back to article Fanbois taught to use Apple's new killer app: Microsoft Windows

Apple is preparing to train its shop staff to use Microsoft Windows in a bid to flog more Macs to business users reared on PCs. The fruity firm is planning to teach its shop staff to use a piece of virtualisation software called Parallels, which allows fanbois to run both OSX and any number of Windows and Unix operational …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I predict this will come to nothing

I speak as a Mac user, Linux user and Windows user: Apple don't support their OSes for half as long as Microsoft, I'm also unaware of a Linux distribution where you can get updates thirteen years after the initial release of the OS.

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I got Parallels for £30 for my iMac, and it runs Windows 7 faster than my Dell PC.

The reporter here sounds surprised to read about Parallels - get with it vultures. We know you hate Macs, but wake up.

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Macs are "so expensive" - not.

No one ever considers resale value of Macs, which makes them actually CHEAPER than PCs, overall. I just sold an 8 year old dual G5 for $500, and sold a two year old MacMini last March for 80% of purchase price.

Try that with a PC.

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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

I actually agree with you here the resale price is pretty good. I sold a mac pro for a hefty amount a year ago. I was pretty shocked as the spec was pretty poor, i actually put it down to the fact that there is a lot of Apple users that are not that tech savvy...

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...there is [sic] a lot of Apple users that are not that tech savvy...

Compared to PC users that are not tech-savvy? LOL! About the same ratio, I would say.

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Linux

Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

"a lot of Apple users that are not that tech savvy"

Exactly why you get dopes (IMO) buying old and outdated hardware....they only care that it has the Apple branding on the outside. It could be an atom powered POS and that would not matter.

It's not a tool...its a fashion accessory for 90% of the buyers IMO.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Resale value is only of consideration if you don't run your machines until they're dead. We just got rid of a Thinkpad x31, it did sterling service, but in the end no matter how many upgrades it had been battered to death. No-one would have bought it from us, but we certainly got our monies worth from it.

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Thumb Down

re: Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

"It's not a tool...its a fashion accessory for 90% of the buyers IMO." - an the same is probably true for PC's, except you get of on spec's. Rather like Mr You-Don't-Wanna-Do-It-Like-That. Tit.

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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Used 2008 macpro, driven pretty much 24/7 for video rendering since I bought it back in 2008. Filled with hard drives, upgraded GPU, upgraded RAM. Sold it for more than I paid for it. Now that's what I call good value. It is now giving an old friend sterling service as his main edit machine. Basically, it takes a 2013 quad core i7 macmini to achieve the same benchmarks as the 2008 macpro.

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WTF?

Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

"I just sold an 8 year old dual G5 for $500"

And i thought used car dealers are crooks.

Does the church of Apple even allow this? I mean, for $500 they could have gotten a brand new iPad, you know, Post-PC era and so, and it would have looked better in the Churchs fiscal reports.

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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Umm, could it be that an old Mac is *actually still useful*?

Got an ancient (2002-era) PPC iBook here fitted with an SSD. Runs in clamshell mode as a silent server and daily newspaper aggregator. Uptime: {checks} 709 days. Not bad. I've certainly had my money's worth out of it.

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Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Hmmm. I have an IBook (old PPC chip) here too. Got PPCMint on it, but having trouble getting it to do anything, as flash is not supported. Not a worry for me, but darn, so many things depend on that bloated software these days. :(

Can't even use it to play radio off iplayer/online. :(

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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Are you saying I'm dumb? I spent a fortune on an apple mouse with no buttons

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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

I have a G3 power mac staring at me here. It only needs a PSU to be in working condition again. I don't think there would be much point though, except as a curiosity.

On the other hand, the custom-build gaming PC I bought for £500 three years ago is still chugging along just fine. £100 on a new graphics card about four months ago. I reckon I could get a few hundred if I sold it, but why would I want to do that? It's still very useful.

Yep, it's younger than a G3. However, I reckon I could still get a similar percentage (or better) back on my purchase, than you would with a 3 year old Mac.

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Silver badge

Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

"I have a G3 power mac staring at me here. It only needs a PSU to be in working condition again. I don't think there would be much point though, except as a curiosity."

