A few weeks ago I managed to screw up my Windows XP installation on my MacBook using some low-level tools and driver related stuff.
I’d already run out of space on the 30GB partition I’d allocated, I was missing the OS X side and not running any 3D applications so I took the plunge to remove the partition entirely and switch over to using the Parallels VM product I’d purchase instead.
Installation was a breeze and I soon had a clean XP install with Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, .NET Reflector, IE7 and a bunch of other useful tools for work operational again.
Whilst the speed isn’t as nippy as the raw Boot Camp option was it’s fast enough – certainly faster than the Pentium 4 box my client provided for development although having 2GB of RAM certainly helps.
With XP just running the dev tools this meant I could access my iTunes library on OS X whilst I work and get back to using Colloquay and Adium.
Safari crashes every time I try to blog post even though it doesn’t even try to support HTML editing abilities so Firefox and Camino are my staple on the Mac side.
I use a dual-monitor configuration during the day and Parallels works like a breeze with OS X on one display and Windows on the other. The mouse just glides between the two seamlessly – no clicking in/out or awkward keys to press to jump between the two although Parallels did need to be manually told what the resolution was.
It seems I’m not alone in choosing this set-up.
All Parallels need to do now is to enable the virtual machine to utilize multiple cores and 3D acceleration and it would be perfect.
Well, switching over to a Core 2 powered MacBook Pro with 4-8GB of RAM might be perfection… and a bigger hard-disk…