VMWare Fusion and MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0 === Big Fail!

December 18th, 2012 2 Comments »

I don’t think it’s too much to ask for Apple to provide to huge companies like VMWare with popular programs such as VMWare fusion a little heads up when they release a core graphics driver.  Last week, I downloaded a small update for my MacBook titled “MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0”

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After installing, my vmware fusion kept crashing.  Sadly, the backup gods were not my friend and after a series of failed time machine restore and a wasted 8 hours I finally got most of my data back.

The issue is still out there in a big way.  Apparently everyone still knows about it and nothing is being done!

“This Issue Is Under Investigation”

Very Aggravating.  I hope my mac does not auto update this one.

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http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2040249

MacBook’s and Docking Station

November 15th, 2012 No Comments »

I recently had a dust up on twitter regarding docking station with some of my Windows buddies.  They point out that our MacBooks do not support a docking station and you have to plug in “all those cables”.  For me, I plug in power and two monitor cables.  Seems to me not like a big deal.  I understand that the reason for not offering a doc is mostly around the weight and size requirements to beef up the bottom of the notebook.

What does everyone else think?  Dock?  No Dock?  Who cares, if Apple does not provide it then we don’t need one?

Keyboard Shortcuts for MacBook in VMWare Fusion (single select, etc.)

September 24th, 2012 No Comments »

Here are some short cuts I just learned:

    • Select one row:   Control-Option-Click  (same as control-click on PC)
    • Delete Text:  function-delete (acts like windows delete, instead of backspace)
    • Move to End of line: function-right arrow
    • Move to Start of line: function-left arrow
    • Ctrl-Shift-Eject: Blanks the screen without sleeping macbook

Thanks to my secret friend Paul (who also uses a MAC) for the tips

Surprisingly Disappointing Experience with Apple Care

August 30th, 2012 No Comments »

So, I have to say that almost all my Apple interactions have been good (until yesterday).  About 2 months ago, I bought the most expensive laptop I’ve ever purchased.  A Retina fully loaded.  Over $4000 and not only that, I plunked down another few hundred for Apple Care.

So, I’d heard that there was a new version of OSX (Mountain Lion) coming out that was designed to better support the Retina display that I have.  My computer works and I’ve been on some pretty busy projects so I did not want to update until things calmed own a little.  Well, now is the time.

So, I look on the “update” menu and it’s not there.  I call Apple Care and they tell me that had I updated last week it would have been free but now I have to pay and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about that.  Sorry they say.

WOW!

So, on my eval for the call I said this:

“Pigs Get Fed, Hogs Get Slaudered.  Which one are you Apple?”

Just Sayin…

Macbook Retina Verses V.Previous Macbook

July 29th, 2012 4 Comments »

About a month ago, I spent the big bucks and bought the new Retina.  Biggest one available minus .1 Ghz (2.6Ghz verses 2.7Ghz).  Well, all I can say is

WOW!

I don’t even want to think about how much money I spent and have not yet purchased the $300 extended warranty (which I probably should do).  I partitioned it with 500GB for my windows 8 bootcamp partition and 250 or so for OSX.  I still have two monitors I usually work on and since Windows 8 will not drive the second thunderbolt monitor when booting from bootcamp, I find myself 95% of the time running VMWare fusion accessing the bootcamp partition.  Also, the blue tooth drivers for the external keyboard and mac don’t seem to work when booting from the windows partition directly.

So, here are some random observations

  • Running Windows 8 On Retina Native Display is awesome
  • On Retina Display with Windows 8 I use 150% font size an it works well
  • Keyboard and Mouse don’t work with Windows 8 Native but do with VMWare
  • It is amazingly not gravity challenged
  • It’s nice having two thunderbolt ports
  • When backing up to super fast external drive, thunderbolt external monitor does not slow down like on my previous Macbook
  • Bluetooth keyboard and Bluetooth track pad go through batteries about once a month (random thought, but annoys me)
  • VMWare is very sold running windows 8 on Retina
  • I have not had one OS crash!!!
  • I have no regrets (and no left over money either)
  • Battery Life is about the same as my previous 17” macbook  (last one made)

Macbook Pro Retina Windows Experience Index

July 4th, 2012 No Comments »

 

This is for a new MacBook Retina, 768GB Hard Drive, 16GB Ram, 2.6Ghz running Windows 8 Native on the bootcamp partition

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Tale of Woe Trying to get New Windows 8 RC working with VMWare Fusion

June 2nd, 2012 No Comments »

Hot off the presses, the new windows 8 RC has arrived and I immediately want to move to it (the early adopter that I am).

Problems Problems Problems

First, I would like to acknowledge that it does basically work. I loaded successfully SqlServer 2008 R2, new new Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, Quickbooks 2010 and a bunch of other software with no issues (Snagit does not work yet sadly so it’s snippit again).

