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Coffee break- time to switch to VMWare Fusion?

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Coffee_manLast Friday I had the good fortune to meet with jkOTR reader Jason Johnson who was in town for a wedding.  Jason is a great guy who lives in Kentucky and he and I met in my local Starbucks to geek out and give Jason an excuse to get away from the wedding preparations for a few hours.  It was good to meet Jason and as usual in these meetings not only Jason got to see some gadgets but I learned something new too.  Jason got to see the HP 2710p Tablet PC which he was impressed with, along with the Nokia N800 and the HTC Advantage.  The Advantage impressed Jason a lot like it does most everyone who sees one for the first time.  I couldn’t show him the new Nokia N810 because I don’t have one yet but I had just upgraded the N800 to the newly available OS2008.

It was an enjoyable session and I learned something new that has me questioning whether I should be looking at VMWare Fusion to run Vista on my MacBook Pro.  When I got the MBP I installed Parallels Desktop along with Vista Ultimate and it served me well for months.  When I upgraded to Leopard I started having major problems with Parallels and I attempted to uninstall it but it required a special method to remove it that I didn’t find out about until after I tried to get rid of it normally.  My uneducated removal attempt left me with a system that I need to rebuild from scratch to totally remove all remnants of Parallels and I have been holding off performing that until I had compelling reason to do so.

This is in my mind to do now as Jason pulled out his 15-inch MacBook Pro running Leopard and I played with it a little.  Jason’s MBP has 2 GB of memory and he was running VMWare Fusion and Vista on it.  I was very impressed how seamlessly he switched from Leopard to Vista using Fusion as the transition happened almost instantaneously and as I watched him toggle back and forth it occurred to me that he had the MBP asleep in his gear bag (a very nice InCase backpack) with both Leopard and Vista running.  The transition was so smooth and Vista was running so fast that I figured he had a lot of memory allocated to Fusion and Vista.  Imagine my surprise when we checked and found that Fusion had only 768 MB allocated to Vista and yet it still was running so well.  It made me start thinking about getting Vista running on my MBP again yet with Fusion this time.  This will require me to reinstall Leopard from scratch, a clean install this time to reformat the hard drive.  That means I’ll need to restore all my data and programs but I’m willing to do that.  It will be a good opportunity to test Leopard’s Time Machine which should work I think.  Has anyone rebuilt a system from scratch and restored it with Time Machine?  I’m thinking to install Vista with Boot Camp which I believe Fusion will use too so I only have to install Vista once and yet be able to use it as a dual boot system or with Fusion to share OSes.

It was good to meet you Jason and have a happy holiday season.  I believe he’s driving back to Kentucky right now so safe travels.

5 Responses to “Coffee break- time to switch to VMWare Fusion?”

  1. Jason Johnson

    It was good to meet you as well and I definitely enjoyed getting a chance to check out your gear. I am already trying to convince my wife I need a Nokia N800. As a side note we made it back home around midnight last night after getting a late start at 8am. Thanks for the safe travel thoughts.

  2. This pretty much confirms what I had found, VMWare Fusion is the way to go. Warner, Marc had told me the same thing so I’m feeling pretty good about this. I am reinstalling Leopard now, the cool part is after rebooting it offered me the ability to migrate my entire system from the Time Machine backup which is happening now. I expect the system to come back up pretty much like I had it before the install. Gotta love Jobs.

    I will download and install Fusion after the restore is complete which is going pretty darn fast over the Firewire drive I use. Only about 45 minutes for 32 GB of data. :)

  3. James, go with fusion. I’ve tested both and you will not regret. As you look like loving to connect many devices together, you’ll enjoy how fusion manages USB devices.

    Stv from sunny Italy

  4. I’m using VMWare’s Fusion on my iMac and it works very well. Tried out both Parallel’s and Fusion and decided on Fusion for a number of reasons. One is that it will use Boot Camp, it will use that as your virtual machine. Works well.

    Guess who gave me this advice? Our late, good friend, Marc Orchant.