boot camp vs. parallels — conclusion

25 Apr

I haven’t booted into the Windows partition in over two weeks. The Parallels Beta4 is simply amazing. It now supports full-screen mode at least up to 1280×1024 (as much as I can handle on my secondary Dell LCD). I’ve been able to do everything I needed to (run web applications on the client network in IE, connect to others via NetMeeting, use the client’s Jabber network, etc) without any issues.

The irony: my largest “switchâ€? experiment failure is related to the OS X side of life. I have to do my graphics heavy lifting in Windows.

What? You have to switch to Windows for your most intense graphics work? Isn’t that why you got a Mac to begin with? Better graphics, right? What in the world can’t you do with 256MB of graphics power?

There are still no universal binary nor native x86 (if there is such a thing yet) solutions for editing PNG files. When I use Fireworks on the OS X side (via Rosetta emulation) it chokes on large files. By large, I mean a large canvas. One sign I was working on was only a 500KB PNG file, but it was 5400×3600 pixels (36×24 inches at 150 ppi) large. Fireworks beachballed when opening, and it crashed during printing or trying to print preview. This evening I plan on installing Fireworks in the Parallels VM to see if it handles large files better.

I’m dismayed that Adobe (Macromedia) is not going to release neither binary universals nor native apps until their next regularly scheduled versions. I hope Adobe doesn’t abandon Fireworks, as I have always preferred it to using both Photoshop and Illustrator. It does the best of both worlds (vector and bitmap manipulation) without the bloat of features I don’t need. If anyone reading this has a recommendation for a nice PNG editor (besides Gimp in X11) please share them in the comments for this post.

So for my needs, Parallels works great. It allows me to perform a few Windows-only tasks on my Apple OS X machine without rebooting into Windows. I’m convinced now that I’ll delete the 20GB Windows partition, and maybe reinstall it with 5GB or 6GB just incase I need it in a pinch. It’s a cool party trick to boot into Windows completely. Well, at geek parties anyways.


Posted by on April 25, 2006 in fribble


8 Responses to boot camp vs. parallels — conclusion

  1. James Coaqts

    April 27, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    I hate to hear Fireworks doesn’t perform well. I use it almost daily and am wanting a Macbook Pro. I have seen the awful peformance stats of PS, but haven’t been able to find benchmarks for running Firworks in Rosetta. I’ve googled, posted at MM and the closest I’ve found was your post:), which is helpful.

    Rock on

    James (in Lufkin, about 3 hours from you:)

  2. Mark

    April 27, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    No problem, James. If I knew what application/method to use for benchmarking, I would glady run it for you. Let me know if you know how.

  3. Lisbet

    May 20, 2006 at 6:10 am

    Found your website looking for news on running Fireworks thru Parallels. Did you end up installing Fireworks VM? If so, was it able to deal with larger files? I’m considering switching, but would not like to give up Fireworks. 🙂 Thanks for your help!

  4. Mark

    May 20, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    I am using Fireworks MX 2004 on Windows XP SP2 inside a Parallels VM. It works great. It handles the larger files without any difficulty at all. I still find it odd that I have to do my graphics in Windows. : )

    There are two other Universal Binary apps that I have downloaded but yet tried as Mac OS X Fireworks replacements. Both are free or inexpensive, and both are supposed to support PNGs. The first is WouldjaDraw and the other is inkscape. Let me know if you try either of these and find them a suitable replacement.

  5. Lisbet

    May 21, 2006 at 5:15 am

    Thanks for the reply! Will let you know if I try WouldjaDraw or inkscape.

  6. Mark

    May 23, 2006 at 11:50 pm

    Here’s an update, Lisbet … neither WouldjaDraw nor inkscape are ulitmate Fireworks killers. Neither open PNGs natively. 🙁 Also, only WouldjaDraw can export to PNG.

    Guess we’re all waiting to see if Adobe will port the next version of Fireworks (will there be a next version?) to Univeral Binary.

  7. Web designer in Exeter, UK

    June 12, 2006 at 4:50 am

    I really can’t see another version of Fireworks being developed. Fireworks was Adobe Photoshops biggest competition for web graphics. hopefully they will incorporate fireworks features into Photoshop… Or create a new web optimised version of Photoshop.

  8. Mark

    June 13, 2006 at 9:28 am

    That’s the popular take on the Photoshop/Fireworks issue my friend from the UK. I can only hope someone in Adobe thinks there is still a market for a hybrid vector/bitmap/web-optimized too like Fireworks in the future. Currently Photoshop is not that product. It has many more photo manipulation tools than I need, and none of the vector manipulation I require. I would be interested in a “web optimized” version. Maybe that’s the path they’ll take.


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