Pft. I agree totally, and at the $450 asking price for that PSU it wouldn't be worth the bother or expense. For something made of diamond-encrusted depleted uranium you'd think they wouldn't suspend it over the motherboard with only half the screws the chassis calls for and a , what, foot of drop to get it up to speed, but there you go.

Please downvote me, because it isn't like I've actually pulled one of these pieces of crap apart and rebuilt it for an ingrate relative who used my PC running XP the entire time I was fixing his "better" G3 to do his e-mail.

And 20 bucks for a bios battery? Lasted about the same as my $5 lithium disc but was *much* harder to source. Thrrrp!

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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Hah, even better, I know someone who recently got ripped off for £50 (I know, only £50 for a Mac, right?) on a generation 1 Mac Mini, minus the keyboard. At least the Windows button on a PC keyboard works as a splat button on a Mac, or we'd have been completely stuffed trying to make it work. At least a "factory reset" to remove the old admin account was basically a removal of one file to do a Jedi Mind Trick on the thing. "You have never been run before!" - "I... have never been run before.."

If all you want to do is go on static-imagery websites, I guess it's fine. Youtube makes it choke like a bitch, and there's no chance in hell it'll ever run anything further than 10.5 (currently running 10.4). We tried installing various things such as VLC, or even Safari, only to be told to STFU because the computer's too old. Cue much trawling for ancient PPC-compatible builds of the aforementioned. You could try some serious rendering or graphical work if you really like pain, but I'd rather go for a Core i7 or AMD FX of some description.

But hey, it has an Apple logo on it. Somehow that makes all the difference.

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Re: Macs are "so expensive" - not.

Why? Apple USB ports will take any USB mouse.

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Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

Is the same thing as teaching a windows user to use OSX on a hacked VM... You can use the OS but its nothing like installing the OS on the Hardware...

Not to mention the differences in the OS for business.

Remote Desktop (Built into Windows, you have to use VNC Server/Clients to do anything similar)

Roaming Profiles (Not supported on OSX)

Domain Authentication (Supported very little on OSX)

OSX is not for Business..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

Windows Sharing is built into Mac OS X. I'm using it now (simply to make the point I can). Yes it's based on VNC and that makes a difference in what way? It works well enough for me for when I need it, I wouldn't use Windows Remote Desktop over a long period of time either. Just remind me what the client licenses for Windows is again?

The fact that Roaming Profiles isn't built in is a major plus. I've used Roaming Profiles in large organisations, you start a new machine up and go and get breakfast as it tries to pull down a vast amount of information to build your profile up on the machine.

Domain Authentication - Yes you are correct, Domain authentication is poor on the Mac compared to Windows.

And thats the list of your complaints as to why Macs aren't ready for business? Bloody hell, I can do better than that and I've got a Mac for business and like it.

1. Poor support for many big business applications such as Sage etc.

2. Not so much enterprise support for rolling out large numbers of machines.

3. Lack of Kensington Lock on the new Macbook Pro. Tiny sodding detail, but highly annoying.

4. Lack of enterprise backup software. Time Machine is absolutely fantastic right until the moment it stops working and throws your backups away. Biggest pile of utter shite and anybody who relies on it for backups should not be in business.

5. OS X Server is not ready for business. The documentation is crap, half the software works some of the time but fails regularly, no idea why. Software Update Server, Caching server, the mail server, ldap server all work some of the time but sometimes just stop working. I have slowly (very) moved most of my OS X server software onto other replacement machines (normally Linux) as I undo our abortive attempt to use OS X Server.

6. Perhaps the biggest failing is that Apple themselves is not ready to support big business. As an example, try and get Apple support for OS X server. The forums are junk, nobody from Apple gets involved,, self help is the only way forward. The roadmap from Apple is teased out of Apple to let it fall as crumbs to the floor. In business I'd like to know what the future holds, Apple is far too secretive. I'm no Microsoft fan but their support for business is head and shoulders over Apples.

