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MacWindows News Archives
News from January 2007 through June 2007

Current News

Most Recent Archived News 

Tips and Reports

Product Listings

 

Parallels Desktop for Mac



 

 

One this page, news from the following months:

Most recent news first.

June 2007

June 28

TIP: Keeping a MacBook Pro cool running Vista with Boot Camp 1.3

June 28, 2007

Peter Presti sent us some tips for keeping a MacBook Pro cool when booted from Windows Vista using Boot Camp 1.3 beta.

Presti did not have the serious keyboard and booting problems that others have been reporting with version 1.3, but recommends a Windows utility for finer controls with keyboard settings. Presti did report an issue with external displays and found USB to be slow...

Fixing Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard problem -- only one driver back-grade needed

June 28, 2007

Michael Sneider, who first reported the keyboard problems with Boot Camp 1.3, reported success by going back to the version 1.2 keyboard driver.

Just a quick follow up on my initial MacBook Pro keyboard problems. While I was never able to get the 1.3 driver running, I was able to restore function (without backlight) by reinstalling the keyboard driver from Boot Camp 1.2. I left all the other Boot Camp 1.3 drivers intact.

Earlier this week, another reader reported back-grading drivers, but didn't specify which one.

TIP: Using SigmaTel audio with Boot Camp 1.3, Vista

June 28, 2007

Philip Beni wrote about using the SigmaTel audio driver in Windows Vista with Boot Camp 1.3 beta:

Boot Camp 1.3 on my MacBook Pro 15" Core Duo (the original) has problems with the SigmaTel audio driver; it’s not working. Windows Vista Ultimate doesn't recognize it as an audio device, even though the driver is installed.

I fixed it: Open the drivers folder on the CD and manually use the SigmaTel installer.

Another fix for the SMB "delete alias / fix alias" problem

June 28, 2007

Eric Aden forwarded another fix for the delete alias/fix alias file sharing problem that we’ve been reporting on our Tiger Cross-platform Reports page. We’ve reported several techniques that readers say works for them. Aden found his at another web site:

I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.10 and this just solved the "delete alias / fix alias" error message and I'm now able to access my office's file servers...

Active Directory -bound Mac corrupting user account

June 28, 2007

Mike Norval reports a problem where a Mac user gets a spinning beach ball when logging into Active Directory, which causes the user account to corrupt:

We have had issues where a user account when you log-on to an Active Directory-bound Mac (10.4.9) after the log-in window all that appears is the desktop background and the spinning ball, sometimes the Spotlight icon appears in the upper right corner and nothing else. It can set I guess all day nothing.

The big issue is you can't restore that user to that machine, if I back-up the account files and delete the user, recreating the user account I get the same thing. Currently I have user that I created a local account and moved her files into it so she could work but have not been able to get back her AD account.

If you've seen this problem

Snerdware updates Groupcal, Exchange Server access from iCal

June 28, 2007

Snerdware has released Groupcal 3.9 (US $55), an update to the Mac utility that enables Apple iCal to access and manage calendars on Microsoft Exchange server. Groupcal can synchronize events and tasks between iCal and Exchange, send and receive meeting invitations, book resources, and view free and busy times as iCal calendars.

Version 3.90 fixes some problems, including:

  • Fixes several issues with recurring and detached events
  • Fixes a Free/Busy calendar problem where the e-mail address could be used instead of the name
  • Fixes a problem accessing the sync-delaying entry in the Menu Extra
  • Minor user-interface improvements

Entourage email archive tool update adds FileMaker access

June 28, 2007

Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.4.0 (EEAX), a new version of the OS X application for archiving email and attachments received or sent with Microsoft Entourage. The EEAX archives are Spotlight-searchable files. The new version allows you to use a FileMaker Pro database to manage archives.

June 26

Fix for Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard problems: back-grade drivers

June 26, 2007

David Moss found that the keyboard problems with Boot Camp 1.3 were caused by the new drivers:

I found that I could put the driver from 1.2 on and re-boot and all came back.

If this worked for you

Joseph Gasdia doesn't have the problem, but has a suggestion:

I ran the Boot Camp driver disk in my Windows on my Mac Book Pro. Everything works as they said it should. My keyboard lights up and my volume and brightness keys look and work as the do in OS X.

You do have to hold the 'fn' key in Windows, or else XP thinks your hitting 'F1' or 'F2" , etc. Other than that Boot Camp 1.3 works nicely.

Ludger Heide of Germany has an observation:

Since I installed Boot Camp 1.3, I saw a little icon at the left of the start bar, but not in the tray area. When I clicked on it, I found out it was the keyboard scheme control. It showed two options: Deutsch and Deutsch (Apple). So believe this Computer is in the keyboard scheme English and not English (Apple), in which the special keys are active. That's my guess.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Back-grading from Parallels 3 reverses crashing issues

June 26, 2007

A large number of readers confirmed our previous reports of problems with Parallels Desktop 3.0 crashing when installing Parallels Tools, with both Windows XP and with Vista. Sometimes Mac OS X also freezes as well. Other readers experienced crashes latter, when running applications. Many readers found that they could replace version 3.0 with an older version of Parallels Desktop to eliminate the problem with no other ill effects. Today's reports describe these problems with advice on how to go back to an older version...

Graphics issues with Parallels Desktop 3.o

June 26, 2007

Nathan Bowen did not have the problem with Windows crashing in Parallels Desktop 3. But he did report some graphics problems. He was able to back-grade to the previous Build 3188. His report:

I installed Parallels 3 on my Mac Book Pro Core 2 running 10.4.9 and everything went smoothly, except for some strange graphics issues....

AdmitMac and DAVE, updated

June 26, 2007

Yesterday, Thursby Software releases ADmitMac 3.2.2, an update to the Mac OS X software for integrating Macs into Active Directory networks. Thursby also released DAVE 6.2.2, an update for the SMB file and print sharing software for Mac OS X. (ADmitMac includes DAVE’s functionality.) Thursby also offers a version of ADmitMac that supports the US Department of Defense Common Access Cards.

The new versions boost performance and improve functionality for support of Windows Vista, as well as fix minor bugs. ADmitMac 3.2.2 adds the ability to use certificates instead of passwords to authenticate to a domain. Another new feature is the ability to assign local administrator rights using nested groups.

Both ADmitMac and DAVE upgrades are Intel and PowerPC native.

Fix for Mac OS X Server periodically unbinding from AD

June 26, 2007

Jose Richard sent us a fix to the problem of Mac OS X Server periodically unbinding from Active Directory:

Here's a solution to permanently correct the periodically loses of AD connection. Next time you do an unbind/bind to correct the problem, after the bind step do the following:

- Run dsconfigad -enablesso after binding

- Verify the following options in /etc/smb.conf:

  • workgroup = WGP [# this should be the netbios]
  • name of your AD domain
  • security = ads [# use "ads" for this value]
  • "domain" will periodically change the computer trust account and break your binding to AD.
  • netbios name = computername [# this should be the same as the computer name you used in Directory Access/Directory Utility to bind to AD]
  • use spnego = yes [# this should always be "yes" -- it enables negotiation of the authentication methods]
  • realm = WGP.COMPANY.COM [# This should be your AD domain in all caps: it is case sensitive!

If you’ve tried this

Bob Nance is another reader who reports the problem:

I have the same problem as Mr. Zimmerman. It happens weekly (on Thursday, actually). I have unbound and rebound the Mac Xserve server on Thursday, and it happens the next Thursday. I have unbound and rebound the server on Monday and it happens the next Thursday (3 days later). It doesn't seem to be related to the XSERVE$ username in the domain.

For more on Active Directory issues, see our page called Integrating Macs and Active Directory.





June 25

TIP: Windows key remapping customization for Boot Camp

June 25, 2007

Casey Muratori sent us an edit to the Windows Registry that changes the way keyboard mapping works when Windows is running in Boot Camp:

I wanted to share a nice change to the keyboard mapping which makes the Mac keyboard much more like a Windows keyboard.

You can modify the following registry entry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]

to have a key called "Scancode Map". In it, you can put arbitrary remappings that map one key to another.

Readers verify Boot Camp 1.3 problems with keyboards

June 25, 2007

Readers verified a problem we reported last week that upgrading Boot Camp to v1.3 disabled some of the keys and doesn’t support the backlit keyboard on the Mac Book Pro. One reader offered a suggestion.

David Moss describes the issue:

Same problem as Michael Sneider. No keyboard control of volume, eject. I’m using a Mac Pro with latest current security patches.

An anonymous reader sent a suggestion for a Mac Pro:

Another Safari Windows 3.0.2 plugs more security holes, increases stability

June 25, 2007

Apple released Safari for Windows 3.0.2 Beta, the second update to the Windows version of the web browser released by Apple earlier this month. The new version adds security fixes and improves stability, as will as addressing text problems for non-English systems.

Last week, MacWindows readers and reviewers around the web reported numerous security holes and bugs and crash-prone behavior in the 3.0 and 3.0.1 versions.

If you’ve tried Safari for Windows Beta 3.0.2

TIP: Safari for Windows 3.0.2 works in Virtual PC

June 25, 2007

Dennis Hill found the new Safari for Windows Beta 3.0.2 update stable enough to run in Virtual PC on a PowerPC Mac:

I tried running Safari for Windows in VPC v.7. It was a good idea to get more browser speed under emulation. The Safari beta for Windows will not launch, even after reinstall and reboot. The 3.0.2 updater for the Safari beta on Windows now works in VPC on my PPC Power Mac 2Ghz with OSX 10.4.9.

Report on Safari Windows Beta 3.0

June 25, 2007

Fred Horvat reports on Safari for Windows 3.0 Beta, and gives several reasons why one should upgrade to 3.0.2:

I installed the initial release of Safari on a Windows XP Pro machine (Dual Core P4 3.4ghz, 1Gig RAM). Safari runs on the slow side with rendering pages and resizing screens. It does crash way more often than one would expect. Once or twice a day of normal use where my other browsers on the same machine IE7, Netscape 9, Seamonkey 1.1.1, and Opera 9.2 may crash once a month. I am hitting all my normal sites with Safari so I'm not throwing anything new browsing wise at it. I did the Apple updates to update to the latest version and www.weather.com no longer works. I get just a banner and nothing more. I didn't try clearing cache and cookies.

Overall it feels like it's stuck in the mud performance wise. Overall not ready for prime time.





June 21

VMware announces Fusion 1.0 ship date, pricing

June 21, 2007

VMware has announced that it will ship the first finished release version of VMware Fusion by the end of August. VMware will sell VMware Fusion for US $80, but is taking pre-orders for US $40 up until the ship date.

VMware Fusion is a virtualization environment for running Windows and other operating systems in Mac OS X on Intel Macs, similar to Parallels Desktop. VMware Fusion is currently available as a public beta testing release. Beta version 4, released earlier this month, added a number of features, including the ability to hide the Windows Desktop, the ability to open Windows applications from Mac OS X, and the ability to add Windows applications to the Mac OS X Dock.

Microsoft decides against reversing Vista-in-VM prohibitions

June 21, 2007

eWeek reports that Microsoft was ready to announce a lifting of prohibitions against running certain versions of Windows Vista and certain Vista features. Microsoft was to have made this announcement yesterday, according to eWeek.

Instead, Microsoft said that it would retain its ban on running Windows Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium in virtual machines. Microsoft will also retain the prohibition on using Vista’s information and digital rights management features in a virtual machine."

Microsoft’s prohibition applies to Mac virtual machines such as Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion as well as to virtual machine products running on Windows PCs.

Safari Windows beta off to a rocky start; update addresses some problems

June 21, 2007

News outlets and MacWindows readers reported that Apple’s first public beta version of the Safari web browser for Windows contains a number of bugs in the areas of security and stability. Apple has responded with an update called Safari for Windows 3.0.1 beta that addresses a few of the security issues.

eWeek reported that in the day following the browser’s release two weeks ago, a number of bugs had been identified, including two memory corruption bugs, one command execution vulnerability and two remote code execution bugs, and three DoS flaws. ComputerWorld reported that the 3.0.1 update fixed only three of the bugs.

An Ars Technica review emphasized instabilities:

The most glaring flaw of Safari 3 on Windows is its utter lack of stability. The prerelease beta status of Safari 3 obviously must be taken into account when evaluating the program's reliability, but the problems I faced during testing really exceed tolerable limits for beta software.

An eWEEK Labs' review said that the Safari Web for Windows beta is “on par with Internet Explorer, but a good distance behind Opera and Firefox.”

Several MacWindows readers also reported problems. Al Brady couldn’t install it in Windows Vista:

I downloaded Safari beta and Windows Vista will not let me install it. It says Windows Installer cannot be accessed.

Dennis Hill couldn’t install it in Windows XP running in Virtual PC, Microsoft’s virtual machine for PowerPC Macs:

The Safari beta for Windows will not launch, even after reinstall and reboot. This is running on a PPC PowerMac 2Ghz with OSX 10.4.9. Always just get the error: Sorry, application quit.

It was a good idea, to get more browser speed under emulation. But it’s a beta after all.

There are other Windows programs that don’t run in Virtual PC (see our VPC Conflicts page), but this is the first web browser that we know of.

If you've tried Safari for Windows

Update on fix for duplicate folders on SMB servers

June 21, 2007

Gregory Floro offered a refinement to a fix we reported for the problem of duplicate folders seen on SMB servers.

We had a similar issue with Mac OS X clients connecting to a Windows Server SMB seeing a duplicate folder. Though in our case the clients were PowerPC Macs, it was a Windows 2000 SP4 Server, and the duplicate folder went from all lower case to initial cap.

Deleting the .DS_Store file at the root of the network share didn't solve the problem, but deleting the .DS_Store within the folder that contained the duplicate folder did.





June 12

Safari goes cross-platform

June 12, 2007

Yesterday, Apple has entered the browser wars by releasing a public beta of Safari for Windows, which is now available for download. At Apple’s Worldwide Develop’s conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Safari was the fastest web browser for Windows XP and Vista, claiming that it was twice as fast at rendering HTML than Internet Explorer, and 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2.

One question that Windows Vista users will have is how Safari’s security features will compare with Internet Explorer 7. Safari doesn’t have Internet Explorer’s legacy code that malware creators like to exploit, and Safari for Windows supports a string of security protocols. But it isn’t yet clear whether Safari has the tight integration with Windows Vista that Internet Explorer 7 has.

There are several motivations for Apple’s porting of Safari to Windows, and most point to iPhone. Safari is the web browser in iPhone. eWeek’s David Morgenstern pointed out to us that since Safari is the web browser in iPhone, Apple will want sites on the web to work well with Safari. The best way to get web site developers to make sure their sites work well with Safari is to turn Safari into a major browser on Windows.

Another reason to port Safari to Windows is that Safari is the software development platform for iPhone. Third-party iPhone applications will run in Safari. With Safari running on Windows, developers can try out their iPhone apps without having to own a Mac. Apple will ship iPhone on June 29.

Boot Camp in Leopard: no driver disk burning required

June 12, 2007

Steve Jobs yesterday repeated previous statements that Boot Camp will come preinstalled with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard when Apple ships the new in October. Users won’t have to burn a driver disc, as they do now. The drivers for Windows will come on the Leopard installation disc. Jobs spoke about Boot Camp and Leopard as part of his keynote address at Apple’s Worldwide Developers conference (WWDC).

It is still not known if Boot Camp will continue to be available for Tiger users.

Jobs noted that there have been 2.5 million downloads of Boot Camp Beta so far.

In a rare node to competing softare, Jobs said that Boot Camp was “a really great complement to Parallels and VMware” for running Windows on a Mac.

“If you need native speed and total compatibility, Boot Camp’s the thing,” said Jobs. “But Parallels and VMware are fantastic.”

Jobs did not comment on Sun’s statement last week that Leopard would use Sun’s ZFS file system as the default. Developers may get details on Leopard’s file, but Apple isn’t confirming or denying Sun’s claim at this point.

For more on these issues, see our Tips and Reports pages for Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, and VMware Fusion.

TIP: Resolving Active Directory group membership

June 12, 2007

Oliver Block told us how he solved a problem where Mac OS X would not properly resolve Active Directory group membership:

I thought I would share the solution to a problem I recently troubleshot for a customer involving Macs integrated into a Windows Small Business Server 2003 environment.

The customer has a Mac OS X Server 10.4.9 server bound to an Active Directory (using the AD plug-in) hosted by a Windows Small Business Server 2003 server. When the Mac server queried Active Directory to find out which Active Directory security groups users belong to, it was able to obtain all the group information for some users, but for other users it only received a partial list of the groups that the user belong to. The problem was evident when using 'id' to view the user's group memberships or when querying Active Directory using dscl.

Interestingly, the Mac server was able to access all group information for users who were members of the 'Domain Admins' security group.

I solved the problem by going into Active Directory Users & Computers on the Windows server and assigning 'Read' access to the 'Authenticated Users' group. After I made that change, the 'id' command and queries of the directory service using dscl returned all the AD security groups that the users belong to.

Usual Disclaimer: I recommend that you familiarize yourself with Active Directory and make a good backup before making changes like this.





June 11

VMware Fusion Beta 4 chases Parallels, Boot Camp upgrades

June 11, 2007

VMware last Friday posted VMware Fusion Beta 4, a new pre-release version of the virtualization environment for running Windows and other OS’s in Mac OS X on Intel Macs. VMware Fusion Beta 4 adds integration features found in Parallels and improves performance over the Beta 3. The update came a day after major upgrades to Parallels Desktop and Book Camp 1.3.

A major new feature called Unity hides the Windows Desktop....

Boot Camp 1.3 fixes Mac OS X boot bug

June 11, 2007

Brian Kneebone reported that Boot Camp 1.3 (released last Thursday) fixes the problem of Boot Camp not booting into Mac OS X unless the PRAM is reset:

FYI, Boot Camp 1.3 resolves all of my Windows not booting back into Macintosh issues on my Mac Pro. It's not posted on Apple's website, so they must have slipped this in quietly. Regards,

Kneebone was the first to report the problem with version 1.2, and other readers confirmed it.

Boot Camp 1.3 keyboard driver problem on MacBook Pro

June 11, 2007

Michael Sneider discovered that upgrading Boot Camp to the new version 1.3 disabled some of the keys. It also doesn’t support the backlit keyboard, a feature that Apple says is supported. Sneider wrote:

I've installed the Boot Camp Beta 1.3 drivers on my rev. A 15" Core Duo 2.13 GHz MacBook Pro, Windows XP SP2 with all current updates. I cannot get the keyboard driver to work properly. I have no access to the special function keys (volume up/down, brightness up/down or eject), nor does the keyboard backlighting work in any way.

TIP: Microsoft Win XP hotfix for Boot Camp, AirPort problem

June 11, 2007

Apple Technical Article 305275 describes a problem with Boot Camp Beta 1.2, where Windows XP SP2 is unable to connect to an 802.11n wireless router or the AirPort Extreme (802.11n) Base Station. Apple said that the problem is in Windows XP, and that the fix is to install a Microsoft hotfix.

Report of Parallels 3.0 crashing Win XP

June 11, 2007

Two readers shared their experiences about the new Parallels Desktop 3.0, one good, one not so good. Harry Erwin said the upgrade would not run:

Parallels 3.0 introduces a show-stopper. When I try to upgrade the Parallels Tools from within the Windows XP session, the session crashes reliably during the reboot. The XP crash then causes Parallels to crash. I’m using Mac OS X 10.4.9.

If you’ve seen this problem

Paul Lustgarten had an easy upgrade:

Just a quick note about Parallels 3.0. I just upgraded my Windows XP installation and everything went quite smoothly.

For more information on Parallels 3.0, see our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page.

Reader's Win XP in Parallels won't ask for password

June 11, 2007

Karl Olav Jaegtnes of Norway noticed that Windows XP Pro isn't asking for a password in Parallels Build 3188 (the version previous to 3.0):

I am using a MacBook Pro with Parallels (Build 3188) and WIN XP Pro, SP2. When booting XP it starts up in administrator mode without asking for a password. I have set passwords for both admin and regular users in XP. If I log off Admin I end up with the normal log on window where I have to give the password and start XP as a regular user. All applications I have tried in XP work fine.

If you've seen this problem





June 8

Parallels 3 adds 3D hardware acceleration, integration features

June 8, 2007

Yesterday, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 3, a new version of the virtualization environment for running Windows and other OS’s in Mac OS X on Intel Macs. The new version adds support for 3D graphics hardware acceleration as well as some new Mac-Windows integration features. The price remains the same at US $80, but the company is now charging a hefty US $50 for an upgrade from previous versions.

