Mac meets Windows

Parallels report

Thanks for writing the article about running Windows on a Mac (“4 Ways to Windows,” May 2007 ). I have one question: I’m about to buy a new Mac mini. I’d really like to purchase Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with it. But in your article, you said Parallels’ Bluetooth support was poor. Should I just use Boot Camp instead?— David Pulphus

They should work fine. You might have trouble with Bluetooth devices that don’t have native OS X support, but that clearly isn’t the case with Apple keyboards and mice. For instance, a Bluetooth GPS with Windows drivers probably won’t work in Parallels (it should work fine in Boot Camp, though). I use a wireless keyboard and mouse all the time in Parallels and VMWare Fusion with no problem.—Rob Griffiths

Rob Griffiths’ article gave me just the info I needed to order a MacBook Pro with Parallels. But I was confused by one thing. Griffiths states about Parallels, “You can also run Windows XP from a Boot Camp partition—meaning that you need only one copy of Windows XP.” But in “Which Windows?” Christopher Breen writes, “Microsoft demands that each installation have its own license. So if you wish to install it in both Boot Camp and a virtualization application, you’ll need two Windows licenses.” Does this mean that Parallels can access the OS in the Boot Camp partition without problems?— Thom Duncan

In “Which Windows,” Christopher was talking about Microsoft’s licensing for Vista, which is quite complex. But if you’re running XP with Boot Camp and Parallels, you need only the one license.—Rob Griffiths

I have been lured to the Dark Side. Instead of replacing my aging G4 with a new Intel-based Macintosh, I have purchased a Dell PC. My main reasons: I need to run some OS 9 programs (especially PageMaker); and if I have to buy a Windows version (because OS 9 won’t run on those new Intel Macs), I may as well run it on a Windows PC. Also, with every update, OS X has become more bloated with new features that I don’t use and that often get in the way.— Steven Rudolph

Your attempt to promote Microsoft Vista and related Microsoft software was laughable. Anyone who has ever run Microsoft programs will quickly tell you that they are the most bug-ridden, glitch-filled, unproductive programs on the planet. Anyone who would buy a Mac and then load it with such terrible software should have his or her head examined. You can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end you’ll still have a pig.— Tom Kirkman

The not-so-ultimate office

No UPS solution for “The Ultimate Home Office” ( May 2007 )? Christopher Breen must think either that home power generators are common, or that it is no big deal to save your work every few minutes.— Scott Bunnell

While I’m a firm believer in having a robust UPS (or two or three), my main goal in that story was to come up with lists of equipment necessary to get your work done right now. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice vital computers or software in order to make room for a UPS, which, while I rely on them, not everyone absolutely requires. Fortunately, the budgets I used in that story are arbitrary, and readers who require a UPS certainly should invest in one.—Christopher Breen

I work for Apple as a product specialist. I was reading “The Ultimate Home Office” in your May 2007 issue and ran across something you should be aware of. In “The Luxury Office” you wrote, “Finally, when you’re carrying around—and possibly dropping—a laptop, Apple’s three-year extended warranty can give you some piece of mind… . ” Apple’s AppleCare Protection Plan does not cover any sort of accidental damage.— Joey Kelly

Absolutely correct. Regardless, AppleCare remains a good investment for a computer that is likely to get jostled during normal use.—Scholle Sawyer McFarland

In “The Ultimate Home Office,” Christopher Breen claims that “Hav-ing Apple install RAM was once prohibitively expensive, but now the company’s prices are competitive.” He then says that Apple’s RAM prices are cheaper than those of Crucial. Really? I just bought a new 15-inch 2.16GHz MacBook Pro. Apple offered to increase the RAM from the standard 1GB to 2GB for $175. Instead, I purchased another 1GB stick of RAM from Crucial’s Web site for $67.— Domenico Bettinelli

When I wrote that feature, Apple’s prices were indeed lower than Crucial’s. So the common wisdom—that RAM always costs more from Apple than from other vendors—isn’t as common as it once was. But RAM prices are volatile, so it’s worth shopping around.—Christopher Breen

Rough landings

Regarding your review of the new AirPort Extreme Base Station: why did you give it a rating of   ? The fact that it has no Gigabit Ethernet ports should have knocked off a full mouse. Other problems include the absence of an option for excluding 802.11b devices, and the way my AirPort Extreme crashes whenever I’m doing a long download; I have to reset it physically just to get back on to administer it. To me, those flaws add up to another full mouse off. Not everything Apple makes is awesome.— Alex Papayannis

Way-back machines

I like your article on what to do with old Macs (“New Life for Old Macs,” April 2007 ), but could you get a little older in your thinking? A Mac that can run OS X 10.4 is not an old Mac. Can you do an article on, say, a Quadra 660AV stuck at OS 8?— Mike Riess

The important ports

In your May 2007 issue, you have a very informative article about how to set up a secure VNC session through an SSH tunnel ( Geek Factor ). It’s mostly correct, except on one point: you say that if you have a NAT router, you need to use port forwarding on port 5900 and on port 22 for SSH. But if you’re using SSH tunneling, you need to forward only one port—the SSH port 22. To the remote server, it will look like connections are local. Setting up port forwarding for 5900 makes the remote VNC server accessible directly, which isn’t really a good idea.— Paul Linden

You are correct. Thanks for the clarification.—Rob Griffiths

The mighty fall

I had to laugh when I read your May hard-drive review ( One Drive Fits All ). You said, “[SATA is] here to stay, and we’ll be using it for years to come.” Just like SCSI, Zip, Jazz, and a long list of other old technologies. As soon as another faster storage system emerges, SATA will be as relevant as SCSI.— Bob Collins

Welcome to my shop

Many thanks to Jonathan Seff for his easy-to-follow guide to converting video for the iPod and TV ( Playlist, May 2007 ). As a huge animation buff, I’ve been dying to rip my DVDs of the “Looney Tunes Golden Collection” to my Mac but was unsure of the best way to do it. Now I can watch Bugs Bunny give Elmer Fudd the haircut of a lifetime in “Rabbit of Seville” wherever I go.— Roger Hagy, Jr.

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