0 Parallels Compactor 1.0 beta

Last Friday we launched beta testing for Parallels Compactor 1.0. It automatically deletes temporary and unnecessary files in a virtual hard disk, and then compacts the virtual disk to size that optimizes virtual machine performance and real disk space. It helps virtual machine users to:

Effectively clean up disk space in virtual machine, resulting in better performance and faster disk access

Significantly reduce the size of virtual hard disks and effectively use the real hard disk resource.

More easily share smaller virtual disks. Compacted virtual disks can easily be burned to a CD or DVD, or quickly transferred over network.

Now, here’s the coolest thing…

It’s compatible with ANY Windows XP, 2003, or 2000 virtual machine or virtual server built with Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac, Windows or Linux, VMWare Workstation, VMWare GSX Server, VMWare Server, Microsoft Virtual PC, or Microsoft Virtual Server.

This means that even if you’re not a Parallels user (but honestly, why wouldn’t you be?), you can use Compactor to save space and improve VM performance.

If that hasn’t convinced you, perhaps our shiny new product package will:

Ready to get started? Get your free beta copy of Parallels Compactor 1.0 at the Compactor Download Center.

4 Back from vacation

I’m back at Parallels after spending a few days with my wife Jen, in Berkeley Springs, WV. Berkeley Springs is a cool artist town in the WV mountains that’s known for its natural springs. The place has been a long time vacation spot (George Washington was a big fan), and proved to be a great way to celebrate our first anniversary.

Pictures coming soon, and updates on what’s going on with Parallels coming tomorrow!

4 Coke Blak

This has absolutely nothing to do with virtualization, but it does relate to product marketing, so I thought I’d write about it.

I just had a Coke Blak. For those of you who don’t know what it is, its a new coffee-flavored Coke. Perhaps just reading about such an abomination makes you say “Dear God! Why would they DO such a thing? That sounds HORRIBLE!” My answer to you would be “I have no idea”, and “Man, is horrible an understatement.”

If you want to experience it for yourself, here’s my suggestion: save the 75 cents by simply taking a day old cup of coffee and pouring it into a bottle of Coke. Shake vigorously. Try not to gag when you take a swig.

As a marketing guy, the decsion to constantly create new Coke products baffles me. There’s a lot of wisdom in the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and the Coke guys don’t seem to understand that. Coca-cola classic is the best selling food product in the world…why mess with it? Dare I bring up the fiasco that was Coke II?

I’m going to brush my teeth and try not to have nightmares about Coke Blak. I’ll see you all in the morning.

6 Beta4 for Mac OS X is ready for download

Beta4 is here!

Thanks to the help of our thousands of beta testers, we hammered our many of the bugs found in betas 1, 2, and 3, and were able to include several important new features, including:

  • Support for full screen mode
  • Dual-monitor support
  • Improved real CD/DVD support
  • Improved, easier to use interface
  • Better sound support, including a fix for Windows 2000 guest OS
  • Networking kernel panics fixes
  • Bridged networking issues fixes
  • WiFi networking issues fixes
  • Fixes for some of the issues encountered when entering “Sleep” mode when a VM is running
  • Many other minor bug fixes

Dual monitor and full screen suppot are my favorite additions to Beta4. Now, you can drag a VM to a second display, hit full screen, and effectively have 2 “life size” computers running different OSes, but with one set of input devices. I do this all the time with Linux on my Windows XP machine and can’t wait to get to work with Windows and Mac OS X at the same time on two displays!

Just a heads up…there is one known issue with Beta4 that we’re already working on and I wanted to share with you: If you have a real CD or DVD connected to a VM, you may have problems ejecting the disk. Simply disconnect the CD from the VM, and you should be able to eject the disk as normal.

Ready to get started with the new version? Get it at the Parallels Download Center!

1 76,924

I mispoke on the forum when I said we had 50,000 beta testers…its actually more than 70,000!

Actually, its 76,924 to be exact. 🙂

Because of the support of our testers, we’re really moving fast on development/testing. Look for a new update soon!

3 Parallels in the New York Times

This morning Parallels was featured on the front page of the Business section of the New York Times. The article was written by David Pogue, the Times’ personal technology columnist and the author of several books on personal computing.

Either pick up a print copy (don’t forget to check out the awesome screenshot on page 10!), or read the article online:

7 PW for Mac OS X Beta3 is ready for download

With almost 50,000 beta testers behind us, we are making tremendous progress in beta testing. Because of the massive support and constructive feedback we’ve recieved, our development and QA teams were able to resolve a number of bugs and issues very quickly, and as a result, I’m proud to let you know that beta3 of Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac OS X available for download!

Get your copy now at at the Parallels for Mac OS X Download Center. If you’re a Beta1 or Beta2 user, Beta3 will install over your current copy of Workstation, and you won’t need to get a new key. Just download, install, and get back to work.

And, don’t forget that if you pre-order your copy now, you can save $10 off the $49.99 retail price! Pre-order your copy now for just $39.99 at the Parallels Online Store.

Beta3 offers the several fixes and improvements that bring us much closer to a complete product:

  • No need to reinstall Parallels Workstation if its moved from the default file location.
  • Mac OS X no longer restarts when Parallels Workstation is left running and host wakes up from “Sleep” mode
  • Kernel no longer panics when working with several VMs
  • Improved speed and performance
  • Idling guest OS now consumes only 1-2% of CPU power
  • Bridged networking issues fixed
  • Sound support introduced (I mean it this time!)
  • Improved wi-fi support, especially for MacBook Pro laptops
  • Improved mouse synchronization tool
  • Keyboard mapping and repeating bugs fixed
  • CD/DVD problems fixed
  • Many other minor bug fixes

There are a few known issues that are being resolved now:

  • Do NOT suspend your VM when sound is playing inside guest, as it may reset Mac OS X.
  • VMs are created with the Sound device pointing to the Null Device. Its important to point it to “Default Audio” manually to have sound enabled in a VM.
  • Sound may tremble at the beginning of playing
  • USB is not working yet, but will be very soon
  • Video output is still a bit slow
  • Image Tool is not available yet, but will be very soon.
5 6 is better than 0

I noticed today that my blog now has a Google PageRank of 6. This is substantially better than the last pagerank the blog had, which was 0. Having such a high PageRank is pretty cool because it means that 1) people are actually reading what I have to say and 2) the blog is now one of the top sites on the internet for information about virtualization. All in all, its a good thing.

What’s a PageRank? In short, its Google’s way of indicating how important a web page is. Learn all about it here.

8 PW 2.1 for Mac OS X Beta 2 available now

Thanks to the rabid support of our 30,000+ beta testers, we were able to make some serious improvements to the Beta very quickly. Beta 2 is available for download now, and includes:

  • Full audio support in guest VMs
  • Full Wi-Fi support in guest VMs
  • Kernel bug fixes (some major, some minor)

All in all, the product is looking really good. I give a big “THANK YOU” to everyone who’s helped with testing, or just sent me a note offering their support.

Almost forgot! Get the Beta2 now at the Parallels 2.1 for Mac OS X download center.