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View Full Version : Alright here's the deal... should I switch to a Mac?




Cooper1662
Dec 3, 2010, 01:58 PM
I'm a PC guy.

I've got an iphone, and an ipad...and I love them!

But I'm a PC guy. I pick up an Apple computer and I'm lost. I can't do anything!

But my wife...bless her heart...bought herself a Macbook Air the day before yesterday.

And she hasn't stopped running her mouth about it ever since. It's like the best thing that's ever happened to her. You can take pictures right from facebook to your laptop and they look awesome! You can do this and this and this.

Okay babe, I get it already!

Now, ever since I was in the Apple store a few months ago, I've wanted an iMac. The 27 inch screen and the graphics...it was awe inspiring.

BUT, I'm resistant to change. And I spend all day on my laptop...literally. I am online probably 10 hours a day or more. A lot of programs I run, are PC only.

My wife is using parallels or something like that to run her oil and gas program which is pc only and she's going to switch back and forth. That's not really an option for me because I'm in and out of several windows only programs throughout the day.

So the question is...is it worth it for me to make the seemingly....GIANT....leap to Mac, or should I stick with the PC? I know most of you are biased, but I'm not going to be able to handle my wife and her macbook for long before something explodes.

The irony in the story is that I begged and begged her to get a new iphone when her blackberry finally gave out. She refused and just last month bought a blackberry torch or whatever it's called. Her justification is that the iphone touchscreen is too difficult to use. It's ill justified as my two kids ages 7 and 10 both have ipod touches and they seem to have mastered it with ease. She uses theirs as well as my ipad. No chance on the iphone though.

Sorry for rambling. I just got on the thought of being in the middle with products from both sides of the fence.



stockscalper
Dec 3, 2010, 02:12 PM
You can get an iMac and install Windows via Bootcamp. That way you'll be in Windows all the time. But frankly that's a lot like buying a BMW and tearing the engine out and putting Yugo engine in it.

gwsat
Dec 3, 2010, 02:12 PM
Don't worry about the learning curve for OS X because it is very intuitive. I had been a Windows guy since the '80s when I bought my first Mac, a Powerbook G4, 8 years ago. I continued to work on Windows machines at my work while I was learning to use OS X at home. OS X got easier and easier to use over time, so much so than I am now working on my third Mac laptop.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Try it, you'll like it.:)

cheesygrin
Dec 3, 2010, 02:30 PM
First off... I'm not as biased as you'd think. I'm a PC based IT engineer by day. I know PCs more or less inside out and I use a PC at work as happily as anything.

BUT... When I go home - to the machines that I CHOOSE to own - it's to a 27" iMac, a MacBook and an iPhone. In my mind, there really is nothing to compare with the sheer quality and user experience of a Mac. In recent reliability surveys, Apple came out tops over ALL PC manufacturers - and I wasn't remotely surprised.

If you're going to be using Windows apps most of the time though, then you won't get much opportunity to get used to using OS X - which is a shame, 'cos it's great. A learning curve, yes, but ultimately great. So really, it comes down to cost and what YOU want.

Do you want the BEST - never-mind the cost? If so, then I strongly recommend you buy a Mac, install Windows on Bootcamp (Bootcamp is free with a Mac and uses all of your hardware, whereas virtualisation software such as Parallels only gives you whatever performance is left over after OS X has booted), and use OS X at every opportunity that you get outside of work.

If, however, you really don't care about using OS X, aren't bothered about having the best quality hardware and only intend on using Windows apps anyway, then what's the point? Save yourself some cash and buy a cheapy Windows PC. But don't come crying to me when it breaks. :)

Panch0
Dec 3, 2010, 02:48 PM
Not sure why everyone wants to use BootCamp. The only application that I can think of where you really need to use BootCamp to be Windows Native is gaming. For Windows only business/productivity applications, I have found operating in a VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop VM to be perfectly fine. My personal preference is using Fusion in Unity Mode, which gives each Windows Application it's own Window within OS X. It's as if the Windows Apps are very just really ugly Mac Apps.

I guess that if your Windows applications were graphics or rendering tools that really push the graphics system (almost like a game would), BootCamp may be preferable to a virtual machine.

