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Old 06-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #1
spinner
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Virtual Machines

Hi All!


I have recently decided to go back to school and get some computer training. I will be taking some web design classes eventually but I am starting off with HTML classes. The classes are set up for Windows.

Which brings me to my issue:

I have a iMac, but it has been recommended that I get a virtual machine program so that I can do web design on the Windows platform. So my question is: does anyone have an opinion on Virtual Machines or a recommendation of one? My instructor has recommended Parallels Virtual Machine. Has anyone ever used one of these programs?

Any comment will be appreciated

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Old 06-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #2
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Is there some reason you don't trust your instructor's recommendation? Or are you just trying to understand the options?
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:02 PM   #3
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I have an XP install via VMWare. Works fine, no problems. I needed it when I was at school for the networking, but in terms of HTML - I don't see why you need to be on a certain platform, OS or software. I've coded HTML in Dreamweaver on PC, Notepad on PC, TextEdit on Mac, Coda on Mac... Are HTML classes really software specific?
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:04 AM   #4
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Parallels works like a champ... or you could use "bootcamp" to have a separate piece of your hard drive dedicated just to windows... and your Apple would become a windows machine.

What software are they having you run that is windows only for doing web dev? Sounds suspect to me... tell him you insist on using VI (Vee Eye) or EMACS (you'll have to pick one and be really defensive about your choice to make it convincing -- unix geeks are really into their text editor of choice...I'm firmly in the VI camp personally) and FTP (for transferring the files to the server) in the terminal... and that your target audience uses braille devices, so you're going to be using the LYNX browser (it's text only) to verify your pages will be compliant according to the Americans with Disabilities Act... not sure if it applies, but it'll sound good

You can then install MAMP (free version) to act as your server that will allow you access to all the cool stuff without having to geek it out in the pre installed APACHE server that ships with every Mac out there.

I personally actually use BareBones software's "Text Wrangler" (free) to develop with and FTP in the terminal for file transfer.. and MAMP as a server stack... and Lynx to test accessibility... real world. I develop web apps using PHP and SQL as HTML5 compliant pages using CSS for the layout. On a mac, with no issues.

It has built in CVS (Code Versioning System -- in this case, SVN) and if you need a stronger IDE (Integrated Development Environment), Eclipse is a free and very good platform independent JAVA based option.

But to quell what will be staunch determination on the part of the instructor (I flat out refused and found other options due to the risks associated with running windows vs. mac OS !!!!AT THAT TIME -- windows was comparatively very insecure, great strides taken by MS, kudos to them!!!!), here's the link to info about bootcamp from Apple (free): http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/

It will allow you to choose whether you're a Mac or a PC at restart.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movingon View Post
Is there some reason you don't trust your instructor's recommendation? Or are you just trying to understand the options?
I do trust my instructor's recommendation, that isn't a problem.

What is a problem is that I have NO MONEY. (c'mon! I'm a filmmaker. You think I have any money??? )

The Parallels version, as per my instructor, is the one I would like to purchase. PURCHASE being the issue. I can find it on eBay for 1/2 price, which is pretty good, but I would have to borrow the money for it. I am trying not to do that.

Here is an additional part to the story:
I can get the Microsoft version of a virtual machine for free. HOWEVER, my research of the Microsoft version doesn't really give it good reviews. I try to research things before I spend my scarce money on them. Especially if it pertains to computer programs. This is the article I read:

http://lifehacker.com/5714966/five-b...e-applications

Getting the MS version for free would be great, but I know that I will need to be able to use it for things outside my classes. So I don't want to get a subpar program and have problems with it after my re-education. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and borrow the money....


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Old 06-09-2012, 09:50 AM   #6
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Bootcamp is free, you still have to buy a copy of windows... he's not giving you free options, he's asking you to spend more money no matter what -- but it's an education cost, so should be tax deductible... and covered by your loans etc, check to see if the school has cheaper copies of windows for you... but read through the bootcamp stuff first.

If you have him generate a list of the software that requires windows, I'll give you alternatives that are Mac friendly... then use firefox as a platform target and it'll be the same on every platformj that runs firefox. The web dev world is built around build the site once, then alter it to work in Internet Exporer... completely non-standard, completely full of cheats and work arounds:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interne..._box_model_bug

Screw how it's supposed to be done according to the specs, we have our own way of looking at it that will require developers to go insane first, then drink a lot of absinth before coding.

As a web developer who has had to hit a broad target audience, I hate MS for making my life hell for the past decade and a half! They can suck dirty toe socks -- rainbow ones!
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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Bootcamp is free, you still have to buy a copy of windows... he's not giving you free options, he's asking you to spend more money no matter what -- but it's an education cost, so should be tax deductible... and covered by your loans etc, check to see if the school has cheaper copies of windows for you... but read through the bootcamp stuff first.

If you have him generate a list of the software that requires windows, I'll give you alternatives that are Mac friendly... then use firefox as a platform target and it'll be the same on every platformj that runs firefox. The web dev world is built around build the site once, then alter it to work in Internet Exporer... completely non-standard, completely full of cheats and work arounds:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interne..._box_model_bug

Screw how it's supposed to be done according to the specs, we have our own way of looking at it that will require developers to go insane first, then drink a lot of absinth before coding.

