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Monthly Archives: February 2008

Upgrading your Tivo with a Mac, and VMware Fusion

TivoWing Wong over at the Winged Power Photography blog has a great, and delightfully detailed, post on how to upgrade your Tivo’s hard drive using a Mac and VMware Fusion.

Wing’s problem was one that a lot of Mac users are familiar with: a specialized peripheral (in this case, a Tivo DVR), that needs specialized software to update it (whether we’re talking about a Garmin GPS, Nokia cell phone, and so on), but which software doesn’t run on Mac OS X.

In this case, when removing a drive from your Tivo (Because 40 GB of Battlestar Galactica, Mythbusters, and Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, just isn’t enough!) in order to put a bigger one in there, to prep your new drive, and also to push your old content over onto the new drive, you need to run specific Linux-based tools from MFS Live .

In this case, VMware Fusion comes to the rescue, letting you run that Linux MFS Live ISO as a virtual machine, to prep your new, beefier drive, so you can spend even more time in front of the tube, catching up on email and your favorite shows (at least, that’s what I would do with a larger drive…YMMV ; ) 

Most people think of VMware Fusion at the best way to run Windows on a Mac, but as Wing shows us, there are lots of mainstream reasons why VMware Fusion’s ability to run Windows, Linux, and more than 60 other operating systems on the Mac, can be a total lifesaver.

Check out the full glory of Wing’s post here, and when you’ve got your own neat hack or VMware Fusion story, let us know, and we’ll make sure to blog it.  Hit us up at teamfusion AT vmware DOT com.

Demo Corner: AutoCAD on Mac with VMware Fusion

The last post led to a quick jaunt around YouTube looking for other demos that users had posted of Windows on Mac with VMware Fusion.  My little trip around the ‘Toob reminded me of this neat AutoCAD demo a user posted a while back.

AutoCAD is another key app like Dragon Naturally Speaking that our users lament not existing on the Mac, and for which they use VMware Fusion to help them run on their great Mac hardware.

Without any further ado, here are those demos of AutoCAD on Mac with VMware Fusion.  In the first demo, AutoCAD is running off a Boot Camp partition being managed by VMware Fusion.  The likely story is that the user was using Boot Camp to run AutoCAD by rebooting (yuck) before he got VMware Fusion.  Bet that was a big relief for him.

In the second demo (about 2:18 in), AutoCAD is running off a regular virtual machine (no physical partition required), which I bet the user really enjoys being able to do great things like suspend his virtual machine, and resume it in a snap, in addition to taking snapshots of his VM.

Either way, both demos are really neat.  Look for more like this in the future.

Demo Corner: Dragon Naturally Speaking on Mac with VMware Fusion

One of the applications that we hear about people needing to run on their Mac with VMware Fusion is Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software.

Sometimes people have misconceived notions about virtualization performance, typically based on experience with old-school software-based chip emulation of the sort that Virtual PC for Mac provided on the PowerPC platform.  These past experiences lead them to think that high performance applications like Naturally Speaking will have issues running under VMware Fusion, like they experienced with Virtual PC for Mac.

Well, VMware Fusion actually "virtualizes" the Intel processor on the Mac, allowing the Windows OS, and the applications running on that OS, near native access to the physical CPU. 

This is the big difference between "emulation" of the sort provided by Virtual PC for Mac, and the "virtualization" provided by VMware Fusion, and the performance difference is huge.

Some people mix them up in their thinking and it’s our job, and the job of our smart users to help clear the air, mostly so people realize that they can indeed have access to all the great Windows apps they want, right there on their Macs.

One VMware Fusion user in Italy is doing just that.  He’s posted this neat video of him using VMware Fusion to run Windows on a Mac so he can use Dragon Naturally Speaking to take dictation.  The speech recognition is even in Italian!  Very cool!

VMware Fusion: Cross Platform Developer’s Delight

Sol Young has a great post on using VMware Fusion on a Mac to provide the best of all worlds for cross-platform development.

In this case, Sol’s rig consists of a MacBook Pro with XCode installed, and VMware Fusion hosting both a primary development virtual machine with Visual Studio installed, and a handful of other Windows virtual machines (XP Home, XP Pro, Vista, etc. etc,) for doing regression testing of built apps.

Sol does a great job of doing a quick intro of how VMware Fusion can be used above and beyond just letting you run Windows on a Mac, but can even help turn your Mac into a serious development platform for Windows applications. 