As an example, the Windows only tools that I use commonly in a VM:
IE
Visual Studio
SQL Server Management Studio
Visio
OneNote

gwsat
Dec 3, 2010, 02:55 PM
Do you want the BEST - never-mind the cost? If so, then I strongly recommend you buy a Mac, install Windows on Bootcamp (Bootcamp is free with a Mac and uses all of your hardware, whereas virtualisation software such as Parallels only gives you whatever performance is left over after OS X has booted), and use OS X at every opportunity that you get outside of work.
I run Windows in VMware Fusion's Unity mode on my 13 inch Ultimate MBA because both my bookkeeping program, Quicken for Windows, and wordprocessing program, WordPerfect, are Windows apps for which there is no OS X substitute that suits me as well. I tried Bootcamp when I got my MBP three years ago but ended up hating it. I need both Quicken and WordPerfect at the ready at any time, so being forced to close OS X and reboot in Windows before I could do bookkeeping or wordprocessing was a deal breaker. Thanks to Fusion's Unity mode, I can go back and forth between a Windows app and an OS X app just as fast as I can switch from one OS X app to another.

I have 2GB of RAM and one processor core dedicated to the Fusion virtual machine, which leaves the rest for OS X. Both Windows and OS X apps run with good speed and total stability. For me at least a virtualization program like Fusion or Parallels is an exponentially better solution for running Windows apps on a Mac than Bootcamp ever was.

St. G
Dec 3, 2010, 03:06 PM
OSX is fine for everyday computing. Not better to me, but certainly not worse than Windows or the various Linux distros I've used. Mac Hardware is, unfortuantely, usually yesterday's PC hardware at tomorrow's PC prices, wrapped in the the best (looking) industrial design out there. But for something like the Air, where the packaging IS the product, I think the inflated price is justified.

But the iMac? Doesn't seem like your extra $$ is really buying you much there. An iMac running Bootcamp Win7 is just a pricey, slightly prettier than average, slow PC.

T4R06
Dec 3, 2010, 03:12 PM
LOL it looks like your wife is much much geekier than you :D

HardLuckStories
Dec 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
I used OSX and WIN a lot, I also talked WIN people into OSX, big mistake. WIN people really need to stick with WIN purely for application reasons, basically results in endless whine about how win apps aren't available for osx.

OasisNYK
Dec 3, 2010, 04:33 PM
I switched last December and never had an issue - its pretty simple.

I still use PC's for work but I find myself wishing they were mac's now.

psirix
Dec 3, 2010, 05:56 PM
First off... I'm not as biased as you'd think. I'm a PC based IT engineer by day. I know PCs more or less inside out and I use a PC at work as happily as anything.

BUT... When I go home - to the machines that I CHOOSE to own - it's to a 27" iMac, a MacBook and an iPhone. In my mind, there really is nothing to compare with the sheer quality and user experience of a Mac. In recent reliability surveys, Apple came out tops over ALL PC manufacturers - and I wasn't remotely surprised.

If you're going to be using Windows apps most of the time though, then you won't get much opportunity to get used to using OS X - which is a shame, 'cos it's great. A learning curve, yes, but ultimately great. So really, it comes down to cost and what YOU want.

Do you want the BEST - never-mind the cost? If so, then I strongly recommend you buy a Mac, install Windows on Bootcamp (Bootcamp is free with a Mac and uses all of your hardware, whereas virtualisation software such as Parallels only gives you whatever performance is left over after OS X has booted), and use OS X at every opportunity that you get outside of work.

If, however, you really don't care about using OS X, aren't bothered about having the best quality hardware and only intend on using Windows apps anyway, then what's the point? Save yourself some cash and buy a cheapy Windows PC. But don't come crying to me when it breaks. :)

I'd have to completely agree. I work in IT and admin a complete windows network, and have been a pc enthusiast most of my life. I still am to a degree. However, once I got my hands on my first MacBook Pro back in 2007, I have completely enjoyed my experience. I have had two MBP's since, a Macbook, and am contemplating getting an MBA. For me, I am mostly on the go so a laptop makes more sense for me. When I am home, I do a lot of work on my PC desktop, but keep my MBP next to me, and usually hook it up to my second monitor. Get the iMac and use VMware, Parallels, or Virtualbox for your PC applications. You can continue to do what you know, while learning OS X. And if you're any bit of being tech savvy, you'll pick up OS X in a few minutes :) The hardware is absolutely great and even though I kind of miss the whole pc building experience, the computing experience is incomparable to the PC. That was probably quite a lot of blabble, but home some of that helps!

jeffg819
Dec 3, 2010, 06:36 PM
My first Mac was a WTF purchase in 2004 as something to occupy my mind during some craziness in my life. I could go into all the details but in the end I purchased a PowerBook for my soon to be ex wife as well as replaced my kid's PCs with Mac minis.

