The MacBook Pro I have to use arrived yesterday and I set right to work trying to make it run both Mac OS and Windows. Things have come a long way in the past 6 months thanks to BootCamp and Parallels, but it’s not quite user friendly yet. I think I installed Windows 4 different times, on different partition configurations before I found one that would work properly sharing data between BootCamp and the Mac. Once that was working, I had to install Parallels a couple times, and reconfigure the virtual machine at least as many. But I think I’ve finally got it, and it was worth it.
The new Parallels Beta lets you use the BootCamp install of Windows for the virtual operating system, so I can run Windows in a window on the Mac, and then, if I need a performance boost, I can restart in Windows-only mode, on the same instance of Windows. This is a good thing.
Seriously, this is digital nirvana.
I can run FinalCut Pro and develop high-end videos in one window, and run VisualStudio 2005 and develop Windows applications in another.
I can have Mail.app on one screen, and Microsoft Outlook on the other.
I can pick the platform that works best for a particular tasks, without having to shut down the platform that works best for the other tasks I’m doing.
And I can’t rave enough about the latest beta from Parallels. It has some bugs — it sure would have been nice if FAT32 would have worked so I could write to my Windows partition without starting up the virtualization layer. And the Coherence feature needs a little work before it’s really worth using, but hey, it’s a Beta. And aside from those two complaints, and a few bugs that require recreating the “computer” every once in awhile, the app is outstanding. VMWare has nothing on Parallels.
I should also add that the MacBook Pro is the sexiest laptop I’ve ever held. I ended up with a revision 1, and I’m afraid it runs a little hot, but I can deal with that cause otherwise the beast is incredible. Here’s a screen shot of VisualStudio running in-line on my Mac…