Well, like pretty much everyone, I was pretty pleased to see BootCamp released by Apple; a tool that allows one to dual-boot an intel mac. Not good enough for me, but a good first step. I’ve been waiting for VMWare to step up to the plate and offer a Mac version of their workstation product so I can run Linux, Windows, etc. on a mac.

But wait! Today a beta of Parallels is available for OS X. Now, I’ve never heard of these guys before. I’ve used a lot of different desktop virtualization software: VMWare, VirtualPC (which stunk), and Qemu (I’ve tried the Q frontend on OS X and it’s ok). So this thing has a beta you can download and trial. Currently, I’m installing Windows 2000 in it (my XP disk is an upgrade disk and I can’t seem to swap real CDs during install).

One tip… you can use an ISO image for the CD (like you can in VMWare), but I couldn’t make it see a real CD-ROM/DVD-ROM device. Tried pointing it to the mountpoint, etc. and nothing. I did finally figure out that you can stick in your install CD, let it mount, then pop to the terminal and type “mount” to see what you’ve got mounted. In my case I saw:

/dev/disk1s0 on /Volumes/W2PFPP_EN

If you try to unmount this in disk utility or anything, the CD will get ejected so you need to do “sudo umount /Volumes/W2PFPP_EN” (or whatever it is) to unmount it but leave the CD in the drive. Then you can tell Parallels to use “/dev/disk1s0” (or whatever the partition device is) and it’ll work.

Of course, Parallels locks the device so you can’t eject it so for me, to get XP in there, I need to install 2000 first (because my disk is an upgrade disk). Kinda sucks, but whatever. If the upgrade from 2000 to XP craps out, I’ll just 2000 in there (doesn’t matter what I use, I just want Win[something] in there for Quicken and QuickBooks).

I’ll be able to tell soon how this thing stacks up to VMWare. The price is about $50.00 compared to (I believe) VMWare’s $99, but if VMWare came out with a beta for OS X today, I’d drop Parallels in a heart-beat. I’ve been using VMWare since 2.0 and love it.

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