When I brought home this mid life crisis machine, I allocated 4 hours to get everything setup (wireless router, printer, etc). It took 15 minutes. That was the beginning of the end of my PC life.

My biggest regret in all of this is when I purchased my PowerBook, Apple stock was at $30 and had I not been going through some financial "adjustments", I would have purchased stock. Now, at 10x that price, I find myself taking some solace in at least knowing I knew of the value of Apple computers before the market figured things out....

So, get a Mac. Install a VM (take your pick) and get on with it. I think Win7 is a pretty good product and I've upgraded both of my Mac machines to the latest MS offering, but I'd rather spend my day in OS X. Worst case? Should you decide you don't like the Mac life, the machine can be sold at a good resale price.

My .02

bowlerman625
Dec 3, 2010, 06:44 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Once you go Mac you never go back!

gdeputy
Dec 3, 2010, 07:17 PM
OSX is fine for everyday computing. Not better to me, but certainly not worse than Windows or the various Linux distros I've used. Mac Hardware is, unfortuantely, usually yesterday's PC hardware at tomorrow's PC prices, wrapped in the the best (looking) industrial design out there. But for something like the Air, where the packaging IS the product, I think the inflated price is justified.

But the iMac? Doesn't seem like your extra $$ is really buying you much there. An iMac running Bootcamp Win7 is just a pricey, slightly prettier than average, slow PC.

Find me a 27" IPS display with the resolution of the iMac for a price WELL below 1000 dollars. Please.

You pay 999 for the magic mouse, wireless keyboard, and a quad core i7 with 4GB ram, 1TB HDD and admittedly underpowered graphics, which really is only maybe 300 above market value.

That 300 extra your paying basically is for aesthetics, (best in the industry, PERIOD) and what is proven to be the best support of any hardware manufacturing company in the game.

A quad core i7 is in NO WAY slow, and the ram is ddr3 1333, so wtf u really saying bro?

P.S. peek at my sig, I run a PC machine, but the iMac isn't really THAT overpriced.

gwsat
Dec 3, 2010, 09:31 PM
So, get a Mac. Install a VM (take your pick) and get on with it. I think Win7 is a pretty good product and I've upgraded both of my Mac machines to the latest MS offering, but I'd rather spend my day in OS X. Worst case? Should you decide you don't like the Mac life, the machine can be sold at a good resale price.
I agree that Windows 7 is quite a good OS. It is far less intuitive than OS X but it does its job quite well. For the first time since MS rolled out Windows XP in 2001, MS has, finally, been able to improve on it.

As noted in an earlier post I keep a couple of Windows apps running in VMware Fusion's Unity mode, simultaneously with several OS X apps. This setup allows me to use Windows apps for which I have found no satisfactory OS X substitute, Quicken and WordPerfect primarily, from the OS X desktop. Now I don't really care whether a program runs in Windows or runs in OS X.

potentpotable
Dec 3, 2010, 09:49 PM
This is my first Mac, and I was so accustomed to it after just a few days that I cant really go back to a PC comfortably anymore...I keep pressing Alt thinking it's the Mac's Command key!

rnb2
Dec 3, 2010, 11:08 PM
I'll just echo what several others have said: I was a Windows user from early '95, built my own PCs, and did tech/network support for a Windows shop for over a decade. I bought my first Mac in over a decade, a G4 mini, in early 2006, just out of curiosity, to supplement my existing Windows desktop (a homebuilt Shuttle box).

Over time, I found that I just enjoyed using the Mac more. Part of this was that I was learning something new, but it was also just more fun and less of a headache. No driver issues, no constant updates, no viruses - just a fast, stable OS. I eventually bought a new widescreen monitor, just for the mini. Then a first-generation MacBook. Then a first-generation Intel 17" iMac (since sold to my dad). Then a Mac Pro (sold to another photographer). Then an aluminum MacBook (selling to a friend). Then a 27" i7 iMac (traded the original MacBook and mini towards this one). Soon, an 11.6" MacBook Air.

Now, I can't imagine going back to using Windows on a regular basis. I do very occasionally run XP in a virtual machine for a couple things, but otherwise, I spend all of my time in OS X. You'll get used to it very quickly, and once you get used to the GUI, you can start digging into the UNIX underpinnings if you like (it's not required, by any means). That's one of the great things about OS X - it's easy for non-technical people to use and keep running without all the headaches of Windows, while at the same time being technically quite sophisticated 'under the hood'. I run a couple different utilities that display some of the text system logs in real time on my desktop, for instance.

