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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Windows - virtual definition


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Celeste

 
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While doing research regarding Parallels and Fusion, the word "virtualization" is everywhere. Could someone please define for me (a novice), how this word is intended?

Frustration over booting and rebooting is annoying and I just want it all to work seamlessly...in other words, I want my cake and eat it, too.

Thanks
Celeste
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
While doing research regarding Parallels and Fusion, the word "virtualization" is everywhere. Could someone please define for me (a novice), how this word is intended?
Virtualization is a technology, whereby a software program like VMWare Fusion or Parallels creates a "virtual machine" in software. This virtual machine is like having a PC running in software on top of your existing host operating system. It's completely self-contained, so that it has its own virtual hard disk, memory and processor, completely abstracted from the host.

Quote:
Frustration over booting and rebooting is annoying and I just want it all to work seamlessly...in other words, I want my cake and eat it, too.

Thanks
Celeste
That's exactly what both of these products do. The only caveat is that a virtual machine does not have direct access to your hardware (like your video card), so for things that require 3D acceleration (like games), virtualization is not the best way to go.

For more information, please see the guide I put together here.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Celeste

 
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Thank you for the prompt post. Your definition was clear and concise.

I guess my concern is that if it is "virtual", are the files saved and safe - complete with edits, corrections---on the partition of my hard drive where the software (pc or mac) is loaded? Or, are the files, too, virtual? I guess I am thinking of this word in a different context and need to refresh my vocabulary.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
Thank you for the prompt post. Your definition was clear and concise.

I guess my concern is that if it is "virtual", are the files saved and safe - complete with edits, corrections---on the partition of my hard drive where the software (pc or mac) is loaded? Or, are the files, too, virtual? I guess I am thinking of this word in a different context and need to refresh my vocabulary.
When you create a virtual machine in Fusion or Parallels, a file is created that acts as a virtual hard drive. When the VM is running, that file is "connected" to the VM and it behaves as though it were a physical hard drive attached to the machine. All of your files will be stored on that virtual hard disk as though they were stored on a real hard disk and are just as safe as they would be on a real, physical hard disk.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Celeste

 
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Thank you for the link to the guide. I admit, I read it all, twice, and it seems to be one of those situations that when I am actually doing it, I will then understand it.

I am also assuming that I can access the files that are stored on the VM from either Mac of the PC side of my Mac's partition. And, I can copy these or move these to an external hard drive, CD, or flash drive with ease. (?)

You have been most helpful and patient. Thank you.
Celeste
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
Thank you for the link to the guide. I admit, I read it all, twice, and it seems to be one of those situations that when I am actually doing it, I will then understand it.
It's pretty simple for those of us that have cut our teeth on computers a long time ago. Back in the day, if you owned a Macintosh, your only choice for running Windows software was a program called an "emulator". An emulator would essentially make your computer pretend to be a different kind of computer so that you could run Windows software on it. These emulators were slow and tedious to use - a far cry from modern virtualization products. But the concepts were born in that implementation. Nowadays, modern virtualization works in a similar fashion, but since Macs use Intel processors and x86 architecture, there's no need for any of that "pretending".

You're absolutely correct - it will all make sense when you start building your own VM. And both of these products do a great job of stepping you through the process. Unfortunately, as with many abstract concepts, it's hard to put a good, understandable definition into words.

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I am also assuming that I can access the files that are stored on the VM from either Mac of the PC side of my Mac's partition. And, I can copy these or move these to an external hard drive, CD, or flash drive with ease. (?)
Absolutely. While the VM is running, both Parallels and Fusion have facilities for transferring files back and forth between the virtual and host OSes. In fact, you can drag and drop files from your Mac desktop to your Windows desktop transparently.

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You have been most helpful and patient. Thank you.
Celeste
No problem, that's what we're here for.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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