The new 3D graphics capabilities include support for OpenGL 1.5 and DirectX 9, which allow Parallels Desktop to run a large number of games. Parallels Desktop 3.0 is the first virtual machine environment for Mac OS X that supports DirectX 9, which is also required to run Windows Vista’s Aero features. Parallels did not say if Desktop 3 will support of the Aero, however. While Parallels claimed that the new version can run “3D CAD programs such as 3DMark,” it did not list AutoCAD among the supported graphics applications.

A new feature called SmartSelect lets you set defaults so that a Mac program opens a type of file when you double-click a file in Windows. For instance, you could double-click .doc files in Windows and have Parallels Desktop launch Word for Mac. You can set another file type to launch a Windows application when double-click in the Mac Finder. You can also select a Mac or Windows application to open a file by right-clicking (or Control-clicking) that file.

Parallels Desktop 3.0 also adds several features that are similar to those in Microsoft’s Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs. Parallels Explorer is a Mac OS X utility that lets you see into and add or move files to or from the virtual hard disk, without running the virtual machine. (Virtual PC does this from the Finder, without a special utility.)

Another VPC-like feature (though more advanced) is Snapshots, which saves the state of a virtual machine, including settings and configurations. You can get back to this state and erase all changes at any time. (Snapshots is similar to Deep Freeze from Faronics Technologies, which does the same for Mac OS X.)

For more info, see this Parallels press release.

If you’ve tried Parallels Desktop 3.0 about your experience, particularly if it fixes any of the bugs previously reported on our Parallels Reports and Tips page.

Boot Camp 1.3 adds support for new MacBook Pro, new drivers

June 8, 2007

Yesterday, Apple released Boot Camp Beta 1.3, a new version of the software that enables you to natively boot an Intel-based Mac with Windows XP or Vista. The new version will run on the new MacBook Pro models released earlier this week, which could not run earlier versions of Boot Camp. It also supports the keyboard backlighting feature of the new MacBook Pros from within Windows.

Other features include:

  • New graphics drivers
  • Improved international keyboard support
  • Improved Boot Camp driver installer
  • Updated Windows Help for Boot Camp
  • Bug fixes

If you’ve tried Boot Camp 1.3 , particularly if it fixes any of the bugs previously reported on our Boot Camp Beta Reports and Tips page.

Apple to replace default file system in Leopard

June 8, 2007

Computerworld reported that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will use Sun’s Zettabyte File System (ZFS) when the new operating system ships in October. Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Jonathan Schwartz said that at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next week, Apple will announce that ZFS will replace HFS+, Apple’s default file system since the days of Mac OS 8.1 in 1998. ZFS is the file system for Sun’s Solaris operating system.





June 6

Simplification for adding PCs to AirPort networks

June 6, 2007

Brandon Edling responded to Monday’s tutorial about how to connect a Windows XP PC to an all-Mac AirPort wireless network. He offers a simplification of one of the steps:

With regards to the "Getting the Passcode for the Mac" section: It's a heck of a lot easier to launch the Airport Utility, go into the configuration of the base station, and choose "Equivalent network password" from the Base Station menu.

Incompatibility with AutoCAD licensing and Boot Camp/external drive

June 6, 2007

Bill Helm has a problem with AutoCAD running Windows with Boot Camp, but only when an external drive is connected to the Mac:

I am running a full registered license of AutoDesk’s AutoCAD and Revit using Boot Camp 1.2 on both my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. There is some sort of an incompatibility issue between AutoDesk’s licensing code and the use of external hard drives. I found that anytime I had my external FireWire drive attached to the computer I was using, my AutoDesk license would error out when launching the software. This annoyance required my taking time out of my day to call AutoDesk for a new activation code each time this happened. So long as the external drive is not attached there are no problems. So far I have not found a workaround for the problem, I just have to live without the use of my external in Windows.

If you’ve seen this problem

Fix for Boot Camp problems with Vista and external monitor

June 6, 2007

Last week we reported a way to fix a problem with using external projectors from Windows Vista under Boot Camp. Ted Edmondson found a different solution for doing the same with an external monitor:

I have a MacBook Pro 15.4", 2.33GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256 RAM and I had this problem--or at least the problem with the external monitor.

I think it is related to the ATI display drivers. ATI do not release generic drivers for Mobility Radeon cards on their website. The drivers that Boot Camp installs don't work very well, and Windows then installs the MS driver over the top.

This works fine for the laptop screen, allowing Flip 3D and all the other eye-candy that Vista offers, but shows the external monitor problem.

I went to this Packard Bell’s site and downloaded the Packard Bell drivers.

The ATI Catalyst control centre is now fully installed and working, and I am writing this email on my extended desktop on my secondary monitor.

If you’ve tried this fix

Thursby utility fixes OS X login hang with ADmitMac

June 6, 2007

Thursby Software has released a utility that fixes a problem with Mac OS X’s login screen and ADmitMac (the Active Directory integration tool for Mac OS X). The problem occurs when a user attempts to log out, the Mac freezes before the login windows appears. Thursby says that the problem is caused by bugs in the Mac OS X login screen. The company describes the fix:

We've created a utility that monitors the system log looking for this situation [an error message]. If found, this utility restarts the loginwindow process so that the hang condition is corrected.

MS hotfix for Exchange fixes Entourage login failure issue confirmed

June 6, 2007

Alex Passey confirmed that the recent Microsoft hotfix for Exchange server fixes the Entourage login failure issue we've been covering:

This hotfix works! I’ve been battling this issue for the last past year. Users are now able to login properly.





June 4

Tutorial: How to add a PC to an AirPort Express Mac established Network

June 4, 2007

Piper Karie sent us a tutorial about how to connect a Windows XP PC to an all-Mac AirPort wireless network. You can read it on our Cross-Platform AirPort page.





May 2007

May 31

MS hotfix for Exchange fixes Entourage login failure issue

May 31, 2007

A hotfix for Exchange Server issued by Microsoft last week fixes a problem we’ve been reporting regarding Entourage login failures, according to a reader. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 935973 describes the hotfix as the solution to a problem with Outlook Web Access (OWA) for Exchange Server. In this case, OWA users can’t read email messages that contain a mixture of Japanese and roman characters in the subject line. Users who try get an "Access is Denied" error message.

The issue we’ve reported with Entourage somewhat different. The user is prompted for a password, which is rejected, prompting the error message "Login failure: unknown user name or bad password."

There are similarities between the Entourage problem and the OWA problem that the Microsoft hotfix addresses. The Entourage problem seems to be caused by non-roman characters in email (spam) messages. Readers have reported success when deleting email with non-roman characters. The other similarity is that Entourage and Outlook Web Access both use the WebDAV protocol to communicated with the Exchange Server.

Shane Palmer said that new hotfix does indeed fix the problem with login failure problem with Entourage:

I have many users that were having the Entourage/Exchange login problems described on the MacWindows Entourage page as well and have had a trouble call in with Microsoft for several months. Our issue was narrowed down to specific Spam messages with Japanese characters in the subject field. The problem was found to be with the Exchange server and not Entourage. Microsoft released an official hotfix to patch Exchange 2003 for this issue.

Further information can be found at Knowledge Base Article 935973.

If you've installed this hotfix if it fixed the Entourage login issue.

Update on the fix for Entourage clients slowing Exchange

May 31, 2007

Robert Liebsch has an update to his report about the problem of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server. Liebsch was the first to report the problem, then responded positively to a suggestion by another reader. He sent us another update:

Now that it has been a few weeks, many thanks to Rod Austria for the solution. So many problems have been resolved by adding the DAV key to the registry with the 800MB value.

Entourage is faster sending and receiving mail updates (faster than Outlook at times). Blackberry deliver latency has dropped to insignificant levels. My road warriors no longer time out or have unresponsive Entourage clients. Attachment downloads and uploads have improved significantly. My Administrative staff can move through the calendaring system with appropriate responsiveness.

John Zsakany saw the issue, tried the fix, and had success:

I knew the Macs users were the issue. When they are logged in my disk queue goes up to 800! Turn off the store, and it’s below 1.

So in my environment I moved the Mac users over, 20 of them. Brand new quad core 2 RAID 1 drives and a raid 10 drive, iSCSI drives. 20 users killed the resources.

I attempted the reg entry fix, which seemed to fix it. The Disk queue peaked 4-5 times in the last few days and I moved almost everyone over Sunday (about 50 mailboxes).

Exchange options for Mac clients laid out

May 31, 2007

In a TechXworld article called Supporting Macs on Exchange Server, John Rizzo describes the various options for using the Mac as a client to Exchange Server. The story describes the different approaches for Intel and PowerPC Macs and the pros and cons of each.

Suggestions for OS X Server periodically losing AD connection

May 31, 2007

Several readers responded to our report earlier this week of a Mac OS X Server that periodically loses Active Directory connection. Robert Brown had suggestions:

I have seen this issue a few times, the first thing is to make sure you have the proper DNS and Search Domain entries. The other issue could be time drift, as the server and the Domain controller get to far apart the binding is affected, so you should specify a time server to rectify this.

Jose Richard also sees the problem:

Hi we have exactly the same problem as Erik Zimmerman. It will correct with a bind/unbind. But for us it happens every week.

Sochet Ly does as well:

I have the same problem, but with Windows 2000 Server, and it happened once a week.

If you’ve seen this problem, or tried Brown’s suggestions





May 29

Tip: Solution to Boot Camp/Vista external projector issues

May 29, 2007

Chuck McGinley sent us a fix to enable projector displays to work with Windows Vista and Boot Camp:

Last month I contacted you about my problems with getting external projectors to work under Boot Camp 1.2 and Vista. I found the solution with the help of some people on the web. Here is what to do:

You can read about McGinley's fix on our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Tip: getting VMware to recognize Windows after reinstalling Boot Camp

May 29, 2007

Paul Lee reinstalled Boot Camp after he had set up VMware Fusion to use Boot Camp's copy of Windows. He then found a way to enable VMware Fusion to locate Windows:

I've been using Boot Camp and VMware Fusion Beta 3 on the first Mac I've ever had, a MacBook Pro 2.33GHz. I've never tried Parallels, but I’m really satisfied with VMWare Fusion, except for one problem so far.

If I re-install the Boot Camp partition, VMWare Fusion gives me an error message saying it could not find partition or the partition is under use.

The solution what I found was to remove all *.lck file or folders under "/Users/username/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/Virtual Machines/Boot Camp/.... partition.vmwarevm" and then it works fine.

For more about VMware, see our VMware Beta Tips and Reports page.

Reader's OS X Server periodically loses AD connection

May 29, 2007

Erik Zimmerman reported a problem with his Mac OS X server, which periodically loses it's connection to Active Directory:

We have one Mac OS X Server 10.4.9 on a Windows 2003 Active Directory. The problem is that every two weeks the server will lose its connection to the Active Directory and fail to authenticate any domain users from either Mac or Windows machines. A quick unbind and rebind of the server to the Active Directory fixes the problem.

I've setup a separate OU in the directory and used group policy to disable machine account passwords and signing requirements to "only if client agrees." The server is not restarting in the middle of the night or anything like that (I know because our backups keep running, using the root user). In the syslog it shows that all of the sudden user authentication fails and it always seems to happen at night.

The server can resolve all hosts on the domain, DNS reports no errors, no Windows clients are having any issues with the domain.

The Mac OS X server is bound to the directory and both Mac and Windows clients access the server. AFP and Windows are the only two services that are being used on the Mac.

If you’ve seen this problem

More on Active Directory binding and firewalls

May 29, 2007

Corey Baldwin commented on our reported fix for a problem with binding to Active Directory through a firewall:

This is in response to Scott Dungan fix. What if some computers work and some don’t, and some computers fail the first time and you change the name and then it works, or they fail for a few days and then work with no changes? If some work and some don’t then UDP port 464 has nothing to do with the binding issue.

One thing I’ve found interesting is, at an advertising agency I worked for, they had AD setup with companyname.com and never once had an AD binding problem. Since then I’ve worked at two other companies that had AD setup with companyname.local and have had nothing but problems binding. And yes, I an aware of adding local in the search domain for Tiger and the procedure in Apple Tech Article 107800 for Panther to work with domains setup with .local.

You can find further discussions of this topic and others on our on our Active Directory Reports and Tips page.

Duplicate SMB folder issue also seen with OS X server, older Tiger

May 29, 2007

More reports on the problem of Mac users seeing duplicate folders on mounted SMB server volumes point the finger at Tiger, not the server or the Mac hardware. (Last week, a reader offered a workaround.)

Martin Sammtleben sees the problem with a Mac OS Server and older Macs, but in his case, the issue is more than annoying:

We have been experiencing the Duplicate Folders issue in an all-Mac environment.

Clients are on Mac OS X 10.3 or 10.4 (these are all PowerPCs) and the server is on 10.3 with all the latest updates.

Sometimes, when moving a folder on the server to a new location, it will appear in the new *and* the old location simultaneously. When one trashes the "old" one *both instances* are trashed and need to be recovered from the backup. This is a most disturbing bug.

Ben Vigil see the problem accessing a Windows workstation and Linux:

It happens on any SMB mounted share. It happens with Macs accessing my Windows XP Pro shares as well. I also share a little portable drive on a Linux/Samba server. The Macs are OS X 10.4.9.

See our Tiger Cross-Platform Issues page for other reports regarding Tiger file sharing.

CDFinder 5.0 integrates with Toast, Filemaker Universal Binary

May 29, 2007

West-Forest-Systems last week released CDFinder 5.0, (US $39, free update), a disk cataloging tool for Mac OS X. CDFinder can work together with CDWinder for Windows as a cross-platform, network solution to catalog hard drives, CDs, and DVDs on a Mac and a PC. CDFinder can also catalog the contents of archive files, including, StuffIt, ZIP, TAR, and Apple Installer files.

Among the new features in version 5.0:

  • Can catalog and display thumbnail previews for photo and image files
  • Integration with Roxio Toast Titanium 8.0: After Toast burns a CD or DVD, it will launch CDFinder and pass on the information
  • integration into applications such as Apple Pages, Apple Keynote, Adobe InDesign, and Quark XPress
  • Improved integration with FileMaker Pro
  • Full support of Unicode file names, comments, and other data
  • New user interface
  • Native to Intel Macs





May 23

Suggestion for Boot Camp 1.2 problem with OS X booting

May 23, 2007

A few more readers commented on the problem of Boot Camp not booting into Mac OS X unless the PRAM is reset. Ray Waggoner found a way to put an end to the problem:

I too experienced the Boot Camp problem also on my Mac Pro. Unless I pressed the Option key at boot time and manually selected OSX the system would boot into Windows.

I installed a third hard disk drive and installed a copy of OSX on that drive. After installation the new OS X install drive suddenly became the default boot drive instead of windows.

Oddly enough, opening System Preferences/System/Startup Disk and selecting your boot volume of choice and clicking "restart" had no permanent effect on the way the Mac booted. It would, of course, restart with whatever boot volume you selected, but at the next reboot the changes simply would not stick and it would default back to previous settings.

Finally I discovered the cure! Open System Preferences/System/Startup Disk and select your boot volume of choice and DO NOT click Restart. Simply close the window. The next reboot your Mac Pro will boot the Partition you selected.

If you've tried this if it worked for you.

Bruce Showalter has to reset the PRAM with every boot:

I have the same issue as reported on your site. I have a 2x2.66 GHz Dual Core-Intel Xeon running Mac OS X 10.4.9. I just recently (Saturday in fact) installed XP SP2 after installing Boot Camp 1.2 In my case zapping PRAM is only good for the session. Once I boot back into XP the cycle begins again. As such, the Option key at boot is the more reasonable short term workaround.

Fix for duplicate folders on SMB servers

May 23, 2007

Dan Ball says the problem of Mac users seeing duplicate folders on mounted SMB server volumes is not limitted to Intel Macs. He also found a fix:

We just had this happen to us a few weeks ago, but we run on all PowerPC Macs, so it’s not just the Intel Macs that have this problem. We are connecting to Windows 2003 servers using SMB.

My fix was to delete the .DS_Store file at the root of the network share that showed the duplicate folders.

So far we haven't had the issue since then, but it was a very strange one.

If you've tried this if it worked for you.

More 11.3.5 disappearing Office apps & Entourage issues

May 23, 2007

We are continuing to receive reports of the Office 11.3.5 update causing the Entourage application to disappear, as well as other Office applications.

Jeremy Matthews is experiencing Entourage hanging on multiple Macs:

We just had a Mac "lose" its copy of Excel after the 11.3.5 update. And, we're seeing additional Entourage hanging/crashing on both PowerPC and Intel Macs after the update as well.

We've put out notes to all clients to NOT install the 11.3.5 update...as it causes some serious issues!

Bill Vader saw Entourage and Excel disappear, but fixed it:

I had one on Friday. A Mac OS X 10.3.9 client used Microsoft AutoUpdate to install the new patch and lost both Excel and Entourage. I reinstalled the entire suite and re-updated from a downloaded patch and it worked fine.

On Monday, we reported that a user saw all of the Office apps to vanish. Two more readers are also seeing this. Al Keller:

Yep, after the 11.3.5 update, all Office apps mysteriously disappeared!

An anonymous reader saw this on several Macs:

A case of all Office apps vanishing: I had the same calls with all Office for Mac apps vanishing with the new upgrade. I had to uninstall the apps and reinstall them.





May 21

Another case of Boot Camp 1.2 not booting Mac OS X and PRAM reset fix

May 21, 2007

Daryl Altenhof had the problem of Boot Camp not booting into Mac OS X, and verified the solution we reported.

I was having the same issue. I had to press the "Option" key when starting my Quad 2.66 with Boot Camp. I had tried both in Windows and OS X to set the start up disk but had no luck. Thanks for the tip of resetting the PRAM. Cleared the thing right up.

I'm also using Parallels with this partitions and was wondering if that was a contributing factor.

If you've seen this problem .

A case of all Office apps vanishing with 11.3.5, not just Entourage

May 21, 2007

Patrick Spargur responded to our previous reports of the recent Office 11.3.5 update causing the Entourage application to disappear. In his case, all the apps disappeared:

We went through a similar issue with our Mac, but the update deleted EVERY Office application. Interestingly though, when we re-installed the software from the original disks, and then ran the update again, all her emails and original docs were unaffected.

This whole thing caused a lot of fun around the house when I told her it would be virtually impossible for a software update to delete all her applications.

If you've seen this problem .

Intel Mac Duplicate folders on SMB not limited to Windows servers

May 21, 2007

We’ve had a couple of more reports about Intel Mac users seeing duplicate folders on mounted SMB server volumes.

In previous reports, users were connected to Windows server. Geoff Williams sees the problem with a Unix server:

I have had this problem too, but I'm using a FreeBSD server running Samba. I don't have a Windows server at all, so it’s not a Windows issue - more likely within the OS X code.

Although the problem was regular on 10.3 (OS X client) it's only rarely on latest 10.4. So I would attribute the problem to OS X samba implementation which improves with each new software version. To avoid (most) problems make sure client is updated to 10.4.9.

Matt Kirchhoff verified the problem:

I too can confirm the mysterious "duplicate" folder issue: same folder name, one with uppercase first letter, one with lower-case.

Specifically, I've seen this when connecting my Mac Book Pro (2 GHz) via SMB to our Windows 2003 SP2 fileserver.

Tip: sharing a Mac's second drive from Windows

May 21, 2007

With Tiger, non-admin users can only mount the boot volumes of Macs on the network; You cannot mount any additional volume, such as a FireWire drive or second internal hard drive, over the network.

If you log on from the PC using your Mac's admin name and password (instead of the guest account) you should be able to see the other drive.

If you don't want to do this, you can add a program to the Mac called SharePoints. This will allow non-admin accounts to access the other drive.





May 18

More reports of duplicate folders on Windows Server 2003

May 18, 2007

More readers have provided details of the problem of SMB folders appearing to duplicate from Intel Macs on Win 2003 server.

Louis Gephardt described the issue:

I've seen this issue as well. One of our primary file servers runs Windows 2003 and my Intel-based Mac connects to it using SMB with Kerberos authentication. When I open the root of the share I will sometimes get two folders with the same name but one w/ a capital first character and the other with a lowercase first character. If I double click on either of them it takes me to the same place. None of our PowerPC based Macs (all 75 of them) have the same issue. Only our 2-3 Intel based Macs experience it. I haven't seen the issue get any worse and it's more of an oddity than anything else. Regardless, I can definitely confirm this phenomena.

