I just downloaded a 15 day free trial of Parallels Desktop for Mac. Man, this is NOT going to make it any easier for me to escape servitude to the non-free software of Steve for the happy lands of Linux. Not now that Bill can move in with Steve. And heck, Linus can too.
Seriously, this is wonderful. More wonderful to me than VMWare, just because it’s easier to use and much cheaper. (On the upside, VMWare doesn’t seem to care how often you keep requesting a 30 day trial license key, while Parallels is more persnickety. I grabbed a 15 day free trial key weeks ago and didn’t have enough memory to do much with it at the time, and I had to go scrub config files to get it to accept a new 15 day trial license. But Parallels I can afford to buy now that I’m confident in how it works with the trial license and all.)
Oh yeah — I finally found myself in a financial position to upgrade the memory on my memory-hungry macbook — from a barely adequate 512M to a much more pleasant 1.25G. That’s what inspired me to make a go of Parallels.
And it’s hitting me that developing windows software with a mac running Parallels is potentially a totally different thing than just developing on Windows. I can stay in one environment to edit code — just edit it in a shared directory, and edit it in Aquamacs or Carbon Emacs. I don’t need an email client or jabber client installed on my win machine. I don’t need to synchronize my bookmarks between browser installs on my win machine and mac machine, because I only really need to use the browser in one. I have been using cvs and ssh on cygwin on my windows dev machine for code checkout and synchronization, but I don’t need that either. I can check out code using the cvs/ssh stuff on my mac, right into a shared directory. I can probably get away with mingw for compiling the C/C++ portions of software there.
The number of things I still do need to install on that machine for it to be good for work is surprisingly, surprisingly small.
And of course I’ve made a copy of the VM/HD with my basic install of winxp on it, so I can create a variety of VM’s for special purposes, like if I ever get into that whole crazy “PC gaming” thing that the kids talk about these days.
Man, that’s a lot of links. Maybe I’m feeling giddy about the links because I’m typing this all up in Ecto and it’s just a few keystrokes, I don’t have to type <a> and all that jive. Get the link on the clipboard, select the text, and command-shift-u.
Damn you, Steve.
For a non-giddy-fanboy estimation of the glories and perils — mostly perils — of going the way of Apple, see this apple hate rant. And Mark Pilgrim’s bailing out of Appleville. I love me the Linux, and if it weren’t for good fortune in my employment which allows me to justify a purchase like Apple hardware, I’d probably be happy to muddle through on low-end PC hardware and a nice install of Ubuntu Linux. But hey, this is where I happen to be right now.
Did you notice I bothered to put categories on this post? That’s cause I’m editing in Ecto. On my Mac.