Since I switched, I convinced my dad to switch, then my sister. I also got my fiancee to switch - she was extremely resistant (didn't want to be a "Mac person"), but after a couple days, she absolutely loved it and never wanted to go back.

Don't let your pride at being a "PC guy" keep you from the pleasure of running a better OS :)

aristobrat
Dec 3, 2010, 11:35 PM
I'll just echo what several others have said: I was a Windows user from early '95, built my own PCs, and did tech/network support for a Windows shop for over a decade. I bought my first Mac in over a decade, a G4 mini, in early 2006, just out of curiosity, to supplement my existing Windows desktop (a homebuilt Shuttle box).

Over time, I found that I just enjoyed using the Mac more. Part of this was that I was learning something new, but it was also just more fun and less of a headache. No driver issues, no constant updates, no viruses - just a fast, stable OS.
That's so close to my exact history that I'm sort of weirded out. :D

wirelessmacuser
Dec 3, 2010, 11:49 PM
So, get a Mac. Install a VM (take your pick) and get on with it. I think Win7 is a pretty good product and I've upgraded both of my Mac machines to the latest MS offering, but I'd rather spend my day in OS X. Worst case? Should you decide you don't like the Mac life, the machine can be sold at a good resale price.

Very well said. Your advice is ideal. My bet is this solution is just right for the job... :)

treynolds
Dec 4, 2010, 12:13 AM
Over time, I found that I just enjoyed using the Mac more. Part of this was that I was learning something new, but it was also just more fun and less of a headache. No driver issues, no constant updates, no viruses - just a fast, stable OS.

I'm a PC guy as well, but since February I've become a Mac guy.

I've been using Windows since V2.1, DOS before that and a Commodore before that. My first "computer" was a Timex-Sinclair with a cassette drive: Not very user friendly.

I've been using an iPod Touch through work as a PDA and display controller for the last three years and through that introduction to Apple basically fell in love with the "it just works" mentality that Steve Jobs is always touting. After a seriers of viruses and trojans a year ago on both our home notebooks (despite valiant software efforts to erradicate them) I threw up my hands and said enough... Not that those machines couldn't be salvaged and made to function (they are and we still have them), but I was tired. Tired of always needing to have stuff running in the background to protect my machine and files from attacks that made my life harder than it really needed to be.

I bought an iMac in February and run OS X as well as Win XP Pro under Parallels. AutoCAD works great and I found that my adjustment period with Snow Leopard was very short. As as been said earlier, it's very intuitive. Some things are different for sure, but I feel very productive on it now.

I supplimented my iMac with a 13" MBA Ultimate a month ago and my wife was so impressed that she got Apple to take back her Mac Mini and credit it towards an 11" MBA.

A lot of change for a guy who thought that his daughter's 12" white, college-issued Macbook from 5 years ago was "lame" and "how can you use this to do REAL work?" (She still uses it, along with her Toshiba...)

I'm not looking back. Steve Jobs and company has lightened my wallet this year for sure, but he's also made my life much easier, more coherent and less frenetic. Oh, and WAY more beautiful. As an industrial designer it's a pleasure to use finely-sculpted, well-executed "art" to do my work.

I'd highly recommend the switch; you won't regret it.

Cooper1662
Dec 4, 2010, 12:28 AM
Thanks to everyone for the replies!

My personal preference is using Fusion in Unity Mode, which gives each Windows Application it's own Window within OS X. It's as if the Windows Apps are very just really ugly Mac Apps.



So you're saying VM Fusion, in "Unity Mode", will allow me to open Windows like an app and within that I can run any installed Windows only programs?

If that is the case, I think maybe I might be able to make the switch. I'm going to mess around with my wife's macbook air a bit and if I can make it happen for sure like it sounds maybe go ahead and get a mac.

Mabyboi
Dec 4, 2010, 01:43 AM
Ive been a windows users for years. Got a MBA and now a MBP and i dont think i could go back... i sell laptops at my job on a daily basis and they're all windows based... im just not sure if i could go back...

to use your windows programs you could either bootcamp, or use parallels or vmware..

tom vilsack
Dec 4, 2010, 03:56 AM
you could also use free vmware like program...virtualbox

http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

George Knighton
Dec 4, 2010, 09:22 AM
And I spend all day on my laptop...literally. I am online probably 10 hours a day or more. A lot of programs I run, are PC only.
If you spend 10 hours/day on your Windows machine, it is likely you are doing some pretty heavy work, and it is likely you've learned a lot of Windows shortcuts and shortcuts and routines related to the particular applications you are using.