Erik Bowling sees the problem with and without Active Directory:

I have seen the same thing using Intel Macs attaching to Windows 2003 file server for their mapped "user folder." The Mac uses Active Directory to connect, but I also see the problem when logging in locally to the computer and attaching to the user drive. The thing that seems to stand out is that the users also use Windows machines and utilize the OFFLINE files feature.

Bill Porter sees the problem, but can’t duplicate it:

We are working off of a Windows Server 2003 and we have seen duplicate folder names in all caps appearing on the server. This does not occur all the time and it is currently on the list of things we are trying to track down. We have around 50 Macs on the network, and have not been able to totally duplicate the problem consistently.

Removing LDAP plugin to fix slow Mac startup on AD networks

May 18, 2007

Barry McInnes verified a previously reported fix for Macs connected to Active Directory having very slow startup times. The problem seems to be caused by the LDAP version 3 plugin. McInnes verified that removing it does the trick:

We had the same problem moving to AD, we left LDAP plugin and configuration in Directory Access configuration. Startup was extremely slow, and the blue progrss bar would just stay at the end, and eventually give a Login screen. We removed the plugin and the LDAP setup from Authentication and Contacts and restarted. Now it boots up very fast.

Other reports of this fix are on our Active Directory Reports page.

Mac Pro: Boot Camp 1.2 won't boot into Mac OS X until PRAM reset

May 18, 2007

Brian Kneebone has to reset the PRAM in his Mac Pro in order to boot in Mac OS X with Boot Camp 1.2 Beta:

When selecting the Macintosh hard disk in the "startup disk" on a Quad-core Mac Pro (dual dual-core Xeon with 2 GB RAM), the system ignores and continues to boot into Windows. The only work-around is the clear parameter RAM to boot back into Mac OS X. I have the latest version of Windows XP (SP2 with latest hotfixes) and a fresh install of Boot Camp Beta 1.2.

If you've seen this problem .

Joining an encrypted wireless network

May 18, 2007

A reader sent in this problem:

There is an AirPort network with WEP enabled with an ASCII password with 8 characters length (probably WEP 128 Bits). When I try to connect with my Windows XP PC, I get this message: "The network needs to be 40 bits or 104 bits depending on your network configuration. This can be entered as 5 or 13 characters or 10 or 26 hexadecimal characters." I can connect any Apple computer typing the 8-character password.

Apple has an article that might help. It’s article 106424, AirPort: Joining an encrypted wireless network. It has to do with the differences between Apple and non-Apple wireless hardware in terms of how the treat passwords.





May 16

CrossOver Mac 6.1 improves Outlook 2003, 3D game support

May 16, 2007

Yesterday, CodeWeavers shipped version CrossOver Mac 6.1 (US $60 download, free upgrade), an upgrade to the software that allows you to run Windows applications on a Mac, without Windows. The new version improvements support for Outlook 2003 for Windows and 3D PC games and includes a number of bug fixes. CodeWeavers also released CrossOver Linux 6.1, which runs Windows applications on Linux.

With the new version, Outlook 2003 will support RPC over HTTP, which enables users to check email from outside of office firewalls. CrossOver 6.1 also improves authentication support in Outlook 2003 and fixes bugs with Outlook.

CodeWeavers said that the new version also fixes a “major bug” with running FrameMaker 7.1 (related to font issues), and that FrameMaker 7.1 is now “usable” with CrossOver 6.1.

Running PC game in CrossOver is improved with a “major update” of DirectX support, including 3D graphics. There are also a few more games supported, including the EVE Online and Call of Duty 2 (through Steam). For other fixes in CrossOver 6.1, see CodeWeavers’ changelog.

CodeWeavers said that for the next update, it would focus on further improvements Outlook and for Adobe applications, as well as enabling more games to run.

For more information on CrossOver, see our CrossOver tips and reports page.

CrossOver is available as a free trial. If you've tried CrossOver 6.1 .

New Microsoft beta converter turns Word .docx files into RTF, but can't save to .docx

May 16, 2007

Yesterday, Microsoft posted for download Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac Beta 1, a prerelease version of a one-way file converter. The utility allows Mac users convert .docx and .docm (macro-enabled) files to Rich Text Format (RTF). The two new Word formats are native to Office 2007 for Windows, but are not yet supported in Office for Mac.

The new converter utility cannot convert .docx files to .doc files, nor does it convert files to the new Word formats. Microsoft recommends that Mac users who need to return files to Office 2007 users should save to the .doc format. Office 2008 for Mac, due later this year, will support the new file formats natively, with both read and write functionality.

Microsoft said that it will offer beta versions of similar converters for PowerPoint and Excel sometime this summer. It will ship a final version of the full-suite converter six to eight weeks after it releases Office 2008 for Mac.

See our Office 2008 preview report for more on these and other cross-platform issues.

Reader verifies Entourage's disappearing app trick

May 16, 2007

Paul St-Pierre responded to Monday’s report of the Office 11.3.5 update causing the Entourage application to disappear. He also had other problems with Entourage and the other Office apps:

My Entourage problems occurred with the upgrade for Office 2004.

I first lost everything I had on Entourage (files, addresses, even trash) Then later, I could not print any files with either Entourage, Word, Excel or Power Point. In my 20 years with Mac, I never got anything close to this.

I spent quite a lot of time visiting sites to benefit from users' chatting on similar experiences, but didn't go anywhere…

So, with an iMac (3 months old), Mac OS X 10.4.9, Office 2004 (brand new), the student version. I upgraded to 11.3.5 and then wasted 2 full days. To fix it, I had to rebuild the computer. It now works. I however lost some software because the sellers probably think I'm freely installing this on other computers.

Conclusion: I will now be quite late in upgrading Office again.

If you’ve seen these problems with the new update

Webcast on cross-platform file servers, Active Directory integration issues

May 16, 2007

MacEnterprise.org has posted a webcast of a talk by two Group Logic representatives regarding the company’s ExtremeZ-IP server software for integrating Macs with Windows files servers. The webcast looks at the issues that IT managers deal with. It also covers Active Directory integration, clustering, performance monitoring, and the new scalability and performance enhancements in ExtremeZ-IP 5.0.

Verification of SMB folder duplication from Intel Macs on Win 2003 Server

May 16, 2007

Todd Austin responded to our report from Monday of SMB folders appearing to duplicate from Intel Macs on Win 2003 server:

Yes, I have seen this problem on occasion in our environment. The duplicated folders are named in all CAPS, like Folder and FOLDER. They have exactly the same content and all other views from other platforms seem fine. This does seem like a Mac bug.

If you’ve seen this problem





May 14

Reports of problems/fixes with Office/Entourage 11.3.5 update

May 14, 2007

A reader named Deetjen couldn’t open Office documents or install software after last week's Microsoft Office 11.3.5 update, but a reinstall eliminated the problem:

Last night after I installed the update I began encountering several problems. First, I was unable to open any Microsoft document or program. Secondly, I was unable to install any new programs (i.e. AOL Instant Messenger). I am an advanced Windows user who recently switched to Macs (15” MacBook Pro with all the goodies).

The quick fix for this problem was to reinstall the Office update. After that, everything went back to normal.

Discussion boards around the web are reporting instances of the Entourage application disappearing after installing the 11.3.5 update. For instance, see this thread at microsoft.public.mac.office.entourage.

Of this problem, Dan Pearson remarks:

I've read that the update can cause Entourage to disappear. I consider that a very important improvement...

If you’ve seen either of these problems

Another take on Entourage/Exchange login failure

May 14, 2007

Brian Benton sent us an update to his previous reports on the problem of Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error. Like other readers, deleting email with non-roman characters fixed the problem. But he also made an adjustment with user account permissions which affected the issue:

We seemed to have resolved the issue, but we made two significant changes:

1) Like other people we deleted non-roman spam/emails (Asian fonts in this case). This, of course, was done via Microsoft Outlook.

2) We correctly set the permission’s for the users account. The Exchange administrator noticed that the users’ permissions were not set up correctly. Actually, it appears the user had no permission to his own account, but that did not seem to cause any problems before (unless it was inadvertently changed). So I’m not sure why setting up the account generated zero errors (authentication works when setting up the account).

In any event, I would suspect other Mac/Entourage users have non-Roman email (or spam), but it does not seem to be causing a problem. So we have had no more issues like this – since we fixed the one account. We are still on the 11.3.4 patch, but should test and upgrade to 11.3.5 soon.

SMB folders appear to duplicate from Intel Macs on Win 2003 server

May 14, 2007

Asger Højland has an odd problem with folders that appear to be duplicated on a server, though they really aren’t. The problem only occurs with Intel Macs using SMB file sharing:

I have a problem with two Intel Macs (MacBook Core Duo and iMac Core2 Duo) running 10.4.9. I have a Windows 2003 Server set up as a file server. An SBS2003 handles authentication.

Once in a while when I create new folders on the Win2003 share, when clicking on folders the names suddenly begin to behave strangely. Folder names suddenly appear twice or more in the same folder like: Folder 1, Folder 1, Folder 1 right next to each other, When I re-log on the problem usually disappears.

Read the rest of this story on our Intel Mac Cross-Platform Issues page.

Another view of Safari and Citrix issues

May 14, 2007

An anonymous reader isn’t seeing all of the problems that other readers have reported with Safari and Citrix:

Saying Safari doesn't work at all for All Citrix based apps is too general, from our experience.

Safari works just with the Citrix PowerPC and Intel client. the Intel client is not 128-bit encryption, however, so that can be an issue for Citrix apps requiring 128-bit.

Citrix and Java both load fine in Safari and we are presented with the application (quite a huge application for us here in our hospital).

There is one issue: one cannot copy and paste from within Safari. I am sure there is something broken within Safari on this, but the Firefox copy-and-paste functionality works fine.

All of this on Mac OS 10.4.9 and latest Mac Citrix clients.





May 9

Office/Entourage 11.3.5 update focuses on security

May 9, 2007

Yesterday, Microsoft released Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.5 Update, a free download that adds security fixes for Entourage, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft describes the fix:

This update contains several improvements to enhance security and stability, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code. In addition, this update includes all the improvements released in all previous Office 2004 updates.

The developer of E2sync said yesterday that Entourage 11.3.5 also includes changes to its sync services that improve syncing. E2sync is a utility that can sync Entourage with iSync, moving Entourage contacts, calendar items and tasks to over 60 cell phone models, iPods and PDAs, and to iCal, AddressBook, and .Mac.

If you’ve seen the update positively or negatively effect Entourage and Exchange Server

Readers agree: don't use Safari with Citrix Mac client

May 9, 2007

A pair of readers wrote to say that they agree with a suggestion earlier this week that moving away from Safari will fix the problem of the Citrix ICA Mac client not opening Windows applications. (The client downloads a launch.ica file and stops.)

Michael Wilmar:

Andy Fragen is right. The basis rule is it is generally not a good idea to use Safari with Citrix. The Java client doesn’t work very well (at least not for me). I would advise anyone using Citrix to use Firefox.

Richard Heend:

I can confirm that, when connecting to a Citrix server, Firefox handles the launch.ica download transparently and launches the Citrix client flawlessly. Safari chokes on the file and it does not seem to work reliably to launch it manually. So if you connect to Citrix with your Mac (and 10.4.x) use Firefox.

Another suggestion for Tiger AD binding problem

May 9, 2007

Thomas Finley responded to a previously report tip for getting around problems with Macs binding to Microsoft Active Directory:

I had a similar problem, but before deleting user accounts, make sure the local machine's clock preferences are set to synch up with your server's clocks. This was preventing me from logging in (and it was hiding my local user directories).

If you've tried this, please how this works for you.

We have more information and tips regarding binding on our report Integrating Macs and Microsoft Active Directory.

Apple article addresses a cross-platform wireless issue

May 9, 2007

Apple Support article 106424, AirPort: Joining an encrypted wireless network, provides some guidance in avoiding password problems when trying to access an AirPort wireless network using PCs. The introduction the article describes it like this:

When joining a password-protected wireless network, passwords may be treated differently by AirPort and non-Apple wireless products. Learn what you need to know to use your password correctly.

DocHaven, cross-platform document management system

May 9, 2007

David Cox is the developer of DocHaven 2.0 ($US 100) a document management system that gives multiple computers access to files over a network. Cox said:

I searched so long for a Mac-like document management system that runs on Mac/Win/Linux for my old church that I gave up and wrote one myself and have commercialized it.





May 7

TIP: How to move Boot Camp Windows into a virtual machine

May 7, 2007

Ed Welsh bought a MacBook Pro to use as a Windows machine in Boot Camp. After discovering Mac OS X, he moved his Boot Camp-installed copy of Windows into a virtual machine in VMware Fusion. He was then able to delete the Boot Camp drive partition: 

I have been using VMware Fusion for about a month and really like it. (I have never used Parallels.) I first started using Apple computers about 6 months after the Intel MacBook Pro came out. I've used Windows and Linux since the beginning of time.

Read the rest of this story on our VMware Fusion Beta Tips and Reports page.

A simpler Fix for Citrix "launch.ics " problem

May 7, 2007

Andy Fragen sent us a fix for the problem of the Citrix ICA Mac client being unable to open Windows applications. His solution is simpler than one we posted last week:

I've seen the Citrix Mac problem in just having a 'launch.ics' file download. This happens in Safari. My solution is to use Firefox when I need to access the Citrix client. On the first download attempt of the launch.ics file Firefox asks if you want to open this file in an application. Simply select the Mac Citrix ICA Client and you're off.

If you've tried this fix

More on Entourage login failure, non-roman email text

May 7, 2007

Edward Earle, who first reported the problem Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error message, sent us a follow-up note. He said that the suggestion from Sasha Segan of PC Magazine did the trick:

I just wanted to thank you for the range of responses that came in since my note of March 26. While we has some success with the laborious export, new account creation, and import, the final key was Sascha Segan's note about non-roman characters. We purged several accounts of Asian email messages, killed the cache and sure enough, the mail account came back up. As soon as a new non-roman message came in, the mail stopped syncing. Once that was removed, and Entourage was restarted, the program worked well without the need to remove the cache a second time.

I am now searching for a way to block all non-roman email (or simply change Entourage's formatting to ASCII). Apple mail has worked well with Exchange server as an alternative but missing that critical calendar application that is so central to Exchange.

Eddie Storey said the problem doesn’t happen with Outlook Web Access:

I have the password problem too. It works flawlessly from home using Outlook Web Access over cable modem. Using Entourage, either CAT5 or Wireless, I get the repeated prompt for password only when I'm on local network or on VPN to the same network as the Exchange Server.

MacBook OS X 10.4.9 and Entourage 11.3.3 on Windows 2003 Server with Exchange 2003.

Problem with MacFuse write-access to NTFS

May 7, 2007

Gi youl Kim reported a problem with MacFuse with NTFS-3g, open source software that gives Macs read/write access to NTFS and other file systems:

I installed MacFuse with NTFS-3g. As you know, Mac OS originally support NTFS with read-only access. But it has a bug in which some files/directories are missing (these are not supposed to be hidden files). I found that happens in MacFuse & NTFS-3g also. Even you can create a file with same name as an already-existing file, either file will be deleted. It may be a common bug of NTFS-3g and innate in NTFS both. But I think there is something else in iterating meta data of NTFS.

If you've tried MacFuse how it worked for you.





May 4

MacFuse enables Mac OS X to read/write NTFS

May 4, 2007

MacFuse is a free open source program that enables Mac OS X to run file systems that OS X doesn't normally support. This includes Microsoft's NTFS, the standard file system for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Mac OS X can read NTFS-formatted drives, but cannot write to them. With MacFuse and NTFS-3G, a read/write NTFS driver, Macs gain full NTFS access.

Installation is not self-evident, but the LifeHack.org website has instructions.

Robyn Webb tried to use MacFuse with Parallels Desktop, and found that it worked with the most recent Parallels Build:

I installed MacFuse so that my Mac could read and write to my NTFS backup drive. However, I found that MacFuse was incompatible with Parallels. That is, my Mac could read & write the NTFS drive, but Parallels couldn't see it.

Then I upgraded to the current 3188 build of Parallels and everything is fine. It’s all compatible.

We've added MacFuse to our list of cross-platform drive solutions.

If you've tried MacFuse how it worked for you.

Removing Entourage attachments on Exchange Server

May 4, 2007

Luis Antezana described how Entourage's Remove All Attachments only works on local email, not email stored on Exchange Server. He also gives a provided a workaround.

Read this story on our Entourage Reports page.

Another reader confirms the fix for Entourage and Exchange 2003 performance issues

May 4, 2007

Adam Blevins confirmed the previously reported fix for the problem of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server:

I was also seeing the exact same performance issues on our Exchange Server. We have about 500 Entourage 2004 clients and 200 OWA clients.

It has been over 5 weeks now working with Microsoft on this issue. Microsoft stated in KB329067 to set the value to 50MB. This did not resolve our problem.

Only modifying the registry value set to 800MB = 838860800 Decimal fixed the performance issue.

Issue:

  • Disk I/O over .700
  • RPC over 300
  • Current Disk Queue Length over 150.

Needless to say server was crawling by. After registry fix:

  • Disk I/O under .020
  • RPC under .010
  • Current Disk Queue Length under 8

Steve Jobs stock scandal moves to Apple's board;
Forbes says Jobs is highest paid CEO

May 4, 2007

The San Francisco reported yesterday that Institutional Shareholder Services placed blame on Apple's Board of Directors in the stock option backdating scandal that involves Steve Jobs. Apple's Board includes such big names as Al Gore, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson. Institutional Shareholder Services advises shareholders on how they should vote on proxy issues.

This news came on the same day that Forbes Magazine reported Jobs as the highest paid CEO of the top 500 largest companies. Jobs received $647 million last year despite his $1 annual salary. Forbes said it came from vested restricted stock.

The Chronicle said that "the Cupertino maker of iPods and Macintosh computers now admits that more than 6,400 grants might have been improperly backdated from 1997 to 2002, including two large grants to Jobs in 2000 and 2001."

In a report to Apple stockholders, Institutional Shareholder Services blamed the Apple board for its lack of oversight. "A cult-like devotion to any CEO can be a huge downside risk to shareholders."

The firm also said that "the board has taken insufficient steps to assure investors that insiders will not profit from the favorable timing of equity grants. Such behavior sets an unacceptably low bar for corporate conduct at Apple."

Additionally, a lawsuit by shareholders "alleges that the board knew about the backdating scheme and was aware of the breakdown in internal controls at Apple," according to the Chronicle.

Last Week, the Security and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against former Apple executives, former Apple General Counsel Nancy Heinen and former Apple Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson. Anderson said last week that he had warned Jobs about the backdating in 2001.

In its warning to Apple shareholders, Institutional Shareholder Services said that "The window into current and past compensation practices at the company provided by the board is best described as opaque."





May 2

MacBook battery firmware update: related to the Parallels issue?

May 2, 2007

Adam Fields noted that Apple has a recently posted Battery Update 1.2 for MacBooks and MacBook Pros. We wondered if this has any relation to the issue of the most recent Parallels Desktop update triggering battery failure. That is, did the update play a role in causing the problem? Does the update fix the problem?

If you've installed this battery update if you think it had an effect on the Parallels battery issue.

Another type of hardware fix for MacBook battery

May 2, 2007

Several readers have previously reported that replacing the battery fixed the problem of battery failure triggered by Parallels Build 3188. Chris Smyrnos said that Apple replaced other hardware:

This seems to be a hardware issue with the Macbooks (at least it was in my case). I do have Parallels installed on my computer and had the same issues mentioned (battery not being recognized after discharge). I also had the problem of my computer not going to sleep when I closed the lid. I tried a fresh install of OS X to no avail. I sent my computer in the Apple and they replaced the DC-in board. That fixed both the battery issue and the lid-closing issue. Not sure if it's related, but that was my experience.

Suggestions for Citrix Mac problem accessing Windows apps

May 2, 2007

Several readers sent in suggestions for the reported problem of the Citrix Mac client being unable to run Windows applications. The client downloaded a file called launch.ica that didn't do anything.

William Harrison sent two suggestions, the second using Terminal:

This sounds like a Launch Services error.

Make sure a copy of the Citrix application is not in the Trash.

