Well Thanksgiving is here, we have had a interesting month. Our Grandson Brayton joined the Marine Corp ( following in his great grandfather's Myrl Dean Thomas and his uncle Gordon Glenn Thomas Jr. footsteps) we saw him sworn in and hung out with him at the Airport Until his flight left to take him to Boot Camp. That was fun for Adam. Mom add Me. We are still raking of leaves on our property, and we got our first snow. This week has been interesting, Adam's friend Kent asked if I could fix his MBP 13's keyboard (replace it with a new one he purchased), I said yes, so I carefully took his machine apart and replaced that keyboard, the battery won't hold a charge. and the new keyboard would not type the q,w,e,r,t,y,u,i,o nor did the left hand side tab button work, the DVD drive did not work either. I did not check the MBP before I swapped the keyboard. So I swapped out the machine from one I got off EBay. I moved the hard drive over to the newer machine and got Kent back up and working, upgraded him to high Sierra MacOs upgraded his Ofice for Mac to version 2019. I only asked him to pay for the replacement battery. Then the next day 2 of my Mac's went on the fritz one of my MBA 13's display won't light up, and my MBP 17 won't boot up. The MBP 17 system board/ GPU seems to be bad, so I pulled that and sent it off for repair. Found a MBP 17 on EBay that I bought that has a bad battery so I replaced that and hooked up the DVD drive cable and got it up and humming quite well.. The MBA could be a bad system board as well off to search for a newer one..
Ok most people folks know I am a Mac user ( we have 2 Macbook Air, 2 Macbook's 3 MacBook Pro's, 2 Mac Mini's). That said I have the need to have access to windows (for testing web sites I create in Rapidweaver, and some genealogy applications). So what is the best way to run windows on a MAC? well I have tried them all so here is my take:
1. Bootcamp, allows a use to setup a seperate disk partition on you MAC (intel based only). This work well execept you must reboot you MAC to get to windows to run.
2. Parallels application (uses the virtual machine method) is a good product (I have been using Parallels since release 5 current release is version 13.x) it allows you to launch windows with in OS X. The current release is version 13 it supports Windows up to Win 10. The product support is good. Cost of the product is about 80.00 with release upgrades for 50.00 (49.99). Why are upgrades needed ? As Mac OS X is upgraded so also must Parallels. Other costs? Yep you must purchase a fully licensed copy of windows to install as a virtual machine. Parallels has better performance in OS X. It works best on Mac's with lots of ram and disk space. Win 8.1 runs very well in Parallels 9! Windows 10 works very well on the Parallels 12 and 13.
3. Fusion (VMWare product) application ( uses the virtual machine method) is a good product as well ( I have been a beta tester for a couple of releases) it also allows you to launch windows applications within OS X. The current release supports Win 7 with Windows 8 in testing. The technical support at times is lacking since VMWare first released Fusion. in the latest release that supports High Sierra has been performing pretty well . That said it is now stable. Cost of the product is about 80.00 with release upgrades for 50.00 (49.99), why are upgrades needed? As Mac OS X is upgraded (new releases) so also must Fusion. Other costs? Yes you must also purchase a fully licensed copy of the windows operating system to install as a machine. Fusion performance on MAC OS X is good (at best lots of crashes have been reported). The more ram and hard disk space you have on your mac the better.
4. Virtual Box (Sun Micro/Oracle) is an open source application (zero cost) that also uses the virtual machine method. Virtual box runs well on MAC OS X an allows for windows application to be launched from within Mac OS X. it supposrts Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, 8.1, 10), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD. Virtual Box also requires a licensed copy of the guest operating system to be installed. Support is better than Fusion and requires about the same amount of ram and hard disk space as Parallels and Fusion.
5. Crossover application is unique it actually installs it's own version of windows that has been optimized for MAC OS X (it also is only supports Win 95, Win XP, Windows 7, Vista, Server 2000, Server 2003). It uses what Code Weavers calls the bottle method (from the Wine origins). Applications are install via one of two methods via Cross tie application from with in Crossover (Codeweavers have lots of applications ported to run already) or via the standard exe file or cd rom method of installation. Pre configured applications (bottles) install all of the required windows apps and services as part of the installation process. Costs flexible from 39.99 with 1 month of support (no telephone support email only) to 59.99 12 months of email support with one free phone support incident. Performance is great! New version is release 13.70 it has been running great.
I have tested each one of these applications on several different Mac's in many different configurations. Good luck and I hope this helps out.
Crossover has been updated to 17.x and runs much better on 2009 and later Intel Mac's (including MacBook Air products). So if you have to run windows apps give CrossOver a try.
