Monday, August 11, 2008

Ten Days in

It's now 10 days with the new iMac and things are going well. A few notes about a few things follow.

VMware Fusion

Taking a general census of various opinion about Parallels and VMware Fusion had me leaning toward Fusion. I have used VMware products on the PC and so I downloaded the trial, installed and away it went. I was impressed with the process, it was very simple and found my Boot Camp Windows XP install without any problem.

I'm still using Windows for Money (I'm scared of Mac Quicken), CD printing to my Epson R200 (I can't get that part working on Mac yet), Office products with VBA scripting (I have a number of Excel spreadsheets that won't work on Mac Office) and ActiveSynching my Windows Mobile Phone (no I don't have an iPhone, leave me alone).

The VMware Unity feature that hides the Windows desktop and displays the active Windows windows on the Mac desktop is way cool. Blended Mac and Windows. It's as though I'm having OS/2 flashbacks, only better. The only problem so far is that it's a little flakey with Spaces, trying to move a Unity window to another space behaves strangely.

Amazon has VMware Fusion for $59.99 US plus a $20 mail in rebate. Well worth the money, I ordered my copy. It arrived and I just updated the license of the trial I installed with the boxed copy I purchased and didn't even have to reinstall.

Microsoft Office Mac

I installed it. Only to promptly have it download a bunch of updates several times. So far I haven't used it much, especially since as noted above many of my Excel spreadsheets use VBA scripting. I guess Word will probably see some use eventually but I'm doing pretty well without it right now. Fortunately it didn't cost me much otherwise I would probably just do without and use Office under VMware/Boot Camp when necessary.

Max for Mac

Looking for a Mac CD ripper I ran across one that does everything I need and was doing under windows: Max

This little gem allows me to rip to FLAC (for archival), ogg (for my portable audio I don't have an iPod, leave me alone) and mp3 (for everything else) simultaneously. It hooks into MusicBrainz for tag info and after specifying how and where to encode and name the files my ripping workflow is as simple as insert CD, start Max, go.

The Rest

I'm still getting used to things but it is getting better. My dock is evolving to include the stuff I use and I am starting to take advantage of Spotlight. I'm still not a Finder fan, it seems clumsy but I'm living with it for now. I'll look at alternatives later.

I was having some trouble with the built-in shared desktop client connecting to my windows machine. I was using TightVNC on the windows machine and the Mac client kept crashing so I am now using JollysFastVNC and results are much better.

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