Parallels and Apple — Near perfect

December 4, 2006

There’s a whole lot of buzz around the latest Parallels beta release. They have added a new feature called “coherence” which allows OSX and Windows to co-mingle on your desktop. At first, this seems wrong and creepy. But once I appreciated what this will mean for the future, I found peace with Windows on my Mac.

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Here’s the gist, you can drag documents between the Windows and Mac desktops and folders. Sadly, they do not “move” but simply copy from one environment to the other. Hopefully this will be changed in the near future. That’s not all, with the coherence mode turned on you can also drag an OSX window into the MS Windows desktop environment and copy and paste between applications using the default Apple short cuts. This is nothing short of monumental in the evolution of virtualization on the Mac.

I’m imagining a future where you can right click on a document anywhere and choose to open it in either the windows  or the OSX environments. Or better yet, predefine that certain file types always open in the desired environment. The software will just work. No need to worry about the operating system. Web browsde in linux, rip DVD’s in Windows and take care of photo’s in iLife without ever concerning yourself with which environment is actually running.

I am blessed enough to be running dual monitors. This allows me to dedicate one to the Windows VM on Parallels and one to OSX. I couldn’t ask for a better setup for getting my work done. The coherence mode of Parallels allows me to drag OSX windows into the Microsoft environment with no problems (however, you can not drag Microsoft application windows into the OSX environment). The image below shows Microsoft Media Player 11 running overtop Vienna and iStat (both Mac applications).

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The best (and worst) of both worlds

October 4, 2006

The latest revision of Parallels Desktop for the Mac is running butter smooth on my Mac Pro with 2GB of RAM. No hangs or crashes. In fact, right now, I’m using Ecto for Mac to write this post while watching DL.TV Episode 100 and installing software updates on Windows XP.

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To be more specific, the update is for my Sandisk 4GB flash drive. I can’t recommend this drive enough. It is fast, small and holds a ton of data. It also came with U3 Cruzer security software that allows me to carry sensitive data from my day job home totally encrypted. The down side is that the software is Windows only. But now that I have Parallels on my Mac, I have access to the secure data any time I want. While getting the Cruzer software installed and running under Windows was pretty quick, the Windows update that I performed on my system was another story entirely.

Check out the number of updates in this set. 59!!! Has Apple even had 59 updates ever? This seems pretty crazy, but I went ahead with the updates. I don’t want to get any of the Windows nasty little bugs in my Parallels install.

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