So...

Like me, it's likely your OS X learning curve will be steeper than everybody is saying.

Let me tell you, though, that after I took the first step and started learning things, I was thoroughly convinced and jumped in the deep end. I thought I wouldn't be able to get along without some Windows applications, but the *only* reason it turns out that I absolutely need Bootcamp on one machine is because on rare occasions I have to use an ancient terminal application to connect directly to machines that have lost their regular connectivity and I have to dial into their backup-backup-last ditch analogue modems and get them going again.

I thought I wouldn't be able to do without Office, but it wasn't that hard to learn to configure iWork to do what I wanted, and in combination with Adobe's relatively excellent support of OS X, I haven't even needed to use any Office application. Most of us were addicted to Outlook, but when you see the instant integration of MobileMe and the Mail and iCal applications, you realise after a few days that you do not even need Outlook.

You might also be entertained to know that although there's no denying that Windows is still the US government standard, you'll find more and more people, agencies and departments switching to OS X wherever they are allowed to do it.

I'm pretty old. I think that if I can get used to it, you will be able to get used to it! :-)

George Knighton
Dec 4, 2010, 09:28 AM
So you're saying VM Fusion, in "Unity Mode", will allow me to open Windows like an app and within that I can run any installed Windows only programs?

you could also use free vmware like program...virtualbox
For whatever one person's opinion is worth, I found a lot of testimony in the forums that Parallels was a better thing to have than Fusion or anything else.

In what they call Coherence mode, your Windows application will stand in its own Window just like any OS X application, except that its buttons will resemble Windows. E.G., the minimise and close buttons will be top right instead of top left, that kind of thing.

Virtual machines take up a fair amount of memory, too. Right now I am using 7.02 GB according to Activity Monitor, having several OS X windows open, and an instance of 64-bit Windows 7 running showing me feeds from various cameras in various buildings.

Very manageable...just understand that a decent amount of RAM is a good idea. 12 GB here.

Something that VM beginners don't consider, frequently, is that you cannot use your Windows license in both Bootcamp and the virtual machine. You can only use the license in one or the other, because it is technically two different machines. If you want to have both Bootcamp and the virtual machine running Windows, you need two different licenses.

ABG
Dec 4, 2010, 09:47 AM
Short answer: I think its worth trying. IMO being able to run Win7 on a Mac takes away the "risk", so does the resale value which is way above a Windows system.

Long answer: I started my own business in 2003 and spent a mind melting amount of money on a G4 powerbook and, sadly, I hated using it. In fact I didn't use it - its had about 40-50 hours use in the past 7 years!

However, I got an iPhone 3G and that eased me into OSX and the rest (as you can see from my sig) if history.

I'm just as happy with Win7 as I am with OSX and I think Microsoft do one hell of a job running an OS for PCs which could have billions of different components. What made to try again with Apple though, was running Vista on a Sony TZ. I just realised most of my (computing) life was being spent waiting for it to start and waiting for it to close-down.

I didn't find the switch easy, but in the end I think it was worth it. I just hope Apple don't screw things up with Lion when it arrives.

FWIW :D

gwsat
Dec 4, 2010, 09:48 AM
So you're saying VM Fusion, in "Unity Mode", will allow me to open Windows like an app and within that I can run any installed Windows only programs?

If that is the case, I think maybe I might be able to make the switch. I'm going to mess around with my wife's macbook air a bit and if I can make it happen for sure like it sounds maybe go ahead and get a mac.
I, too, run Windows apps in Fusion's Unity mode. The answer to your question is yes. With Fusion's Unity mode, you can keep Windows apps open on the OS X desktop, along with your open OS X apps.

There is one caveat to using any virtualization program to run Windows apps in tandem with OS X apps. You absolutely have to have enough RAM. Three years ago, when I tried to run such a setup on an MBP with only 2GB of RAM, Windows apps were incredibly slow and unstable. Only after I increased the MBP's RAM to 6GB did it satisfactorily handle the load I was putting on it.

I feared that 4GB of RAM wouldn't be enough for both Windows apps in Fusion's Unity mode running simultaneously with OS X apps. Fortunately, though, 4GB turned out to be enough, probably because of the MBA's lightning fast flash storage. After having used my 13 inch Ultimate MBA for 6 weeks I am now satisfied that it handles the same setup I have on my MBP with the same speed and stability as the MBP provides.

The point of the foregoing is this: if you intend to run Windows apps in Fusion's unity mode on your MBA, or with any other virtualization program, you must have one with 4GB of RAM.

