iMac and Windows Workflow

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MacAndMic, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #1
    I have a 2010 i7 iMac that I Bootcamp into Windows 7 for the sole purpose of using AutoCAD. AutoCAD however is the backbone to my small business and pays the bills. I find myself rebooting MANY times a day, sometime just to re-read an email to get a pertinent fact I may have forgotten to print to PDF so I can view in Windows.

    As you could imagine, this gets annoying after a year or so. I've tried a few virtual programs and they just can't cut it when it comes to the performance I need and switching to AutoCAD for Mac is not an option as I use add-ons that are not available for Mac AutoCAD.

    Should I bite the bullet and buy a Windows box for instant OS switching via target display mode? I'd have to have a separate mouse and keyboard which is kind of lousy and causes some clutter on the desk. Also, when in TDM, is the screen as clear and vibrant as when using Bootcamp?

    I love the "Mac" way but when I think about my other needs (e-mail, browsing, photoshop, quickbooks and office) they can all be satisfied via a windows box without an interruption in workflow although not as nice as Mac. Do I bite the bullet and just move back to windows? I hate to even think of leaving Mac but I could sell the iMac and have enough to buy a comparable PC and monitor.

    Anyone else in a similar situation and have found a decent workflow solution?

    Thanks,

    troutspinner
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    If you've tried Parallels and VMware Fusion and performance isn't acceptable, buying a Windows box seems to be your best option, if you don't want to keep rebooting. It's important to select the right tool for the workload you have. In some cases, a Mac isn't the right tool.
     
  3. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #3
    How are you planning to connect a Windows box to your iMac and use Target Display Mode?

    Why not just get MS Office for Windows? The small business version is less than $200. If you don't want that, then there are hundreds of free/cheap email clients for Windows.

    That way you can have your email and so forth even when working in Windows and can stil boot into OSX when not working. Seems like a lot cheaper than buying a whole new box when your current box can do everything you need.
     
  4. Razorhog macrumors 65816

    Razorhog

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    Location:
    Arkansas
    #4
    The comments about rebooting due to email has me confused. Why do you need to "print to pdf" to read an email in Windows?
     
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #5
    I agree with this. However, just one thing to check. How much RAM do you have in the iMac. If the performance hit is simply due to a lack of RAM then it's an easy fix, and a virtual machine might actually work for you.

    Otherwise.... GGJstudios is probably right.
     
  6. MacAndMic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #6
    TDM would be just from the PC out to the iMac using a display adapter cable. I am assuming this is an easy thing to achieve although I do not know if the quality is as good as bootcamp. I currently run a 2nd monitor on my iMac, isn't that the same adapter you can use for TDM?

    The alternate email thing is attractive but I would have to utilize keeping mail on my mail server. This would quickly become a storage issue as I receive and send large files daily. I'd have to come up with an archive plan but this would lead to the same issue I have with having to reboot to view something older....which happens all the time. Taking a phone call and having to reboot and have my customers wait for my machine to reboot is lousy.

    ----------

    I print all pertinent job emails to PDF and save them to a folder where I also save attachments like .dwg files and architectural PDF's. When I reboot to bootcamp, I open that folder to view them and work off of. It's the best method I have found so far.

    snberk, my iMac has 12gb. I've allocated everywhere from 2 to 6 cores and 2 to 8gb of memory to virtual machines and the performance is just not the same. Any other program works great but CAD feels like my mouse is in mud and I guess I click to fast as it does not register all of my clicks. This BTW is the same mouse I use in bootcamp and OSX and have no issues there.
     
  7. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #7
    My apologies. For some reason my brain didn't register that you have a 2010 iMac and not a 2011 iMac. Yes, the TDM will works as you expect.

    I would consider a different solution here. I ran my company's email and calendar via google apps. It's free if you have less than a certain number of users (I think it's 20 these days) so you won't have a problem. All of your emails are stored on google's IMAP servers and you download copies of the emails to your email clients. You do not have to worry about backing up. Regardless, you can archive your mails offline too and simply back up the files as you normally would to an external hard drive.

    Googe apps gives me about 7.5 GB to store mails. That is a lot of emails.
     
  8. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #8
    1) I would never trust google with my company secrets.

    2) What about running a windows machine via remote desktop/vnc? If you are on the same network with gigabit ethernet between it should be a decent experience. That way you could keep the iMac as the "everything else"-machine and buy a pretty cheap i7-"workstation", headless and without an expensive graphics card..

    Just out of curiosity (I haven't used a cad software for 7 years), why aren't the plug-ins working in the osx version of auto cad?
     
  9. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #9
    lol. I think you'll find that google has better things to do than read your email.
     
  10. forty2j macrumors 68030

    forty2j

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #10
    I can't imagine what kind of email that you'd be using that you couldn't access with a client from "both sides". Even iCloud email can be retrieved via browser in Windows. If you're self-hosting email, perhaps you want to do that on a different computer (like a Mini server or something).

    ---

    If you use wired keyboard & mouse, there should be switch-boxes available that let you switch them between computers, eliminating the need for a separate set of them. Or you might consider getting an MBA for the day-to-day stuff and then a dedicated CAD beige box.
     
  11. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #11
    I just wouldn't take the risk with either my company information or my personal information. It's actually exactly what they are profiting on so no, they don't have any thing better to do than reading my email.
     
  12. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #12
    Hold on while I get my tin foil hat. :cool:
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    @ Troutspinner. I don't know how techy you are, and what you have already tried. So, please - if this sounds like it's talking down to you, it's not. I'm just trying to be helpful. I don't use AutoCad, so perhaps this is old news. But....

    I just did a google search on AutoCad and Vmware Fusion, and found this..

    Link

    Perhaps that will help? Sounds like your issue at first glance, to my mind at least.
     
  14. MacAndMic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #14
    Plug ins are specific to SDK's and Mac and Windows are different. Looks like Autodesk is dropping Mac AutoCAD anyway. This current release looks to be the last. A little inside knowledge here I know but it is what it is.

    ----------

    I'll give this a shot. The mouse problem is not exclusive to me, many Mac users experience this also. I'll give this a try tonight. It would be an amazingly simple solution if this actually works.
     
  15. MacAndMic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #15
    Thank you for your help. I jumped back in to try it and realized it is just the setting for dynamic input. Dynamic inputs are the prompts that come up when you enter a command and it does not solve the issue. Was worth a shot though.

    Thanks
     
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #16
    Have you followed this up over at the Fusion support forums? I assume they have forums...
     
  17. MacAndMic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #17
    No I have not. I have searched extensively on the parallels forum as that is what I was using. I then tried VMware and found it to be better for me but still not 100%. I pretty much figured its just an attribute of virtualization and autocad.

    Time to do a new round of searching....
     
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #18
    Good Luck....
     

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