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Must have Windows apps for Macbook user.
August 25, 2007 11:12 AM   Subscribe

I just installed Parallels on my Macbook for a 15 day trial. Before I decide to shell out at the end of the trial period, can anyone suggest any "must have" windows apps (must have as in there is no os x comparator) that make it worthwhile?
posted by modernnomad to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Peggle
posted by coevals at 11:19 AM on August 25, 2007


the only reason I have windows on my mac is to do work - ms access and data cubes in excel that excel mac can't do. I'll use internet explorer for outlook web access and sharepoint sites. If my work got more mac friendly I'd never use it.

In my private life only my blood glucose monitor software needs windows. But I can track that manually on a spreadsheet in mac os x.

If you don't have a work related need for it, windows is hard to justify. Even if I got a job at a 100% mac place, I'd keep the tiny xp install "just in case" something comes along later .
posted by birdherder at 11:41 AM on August 25, 2007


I'm always disappointed that Irfanview hasn't been ported to OS X. It's a graphic viewing program that is lightweight, opens every format, and has great quick edit/ crop/ resize functions. Every OS X graphics program feels bloated / underpowered / or is missing some function that Irfanview has.

Also, truecrypt hasn't yet been ported to OS X. Although this offers the same functionality of encypted DMGs, DMGs can't be opened on XP machines, which makes quick-n-easy security in cross platform environments difficult.

These might not meet your needs and might not work under parallels. (I haven't tried)
posted by sharkfu at 11:41 AM on August 25, 2007


Why Parallel when you can WINE?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2007


AutoCAD
posted by mr_roboto at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2007


blue_beetle writes "Why Parallel when you can WINE?"

Because parallels provides a virtual machine running natively on the processor; everything that runs in Windows will run in Parallels. Wine provides a compatibility layer, which is a lot trickier: the developers have to be able to reproduce every little bug and quirk in the Windows API in order to guarantee a piece of software will work. It's also very beta, especially in its OS X incarnation.

VirtualBox might be an option, however. It works very nicely in Ubuntu, but I haven't tried it on OS X yet, since I've been satisfied with Parallels.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:10 PM on August 25, 2007


2nd AutoCAD, but that's more a boot camp dealie than a parallels dealie. Play with FLStudio demo. Try some games, too. Since you're in a testing mood, see if you like VMWare for mac instead of parallels.
posted by knowles at 12:25 PM on August 25, 2007


VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client is a Windows-only application (and I have no idea why -- when EMC bought VMware they seemed to turn into a Windows shop for some reason). 90% of the time, when I start Windows at all it's to use this application. Like most major business applications, you'd already know if you needed it.

As far as everyday tools and applications? I can't think of anything so good that it would compel me to run it through a VM unless I were making money with it. My Windows VM exists for legacy application purposes, not for selecting best-of-breed tools -- of which few have Windows-only incarnations.
posted by majick at 12:33 PM on August 25, 2007


As an aside, try out VMWare Fusion on Mac before you choose whether or not to stick with Parallels. VMWare is generally faster (in my experience, and in a few reviews I've read) and VMWare has a whole ecosystem of image files ready to download and install out there (it'll run the same images as the PC version). It's also about the same price as Parallels.
posted by wackybrit at 3:44 PM on August 25, 2007


I guess it kind of depends on what you do. I run Parallels for Microsoft Project, Visual Studio, and Enterprise Manager for SQL Server. Work stuff that has no good Mac equivalent.
posted by rglasmann at 4:11 PM on August 25, 2007


I would say that if you're asking here because you don't know of one, you don't have a reason to buy it right this moment.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:54 PM on August 25, 2007


Internet Explorer. Sad, but true. The sole reason I installed Parallels was to access some on-line workshops that only work in IE (and IE6, at that).

sharkfu: tried Xee? Not perfect, but the closest OS X equivalent I've found to Irfanview.
posted by Pinback at 5:15 PM on August 25, 2007


I would second VMWare Fusion, it has been more responsive and less cycle hogging than Parallels on my MacBook.
As far as apps go, Office is the big killer. Office 2004 for Mac kills spreadsheets and word docs regularly and can wreck formatting. It should be better when Office 2008 finally gets released, but for know, a virtualized MS version is the best bet.
posted by arruns at 5:40 PM on August 25, 2007


Dwarf Fortress.
posted by jtron at 5:51 PM on August 25, 2007


This may not apply to you, but installing Parallels totally borked a friend's install of Leopard...as in, he lost everything on the hard drive.