As a web developer who has had to hit a broad target audience, I hate MS for making my life hell for the past decade and a half! They can suck dirty toe socks -- rainbow ones!
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jax_rox View Post
I have an XP install via VMWare. Works fine, no problems. I needed it when I was at school for the networking, but in terms of HTML - I don't see why you need to be on a certain platform, OS or software. I've coded HTML in Dreamweaver on PC, Notepad on PC, TextEdit on Mac, Coda on Mac... Are HTML classes really software specific?
Well, I really don't know.....

These are my FIRST computer classes. I am just figuring out HTML and XHTML. (not much to figure for the difference) But since I am a beginner, I don't know what I can or can't do.

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Old 06-09-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
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List of software he'll be using ... I've danced this dance with professors before... most of the time, they had no idea they were dancing, I just used my own computer, because he's asking you to drop an extra few hundred dollars for a single class.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:58 AM   #10
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My instructor is a good guy.

I plan to go and sit down with him and talk about classes and possible employment avenues for when I am done with school. He isn't expecting me to go and spend alot of money on the college. Parallels was his suggestion to my "is all this stuff going to work on my iMac" question. He knows that I know Final Cut Pro and was suggesting that I NOT try to get a new computer, but to buy the virtual machine instead.

And the free option is the Microsoft version. He told me about that as well.

And remember, I have NO computer background, so I just barely know what it is I should be asking him. These are the first computer classes that I have ever had. The good news is that so far, I have strong 4.0's in both my programming and HTML classes. The programming class is to get me to think like a programmer, so I haven't gotten into the actual classes for anything specific.

I can't do the "screw how it's supposed to be done!" and "stick it to the man" stuff just yet. I don't know how to do anything yet!

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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AND.....

My instructor has suggested to the class, that we all get an MSDNAA account, which I hope to have up and running next week. Already talked to the guy who sets them up for my college. Yay! New software!!


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Old 06-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #12
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The software to run windows is free, the copy of windows is not.

Boot camp is the Apple supported, non-warrantee violating one that you should go with if pursuing this avenue (not an emulator, a boot loader -- your computer will be an intel based PC running windows, not a piece of software that allows windows applications to run within the Mac environment).

If you go with the dual boot option, I HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you use bootcamp. Apple makes the hardware and the software that makes that piece happen, so they're going to be able to trouble shoot if something goes wrong. Every experience I've had with MS tech support on an Apple product has been horrendous (a decade professionally of having to deal with tons of software vendors -- they were the worst offenders, barely knew their own products in some cases).

I have no doubts that your instructor is a good guy, but there's a lot of misinformation about the Apple world in computing circles, and a stigma to using them. All of the software you need has native mac or linux apps that you can run without having to install anything special.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightly View Post
What software are they having you run that is windows only for doing web dev? Sounds suspect to me... tell him you insist on using VI (Vee Eye) or EMACS (you'll have to pick one and be really defensive about your choice to make it convincing -- unix geeks are really into their text editor of choice...I'm firmly in the VI camp personally)
HERETIC!!!!


(note: this opinion is easily reversed by sharing your absinthe. I'm almost out)

And while software does help make higher end web dev easier, if it's a basic HTML class, then it should be platform independent. That's the whole point of HTML. I'm a firm believer in starting with the basics!
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:52 PM   #14
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.....hmm.....Soooo.... instead of getting the Parallels Virtual Machine, you are suggesting that I get Parallels "Run Windows On Your Mac".

Will I be able to run Adobe Creative Suite with this program?




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Old 06-09-2012, 02:28 PM   #15
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I'm all for not spending money you don't need to... Parallels is a great piece of software, but is it necessary for a single class? Bootcamp is free. This ( http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/virtual...-free-sort-of/ ) is free. There are other options than just the paid ones.

Now to get a copy of windows... Bootcamp will support Vista for sure and windows 7 on most intel based macs with 10.6 and 10.7 (snow leopard and lion).

The software from the app store "Mac Tracker" will tell you the specific model of computer you have within the Macbook Pro line to see if yours is one of the few exclusions for windows 7 (much better than Vista IMHO -- see guys, I keep up on windows stuff).

You'll have to repurchase the adobe creative suite if you intend to run it in the Windows side of things, although, I don't know why you wouldn't run that on the mac side of things. Is he teaching you a Windows class, or a web development class?

I'm perfectly willing for you to give him my number as well if he would like some advice on analogous software for him non-windows students (I would imagine the Linux folks would be even more offended by the suggestion to use windows -- talk to one of them to see if you can have a windows install disk, since most of their machines shipped with a license that they are consciously choosing not to use).

Pedigree: I've been a web developer since 1991 and owned and operated one of the first few web development firms in MN. I've been on the macintosh platform all that time as that was the standard for graphic design (and still has a strong foothold in that realm). I lived through the browser wars and had to develop or every browser on the market including IE, Netscape, WebTV and the original AOL Browser concurrently on every site I did. I earned my stripes!
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