OT: Win-on-Mac input appreciated

  • Posted: 24 February 2009 09:01 AM

    I would guess that many AFB’ers are Mac users having to use Windows on Macs in order to use various win-only financial software - charting software, trading platforms, etc.

    Questions:
    1. are any of you using Win XP on Parallels? If so:
    2. have you upgraded Windows to SP3: If so:
    3. any issues?

    I have corporate IT friends on both sides of the upgrade/don’t upgrade question, but none of them use Mac/Parallels.

    I use: Leopard 10.5.6 / Parallels 3 / Win XP Pro

    Thanks much.

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    Posted: 24 February 2009 12:18 PM #1

    JimDE - 24 February 2009 01:01 PM

    I would guess that many AFB’ers are Mac users having to use Windows on Macs in order to use various win-only financial software - charting software, trading platforms, etc.

    Questions:
    1. are any of you using Win XP on Parallels? If so:
    2. have you upgraded Windows to SP3: If so:
    3. any issues?

    I have corporate IT friends on both sides of the upgrade/don’t upgrade question, but none of them use Mac/Parallels.

    I use: Leopard 10.5.6 / Parallels 3 / Win XP Pro

    Thanks much.

    I have not tried Parallels version 3 or the newest 4.0 but version 2.0 was so bad for workflow, reliability and ease of updating that I switched out to VM Ware’s Fusion (now on version 2) and Fusion has worked out much better for workflow on my trading station. I have also noticed that if I don’t allow Windows XP to update, I haven’t had a point of failure in well over one year. Prior to not allowing Windows XP to update itself, Windows would blow up for no apparent reason about every four months and require reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows XP. Considering that the only application Windows runs is my trading application, crashing was both a bizarre event and caused me to lose productivity. The problem I experienced wasn’t a crash per say but that Windows windows manager would suddenly start using an inordinate and excessive percentage of CPU cycles on all four processors in my Mac Pro effectively hobbling the entire machine.

    [ Edited: 24 February 2009 12:20 PM by Eric Landstrom ]

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  • Posted: 24 February 2009 02:58 PM #2

    I began using Parallels about a year ago, and had compatibility issues so switched to Fusion last summer.  It was better, but still had issues.  So about a month ago I formated a separate 20GB partition on my internal hard drive and installed XP SP3 under boot camp.

    I am happy with this.  Everything, including Quicken, chess software, and even games run just fine.  And because I have so little that I burden XP with, it boots up in only about double the time it takes OSX.  Not bad.

    This solution would not be workable if I were switching back and forth a dozen times a day.  But once or twice a day is really not so bad, especially since my iPhone keeps me in touch with email, etc. while I am over on the dark side.

         
  • Posted: 24 February 2009 04:49 PM #3

    Eric Landstrom - 24 February 2009 04:18 PM

    ... I have also noticed that if I don’t allow Windows XP to update, I haven’t had a point of failure in well over one year. Prior to not allowing Windows XP to update itself, Windows would blow up for no apparent reason about every four months and require reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows XP. Considering that the only application Windows runs is my trading application, crashing was both a bizarre event and caused me to lose productivity. The problem I experienced wasn’t a crash per say but that Windows windows manager would suddenly start using an inordinate and excessive percentage of CPU cycles on all four processors in my Mac Pro effectively hobbling the entire machine.

    Yeah, exactly. Windows’ constant demand to phone home was the problem for me. I turned off updates when I read that a new updater (about 6-8 months ago if I recall correctly) would call home without my knowledge or permission. My corporate IT friends told me it was included in SP3. The version of SP3 available to them as enterprise IT pros could be modified to change that. The version available to me as Joe Consumer couldn’t be modified.) Since I’m not a windows expert I have to ask these things.)

    So that raises the question: since so much of SP3 is security related, is it a problem if I don’t upgrade and if all I use it for is my chart software?

    Thanks

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    “A man who’s not a liberal when he’s twenty has no heart. A man who’s not a conservative when he’s 40 has no brain.” - Winston Churchill

         
  • Posted: 24 February 2009 04:56 PM #4

    capablanca - 24 February 2009 06:58 PM

    I began using Parallels about a year ago, and had compatibility issues so switched to Fusion last summer.  It was better, but still had issues.  So about a month ago I formated a separate 20GB partition on my internal hard drive and installed XP SP3 under boot camp.

    I am happy with this.  Everything, including Quicken, chess software, and even games run just fine.  And because I have so little that I burden XP with, it boots up in only about double the time it takes OSX.  Not bad.

    This solution would not be workable if I were switching back and forth a dozen times a day.  But once or twice a day is really not so bad, especially since my iPhone keeps me in touch with email, etc. while I am over on the dark side.

    Thanks for the input. I started out with the separate partition and Boot Camp also. But I found that I needed to be able to run my Mac at the same time, so I installed Parallels 3. I haven’t had any problems so far. For me it’s a question of how necessary SP3 is in the sense of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. OTOH we’re talking about whether windows is broken or not.  tongue laugh

    Oh the irony….

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    “A man who’s not a liberal when he’s twenty has no heart. A man who’s not a conservative when he’s 40 has no brain.” - Winston Churchill

         
  • Posted: 24 February 2009 11:50 PM #5

    ... I have also noticed that if I don’t allow Windows XP to update, I haven’t had a point of failure in well over one year. Prior to not allowing Windows XP to update itself, Windows would blow up for no apparent reason about every four months and require reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows XP….

    Eric, I am not exactly what you’d call knowledgeable when it comes to Windows.  How does one prevent Windows from updating itself?

         
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    Posted: 24 February 2009 11:58 PM #6

    capablanca - 25 February 2009 03:50 AM

    ... I have also noticed that if I don’t allow Windows XP to update, I haven’t had a point of failure in well over one year. Prior to not allowing Windows XP to update itself, Windows would blow up for no apparent reason about every four months and require reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows XP….

    Eric, I am not exactly what you’d call knowledgeable when it comes to Windows.  How does one prevent Windows from updating itself?

    As I recall one turns off updates in the updates control panel. The down side it that when off, one must suffer windows suggesting you update things every time after starting up. I think the default has auto updates off.

    http://www.theeldergeek.com/automatic_updates.htm

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    Black Swan Counter: 9 (Banks need money, Jobs needs a break, Geithner has no plan, Cuomo’s grandstanding, .Gov needs a hobby, GS works for money, flash crash, is that bubbling crude?).

    For those who look, a flash allows one to see farther.