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Questions about running VMs on Mac


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#1 MaryBet82

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 01:28 PM

I'm planning on buying my first mac next week. I'm going to need to run Word 2003 and Paperport so I plan on using VMfusion or Parallel Desktops or Virtualbox to run WinXP Prof. I've been reading reviews on macupdate and macsomethingelse and whatever came up googling.

If I understood what I read, the VM's somehow interface w/ bootcamp - but setting up bootcamp is not necessary to set up the VMs is it?

I plan on getting a 17" macbook pro w/ 4 GB RAM. From what I've read and my call to vmfusion, that should be more than adequate RAM. Any differing opinions on that?

Is paying extra for the Intel Core i7 advisable? I'm not planning on playing any games or doing any Autocad, but I do multitask a lot w/ several Word docs open + Paperport [winxp vm] + web browser + spread sheet [hopefully mac programs].

Per my reading the latest version of VMFusion or PD will recognize external HDDs that are also recognized by apps running on the mac OS. I'm supposed to be able to copy and paste between mac windows and VM windows. Anyone actually found this works?
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

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#2 Fryed Bacon

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:18 AM

You know you can get Office for Mac right? And also, don't use VMWARE. Use the free open-source equivalent, Virtualbox. (www.virtualbox.org)

#3 MaryBet82

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 08:44 AM

thanks Fryed Bacon,
Yea, I know about office for mac. The latest version I know about [2008] doesn't support VB and I use a lot of macros w/ Word. Supposedly the next version is going to support VB and maybe I can switch then.

I've just found out about virtualbox and haven't read much about it yet. The few reviews about virtualbox were positive. I intend to try it before purchasing VM or PD.

The thing I'm wondering is if one of the VM's would be better to run Word and Paperport or if all three VM's would run those apps ok and the real performance difference is in games. In the reviews I read about VMFusion or PD there were strong likes/dislikes of one over the other. I'm wondering if that was because of the type of apps being run or maybe older machines or older versions of the VM being used than currently available.

I'm also wondering if one or all of the VMs [latest versions] are written to better use whatever new performance thingies are in the new processors and if it matters if I get an i7 vs an i5.

VMs to run Winxp on a mac just seems too good to be true to this windows user. I'm used to struggling just to get winxp to run on a pc and winxp apps to run on a winxp machine. Never tried to use winxp's VM to run a win98 app on winxp, but I get how winxp could fake a win98 environment. I know nothing yet about mac architecture, so I can't imagine how you install winxp into a VM and then install your apps.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#4 davidanders

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 11:40 AM

You have a choice of BootCamp, Parallels, VMWare, Virtualbox, Crossover and others.
The Virtual Machine File created for one of these can often be used or converted for others.
This is a speed comparison
http://www.mactech.com/articles/mactech/Vo...ationBenchmark/
Most offer a 14 or 30 day trial.
David Anders
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#5 thcbytes

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:34 PM

I have a MacBook Pro. I use OpenOffice.org in place of Microsoft Office or iWork. I have Virtualbox installed with many different OS. Windows XP, Vista, W7 and many Linux OS. I chose OpenOffice because it is free, as feature rich and interchangeable with Office. I chose VB because it is free and very full featured. Another advantage of VB vs. Parallel is that you can have your Mac and another OS running simultaneously.
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#6 JUICYboy

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:57 PM

I had to add my comment :blink:

I have a Mac book pro and I run:
Windows X.P. ,Vista and Win 7. I run these with Virtualbox. And I LOVE IT. :wacko: Great and FREE open source try it out. :)

http://wwwlvirtualbox.org

You can also run NeoOffice (Office for Mac) I LOVE IT ASS WELL :)

http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/download.php

Last thing you have made a excellent choice with a MAC you can't go wrong. :)

#7 MaryBet82

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:55 AM

Thanks davidanders
The link you provided addressed many of my questions. I found it interesting that on some of the tests/tasks a VM actually ran faster than bootcamp.

Thanks thcbytes
I use Open Office Calc as my spreadsheet, but Writer didn't have the customization and macro options I use a lot. Or it didn't last time I tried using it - couple of years ago.

Thanks JUICYboy
I'm looking forward to having a mac. Just have a lot to learn. I'm planning to run WinXP in a VM and hoping that VirtualBox will work for me. From my reading and the variety of opinions expressed in reviews I think maybe which VM works the best may depend on the OS's one wants to run and the apps on whichever OS. Since I'll have a new mac and I'll be running Winxp and not Vista, I'm hoping I can go w/ the free one.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#8 thcbytes

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 06:39 AM

Your welcome :blink:

Since I'll have a new mac and I'll be running Winxp and not Vista, I'm hoping I can go w/ the free one.

I have yet to encounter troubles running any versions of Windows, Linux and DOS in Virtualbox on my Mac.
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http://donatelife.net/register-now/




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