Sunday, March 2, 2008

Geek Factor 10: Parallels Desktop for Mac

Having come from a PC school once upon a time, I have had to learn the Mac platform. And I have learned to love it. I consider myself bi-polar, as I can argue passionately about either OS. But when the intel-based Macs came out, a third party developer came out with a program that lets you install Windows on your machine, and it runs simultaneously with the Mac OS.While I do like working on the Mac side, there are things that I can only do in Windows. All of our district data is only available using a PC plugin, and at this point, I have to use a PC to manage Active Directory. For someone like me, whose job requires both platforms, Parallels is the bomb.

Parallels costs about $80, and a license (through our district) for WinXP is about $45. So, I can have two machines in one for an additional $125.

There is another product out there for about the same cost from VMWare (it's called "Fusion"). I played with it briefly, and I prefer Parallels. However, I think that's only because I used it first. Anyway, it's worth checking out. Ultimately, I see us using free tools that aren't software or OS dependent. But in the meantime, what a slick solution!