If not, try rebuilding the Launch Services database:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchSe rvices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -f -domain local -domain system -domain user

Michael Pardee has two suggestions, noting the lack of high encryption in the Intel-native version:

Something to check: make sure the .ica files are associated with the Citrix ICA client. When I went to the Intel-based MacBook Pro I also had to go back and use the PowerPC version of the ICA client as the Universal Binary does not support high encryption, so watch for that one as well.

Ric Washer pointed out that in general, but the Inte and PowerPC clients should work on Intel Macs:

I support over 50 macs, 6 of them Intel Macs. We have not seen any issues with running Apps via Citirx. For the Intel Mac we have downloaded the Intel Client update. But we also have been using the PowerPC client on Intel Macs.

Verification of Entourage/Exchange performance tip, and a correction

May 2, 2007

Robert Liebschs reported success with suggestions we reported on Monday for fixing the issue of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server. Liebschs was the first to report the problem. He said:

I'd like to update that Rod Austria's work and recommendations are making a difference. I did the registry addition and the early numbers are looking quite promising. RPC averaged latency has dropped from nearly 200 to consistently under 50 (hovering under 10).

This is the first work day after the addition of the key and updating the OS to SP2 (W2K3).

Disk I/O and Queue length have decreased substantially, and when they do jump, the arrays recover much more quickly.

Again, it is early, but I am going to remain hopeful.

Meanwhile, Rod Austria informed us of a typo in one of the two Knowledge Base articles that he referenced in his April 26 article about Exchange performance problems caused by Entourage. KB320967should be KB329067. We've made the change to the text of the article and the link.

Centrify web broadcast will cover Active Directory integration

May 2, 2007

Next week, Centrify will run a webcast entitled Regulatory Compliance Using Active Directory in a Heterogeneous Environment. The company said that the webcast will cover a variety of topics for using its DirectControl product, including:

  • Developing and maintaining an Active Directory compliance strategy that's integrated into the day-to-day operations of a heterogeneous IT infrastructure
  • Optimizing infrastructure with consistent Group Policy management for Windows, UNIX, Linux and Mac
  • Enhancing compliance with SOX, PCI, HIPPAA and other regulations through consolidated reporting across heterogeneous systems and applications

The webcast will be held next Tuesday, 5/8/2007, 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. The web cast is free, though viewers need to first register here.





April 2007

April 30

TIP: Fix for Entourage's "no response" on accepted meetings

April 30, 2007, updated May 2, 2007

Andrew Rouner told us how he solved his problem with Entourage shows "no response" for the "view attendee status." He added a slash in the right place:

I had same problem. The free/busy server usually has "fully qualified servername/public." All I did was to add an additional slash at the end of this address after "public" and at least in one instance, this seems to have fixed it. Only time will tell if this actually did completely fix the issue.

In this case, I used the same name for the free/busy server (in the Public Folders Server field of the Advanced tab of the Accounts drop down menu under Tools) as for the Exchange Server itself (also in accounts, in the first tab, account settings, in the "Exchange Server" field).

However, Rouner, just told us that he discovered that the "fix" didn't stick:

On second thought, I'm not sure what happened with the one event (where it DID seem to work) but I haven't been able to duplicate it, and from what I've seen on other postings, it's an issue that can only be corrected by changes on the Exchange server (not on the Entourage client). Sorry for the red herring.

First reports of VirtualBox are guardedly optimistic

April 30, 2007

A pair of readers sent reports on the VirtualBox beta, a new vitualization product for running Windows on Mac OS X on Intel Macs.

Nik Sands compared it to Parallels Desktop:

I've been trying out the new VirtualBox beta for Mac OS X and found it to be quite polished for a pre-release product. Its performance is vastly superior to that of Parallels (at least on my MacBook), particularly when switching between the virtual machine and any other Mac OS X applications. This is instant with VirtualBox, but usually requires some waiting with Parallels. It sure boots Windows a lot faster than Parallels, too.

There appears to be a few features that are not working or limited in this beta version (such as the folder sharing doesn't seem to work and requires command line to set up, networking restricted to NAT). But it promises to be an excellent means of running Windows applications on Mac OS X when the final version is released.

John Melby said USB doesn't work yet:

I installed Windows 2000 Pro on the Virtual Box Mac beta yesterday and was surprised at how well it works, especially for a first beta. It's missing several important things, such as USB support (although the blurb suggests that there is USB support, there appears not to be) and audio support, but it seems to be a great start. I'm looking forward to future releases.

If you've tried the VirtualBox beta what you think of it.

Boot Camp keyboard drop out may be related to Apple keyboard

April 30, 2007

Sheila Hall said she doesn't see the problem of the keyboard not working in Boot Camp when using a Dell keyboard with Windows:

One of the issues I have seen from the beginning is the keyboard will "drop" or stop responding. You will hear the sound that Windows makes when something disconnects and then a short time later you will hear it make the "reconnect" sound. So far the only way I've found to fix it is to either disconnect or reconnect the keyboard (physically) or to replace the Apple keyboard with a Dell keyboard. I installed BootCamp 1.1.1 and then upgraded to 1.1.2.

For more on Boot Camp, see our Boot Camp Beta Reports and Tips page.

Boot Camp problem with Vista and projectors

April 30, 2007

Chuck McGinley can't get projector displays to work with Windows Vista and Boot Camp:

After installing Boot Camp 1.2 and Vista, I can not get external projectors to work with my MacBook Pro 17". This worked with under Windows XP when I toggled the display in the ATI control panel to the correct settings.

But when you plug a monitor into Vista in Boot Camp it seems to think a monitor is there but never displays anything.

I am required to demonstrate my company's software in Windows. Without being able to use an external projector in Vista I was forced to switch back to XP.

If you've seen this problem

Reader can't access Windows apps with Citrix Mac client

April 30, 2007

Michael Brooks can't launch Windows applications from a Citrix server:

I am having problems launching applications over Citrix accessed from my Mac. I can log into the network successfully but when I try to launch an application on the Citrix desktop a file called launch.ica downloads onto my Mac desktop. When I try to open this file I get notification of an error 10660.

I was previously able to access this network from my mac but my work recently upgraded Citrix and I now get this problem. I have downloaded the latest Mac Client from the Citrix website and I have tried using the java client configuration. However neither fix this problem.

I am running OS X v10.4.9 on an Intel-based iMac.

If you've seen this problem

For previous reports about the Citrix Mac client, see our Citrix Reports page.

Maintenance update for Missing Sync for Windows Mobile

April 30, 2007

Mark/Space has released Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 3.0.2 (US$40 download, free update), and update for the software that enables Macs to sync with Windows Mobile devices. The new version no longer requires Windows Mobile devices to be placed in "flight mode" prior to connecting to the Mac. The update also adds support for the Orange M3100 and HP RX 19xx series devices.





April 26

VirtualBox, new virtual machine for Mac, goes beta

April 26, 2007

A German company called Innotek has released a free public beta version of VirtualBox for Mac OS X, new virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs.

VirtualBox is commercial software based on GPL open-source code. The company said that VirtualBox can run Windows Vista, supports USB, and can be scripted from the command line. VirtualBox also supports VMDK virtual disk format used by VMware. Innotek shipped its first commercial versions of VirtualBox for Windows and Linux this past January.

If you've tried the VirtualBox beta what you think of it.

TIP: Suggestions for Boot Camp 1.2 Bluetooth keyboard issues

April 26, 2007

Lee Graham has serveral suggestions for users with Boot Camp 1.2 who are experience problems with Bluetooth keyboards. He references a Microsoft hotfix for Windows Vista to fix a problem where Bluetooth devices don't work when Vista wakes from sleep. He also points to a Boot Camp installation requirement:

First of all, this Microsoft hotfix may be of interest at least for the Vista users. I no longer saw the black screen on restart after installing it. As it's a hotfix, the users will have to call MS to get it.

Secondly, I will point out that the documentation for Boot Camp points out that users should use a wired keyboard when installing Windows. Until you install the Bluetooth drivers in Windows, that Bluetooth keyboard will not be visible. Also, I found something saying to make sure that you have paired your device on the Mac first, and then again in Windows once you've installed the drivers.

As for the delay when Windows comes up, that's probably the drivers still needing to load in the background after a restart.

See our Boot Camp Tips and Reports for more information on Boot Camp.

Keyboard and trackpad stop working on Boot Camp 1.2

April 26, 2007

Jason Siemens' keyboard and trackpad stopped working after installing the Boot Camp 1.2 update, a problem others readers have previously reported. Seimens said:

I experienced the same problem as several other users with Boot Camp 1.2 on a 15" MacBook. The keyboard and trackpad work fine until the Boot Camp Drivers are installed. Afterwards the keyboard and trackpad are complete unresponsive.

Centrify update adds new Active Directory group policy security features for Macs

April 26, 2007

Centrify has released DirectControl 3.0.6 for Mac, an upgrade to the Microsoft Active Directory integration system for non-Microsoft operating systems. The update adds dozens of new group policy objects that extend desktop lockdown security and configuration control for Mac OS X.

New features include the ability to require a login in order to reactivate the Mac from a screensaver. Administrators can also require authorization to mount a blank CD or other removable media or a hard disk. Version 3.0.6 also can control access to file sharing and firewall settings. There is also administrator's guide with Mac-specific information.

Active Directory group policies allow administrators to set security settings and configuration options for the client system. DirectControl allows administrators to include Mac and Linux in policies set for Windows machines. Centrify said that DirectControl for Mac OS X is the only solution Active Directory integration solution that supports group policies.

Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X sells for US $60 per workstation and $350 per server. The 3.0.6 upgrade is free to customers with maintenance agreements.

Reader confirms link between non-roman spam and Entourage login problem

April 26, 2007

Jeremy Matthews confirms a report from earlier this week that email containing non-roman characters cause Entourage login failures with Exchange Server. Matthews says:

We've seen this before, and its definitely caused more than a few problems within Entourage.

The fix is on-par with our solution: delete non-roman spam. Unfortunately, this usually means going through pages and pages of spam and deleted items and sometimes an inbox or two in webmail (Outlook Web Access).

Best thing you can do is to find out the exact date they began having difficulties/errors, and purge non-critical emails (in any folder) during/after that date.

We've seen a variety of problems stemming from this. A real pain.

Sheraz Daya has a somewhat different workaround, but related to email:

Since my last communication I have discovered that removal of all email from the Inbox and transferring these to a main folder (not a subfolder of the InBox) seems to rectify the problem for a while. When the problem recurs, I again transfer all messages out. This suggests that there really it is a received email message in the Inbox that causes the problem.

Readers have previously offered a number of workarounds and fixes, including deleting email or deleting user accounts. (See our Entourage Reports page.)

More insight into Exchange performance degradation from Entourage

April 26, 2007

Two more readers told us how they got around the problem of Entourage clients degrading performance of Exchange Server. They also provide more information as to why it happens.

Nick Pitman decided to dump Entourage altogether and have the Mac clients use Outlook for Windows via an application server:

We discovered the effect Entourage has on Exchange servers about 18 months ago. On our site under 10% of users have a Mac. If memory serves me correctly one Entourage user was estimated to be creating the same Exchange server load as several hundred PC clients. We found same issues as your correspondent Robert Liebsch. After investigation our only solution was to remove Entourage support and give our Mac community Outlook email access via Citrix. This was not as popular as native Entourage for our Mac community but a blessing for our many PC users who were having serious exchange performance issues prior to this decision.

Rod Austria worked with Microsoft engineers and made several discoveries about the problems. He has a detailed report and some suggestions which you can read on our Entourage/Exchange report page on this issue.





April 23

New at MacWindows: Boot Camp Reports page

April 23, 2007

We've consolidated our coverage of Apple's Boot Camp on a new Boot Camp Beta Reports and Tips page. It contains information about the various builds as well as all of the tips, problems, and fixes that we've reported since Apple released Boot Camp beta a little over a year ago.

Suggestion for fixing keyboard freeze in Boot Camp 1.2

April 23, 2007

Daniel Robinson sent us a fix for the keyboard freeze seen in Windows booted with Boot Camp 1.2 that occurs after the upgrade:

Me too, keyboard and mouse, don't work, however they will intermittently work and they did for about the first 10 boots! But I did manage to fix it.

Its not exactly a foolproof method and my problem has been intermittent so I'm not sure if it's long lasting. All I did was totally disable Bluetooth on the Mac OS X side of things and booted up in Windows. My keyboard was functioning which meant I could hit Enter for the mouse driver install, which then got that working. (Also I had the original Mac driver disc created by Boot Camp in the CD-ROM drive.) I have an Intel Core 2 duo 17" iMac with Windows XP SP2.

If you've tried this fix

Non-roman spam may be at root of Entourage login problem

April 23, 2007

Sascha Segan of PC Magazine told us that non-roman characters in emails, such as Chinese spam, cause the Entourage login failures that we've been reporting. Segan wrote about it in his blog and sent us this note:

I ran into the Entourage login problem at PC Magazine Labs recently. I talked to a senior tech support person at Microsoft and they gave an interesting explanation.

At least, that's what they SAY is causing the problem.

In his blog, he offers a fix:

The solution is to delete all of those non-Roman messages, and then use Outlook Web Access via Safari -- not Entourage -- to purge your Deleted Items folder.

Readers have previously offered a number of workarounds and fixes, including deleting email or deleting user accounts. You can read these on our Entourage Reports page.

Another twist to Entourage and Exchange 2003 performance issues

April 23, 2007

Tim Wilton responded to our reports about Entourage causing performance degradation on Exchange Server. While other readers reported the problem with large numbers of Mac clients, Wilton only has one:

I found your article interesting in that we have experienced exactly the same performance hit on our SBS 2003 server running Exchange 2003 SP2. With only one Mac user, we have found that performance almost grinds to halt when this client connects to the mail store. Disk Queues averaging about 150 to 200 on an IBM X205 with 5x80GB drives in a raid 5 set with a 5i raid controller!

This had us stumped for a while until I noticed that when Entourage started in the morning and logged in, BANG, up went the disk queues. So now I am looking for a resolution. I might try to move the mailbox to a separate store on another disk to free up the other users.

Another reader previously pointed to a Microsoft Knowledge Base article with some information about the issue.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.0.1 maintenance update available

April 23, 2007

Last week, Group Logic released ExtremeZ-IP File and Print Server 5.0.1, a free maintenance update to the AFP file and print server for Windows, designed to support Mac clients. The update adds the ability to configure shares so that moved files and folders inherit permissions from their new parent folders, rather than retaining their old permissions, as is the default for Windows. The update also fixes a number of minor bugs. A list of improvements can be found in the update readme file.

New CrossOver beta fixes game bugs, spruces interface

April 23, 2007

CodeWeavers has just released CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 3, a new pre-release version of the future 6.1.0 version. CrossOver is software for Mac OS X on Intel Macs that runs Windows applications without running Windows itself.

CodeWeavers said that the new beta fixes bugs that have caused crashes in Half-Life 2 and other games, improved support for composed characters, refined the user interface, and added a software update feature.

If you've tried the current Beta 3 what you think.

(See our CrossOver special report for more about CrossOver.)

Reader posts CrossOver review

April 23, 2007

Tom Terry is a fan of CrossOver and has posted a review of version 6.0, the current release version, at his blog.

VMware Fusion Beta 3 clean under the hood

April 23, 2007

In his blog, Andre Pang looks under the hood at what Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion Beta 3 do to Mac OS X at a low level, claiming that VMware has less effect on Mac O X than Parallels. He also compares the two:

VMware Fusion Beta 3: even in beta, it’s a lot better than Parallels so far. Far better host operating system performance, better network support, hard disk snapshots (albeit not with Boot Camp), and DirectX 8.1 support to boot.

If you've tried VMware Beta 3 what you think.

(See our Parallels and VMware special report pages for more info and tips.)





April 16

TIP: Fix for Tiger SMB server access problem (error -36)

April 16, 2007

Edward Moy sent us a link to Apple Support article 301580, which provides a fix for the old problem where Mac OS X 10.4.x produces an error -36 message when trying to connect to an SMB server. The problem occurs after upgrading a Mac from Mac OS X 10.3 to 10.4.

The problem is that while Mac OS X 10.3 defaults to unencrypted passwords, Mac OS X 10.4 defaults to encrypted passwords. If the Samba or Windows (SMB/CIFS) server only supports plain text passwords, you need to use Terminal to tell the Mac to use plain text passwords. This Apple article describes how to do this.

Moy says that this does the trick:

I just updated to 10.3.x Macs up to 10.4.9 and encountered the "can't access SMB server" problem. I tried the steps at the Apple article and when I was done and rebooted, voila, I was able to connect to my SMB server with no problem.

Our Tiger Special Reports page has a long list of suggestions and workarounds, some of which point to the encryption issue. One reader reported in 2005 that the fix only partial worked.

Reader says Database Utility can fix Entourage/Exchange login failures

April 16, 2007

Regarding the problem of login failures with Entourage and Exchange, several users previously suggested deleting the database, but Craig Doran said that using the Microsoft Database Utility that comes with Office solved the problem:

Ultimately, verifying the database using the Database Utility showed that there were some problems and using the utility to repair them fixed this problem.

Lewis Riley, however, reported that this and the other suggestions we've reported didn't work for him:

Out of 15 Mac clients, I only have one experiencing this issue (G5 1.8 GHz running 10.4.8 with all Office updates). I have followed a few of the easier suggestions (repairing database, recreating Entourage account, deleting junk) to no avail. I also tried recreating the keychain, but that did not help either. The user reports that restarting the machine will allow them to connect to their email account again. I suppose the next step is to try reinstalling the application, and then the OS. Lovely.

Reader points out that VMware doesn't support Aero

April 16, 2007

Martin White refutes a claim of a reader report last Friday that VMware Fusion Beta 3 can run the Aero effects of Windows Vista. White is using the copy of Windows Vista that is used by Boot Camp:

I wonder how Chris Holmes is achieving full hardware acceleration and Aero with his Boot Camp-installed Vista using VMware Fusion beta 3. This is most certainly not what I see.

After installing Vista Ultimate in Boot Camp and acheiving all the lovely Aero effects with Vista running Boot Camp, I then boot the partition from the Mac and run Fusion and see none of it. Performance appears to be exactly the same as running the VM from an ordinary virtual disk but the Vista performance rating is actually slower.

No other issues so far incidentally.

It appears unlikely that VMware Fusion beta 3 can support the Aero effects of Windows Vista. Vista requires DirectX 9 to support Aero, but VMware Beta 3 only supports DirectX 8.1.

Fix for alias problem with AFP share from Win 2003 Server

April 16, 2007

Daniel Weikert fixed a problem with a problem with aliases on Windows servers. We've reported the problem with Mac OS X 10.3 and with Mac OS X 10.4. His approach:

I just thought I'd share one cause I discovered for the "The alias [servername] could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found" error. My server has two NICs and if both have the AppleTalk Protocol enabled, you need to verify which one has "Accept inbound connections on this adapter" selected. It can only be enabled for one adapter at a time and if it's enabled for an adapter that's disabled, or doesn't have a network cable plugged in.

Right click on My Network Places and select Properties. Right click on the appropriate Network adapter and click Properties. Click on AppleTalk Protocol and click Properties. Verify the checkbox for "Accept inbound connections on this adapter" is checked.

Even if the second adapter is disabled, I've had it revert to the other adapter. To play it safe, I only have AppleTalk enabled on one adapter.

I have a Window Server 2003 R2 (though I don't think the R2 makes any difference).





April 13

CrossOver 6.1 beta 2 focuses on Outlook 2003 and games

April 13, 2007

CodeWeavers has just released CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 2, a new pre-release version of the future 6.1.0 version. CrossOver is software for Mac OS X on Intel Macs that runs Windows applications without running Windows itself. (See our CrossOver special report for more about CrossOver.)

CodeWeavers said that with this release the company focused on getting better support for running Outlook 2003 (as an alternative to Entourage). In addition to bug fixes and increased stability with running Outlook 2003, the new CrossOver Beta has improvements in RPC over HTTP, which enables remote users to access Exchange Server through firewalls.

CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 2 also includes improvements for running PC games. It improved support for DirectX 8.1 and 9.0, which the company said will allow more unsupported games to be playable in CrossOver. The company said that game rendering and performance has also improved.

Other fixes include new support for installing a set of Windows-specific TrueType fonts, fixing font problems with FrameMaker 7.1, and the ability to automatically download and install localized versions of some installers and service packs, including IE.

