What kind of user are you?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by alexbourt, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. alexbourt


    Hi guys,

    I need information about the types of users we have now (not corporate users, as I am more interested in the home users).

    Please spare a little time to write two to four paragraphs describing yourself, what kind of user you are, how comfortable you are with computers, how you react to problems, as well as the reasons you bought Parallels Desktop in the first place, what you use it for, and how you use it (one or two most common usage scenarios, like whether you use Coherence, etc.)

    Also please describe your work environment, what kind of computer you have (how many monitors, external devices you have connected, and so on).

    I know this is a pain in the ass to write, but if I don't get any information on this, my superiors will sell me to the mafia.

    Alex Bourt
    UI Designer
  2. Leauki


    Very good question!

    Here we go:

    I use Parallels on a 2.16 GHz iMac (Xerxes) and a 2 GHz MacBook (Blacky). Parallels on Xerxes runs Windows XP (for games), Windows Vista (for Visual Studio), eComStation (for some legacy apps), SuSE Linux (for compatibility testing), another instance of Windows XP (accessed by my flat mate from a PowerPC iMac via RDC), and another instance of Windows Vista (same). Parallels on Blacky runs Windows XP (for games and Visual Studio)*.

    I also run REALbasic on Mac OS, a couple of the Windows VMs, and Linux**.

    I work in a Windows/Visual Studio environment and use Parallels to have that same environment at home without giving up Mac OS, Xcode, and Darwin.

    (An important feature to have for me would be the ability to run a VM in the background without being logged on to the host.)

    I am very comfortable with computers, especially when I have Visual Studio and a UNIX shell.

    The Parallels UI just gets in the way. I would prefer a more integrated approach where the focus is on the VMs and not the fact that Parallels can display windows. A Cocoa GUI with an icon menu in the Mac's menu bar would be perfect for me.

    I use the windowed mode for quick interactions with Windows and copying files between Windows and Mac OS. I use the fullscreen mode for almost everything else. I use Coherence to show off and for screenshots. But I did find that running Explorer in coherence mode allows for quick copying of files. I sometimes use Coherence mode to play with Windows Power Shell from the Mac desktop.

    I often use Parallels to run Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux to test C# programs on four platforms.

    External devices I have connected:

    1. DeLorean (Irish-made silver Firewire hard disk for TimeMachine, 1 TB)
    2. Opposition (Firewire hard disk, 500 GB, used mainly for VM backups via Disk Utility)
    3. Smallpox (HP PDA running Windows Mobile 5, syncs with Mac OS and Vista)
    4. iCantbelieveit (iPhone, syncs with Mac OS)
    5. some sort of SD card reader
    6. Nintento DS (power only) sometimes
    7. Keyboard and mouse (ha!)
    8. Shuffeln (iPod Shuffle) sometimes (syncs with Mac OS)

    I have never run into a situation where I wanted to use one of the devices from Windows and couldn't.

    I bought Parallels Desktop in the first place because

    a) I was planning to buy an Intel Mac (that was a while ago) and wanted to be an early customer of the first VM solution.

    b) I knew about SVISTA (as I am a registered eCS user).

    c) I buy almost anything that can run operating systems (I also have a RISC-OS virtual machine thingy for no other reason than that I wanted it).

    d) I hate reboots and almost never reboot Mac OS X, hence Boot Camp was and is no option for me.

    e) I like products that come with a Web forum.

    I assume many Parallels customers are yuppie geeks... :)

    *All the OS installations are properly licensed.
    ** Again...
  3. alexbourt


    Thanks Andrew, feedback like this is really useful.
  4. fbronner



    I use Parallel on a MacBook Pro 17 widescreen with 4 GB of RAM and a 250 internal hard disk. Plugged in externals are a 17inche external Viewsonic display, 1TB LaCie USB2, 750Gb Seagate USB2, 350 Maxtor Firewire, an iPod Touch 32Gb and from time to time a HP PDA with windows mobile.

    All of those external hard-drives are used for backups, iTunes, parallel/fusion backups and images and iso images of the different OS I play from time to time.

    The only devices which are used with parallel are the PDA and the external screen. I do not use coherence, I run Parallel full screen on the external screen.

    I use parallel mainly to remote connect to the office servers and to develop with VS2005, VS2008 or Delphi.

    I also have a linux kubuntu VM with Oracle xe which I use as a local database server for my development purposes when I am running local.

    Like Alex, I use Coherence mode almost only for screenshots.

    I used to have aa Garmin GPS Quest connected to the windows to interact with the map product, but ever since they released Bobcat, I have been using my GPS with the MAC only.

