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Category Archives: democorner

Demo Corner: Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D for Mac with VMware Fusion

Microsoft has been getting a lot of buzz about their three-dimensional Earth-visualization software, "Virtual Earth."

The software, which lets users "fly" around 3D maps of the Earth using a web browser, has one catch: right now, the technology is only accessible on Windows, in that it requires Microsoft XP Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Vista, supporting Microsoft’s 3D acceleration protocol, DirectX 9.

Sadly, for now, this leaves Mac OS X users out  in the cold.  Unless, of course, that user is running VMware Fusion to run Windows on Mac.

Stefan Geens, has a solution though. He figured he could run Windows on his Mac as a way to use Virtual Earth 3D.  He started out with one approach that was less than successful:

"I used to try new versions of the Parallels Desktop for Mac virtualization tool to see if they had added support for VE3D, but all I got for my efforts
were very hard crashes, not just of Windows but of the entire machine."

Yikes!  That doesn’t sound like any fun at all.

The good news, though, is that he didn’t give up.  He gave VMware Fusion a spin, and thanks to VMware Fusion’s superior 3D support, had success! 

As he puts it, "Sometime in the last few months, however, competitor VMware, came out
with an upadte of their virtualization tool for Mac, Fusion, that does support VE3D. Here’s a screenshot from this morning when giving it another go,"

And here’s the screenshot he provided  of VE3D in Internet Explorer running on Vista with VMware Fusion (I recognize that tool bar!):


Very cool!  And here’s a YouTube video of Virtual Earth in action.

If you’re running XP, Vista, or Server 2003 with VMware Fusion, give it a spin and tell us how it works!


Ask Dave Taylor Answers Questions About VMware Fusion


Tech support guru Dave Taylor over at "Ask Dave Taylor" has a great post up about running Vista in a virtual machine on VMware Fusion.

Apparently he’s had a lot of his audience asking him questions about VMware Fusion for running Windows on Mac, so he thought he’d do a post on Vista in a VM.

I love the screenshot he provided as proof of success.  Good old Solitaire:


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!