Tag: Virtual Machine


Mac+Win = Awesomeness

I was a PC guy for a long time but I started using a Mac at work in late 2012 because I have customers that use them. I figured it would be a good way to learn something new and add another skill set to my toolbox.

Once you fall into the Apple Matrix you have some amazing tools. My iPad, Macbook, and iPhone are all in sync with each other. I can leave my phone in my pocket or bag and send/receive text messages and even make phone calls from the laptop. Gotta love technology and this stuff just keeps getting better!

I’m on the fence about the Apple Watch. Probably going to wait until version 2 comes out before giving it any serious thought.  I love watches but having one that will be obsolete in a few years is weird.  Maybe I’m looking at it wrong.

I continue to be really impressed with the MacBook Pro and the Parallels application that allows you to run a virtual install of Windows in the Mac environment.  It allows you to run both operating systems at once seamlessly.

Nerd Alert, the following is a little geeky…

You can actually run just about any Operating System, in Parallels (Linux, Server, etc.). It takes a bit of setup but once done you get the best of both worlds.  Mac applications run in the Mac environment and Windows applications run in the Windows virtual environment.  The only way to tell what is what is a pair of vertical bars on the icon.

Setup requires a full install of Windows (I started with Win7 and have moved to Win10) and all the normal licensing of applications.  You can pay a little extra to get a special cable to migrate an existing Windows machine but in my experience it didn’t work that well so I started with a clean install.

The entire Windows virtual machine resides in one (large) file which makes it easier to backup (Parallels performs regular snapshots too).  You can have several virtual machine instances for testing too.  Performance and stability are impressive with just a minor hit to overall battery life.  In other words this is a totally usable system that has very little impact on how your Mac functions.

If you’re a Windows user that’s been wanting to try a Mac or if you’re a Mac user who misses some of your favorite Windows applications this setup is worth checking out.

Apple Style With Windows Functionality

I’ll admit I’m starting to get a case of Apple Fever.  After moving to an iPhone from the long favored Blackberry and actually finding a way to integrate an iPad into my daily routine I’m taking the next step…  I’ve purchased a MacBook Pro.

This is not just any MacBook, this is the 13″ model with the *new* retina display, 8GB of memory and a roomy 256GB Solid State Hard Drive.  Having used a 12.1″ Lenovo Thinkpad for the past 4 years the 13″ display on the MacBook seems a lot larger and the resolution (and clarity) of the retina display is nothing short of amazing.

The overall design of the Apple MacBook Pro is very nice.  Machined from a solid block of aluminum this thing is as solid as it gets.  No plastic to flex or creak and no flimsy screen to move around.  I’ve never felt a laptop as well-built as this is.

I mention Windows Functionality in the title of this post.  That’s possible because of a virtualization application called Parallels which allow you to run Windows applications right alongside the Macintosh apps.  It’s pretty much seamless and, so far, it just works.

I’m still in the “getting to know you” stages of the Macbook but I really like what I see so far.  Time will tell if this becomes my primary platform or if the limitations push me back to the world of Windows.  There are enough differences in how the two systems work that it’s going to take some time for the Apple Operating System to become second nature like Windows has become.

After I take this thing on an extended test drive I’ll go into more detail and post a more thorough review.  Stay tuned…