« Phishing | Main | Must be received within 14 days of receipt »

Popeye vs. Rambo cage match

I got my new iMac this weekend — mmm… Apple refurb store… great way to save $$$ when buying yummy “new” machines. I bought it because our old family G5 iMac was getting a bit long in the tooth; it’s excessively slow when dealing with our 3 billion digital photos in iPhoto and trying to make munchkin family iMovies. The new iMac is a most excellent 24” screen with a 2.8ghz core 2 duo. It’s been a looong time since I’ve had a monitor that large!

I also got Final Cut Express 4; it should be quite a few steps up from the latest generation of iMovie (I was quite disappointed in iMovie ‘08; it’s significantly “dumbed down” compared to iMovie ‘07). I didn’t get much chance to place with FCE this weekend, most of my time was spent…

Installing Windoze (and the required 100+ (!) Windoze updates — and accompanying dozen or so reboots). Yes, that’s right. Another reason I wanted to get a new iMac was to have an intel chip so that I could run virtual Windoze.

Why? To run a real version of Quicken, of course! (Quicken for Mac just sucks — don’t get me started) But let me digress once again: when wanting to run Windoze, which should one choose: Boot Camp, Parallels, or VMWare Fusion?

  • Boot Camp: not even a contender for me. I want OS X and Windoze to run at the same time.
  • Parallels: I run Parallels on my work laptop (MacBook Pro) and it works just fine. I’ve been pleased with it.
  • VMWare Fusion: But I’ve been hearing good things about Fusion lately.

I did some googling, but most of the “Parallels vs. Fusion” info out there is 6-12 months old, and based on Fusion betas. There’s a few recent articles, but not much at all. Since Fusion offers a free 30 day trial, I gave it a whirl. Before describing what I found, let me review my criteria:

  • I don’t care too much about performance differences. I’m mainly (only?) going to be running Quicken under Windoze, so if Parallels or Fusion is 5-10% faster than the other, I don’t care.
  • For the same reason, I also don’t care about super-duper graphics.
  • I don’t care about Vista support. I’ll be running XP.

After trying Fusion v1.1.1 for 24 hours, I am sorely disappointed. It is a very basic VM application and lacks a lot of features (at least compared to Parallels!). I admit it: I’m spoiled by Parallels. Here’s some random points:

  1. Parallels 3.0 build 5584 has much better integration — its “Coherence” mode is far superior to Fusion’s “Unity” mode. For example, Fusion consistently shows overlapping Windows in expose incorrectly, and also is slow to update / doesn’t update overlapping windows in some scenarios.
  2. Parallels’ “smart select” is also truly cool: be able to associate a file type in OS X with a Windoze application — double click on the file in OS X and have it launch under Windoze [launching Windoze if it’s not already running, mind you] with that data file. That’s both cool and genuinely useful! Read between the lines: associate .doc files with Windows Word (ditto with the other Office file types), if you do have Windoze Office but do not have Mac Office.
  3. I also very much like being able to “natively” share Desktop / Documents / Pictures / Music between Windoze and OS X. It takes the whole “if I edit the file in one place, do I have to transfer it to the other?” issue out of the equation. Awesome.
  4. Parallels also has a nice GUI for managing disk snapshots that Fusion lacks.
  5. Parallels VM’s also have many more configurable options than Fusion VM’s. I like that, but I recognize that others might find Fusion’s simplicity/lack of options easier to manage.

Fusion seems fine as a VM, but appears to be missing many of the nicer features that Parallels has (which makes sense; Parallels got quite a good head start).

So I’ll be letting my Fusion free trial expire and purchasing another Parallels license.

This unfortunately means that I’ve had to load XP twice (and all 100+ (!) Windoze updates each time). That’s why I spent lots of time installing Windoze this weekend. Sigh.

I’ve been using Mac Quicken for a few years now. It clearly does not receive the same development effort that Windoze Quicken does. There are many bugs and annoyances (which have not been fixed in multiple major Mac Quicken releases), and its capabilities are far inferior to Windows Quicken. So it was a relief to have the ability to move back to Windoze Quicken. The Mac Quicken has instructions about how to export your data into a format that the Windoze Quicken can import, so I thought I was good to go.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

It turns out that those export-from-Mac-import-to-Windoze instructions are a few YEARS out of date (even though they are bundled in Mac Quicken 2007!). The Windows Quicken no longer supports importing of QIF files (despite the fact that the Mac Quicken does not support exporting to anything other than QIF files). There’s a few scripts and programs around the internet that supposedly help, but I haven’t been able to get Windoze 2008 Quicken to read any of my data yet.

Unfortunately, I’m outta time this weekend, so I’ll have to try again next weekend…


I should note that I’m quite happy with everything else with my new iMac. It’s nice and fast, the display is huge, and I was able to transfer over all my old photos and movies files in about an hour or two (yay firewire Mac-to-Mac transfers!).


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 10, 2008 7:56 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Phishing.

The next post in this blog is Must be received within 14 days of receipt.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34