23 September 2017
Peter Roberts

Peter's lo-fi ramblings

Peter Roberts - UCL

224Posts 700,112Views 139Comments

Is this the answer to Chris Skinner's Vista woes?

20 May 2008  |  2141 views  |  1

You may recall that Chris has some issues with Vista - well maybe I have a workaround. 

There are one or two applications I still need Windows to run - various SQL server admin tools and the like - so I've been keeping my old laptop going - but it takes an age to boot up and makes a noise like a hairdryer. It also burns paint off the wall behind it. Warms the room nicely tho'.

So - with quite low expectations I thought I'd try installing XP on VMWare fusion on my Macbook to see if it worked. It's astonishingly good. Windows installed as painlessly as is possible and worked instantly with all the Mac hardware - running in a window of it's own on the Mac desktop. The VPN to our office worked so I could use remote desktop on the virtual machine to control our servers - tho' this started to get confusing. 

What's more - when you're done you just suspend it - and it's off and saved. Restart it next time you want it and and it's three or four seconds to come back exactly as it was. You can take snapshots too, just in case you want to do mad things and then undo them. You can move and backup your virtual machines easily as they're basically one big packaged file.

You can either run your virtual machine in a window of its own or use "unity" where the Windows apps are properly integrated - put them in the Dock if you like. I found that a bit too disturbing. 

Of course to do all this you do need a valid Windows licence key, a Mac and a copy of VMware - but given you could run several virtual machines with different OS - and have a lovely time doing it - it's worth considering.

Comments: (2)

Alexander De Lange
Alexander De Lange - Aurelia Financial Consultants cc - Johannesburg | 21 May, 2008, 13:45 You're absolutely right. I use Parallels, but it lets me do the same things. I feel that Windows actually benefits from the stability of the Mac platform: I have fewer crashes than I ever had on a Wintel box. Running OS X, XP and Ubuntu 8 simultaneously is great fun!
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Peter Roberts
Peter Roberts - UCL - London | 22 May, 2008, 13:10 Talking of Office 2007 - I was genuinely surprised to find that animated GIFs no longer display within HTML email in Office 2007. You just see the first frame of the animation instead.
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Peter's profile

job title Moodle support
location London
member since 2008
Summary profile See full profile »
I was the technical lead on the Finextra family of web sites from 1999 to 2009. I'm at UCL these days supporting Moodle.

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