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Monthly Archives: June 2008

Java ME & J2ME Development on the Mac with VMware Fusion

Untitled-1copy-10 DefaultColorPhone Around the time of WWDC, we talked a little bit about how we were looking forward to meeting all the new developers at WWDC who were going to be looking at development on the iPhone SDK. 

Particularly, mobile developers who already develop on the Java ME (formerly J2ME), Symbian, and Windows Mobile platforms, because, for the most part, those platforms have development environments that are mainly Windows-only or Windows-centric.

And as we all know, the iPhone SDK requires a Mac, and a copy of Xcode to develop on.

What’s a cross platform developer to do?

Well, a Dutch mobile developer named Poorna had an interesting post on ways to do Java ME development on the Mac, and he’s concluded that running a Windows virtual machine on VMware Fusion is the best way to make it happen:

As of this date (June 25, 2008) the only practical solution for Java ME development on Mac OS X seems to be installing Netbeans 6.1 on an alternate operating system (Windows * or Linux) running over VMware Fusion.

Glad to see that VMware Fusion is so useful for mobile developers who choose to run a Mac!

You can see the rest of his post here.

Netflix Online on the Mac: View on Demand Streaming with VMware Fusion

netflix[7] I’ve recently been introduced to the wonder that is Netflix, and have been having a great time playing around with my queue, and so forth thinking about what movie I want to watch next, and so on.

But the other day, I went to check out Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” product, which lets Netflix customers watch videos on demand, right from their computer.

I was browsing around in Firefox 3 on my Mac at the time, and as such, ran into the oft talked about issue that Netflix online doesn’t support  Mac browsers. 

Luckily, I happen to know a thing or two about running Windows on the Mac with VMware Fusion, so I just popped into my Windows XP demo VM, and proceeded to go through the installation process to see what all our users out there in VMware Fusion land would have to do in order to watch Netflix on their Mac. 

Turns out, in about five minutes, after doing some updates to Windows Media Player, and rebooting my VM, I was on my way.

And I just happened to be running screen capturing software the whole time, so I could cut it into the demo you see here.

So, it appears Netflix can run on a Mac, after all, and without rebooting even! Enjoy!

Holy Cute Overload: Switch from Boot Camp to Fusion And You’ll Be This Cute

I think the VMware Fusion team has found an aspiring intern.

Todd Wheeler asked very, very nicely, and got his son Myles to be the family spokesperson about switching from Boot Camp to VMware Fusion.

Why does Myles think that VMware Fusion is a better way to run Windows than Boot Camp alone?  Because you don’t have to reboot and because you can share clipboards between the Mac and the Windows environment.

What Myles didn’t mention is that you can run VMware Fusion right on top of your Boot Camp partition, and then reboot into it if you want to do something like high end 3D gaming, or have Windows access an external Firewire device.

And Myles also didn’t get into the benefits of running a “pure” virtual machine, rather than on top of Boot Camp, like being able to instantly suspend and resume your VM, and snapshot and rollback changes if something breaks.

Regardless, he’s got an open offer if the VMware Fusion team ever needs a mascot. Myles, you rock.

VMware Fusion or Parallels: What do the users have to say?

With more and more people switching to the Mac, people are going to wonder what the best way is for them to bring their favorite Windows apps, peripherals, and more along with them as they switch.

The Mac publications and pundits have given there take on which is superior.

And of course we have a strong opinion about the best way to run Windows on Mac, of course, but then again, of course we’d say that, right?

Don’t Take Our Word For It…

But that’s why we sponsored the “My Switch to VMware Fusion” video contest, to let our every day users share their take on why they switched to VMware Fusion.

In this case, these are the six or so best videos out of the 50+ submissions we received talking about switching from Parallels Desktop for Mac to VMware Fusion.

I think it’s instructive to see what our users decide to talk about in their minute-long clips.

Most ended up focusing on the ease of use, the stability, and the power of VMware Fusion—this is what 10+ years of leading virtualization technology combined with an obsessive Mac fanatical development team gets you.

We’ll be posting more up in the future, but I have to say, I’m pretty impressed by how articulate (and funny!) our users are! 

These users make the case for switching from Parallels to VMware Fusion better than we ever could.

Replacing those blurry icons!

When we have the chance, we like to post tips and tricks to help you get more out of your VMware Fusion.

Today, we’re discussing an issue, where when using VMware Fusion to run Windows on Mac, in Unity mode, the icons for Windows applications show up blurry. A helpful anonymous user already posted a solution for this on macosxhints.com, but we wanted to highlight it here and provide a bit more background. 

Explanation: Why are those icons blurry?

The issue is the following. In Unity mode, the icons for Windows applications show up blurry on the dock and in the application switcher (when you command-tab). Let’s take a look at some images so you know what we’re talking about:

Screen shot of the application switcher (Command-Tab) with fuzzy Windows application icons.

Here is a close-up of the application switcher.   

Close up of the application switcher (Command-Tab) with fuzzy icons. 

Do you notice how the Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer icons are less sharp than the Finder and Firefox icons?

