Parallels Desktop

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Tue Feb 20 10:45:45 EST 2007

A brief note about "virtualization" a la Parallels:

This ain't your father's virtualization.  If you've ever used Virtual 
PC, it's similar only in convenience.  But in performance it's in a 
whole other universe, effectively redefining what virtualization means.

In the olden days, virtualization had to take place at the lowest 
levels, translating every machine instruction one by one, millions of 
times per second, from the Intel instruction set Windows is written for 
to the PPC set it was running on under Virtual PC.

But on Intel Macs, there's really very little being translated at all. 
Machine instructions simply get passed right through to the Intel 
processor, and only a small handful of operations regarding peripheral 
devices (CD, Internet, etc.) require any remapping at all.

So in terms of compatibility testing I doubt there's much difference 
between Parallels and Boot Camp.  But in terms of convenience they 
couldn't be father apart:

The one thing Parallels does that's similar to Virtual PC is allow 
folders to be shared between the native Mac OS and the Windows OS 
running inside of it.  This means you can easily assign a development 
folder to be shared with Parallels, and work on it in either OS 
simultaneously.  You can make your builds on either OS and run them in 
the other -- no reboot necessary.  You can move from one OS to another 
effortlessly, without stopping anything you're doing in either.

Sharing folders and running the OSes simultaneously means an 
order-of-magnitude productivity boost over the quit-reboot-start-over 
routine required with Boot Camp.

Parallels is so superior in terms of workflow I'll gladly put myself out 
on this limb, just as I did years ago when I first suggested Apple would 
one day switch to Intel:  I predict that not too long from now Apple 
will acquire Parallels, and ditch Boot Camp altogether.  Stranger things 
have happened....

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Ambassador at

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