    As for the HP-PDA, its a remnant of an old development project, and I connected it once to the windows to see if it still worked :)

  5. Leauki


    Wow. Now here's a chance to let the Parallels devs know how we use Parallels and nobody is replying???
  6. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins

    I am 72 years old and very conservative
    (no bootcamp and back up religiously each week)

    OS 10.4.11 and WinXP Sp 2 are mature operating systems
    I won't upgrade until I get a new machine

    Main activities in Parallels:-

    Genealogy using Family Tree Maker 16 and 2008 (beta testingSP3 )

    Parloc utility

    Familysearchindexing app

    Family History respource File Viewr 4.01

    Scansoft OmniPage OCR

    Drag and drop typically 100 images daily into Flickr uploader
    rotate to Portrait and create sets and tags
    to http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughw36/

    MS IE 7 for banking and betting securit y compatability

    AOL 9 for chat rooms

    Googlepack with the new freebie Star Office 8 from Sun.com

    Irfanview can be useful too

    Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Today

    avg spybot adaware sygate firewall

    (gone off Norton)

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughw36/2442858345/" title="DSC03559 by hugh1936uk, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2301/2442858345_a8b1cf668f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC03559" /></a>

    the VM is on the La Cie Firewire disk to the left (backed up to both disks)


    wired ethernet
    to a switch then a router then TalkTalk

    another set up

    using old screen and keyboard

    more in my blog

    Hugh W
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  7. closethipster


    Hey Alex,

    I'm an interactive developer so I initially purchased Parallels to take advantage of some 3rd party Flash-related apps (like MDM's ZINC) and to test EXEs and CD-ROMs. I tend to run Parallels in windowed mode to emulate what clients can expect to see at various resolutions.

    Lately though I've been using Parallels to take advantage of the Netflix Windows-only movie player. :) I'm extremely happy with its performance, running full-screen in a 1024 x 768 window.

    At one point I was curious about the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) OS so I installed that. But Parallels didn't handle it very well so I gave up after a couple of weeks. Same with an early version of Ubuntu.

    I have a Windows 95 CD and a few old Sierra games I've been itching to play around with. That'll be my next project when I have some downtime.

    I'm on a first-model 17" MacBook Pro with 2GB RAM and Mac OS X 10.4.11. I use Parallels 2.5. Attached I have a couple of LaCie Porsche FireWire 400 hard drives, an Apple aluminum keyboard and wired Mighty Mouse, a Logitech game pad, and an iPhone. I only use the mouse and keyboard with Parallels. And actually, I had to give up my beloved Logitech keyboard specifically because of a conflict between Parallels and the Logitech Control Center. But hey, I'm flexible like that. :)

    Hope this helps!
  8. Upton O'Good

    Upton O'Good

    I didn't notice this thread because I don't usually read this forum. I only pay attention to the Installation and Configuration forum because that's where all the problems come up. I generally come here with specific issues, not general questions. I think a lot of people fall into that category, and this would account for the lack of activity.
  9. Upton O'Good

    Upton O'Good

    Web Programmer

    I do enterprise web programming and integration. I mainly just need to be able to run IE for Windows so I can see how horribly it mutilates standards-compliant code. Occasionally I need to run an application server in a Windows environment or a Windows-based IDE to build applications. That's about it. I spend as little time in Windows as I have to because, frankly, I hate it. Oh, and I don't use Bootcamp at all because running Windows natively on my hardware is just totally out of the question.

    I've used Macs since 1984 in corporate and higher education environments. I'm very comfortable with Mac and Unix, not comfortable at all with Windows because it sucks.
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  10. LCPGUY


    I use Parallels primarily to run Office 2007 to stay compatible with clients systems who all use XP and Office 2007. I also use Windows for some Photoshop work because I have a license for it on Windows but not on the Mac.

    Oh yes, once in a while I use PaintShop Pro as there is no Mac version of it available.

    Everything works beautifully and fast. No crashes or freezes - EVER!

    Parallel's rocks in my opinion!
  11. brianwmay

    brianwmay Bit Poster

    Moved AWAY from Windows as much as TOWARDS Mac

    I was just SO fed up with Windows and its further intrusion into my computer usage.

    A friend in Abu Dhabi showed me his MacBook and his iMac with Leopard and I was hooked.

    Now the fact is I CANNOT do without some Windows functionality so my research flashed up Parallels as one option. Further research indicated that if Parallels was half as good as it claimed to be then it would do me.

    Actually in use, it proves to be much better than that and actually answers all my needs. It actually runs faster than my previous laptop in native mode (Win XP). Just because I could, I also installed Ubuntu 8.04.

    Now there are niggles, but in fairness, for me they are only that. I spend most of my time in France (where I fly freight aircraft). Software such as my French translator, Rocket French and my Logbook program do not port across to Mac, so I NEED Parallels or something like it.

    It is my belief that Forums such as this (which are INCREDIBLY useful) actually give a false impression. Because people USE these sites to flag up and solve problems, it gives an impression that the software is more problematic than it is. More people will run the software without problems than will ever appear here to say they aren't having any problems at all.

    I am delighted with my MBP now I am getting my head around the Mac way of doing things. The machine is superb and so is OS X. I am very happy with Parallels and (to me) it was well worth the money.

    The only change I have made is to increase the RAM to 4 Gb - mainly because the RAM was so reasonable a price in UK.

