AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

May/10

7

Dreolin Fleischer on Using PC Software on a Mac Computer

Hi, my name is Dreolin Fleischer.  I am a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University.  Today I’ll be sharing a tip about running PC programs on Mac Computers.

Hot Tip: I have used a Mac for the last five years and I am very happy using a Mac; however, there are those times that you may find that you need to use software that can only be used on a PC.  I got around this issue by purchasing and installing VMware Fusion on my Mac. VMware Fusion (http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/) allows you to run a PC on your Mac.  For me, the usefulness of having software like VMware Fusion became apparent when I began working on an evaluation that required me to use SWiSH Max (http://www.swishzone.com/index.php), a flash creation tool only available for PCs.  I needed to install SWiSH Max on my personal laptop so I could help develop an interactive web-based tool for our client.  I had no trouble using VMware Fusion to go between the PC and Mac platforms and my MacBook Pro easily handled both platforms with its 2.4 GHz processing speed and 2 GB of memory.  I was able to purchase the software at a discounted price because I am a student, but VMware Fusion 3 (for Mac OS X) is available online for $79.99.  An alternative to VMware Fusion and at the same price point ($79.99) is Parallels Desktop for Mac (http://www.parallels.com/)–I do not have experience using the alternative.  In my experience, a software program like this makes you more versatile in the work you can accomplish.

This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org.

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4 comments

  • Pam Bishop · May 10, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Another free alternative that runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and OpenSolaris hosts is VirtualBox: http://www.virtualbox.org/ I have used this product to run Windows on both Mac and Linux hosts and have been very happy with it.

    Reply

  • Dreolin Fleischer · May 10, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Thank you Marcus and Greg for your input! I know AEA365 blog readers will greatly appreciate the additional information.

    Reply

  • Greg · May 7, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I’d have to agree with Marcus. I’ve used both VMware Fusion, and Parallels and I’ve found Parallels to be an overall better experience.

    An alternative to this if you have an intel-based mac is to save the $79 and use Apple’s built in Bootcamp application. This doesn’t let you use both OSX and Windows simultaneously, but it’s free as long as you have Leopard or Snow Leopard running on your Mac.

    Reply

  • Author comment by Marcus · May 7, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Hi Dreolin,

    Great tips. A couple of years ago, I decided to go the VMware route, as they were the more established company. However, there’s been some recent evidence which has suggested that Parallels is the overall faster and more efficient system (see: http://www.mactech.com/articles/special/1002-VirtualizationHeadToHead/index.html). But, any Mac user would be fine with either option.

    Reply

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