Between being in San Fransico at the Intel Developer Forum for a week, and Monday being Yom Kippur, I managed to miss Friday’s column. So, here’s a brief “Ask Ben Anything” to make up for that…I’ll do a full column as usual this Friday.
Also, for those of you writing questions to me via email, please include “Ask Ben Anything” in your subject line so I don’t misplace your message.
1) I’ve been reading about the SlingBox, the gadget that lets you watch TV from anywhere. But I see that this its a Windows-only app/appliance. Does it work in Parallels Desktop for Mac?
Yes, it sure does! Check out this interview with the SlingBox execs on Geek.com, in which they talk about running the SlingPlayer in Parallels on a Mac. For a real world taste of Sling on Mac (and some great screenshots), check out this eval by James McMurry.
SlingBox/SlingPlayer works especially well on the update builds of Parallels Desktop, since those offer better video support. Linux users will be happy to know that you can also run SlingPlayer in a Windows VM via Parallels Workstation for Linux.
2) You’ve been issuing updates pretty frequently. How do I know if I have the most recent build? I tried checking for updates and my copy of Parallels says I’m up to date, even though I don’t think I am.
Parallels products only auto-update when we have a final, stable build. Since the recent update builds for Parallels Desktop for Mac are beta/RC builds, we haven’t set the server to auto-update everyone.
To check your build, open Parallels Desktop, click “Parallels Desktop” in the menu bar, and then click “About Parallels Desktop”. Your build information will be right at the top.
You can get the most recent build of Desktop at the Desktop Update Download Page. 1922 is the most recet build.
With today’s release of Parallels Desktop for Mac Update Release Candidate 2, you can now run virtual machines on ANY Intel Mac with ANY amount of RAM, without any limitations or system reconfiguration! This includes Mac Pro towers maxed out with 16GB of RAM, and all possible configs for the new Core 2 Duo iMacs.
Thanks again to everyone who tested the internal build, and to our entire community for bearing with us as we got this important update ready to go. Expect a final release of our Update in the next few weeks!
Get the new build and learn abotu what’s included at the Update RC2 Main Page.
Welcome to the first “Ask Ben Anything”. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions…keep ’em coming!
1) Ben, VMWare seems to be talking smack about the Intel/AMD virtualization technologies not amounting to squat as far as performance is concerned (http://www.vmware.com/pdf/asplos235_adams.pdf).
What does Parallels have to say about the topic?
I don’t think that this is a case of them “talking smack,” as you put it, about VT and AMD Virtualization, rahter its an explanation of different approaches towards virtualization, and about which works best. Our solutions were built from the ground up to support these virtualization technologies (via our lightweight hypervisor), and we, and our users, notice pretty substantial performance gains when running our solutions with them – sometimes as much as 150%!
VT support is one of the key reasons that Windows performance via Parallels Desktop for Mac is so strong. VT is included in every new Mac, and Parallels automatically takes advantage of it. When Intel releases then next generation of VT, Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O, performance will get even better.
Want to see for yourself? Try loading Windows in Desktop with VT disabled, then again with VT enabled. I think you’ll see that it does indeed mak a difference!
2) Hullo there, I have two simple questions for thee. If I buy parallels for mac, for how long will I be able to receive updates? Can I use the same copy of Parallels on two seperate machines that I own?
Minor updates, patches and point updates are always free for every user for the life of the product. Major upgrades do require a new purchase, but as a registered Parallels customer, you’ll get a very significant discount.
Also, the Parallels License Agreement registers your copy for one machine. So, if you have multiple computers, you’ll need a clean copy of Parallels for each.
3) I have XP installed, can I upgrade to Vista?
When this feature is supported by Vista (I believe you need to do a clean install with the betas and RC’s), yes, you will be able to upgrade just as you would on a “real” PC. Just pop the disc in and follow the instructions!
As with any upgrade – be it for a “real” machine or a virtual one, its always a good idea to back up your files first, in case you run into a problem during the upgrade.
Wanted to give you all a heads up that Parallels will be attending – and presenting – at the Fall 2006 Intel Devleoper Forum. The conference runs from September 26th through September 29th, at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco.
Key members of our engineering team will be at booth #507 in the Forum Technology Showcase, running demos and answering technical questions about our Desktop for Mac and Workstation 2.2 for Windows and Linux products. If you’re attending the conference, stop by to meet the guys behind the code, and to get a free, extended trial versions of our latest software.
On Tuesday, September 27th from 1:30 – 2:30, we’ll also be hosting a technical “chalk talk” titled “Client Virtualiation Done Right” in which we’ll be discussing the ins-and-outs of virtualization and how we leverage Intel Virtualization Technology in all of our products.
As usual, we’ll be wandering the conference in our bright orange shirts, so we’ll be hard to miss. See you all in San Francisco!
Today’s a 2-for-1 day. Earlier this morning we released a new build for Parallels Desktop, and now we’re releasing the Release Candidate for Parallels Workstation 2.2 for Windows & Linux!
2.2 RC has a number of improvements, the most notable of which are stronger support for Intel Virtualization Technology and AMD Secure Virtual Machine Technology (both of which drive great performance and stability – see my recent blog post on the subject for more info), and the addition of Microsoft Windows Vista as a guest OS. You can check out the full list of new features here.
The addition of Vista is a really great feature for our Windows and Linux users, since they now have the ability to test Vista and play with configurations without having to sacrifice an entire production machine.
As with all updates, you won’t need to reinstall your guest OSes, nor will you lose any saved data. You should, however, reinstall Parallels tools after updating your Parallels Workstation build.
- Get the Workstation 2.2 RC at the Parallels Workstation Download Center.