Not updating yet…

high sierra

So Apple have released their latest operating system, well actually they did it a few weeks ago.

I still have yet to update my iMac (and my MacBook) to the new operating system. The main reason is not that I really like Sierra and don’t want the new features of High Sierra. Nor is it because I have really slow internet and it would take days to download the update, on the contracts, now I have fibre, my download speeds are respectable and it now takes minutes rather than hours or days to download large updates, such an operating system upgrade. It’s just that I have had my fingers burnt before when applications I use on a regular basis suddenly stop working on the new operating system.

The main culprit for my is usually Adobe’s Creative Cloud, however I am hoping now that they have moved to a subscription model that my regular Apps will be updated automatically and quickly. I also heard people were having problems with Microsoft Office, but I have also heard that Microsoft have released updates for these programs as well.

Sometimes it is the smaller software houses and struggle, but part of the issue is me! If a piece of software is working for me, and there is an application upgrade, I really need to justify paying for the upgrade.

So the following packages stopped working for me in the past following operating system upgrades, Screenflow and Parallels. So if I upgrade the operating system, which is free, I then need to spend real money upgrading certain applications. I am expecting Comic Life 2 to stop working with this upgrade, so then needing to upgrade to Comic Life 3.

So having waited a few weeks I think I may do the upgrade soon.

Windows on my iPad via Parallels 6

After dismissing the nag screen once again, I decided that I would upgrade my Parallels installation to version 6.

I generally don’t have problems with Parallels on my Mac, but thought that the performance improvements would be nice. I also want to try out the iPhone/iPad App and see if that would allow me to access a Java application that I need to use for work.

It was pretty easy to set up, requiring a login of my Parallels account on both the Mac and the iPad. And though Windows 7 is not designed for a touch interface, at least if needed I can access Windows through my iPad!

The key test will be over wifi outside my home network and over 3G. In the olden days in my previous job, I would VPN into my office network and use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection to connect to my office PC when I was out on the road with my (then) PowerBook. Use to do that to find old e-mails and files. Also used the VPN so I could watch BBC News on the website when I was on a trip to Finland.

Now I have a fast broadband connection at home I hope that I will find less latency problems that I had with the VPN and RDC method.

One side effect of the installation was finding out the number of virtual machines on my iMac. More than I thought I had, so a fair few were culled.

Will use it a little more and see what improvements there are with version 6.

Printing from Parallels

Now printing documents from Parallels should be a simple affair. The Windows VM should just print and go…

Parallels installs the following printer…

Which then should be delivered to the printer attached to the Mac, which in my case is a Canon MP600r.

The print job does read the Canon print queue… However the Mac decides to HOLD the print job and when you try and RESUME it, I get the following error.

The error says:

pstopdffilter/pstocupsraster failed with err number -31000

Now at this time I have no idea how to resolve this, except to either print direct from the VM to the Canon (as the Canon is wireless and on the network) or to use one of my printer sharing tricks.

Would be nice to know what’s causing the problem though and initial searches through Google don’t seem to resolve it.

Preferring Parallels

The more I use Parallels the more I prefer it over rebooting into Boot Camp. From a speed perspective I know that Boot Camp has to be “faster” however for most things I do on Windows, virtualization is usually sufficient.

I am sure that part of this is that my new 27″ iMac with 8GB of RAM is now fast enough to support what I do in OS X and run Parallels at the same time. With my older iMac I would normally run Parallels, but would avoid doing too much else on OS X as it would be rather slow. The new iMac is so much more powerful and faster.

I am in the main using Windows 7, though now and again I do boot into Windows XP.

If you are using Boot Camp, I would recommend you give Parallels a go.

Coherence Mode

Do you use Parallels (or other VM software)?

Do you prefer “hiding” Windows in a window, or do you hide Windows by integrating with OS X and use Coherence Mode?

In this mode the virtual machine’s desktop is invisible so that you can see the virtual machine’s application windows in Mac OS X and work with them side by side with your Mac OS X applications.

Personally I do not like Coherence Mode and will either use Windows in a Window or in Full Screen Mode.

How do you use Windows on a Mac?

XP goes down…

On my home iMac I run a variety of flavours of Windows through Parallels. In the main to test Windows software and to access some sites which only really work on IE.

Over the last few months I have been running in the main Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

A couple of days ago I started the Windows XP VM on Parallels and started getting a WMI crashing error.

A Google search brought up this solution  however despite trying this (including deleting the relevant files from Parallels Explorer.

It was suggested to me that it might be a virus, but even my AV software then started to crash.

The only solution was to delete the VM and create a new VM and install Windows XP all over again. Not a quick solution as there are quite a few updates to install like SP3.

Seems to be working now.

What’s that then…

I do go into System Preferences now and again, but not often. I accidently started it this evening and saw this at the bottom.


I am pretty sure I didn’t install it. Now I know I haven’t downloaded anything recently, but this seemed weird. The name didn’t seem to give any clues.

I opened the preference pane to have a look.

Preference Pane

MacFUSE allows you to extend Mac OS X’s native file handling capabilities via 3rd-party file systems. Visit the MacFUSE website for more information.

Well I was none the wiser!

Did you think I was going to click the link, no I think not!

Did a Google search and got this.

Whats that then…

Made me feel a little better, as it would appear that it wasn’t some kind of malicious code.

Looked further down and it said in one of the other searches something about NTFS…

Now it was all starting to make sense.

Parallels must have installed it when I installed Parallels the other day.

Must stay on top of these kind of things.

Installed Parallels 4.0

Well my copy of Parallels 4.0 arrived from Amazon who are selling the boxed upgrade for just £32. I didn’t use the enclosed CD, just the latest version from the Parallels website and the serial number included in the box.

The install went fine, converting my Vista and Windows 7 images went fine and Windows 7 is working fine. However I did have issues with the conversion of the Windows XP image, with some WMI errors.

The new version of Parallels is an improvement on version 3.0, but still don’t like coherence mode (default) which just doesn’t seem right on a Mac, much prefer using Windows in a window.

Hmmm Parallels 4.0

In a previous post I did say I was downloading Parallels 4.0 so that I could install Windows 7. The download only includes the software and you pay for a licence key to use it. I have Parallels 3.0 and therefore will be getting the upgrade version.

It’s weird though, from the Parallels store, the upgrade is $49.99 which is nearly £50 by the time you convert to pound sterling, add VAT (even at just 15%). Must be because the pound is so weak against the US dollar at the moment.

It’s weird because Amazon are selling the boxed upgrade for just £32.

So for just over £15 less I can get the boxed set and real media, or pay more for a download. Doesn’t make sense to me.

I can wait for a few days, as it is only Windows 7 we’re talking about!

Installed Windows 7, but not all is well…

Having downloaded the Windows 7 beta I installed it in a virtual machine (VM) using Parallels 3.0 running on my Mac.

Though the install worked fine, the installation of the Parallels Tools failed (either automatically or manually).

According to Downloadsquad it will work if you are running Parallels 4.0, build 3810.

So guess what I am downloading now?