April 16, 2006

Virtual Windows

Posted in Commentary at 1:42 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

I have spent the past week playing with Parallels for OSX which is a VMware like software package for forty bucks (special right now) that gives us a way to run a virtual PC (windows, Linux , Solaris etc) on OSX. It’s beta right now but looks very promising. It is for OSX on Intel only since it works to hook to the hardware using kernel level calls and some special features of the Intel chip.

Even in beta, the speed of Windows is very good and I did manage to break it by trying to run LiveOffice on XP in the virtual session. To it’s credit, it tried valiantly to do it for about 15 minutes before it gave up the ghost and crashed.

I was not able to get XP with SP2 installed but I did get XP installed and then apply SP1 to it. I will do SP2 later this week. I also had to bump my Intel box from 512Meg of RAM to a gig and things worked alot better. I imagine it would ALOT better if I had a dual core instead of my hacked P4 but beggers cant be choosy at times like this. I did put in my pre-order to get the ten dollar discount 🙂

Everything I’ve tested so far on XP works as expected. I did not like that all the various parts like NIC cards are not installed by default. This is most unlike VMware and I think a problem. They should default to common parts that almost everyone needs like a NIC, Sound etc. I caused a few crashes because Windows died trying to join a domain without a NIC in place and Windows is too stupid to warn about it.

I will say this sure beats having to dual boot and do that nasty partition crap. I have heard rumors that VMware is coming out with their own version which would be slick since I’m a big fan of their Linux and Windows software.


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