KPOM
Dec 4, 2010, 10:09 AM
Something that VM beginners don't consider, frequently, is that you cannot use your Windows license in both Bootcamp and the virtual machine. You can only use the license in one or the other, because it is technically two different machines. If you want to have both Bootcamp and the virtual machine running Windows, you need two different licenses.

I don't think that's entirely true. I believe earlier versions of Vista Home Premium had some type of limitation on being used in virtual environments, but Microsoft backed off on that. In any case, from a practical perspective, Fusion and Parallels Desktop have respective "Tools" applications that prevent Windows from losing its activation status when you switch back and forth. It does mean you have to activate twice (once in Boot Camp and once in the VM).

George Knighton
Dec 4, 2010, 12:11 PM
It does mean you have to activate twice (once in Boot Camp and once in the VM).

All I know is that I cannot use my license that was given to me when we were on the field programme for Windows 7.

The Microsoft license will only work on either the Bootcamp partition or the Parallels VM. If I try to use it on both, it will break every single time.

I ended up having to buy two extra licenses so that I can run Windows 7 on Bootcamp on my iMac, Bootcamp on my MacBook Pro, and Parallels on my iMac. There are ways to get the licenses fairly cheaply, of course, and still legitimately.

KPOM
Dec 4, 2010, 12:24 PM
All I know is that I cannot use my license that was given to me when we were on the field programme for Windows 7.

The Microsoft license will only work on either the Bootcamp partition or the Parallels VM. If I try to use it on both, it will break every single time.

I ended up having to buy two extra licenses so that I can run Windows 7 on Bootcamp on my iMac, Bootcamp on my MacBook Pro, and Parallels on my iMac. There are ways to get the licenses fairly cheaply, of course, and still legitimately.

Do you have Parallels Tools installed?

I did a quick Google search and noticed a few people running into the problem you had. However, I have used Parallels Tools (and VMWare Tools when I used Fusion) in both v5 and v6 on my Rev B and then later Parallels 6 with my Rev D, and haven't had an issue. I did need to reactivate Win 7 the first time I booted into Parallels after installing Parallels Tools, and when I replaced my 3-day old Rev D with a new one I wound up getting kicked to the phone activation system (which is much better than it was a year ago, I might add) to reactivate both the reinstalled Boot Camp and VM, but since then it has been fine.

George Knighton
Dec 4, 2010, 12:29 PM
Do you have Parallels Tools installed?
Yes, I do.

I did a quick Google search and noticed a few people running into the problem you had. However, I have used Parallels Tools (and VMWare Tools when I used Fusion) in both v5 and v6 on my Rev B and then later Parallels 6 with my Rev D, and haven't had an issue.
All I can think is that there must be different kinds of Windows licenses. :-)

Phone activation would not work for me. Whatever the difference is, they don't want my license on a virtual machine and a Bootcamp partition at the same time.

KPOM
Dec 4, 2010, 12:48 PM
Yes, I do.


All I can think is that there must be different kinds of Windows licenses. :-)


Interesting. I have a retail upgrade license (download) that I purchased from Microsoft directly a year ago when Win 7 came out. Because it's an upgrade license, installing it on the Rev D was a bit tricky since it didn't want to activate at first when I used it for a clean install. To get it to work, I had to put a functioning (albeit unactivated) version of Windows on it first (which I did by using Winclone to restore the Win 7 32-bit partition from my old Rev B), and then install Win 7 64-bit on top of it.

The OP might want to keep this in mind if considering virtualization. Perhaps retail licenses may work better than special licenses, OEM versions, etc. Also, keep in mind that installing Windows is easiest if you have an external DVD drive (such as Apple's own Superdrive) for your MacBook Air. There are ways of installing it through a USB flash drive, but the Air's "shared" DVD drive feature doesn't work for installing a Boot Camp partition (I don't know about a virtual machine installation).

treynolds
Dec 4, 2010, 01:58 PM
but I have been able to use the same Win XP Pro license on both my iMac and my MBA.

I also use the same ACAD license on both machines. I use Parallels 6 and have Parallels Tools installed. Please note that Autodesk limits a stand-alone license to two seats (machines) with the idea that they are mutually exclusive, i.e. you can't be using them at the same time. Obviously the software companies want to cut down on piracy.

I love the Coherence feature in Parallels.

My iMac is a late 2009 3.06 Core 2 Duo with 12GB of RAM. I have assigned 2GB of RAM, plus two CPU's to Parallels. My MBA is an Ultimate (max'd out version) to which I also assigned 2GB pf RAM (half the total), plus two CPU's.