The reason for this is fairly simple. Icons are just small images and the icons for Windows are generally smaller (typically 32 pixels by 32 pixels) than ones for Mac OS (128 x 128). As a result, Windows icons need to be scaled up to a larger size when viewed in Mac OS X. Here’s a quick demonstration:

Comparison of Microsoft Word icons at original size (32x32) and scaled up to Mac OS X icon size (128x128)

The Solution

The workaround for this issue is fairly simple: replace the old small icons with larger ones.

One small hitch to this is that it’s fairly difficult to obtain larger versions of the same exact icons. However, fortunately there are a number of free alternative icons on the web, some of which look arguably even better than the originals. Below we use a few icons made by Benjigarner and TpdkDesign.net, available on iconarchive.com.

Step 1. Find new replacement icons

First you will need to find replacement icons. As we mentioned above, there are a number of well-designed and free icons on the web. Just do a Google search for "free icons" and you’ll be sure to stumble upon icon-focused websites. A number of designers on these websites design icon sets so that the icons for multiple applications will have the same look and feel.

When looking for replacement icons, you will want to download versions that are at least 128×128.

Step 2. Find the Windows applications in your Virtual Machine

These will be located inside the .vmwarevm file of the relevant virtual machine. Typically, the .vmwarevm file is located in: ~/Documents/Virtual Machines. For those with a Bootcamp partition, you can find the .vmwarevm file in: ~/Library/Application Support/VMWare Fusion/Virtual Machines/Boot Camp/Boot Camp partition.vmwarevm.   

Ctrl-click (right-click) this file and select "Show Package Contents." Go to the Applications folder and you should see a list of Windows applications.

Select the application which icon you would like to replace and choose Get Info (Command-i or File » Get Info). The window that pops up should have an icon in the top left; this is the icon that you will replace.

Step 3. Replace the Icon!

Leaving the "Get Info" window up, open up your replacement icon in Preview. Go to Edit » Copy to copy the image to the clipboard. Go to the "Get Info" window and click once on the top left icon. (You will see a subtle shadow around it indicating that it has been selected.) Finally, press Command-V to paste the image.

Copy the new icon image. Click on the old icon in Get Info window and hit Command-V to paste. 

The "Get Info" window should update to show the new icon.

Get Info window with the new icon.

Step 4. Repeat steps 1 – 3

Repeat steps 1-3 for each application you would like to change. If you change your mind and would like to revert to the old icons, just go to Get Info again, select the icon and press Delete.

Step 5. Enjoy your new icons

When you are done, you should now be able to interact with a new sharp set of icons.

Screen shot of the application switcher (Command-Tab) after replacing the icons.

Close up of the application switcher (Command-Tab) after replacing the icons.

PS. We would love to hear about the icon packages and icon websites that you like.  Feel free to post in the comments.


Everyone Welcome the VMware Fusion Team Interns

The VMware Fusion team is lucky to have not one, but two fine interns this summer, helping us with all things Windows on Mac.

FILE0070 Jon Chu comes to us from University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, but previously was an engineer at Avid Technology.  He’s serving as a product management intern, looking at what future versions of Fusion should look like.



FILE0069Sandy Lin (that’s Sady’s personal blog) also flew across the country to join us in sunny Palo Alto from MIT Sloan School of Management.  She too was an engineer in a former life, but has moved on to being more product marketing focused.






Both have hit the ground running in a big way. Remember the great video accompanying our virtual leopard server announcement?  That was one of their first projects.

So welcome to Sandy Lin and Jon Chu—interns extraordinaire!

VMware Fusion in BestTechie.net’s “Top 5 Mac Applications”

Jeff over at BestTechie has a cool video blog post up about their favorite Top 5 application for Mac users, both power users and regular joes.

They did some polling in their forums and live chat area to get the list together, and sure enough, VMware Fusion made the list as their favorite way to run Windows on Mac.  Thanks guys!

Check out the video below, which floats some other cool applications that you might want to put on your Mac.

“My Switch to VMware Fusion” Video Contest: The Results Are Out!

A couple months ago we challenged Fusion Fans to flex their creativity by making a video telling their story of switching to VMware Fusion for Windows on Mac – whether from Boot Camp or from other competing products in the market.

Since then we’ve received no fewer than 50 entries from our awesome users – users who told the tale how switching to VMware Fusion had improved their Mac experiences by making Windows on the Mac finally “just work.”

First off, we want to thank all of you who submitted to the contest. Not only were the videos fun to watch, but they also made us feel proud to be a part of the VMware Fusion team.

A Winner Has Emerged: Cara Jean Means, the Super-Mom

Our internal judging panel has decided on a winner! Congratulations to Cara Jean Means, full-time mother and part-time student from Utah, on winning our grand prize – a new MacBook Air! (Not too shabby, eh?)

Cara loves to use the slick media applications on her Mac to organize family photos, but she also needs to run Internet Explorer to access her school’s web apps, along with other Windows-only apps.