So why do I have a Mac:

1. Most of the time it works fine. I don't have niggly compatibility issues with device drivers and graphic cards and software. Does it "just-work"? No, thats marketing bollocks and I ignore it. Its reliable and rarely crashes. To be fair neither does Windows 7 or Linux.

2. It's UNIX based which I use a lot. I like the fact I have a decent OS under the hood that I can interact with at the command line. I do write shell scripts to do things as thats pretty easy to do. Windows is junk for this sort of thing. I know I can download Cygwin (and I do) but it's not as nice as a proper UNIX box.

3. The compiler is free (or is cheap as chips). It's not a bad compiler at all, the instrumentation is nice, the editor is OK (I prefer Emacs) but it works well enough. The equivalent compiler from Microsoft is far too much money.

4. Final Cut Pro runs on it. If you do decent editing this is great. Nuff said.

5. Facetime runs on it which means I can talk to my kids on their ipads. Yes I do have Skype as well but the kids use iPads and it's easy for them (they're six and four).

6. Its well made. My main home machine is a 2006 Mac Pro. I keep looking at a new machine but can;t justify the costs. The bastards at Apple tried to stop us running Mountain Lion on it as they made ML require a 64 bit EFI. We got round that little problem though. Anyway, my last Macbook lasted three years, was still running perfectly well and I got £600 for it, so 2nd hand value is very good. My t'other half has a three year old Macbook (White) and it still works fine, though she'd like an Air, can't really justify it. I do keep hoping the kids will drop the old Macbook and we can get a new one.

7. Sleep works properly. I close the lid and it just works.

8. Hooking up to a new monitor seems easier than it did with Windows 7. I always seemed to be having to reset things in the Control Panel under windows for it to recognise an external monitor.

I have no doubt that this will get downvoted and flamed, but I like my Macbook Pro, I'd rather run a proper Linux box but I do have to run some business software. In my defense I do have VMWare with Centos on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

Lack of enterprise backup software? TSM, Networker, NetBackup and IIRC ARCserve, Data Protector, Comm Vault, and Backup Exec all have Mac OS clients.

Which enterprise backup software are you using?

The only one that doesn't support Mac OS that I can think of is MS DPM and that's because it only support Windows or Hyper-v backups.

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FAIL

Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

>> 3. Lack of Kensington Lock on the new Macbook Pro. Tiny sodding detail, but highly annoying.

Not just annoying but totally bloody stupid. Same on the MacBook Air. Thanks to that 2 people had Macs nicked at a festival last week where every other machine was Kensingtoned up.

Looks like the "solution" is a large square metal plate that you are supposed to adhere to your mac with special sticky tape and industrial glue.

WTF were apple thinking NOT to provide a Kensington lock? Surely an extra, tiny oval hole in the case wouldn't be noticed? Or is the aluminium chassis not strong enough to support someone twisting it off?

Totally stupid. Sorry had to say it again!

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Bronze badge

Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

To be fair, does anyone use OSX Server? www.apple.com and www.icloud.com for example both run on Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

Its a fair call, does anyone use OS X Server? I wasn't aware that www.apple.com and www.icloud.com ran on Linux, but since Apple is abandoning the server business (the Xserve went some years ago) its not a surprise. The theory is great, the software is actually pretty good on other Linux systems. Not much is actual Apple software but Apple screws around with it to make it fit and I think they change it so much that nobody has a clue what it's really doing. Sometimes you do need a proper command line system.... :)

OS X Server is (IMHO) targetted at the people who use Windows Home Server and I have no doubt it can be made to work, sadly Apple has no interest in it, the documentation is rubbish, the support non-existent and so few people use it, it should actually be shot and put out of its misery. Its one of a number of pieces of software I have seriously regretted buying. The only upside is that it's forced me to move even more to Linux than I already had.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

I'd tend to agree - I don't think Apple has any interest in Enterprise at all. They pretty much said that the day they ceased the xserve. They actually suggest that you put a pro workstation or a mac mini into a rack on a shelf, something that no Enterprise datacentre would do. That's not to mention the other features they're missing such as redundancy, lights out, front to back air cooling, etc.