If you've tried CrossOver 6.1.0 Beta 2 what you think.

More positive reader reviews of VMware Fusion beta 3

April 13, 2007

Several readers wrote about their experiences with VMware Fusion beta 3, the recent pre-release version of the virtualization software for Mac OS X.

Chris Holmes sees a big improvement over previous betas with advantages over Parallels Desktop:

I'm another VMware convert. After installing VMware today and Boot Camp 1.2 with Vista, I am really, really impressed. I tried VMware 1.0b1 and b2 and both times I thought it was sluggish. Not this time. Beta 3 is very responsive and using the Boot Camp partition is significantly easier than when setting up Parallels. VMware knew Boot Camp was there; I clicked to start it up and bam, Vista was running with full hardware acceleration in OS X. Vista could run full Aero in VMware--like in native Boot Camp mode -- a 4.4 rating which is better than 98 percent of the PC's in my office, but still was very responsive.

I really like VMware and compared to the most recent release of Parallels, which I feel is buggy compared to some of their beta releases. I will not go back to Parallels. Performance, interface, and general satisfaction will keep me with VMware.

VMware says, however, that it is not supporting Windows Vista in this Beta 3 release, though it did in previous betas. (See these release notes.)

Eric Tung responded to a previous report with advice on how to get audio working:

Getting sound working in Vista requires the installation of VMware Tools in Windows. Also note that Vista in Boot Camp is not supported since Apple released the update too late for VMware to fully test it - in the VMware forums, the project manager for Fusion explicitly asked users not to try Vista yet because of "weird issues in our internal limited testing."

For more on VMware, see our VMware Fusion Notes and Reports page.

More on flawed WebDAV in Entourage degrading Exchange performance

April 13, 2007

Readers responded to Wednesday's article about large numbers of Entourage users degrading Exchange Server performance. After some testing, the author concluded that there is a problem with the way Microsoft implemented WevDAV. Several readers agreed, pointing to Microsoft knowledgebase articles and their own experience. Several readers also provide some techniques that help. One reader, however is not seeing the problem with 120 Entourage clients....





April 11

Readers say VMware beta 3 compares well to Parallels

April 11, 2007

A pair of readers wrote to say that the new VMware Fusion Beta 3 compares weill to the shipping Parallels Desktop. Steve Palm likes the fast startup and use of less hard disk space. Steve Humiston tried using VMware with the Boot Camp installation of Windows, which is a new feature of Beta 3. He also was impressed with the speed and its ability to run Ubuntu Linux smoothly.

If you tried VMware Fusion Beta 3

Another reader says resetting SMC is no help for Parallels disabling batteries

April 11, 2007

Like many readers, John Wild's MacBook battery stopped working after installing the Parallels Desktop Build 3188 update. He tried resetting the System Management Controller (as a previous report suggested), but found that it did not work.

I've also experienced the MacBook disabled battery issue after upgrading Parallels desktop. I can not say for sure that this caused the problem, but my experience does match others on your site.

My white MacBook had worked flawlessly for 9 months, with no battery issues whatsoever. Up until 3 or 4 days ago I would still get a good 4 hours or more out of it with the screen on low-brightness.

I upgraded to build 3188 of parallels a little over a week ago. 3 days ago I noticed that the charge light was flashing green and amber. I'm not sure if this is the first time it occurred but it was the first time I had noticed it, so I decided to calibrate the battery. I let it run to zero and let the computer sleep, in the morning when I attempted to turn the computer on it booted with an 'x' through the battery indicator and said 'no batteries available'. I've tried resetting all the ram's, smc's etc. Nothing worked.

I'm now off to the Apple store.

The Parallels update is the only thing that has changed on the computer over the past 3 months.

If you tried resetting the SMC to fix this problem

TIP: Connecting Windows Vista to Mac OS X server

April 11, 2007

David Harland sent in an observation about connecting to Mac OS X Server from Windows Vista:

We were trying to connect a Windows Vista Home Premium computer to a Mac OS X Server.

We entered the correct Server Address and got to the point where we enter our User Name & Password but the Vista Operating system adds the computer name as a prefix to our user name and we get a message "Logon Unsuccessful. Windows is unable to log you on. Be sure you user name & password are correct." The user name was shown in the entry box as: Computer name\User name.

We could successfully connect to the same server with a Windows XP computer.

The answer was that on the Mac OS X Server each user has a User Name and the system creates a 'Short Name' i.e. Bill Smith becomes billsmith. You have to use this short name in the Vista log-on dialog box. In Windows XP, you use the normal name.

Exchange preformance degrades with large numbers of Entourage clients

April 11, 2007

Robert Liebsch, an IT Manager with a large set of Entourage users, reports that his 75 Entourage users are taxing the Exchange server, causing performance problems. He sent us an article he wrote that looks at the technical issues involved. Based on some analysis, he offered this observation:

I think MS implemented WebDAV in Entourage in a way that isn't jibing with Exchange 2003. I don't think the volume of data, number of Mac users on Exchange, etc, were thought through. I would guess that not only are Mac users suffering, but Windows users are seeing degraded performance.

He also offers some strategies for dealing with the problem. You can read Leibsch's article here.

Fixes for Entourage login problems don't work for everyone

April 11, 2007

A couple of readers commented on the Entourage login problem when trying to retrieve email. Ron Gonzalez tried the suggestions described on our Entourage Reports page, to no avail:

I thought the problem was isolated to one client, but it's happened to a second in our organization. Both users have the same first name, strangely. I've tried turning off the AirPort, recreating accounts, changing passwords, removing mail from all mailboxes, deleting the local MSOffice database, reinstalling MSOffice 2004, and routing through OWA, but nothing resolves the issue. The web client still functions normally with both accounts, but it's limited in functionality, as you know. Both clients are fairly high up in the chain of command around here, and it doesn't look good for me if this can't be resolved. One client has given up entirely and is using Gmail as their primary mail program. I've even considered an early adoption of Exchange 2007 as a possible solution.

Sheraz Daya has also tried a number of things without fixing the problem:

I have been experiencing this problem for a couple of months (mid Jan or so onwards) and have tried all sorts of solutions including, moving all items out of the inbox, deleting junk, creating a new account, new databases clean installation etc. etc. Just when I think the problem has been sorted, it happens all over again.

I look forward to hearing of any further ideas about fixes. At this stage I am so exasperated, I am considering dumping Entourage altogether. Are there any other integrated software alternatives for Macs?

One alternative to Exchange is Kerio MailServer, which works with Macs and Windows PCs. For Macs only (without Exchange Server), there's Now Up-to-Date.





April 9

VMware Fusion Beta 3 supports Boot Camp, adds speed

April 9, 2007

On Friday, VMware released VMware Fusion Beta 3, a new preview version of the Mac OS X virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on a Mac. The new version adds several features, including the ability to use the copy of Windows installed with Boot Camp. Virtual machines are now consolidated into one package file, enabling you to move a virtual machine to another Mac or PC by copying the file from one computer to another. Installation of Windows is also more automated, and you can turn debugging off for faster performance. VMware has added a new user interface feature called the Virtual Machine Library for managing multiple VMs. (See also VMware's release notes.)

To download VMware Fusion Beta 3, register at the VMware web site.

If you tried VMware Fusion Beta 3

(See our VMware Fusion Beta 3 Notes and Reports page for more on Fusion.)

Boot Camp 1.2 wireless keyboard freeze

April 9, 2007

A reader named Mark reports having the same problem with Boot Camp 1.2 and wireless keyboards that we reported last week:

I run Boot Camp 1.2 as well and the wireless keyboard freezes on booting up Windows XP. If I click the mouse buttons rapidly on start up it operates sooner. The keyboard will only operate if I turn it off then on again.

If you know a way around the problem

Parallels battery issue fix doesn't work for reader

April 9, 2007

Vaughn Cordero responded to last week's suggestion to reset the System Management Controller (SMC) did not work for him to fix the problem of Parallels Desktop disabling MacBook batteries. Cordero reported:

Mine began exhibiting this same problem somewhere between Parallels 1970 and 3170. I left the machine running Parallels and when I got back, instead of sleeping, the machine had shut down. I later noticed that the fully-charged battery was showing an X in the menu bar (after pulling the plug tipped me off in the obvious fashion). No amount of SMC or PRAM resets has set this MBP to rights and Im tethered to AC since.

Helios free utility creates UDF disk images

April 9, 2007

Helios Software has a free command-line utility called Helios mkisofs that can create UDF disk images for creating file archives or backups that can be moved to other operating systems. Archives will preserve Mac snd Windows file attributes. The utility is scriptable to create scheduled backups and other tasks.

The Helios page contains a link to a graphical interface for Helios mkisofs, which is called UGSoft mkisofs Tool.





April 6

More confirmations of Parallels disabling batteries; workarounds offered

April 6, 2007

In response to our previous reports, we are now receiving many reader reports of the latest Parallels Build 3188 disabling MacBook and MacBook Pro batteries. (The older 1970 also seems to have the problem.) Several readers offered workarounds.

The latest Parallels Build appears to be affecting the motherboard's System Management Controller, or SMC (which was called the Power Management Unit, or PMU, in PowerPC notebooks), causing the battery to not charge or to believe that it is not charged. Removing Parallels does not fix the problem. Some readers reported that resetting the SMC cleared up the problem, although one reader said it didn't work.

A Parallels spokesperson said that the company was not aware of the problem but would look into it.

James Topoleski saw the problem on multiple Macs, and found that resetting the SMC helps:

Seems resetting the SMC fixed the issue. Not the greatest solution to the problem, but the battery isn't cutting out anymore.

I didn't realize the reason a few of our machines where getting funky with the battery was because of Parallels. I reset the SMC on my personal MacBook Pro and I'm going to see if this fixes the issue.

Even with Parallels removed, the issue will still remain. I only had Parallels beta builds installed for testing purposes for our district and even with it removed I continued to get battery dead issues and charging problems. After resetting PMU it has taken almost 4 hours to charge my battery.

Ken Sherman says resetting power management (the SMC) doesn't work:

After letting my MacBook go to sleep due to a discharged battery and not plugging in for 10 hours or so, I noticed the battery was not taking a charge. I reset parameter RAM and reset power management to no avail. The power cable is not showing a red light, the battery menu bar entry shows an 'x' and reads "no batteries available". The battery test light shows a fast flashing light on the lowest LED when the test button is pressed. I do have Parallels version 3188 installed but it was NOT running at the time. This happened 5 days ago, the problem still exists.

Matthew Gadd found a different workaround:

I got this problem on my MacBook, the X through the battery when I upgraded to 3188 build of Parallels. After rebooting the MacBook the X continued to appear and nothing I could do seemed to remove it. I tried running the MacBook without a battery in it, draining the battery to empty but the X remained.

I found that after doing a complete cycle of the battery (drain from full to empty and then charged up) out of desperation I shut the machine down and reset the PRAM by removing the battery and then holding the power button down for 10 seconds or more.

After that it seemed to fix the problem, I've got Parallels 3188 working fine with the battery monitor working perfectly for the MacBook.

Dale Cockrum says the problem could be either Parallels Build 3188 or Mac OS X 10.4.9, or both:

There were 3 or 4 times over six months when the MacBook would just die unexpectedly (and only while unplugged), but then it would work fine for weeks. But following the upgrades to 10.4.9 and 3188 it happened almost all the time. (Well, for a couple of days; then I took it to the shop--what good is a laptop that only works while plugged in!)

Parallels 3188 came out on March 7, and 10.4.9 came out on March 13, 2007, and I installed each of them on the day they came out. My computer began quiting crazily on March 18.

Heather Swan describes the problem:

I would like to add that I have also encountered this problem which was on your website, with build 1970. If I put my laptop to sleep while Parallels is running XP, when I come back I will find that my laptop has powered down. I don't have any problems when I quit Parallels before putting my computer to sleep. I'm running a MacBook Pro 2Ghz Core Duo with 2GB RAM and the current OS.

If you've used tried any of these fixes

Reader comments on VMware beta 2

April 6, 2007

Ian Daniel sent us his thoughts on Running Windows on a Mac using VMware Fusion beta 2 and Parallels:

I'm using the VMware beta right now and it seems to work fine. Installing Windows XP worked. Parallels Desktop hung at 33 Minutes to complete and stayed there for 2 hours until I killed it and loaded the Vmware Beta.

I've logged a call with Parallels as I like their interface. Parallels isn't Beta but unless a fix is forthcoming quickly I'll buy the VMware Fusion product when it's released provided the pricing is roughly the same.

If you've used VMware Fusion beta 2

See our VMWare Fusion Beta Notes and Reports page for more info.

Boot Camp 1.2 keyboard issue also seen with Bluetooth

April 6, 2007

Resonding to previous reports of keyboard problems with the recent Boot Camp 1.2 update, Shelly Helfand has a problem with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse:

Problems I've had with Boot Camp 1.2 have to do with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Installed Vista on my iMac and the Mac drivers. Installed the keyboard and mouse in Vista with no problem It recognized both. Problem occurs when I shut down and restart Vista. Keyboard won't work at all and it takes about a minute for the mouse to work. The keyboard and mouse both show up as installed.





April 4

TIP: How to use Nokia on a Mac with VPC, Parallels

April 4, 2007

Sven G. sent us a link to a page that describes how to use the Nokia PC Suite on a Mac with in Parallels Desktop on a Mac. Sven G. tried it with Virtual PC on a PowerPC Mac:

Here's a very interesting link that I recently found, which finally solves the Nokia PC Suite USB communication problem: I've tested it in VPC 7.0.2 on Mac OS X 10.4.9 and it works!

The correct OS X-like way to do this would, of course, be:

sudo sh usbfix.sh

(Instead of logging in as root, which is quite unnecessary.)

Sadly, the Nokia PC Suite window still has distorted colours in VPC, especially on the icons: but maybe this has something to do with the old S3 emulated video card, I don't know.

Our Virtual PC 7 Reports page describes the problem.

More on Parallels disabling batteries

April 4, 2007

Readers continue to report instances where a MacBook or MacBook Pro battery stops working after upgrading Parallels Desktop to Build 3188. How the update could have an affect on a battery isn't known, but we can speculate that the update could be breaking the battery monitoring mechanism in MacBook's software. The Mac may shut down because it thinks the battery is empty (even if it isn't), because a damaged battery monitoring software entity told it to. The Parallels update could also be inflaming a problem with Apple's software or batteries.

Greg Bosse reported:

Same problem, very recently. MacBook with Parallels, almost always plugged in. I just noticed that battery icon has an X thru it. Unplugging immediately shuts down the MacBook.

Brad Allen sees the problem with the most recent Parallels build, and also with an older build:

Wow, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. I am having the same symptom as described on April 2. It has now happened to me four times; twice while running on Parallels build 1970, and twice right after upgrading to 3188 just a few days ago. I am running a MacBook 2GHz Core Duo with 2GB RAM on OS 10.4.8.

The power down only occurred after closing the laptop to put it to sleep--it never happened while I was working.

If you've seen this problem

Another report of keyboard, trackpad freeze in Win XP with Boot Camp 1.2

April 4, 2007

Bob Gitre responded to our report of the new version of Boot Camp causing problems with the keyboard, trackpad freezing up within Windows.

I am having the same issue, MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz, Boot Camp 1.2 with Windows XP Pro.

Keyboard and mouse seemed to work fine. I then began the windows update process. After the first reboot, the keyboard and pad are not operable. Nothing to do but hard reboot back into OS X.

I can run Win XP in Parallels just fine.

If you've seen this problem

Observations on Entourage attendee status problems

April 4, 2007

Luis Antezana sent us a reminder regarding the issue of Entourage not showing Attendee status:

I’m sure this isn’t the case for the majority of people saying they have the problem of not seeing individual invitation responses but it is worth mentioning. If you send out an invite to a group address from an Exchange GAL, you do see the individuals’ responses but they will not be listed individually in the attendee status window. I believe this is a general limitation of Entourage when working with Exchange. The only time you should see individual responses listed in attendee status is when you invite individual addresses.

Andrew Plant, who previously reported having the problem, sent us another observation:

I forgot to add that the Exchange Server may not be the same for mail and the Free/Busy info. We upgraded our server recently and now we have two different servers. And since our server sits in another location, I had to find this out by trial and error.

More thoughts on Entourage/Exchange login failure

April 4, 2007

Brian Benton adds to his previous post about problem of Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error message.

I can setup the account that has problems and will have no problems setting up, authenticating and verify the user and his (or her) account. The account may even appear to work for the first five minutes, so there is definitely something different with how Entourage connects during setup vs. actual use.

I first noticed this problem with VPN users (not sure if I mentioned this before). We have two VPN setups - one where users connect to our VPN URL (via their own router) and other setup where we provide a configured router that automatically and always connects to our VPN (these have different subnets as well). Users connecting to the main VPN (regular router) can have this authentication issue, however it is not consistent - sometimes it goes away with no server side action. I have not seen this issue with users on the configured router (they are CISCO I think, though it shouldn't matter). We only have two Mac users using the CISCO routers (configured to connect 24/7/automatically to our network).





April 2

Boot Camp 1.2 adds Vista support; reader reports keyboard problems

April 2, 2007

Last week, Apple released Boot Camp Beta 1.2, an update to the software that enables Intel Macs to boot directly from Windows. The major new feature is support for 32-bit versions of Windows Vista. Boot Camp 1.2 beta includes updated drivers for better Windows support of trackpads, the iSight camera, audio, graphics, and other devices. Apple also said the new version improved keyboard support for several languages. Version 1.2 also adds Apple Software Update for Windows XP and Vista, which can download updates to drivers or other software that Boot Camp adds to Windows.

Reader Eric B. reports that the new drivers broke the trackpad and keyboard functionality, and worse:

I installed Boot Camp 1.2 beta on my MacBook Pro. However, I can’t get the keyboard drivers nor the trackpad drivers to work. While the drivers install fine in Windows XP, after the restart, keyboard and trackpad are frozen. I did a complete re-install (recreated Boot Camp disk, installed Windows XP), and again everything went fine including the drivers install until the reboot. Now I got the famous Black Screen of Death. I tried several fixes, but could not get the keyboard nor the trackpad to work.

If you've seen this problem

More reports of Parallels killing batteries

April 2, 2007

We've had more reports of the latest Parallels Desktop update disabling MacBook batteries. In these cases, the battery and Parallels were working before the user installed the update 3188.

Lisa Angstreich reported:

I too have experienced major battery problems with my Mac since I upgraded with the latest version of Parallels Desktop. I have a MacBook and the battery will only show an "X" and if I disconnect the power cord, the computer shuts off immediately.

Parallels and cursor issue with CAD-based software

April 2, 2007

Stephen Wheat, a developer of Windows software, has a problem with Parallels Desktop that doesn't occur in Boot Camp:

We develop a CAD-based software for estimating floor covering materials. The drawing tools have unique cursors. In Parallels they do not show correctly in either Windows XP or Vista. It makes it almost impossible to draw accurately.

I have sent multiple emails to Parallels support with no response. I would gladly give a license of our software to them if they would just fix it. Indications are it is a driver issue. We cannot recommend Parallels at this time due to this matter. The only thing we can offer Mac Intel users is to run in Boot Camp, which handles the cursor correctly as designed.

More workarounds for Entourage/Exchange login failures

April 2, 2007

Many readers are reporting the problem of Entourage clients unable to retrieve email, with a "login failure" error message. Readers are also reporting different workarounds, including turning off AirPort, deleting email, deleting accounts, emptying the junk mail folder, and others.

Edward Earle who first reported the problem, says his workaround no longer works:

Our "work around" did not work this time. We created a new account on Exchange, imported the brick-level data, and the Entourage client still failed. Other Entourage clients continue to work just fine. Strange behavior. We are going to try https: as a more secure method. My feeling is the an MS update in January or February for Win 2003 must be a culprit.

Suggestion for Entourage not showing attendee status

April 2, 2007

Andrew Plant has a suggestion for the issue of Entourage not showing Attendee status:

I found that I had to use the fully qualified domain name/public, then the attendee status showed up again. Before, it was just grayed out.

If you tried this





March 2007

March 29

Fix for Parallels freezing with USB

March 29, 2007

Carol Prentice learned of a fix for the problem of Parallels Desktop Build 3188 freezing when a USB device is connected:

Parallels Support finally responded and sent me a fix that worked:

  1. Start Windows go to Device Manager and in a brunch Universal Serial Bus controllers uninstall all devices.
  2. Shut down your VM.
  3. In VM Configuration delete USB controller and then boot your Windows.
  4. Wait about 10 minutes till Windows finish driver setup.
  5. Shut down Windows.
  6. Add USB controller to your VM configuration and boot Windows again.

