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Running Windows on Your Mac 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The book, "Running Windows on your Mac," is a perfect resource for these people, especially those who like or need significant hand holding, in setting up their Macintosh machines to run multiple operating systems. The author, Dwight Silverman, is an experienced technical writer who clearly explains how to install and run Windows on the Macintosh. He also provides a primer in Part 1 of the book for Windows users on how to run Mac OS X; Part 2 is a primer on running Windows for Mac users. Although a variety of flavors of Microsoft's Windows can run on the Mac, the author focuses nearly exclusively on Windows Vista with a nod or two to Windows XP.
Mr. Silverman writes casually and assumes the reader is an average computer user who is willing to upgrade his or her computer skills but would like some patient guidance. Geeks and power users will be disappointed in the presentation and the book is unlikely to be of much use to them. But for many Mac users wanting to run Windows, and especially for the many PC switchers, "Running Windows" maybe all that is needed to get up and running with two operating systems.
The book is a fairly typical Peachpit Press product - simply and clearly written and laden with illustrations, screenshots, charts, and sidebar Notes, Tips, and Warnings making the presentation easy to follow. In this case, there are step-by-step instructions (supported by screenshots) of how to install and configure the three "helper" programs which allow the Mac to run Windows. The Apple-supplied Boot Camp application allows one to boot into either Mac or Windows systems but not both at the same time. The other two are virtualization programs, Parallels and VMware, which run the two operating systems simultaneously. There are nice comparison charts showing the positives and negatives of each approach.
The sections dealing with the Mac OS are more complete than those dealing with Windows. There is a section on how to configure the OS X System Preferences and an overview of the included Mac applications like the iLife suite of music, photo, iChat, calendar, etc, as well as utilities for backup, searching, and networking. For Windows, there are sections on the filesystem, desktop, security issues, and even how to install Windows drivers. There are comparisons of the Mac and Windows keyboard and mouse indicating the relatively minor but important differences.
Using any of the three helper applications is relatively easy but the guidance here can provide necessary confidence for some users. The primers on the Mac OS X and on Windows Vista are basic but enough to get unacquainted users up to speed quickly. For each of the approaches Silverman discusses some (not so very) advanced topics, helpful to non-geeks.
This is a modestly intended volume but one which satisfies its purpose well.
Dwight Silverman's book from Peachpit press ($35), which doesn't cover Virtual Box but does a great job showing you the tradeoffs and settings for the other three solutions. He goes into lots of details for new Mac 10.5 users, which is very helpful. He also does a better job about describing how to run Vista as the secondary OS.
Joe Kissell's Take Control book ($10 eBook download, paper $22), which includes the free open-source Virtual Box. He goes into more details about how to protect your Windows sessions from exploits (some of which are briefly mentioned in Dwight's book), and more details on the various Boot Camp options.
Both have step-by-step installation and lots of tweaking tips to get the most out of your mixed mode Mac. Some things that I learned include:
Fusion supports dual-core CPUs and has less load, making it more attractive for processing-intensive Windows apps
Neither Parallels or Fusion support Firewire connections, and not all USB ones either.
Parallels comes with a free install of Kaspersky Anti-virus and has a nifty P2V utility to make virtual copies of running Windows configurations
Boot Camp is better for Windows gamers, since it isn't running in a VM session
Both books are excellent resources, written by people who have experimented with the products and know what they are talking about, and filled with copious screen shots and practical advice.
Despite this, it was useful for an initial introduction to using the mac and windows. If you are like me, something to get you off the ground is useful, and the low price makes it a worthwhile purchase.