(He went back to Tiger after because he loves Parallels)
posted by good for you! at 6:21 PM on August 25, 2007


Winamp!
posted by rachelpapers at 8:45 PM on August 25, 2007


Microsoft office.
The Mac version simple sucks.
And Mellel does not support tables too well.
posted by ye#ara at 11:42 AM on August 26, 2007


Oh, the other good reason for VMWare is that it does dual core (for the guest OS).
posted by wackybrit at 4:34 PM on August 26, 2007


Microsoft Office 2007, especially OneNote, , the aforementioned Internet Explorer, the excellent free image editor Paint.net and the Windows Start Menu and Taskbar are all exceptional Windows apps with no Mac equivalent. Office, in particular, is head and shoulders above anything on the Mac, including iWork, with the possible exception of Keynote vs. PowerPoint 2007.

Firefox on Windows runs much faster too -- this may be only a result of the Flash plugin being so much better-written for Windows, but I find Firefox under Vista under Parallels to be as fast or faster than Firefox/Mac. I would guess the mentions above that VMware Fusion is superior are probably correct, as well.
posted by anildash at 8:57 PM on August 26, 2007


Why shell out for $70 software if you don't have a particular need for it? Like many of the others above, I bought Parallels because I had to have it to run PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and SQL Management Studio for work. If you don't have a particular need, don't shell out for it now. If in the future you find that you have an app that you must run within Windows, then buy Parallels.
posted by junesix at 9:33 PM on August 26, 2007


* Launchy is like QuickSilver, but much less advanced. It has one feature though that is really better than on QuickSilver: an easy built-in calculator
* Programmer's Notepad is an excellent text editor for..programmers. Site is down right now.
* TortoiseSVN is a really neat Explorer-integrated tool for accessing SVN repositories
* Something i really miss under Mac OS X that *is* available under Windows: good English - Dutch dictionaries
* Winamp!
posted by husky at 4:10 AM on August 27, 2007


This may not apply to you, but installing Parallels totally borked a friend's install of Leopard...as in, he lost everything on the hard drive.

I don't see how that would apply to the poster of this thread. He was using an alpha or beta of an operating system, and had a problem? Colour me shocked.

How did your friend lose "everything"? Was he using a Leopard seed on a production machine? If so, that wasn't very bright. He doesn't sound like a developer who would have seed access, either, because we tend to know not to do stuff like that. Apple even warns us about it. I'm not saying your friend pirated the OS seed and paid the price, but it totally sounds like it. ;-)
posted by Mikey-San at 7:55 AM on August 27, 2007


* Launchy is like QuickSilver, but much less advanced. It has one feature though that is really better than on QuickSilver: an easy built-in calculator

That's not a reason to use Windows on a Mac, since we already have QuickSilver, and the OP is still going to be using Mac OS X primarily. Reread the question:
can anyone suggest any "must have" windows apps (must have as in there is no os x comparator) that make it worthwhile?
* Programmer's Notepad is an excellent text editor for..programmers. Site is down right now.

We have BBEdit, Coda, Xcode, every variant of vi/vim/emacs/etc on the planet, and a slew of other editors, both commercial and free.

* TortoiseSVN is a really neat Explorer-integrated tool for accessing SVN repositories

We have multiple SVN/Subversion clients, as well. Xcode also integrates directly into SVN.

* Something i really miss under Mac OS X that *is* available under Windows: good English - Dutch dictionaries

I don't know much about this area, so, well, I dunno. :-)

* Winamp!

Okay, now I know your post was satire.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:03 AM on August 27, 2007


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