Aroon Dalamal has a similar sounding problem when attempting to sync a handheld in Parallels:

I have been trying to Sync my Blackberry 8100 with Windows XP under Parallels using a USB cable. On every attempt Mac OS X freezes and I need to force shut down the Parallels program.

I have successfully been able to sync the blackberry 8800.

I am presently using Parallels Build 3150.

If you've tried this fix for freezing with USB how well it worked.

More USB woes with Parallels

March 29, 2007

We've recieved more reports of USB devices that don't work work with Parallels Desktop. Mike Bentley recommended using the Mac's audio-out port rather than USB audio when running Windows Vista:

I noticed that listening to audio generated by Windows Vista running under Parallels while using a USB Plantronics headset is a painful experience. Using a headset that plugs into the regular audio jacks provides much smoother audio. I think Parallels is making excellent progress. On my MBP17, I can run World of Warcraft for Mac OS X while running Ventrilo client under Vista under Parallels on the same machine. I have to run the Windows version of Ventrilo client because the Ventrilo server I'm using is set to use the GSM codec, which the OS X Ventrilo client doesn't support.

Donal Harkin said that Parallels is not communicating with a weather station:

I too am having USB connectivity issues. I am using a Honeywell weather station with the ability to download my data to a PC-only program. The weather station connected via USB is not seen via Parallels. No problems when connected directly to a PC.

See our Parallels Destop Notes and Reports page for more reports on Parallels Desktop.

Reader says Parallels update affected MacBook battery

March 29, 2007

Andy Grierson reports that after upgrading Parallels to Build 3188, his MacBook battery no longer seems to function:

I upgraded my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo) to Parallels Build 3188 today, and now have the problem that my Mac switches off when the power cord is unplugged. It also fails to start unless connected to the mains. I tried resetting the PMU but to no avail.

I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.9.

This happens with Parallels running and when it's not running. I wondered if it might be to do with the way the virtual machine knows about battery/mains power, but since it happens when the virtual machine is not running I don't know.

If you've seen this problem

Running Win Vista on Parallels 3186

March 29, 2007

Constable Odo reports on his experience with Windows Vista in the latest Parallels build. Other than audio issues, he's had a good experience:

I installed Vista Ultimate in Parallels when it was at 3186. Vista installation was a breeze. A few days later I upgraded to Parallels DT Desktop by installing directly over 3186 and I didn't notice any changes.

Vista continues to use a good amount of processor resources to run and the audio stuttering within Windows Media Player and to a lesser degree with WinAmp 5.33 still exists, but otherwise Vista runs OK. No problems browsing or downloading with Vista. No freezing or blue screens. It found network shares on my basement OSX Server and the Airport Disk very easily. I've installed all the critical updates on Vista with no problems.

Windows on Intel Mac page updated

March 29, 2007

We've updated our page Running Windows on Intel-based Macs. This report presents a comprehensive description of all available methods of running Windows software on Intel-powered Macs.

Macs can now sync to Blackberry with new software

March 29, 2007

Yesterday, Mark/Space released The Missing Sync for BlackBerry 1.0 (US $40) software for Mac OS X that can sync Macs to BlackBerry handhelds. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later. The Missing Sync for Blackberry can synchronize contacts, calendar events, tasks, and memos. It can also sync music, photos, and podcasts on multimedia-capable BlackBerry 8100 and 8800 devices that have a microSD memory card.

The software supports Mac OS X's Sync Services technology, enabling syncing with Apple Address Book and iCal, iPhoto (with multimedia BlackBerries) Microsoft Entourage 2004, Chronos SOHO Organizer, Bare Bones Software Yojimbo. Syncing also works with Mark/Space Notebook, an application bundled with the Missing Sync for creating, categorizing and searching memos.





March 26

LDAP plugin verified as source of slow Mac startup on AD networks

March 26, 2007

Brad Anderson verified a previously reported fix for Macs connected to Active Directory having very slow startup times. The problem isn't with Active Diretory, but with the LDAP version 3 plugin. Another reader said that a reconfiguration did the trick. Anderson simply removed the setting:

I can confirm that if I remove the LDAPv3 settings from my Macs, then the boot process is MUCH MUCH faster...reduced from minutes to seconds on my really fast Macs. Removing the entry completely (or disabling it by un-checking the check mark on the main Directory Access screen) will make my machines boot faster.

I have not tried to manually set up my edu.mit.Kerberos file as I’m not that comfortable with Kerberos to be editing something like that – but I’ll more research and give it try on one of my test machines.

Read more about Active Directory and Macs on our Active Directory Reports page.

ComputerWorld article on AD compares approaches

March 26, 2007

ComputerWorld has published an article called How to support Macs in an Active Directory environment, which looks at the pros and cons of the different solutions, including Apple's AD plugin, Thursby's ADmitMac, and Centrify's Direct Control, as well as other topics.

Reader problem: Entourage/Exchange login failure and workaround

March 26, 2007

Edward Earle reports a problem with Entourage clients starting to be unable to retrieve email, and has a workaround:

We run Exchange 2003 on Windows 2003 R2. Starting about two months ago, occasionally Entourage clients have not been able to retrieve mail. Entourage will start to prompt for password and rejects it, and states:

"The server account returned the error "Login failure: unknown user name or bad password..."

The way we repaired it was to create a new mail account on Exchange and import all the mail into it, then delete the database on Entourage and let it sync up to the new mail account.

If you've seen this problem

Upgrade for A Better Finder Rename tackles NTFS/SMB file name problems

March 26, 2007

Publicspace.net has released A Better Finder Rename 7.7 (US $20), a new version of the Mac OS X utility for the batch renaming of Mac files. The utility can be used to strip out characters in filenames that are illegal on Windows systems. Version 7.7 improves NTFS/SMB file name conversion and adds a new provision for sorting file names with sequence numbers.





March 23

TIP: fix for "Cannot Fix Alias" file sharing browsing error

March 23, 2007

A reader identified as topjetboy sent us a fix for a file sharing problem with Tiger that produces an error message about aliases when browsing a Windows server.

After trying everything else mentioned in the thread at your site, I resolved my issue as follows:

Go to regedit and find the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SYSTEM>CurrentControlSet>
Services>lanmanserver>parameters>IRPStackSize

Mine was already set to 15 and I increased it to 18 (decimal) and poof, problem gone. Shares mount on the Mac even through the network browser.

If you've tried this

Ethernet duplex problem with on Intel Macs

March 23, 2007

We've had more reports of an Ethernet duplex problem on Intel Macs with OS X 10.4.6, and one reader said it still exists with 10.4.9.

Eric Polinko wrote:

I read your post about the 10.4.6 update causing an Ethernet Duplex problem on an Intel iMac. I'm experiencing the same phenomena on an iMac in our department. Is the solution still to roll-back the driver to the 10.4.5 version?

At this point, it is. In fact, another reader, Jack Crabb, just wrote to verify this fix:

We experienced this problem and your solution worked.

However, Peter H. Herrmann says this approach doesn't work on Mac Pros:

I have also experience the problem with manual config of network setting with Tiger, beginning with 10.4.6. As of 10.4.9, it still is not fixed! I have also discovered that the workaround, going back to the 10.4.5 network extension, does not work with the mac pro duel network cards. I also called Apple about it last week.

If you've seen this problem You can find information on this problem and other cross-platform issues specific to Intel Macs on our Intel Mac Reports page.

TIP: Keep Windows awake in Parallels

March 23, 2007

Adam Glick of HelpDesk, Inc. sent us a tip for preventing Parallels Desktop from locking up a Mac:

I just had a case where my entire system dragged to a crawl (2Ghz Core2 MacBook w/ 2GB RAM). I noticed that Windows XP in Parallels Build 3188 (via BootCamp) had gone to sleep. OS X apps became non-responsive, fans starting spinning up and I thought I was going to have to force a restart. I managed to get one click onto the Windows window and it woke up and I was able to recover control.

The Suggestion: Turn off any screen savers in Windows and modify the Power Settings control panel to *never* sleep or hibernate. Seems to have done the trick for me anyway.

Parallels Build 3188 problems when connecting USB

March 23, 2007

Several readers report that Windows running in Parallels Desktop Build 3188 freezes when a USB device is plugged into the Mac:

Matthias Radke in Germany reports that Windows restarts:

Since I have installed build 3188 over the previous 1970 I can't get to work any USB devices any longer. Any time I connect one device, Windows 2000 will restart. It doesn't matter if have the autoconnect of Parallels USB support on or if I try to connect manually.

We have previously reported cases where printing causes Windows to restart.

Carol Prentice says that Windows freezes with USB devices:

I upgraded to Parallels Build 3188; Windows will run just fine until I try to connect a USB storage device, at which point Windows freezes. There seems to be no way to communicate with any USB storage device, which was not a problem with the earlier build I was using. I'm running Windows XP on a 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro.

If you've seen this problem when plugging in a USB device

HELIOS Xtar now available for Intel Macs

March 23, 2007

Helios Software has released a free Intel Mac-compatible version of its backup tool Helios Xtar, which the company says is an extended version of the Unix "tar" program for Mac OS X compatibility on Intel and PowerPC Macs. The company described the utility and how it could be used in cross-platform environments:

Helios Xtar for Mac stores each HFS file as a double file in the standard "tar" format. Unicode file names as well as all meta data—including creation and modification date—are preserved. During the restore with Xtar to an HFS volume, the Finder and resource information are written into a valid HFS file. In doing so, all Mac OS X specific meta data are preserved so that volumes are bootable after the restore.

…In HELIOS server installations, Xtar reliably performs data migration from Mac OS X systems to HELIOS volumes and vice versa. HELIOS htar is a commercial HELIOS developed "tar" tool, which preserves Mac meta data even on restoring data to HELIOS volumes under Windows. The htar tool is part of the HELIOS UB server suite for Windows, which has been available since the end of the year 2006.





March 16

CrossOver 6.0 1 update addresses Outlook 2003 compatibility

March 16, 2007

Earlier this week, CodeWeavers released CrossOver 6.0.1 (US $60), a maintenance update to the software that enables Mac OS X users to run Windows applications without Windows. (An update was also released for the Linux version.) The update fixes bugs related to running Outlook 2003 as well as for the new Daylight Savings Time changes and other general issues.

The update is available as a download from VersionTracker. Customers can also login at the CodeWeavers home page and then click My Downloads.

Among the bug fixes, CrossOver 6.0.1 contains the following:

  • Fixed Outlook 2003 crashes, including one related to right-clicks and one occurring on startup on some systems. Also fixed handling of emails containing quotes in Outlook 2003.
  • Fixed some problems with Office 2003, Internet Explorer, Lotus Notes, FrameMaker, Photoshop, and Quicken 2006
  • Fixed color printing on some printers.
  • Fixed a bug with certain PostScript Type 1 fonts installed.
  • Updated the time zone information to comply with the revised 2007 DST rules.

CodeWeavers has said that running Outlook for Windows in Mac OS X is one of its customers most requested features for CrossOver, which first shipped for Mac OS X in January. Currently, CrossOver has better support for Outlook 2000 than for Outlook 2003.

The company said that it intents to focus on Outlook and game compatibility with its next, version 6.1, to be released" in the relatively near future." CodeWeavers said the 6.1 upgrade would contain "more substantial improvements" than the 6.0.1 release.

For more information, see our CrossOver Special Report page.

VMware Fusion Beta 2 adds DirectX 8.1 3D graphics

March 16, 2007

VMware has released the second beta of VMware Fusion, the company's x86 virtualization environment for running Windows, Linux, and other OS's on Mac OS X on Intel Macs. The new prerelease Beta 2 adds a number of new features, improves performance, and fixes bugs.

The new Beta version now supports DirectX 8.1 3D graphics for a limited number of games running in running in Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Beta 2 has improved support of Windows Vista, though neither VMware Fusion nor Parallels Desktop supports Vista Aero, which requires DirectX 9 graphics. VMware Fusion Beta 2 now supports the complete VM Tools in Vista for copy/paste, dragging and dropping files, shared folders, and screen resizing.

A new "snapshot" features enables you to reset a virtual machine to a known good state incase something adverse happens, such as a virus or some configuration corruption problem. (Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs has a similar feature.)

VMware Fusion Beta 2 also has improve networking, with automatic bridging to the computer’s primary network interface. There is also now full support for AirPort wireless networking, including virtual machines behind a NAT firewall and bridged to the local Airport network. VMware Fusion Beta 2 supports up to ten virtual network interfaces. Remote access applications such as VNC, Synergy, and Remote Desktop now work over networks.

You can now plug and unplug displays while virtual machines are in full screen mode, and plug and unplug keyboards, mice, tablets, etc., with virtual machines running.

If you've used the Fusion beta (For more info, see our VMware Fusion Beta special report page.)

More reports of Windows freezing for Parallels Build 3188

March 16, 2007

Readers reacted to our report early this week about the new Parallels Desktop Build, 3188, where Windows freezes after installing the update.

Bradly Keller: The same thing happening to me with the new build.

Blue Ramsey also see the problem:

The new 3188 version is causing issues. Windows XP Pro freezes after a seemingly random length of time which seems to vary. The Parallels app still functions OK, just can't do anything in Windows. MacBook Pro 17in 2GB RAM, 2.16GHz, Mac OS X 10.4.8. A severe pain in the backside, as the pre-3186 version was very stable.

Jay Harris say a different problem...

Reader: Parallels problem with Win restarting fixed with Build 3188

March 16, 2007

Jim Guilkey says that one problem with Parallels Desktop stopped with Build 3188. This was the problem of Windows restarting when the user tries to print:

FYI, this problem was resolved when I upgraded to build 3188.

More reports of Entourage not showing attendee status

March 16, 2007

Several readers responded to our Wednesday about a problem with Entourage not showing Attendee status for invitations on Exchange Server. Most readers don't know why the feature stopped working.

Peggy Commodore verified the issue: "We are seeing the problem described. Any solutions?"

Michael Wilmar offered one solution:

I have had the same problem. No idea what causes it. But now seems to be working. The only thing I've done recently has been to install the Office updates, including most recently the Daylight Savings Time update. So maybe MS fixed it somewhere along the way and just didn't tell anyone. Maybe whoever is having this problem should make sure that he or she has installed all updates and then see if it works.

Chuck Cribbs also has the problem:

We are moving to a hosted Exchange Server. I have no idea what version of Exchange they (usa.net) are running. They are a very large outfit so I would assume they are at Exchange 2003. We are an all-Mac shop, about 60 Macs, and we are seeing the very same thing. However, before we switched to Exchange, attendee status worked fine (we were hosted using POP3).

You can set the status manually if you are the one who created the meeting. But it is not automatically updating at all in Exchange.

Tom Chiara:

I have the same problem that Meriam Werquin is having. I used to be able to see the Attendee Status, but now I can't - no response. I work for a very large company on a huge network (one of the world's biggest companies) and I'm part of a renegade group of Mac users, so we can't complain to IT. I have no idea what version of Exchange IT is using, but I'm using v11.3.3.3 of Entourage 2004 on a G4 PowerBook, on 10.4.8. Again, it was working, then it stopped showing attendee status, but that's been maybe a year ago, or so (estimate).

If you know of a fix

MacTech VBA-to-AppleScript guide available

March 16, 2007

In its current April issue, MacTech Magazine has published a 150-page guide to help users with the upcoming Office 2008 transition from Microsoft Office VBA to AppleScript. Subscribers will receive it, and a limited number of copies are available on the newsstand. The multi-chapter guide includes examples for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage.

Microsoft will drop Visual Basic support from Office 2008 for Mac OS X, due later this year, forcing users of VBA scripts and marcos to switch to AppleScript. For more on Office 2008 for Mac OS X and the lack of VBA, see our Office 2008 Special Report page.





March 14

Apple OS X 10.4.9 addresses minor AD issues

March 14, 2007

Yesterday, Apple issued an update to Mac OS X, version 10.4.9. Among the fixes, there are a couple related to Microsoft Active Directory:

  • Resolves an issue when using kerberos authentication with Active Directory if the user is a member of many groups.
  • Resolves a printing issue that could occur with applications using Rosetta, while logged in as Active Directory User that has an SMB home directory.

Most of the fixes are not related to cross-platform issues. Of those, these were our favorites:

  • Improved reliability when faxing in Belgium
  • Resolves issues for LEGO StarWars
  • Addresses EAP-FAST in PAC mode issue in a TLS session (Addresses what in a what mode in a what now?)

Parallels releases another Build, #3188

March 14, 2007

Last week, Parallels released another update of Parallels Desktop called Build 3188, and update to Build 3186 released the previous week. Parallels has not indicated what changes are in the new build, either on its web site or in the download.

Monty Lee said that the new Build 3188 doesn't work:

Build 3188 does not work, at least with Vista on my MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz. Everything was working fine with the previous build, but I installed 3188 this morning and it still isn't working. The Parallel Tools installation has supposedly been going on now for 12 hours. I've even tried canceling, but then windows hangs. You cannot launch any applications. I even tried booting in safe mode and then recovering, but that didn't work. I tried installing the tool in safe mode, but that didn't work. Nothing I do can cancel the installation or allow anything to work. No application will run. At best, it looks like it runs and then the windows screen turns translucent white and the spinning cursor. It is dead from this point on.

If you've tried Build 3188 if it causes or fixes any problems for you.

Readers verify Parallels problem: printing restarts Windows

March 14, 2007

A number of readers verified a problem we reported last week with Parallels Desktop, where an attempt to print restarts Windows.

Jim Guilkey:

I've got the exact same problem, like Mr. Mackey. Mine is on an iMac, and I did the installs myself.

Michel Joubert:

I have just experienced the same thing. Never been able to print on my Canon ip3000.

Steve Humiston fixed it by removing a third-party program that he had installed:

I have seen this. It was printing to an AppleTalk printer using a third party program called PC MacLAN. Once I added the printer directly as an IP printer and uninstalled MacLAN the problem was resolved.

John W. Grubb made a general comment:

USB printing is a known bug in Parallels. Network printing does work though in my experience. Hopefully, the next release of Parallels fixes the problem.

Update to Groupcal, Exchange Server access from iCal

March 14, 2007

Snerdware has release Groupcal 3.80 ($US $55), an update to the Mac utility that enables Apple iCal to access and manage calendars on Microsoft Exchange server. Groupcal can synchronize events and tasks between iCal and Exchange, send and receive meeting invitations, book resources, and view free and busy times as iCal calendars.

Version 3.80 adds some new improvements, including these:

  • The ability to capture Exchange-based file attachments
  • Changed syncing to create start/stop dates the way OWA/Outlook behaves to protect Exchange and ActiveSync (iCal allows start date but no due date)
  • Improved invitation panel behavior to make it less intrusive
  • A warning to turn off iCal syncing in Entourage if it's installed

Entourage not showing attendee status

March 14, 2007

After having Exchange Server upgraded, Miriam Werquin is having a problem with Entourage 2004 not showing attendee status:

IT recently upgraded to Exchange Server 2000 SP3 rollup (not sure if April or August version). I have a PowerPC G5 Mac, 10.4.8 Build 8L127.

I can send/receive email, make and accept appointments and see schedules, yet the "view attendee status" always shows "no response." I know that they receive the appointments because it logs on my calendar, the OWL calendar, and I get an email message saying they have either accepted, tentatively accepted or declined.

Any ideas on how to resolve the "view attendee status" issue, other than manually updating the popup?

If you've seen this issue

Entourage Email Archive update increases performance

March 14, 2007

Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.2.0, a new version of the OS X application for archiving email and attachments you have received or sent using Microsoft Entourage in Mac OS X as Spotlight-searchable files. The new version speeds performance, tweaked some of the interface, and fixed a few bugs.





March 8

MacDrive 7 adds support for Vista and repair of Mac disks

March 8, 2007

Mediafour has released MacDrive 7, a new version of the Windows software that enables Windows to read and write to Mac-formatted storage devices. The new version adds support for running on Windows Vista. Mac hard drives, iPods, CDs, DVDs, and other storage devices simply appear in Windows as ordinary storage devices.

