Tag Archives: boot-camp

Do You Use VMWare Fusion?

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VMWare Fusion 3.0 is finally here, and is the best way to run Windows on your Mac. Using a Mac doesn’t mean abandoning your Windows applications and devices. Ditch your PC and safely run your favorite Windows programs alongside Mac applications, while continuing to use your Windows-only devices on your Mac. Instantly launch your favorite Windows applications directly from your Dock or the Apple menu bar at any time. Easily switch between apps and minimize them to your Dock, just like you would with Mac apps!

This video was recorded by Kevin during Macworld 2010.

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Virtual Machines Love Windows 7

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Josh called in last week during live calls to talk with me about Windows 7. His general opinion at first was just that Windows 7 is a “great operating system”. I had to chuckle at that, because I of course agree. As we talked more, we got into a bit of a discussion about how much better Windows 7 runs on our Macs inside of Boot Camp. In my opinion, anyway, Vista never did run well on any type of virtual machine. It just plain stunk.

In a virtual machine environment, such as with VMWare Fusion, Windows 7 just – works. It runs clean, and it runs fast. When I used to try and run Vista in the same environment, with the same hardware and same configuration… it never worked. It was buggy. It would crash. It was slow. Things wouldn’t – work!

Don’t forget that I have an awesome Windows 7 eBook available for only $7.00! It’s filled with 70 excellent tips and tricks, to help you make the transition to Windows 7 even easier.

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Boot Camp vs VMware or Parallels

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Apparently, Virtual Machines are a hot topic! I’ve had a few calls lately asking about them, the differences, and my recommendations. This caller is buying a Macbook Pro, and is wondering what he should use as far as running Windows programs. He has a copy of Photoshop, and wonders what program he needs on the Macbook in order to use Photoshop to its peak performance. He’s also curious as to whether he should use Rosetta.

What exactly is Rosetta? You’ll never see it, you’ll never configure it, you’ll never have to think about it. It’s built into Mac OS X to ensure that most of your existing applications live a long and fruitful life. Here are all the instructions you’ll need: double-click the application icon. Behind the scenes, Rosetta dynamically translates most of your PowerPC-based applications to work with your Intel-based Mac. There’s no emulation. No second-class status. It looks and feels just like it did before. On a Mac, you’d expect nothing less.

If you want, you could always use Photoshop inside a Virtual Machine, using something such as Parallels or VMware. Or, you could use Boot Camp, which is included with OS X Leopard. Boot Camp supports the most popular 32-bit releases of Windows XP and Windows Vista. When you use either operating system on your Mac, your Windows applications will run at native speed. This is exactly what the caller is looking for! Windows applications have full access to multiple processors and multiple cores, accelerated 3D graphics, and high-speed connections like USB, FireWire, Wi-Fi, and Gigabit Ethernet.


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Boot Camp Hard Drive Warning

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For any of you going through the Boot Camp install on your Mac for the first time, I wanted to show you something that is VERY very important in this process. Failure to do this step properly can result in OS X being completely messed up.

When you get to the screen that allows you to select the partition to install, you will see all of your partitions listed (including unpartitioned space). Make SURE you select the partition that has the Boot Camp label, and is formatted using Fat32. If you choose any of the others listed there, you will honestly completely mess up OS X. Why Fat32 you ask? According to Bwana.tv:

Fat32 gives you read/write access to the partition which is, in my opinion, the main benefit. NTFS is better overall since you don’t have partition and file size limitations and you also get the security features of the file system. The main drawback is that NTFS is read-only from Mac OS X so you can’t write files to your Windows partition.

Also, be sure to choose to “Leave Current File System Intact”.

As I said, this video is dedicated solely to this part of the Boot Camp setup process. I cannot stress enough how critical it is to follow these steps.

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Vista Rants

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Last night, I tried to install a Beta of SP1 for Vista. To put it mildly, it didn’t go so well. Coincidentally, two viewers have written in to ask me how I feel about Vista.

