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Small Business wanting to run on an iMac

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
All:

I am an ex-Mac user and not had one since I had a Mac SE and really miss the experience. I really appreciate your insight and thank you in advance for your reply & advice.
I really would like to purchase an iMac to replace a Dell running XP. I own a small recuiting firm and use a computer 90% of the time for busines ( not a creative user), the remainder of use is for personal email, family photos and itunes. Being this is my business, its very important to me.
Heres what I like to hear from you:
1- I plan on using VMware fusion with XP to access a pure web based recruiting software application that only can be accessed by Internet explorer for my business: is Fusion with XP running within it a stable alternative?
2-Being a recruiter i receive resumes that are mostly in MS Word which are 90% of the docs I use. Can I drag MS Word docs to the apple side to view & save iwork? Work on the doc's and then send back to the end user so they can see them in a MS word format?
3-Is it worth it? Meaning, being that I will be in an XP environment all day within Fusion running my business. Is it worth the complexity?
4-Any oher comments?
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpicasso View Post

1- I plan on using VMware fusion with XP to access a pure web based recruiting software application that only can be accessed by Internet explorer for my business: is Fusion with XP running within it a stable alternative?

I'd say it's pretty stable. I wouldn't personally rely on virtualization software for a business though. All your files are stored on a single disk image. If that image corrupts for whatever reason, the files are gone. You can keep backups of course just like any other drive but it's still safer to not have all your files inside a disk image - especially one that is only accessible by booting up a clean OS.

For example, I have had XP refuse to boot under Parallels and it meant I couldn't access the files - maybe there are tools to allow you to mount the image somewhere though. The image itself wasn't corrupted, just the OS. My files weren't important because I just use these apps for basic Windows-only stuff like IE so I was able to replace the image easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpicasso View Post

2-Being a recruiter i receive resumes that are mostly in MS Word which are 90% of the docs I use. Can I drag MS Word docs to the apple side to view & save iwork? Work on the doc's and then send back to the end user so they can see them in a MS word format?

I wouldn't use iwork when handling .doc files. I would suggest Microsoft Office for the Mac or Open Office. Using these programs it should be possible to copy back and forth without too many problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpicasso View Post

3-Is it worth it? Meaning, being that I will be in an XP environment all day within Fusion running my business. Is it worth the complexity?

Not that way anyway. If you run it 24/7, I would suggest using Bootcamp. You can also boot up this partition with VMWare if you happen to be in OS X. Bootcamp is just running Windows natively but in my experience, Windows still runs better on Mac hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpicasso View Post

4-Any oher comments?

Parallels is quicker at resuming save states than VMWare so very fast saves and restarts of the VM but VMWare works better with Bootcamp.

I would suggest Bootcamp with a FAT32 partition - this will always be accessible from the Mac side so no copying of files is required. Boot natively into Windows to begin with. If you do find that you eventually don't need Windows, you can simply run VMWare from that partition and you can create a VMWare image from the partition in future.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'd say it's pretty stable. I wouldn't personally rely on virtualization software for a business though. All your files are stored on a single disk image. If that image corrupts for whatever reason, the files are gone. You can keep backups of course just like any other drive but it's still safer to not have all your files inside a disk image - especially one that is only accessible by booting up a clean OS.

For example, I have had XP refuse to boot under Parallels and it meant I couldn't access the files - maybe there are tools to allow you to mount the image somewhere though. The image itself wasn't corrupted, just the OS. My files weren't important because I just use these apps for basic Windows-only stuff like IE so I was able to replace the image easily.



I wouldn't use iwork when handling .doc files. I would suggest Microsoft Office for the Mac or Open Office. Using these programs it should be possible to copy back and forth without too many problems.



Not that way anyway. If you run it 24/7, I would suggest using Bootcamp. You can also boot up this partition with VMWare if you happen to be in OS X. Bootcamp is just running Windows natively but in my experience, Windows still runs better on Mac hardware.



Parallels is quicker at resuming save states than VMWare so very fast saves and restarts of the VM but VMWare works better with Bootcamp.

I would suggest Bootcamp with a FAT32 partition - this will always be accessible from the Mac side so no copying of files is required. Boot natively into Windows to begin with. If you do find that you eventually don't need Windows, you can simply run VMWare from that partition and you can create a VMWare image from the partition in future.

By the way.... the recruiting sofware I use is a Saas, meaning it is a pure web based application. It can only be accessed by MS iE7. Actually Explorer is the truly only thing I need to access through XP. But being their site will not function from Safari or Fire Fox I have to load XP to use MS Internet Explorer. Until IE runs on a native Mac, I am stuck with either Boot Camp or Fusion or both.
Here is another question to that point. Should I use Boot Camp within Fusion? Is that more stable? Would I be able to drag files from boot camp to a shared folder within Fusion?

Thanks again for your insight ( wish I can rent a mac for a month to try this)....
Daniel
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpicasso View Post

By the way.... the recruiting sofware I use is a Saas, meaning it is a pure web based application. It can only be accessed by MS iE7. Actually Explorer is the truly only thing I need to access through XP. But being their site will not function from Safari or Fire Fox I have to load XP to use MS Internet Explorer. Until IE runs on a native Mac, I am stuck with either Boot Camp or Fusion or both.

There is a more native solution if you just need IE but it won't support ActiveX controls:

http://www.kronenberg.org/ies4osx/

IE7 isn't fully supported either. Have you tried to change your browser User Agent? Sometimes that can trick blocks on sites into thinking you are running Explorer and let you through. Sites also tend to work just fine, it's just narrow-minded, lazy developers who limit sites to a particular version of IE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpicasso View Post

Here is another question to that point. Should I use Boot Camp within Fusion? Is that more stable? Would I be able to drag files from boot camp to a shared folder within Fusion?

Boot Camp within Fusion I've found is equally stable to running from an image but it gives you the advantage of being able to boot natively and you can access all your Windows files when VM Ware is shut down. I also find that I can run some of my Windows apps on my Bootcamp drive in Crossover (I was surprised to see that even the PSXfin playstation emulator works in it) - the above ie4osx app works like Crossover. It's Windows apps running without Windows through a compatibility layer. It doesn't work with a wide range of apps but for the odd set of apps, it does the job.

You can't access the Boot Camp drive while VMWare is running from it btw but you get the same features as you do with an image - such as being able to drag files directly into the VM and using shared folders.

How VMWare with Bootcamp works is you'd have a partition for Mac stuff and one for Windows

Mac <- HFS+ filesystem with OS X and Mac files
Windows <- FAT32 with Windows and files

VMWare is on the Mac drive and when you run Bootcamp, it unmounts the Windows partition and boots the Windows system on it. The Mac system doesn't access it from there and you interact through shared folders and dragging onto the window. When you shut down VMWare, your Windows drive comes back up and you get access to it from the Mac system again. You can then open any of the files you downloaded inside VMWare directly in a Mac application without copying them around.

To boot Windows natively, you reboot and hold the 'alt' key and it shows the Mac and Windows drives and you choose the Windows one to run Windows on its own. This is no different than on a PC and boots the same system VMWare used with the same settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpicasso View Post

( wish I can rent a mac for a month to try this)....

I think they have a return policy of 14 days if you aren't happy with it. Think of it this way, at the very worst, you'll be buying a good PC as you can quite happily run Windows 24/7 natively on it.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Marvin:

Thak you so much for the detailed response. Despite the fact that I would want to test it out for a few weeks first, ( which is not realistic ), I just need to jump out of the plane... I will review again your advice for when I get the iMac.
Thanx again

Daniel
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