MacDrive 7 also includes a utility for Windows called MacDrive Disk Manager, which adds the ability to analyze and repair Mac-formatted (HFS+) disks, MacDrive Disk Manager can also partition and format hard disks in HFS+. Another included utility, MacDrive CD/DVD Creator, can burn Mac CDs and DVDs.

Fix for Parallels "black-screen" bug

March 8, 2007

Several readers have sent in a procedure that fixes the black-screen bug in the recent new version of Parallels Desktop. The freeze occurs when installing Windows in a new virtual machine as you install Parallels Tools.

Jose Goncalves described the fix:

F8 on windows startup_>VGA mode_>install Parallels Tools_>reboot

Laszlo Kardos describes it with a bit more detail:

I too had this occur on several different Parallels installs. The solution:

  1. Restart Parallels
  2. Hold down the F8 key (FN-F8 on MacBooks) and boot Windows into Safe Mode
  3. Install Parallels Tools
  4. Reboot Windows

It should work fine.

Sunil Punjabi has a slight variation:

There is a quick fix that worked for me.

  1. Restart the XP instance
  2. During the "BIOS" click on the window to activate it.
  3. Hold down the F8 key, this will bring up a Windows boot menu.
  4. Boot to "VGA" Mode.
  5. Ignore all the errors about screen size, etc.
  6. Install Parallels tools.
  7. Reboot XP
  8. FIXED!

Readers Paul Happ Jaap van den Dries of the Netherlands also said that the procedure works.

Jim Adrig warned how not to get into the problem:

I had this problem after the Hardware Wizard asked me to install a new Video driver, and I selected a Parallels driver (I forget which one; there were two; but it does not matter); and I was hosed.

DO NOT continue the 'New Hardware' wizard! Cancel immediately and just install Parallels Tools the regular way! The wizard does not come up again.

I never did get the bad VM running again, but I did not need it; I had a backup and used this method when the Wizard appeared again.

Reader's problem with Parallels: printing restarts Windows

March 8, 2007

Gregg Mackey has a problem where Windows restarts whenever he tries to print in Parallels Desktop:

I just bought a Macbook with Parallels and Windows XP Pro preinstalled. Every time I hit the Print command, Windows restarts and nothing prints. It does this on all my printers but they all work if connected to a PC. I spent over one hour with Microsoft Tech to no avail. I tried to email Parallels twice and no response.

If you've seen this problem

Parallels explains the big .mem files

March 8, 2007

Steven Palm, who first reported the issue with Parallels Desktop where it creates temporary 1.5 GB .mem files, received an explanation from Parallels as to the purpose the file. Parallels told him that future versions may not create this file. Palm said:

One last time, I think this is the nail in the coffin for this issue. Anyway, for your edification, here is the last reply from Parallels:

You are correct – in previous Parallels versions (like build 1970) memory were allocated using system paging file. This was the main cause why suspend/resume wasn’t worked fast and took about 30-40 seconds. Now when all VM memory is located in single file it is possible to suspend/resume in 2-3 seconds.

1.5 GB size file – is temporary solution to memory fragmentation issue. If you will allocate for example 512M and will start/stop VM number of times, then increase memory to 1G for example you can face situation then you can’t allocate 1G because memory was fragmented and there is no such contiguous buffer. Allocation of maximum of virtual memory available for VM (1.5 GB) helps here. We are constantly working on the product and will offer better memory management in our upcoming version 3.0.





March 5

Many reports of Parallels "black screen" bug in new build

March 5, 2007

Many readers are having the "black screen" problem with the new release (Build 3186) of Parallels Desktop that we reported last week. Parallels goes into full screen mode then presents black screen.

Robert D'Angel found a way to get out of it without restarting:

Had the same problem getting out of full screen mode that Dave O. reports. Out of frustration, I hit the Enter/Return key alone and it worked. It does every time. Weird.

Michael Curtis gets out of it another way:

I have seen this issue as well on my MacPro. I can get out of it though. I come out of full screen mode with the key command Apple-Tab to Mac apps and that is fine. I haven't used coherence since. I had no beta installed. It only started to do this once I hid the Windows start bar.

For Anna Davis, a reinstall fixed the problem:

I upgraded to the new Parallels release and also got a black screen after Windows started to boot up. Parallels Tools would just hang. I eventually uninstalled it, reinstalled and reinstalled Windows. Now it is fine. I was never able to trace the problem unfortunately...

TIP: LDAP plugin setting fixed Macs on AD hanging at startup

March 5, 2007

Dan Ball was seeing the previously reported problem of Macs that are connected to Active Directory having very slow startup times. He found that the problem wasn't with Active Diretory, but with the LDAP version 3 plugin. A reconfiguration fixed the problem:

When we first switched to Tiger at the Mac OS 10.4.6 revision. I thought things were running great in testing until I re-imaged a lab. If I rebooted the lab of roughly 30 machines randomly they would take forever to startup. Each one would hang for roughly 5 minutes or so before showing the login window.

For us the issue wasn't the connection to Active Directory, it was the connection to our OS X (10.4.6) server.

The fix for us was in the LDAPv3 plugin under the "LDAP Mapping" column, I had to set it to "Open Directory Server" instead of the default of "From Server." I switched this setting and haven't had an issue since then.

Other things I have set: for the search path since we moved to 10.4.x I have to have AD first and then OD second in the search paths. When we ran 10.3.x it had to be reversed with OD first and AD second.

Couple of other things: I set a static edu.mit.Kerberos file, I don't let OS X manage it. And the only services I have on in the Directory Access.app are "Active Directory, "LDAPv3", and "SMB/CIFS".

And hopefully everyone has checked DNS dig -x ipaddress.

Everyone is specifically saying AD, but I have seen the issues with Open Directory and not AD, so I just wanted to point this out in case no one caught it.

Does this work for you?

Office 2004 11.3.4 security update released

March 5, 2007

Microsoft last month released security update 11.3.4 for Office 2004, including Entourage, version 11.3.4. Microsoft describes it:

This update contains several improvements to enhance security and stability, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code.

If you're seeing problems caused by this update





March 1

New EZ-IP 5.0 supports more users while adding performance

March 1, 2007

Yesterday, Group Logic released ExtremeZ-IP 5.0, a new version of the AFP file server. The server runs on Windows servers and workstation versions and supports all Mac OS versions from OS 9 to the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. ExtremeZ-IP 5.0 was rewritten with a new architecture that improves scalability and performance, and is compatible with standard Windows server management tools. The new version also supports the AFP reconnect feature of Mac OS X.

ExtremeZ-IP 5.0 can support up to 1000 users...

Parallels adds USB 2.0, hides Windows desktop

March 1, 2007

Parallels has released a finished new version of Parallels Desktop, a virtualization environment for running Windows and other x86 operating systems on Mac OS X. Parallels does not use version numbers, but is calling this release "Build 3186." Recent releases previous to this were beta builds of this release.

This new release adds significant new features, including Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop while displaying Windows applications, much as Classic mode displayed OS 9 applications in Mac OS X on PowerPC Macs.

This new version adds support for USB 2.0 devices, as well as support built-in iSight cameras in MacBooks and iMacs. This is one area where the shipping versions of Parallels Desktop had lagged behind the beta of VMware Fusion. A number of MacWindows readers reported USB printing problems with previous versions of Parallels Desktop.

The new version also comes with a migration tool called Transporter that can move existing Windows setups from real PCs, and translate virtual machines from VMware Workstation (the Windows version) and Microsoft Virtual PC. Transport moves all files, applications, settings, and user profiles.

This version also supports a copy of Windows installed in Apple's Boot Camp. This lets users access a single installation of Windows for either Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop.

There is also support of burning CDs and DVDs from within virtual machines.

If you've used this full version

Parallels Desktop hanging user's Mac with black screen

March 1, 2007

David Ourisman is having a problem with the new release version of Parallels Desktop that results in a black screen on his Mac:

I made a big mistake by upgrading to the release version of Parallels today. I had the latest beta (activated), and it worked fine. I upgraded to the new version.

I was unable to successfully run Parallels Tools. (When I choose it from the menu, it just hangs).

The virtual machine goes into full screen mode, and no combination of keys will bring it back (ALT + ENTER is supposed to work) and, worst of all, I have completely black Windows screen.

If you've seen this problem and haves a suggestion

Big Parallels .mem files still exist with new version

March 1, 2007

Steve Palm, who first reported the problem of large .mem files created by Parallels Desktop with slow startups persists with the new version:

I downloaded the new shipping version yesterday and the problem still exists.

Another reader said that this is not a bug and does not slow performance. I did not say it slowed *performance*, but rather that it slowed/delayed STARTUP time.

However, it *IS* an issue, and it is NOT virtual memory. Windows virtual memory is being handled BY WINDOWS on the boot camp partition in a 2GB file there. I'm glad that some people have apparently endless disk space and are not bothered by the combination of extra Mac OS X swap file space (My system will typically spawn another one or two 512MB swap files when running Parallels), MS Windows Swap File space (2GB in my case) and then this extra 1.5GB of the .mem file.

Even more to the point of how absurd this is: If I want to just launch and run a LIVECD image of a Linux distribution, I create a new virtual machine configuration with no hard drive image, a pre-set amount of RAM, and so on, instructed to connect to either the ISO image file or the real CD_ROM drive and to boot from there. It *STILL* creates this 1.5GB .mem file on my drive, so it's not even a "Windows" cache file as the other gentleman tried to point out. It's something Parallels is doing which to the best of my knowledge. VMWare does not and certainly the old VirtualPC products did not, and I can't say it with 100% certainty, but I believe it only started in this last round of beta releases.





February 2007

February 27

Opinions differ on Parallels big .mem file

February 27, 2007

Readers reacted differently to last week's report of Parallels Desktop creating large (1.5 GB) files that slow performance of the virtual machine software.

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous said that this is not a bug and actually speeds performance:

This is a non-issue, and should be treated as such. You need to have virtual memory turned on in some capacity or another. This is the Windows virtual memory swap file, it just happens to be on the Mac side. You can tune the swap file this way to give better performance to the virtual machine or better performance to the Mac. This has been brought up more than once in the Parallels forums and should not warrant an entry is a bug.

However, a poster at the Parallels forums said that Parallels has acknowledged it as a bug:

I'm fairly certain I saw a post by Andrew @ Parallels on this that said it was a bug and would be fixed - but unable to find the post just now.

Scott Smith believes the file degrades performance:

Yes, I have the same problem on an original MacBook Pro. I have not found a solution. It slows the machine greatly.

Edward Danley:

I can confirm that Parallels generates the .mem file. Mine is the same size, 1.5 GB. It is only created when Parallels is accessing the partition. When stopped, the file goes away. If Parallels crashes, the file remains until the next successful start/stop. The file is also in a different location on my machine. The location is governed by Preferences/General options.

Gerben Wierda said that the file is smaller for older versions of Windows:

The Parallels .mem is 286MB on my system running Windows 2000 Pro.

Windows crashing in Parallels with Boot Camp partition

February 27, 2007

Edward Danley reports that Windows is crashing (aka, blue screen of death) when using the version of Windows installed with Boot Camp:

I'd like to report that with RC3 (build 3170) I ran across a show-stopper issue. I get a Blue Screen of Death when booting a boot camp partition with Parallels. Running via boot camp works fine. I can accept a bug in a beta (RC) version but I can't get any response from Parallels support (desktop@, beta@ or on their forums) on how to back out any changes to let me become operational again. A simply remove and reinstall the older version didn't work. With Boot Camp I can't remove the Parallels Tools to possibly correct the situation because XP says they can only be removed when running in a virtual machine.

Perhaps others might know how to do that and could provide assistance. I don't want to have to resort to paying a $30 support fee.

Prior to 3170 (3150), it ran fine and coherence mode was phenomenal on my MacBookPro.

If you've seen this problem and have a suggestion

Another theory on slow Mac booting with Active Directory

February 27, 2007

Brent Westmoreland refutes the advice given by a reader last week regarding slow startup times for Macs connected to Active Directory. A reader last week said "the issue might be the AD environment attempting to 'push' global policies..." Westmoreland respond proposes another theory of what's going on:

Active Directory GPO settings are never pushed. they are pulled by client devices that have the Windows libraries, thereby eliminating this possibility entirely. Boot hanging with windows 2003 is more likely an issue either trying to mount home directories or having the windows 2003 Domain Controller Security policy set in it's default state.

See this link for more details.

Jamie Thomson also has the problem. He tried some things that didn't solve the problem:

I too have iMacs G5 and PowerPC and MacBooks (OSX 10.4.8) which all experience the slow bootup when bound to TWO Directory Services. When bound to AD it is blazingly fast, when bound to OD it is blazingly fast, but when the two are used in conjunction its horribly slow, some 15 minutes to boot. I suspect it's network related but I can't prove it.

I was told to check that the switch ports had Spanning Tree Protocol enabled, they did not so I got it enabled. I also bumped the iMacs up to 1 GB autonegotiation. This seemed to help but not much.

You should get a laptop and plug it into the same switch as the AD server and check if the problem exists on a port that has STP PortFast or FastStart (depends on the vendor of switch) You will need to work with your network guys to do this.

TIP: Fix for Synergy PC unlocking problem

February 27, 2007

Joshua found a fix for the problem of unlocking a PC with Synergy, cross-platform software for sharing a keyboard and mouse among multiple computers, which we reported on last week. He said:

I fixed the unlocking issue. It turns out that it was a matter of when Synergy was started. When I set Synergy client to start with the system (PC), I was able to unlock the screen and log in and such. When I set Synergy client to start with login (ie, it starts with the user, not the system), I had trouble unlocking the PC via Synergy.





February 23

Microsoft limits running Vista Home on Macs

February 23, 2007

Microsoft is forbidding users of virtualization software from running Windows Vista Home Basic and Home Premium. The company does allow running Vista Business and Ultimate in virtual machines.

A look at the Microsoft Windows Vista end user licensing agreement reveals the prohibition under the sections related to Home Basic and Home Premium versions:

4. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.

The proscription includes running Vista in Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion on Macs, but also includes Microsoft's own Virtual PC running on Windows PCs.

Vista Home Basic (US$199) and Vista Home Premium (US$239) cost less than Vista Business (US$299) and Vista Ultimate (US$399). Vista Business and Ultimate feature the Aero graphical theme, which features the use of transparency and features such as Flip 3D, but neither Parallels nor VMware support Aero on Macs.

The restriction does not apply to Boot Camp, which is not a virtualization technology, but a method of booting the Mac from Windows.

Huge .mem file and slowdown of Parallels beta

February 23, 2007

Steven Palm reports performance problems with the current beta of the next version of Parallels Desktop, possibly caused by exceptional large .mem files:

I am running the latest series of Betas (or Release Candidates as they are calling them) for Parallel's Desktop for Mac. I am using Windows XP on a Boot Camp partition that is formatted as FAT32.

The problem is that startup of the VM is incredibly slow, in fact it takes a LONG time before the initial black Windows logo screen even shows up to show the loading is starting. This is one issue, and I could live with it.

The biggest problem is that it now creates a .mem file named the same as your VM configuration inside the ~/Library/Parallels/{vm name} folder. The .mem file is 1.48GB!

It's not bad enough that running Parallel's causes the Mac to page more virtual memory of it's own taking disk space, it now wastes another GIG AND A HALF of disk space for this mystery file. That was a large part of the reason to use a Boot Camp partition was so that a fixed amount of disk space was used by the VM, and now you loose another gig and a half on top of that space.

If you've seen this problem

Fix for Cisco VPN 3000 verified for later version of Tiger, Client

February 23, 2007

Divyesh Shah reports success with a fix we reported in 2005 for a problem with the Cisco VPN 3000 client and Tiger:

My VPN 3000 was giving error "error 51 could not connect to VPN subsystem" when trying to connect using USB modem.

I tried your commands:

sudo /System/Library/StartupItems/CiscoVPN/CiscoVPN restart

sudo /usr/local/bin/vpnclient autoinit

Bravo! It all worked. I have Tiger 10.4.6 and VPN 3000 4.9.0.

The fix was originally offered to fix a problem with kernel panics and earlier versions of Tiger and the Cisco Client.

Readers report on Synergy for keyboard sharing

February 23, 2007

Several readers responded to our report earlier this week about Synergy, free, cross-platform software for running multiple computers from a single keyboard and mouse.

Joshua, a Computer Analyst, describes the limitations:

I have tried Synergy and love it. It's one of the best free utilities out there. There are some limitations. I have three computers: 1) G5 2) Intel iMac 3) Dell desktop.

The G5 is the server for synergy and the other two are clients. The iMac and G5 sync in terms of going into screen saver and coming out of it. However sometimes the iMac has a conflict between synergy setting the screen saver and the iMac setting the screensaver. The result is two screensavers running at once, which makes the iMac look like it is having a seizure.

The other issue is that synergy cannot (or so it seems) unlock both Macs from one login, and it cannot unlock the PC at all. In other words I must mouse across to the second Mac to unlock it separately from the G5, and mousing across to the PC does nothing. The PC, when locked, will not accept input from the network card for unlock which is why (I think) Synergy cannot unlock it.

Tom Andersen describes using Synergy:

The way it works is really simple, once you set it up. You should have someone who can edit a very simple config file to set it up. Just read the instructions.

Then, as soon as you drag your mouse off your Mac screen in the direction of the PC, the keyboard and mouse are all of a sudden controlling the PC. It becomes second nature. Also, the copy/paste of text works well. We did it with Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.4.

Nik Sands uses it with Mac OS X, Unix, and Windows:

I've been using Synergy to share a keyboard and mouse between Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows machines. It works a lot better than the x2vnc solution I was using previously.

The screensaver synchronization DOES work in Mac OS X (it looks like this fix was provided by a 3rd party contributor). The clipboard sharing (text-only) is still very useful.

I've used it with the server being on either Solaris or Mac OS X, and it works fine both ways.





February 21

Suggestions for Macs hanging with Active Directory

February 21, 2007

Two readers sent in suggestions for dealing with a problem with Macs freezing during booting when connected to an Active Directory network.

Joe DiMattio:

I have a suggestion for Brad Anderson's issue with his Macs booting slow when connected to AD. The issue might be the AD environment attempting to "push" global policies (i.e. proxy settings, security settings) down to each attached device. The domain controller/policy server, being unable to find the suitable directories on the Mac, could just be waiting for a timeout on the Macs before moving on.

Dedrick Allen:

This user may want to verify that they have full forward and reverse DNS working for ALL Active Directory clients, Windows AND Macs. Active Directory requires DNS and most of the Mac networking features such as MCX and Open Directory require full forward and reverse lookup support.

Our Active Directory Reports page also contains some suggestions for a problem of Macs spinning their beachballs when logging on to Active Directory.

Suggestion for Parallels uppercase key problem
February 21, 2007

Charles Wells offered a suggestion for Monday's report of a key (the S key) not working in uppercase in Parallels Desktop.

I've seen this sporadically using Parallels on my MacBook Pro. I think it's an interplay between Parallels key mapping and Windows "sticky keys" (accessibility feature). You can see this by pressing the shift key in Windows 5 times - you'll get a dialog box that let's you turn off sticky keys.

If you've seen this problem or tried this fix

LogMeIn remote control software works with Macs

February 21, 2007

LogMeIn from LogMeIn, Inc., is remote control software that works through a web browser, and comes in free and commercial versions. Although the LogMeIn web site doesn't mention working with Macs, Jason Zawadzki uses it on his MacBook Pro:

LogMeIn (Free, Pro, etc.) is both elegant and awesome. It's Java-based, runs right through Safari or Firefox or whatever. Flawless and fantastic. Super secure too. Hard-core 256-bit encryption (SSL), multiple Windows PCs/Servers et cetera accessible through one account. A life saver. I currently manage around 5-6 PCs from my MacBook Pro (2.0GHz). Rock-solid.

Synergy shares keyboards over network
February 21, 2007

Synergy is open-source, free, cross-platform software for Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix/X11 that will let you run multiple computers from a single keyboard and mouse. It works over a networking running server or client software on the computers involved.

The Synergy web site says that the Mac OS X version is "incomplete:"

The Mac OS X port is incomplete. It does not synchronize the screen saver, only text clipboard data works (i.e. HTML and bitmap data do not work), the cursor won't hide when not on the screen, and there may be problems with mouse wheel acceleration.