It's all rather odd, because all Apple have to do to gain even the tinest presence in the datacentre is to certify their server OS to run on a virtualisation platform, such as VMware, Hyper-v, xen etc.

They also seem to be going all out to really piss off the users of their pro workstations and video edit software.

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Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

@AC15:37 "I do write shell scripts to do things as thats pretty easy to do. Windows is junk for this sort of thing."

I take it you've never used Powershell then? Try doing the equivalent of a Powershell Parallel Workflow script aggregating results across hundreds of machines in Bash, then decide which is "junk for this sort of thing"

Windows has moved on a lot since DOS batch files, y'know.

"The equivalent compiler from Microsoft is far too much money."

Visual Studio Express costs the princely sum of nothing. The compiler is the exact same one used by the most expensive version of Visual Studio (you just lack many of the advanced IDE functionality).

Macs are all well and good if that's what you want. Though the point of buying a machine then also buying VM software and a completely different OS all over again because that's the only one that runs your applications is lost on me. You accomplish nothing other than making your life just that little bit harder, for no tangible benefit.

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Re: Fanbois taught to use a GIMPED Windows...

@AC9:02 "all Apple have to do to gain even the tinest presence in the datacentre is to certify their server OS to run on a virtualisation platform"

Well, they also have to make it work, which I suspect is the harder part.

OS X Server is an absolute pain in the ass to get working and pretty much every Apple-ified tool added to supposedly make it easier just increases the pain levels tenfold. Without the ease of use aspect that's worked on the desktop, there really is no sane reason to choose OS X over a Linux box.

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Happy

Done it before

When I first moved over to Mac (my first was the 'anglepoise' iMac) I was still using a lot of Windows based software - MS Money, Publisher, Office, etc. Used the MS Virtual Windows things and it wasn't too bad...

Now where I currently work about 50% of the staff choose Apple, with the PCs split between Linux and Windows. As most things are web based (such as our CRM) or we use PDF / MS Office formats to save into - there is little need to use Windows if you don't want to. I use the Apple iWork suite and send PDF or .docx formats if needed.

But I know accountants will be wanting their SAGE - if they want MS Office - you can get that too.

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Yes, let's inflict Windows 8 on the Apple fanbois, I can see no reason why only PC users should suffer.

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Apple Store sells Windows Licence Then

So Apple Store needs to sell a Windows Licence for this to work?

Sorry sir/madam can't sell you that, you need to go see if you can buy a copy from ebay?

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Re: Apple Store sells Windows Licence Then

@thondwe: Why do you think Apple couldn't sell a Windows license? They've been doing it for years....

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An idea

How about Apple putting some serious resources into Wine? This should have interesting implications beyond running native Windows apps on Mac OS. :-)

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Use Oracle's VirtualBox for free.

As an alternative I use Oracle's VirtualBox to run Windows 8 on a Mac so I can use some of the more advanced functionality of Microsoft Excel available on a PC.

For accounting no one really needs Windows (or Sage) if you using a modern Cloud based, mid range accounting system such as Aqilla. All you need is a browser....

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Anonymous Coward

Repaired!

..... hopefully showing a whole new generation of business-minded fanbois that Macs just aren't trendy.

In fact, hello 1980's! Still asking you to think different!

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Anonymous Coward

Retail Win 8

I didn't think there was a full retail of Win 8, only upgrade, and as OEM is for distribution with new PCs only can someone enlighten me how our fruity friends run this legally!!!

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Re: Retail Win 8

I'd guess it is OEM given they are distributing it with a new personal computing device...

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Silver badge

Re: Retail Win 8

Dunno if they still do this, but there used to be a version of Parallels* which came with a Windows licence bundled in.

* I might be thinking of VMware Fusion there, but the principle is the same: do a deal with MS and bundle Windows with your product so it's properly licenced.

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Bronze badge

Re: Retail Win 8

If they sell it with a new iMac, then surely that is fine?

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Silver badge

Re: Retail Win 8

Does the OEM license allow virtualisation? I thought you would need the retail or volume licensing to use parallels or VMWare and that OEM would only permit boot camp. Maybe it is different with 8.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Retail Win 8

No problem, they can buy the full retail version of Windows 7 Pro for $299, ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116717 ) and then upgrade that to Windows 8 Pro for an additional $199 ( http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Windows-8-Pro/productID.257987100 )

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Silver badge

Re: Retail Win 8

So a mere $500 to make it legal?

