First Look at VMWare Fusion Beta for OS X

VMWare has finally released the promised version of their virtualization product for OS X:

I got the email notice about its availability just before the holidays, but I only got around to playing with it this week.

So far it seems to be a bit behind Parallels Desktop in features. I love the Private Networking feature in Parallels… I can have my VMs share a secret virtual network segment, keeping my Windows server VMs protected from prying eyes or probes when on public wireless networks. I haven’t found anything like that in VMWare Fusion.

If they’re going to catch up with Parallels, given the new beta features they’ve got their work cut out for them. They’ve had drag-n-drop file copy in VMWare for a while, though.

My Mac Pro has arrived… almost!

I received word last week that my new Mac Pro has arrived, but our IT group is a bit backed up. It will probably be next week before they finish staging the system.

They’ve at least unpacked the beast — I recently discovered a monstrous, empty Mac Pro box abandoned in the hallway as I skulked around their lair.

I’m really excited to give the new Parallels Beta with Coherence a try. I downloaded it and installed it on my MBP, but I had a lot of beta-esque crashing of apps and had to back it out until after my classes are over for the semester. With the new machine I’ll have a little more freedom to experiment with the functional MBP as my backup.

Blog the Cheerleader, Blog the World

How’s this for a crossover:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you probably will recognize Claire Bennet, one of the central characters in the new NBC series Heroes. While this isn’t the first time TV shows have crossed over onto the Internet (Push, Nevada anyone?), I’m really impressed with what they’re doing with this one.

Talking about this with a colleague brought up the whole topic of alternate reality gaming as a means of creating engaging experiences. In this case, the goal was to create a more interesting entertainment experience, but the same techniques can (and have been) used to draw students into richer educational experiences.

Microsoft VirtualPC is Now Free

I came across an amazing fact today. In a blog entry about how to do cross-browser testing on Windows with multiple versions of Internet Explorer, I found a note that Virtual PC for Windows is now free. Sounds like a good deal to me.

I’ve been using VPC for IE 5/5.5 testing for a while now — Win2k Pro and Server run great in a VM. Hopefully, more people will be willing to test their sites in more than just the browser they themselves use.

I haven’t seen any indication of a generally free Macintosh version, but since I’ll soon have all Intel-based Macs, I’ll just be running Parallels Desktop.

Going (Mac) Pro

Hoping to cut down on the amount of hardware on (and especially under) my desk, I managed to requisition a new Mac Pro workstation. I’ve adjusted fairly well to the “Intel Inside” brand of Mac-living — I’ve had my MacBook Pro since May. I’m generally pleased with Windows running under Parallels Desktop. I think I can finally decomission my Dell Dimension WinXP box and go completely virtual.

It’s also a lot harder to bruise your knees on a virtual machine.

Though several key vendors have yet to ship Universal Binary versions of their software, I’ve managed to muddle through okay thanks to the wonders of Rosetta, Java, and the Open Source world.

Since this system is a new start, I’m planning on blogging my efforts to get my development environment — ColdFusion, Parallels, SQL Server, MySQL, Eclipse — migrated from my trio of systems (Dell Dimension / Dual-G5 PowerMac / MBP) to the new box. Hopefully this will generate enough breadcrumbs to help blaze the trail for others who come after me.