Saturday, November 3, 2007

Parallels 3.0 with Leopard

Playing with my Leopard and MacBook Pro for a few days now, and I miss my Microsoft Money. I cannot seem to find a replacement yet but Quicken comes pretty close. Quicken also has a version that support Mac.

Given that I have accumulate quite a number of Microsoft applications, especially for Money and Office, I have decided to purchase Parallels 3.0 to emulate my windows environment. There are some good reviews from my colleague.

At first was having some trouble finding a copy of Parallels around the shop and one of the Mac reseller introduced me with VMWare fusion. Not knowing how it performs, I kept looking for Parallels until I got one from another reseller.

Installation from the CD was simple enough and hassle few. Also impress by the book that comes with the box.

The problem comes when I click on the Parallels icon once the installation is completed. It just throw an error and error report displays some information that is too low level that I cannot comprehend.

After a bit of googling, found out that Parallels website does offer a download for Leopard users separately. That could indicate that the copy I have does not compatible with Leopard. So I downloaded the copy and installed it. Build 5160 is the build number that should work with Leopard.

Next challenge is to find my old Microsoft XP CDs. First I have installed Microsoft XP Home edition (without SP2) and apparently it does not work with Parallels. The installation of the Windows stuck at "Install device drivers..." stage. Luckily I found another copy of more recent Microsoft XP Pro and it installed successfully.

After that, starting the VM just a click away and it show up the same old WinXP interface. Installed Microsoft Money and Office on it and voila! Now I can work on applications from Mac and Windows. Also a nifty feature in Parallels is the "seamless" mode where it hides the window frames and make the Windows application looks as if a Mac app. Cool! Don't forget to hide the task bar to make it more realistic.

In conclusion, the installation of setting of Parallels is not as easy than I thought it would be.
  •  The first problem is due to the recent release of Leopard and how Parallels 3.0 in store does not work out of the box with Leopard will definitely give headache to the user. I strongly recommend whoever bought Parallels from a store ensure that they download the latest copy from Parallels after that.
  • Stability - Occasionally when I am starting the VM, it just said some problem starting it and at one point, it even cause the "restart" blind coming up and advised me to restart my computer! Not sure if this is something to do with hibernation.
  • Using Parallels is good that provides concurrent usage of both Mac and Windows applications. However, for Windows, I need to perform an extra step by starting the VM.

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