Okay then. Here we go.

First and foremost, I do NOT base my opinion on Vista solely on the failed upgrade using the beta of SP1. That was just the second straw that broke the camel’s back. Yes, it’s beta code – but I’ve long contended that Vista itself is still very much acting like a beta. If you have watched any of my previous videos about Vista, you’ll see that I’ve had issues and concerns from the beginning. Why should you listen to my opinion? It’s not necessarily an opinion. It’s based on facts – and with plenty of supporting evidence.

So I install the service pack. The machine reboots a couple of times during the install… and suddenly I’m at a black screen, with nothing other than my mouse cursor on it. O-kayyyy. Reboot a couple of times. Nothing. Reboot into safe mode. Oh! That worked. Tried rebooting normally… black screen of nothing. Repeat this process several times.

Fine, whatever. Get out the Vista disc and go into the recovery console. Great! I can roll back to yesterday, before I began this mess. So, I tell the machine to do so! Uhm… what do you mean there is no space left on my HD to perform this operation? That’s not a Vista beta problem – that’s a Vista final shipping version problem.

Boot into XP, which was already residing on this machine. Delete some useless files to free up space. Go back into recovery console. Holy hell you’re kidding me!!!! Going into XP deleted all the restore points in Vista!

I am now left with a crippled and useless Vista. Did I reinstall it? Absolutely not. I am running Windows XP again now. Yes, I miss the look of Vista, and maybe the way the desktop is handled. But… XP is running. It’s faster. It WORKS!!

Do I recommend Windows Vista [for everyone]? Not a snowball’s chance in… I’m waiting on Apple to release Mac OS X Leopard. As far as I’m concerned at this point, Microsoft is taking a huge hit. The future of Windows, in my opinion, is inside a Virtual Machine or Boot Camp on a Mac. Understand, too, that I’m still in love with my Xbox 360 (and I think they’re doing amazing things with Popfly) – so this rant should not be taken as an all-out Microsoft-bashing diatribe.

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Thank you for all of your emails, videos, and comments. Let me address some of those now.

From the beginning, Vista has had issues. In many instances, we’re not talking minor problems. Driver incompatibility, hardware incompatibility, software not running, programs or the computer itself randomly crashing… all just the tip of the iceberg. For many people, the software incompatibility issue was a nightmare. They installed Vista, only to find a very long list of programs that simply would not work. For other people, they simply did not have the proper hardware to run Vista. Upgrading your hardware can be quite expensive, as you well know.

Some of the feedback I have received today has been phenomenal. It’s interesting to see what other people are saying… and finding it to be much of the same things, over and over again.

From schagg311:

The EXTREME lack of x64 driver support for a multitude of things. For example, I have a Belkin N1 wireless desktop card (F5D8001 v1.0). They (Belkin) tout their products as ‘vista compatible’ yet this is misleading because there are NO Vista 64-bit drivers for ANY of their products. Although I’m only concerned about the one I have. There are two things that really bother me about this.

  1. Vista was supposed to include so many drivers (native support) for a great many things but this apparently doesn’t include Vista x64. and
  2. )not only is it misleading for a company like Belkin to say they’re ‘vista compatible’ when that’s not completely true (false advertising anyone?) but for MS to allow companies to say that when it’s not entirely true is just as bad.

From PyroPictures:

Another minor irritation is that I have 2 MS Mouse 3000 input devices and both are Vista certified/approved/whatever. About twice a day Vista loses track of my input devices. I have 3 USB ports, so it’s not the port. I have 2 mice, so that’s not it either. I’m big on re-booting to maintain contiguous blocks of free memory but twice a day is a bit too much, particularly since I have 4 GB.

From Akula:

i bought vista home premium, my scanner, fax and printer do not work, my Ethernet wireless does not work and also i am having problems with my laser printer!

From hardasfeth:

upgraded to vista from XP nothing but problems mainly with drivers freezing or vista telling me not compatible when they are all vista approved drivers and programs.

