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29 September 2007

Put Your Virtual in a Box

Another way to run Windows on Intel Macs

With the Intel based Macs it's easy to run Windows on a Mac. Most people use "Parallels" for that (since that program was the first one around), while I had tried the beta of VMWare for Mac. Now that the VMWare beta program is over, I tried out VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a full alternative to the other two. It's not only free, it's open source. The Mac version seems to be in beta too, so I was right where I had left off. This afternoon I went and intalled VirtualBox and put (gasp!) Windows 2000 Professional on it...

I should say here, that I have only a very passing need for this kind of program: Practically all I do is check some web pages for browser compatibility with Internet Exploder. Most of that is even done at work, so my MacBook doesn't get much of it. But then it's also fun to have a tamed little evil operating system in a virtual cage on your laptop! Always something to show off to the average "a computer is this thing that runs windoze" person.

Why did I install Windows 2000? It's just that W2k is on this CD I have here. I'm not going to buy XP or Vista just for playing on my MacBook once a month. Besides, my new flatmate has Vista on his shiny, brand new laptop... a dual 2.6Ghz machine with 2 Gigs of RAM that starts up and runs about as fast as my gf's handed down, five year old "craptop". You can practicaly watch how the windows are drawn on the screen button by button when the machine boots up. The hard disk is thrashing constantly, as if it had to swap like crazy. Now if I was seriously into web compatibility checking, I'd get XP so I can put IE7 on that too. But I'm not.

My experience with VirtualBox so far: Free lunch (yeah...). It's feels snappier than VMware, especially in respect to scrolling. The VMware user interface is more polished, while VirtualBox has a bit of that "ported app" feeling about it. VirtualBox also crashed a couple of times, but kept on going (good thing I had a "savepoint", because Windoze didn't take the crash so lightly). For the moment I'll stay with it and see how it will keep up.

Not to forget: I had learned about VirtualBox in this great e-book by Joe Kissel (of Nisus fame): Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, of which I learned through being the press contact for HelMUG (the Greek Mac User Group).

Posted by betabug at 20:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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