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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, El Capitan Edition by David Pogue

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Windows in a Window

The problem with Boot Camp is that every time you switch to or from Windows, you have to close down everything you were working on and restart the computer—and reverse the process when you’re done. You lose 2 or 3 minutes each way. And you can’t copy and paste between Mac and Windows programs.

There is another way: an $80 utility called Parallels Desktop for Mac (www.parallels.com), or its rival, VMware Fusion (www.vmware.com). These programs let you run Windows and OS X simultaneously; Windows hangs out in a window of its own, while the Mac is running OS X (Figure 8-3). You’re getting about 90 percent of Boot Camp’s Windows speed—plenty fast for everything but 3D games.

Once again, you have to supply your own copy of Windows for the installation process. This time, though, it can be any version of Windows, all the way back to Windows 3.1—or even Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, or MS-DOS. And Windows 10 works great.

Having virtualization software on your Mac is a beautiful thing. You can be working on a design in Keynote, duck into a Microsoft Access database (Windows only), look up an address, copy it, and paste it back into the Mac program.

And what if you can’t decide whether to use Boot Camp (fast and feature-complete, but requires restarting) or Parallels/Fusion (fast and no restarting, but no 3D games)? No problem—install both. They coexist beautifully on a single Mac and can even use the same copy of Windows.

Together, they turn the Macintosh into the Uni-Computer: ...

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