Wait, back up. What’s that you said? You are having driver issues with Vista-approved drivers? You’re not alone, unfortunately. from Mark Kaelin:

Drivers seem to be the most pressing problem for Windows Vista right now. If you are lucky enough to have equipment and peripherals that have updated drivers or old drivers that don’t cause problems you are probably wondering what all the fuss is about. But for those of us with problem drivers, this is just not acceptable. Vista has been coming for five years – make the darn drivers for it already.

I have already blogged about the SP1 features, as written by Microsoft. My question is, why are these issues being resolved in a service pack? Many of these issues should have been addressed long before Vista was released. You knew this was coming for five years, Microsoft. Why release an operating system that truly wasn’t ready to be unleashed on much of the computing public? Larry Dignan made an excellent post surrounding Vista SP1. He says it best:

When you look at the sheer volume of additions / fixes / etc. in SP1, you’d be a dunce not to wait for it before pondering Vista. In some corners, the SP1 is an indictment of the first Vista, which you could argue wasn’t ready for prime time in the first place.

There you have it in a nutshell. THIS is why I’m fed up with Windows… and I’m not alone. Microsoft dropped the ball in a very big way when they released something they never should have. They left themselves wide open to losing a very large number of people. I stand by my earlier opinion… the future of Windows… at least in MY house… is likely to be inside of a Virtual Machine.

Every OS has its problems – OS X had problems when it started, too (as did Windows XP). But this is 2007, and consumers demand more from their experiences (and rightfully so). This is why Apple mindshare continues to expand… which is more an indication of Microsoft Windows failures than Apple’s successes, I believe. Are we supposed to sit idly by and wait… and wait… and continue to wait after we wait some more?

Sure. Whatever.

Let’s play the blame game, instead? Let’s blame the user, let’s blame the OEMs, let’s blame the hardware vendors, let’s bl… why does it matter who is to blame? At the end of the day, we’re still left wrestling with a cavalcade of quirks and a questionable future. We still get the runaround.

Microsoft can succeed with the next version of Windows, provided they…

  • Shove backwards compatibility for software into virtual machines.
  • Make those quality seals and “compatible” labels mean something FOR ONCE.
  • Come back to a single Windows SKU for consumers.
  • Hire a marketing team that understands the product they’re pitching.
  • Listen to their most passionate users instead of giving them the middle finger.
  • Abandon the notion that UI doesn’t matter.
  • Pay as much attention to average consumers as they do the enterprise market.

Ed Bott wanted less whining, and more complaining – but that line is incredibly fine. These issues aren’t petty, and our decisions aren’t always based on logic. Human beings are emotional, and it’s okay for them to be upset about being handed a product that… well, here’s what Microsoft claims Vista does:

The computer stops responding or restarts unexpectedly when you play video games or perform desktop operations.

Case closed.

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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CrossOver, Boot Camp, Parallels, VMWare…

Exclusive Coupon: 20% off Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Upgrade for existing customers OR $10 off for Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac for new customers.

Apple is prepping Boot Camp for Leopard inclusion next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon figured out how to enable Windows apps to run “natively” in OS X. CodeWeavers already has CrossOver Mac, which pretty much does that now. Dual booting is for geeks, though I believe that VMWare and Parallels will keep everybody but the gamers happy. I just learned about 2X ApplicationServer tonight:

2X ApplicationServer for Windows Terminal Services allows Windows applications to be tunneled seamlessly onto remote desktops, saving on administration & support. ou can use it to seamlessly tunnel up to 5 applications per server onto remote desktops – perpetually. During the first 30-days it also allows you to tunnel an unlimited number of applications.

Though I believe 2X’s cross-platform / network setup is still somewhat of a kludge, this is certainly a step in the right direction. Dunno. The more I look, the more I’m finding OS X equivalents for my favorite Windows programs. Let’s see if Entourage 2008 kills Outlook once and for all.

I do have a coupon for Parallels, though…