    I do use QuarkXPress a lot and find that the more 'elbow room' it has the better it moves. I am not totally converted to iWorks as I still want MS Office in some form as the 'learning curve' is behind me and my work program comes in Excel.

    I realise that my computer is vastly 'over specced' for my requirements but that's why I drive a BMW - I like using the best stuff - but it must be value for money.

    For me the Mac and Parallels is a first class combination that marries functionality, reliability and value for money and basically, I am a satisfied customer with only minor reservations.
  12. alexbourt


    So... you are a freight pilot who drives a BMW and uses QuarkXPress. I REALLY don't think that you are our typical user! :D But it's nice to hear from people who like Parallels. :)
  13. Kathleen R

    Kathleen R

    came back to Mac but still need Windows

    Don't know if this is still being monitored--would be good to have it as ongoing question.

    I was an early Mac user, introduced on temp job back in 85 before Mac Plus. Mom had got Mac Plus that i helped her with. my 1st Mac was SE, later a power pc 6100. Then reluctantly moved to windows since co software requires windows. Both Windows laptops I had, had failures 1st yr plus blue screens & incomprehensible error messages (do you want to boot into safe mode? but didn't tell you what you were supposed to do in safe mode). Was tired of the many hours of my time spent because things didn't work right.

    Wanted to come back sooner, but co was saying software wouldn't work under bootcamp. Old Dell started having more blue screens so knew it was time to get a new machine. Wanted mac but wasn't sure. An Apple guy at Best buy convinced me it would work & showed me Parallels. A couple months later when my brother told me the new (2010) MacBookPros were out I went for it.

    13 in MacBookPro 10.6.6, 4 GB memory
    Microsoft store set up bootcamp partition & installed 64 bit Windows 7 & later Outlook 2007 in it for me.
    I also installed proprietary co software that needs windows & since they are pretty died in the wool windows people who say "we don't support mac" I figured installing it in bootcamp where it could run native would be most likely to be successful & also help when I needed their tech support.

    I also installed Open Office, Adobe Reader, Firefox in bootcamp as well as printer drivers for the windows side for my HP Photosmart C4680 printer

    I'm running Parallels 5 (about to upgrade the build to current one that I downloaded since ck for updates doesn't work).

    I also sync Windows mobile 6.5 phone both for Contacts, & calendar as well as co software that we run on the Winows mobile phone (only reason I have that phone & looking forward to getting away from it ASAP). I couldn't figure out any way to use the nice apple software for those functions & still sync with the phone so hence had to buy Outlook.

    I typically boot into mac & then Parallels & may have Safari & Pages & maybe Numbers & iPhoto open as well as Outlook & IE in Parallels.

    since I do email in Windows Outlook it would have been very cumbersome to have to reboot into bootcamp every time I want to check email. Email on the phone also downloads & can send but doesn't sync with computer.

    I am currenty having issues that I hope will be solved by updating to the latest build. But I had run ck for updates a # of times since last April with it always showing I was up to date. It wasn't until I started having rapidly escalating crashes on the Mac side that it was suggested were related to running Windows in a VM that I came to the Parallels website seeking answers. It has been very confusing. Seems to be some conflicts between Parallels & Mac. Suggested running VM messed up Mac side. (In my confusion the 1st time I tried to use Parallels, I accidentally hit the wrong button & it created another VM from bootcamp. There was no cancel button to stop the process when I realized what it was doing & I didn't know how to safely delete until just this past week. Getting rid of it cut down # of crashes.

    But Apple Genius bar just repaired permissions (loads of them) on the mac. Then when I went home & booted & then opened Parallels it crashed. This afternoon, got a strange sound as the Win7 boot tone came on--staticky.

    So it appears that Parallels & Mac are affecting each other negatively. Hoping the build update will take care of this so that my mac will run like the way I expect a mac to--just run without a bunch of crashes, etc which I associate with Windows. My Macs didn't do that & I asked my brother about his & he said they have been running trouble free (he does graphics & page layout & photoshop, etc) & has both large iMac & MacBookPros.

    Also big learning curve coming back to a very different mac environment after 10 yrs & switching to iWorks from office--not realizing how different it is so I went from very competent to struggling. Was very overwhelmed at 1st. Still learning but feeling more comfortable.

    Hope to get Parallels & Mac back to playing nice with each other so I can just use my computer.
  14. gaylam


    MacBook Pro
    Version 10.6.6
    Processor 2.8GHz Intel Core Duo
    Memory 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac
    Build 6.0.11994
    (Revision 637263; February 17, 2011)

    I have been a PC user until a year or so ago, when I got sick and tired of the typical Windows, and IE problems. I'm not computer savvy enough to articulate what the problems were, but the Mac has none of them. I installed Parallels Desktop so that I could use the Real Estate websites that are required by my local association and MLS.
    It's been pretty seemless until recently, and now I'm having internet connection problems in Coherence, which is the mode I prefer to be in. If Parallels is open Airport says there is no connection, and there is no way to access the internet on the Mac, but I can get on via Parallels/IE only. If I shut down PArallels then I can get the Airport to come back and I am able to use Firefox on my Mac again.

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