Virtual Box

Since I switched to Mac for all my non-day-job functions, I’ve needed to run Windows once in a while for whatever reason. Whether it was to show Audacity techniques on WinXP, or just to see how a website renders under IE, there’s always been a compelling reason, to keep that old Dell under the desk.

This winter I downloaded the trial version of VMWare Fusion, and it performed flawlessly for my needs. If you’re looking at virtualization as a day-to-day solution, this really seems to be a great way to go. I used it in my Audacity workshop at Podcamp Toronto when someone said ‘Yeah, on a Mac maybe, but it’s not like that in Windows’ – so I fired up a WinXP virtual machine, and did the same steps in Windows.. I was rather pleased with myself 🙂

For me, the need is very occasional, and not worth shelling out $80 for the effort. (All the money I make podcasting goes to supply my habit of watching clouds go by- and just barely …) …

Anyway, I just tried out the new version of Virtual Box, the free virtualization offering from Sun, which now has an official Mac OS version. It lets you install WinXP or Linux or DOS or pretty much whatever Intel-OS you need as a virtual machine on your Intel-based Mac (or linux or whatever). My first impressions are that while it’s not as polished as Fusion, and certainly not as feature-rich – it will do exactly what I need for that 10 minutes a month when I need to pretend I have another computer. It’s also a cool alternative to dual-boot, which for me was too much of a pain anyway…

The price sure is right,

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  1. Ninja says:

    Well don’t even try to use VirtualBox on Vista unless you have 2gb of memory or more. Wait: don’t even run Vista at all unless you have 2gb of memory or more. Anyway virtualbox on Vista is so slow as to be completely useless.

  2. Bob says:

    Thanks for the tip Ninja! though to be honest, I’ve not found any compelling reason to run Vista at all yet. 🙂

  3. Derek A Myers says:

    Ninja must be a Mac user.
    I have a Dell Inspiron XPS, Intel Pentium 4 3.4Ghz CPU, 1GB RAM and 256 MB videocard. It is running Windows Vista Ultimate flawlessly. My computer may not be as fast as the latest dual core machines; but, it is no slouch either.

    Funny that Apple heavily promotes Windows running on a Mac but forbids the Mac OS running under Windows.
    Who’s the Evil Empire now? If I want to do software development for the Mac OS, why should I be forced to buy a Mac when my current machine is not?

    In the end, if stability and power is the only factor, why doesn’t everyone just use Solaris 10, a true Unix OS and free to boot?

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