Parallels 11, Fusion 8 and VirtualBox 5 – Oh My!

Time for another look at virtualization software, letting Macintosh users run PC operating system such as Windows or Ubuntu on their Macs. There are three competitors in the Mac emulation market – Parallels Desktop (US$79 or as an annual $99 subscription Pro version), VMware Fusion (also US$79), and Oracle’s (free and open source) VirtualBox.

My First Mac: Doing the Diskette Shuffle

I had a friend, Michael. We’d played music together in a local band, but by day he was a camera-person at a Vancouver TV station. He’d gotten a Mac early in 1984, pretty much as soon as they became available in Canada. He’d demo’ed it to me, and while I thought it was pretty neat, […]

Virtually Yours: New Versions of Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion Open Windows for Mac Users

Imagine if you could seamlessly open any document and run any program on your computer. Wouldn’t that be great? Read and edit old word processor files – MacWord, anyone? WordStar? Run PC games on your Mac, Super Nintendo games on your Windows PC? Like the peaceful utopia in John Lennon’s Imagine, we’re not there yet. […]

Can I Compare a sub-$200 Chromebook to a MacBook Air?

I bought a Chromebook. Back in April, I reviewed a loaner Chromebook, a CDN$269 Samsung model. Overall, I enjoyed the experience; the hardware was reminiscent of an 11” MacBook Air ultralight notebook with many limitations – partly the result of the dramatically lower price point and partly due to running Google’s Chrome OS, an operating […]

Microsoft Office: To Buy or to Rent, That Is the Question

There was a time when, at least according to rumour, Microsoft made more money – on average – from each Mac user than from each Windows user. That was because most Mac users got copies of Microsoft Office paying the full retail cost, while most Windows users had copies of Windows and Microsoft Office pre-installed […]

Flashback Malware a Wakeup Call for Mac Users

A big reason for Windows users to consider a move to Mac has been the virtual nonexistence of Mac malware. Computerworld reported the existence of a million different computer viruses at the end of 2008 – but that’s been almost entirely an issue for Windows users.

Save As Command Gone with Lion and New Apps

One of the most-heard critiques of Windows Vista was that Microsoft made seemingly random and unnecessary changes to the user interface, such as changing the name of much-used features like the control panel used to uninstall programs. The result: Users accustomed to finding an item in the same place for a decade had to hunt […]

Apple’s Growing Popularity Makes Macs Malware Targets

For a long time, most Mac users have gotten along fine without installing the sort of security programs Windows users take for granted. Perhaps the Mac, built on an industrial-strength Unix core, is more secure. Or perhaps malware authors have simply ignored the Mac platform, aiming instead at the much larger numbers of Windows users.

VMWare Fusion 3.0 vs. Parallels Desktop 5.0

The October release of Microsoft’s Windows 7 brought a flurry of activity on the Mac2Windows front – new versions of both of the major virtualization programs for the Mac platform: VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. While both have offered relatively straightforward ways to run Windows and other PC operating systems on an Intel Mac with […]

Time Machine Can Now Backup to a Shared Hard Drive

2008 – Apple released the Time Machine backup utility as part of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in October 2007. Time Machine is most commonly used to back up to an external USB or FireWire hard drive directly attached to a Mac running Leopard.

SheepShaver Brings the Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard

Early in 2006, I wrote an article for Low End Mac entitled VNC, Basilisk II, and SheepShaver: 3 Ways to Run Classic on an Intel Mac. In it, I noted that the then-new Intel-powered Macs were unable to run older Mac software in called Classic Mode, but that there were at least a couple of […]

Restoring a Crashed Mac with an Install Disc and Time Machine

There’s an urban legend that Mac’s don’t crash. That’s not entirely accurate. Mac hard drives, for instance, are identical to those in Windows systems and suffer the same sorts of physical failures with the same frequency. And the Mac operating system, while based on a solid industrial-strength Unix core, can suffer from problems from time […]

iPod Drive Failure: Culprit May Not Be the Drive, Fix May Be Free

Apple’s iPod has been wildly successful; even though it was neither the first handheld MP3 player (models such as the Diamond Rio were first with flash players) nor the first to feature hard drive storage (Creative’s Discman-sized Nomad Jukebox predated it), the iPod’s combination of clean design, easy to use software both on the player […]