Instead of using Boot Camp to switch between her Mac and Windows OS, Cara uses VMware Fusion for a seamless user experience.

Wait! There’s More.

We’re not done giving away prizes yet. There were so many great videos that we decided to give away two runner-up prizes.

Congratulations to Griffin Hammond and Joshua Lindsey, our first and second runner-ups! Each of them will be receiving a new iPod Touch.

A while ago, we’ve blogged about Griffin Hammond’s switch to VMware Fusion to run Adobe Audition on his Mac.


Joshua Lindsey from Kentucky uses VMware Fusion for work at school and play at home. (Microsoft Works and Doom on the Mac, anyone?)

Watch All the Videos: Why Everyone’s Switching to Fusion

There are many other great videos showing the why other Mac users have switched to VMware Fusion. Watch them here.

By the way, every contestant will be getting an awesome VMware Fusion t-shirt, a “My MAC <3 VMware” bumper sticker, and, as a bonus, an iPod speaker docking station.

Thanks for all your support!

Virtual Leopard Server, Uncaged: Virtualized Mac OS X Leopard Server on VMware Fusion 2.0

As many of you may recall, at Macworld in January, we gave you a preview of Mac OS X Leopard Server installing and running as a virtual machine on Mac OS X.

Well, in honor of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, currently in full-swing in San Francisco, the VMware Fusion team is excited to announce that Mac OS X Leopard Server will be our 61st supported virtualized operating system, and will be available in VMware Fusion 2.0’s next beta (get the current beta here).

By way of background, all of this is a result of changes Mac OS X Leopard Server’s license agreement, which now allows users to run multiple copies of Mac OS X Server on a single Apple computer.

Virtual Leopard Server is a huge leap forward for Mac server administrators, developers, and more, and we’re truly excited to bring this to the Mac community, in VMware Fusion 2.0, which will be a free upgrade for all VMware Fusion 1.x customers.

And as has lately become our tradition, we’ve put together a short highlight video to get you started, along with more details below.

Big Cats and Big Iron: Mac Server Administrator’s Delight

Do your Mac Pros or Xserves ache to run flat out?

VMware Fusion 2.0 will let you to run as many copies of Mac OS X Server on your powerful Mac hardware as you have RAM to support them.  Or mix it up with multiple server operating systems running together, like Windows Server 2003, Linux and Mac OS X servers, simultaneously on one machine.  

VMware Fusion brings the full power of the VMware’s proven, reliable virtualization technology to Mac OS X Server virtualization with big iron features like dual-core virtual machines, support for 64-bit operating systems, and large memory support—up to 8 gigs per VM.

Mac Development Made Easier…Virtually!

Mac developers will now be able to enjoy what Windows and Linux engineers have had since VMware Workstation shipped in 1998: the flexibility and agility of multiple virtual machines to develop on and test against.

Virtual Mac OS X Leopard Server on VMware Fusion 2.0 kicks Mac software testing and bug fixing into overdrive. Instead of fussing with configurations and settings of an operating system and hardware to reproduce a QA tester’s system, just copy the tester’s virtual machine and reliably and quickly repro the bug, write a fix, roll back to a snapshot, and test again.

And let’s not forget all the cross-platform developers out there. VMware Fusion 2.0 will be the ultimate Mac developer tool for cross-platform and mobile development. Developers can run Xcode and Visual Studio on the same machine, compile, and then test the software in multiple virtual operating systems, whether Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X Server and Linux, running as virtual machines. The same goes for iPhone SDK developers running their J2ME, Symbian, and Windows Mobile development tools!

Let the Cat Out of the Cage: Beta Participation!

VMware Fusion 2.0’s support for Mac OS X Leopard Server will enable hard core Mac technology gurus—from Xserve farmers to Cocoa junkies—to do more with their powerful Mac hardware.

Stay tuned to this blog, or follow our Twitter stream to grab the next beta, complete with virtual Leopard Server support, when it hits the streets.

And in the mean time, come grab VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 1, already chock full of great features!

Mark Madsen Switched from Parallels to VMware Fusion for OS Options


Pete_s VMware Dell-2Mark Madsen is an agile software consultant–he shows software developers how to get things done faster and better, always with an eye on improvement.

Mark had previously been using Parallels to run Windows on his Mac, but he wasn’t happy with how long operating system installations took.  He wants to run Windows on his Mac to get things done; not to babysit Windows.

And because Mark has to use lots of different types of operating systems in his work, it’s even better if he can get a pre-made virtual machine–a “virtual appliance“–with the application and OS already built it, rather than having to spend time to build a new virtual machine, and install the operating system and applications from scratch.  Again, he really couldn’t get this with Parallels.

Pete_s VMware Dell-3So Mark’s switched to VMware Fusion, and is loving VMware Fusion’s “Easy Install”  feature that performs an unattended install of Windows–no babysitting required.

And Mark’s a big fan of VMware’s Virtual Appliance Marketplace, where he can go and download a pre-built virtual machine of whatever operating system he wants, with applications already installed.

Check out his video above, and his blog post on his switch.