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Parallels Revisited

October 20th, 2008 by Rick

A few days have passed since discovering the beautiful combination of the Mac OS, Windows, Boot Camp and Parallels. I haven’t been disappointed… and for the most part, everything has worked exceptionally well. A few gotchas, but no deal breakers (at least for what I’m trying to accomplish). Between the home office and work, we’ve got three MacBook Pros set up this way.

As I noted before, the beauty of this arrangement is that both OS’s are able to run at once. You can copy and paste between both sides and there is shared file space (we took that one step further and included a FAT32 partition).

The obvious gotchas include shared resources (RAM and CPU), generic virtualized hardware, licensing issues with certain software and a few incompatibilities. The licensing issues can go beyond the OS activation problems warned about in the Parallels documentation (the requirement for multiple Windows serial numbers depending on the flavor and level chosen). The reason for activation issues stems from activation schemes that look at differences in hardware as a way to detect multiptle installs. Even though you’re only installing on one physical computer, Boot Camp and Parallels make it appear as two different boxes because of the virtualized software.

Adobe threw me an activation curve because of the different hardware look. I have the CS3 Master Collection Suite for Windows. They allow two concurrent activations – one on a desktop and one on a laptop, which I’ve taken advantage of (one on my MBP Boot Camp partition and one on my desktop). When I fired up Windows via Parallel and ran Photoshop, it gave me an activation issue. I haven’t yet researched to see whether Adobe will make exceptions for virtualized installs, but I’m not optimistic.

That’s enough for now… I’m writing on the plane and it’s about time to land.


Another Advancement In Geekery

October 18th, 2008 by Rick

I’m certainly not the first to blog about how to dual boot a Mac with Boot Camp, or to use Parallels.  In fact, for those of you with any significant cross-platform computing experience, you may yawn – but today was a great day in my view.  Based on some research we did at work to integrate new MacBook Pro’s into our Windows-based workflow, I ended up being a Parallels convert.

I’ve been running my MacBook Pro dual booted between Tiger and Vista since I got it.  With the huge investment I have in Windows software, it only made sense.  In fact, if I couldn’t have made the Mac work with Windows software, I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place.  Over time, I went from using the Vista side about 90% of the time to most recently using the Tiger side most often.  Still, there are things I need in Vista that I don’t have on the Mac.  Unfortunately, Boot Camp requires a reboot…  not optimal.

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