Sounds funny to the ear at first, but Sol, and lots of other users are doing just that, using VMware Fusion to take full advantage of their great Mac hardware, while using the power of virtualization to do things like snapshot and rollback to allow a clean base state for testing.  Not to menion: finally getting Visual Studio for Mac!

Great post Sol!

Weekend Geek Out: BeOS, Haiku, and VMware Fusion

  This was posted earlier this week by Ars Technica,
Wired and
MacUser , but we
wanted to note it to our readers as well.

Most people think of VMware Fusion as being the best way to
run Windows on a Mac. But it’s important not to forget that VMware Fusion not only will let
you run Windows 3.1 all the way through Windows Vista, but also more than 60  x86 operating systems as well. And
that includes operating systems many people thought had already rode into the

Old school tech heads may remember BeOS, which many back in the day thought might ultimately replace Mac OS Classic
as Apple’s operating system of choice. Well, when Apple went with NeXTSTEP, many thought BeOS was doomed to the

Well, BeOS is making a comeback, in the form of the Haiku
, an open source version of the operating system.

And if you have an interest in playing around with the newest open source
version of what was once hailed as the successor to Mac OS Classic, you can
certainly do just that, using VMware Fusion to run a pre-built virtual
machine with Haiku already installed
(zip file).

The people at Haiku have even made it easy for you,
providing VMware-based virtual machines on their download page.

Go forth and geek out! 

And as a preview, here’s a neat demo that the Haiku team pushed onto YouTube:



Monday Morning Fun: Sinbad Loves Fusion

Update: Welcome Gizmodo readers!  If you have an Intel Mac, and want to take VMware Fusion for a spin, feel free to download a 30-day fully-featured trial here.

And if you’re already running Windows on your Mac with other solutions, we encourage you to still give us a try.  We’re running a $30 competitive upgrade rebate for Parallels and Virtual PC users.


In an attempt to chase away the Monday morning blahs, we thought we’d share a favorite moment of ours from our time at Macworld. 

The comedian Sinbad stopped by our booth, and when I struck up a conversation with him, I was surprised to find out that not only is he a total Mac-nut, he’s also a VMware Fusion user.

He started with Boot Camp, moved on to Parallels, and then switched to Fusion to help him run Windows on Mac.

Thank goodness I had my digital camera on my hip the whole week, because we got this great interview.  Enjoy!

…but we’re huge in Canada!

National_canadian_flagAll the cool interviews that took place at Macworld are slowly but surely making their way out of the woodwork.

NewMediaManitoba.tv had a chance to catch up with Pat, our fearless product manager, at Macworld, and talk a little bit about (that was pronounced "aboot" by the way) VMware Fusion and its features like Unity mode, Dual SMP, and how it helps users run Windows on Mac

Looking at this video’s fantastic editing , especially in light of my own somewhat pedestrian video production attempts, is really quite impressive. Kudos to NewMediaManitoba.tv for making such great video podcasts.

Check it out!

Fusion Movie Night: VMware Importer Demo Video

The Fusion team does its best to make Fusion, and everything that touches it, as user-friendly, and Mac-like as possible.  That means, in part, user interfaces and software that are self-explanatory, and "just work."

Of course, try as we might, documentation is always good to have.  And written documentation is great for going back to and poring over.  But, then again, video is great for making things really obvious in a hurry.

So, in the pursuit of making even documentation "just work" we’re going to be making it a habit to do screen casts of key features and utilities, going forward.  With a rocking backing soundtrack, of course.

Our first effort concerns VMware Importer, VMware’s free utility for importing Parallels and Virtual PC virtual machines to run with VMware Fusion.   We have release notes, of course.  But we also made a video to show just how easy importing a Parallels or Virtual PC virtual machine is. 

Just another step towards making Fusion the easiest way to run Windows on Mac.


VMware Fusion on GeekBriefTV with Cali Lewis

At Macworld, Cali Lewis from GeekBrief TV, one of our team’s favorite tech video blogs, caught up with the VMware Fusion Team to talk a little bit about Windows on Mac, Leopard Server virtualized on the Mac, and some other fun topics.

We’re featured about halfway in!

VMware Fusion: Origami Edition

Origami4Anyone who runs VMware Fusion has an appreciation for the creativity and technical excellence of our engineers.  But who knew that this extended even into the realm of the japanese art of paper folding?

Eric Tung, one of our engineers, not only figured out how to make an origami VMware Fusion logo, but like any good engineer should, he documented as well.

You can find the documentation here on our forums, in the "documents" section: http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-2529

And as a preview, here’s the really quite pretty step by step instructions image Eric made, and an example of a completed Fusion logo, in origami.

Eric, you rock.