Where it failed me was in multi-monitor support.  The previous Windows 8 consumer preview worked great with multiple monitors.  I’ve got two displayport monitors running off the Thunderbolt port and previously (with the February release of Windows 8 consumer) when I ran windows in Vmware Fusion 4.1.2 I would get two screens of windows.  Now, I only get one.  Previously, I could swipe left and right and switch between two screens of MAC and two screens of OSX.  Now, swipe does not do anything.

Hopefully a solution will come, but for me, it’s back to the February release.

Managing Sound Is Just So Easy on a MAC!

April 26th, 2012 No Comments »

I’m use to struggling with sound drivers, custom sound players, funky USB devices, built in speakers and other strange things.  With Windows it can be very frustrating just to get sound to work.  Years ago, I bought a little USB device from creative called an XMOD.  It stopped working with my Windows computer but I did not throw it away.

Well, now, with My MacBook Pro, I’ve got the Thunderbolt

27” thunderbolt monitor that has a full range of IO devices hanging off of it, and turns out in it also.  Without even mentioning it’s built in camera that just works with Skype, it also has pretty nice speakers. 

So, I plugged the USB creative XMOD device into a USB port in the back of my monitor, that goes to my nice high end stereo and all I had to do make it work was go to preference, sound and I get this menu:

 

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Then, all I had to do is switch between the devices and immediately the sounds transfers from the build in speakers on my MacBook Pro, to the speakers on my Thunderbolt Monitor and finally, right to my external Stereo. No config, nothing. It just works, and every time!

Where Did My Menu Go?

April 25th, 2012 No Comments »

 

When I first got my MacBook Pro, the first thing that confused me was the location of the menu.  In windows, since Windows 95 a long time ago, pretty much every application puts it’s menu on the top of the frame the program runs in.  That is while you are running the program, you get to your menu by looking at the top of the frame the program is running in.  Below is a screen shot of what I mean by that with arrows pointing to those menus (in Windows 8, which happens to be running in VMWare’s Fusion on my MacBook Pro).

 

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On the Mac (OSX 11.7 Lion), there is only one menu bar and it is at the top of which ever screen you want it to be (it does not move unless you go into preferences / display / Arrangement and from there you can drag and drop the little white sliver to which ever screen you would like it on (see screen shot below).  In my case, I have my 27” thunderbolt monitor, my second HDMI 24” monitor running off the displayport converted, then the laptop monitor.  Since I sit in front of the Thunderbolt monitor, that is the one that I put my menu on.

 

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So, in other words, below is a screen shot showing my Mac screen. Because the program Microsoft Word is in focus, that menu is showing and the other menu’s are hidden. You can see that from the screen shot that follows.

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Observations

 

Personally, I like the Windows model better. Even though it takes more space on the screen, I find it annoying that I have to move my mouse all the way to the top of my screen when I want to do something on the menu.  That is, I could be far away in an app (even on a distant monitor) and then have to send my mouse on what feels like a long journey to get the menu.

Adding a Second Drive to a MacBook Pro 15 or 17 (Late 2011 Models)

April 11th, 2012 No Comments »

I’ve become totally addicted to Solid State Drives over the past year or so and would not go back to rotating media unless it was a life or death emergency.  It is pretty costly though so having just one SSD in your computer big enough for all your data is pretty much out of the question.  Last I checked, the biggest ones were about 500GB and that would barely be enough for me (and probably not enough). 

So, that means 2 drives in my MacBook Pro.  Luckily, there is a way to replace the built in DVD drive on both the MacBook Pro 15 and 17 with a second hard drive.  In my case, I bought the OCZ 240GB SSD and I have a 750GB 7200RPM drive also.

Question 1 – Which drive goes where?

An apple genius (yes, that is what we call them) told me that the DVD drive connector does not support the auto stop on big g-force spin down so it is best to put the rotating media there.  He also said that the DVD drive does not support power management which means the rotating media does not shut off when it is not needed.  Therefore, put the the SSD in the DVD slot and put the rotating media where the original drive was.  I suppose that should have worked, but my SSD is 6GB/sec (SATA 3) and it refused to work in the DVD slot.  Oh well.

Question 2 – How hard is it?

Well, it’s not trivial.  There are bunches of 14 year olds that have recorded videos showing you all the steps.  Let me just say, there are many many tiny little screws that are easy to drop and some wiring you have to move very carefully and still risk breaking.  I did it, but did not enjoy it.

Question 3 – Does it void my warranty?

Yes, but the Apple genius told me that normally Apple does not enforce that (and even gave me a screw that I lost in the process.

Question 4 – How do I do it?

Go to the internet, search for “MacBook Pro second hard drive catty” and you will find tons of information and videos.

Question 5 – How much does it cost?

About $50 to $100 for the drive catty to replace your DVD and about 2 hours of your time.