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Posts Tagged ‘windows’

firefox 3 now available

June 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Firefox 3 was due to hit the download sites at 6pm UK time but it’s just appeared at mozilla.com. Download the version for your OS here or choose an OS and language here. Spreadfirefox.com appears to be down at the moment, so hopefully this won’t interfere with the world record attempt.

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VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 1

A while back I compared the three biggest Virtualisation products for the Mac. Parallels, VMware Fusion and VirtualBox are all impressive products that performed equally, and I used the free Virtualbox for my occasional Windows needs. Parallels was part of the recent MacUpdate bundle which I bought, so I’ve been using that most recently. It’s been running well and seems more responsive than the previous versions I tried.

The reason for this recap is that VMware Fusion 2 beta 1 has been released, and adds some interesting new features. Multi display support will please some users, even if support for eight monitors is very niche. Importing Parallels and Virtual PC machines is a useful if late addition. DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 is perhaps the most interesting, and I’m wondering how well this will work on my hackintosh. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that version 2 allows any printer attached to your Mac to be used direct from Windows without installing drivers.

Also new is an updated version 1.6 of Virtualbox. It’s now out of beta, although there are a few things still not supported:

Currently, we are aware of the following restrictions:
•    No support for Host Interface Networking
•    No support for Internal Networking
•    No support for audio input
•    No support for VT-x/AMD-V (rarely required)
•    No support for raw disk access
•    The numlock emulation isn’t implemented yet
•    The VirtualBox kernel extension is currently accessible from all user accounts
Note that we are planning to address all known issues.

Things are certainly moving on in the Mac virtualisation market, so I’ll be trying all three products again this week with some updated results to follow.

Modular Windows

April 8, 2008 Leave a comment

When details of the next version of Microsoft Windows first started appearing, there was much talk of it being a lot more modular in nature. There were even Microsoft demo’s’ of a bare bones ‘MinWin’ that removed the many layers of Vista and gave a fast and compact core that used 40Mb or Ram and 25Mb of disk space. For once it sounded like Microsoft’s engineers were leading the development of Windows 7 instead of the marketing teams.

Unfortunately thing don’t seem to be going the way I had hoped. Arstechnica has an article titled ‘Why modular Windows will suck for Microsoft and suck for you’ that makes a good argument for why it’s not a good idea. It’s all about the way in which Windows will become modular, using software or services that are bought individually or subscribed to. If you want the full Windows package you end up paying more for it, or users who want to strip out the bits they don’t use could get a cheaper deal. Read more…

Leopard vs XP vs Vista vs Linux part 2

March 25, 2008 Leave a comment

operating systems challengeIn part 1 I looked at results from Geekbench, Photoshop and VLC to see how much of an impact the operating system has on application speed. For part 2 I used two more cross platform test, the first person shooter Doom 3 and 3D modeller and renderer Blender. Read more…

Leopard vs XP vs Vista vs Linux part 1

March 22, 2008 5 comments

operating systems challengeI’ve wanted to compare different operating systems on the same hardware for several months, to see how much of an impact the OS has. Now that I have been using my hackintosh daily for over a month with no major issues I felt it was time to start doing some comparisons. One of the benefits of using generic hardware to run Mac OS is that it will happily run any other x86 operating system you care to try. The difficult bit seems to be getting them to co-exist without conflicting. Read more…

Hackintosh part 9

March 13, 2008 4 comments

I’ve been using my DIY Mac for about a month so it’s time for an update on how well everything is working. I haven’t had any major show stoppers so far, more minor irritations and puzzling behaviours. It’s a pleasure to use the hackintosh and having run Mac OS on several machines in the past the huge performance improvement makes the OS more responsive than ever. I’ve read reviews in the past that say you haven’t experienced Mac OS at it’s best until you try a Mac Pro, and they’re not exagerating. Read more…

OS wars: which is the best?

March 11, 2008 Leave a comment

PCmagThe ‘my OS is better than yours’ arguments have been a bit quiet lately, so PCmag have done their bit to restart the flames. The article compares Mac OS Leopard, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Ubuntu 7.10 across a number of aspects to pick which is the best for a range of different user types, as well as the best overall. I won’t spoil the surprise here so have a read to see who they rate the highest.