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Subject: [IP] more on Initial experience with Win XP VM with Parallels Desktop for [Intel] Mac

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To:
  • Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 10:51:37 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <>
Date: July 11, 2006 10:34:09 AM EDT
Cc: &quot;'Steve Goldstein'&quot; <>
Subject: RE: [IP] Initial experience with Win XP VM with Parallels Desktop for [Intel] Mac

One more reminder of why we need to get rid of USB (http:// &#x2013; it&#x2019;s not an end-to-end architecture &#x2013; the drivers need to be too smart. If the devices were simply network devices it be easy to connect with (not just to) them whether in a VM or an RM. You could even choose to make the devices available to others&#x2019; on your network such as sharing printers and scanners.

For that matter, why are phones connected via wires and/or IR? There&#x2019;s something strange about using IR to beam a message form one from one phone to another when they both have radios and can simply send a message to each other via the network. It shouldn&#x2019;t take too much software to use SMS as a messaging transport in place of IR. But once we start simplifying things by taking advantage of IP networks it becomes too easy to do things on your own and that threatens those who seek control be it a carrier, Microsoft or that company that wants to lock you into iPods.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber []
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 18:15
Subject: [IP] Initial experience with Win XP VM with Parallels Desktop for [Intel] Mac

Begin forwarded message:

From:   Steve Goldstein <>

Date:    July 10, 2006 11:59:01 AM EDT

To: (Dewayne Hendricks), David Farber


Cc:       Joe Kissel <>,

Subject: Initial experience with Win XP VM with Parallels Desktop for

            [Intel] Mac

I have been running Windows XP as a virtual machine (VM) using Parallels Desktop for Mac on my new Intel Core Duo iMac for about two weeks, and I offer some early observations.

INSTALLATION: First of all, installation was a breeze. Basically, you just move the Parallels icon to your Application Folder, open it, register it, and set up the parameters of your VM (identity, e.g., Win XP; RAM size, hard drive size). Then, you install Windows XP, just as if you were installing on a real PC.

SLICK &#x2018;N SPEEDY: What can I say? I did not attempt any quantitative testing. But, the speed and responsiveness inside the VM seems almost as fast as within the Mac OS itself. Certainly as fast if not faster, than with my old 1.3 GHz PC. The only exception was yesterday when I was installing HP printers. The Color Laser 2500n was quick and easy, but the All-in-One Officejet 6310 installation was like watching paint dry. I cannot recall if it was any faster on my old PC.

PRINTER SUPPORT: Not seamless, as had been described, but pretty much like a real PC, so not at all that hard to set up if you are used to running a PC.

NETWORKING: Seamlessly got its DHCP network connection through my Mac. Including the networked printers mentioned above, once the printer software had been installed in the VM. And, the network connection seemed significantly slower than on the Mac side, especially for the HP site, and that was probably an end-to-end phenomenon. Also, &#x201C;publishing&#x201D; (updating) a remote web site with FrontPage (the main reason that I have to maintain a PC capability&#x2014; and FrontPage was not my choice, but dictated by the folks that set up the web site) seemed to go much more slowly than with the real PC. The underlying transport for that is FTP. But, we&#x2019;re talking watching &#x201C;eggs fry,&#x201D; rather than &#x201C;paint dry.&#x201D;

CURSOR CAPTURE: Your cursor is either on the Mac desktop or on the Windows desktop, and you can make the transition between each desktop seamless by adjusting parameters in Parallels&#x2014;really easy to do once you know that you can do it. Otherwise, you have to hit the CTRL and OPT keys to &#x201C;liberate&#x201D; the cursor from the VM window.

DISC CAPTURE: Similarly, a CD or DVD disc can be &#x201C;captured&#x201D; by either Windows or Mac, but not both. That took a bit if sleuthing at first. There is a frame around the VM window, with icons of peripherals at the bottom. If you click on the disc icon and select &#x201C;disconnect,&#x201D; the disc is recognized by the Mac OS; conversely, if you choose &#x201C;connect,&#x201D; the disc is captured by the VM. Simple, once you know about it.

USB IMPLEMENTATION (MY ONLY DISAPPOINTMENT): I am not sure about the USB implementation. I read and re-read the documentation, and it just doesn&#x2019;t seem to jibe with my experience using the Parallels VM. There is a restriction, one that I hope will be removed in forthcoming versions of Parallels, of only two USB devices that can be &#x201C;attached&#x201D; at any one time. Well, gee, the keyboard and the mouse are numbers 1 and 2, so that leaves nothing more available. Aside from FrontPage, the only other real need I had of the PC was to update the contacts list on my Sanyo MM8300 mobile phone. There is a Mac application, BitPim, that **just** included support for Sanyo, but I keep getting error messages that I cannot seem to get past with BitPim. On the PC, I use the FutureDial software suite, and it works well, but I cannot connect with my mobile phone through the USB cable because of the limit of two USB devices. Yet . . . I can see external USB 2.0 hard drives that are connected to the Macintosh&#x2014;although Windows warns me that they are getting only USB 1.x support. These are drives that I had formatted and used with my PC. And, I cannot for the life of me, understand why these are not limited by the two- device rule, whereas my mobile phone connection is. I do so hope that the folks at Parallels will expand USB support to include more than two devices and USB 2.0.

BOTTOM LINE: I am delighted that I can get rid of two major heat generators and a lot of wiring and the electronic KVM box that I needed with the two machines (the G4 Mac and the HP PC). Now, I just have one computer running in my office, the 20&#x201D; iMac Intel CoreDuo, and it doesn&#x2019;t generate all that much heat. Also, I do not have to run two separate e-mail clients (I get update into for the web site by e-mail). So, it has greatly simplified my need for a PC supporting role. Parallels works inside the Mac OS, so it is not an either-or proposition like Boot Camp that makes you choose which OS to use at boot time. If only there were more expansive USB support, it would be the ideal replacement for an external PC, at least for me.

For those who might like a hand-holding &#x201C;how-to&#x201D; e-book, I recommend Joe Kissel&#x2019;s TidBITS book, &#x201C;Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac&#x201D; :


It includes a $10 savings code for Parallels Desktop for Mac if you redeem it before the end of July.

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