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Fusion Faces: David Delmonte Reaches for the Stars with VMware Fusion

David Delmonte is a retired World Bank staff member who lives in Washington DC and has a serious passion for the stars.  So much so, that in 2006, he was selected by NASA as a "Solar System Ambassador" and in that capacity does speaking tours teaching people young and old about the space program and the stars. And as part of this gig, David has become a serious star watcher, with his own professional-grade Meade telescope.

David’s Challenge

Like a lot of specialized equipment, David’s telescope requires updating via software that only runs on Windows.  Specifically, the Meade Autostar Updater, which uploads the latest positions of stars, planet, galaxies, and so forth to David’s telescope, can only run on Windows.  This is a challenge that a lot of specialized devices face, from GPS receivers, to cell phones, and more.

David has a MacBook Pro that he loves, so updating his telescope was proving a challenge to him.  Previously, he had used Virtual PC 7 on an older PowerBook to try to run the update software, but he found using the PowerPC-based emulation of Virtual PC was just about impossible to use for his purposes. 

As David puts it, "I could only connect through a com port at a low bit rate, and often, after a couple of hours of uploading telescope firmware and data, the link would break, and I’d have to start over.  It was very frustrating."

The solution, heaven sent.

David decided to try VMware Fusion to run Windows on his Mac and run his Meade Autostar Updating software.  As he puts it, "It worked.  Not only did it work, but I could use a bluetooth USB adapter and got much faster data transfer rates." 

With VMware Fusion on his MacBook Pro, David can now update his telescope whenever he wants.  "Meade provides a set of guided tours that change as the sky changes.  Now with VMware Fusion I can upload these tours as often as I like.  I love not having to pray each time I try to update my telescope, and I love showing off to my Windows friends that I can run Windows XP faster than they can on native machines.  Unity view blows them away!"

And on more earthly topics, David also happens to manage his son’s business taxes using  TurboTax for Business, which only runs on Windows.  "It’s a breeze," says David. "Using TurboTax with VMware Fusion, that is.  Not the taxes. They’re no breeze at all!"

What would David say to someone in his previous situation?

"VMware Fusion isn’t expensive, the support is great, and there is an active user community on the VMware Fusion forums that help out a lot.  I would recommend this to anyone."

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