Both installations of ACAD run fine for my use, though I'm not doing any 3D work nor am I working with surfaces.

Because I'm running Win XP on my Macs, I run Norton (free for Comcast high-speed users) in the background. There's no speed hit that I can sense.

I'm not entirely free of Microsoft: My work machine is a Dell Precision | M90

Wrathwitch
Dec 5, 2010, 11:27 PM
Here's my two cents for what it's worth. Used PCs for more than 20 years. Knew nothing about Mac other than my roommate having one.

In some ways it was confusing but when I realized that the Settings icon was the exact same thing as Windows setting control pannel and that Finder was exactly the same as Start button pop up without having to go into sub folders (everything just shows up using Finder).

Then for downloading just the simple application of dragging the file into apps (if it is an executable type file). It was SOOO easy.

Just an example: When I download addons for games in windows heres the process: Download program to my download files, scan the downloaded files, copy the files, find the path to my games addons folder paste the files in and then delete the files from the download folders.

With the iMac its just download the file, open Finder window, go into downloads, highlight the addon, open other finder window into my games folder and drag it in. It is living now only in my games folder and I dont' have to delete it from the download folder.

Now when I have to use my PC after a long time away from it, I am amazed at how many hoops and BS I have to jump through just to find things, or get into folders etc.

To also rave a little: I HAVE NEVER HAD TO REBOOT IN THE WHOLE YEAR I HAVE HAD IT (due to things not working. Not for java, antivirus, program hang ups etc. )

Good luck with your decision.

CaoCao
Dec 6, 2010, 01:35 AM
For whatever one person's opinion is worth, I found a lot of testimony in the forums that Parallels was a better thing to have than Fusion or anything else.

In what they call Coherence mode, your Windows application will stand in its own Window just like any OS X application, except that its buttons will resemble Windows. E.G., the minimise and close buttons will be top right instead of top left, that kind of thing.

Virtual machines take up a fair amount of memory, too. Right now I am using 7.02 GB according to Activity Monitor, having several OS X windows open, and an instance of 64-bit Windows 7 running showing me feeds from various cameras in various buildings.

Very manageable...just understand that a decent amount of RAM is a good idea. 12 GB here.

Something that VM beginners don't consider, frequently, is that you cannot use your Windows license in both Bootcamp and the virtual machine. You can only use the license in one or the other, because it is technically two different machines. If you want to have both Bootcamp and the virtual machine running Windows, you need two different licenses.

Huh? Windows OEM is bound to the Motherboard, why can't you use Windows retail for both?

mike.t
Dec 6, 2010, 02:32 AM
my 2c - instead of trying to figure out how to run windows on your mac, go the other way and try and figure out how to switch to a mac version of the software you need.

I had parallels running on my MBP for a year or so and it was a pain in the ass - would work fine for 90% of the time but whenever something was urgent or late it'd hang/crash/conflict with something, the USB ports werent always recognised and it was just frustrating.

OSX is brilliant, and most stuff is available on Mac now, and by the time you've bought a MS licence to run over parallels it's probably no cheaper than getting the 'right' software to run on your new shiny mac...

(but yes, you need to get a mac)

tanyawongz
Dec 6, 2010, 06:02 AM
I've been using a PC since I was two, I recently changed to a Mac because I started working at a Apple Reseller. I've got to say, the learning curve was easy and enjoyable. I personally believe in Mac laptops more because of their build quality (glass trackpad and unibody enclosure), I still own a PC desktop that I built myself, mainly for gaming purposes. The flexibility of building a PC still captures me, because I get to pick out everything inside. I think daily tasks are done easier through OSX, I also have a iPad and a iPhone, and they have both been great.

ciaran00
Dec 6, 2010, 11:57 AM
Just do it, man. It's easy to switch. I was a Windows guy too.

gwsat
Dec 6, 2010, 01:10 PM
my 2c - instead of trying to figure out how to run windows on your mac, go the other way and try and figure out how to switch to a mac version of the software you need.

I had parallels running on my MBP for a year or so and it was a pain in the ass - would work fine for 90% of the time but whenever something was urgent or late it'd hang/crash/conflict with something, the USB ports werent always recognised and it was just frustrating.

OSX is brilliant, and most stuff is available on Mac now, and by the time you've bought a MS licence to run over parallels it's probably no cheaper than getting the 'right' software to run on your new shiny mac...

