VMWare Fusion

Okay, I’m a convert. VMware’s Fusion++, Parallels Desktop–, for running Windows on my mac.

I’ve been running Parallels for the last couple of years; there’s always some dumb reason I have to run windows. Previously it was for meetings (Outlook) and to sync my Treo. More lately, IPv6 testing with various OS’s; and doing remote training (sharing my screen with Adobe Connect).

The annoyance, of course, are all the BSOD’s from Windows XP. BSOD is the Blue Screen of Death. The more I tried to do with XP, the more likely it’d go BOOM. Load up Cisco VPN, Powerpoint, and Adobe Web Connect, and pretty much within a couple minutes, BOOM.

I had been putting off trying VMware, despite the urging of friends working there even, mostly as I did not want to reinstall windows, possibly fighting the reactivation process, etc. Finally the crashes pissed me off enough that I moved my Parallels VM’s to an external disk, uninstalled Parallels, and installed VMware.

So far I’m impressed. Likes and dislikes: * Like: Haven’t seen a Windows BSOD yet. * Like: Very smooth execution - feels much smoother than Parallels did. * Like: Switching between full screen and windowed mode very smooth, lot less jarring than watching Parallels do it. * Like: Full screen in the VM, you can still move to the top of the screen, and get the mac menu bar for Parallels. This means you can easy, without remembering the keys, get out of full screen mode. * Like: An idle VM sucks less host CPU than Parallels did. Especially important if you’re on battery. * Dislike: There is no force-power-off button for when the OS spins to hell. Workaround: Change your global preferences such that it powers off when you close the window. Even then, I had to hit close several times before the VM would finally die. Things are not perfect, but pretty darn good - I’m gonna go ahead and get a key for VMware (currently I’m on the 30 day demo), and stick with it.

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