Archive for the 'Tips and Tricks' Category


May 3, 2009  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

A few weeks ago I was reading a comparison between VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop. The results were interesting. I was an early adopter of Parallels Desktop. I switched after trying out VMWare Fusion because Parallels was really laggy at times. That was a long time ago, and several versions of Parallels Desktop ago. I considered trying Parallels again as my main environment because file sharing between the Windows and Mac side seems easier in Parallels. I’d rather not mirror everything because I am afraid that if something happens (virus, etc.) to Windows, it could take out my Mac data as well. It may not be likely – the nefarious types seem more interested today in turning your PC into a zombie than in destroying anything – but it’s always a good idea to be cautious with Windows.

The problem is that we frequently have to transfer documents between the Windows and Mac side. I had set up a shared folder, but it’s slow in Windows and it means several extra steps. About a week ago I was moving some documents and I said, “wouldn’t it be nice if I could just drag this off the Windows desktop and onto my Mac desktop?” As I said this, I started dragging the file to the edge of the window. If you’re a VMWare Fusion guru, you know what happened next, but it surprised the heck out of me. The icon changed to a Mac icon as I got close to the edge of the window, and I was able to drop it on the Mac desktop. I then saw a message that VMWare Fusion was copying the file.

How did I not know about this before? After discovering this feature, I checked the VMWare documentation and didn’t see any mention of it. I wonder how many other VMWare Tools features I’m missing out on. At least now using Windows has become much more pleasant (and I am no longer tempted to migrate my Windows install).

The one thing I did that made my Mac five times faster!

April 17, 2009  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

No, this isn’t an infomercial. And, yes, I did pull the number five out of the air. But it’s true that my iMac is much faster now after doing just one simple thing. Lately my iMac seemed really sluggish. I would beachball frequently and the entire system would just hang for what seemed like ages. I had a sneaking suspicion that the Safari 4 Beta had something to do with it because Safari seemed to be bearing the brunt of the slowdowns. I couldn’t be sure, though, because the system was often slow when Safari wasn’t even running.

So two days ago I uninstalled the Safari 4 Beta. The improvement was immediate and noticeable. After the restart (required by the install/uninstall), I could tell things were faster. I have been using Safari 3 for a couple days now and haven’t had a single issue with beachballing or experienced any slowness. I liked some of the new features of Safari 4, but I don’t care how much faster the Javascript performance is if it brings my whole system to its knees.

iPhone J.D.

December 29, 2008  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

I stumbled across a nice iPhone site for lawyers recently: iPhone J.D. It doesn’t limit its coverage to lawyer-related tips and news, so its a nice resource for finding out more of what you can do with your iPhone. I have already purchased the F.R.C.P. iPhone app reviewed on the site (and I payed a premium for it since the price has gone up by $1 since it was reviewed in early December!). Well worth the money even after the price raise. The F.R.C.P. is definitely something that should be searchable and this app does it. I’m not a big fan of the icon, though. Needs more pizazz.

Accessibility on Mac OS X

September 10, 2008  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

Daring Fireball clued me in to a new section of Apple’s website dedicated to accessibility. The site has a lot of information, including features on Mac OS X, iPhone, and iPod. Some of the tips explain regular Mac OS X features that also have application to making the system more accessible, so it’s worth a look even if you don’t need the accessibility features.

Living with Windows

May 19, 2008  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

Macworld put up a nice article today about installing and using Windows on Mac OS X via VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop. I use Fusion primarily because it was the first of the two to become sufficiently stable. But they’re both very good (my wife uses Parallels). If you’re currently using either program, jump ahead to the second page for a few tips on tweaking the settings to improve your Mac and Windows experience.

Has anyone downloaded the Fusion 2.0 beta? If so, please post a comment and share your experiences. I have been reluctant to download it since I use Fusion for work, but some of the features are intriguing.