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Anonymous Coward

hackingtosh

I have a mac mini which is bootcamped with windows 7 I used it for a iphone app project, currently my son has it for minecrafting! works really well you have to reboot to switch. a few years back for a similar project tho I created a hackingtosh running in VMware running in VM Player. for me that was by far the most usable solution.

If only apple would either let us develop app on anything but osx or at least allow it to be install on non mac hardware which lets face it is just a pc. They lock everything down through fear that given the choice we'd never use them and to be honest they might have a point. developing in xcode was like going back in time after visual studio.

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Anonymous Coward

I am a windows Technician that works on behalf of IBM.

Before that I was a Windows Tech that worked for a multitude of Government and Financial types such as banks and insurance companies. I'm windows through and through, what I would actually like is a brand new shiny device though. Of course, I don't want them at work, I'd have nothing to do.

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Thumb Up

Dear AC - have an upvote for your subtle astro-turfing.

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OSX -> Win 7

I bought a nice shiny iMAC 3 years ago but never quite got comfortable with it. Installed Win 7 via bootcamp 6 months ago and haven't looked back.

Lovely hardware (apart from a slow disk), horrible software. Installing Win 7 gave the machine a new lease of life.

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Re: OSX -> Win 7

"I bought a nice shiny iMAC 3 years ago"

And after three years you still haven't learnt how to capitalise its name properly?

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Friend of mine is using a 3 year old iMac... and using Parallels to run Steam games where there isn't a native version of the game for OS X. I was watching him play Assassin's Creed III on it the other day and it performs surprisingly well on a 3 year old machine running through an emulation layer. In fact, when we rebooted it and ran it through Boot Camp (i.e. native Windows), it wasn't actually significantly better.

Me, I'm using a MacBook Pro (developing for the mobile things) and I'm in Boot Camp most of the time. Don't know what it is but Parallels just doesn't run very well for me. Guess my friend is the lucky one.

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The problem with virtual machines

The problem with virtual machines, apart from the performance issue, which is becoming less of a problem as hardware gets faster and the virtual machine coding becomes more efficient, is the backup.

Using virtual drive files leads to an explosion of redundant data on Time Machine, or any incremental backup solution that operates at the file level. Every time you boot the virtual system the drive file will be written to, and as a result the drive file will change, therefore the backup system will backup the whole drive file. For a fixed size drive file of 100GB this will make short work of a 4TB backup solution, filling it in a little over a month if backups are done daily and the virtual machine is in daily use.

Sparse (in Apple parlance) drive files which grow as they fill up can help alleviate this, but only to a certain degree as even they will tend to run to 10-20GB in even lightly used virtual machines.

Most people I know running VMs, including myself, end up excluding the drive files from the backup. In my case it's not critical as I only use Virtual Box to mess around with various flavours of Linux so no big deal if I lose the files. But somebody running critical data on a VM would be well advised to implement a backup system from within that VM, rather than relying on the host system to take care of things.

Somehow I don't see the Oompa Loompas in the Apple store being particularly well informed on that aspect.

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Re: The problem with virtual machines

Doesn't those virtualization programs allow snapshots or cloning?

I've only used VMWare, but that's got both, it's completely trivial to back up the virtual machine.

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Silver badge

My Quad Core Mac Pro has been completely removed of Mac. It has a 256SSD with Win 7 on it. Best computer I have ever had.

Mac Os is pants basically, horrible to use and Mac clones of Windows programs are generally awful.

But as usual, looks and coolness are better than practicality .....

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meh

Parallels left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe things have changed since but I remember "offers" that had to be dismissed each time I launched the application. When I upgraded OS X the version of Parallels I was using assumed it was incompatible and wouldn't launch. The only option available was to purchase an upgrade. So I did some research and found Virtual Box. It was rough around the edges but has improved since then. Also it is free, thanks to many volunteers.

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