blows its counterparts out of the water when it comes to performance. Installing Windows has never been easier, thanks to the Windows Easy Install feature in VMware Fusion. Just answer a few simple questions and insert your Windows installation disc—VMware Fusion will automatically create a Windows virtual machine that is optimized for your Mac. Fusion can use the full 16 GB of memory available with the Mac Pro, giving you the ability to run a large number of virtual machines at the same time.

For the most part, there are only minor advantages and differences when choosing either Parallels or VMWare Fusion. Both applications provide a free trial period, so I suggest trying them both to see which one works best for you. Interested in purchasing Parallels? Be sure to use this coupon code to receive a discount.

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iWork and iLife 08


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Ponzi and I review the iWork and iLife 08 applications. iLife is a full on management system for your digital lifestyle, while iWork is geared towards graphical presentations

iWork is an amazingly well put together program for Mac. The Numbers program within iWork is a spreadsheet program similar to Microsoft Excel. However, Numbers is geared toward presenting your information using graphs, charts and tables, instead of just the actual… well, numbers. Pages is the word document program, and it also emphasizes design and layout. I can’t say enough positive things about the Keynote portion of this application. Keynote is very similar to Microsoft Powerpoint. However, Keynote is just much crisper and cleaner. You can move between slides with more finesse, and they simply look better.

iLife is used to help you with your home computing. There is a feature called Garage Band. This makes it insanely simple for you to podcast. All you have to do is click a button, record, and upload. Everything is loaded and done for you. It can’t get any easier than that. There are also components in iLife to help you organize and use your videos, photographs and anything else you would need to manipulate, edit or share.

iWork and iLife are very good alternatives to their Microsoft counterparts. They are less expensive, provide more functionality, and actually just work better. In my opinion, these two programs will sell more Macs.

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Mac OS X Security Software


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Think you are 100% safe from security vulnerabilities because you’re a Mac user?

Take a time out, and think again. No operating system is 100% safe. Chances of being infected on a Mac are much less than with Window because the exploits are different. Macs enjoy security by obscurity. If you are an advanced user who is careful with your surfing and downloading habits, you will be safe using a Mac. Knowledge is key, and this situation is no different. You should educate yourself about computer security, no matter what type of system you are using.

**Turn on the firewall that comes built into the Mac. This will keep you from being exploited.

**Consider using an Anti-Virus program designed for Macs. While there are currently no known viruses for the Mac O/S, it is certainly possible that someone…somewhere…will try and create one. Is this a must have? No – but it won’t hurt, either.

Compute smart. Compute safe. Think before you click.

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Mac OS X: the Light or Dark Side?

Guess what?

Chris has five Macs in his house: Ponzi’s white MacBook, a Mac Mini that drives the live video stream, a 15″ LED-backlit MacBook Pro (sponsored by Lijit for Gnomedex), a 17″ 1920×1200 MacBook Pro (sponsored by Blue Sky Factory for Gnomedex), and an iMac G5 that he’d likely be willing to sell to the highest bidder.

That’s the response you receive from Pixie (bot) in our chat room – although it seems as though I’ll have to remove the iMac G5 from the list (as we’re giving it to Ponzi’s uncle as a gift for his inner geek). I’ve been scrambling around the Internet, looking for interesting and useful software for OS X again. It’s been a while since I’ve pimped out a Mac, to tell you the truth. I’m gonna have to keep my eye out for specials, discounts, review copies, etc.

The 15″ is really damn nice, as expected. The 17″ has awesome resolution, but its screen clutch doesn’t seem to be as tight as it should be (given its weight). Seems to get quite hot when under duress, but iStat Pro isn’t reporting anything out of the ordinary at the moment. I’ve gotta find some killer Dashboard widgets. Might even install the beta of Leopard on it, too (yes, I’m a member of ADC).

I really didn’t want to have to install iTunes on Windows just to get contacts and calendars synced on the iPhone, but seems there’s no other way. I’m publishing my calendar to a private (not visible?!) URL through Outlook and Microsoft Office online, but there’s no simple way to push it through a qualified iCal client. Hosted Exchange, here I come!

Mac Learning Curve

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Does OS X have a learning curve? Can you really get used to OS X after being a diehard Windows user for so many years?

Chris thinks it's very possible. In fact, he's thinking of converting to OS X for his daily computer use, for several reasons:

Apple has paid attention to the overall user experience: it's much more user friendly than Windows has ever been.

A lot of the programs on OS X just work better than similar ones on Windows.

Windows and OS X really are not as different as you may think. While the user experience might be very different, getting work done is basically the same on both platforms.

The little things – like getting used to used to the menu system – can be overcome by just using the operating system more often.

What do you think? Can you make the switch?

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Mac vs PC

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Mac vs PC: who wins? While a Mac is a Personal Computer, we're talking specifically about OS X vs Windows. So which one is better: Mac or Windows?

Chris believes that buying into the Apple monopoly gives end-users a much better experience:

  • The user interface is far superior to that of Windows and Linux
  • With control of the hardware, Apple can almost guarantee a great experience that OEMs running Windows cannot.
  • The customer service experience with Apple is also superior to most other customer service experiences.
  • Since you cannot run OS X on another platform (legally) you can use OS X as a host system, and boot into Windows or Linux with parallels.

What do you think? Is Apple going to expand their monopoly and continue to chip away at Microsoft's position?

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The Politics of Security

Online Security is important. Flickr users in China, Iran, and Iraq feel the same way I do – though Microsoft employees in Lebanon and Israel don’t (since they’re all on the Mac). An Online Search for the keyword yeilds few results, so perhaps we’re in need of more Education – or more Firefox Advertising from the Bush Administration?