UPDATE: I have purchased Airmail from the mac app store. So far Airmail supports IMAP, Exchange, POP3, email accounts (Google, mac.com, me.com, icloud.com, yahoo.com, as well as my website email). The App is $1.99 in the apple app store. So far it has preformed very well over all. I love the interface or UI!. I believe Airmail is just as good or better than the built in Mail.app! It is very easy to use.
UPDATE: Exchange support is here, POP3 is here (current release 1.38) update via the App Store!
NOWYOU CAN GET AIRMAIL 2.0 for $9.99 at the app store ( I don't think the app isworth more than $2.99 )
I love my MacBook Air but I run a lot of apps, music, movies, etc. I am running out of space on my 512 GB SSD. so what I am to do? well I started to look at upgrading my ssd drive (ok my MBA is a 2012 model, so its drive look like oversized memory stick). So I started at OWC to see if I could find a 960GB SSD nope they did not have one. Next Amazon (I am a prime member), they had JetDrive 520 kit, 960GB on sale for 599.00 (down from 699.00) made by Transcend. Still a little to expensive, but they one in Amazon Warehouse Deals for another 50 dollars off. So I bought it. The kit includes:
It was so easy to clone my existing SSD to the new one with my old favorite app Carbon Copy Cloner, it took just under an hour to do. The kit even can with the required screwdrivers to remove the bottom cover and remove the existing SSD. Quick swap out of the SSD's put the bottom plate back in place. Boot up my MBA and wow I have a screaming new machine with almost double the storage place! I have repartitioned into 3 drives, 1 running Mavericks (479 GB), 1 for all of my virtual machines (379 GB) 1 for Beta testing OS's (100 GB) currently Yosemite.
You might have seen a company on Facebook or on the web called Connected Data offering a product call a Transporter or Transporter Sync. The products allow you to setup your own private cloud service, Great idea right goodbye dropbox, iCloud, one drive, copy, etc. so I purchased a sync ( it allows you provide your own usb hard drive for storage). It takes an hour or two setup and get working, To access your drive you will need a helper app ( they have the app for MAC OS and Windows) they also have apps for iOS and Android mobile devices. As well as a free account on contacted data site so you can claim your transporter device, The transporter works as advertised wight he following warnings IT DOES NOT SUPPORT SSD DRIVES, or DRIVE OVER 4 TB, you MUST PLUG IT INTO a !Gig ETHERNET port. the USB port is on 2.0 yet the recommend that you use a USB 3.0 drive. Copying of files is REALLY SLOW on both wired and wireless ethernet connections. It reformats your usb drive and wipes out all of your data. If you need to upgrade your external hard disk you must copy all of the data off of your existing transporter drive to another disk. Replace the existing drive with a new drive wait for it to reformat the new drive.. Then you can copy your old files to the new drive, and as I have stated that is a SLOW PROCESS!. Another oddity is that it does not like long file names (I found this on PDF files I use for work) I opened a ticket with support on this one to find out sorry it does not do that. File sharing is kind of different too, you have to create an email request to add people to the file or folder, in turn they have to sign up for a free account to gain access to what you are sharing. You can add other Transporter into your private cloud, they will replicate data to and from each other.
It is a cool device but it will chew up your bandwidth since it passes data over your internet connection.
I have to give the Transporter 2 out of 5 stars for now.
They just released an update to the helper apps. I will test them and see what is fixed. UPDATE: The new helper apps seem to be a bit faster in loading, updating the Transporter and Transporter Sync folders. So that is good. Now 2.5 out of 5 stars for now.
Ok I have not posted in a while but I have some more time. Okay I have a few iOS apps to talk about:
Flixster is a nice app for streaming content (UltraViolet) to your iOS or MAC device. It does have some draw backs, it can't support Apple TV devices directly, the flixster service can be painfully slow since it must be streamed over wifi (unless you have a large cell data plan, and the app warns you as well). the app does support AirPlay but not in full screen mode (this is how you can send your ultraviolet content to Apple TV or a big screen TV). Video will not stream automatically without turning on mirroring to the device (and yes Apple hides this in option iOS). The support from Flixster is less than good.
VUDU Player is another media streaming app for iOS and MAC (ultraviolet content) I like the user interface much better than Flixster. It also can't interface with Apple TV since UltraViolet and apple can't seem to work out terms. It also supports AirPlay and AirPlay Mirroring (same issues as Flixster). the support from VUDU is much better overall. If you are purchasing DVD's/BluRay with digital copies most are moving to UltraViolet instead of iTunes so you will have issues with your iOS devices. Since I travel a ton I like to have a couple of video's loaded for long plane flights. FYI GoGo (wifi in the sky most us air carriers) does not support video streaming while in flight..
oh yes both apps will allow you to download your content to your iOS device ahead of time. Most movies start at about 1.2 gig and go up from there. Flixster does not support HD format either.