(but yes, you need to get a mac)
I agree that an OS X version of a program you habitually used in Windows is the best bet, so long as the OS X version works as well for you as the Windows version. In my case, I learned that the OS X version of Quicken is simply awful and its online version, Mint, a pale imitation of Quicken for Windows. Similarly, I have used WordPerfect since its DOS days and never learned to be as comfortable with MS Word for OS X as I was with WordPerfect. I finally gave up and decided to run Windows in Fusion's unity mode so that I could have the best of both worlds. I really wish it weren't necessary because the Windows-Fusion-OS X combination is a whole lot more complicated than running nothing but OS X apps would have been. Alas, I concluded that the Rube Goldberg complications necessitated by my need for Quicken for Windows and WordPerfect were unavoidable. As messy as it is, there is a lot to be said for being able to run Quicken and WordPerfect for Windows, iCal, Chrome for OS X, Mail, and Address Book all at once.

KPOM
Dec 6, 2010, 01:18 PM
my 2c - instead of trying to figure out how to run windows on your mac, go the other way and try and figure out how to switch to a mac version of the software you need.


I generally agree, but Quicken for Mac is just awful, and certain specialized programs (which someone who works in IT might need to use) aren't always available. I'm down to using Quicken and IE to log onto my corporate remote site (which doesn't work with Safari or Firefox).

YMark
Dec 6, 2010, 02:23 PM
In my case, I learned that the OS X version of Quicken is simply awful and its online version, Mint, a pale imitation of Quicken for Windows. Similarly, I have used WordPerfect since its DOS days and never learned to be as comfortable with MS Word for OS X as I was with WordPerfect. I finally gave up and decided to run Windows in Fusion's unity mode so that I could have the best of both worlds. I really wish it weren't necessary because the Windows-Fusion-OS X combination is a whole lot more complicated than running nothing but OS X apps would have been.

I agree for the most part. My only real "gripe" with the Mac platform is the lack of a real home financial application. Quicken is a real POS, and Mint is a pale imitation as you say. I'm currently using iBank, which isn't bad, but it isn't great either. One ugly UI that's for sure.

And I REFUSE to pollute any of my Macs by installing that wart Windows on any of them.

michaelk7
Dec 11, 2010, 05:09 PM
I'm a PC guy.



My wife is using parallels or something like that to run her oil and gas program which is pc only and she's going to switch back and forth. That's not really an option for me because I'm in and out of several windows only programs throughout the day.



Work with an O&G Partnership also. We moved to Macs about 7 years ago. First 3 years kept a Dell specifically for Wolfepak O&G Accounting software. We now run the accounting software through Fusion and it's all so stable. It has worked great and we would not look back. We had someone build a File Maker database to track RI and WI properties in 9 states.

Your wife made a brilliant decision. What O&G software does she run? I have to use Firefox to access Oildex.

ski bum
Dec 11, 2010, 06:02 PM
I've had PCs since the IBM PC-AT, PC laptops. finally switched to iMAC last year just because got tired of blue screen of death, slowness due to virus checker, frequent crashes. Extremely pleased with the switch. OS X has only had few problems--fire fox (but just affects browser and everything else oK), MS Word for the MAC "froze" the screen once, and a videogame froze the screen once. compared to several times a month with a PC...

speed of MBA compared to other laptops is amazing. MS Word/Excel programs files can be read easily with MS Office for the MAC.

happy with MBA too.

having said that, even after a year, there a still a few little tricks with the MAC and PC features that I was/am used to, that I don't know for the MAC.

(most frustrating ones for me to learn were: how to burn a DVD and how to create sub-folders and save to them. These were not "intuitive" on the MAC for me and took a while to google and find out (many of the answers are in MacRumors Forums). These learning issues were outweighed by far with--ease of setting up new Wi Fi network compared to PC, and less crashing.

Still pleased and am still a MAC convert.

gwsat
Dec 12, 2010, 11:20 AM
Work with an O&G Partnership also. We moved to Macs about 7 years ago. First 3 years kept a Dell specifically for Wolfepak O&G Accounting software. We now run the accounting software through Fusion and it's all so stable. It has worked great and we would not look back. We had someone build a File Maker database to track RI and WI properties in 9 states.

Your wife made a brilliant decision. What O&G software does she run? I have to use Firefox to access Oildex.
Same here. I run Quicken for Windows and WordPerfect under Fusion in Unity mode and it has been rock solid and plenty fast on my 13 inch Ultimate MBA. I get into Quicken and WordPerfect from the OS X desktop several times a day. In fact, I leave Quicken running on the OS X desktop 24/7. I could not be happier with my setup.