If you've tried Synergy





February 19

MacWindows VMware Reports page now up
Wednesday, February 19, 2007

We've consolidated our coverage of VMware Fusion beta for Mac OS X and Parallels Desktop on a new VMware Fusion Beta Notes and Reports page. VMware Fusion is virtual machine software for Intel Macs that can run Windows (including Windows Vista) and Linux in Mac OS X. The Reports pages contain MacWindows’ information, reports and tips about the beta versions of VMware.

(For reports on other ways to run Windows on Intel Macs, see our CrossOver Reports page and a Parallels Reports page.)

Reader uses VMWare Fusion Beta to access AS/400, Lotus
February 19, 2007

Paul Senior is happy with the VMware Fusion Beta, using it to access an IBM iSeries (AS/400) mainframe. He also uses Lotus Domino and Notes MS Office. You can read his report on our VMware Fusion Beta Notes and Reports page.

Office 2008 for Mac: VBA a deal breaker for some
February 19, 2007

Several readers reacted to our report about Microsoft's plans to drop the cross-platform VBA script and macro support in the upcoming Office 2008 for Mac. Readers say that they'll stick with 2004 or use the Windows version in a virtual machine.

Greg Walker said simply "I will not buy Office without VBA scripting."

Joe Parker will stick with the current version:

There's, not a chance that I’ll upgrade to Office 2008 without VBA support. I’ll happily drudge along with Office 2004. Pass my thanks to Microsoft.

Although continuing to use Office 2004 retains cross-platform macro compatibility, it does not have native file compatibility with Office 2007 for Windows and the OpenXML file format. Neema Aghamohammadi will get around this by using the Windows version in Parallels:

I will tell you how the slow drift away from cross-platform parity will affect me: I'm switching to Office 2003 using Parallels. In fact, there's a discussion of this in the Ars Technica forums in the Mac forum.

… You get full Outlook/Exchange compatibility + Access at this cost. Performance is stunning in comparison to MacOffice 2004 on any Intel Mac with greater than 1GB of RAM.

(CrossOver can also run Microsoft Office for Windows, as can the VMware Fusion beta.)

Reader has Parallels uppercase problem
February 19, 2007

David Gonzalez has a strange problem with Parallels Desktop and uppercase S:

I'm running XP via Paraells on a Mac Book. After installing XP I am unable to type the capital S. I have to press the caps lock type the letter s, then release the cap lock.

If you've seen this problem

Macs hang during startup when added to Active Directory
February 19, 2007

Brad Anderson's Macs are freezing during startup on an Active Directory network. He has a temporary workaround, but it's lost upon restart:

All my Macs boot extremely slowly and the progress bar will freeze at boot up for up to 2 or 3 minutes once the Macs are added (bound) to Active Directory.  If I go into the Library>Preference>DirectoryService and delete all the prefs in that folder, then reboot, they boot just fine. If I then re-bind the Mac to AD and do a reboot, it goes back to hanging during the boot process. I’m assuming this is because something in the boot process is timing out, but I’m unable to find what that thing is.

All my Macs are running 10.4.7 or 10.4.8 (both versions have the same issue). I have both Intel and PowerPC Macs as well. It seems to be affecting them all. We are running a Windows 2003 domain.

If you've seen this problem

Entourage Email Archive X 3.1.0 update released
February 19, 2007

Softhing Software has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.1.0 (free upgrade), an update to the Mac OS X 10.4 utility for archiving Entourage 2004 emails and attachments. The new version adds interface improvements, some new minor features, and internal optimizations.

RAGE Macintosh Explorer 4.5 released as Universal Binary
February 19, 2007

Rage Software has released Macintosh Explorer 4.5 (US $16), an upgrade to the file browsing utility for Mac OS X that provides an interface similar to Windows Explorer. The new version is a Univeral Binary that runs natively on Intel Macs and PowerPC Macs. It also adds the ability to group folders together when sorting file listings, includes new toolbar icons, and improves performance.





February 11

MacTech to help with lack of VBA in Office Mac 2008
February 11, 2007

In a special April edition, MacTech Magazine will publish a 150-page guide to help users with the upcoming Office 2008 transition from Microsoft Office VBA to AppleScript. The multi-chapter guide will include examples for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage.

Microsoft will drop Visual Basic support from Office 2008 for Mac OS X, due later this year, thus forcing users of VBA scripts and marcos to switch to AppleScript. Writing in Macworld last December, Rob Griffiths said "Office will apparently be missing a feature so vital to cross-platform compatibility that I believe it will be the beginning of the end for the Mac version of the productivity suite."

Griffiths' pointed out that organizations that upgrade to Office 2008 for Mac will lose the ability of both Mac and Windows to share the same macros in files, which are used in many organizations for file templates. This is a built-in incentive for organizations to stick with Office 2004 for Mac OS X.

Parting VBA scripts and macros to AppleScript will enable users to operate the automation of existing Office files, but Windows users will not have access to the scripts. MacTech Magazine's "Moving from Microsoft Office VBA to AppleScript: MacTech's Guide to Making the Transition" will be available at the beginning of April. Subscribers will receive it, and a limited number of copies will be available on the newsstand.

Will the lack of VBA support influence your decision to upgrade to Office 2008?

For more on Office 2008 for Mac OS X, see our Office 2008 Special Report page.

Reader compares VMware, Parallels, and CrossOver
February 11, 2007

Michael Hocking compared running Windows applications on an Intel Mac using the current version of Parallels Desktop, the VMware Fusion Beta, and the first release of CodeWeavers CrossOver.

I have tried all three and found the following:

Crossover does not seem ready for prime time yet as there are not enough apps that work with it. I tried a few apps that were not on the tested list and they did not work or worked very poorly.

I found both Parallels and Fusion to work pretty well, with Parallels running faster. Fusion still has debug code running which is affecting its speed.

I would be happy with either product but Fusion wins for me because of the portability of the virtual machines (VMs) between different platforms.  I was able to bring in VMs that I had already created with the Windows version and download virtual appliances found on the Web. I was able to burn DVD's, run Mapping software, run Quicken for Windows, run Office and just about anything I could think of and it all worked on both platforms.

I love being able to use my MacBook and still have Windows if need be. I have also tried Boot Camp too but not like to have to reboot all the time.

Skype 2.5 for Mac sends text messages to mobile phones
February 11, 2007

Skype, Ltd, has released Skype for Mac 2.5, a new version of the client for the company's voice-over-IP service. The client is a free download. Skype for Mac 2.5 adds the ability to send SMS text messages to mobile phones. Also new is the ability hold conference calls with up to nine users. Calls can be made to Skype contacts for free and to landlines and mobiles for a fee using SkypeOut software. Skype for Mac can also conduct free one-on-one video calls to Mac or Windows users.





February 7

MacWindows CrossOver, Parallels pages now up
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
We've consolidated our coverage of CrossOver for Mac OS X and Parallels Desktop on a new CrossOver Reports page and a Parallels Reports page. CrossOver is software for Intel-powered Macs and Linux that runs Windows applications without Windows. Parallels Desk is virtual machine software for Intel Macs that can run Windows (including Windows Vista) in Mac OS X. The two new Reports pages contain MacWindows’ reports and tips about the shipping versions of each application.

CrossOver lacks ActiveX support
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Jim Bauer reports that CrossOver does not support Microsoft’s ActiveX, which is often use on custom web site accessible only by Windows clients:

I'm responding to your reports on Crossover for the Mac. I installed Internet Explorer 6 without trouble but a couple of the application I need IE for also require ActiveX components for SQL access. As some notes on the CodeWeaver site state no ActiveX support I find it misleading that they state IE works when a major component of IE doesn't.

Centrify adds smart card security login to Mac AD solution
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
This week Centrify Corp. began shipping an add-on to its Active Directory integration solution that enables Mac users to login to the Active Directory using a secure USB smart card. The SmartCard Login Option (US $30) is an add-on to Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X, (US $60 for client; a Centrify server is also required.) The SmartCard Login Option  supports the Department of Defense Common Access Card authentication standard. Centrify also offers DirectControl clients for Linux and Unix.

Bonjour didn't help reader's Parallels printing problem
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Joe Reichmuth is having printer problems with Windows running on a Mac with Parallels Desktop. He has installed Apple's Bonjour, but it has not solved the problem:

I installed Windows under Parallels and could not get the printer to work under the Windows XP side. It is a USB printer installed on the USB port. It works fine within Mac OS X. After I installed Bonjour and the printer shared under Mac I can print, but I lose some of the functionally under Windows. However, whenever I put any USB device into the USB port it crashes Windows. I can not use any USB items in Windows. (It may be the lack of support for USB 2.0.) And I just lost my video display now under windows. Windows boots up ok but its just a black screen it appears to be a video driver conflict but currently the Mac side is the only side working. Trying to get Windows and all devices working correctly has been an uphill battle.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: using a Keyspan serial adapter with VPC 7
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Ray Kenny describes how he got Virtual PC to work with a Keyspan  USB-to-serial adapter:

I installed VPC 7 (7.0.2) on a PowerBook G4 (1.67 MHz) w/ Tiger 10.4.8 . The installation was easy.  The Keyspan 19HS serial adapter was a bit tricky.  I loaded the Keyspan driver under Windows and restarted VPC 7.  Of course, this resulted in nothing. I explored the VPC 7 and start up settings and found the correct menu. I selected the Keyspan 19HS as com1 and the thing worked fine.  I can now control my equipment with my Apple laptop, a serial cable, the Keyspan 19HS and the proprietary PC software for the equipment.  It worked great for several hours and with quick switching to the OS X Tiger side for other software running simultaneously. No more PC boxes are needed here.

Turning ships Mac version of PowerPoint audience response system
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Turning Technologies has released a Mac version of TurningPoint, software that adds interactivity to PowerPoint presentations. Previously available only for Windows, TurningPoint is an audience response system for classrooms and conference sessions that enables the presenter to collect data from the audience in real time using wireless ResponseCard keypads. TurningPoint for Mac is a Universal Binary application, native on Intel and PowerPC Macs.

February 5

Problem with Universal Citrix Client confirmed; Workaround exists. February 5, 2007 -- Several readers have verified our previous report of a problem with the new universal binary version of the Citrix ICA client for Mac OS X. The new client lacks 128-bit security and gives the error message "Cannot find encryption module 'EncRC5'" when users try to connect.

Peter Arnold reports a workaround to prevent the error message:

I, too, had the "EncRC5" problem. There is a thread on the Citrix forum about this problem. I modified my Modules preference file as directed by one of the respondents on that thread and now the client is working. The author of the workaround is Steve Maser. The relevant message is the 12th entry in that thread.

Mike Sneider also confirmed the problem:

I can confirm the lack of 128-bit secure communication with the new Citrix 7.10.500 release for OS X on Intel. There is no secure 128-bit module, and adding the files from the PPC version doesn't work. This release results in an insufficient encryption error when I use it to log in to the Citrix server at work. I've had to revert to the previous (non-Universal) release. I'm hoping this is just an oversight, and a new version will be forthcoming.

Citrix is aware of the problem, and notes that "By design, RC5 encryption support was removed from version 7.10.500 of the ICA Client for Macintosh."

John Dorsey saw the Citrix explanation, and notes that the PowerPC version includes RC5 encryption:

The ENCRC5 issue is unavoidable under the newest (Intel) version of the OS X client software. Citrix omitted the module in this build of the Mac client, with no plans to replace it. "It works as designed", they say. Nice stuff!

Here's a link to discussion in the Citrix forums on the subject. The "solution" is to download and use the PowerPC version of the software, which does not suffer this deficiency. Just be sure to wipe the Intel version from your hard drive before attempting the "downgrade."

Ryan Taylor confirms that the PowerPC version works:

My group is experiencing the same issue. We've reverted back to the PPC client, which works perfectly.

Chris Ruprech noted that it also doesn't occur in the Windows version.

More readers reports on CrossOver. February 5, 2007 -- Readers continue to report on the new CrossOver from CodeWeavers, the Mac OS X application that can run Windows application without Windows itself. Although most readers are reporting that the can't run Windows programs that are not certified to run on CrossOver, Barry Smythe is having success with a non-supported program:

I am running MS Project Professional on CrossOver 6.0 as well as an add-on program called Risk+. It's working well, I am very pleased.

As with previous reports, Andrew could not run AutoCAD (which is not yet supported), but had limited results with a similar application:

I tried AutoCAD also, but it would not work. I then tried BricsCad 7, an AutoCad clone, and it works well, with some text recognition issues. If Crossover gets AutoCAD to run as a supported program they will pick up plenty of customers in the architecture world.

Michael Sayer:

I have been beta testing this and it is very useful to run Internet Explorer, which my company requires. But the other app I need is Adobe FrameMaker, which CrossOver does not support. It launches but is unusable because it doesn't display any fonts (no menus, dialogs, etc.) properly.

If you’ve tried CrossOver

Free JavaApp lets Windows see Mac-formatted drives. February 5, 2007 -- We've added HFS Explorer for Windows (free) to the product listings on our Cross-Platform Drive Solutions page.

Josh Long uses it to enable Windows running in Boot Camp to browse the Mac partitions:

Just wanted to let you know about a sweet freeware Java app that I came across the other day that lets you browse HFS+ drives/partitions from within Windows, as well as extract files from said drives/partitions. Works great (I have a MacBook Pro dual-booting Windows XP), and I blogged about my experience with it here.

If you’ve tried HFS Explorer (with Boot Camp or on a PC)

Leopard's Apple Mail to improve Exchange support February 5, 2007 -- Oliver Buxbaum notes that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will fix an annoying problem with Mail.app when it access Exchange Server. Normally, Mail.app will try to subscribe to every Exchange Server Public folder, a problem when there are hundreds of them set up. Leopard's Mail.app adds a simple check box setting to prevent this behavior.

See this blog with screen shot. For those of us still using Tiger or earlier, the site also lists four workarounds to the problem.

Entourage Email Archive 3.0 adds performance, new interface. February 5, 2007 -- Softthing Software has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.0.0 (US$30, free upgrade), a major new version of the Mac OS X application for archiving Entourage emails and attachments. Email archives, including the native .EML format, are searchable by Spotlight. The new version has been completely rewritten with a new user interface, new features, and is up to 200 percent faster, according to the company.





January 2007

January 29

Reader reports: CrossOver 1.0 works on supported apps. January 29, 2007 -- Dave Scott is a fan of CodeWeavers’ CrossOver 1.0 for running Outlook for Windows and other apps on a Mac:

I have been using this since one of the beta releases. I use it every day with my work -- being a MacBook user in a Windows world -- to run Visio 2003 and an unsupported application (which installed fine and runs great) called Remedy Action Request System.

Great thing is how it integrates directly into the Mac OS. I get a Visio attachment in an email, double click to open. I have also been running Outlook 2003 / Office 2003, Half Life / Half Life 2 demo / Unreal / Diablo II.

Have tried Parallels – but for day-to-day use, I prefer CrossOver.

Unlike Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion, CrossOver does not run Windows itself on the Mac. The Windows applications run directly in Mac OS X. The tradeoff is that CrossOver only runs certain Windows applications that CodeWeavers has certified. Although Scott had success running non-certified applications, Charles Ross tried unsuccessfully to use CrossOver with two unsupported applications:

I tried using AutoCAD. It would not load. I also tried using WatchTower Library. It was very slow and serveral functions would not work.

If you’ve tried CrossOver 1.0

Reader uses Fusion for multi-plaform VMs. January 29, 2007 -- Erik Ableson likes the VMware Fusion beta for its ability to use virtual machines across different platforms:

Just chiming in here on Fusion. I work extensively in virtual infrastructure deployments with VMWare and Microsoft. Fusion is a godsend for those of us that need simple portability of VMWare virtual machines.  

I've used it successfully to do all sorts of interesting things already, notably testing against the VMWare Converter application to setup a VM on the Mac, and then deploy it directly to a VMWare ESX Server.  I've tested the process both against a physical machine running the converter process and running the converter in a Parallels VM (yes, a little twisted).

Overall, I'm waiting on the advanced functions like flexible disk management (multiple disks etc.) but if you're working in a VMWare environment the portability of machines is exceedingly practical. Parallels currently wins in the overall flexibility department and for actually using Windows applications, but for administering a virtual infrastructure Fusion is the perfect complement. I see myself using both of them regularly.

If you’ve tried the VMware Fusion beta

Bug with Citrix Universal Client. January 29, 2007 -- John Zurlo reports a problem with the recently released Intel-native version of the Citrix Client for Mac OS X:

I just purchased a 20" iMac for work where we use the Citrix client to access a lab program.  The client would not allow connection.  A warning pop-up about the lack of a security feature came up.  It then closed. The error message I received was "Cannot find encryption module 'EncRC5'"; session will be unencrypted". It then would not connect.

If you’ve seen this

A reader has previously reported that the new Citrix client wasn't as secure as earlier versions.

Groupcal 3.76 boosts speed for iCal-to-Exchange utility. January 29, 2007 -- Snerdware has released Groupcal 3.76 (US $55), an update to the Mac OS X software that syncs data between Microsoft Exchange and iCal, and enables iCal users to manage Exchange calendars. The new version signicantly improves performance for large calendars, according to the company. Version 376 also fixes a few bugs.

Article describes Entourage-to-Outlook move. January 29, 2007 -- We found this article at MacOSX Hints, which describes two methods of moving email and contacts from Entourage for Mac OS X to Outlook for Windows.

January 12
Continued Coverage From MacWorld Expo

CrossOver ships: runs Win apps without Windows. January 12, 2007 – At MacWorld Expo, CodeWeavers announced that it has shipped CrossOver (US $60), software for Mac OS X and Linux that can run selected Windows applications without the use of the Windows operating system. Users install Windows applications right in Mac OS X. An icon for the Windows application appears in the Finder; double-clicking it launches the app. 

The drawback is that CrossOver only supports a few Windows applications, including Outlook. The company said that it would be adding support for more applications.

CrossOver is based on the open source WINE software that recreates Windows calls in Mac OS X. CodeWeavers is a leading contributor to WINE. CrossOver uses only a fraction of the system resources that Windows does. Since no Windows license is required, the cost is also much less than virtual machine products such as Parallels Desktop.

If you’ve tried the new CrossOver 1.0

Dueling betas between Parallels and VMware at Macworld. January 12, 2007 -- Windows was a big hit at Macworld Expo as attendees crowded the booths of Parallels and VMware to see previews of the latest beta versions of virtualization software for Intel Macs. Both companies also released information regarding the ship dates of these upcoming new versions.

VMware announced that it would ship the 1.0 version of its Fusion virtual machine software for Mac OS X sometime this summer. Parallels said that the next version of Parallels Desktop would be ready in approximately two weeks. The company is not giving the new version a name or version number.

Parallels demonstrated for the first time a release candidate (RC1, also called Build 3128), which was just released to beta testers. It features an improved Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop while displaying only open windows. Windows applications appear in the Dock, letting you switch between them without using the Windows interface. (The difference between CrossOver and Parallel’s Coherence Mode is that Parallels runs Windows and requires you to own it; CrossOver is not running Windows at all.) Coherence Mode currently works with Windows XP and Windows Vista, but Parallels said that it would be bringing the feature to other operating systems as well. Parallels also implemented dynamic resizable windows, a feature that VMware also has, as does Microsoft’s Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs.

The VMware Fusion beta also has some advantages. VMware was ahead with drag and drop file transfer. Parallels Desk lets users drag a file from the Mac Finder into Windows and vice versa, but VMware lets you drag files in between guest operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Solaris. VMware Fusion also has a feature called Virtual Battery, which passes along the state of a notebook’s remaining battery power to Windows native power display.

VMware can use both CPUs in a dual-core processor, and can even support both 32-bit and 64-bit applications simultaneously. VMware supports up to 3.6 MB of RAM for each virtual machine (up to 8 GB total). Parallels Desktop supports 1.5 GB per machine. Fusion supports isochronous USB, including USB cameras.

With both programs, you should not assign more RAM to the guest OS than is physically available, in order to get the best performance. A Parallels spokesperson recommended that a MacBook or MacBook Pro have at least 2 GB of RAM, with 512 MB assigned to Windows.

Now announces new group calendar and contact management software.January 12, 2007 – At Macworld Expo, Now Software announced that next spring it would replace Now Up-to-Date & Contact cross-platform groupware software with a brand new cross-platform solution rewritten from the ground up. Codenamed NightHawk, the new group calendar and contact software will use the same code base for the Mac and Windows clients. There will also be a web-based client accessible by any operating system. The client is now a single application for managing events, contacts, and tasks. Plug-in modules will allow customers to add other functions. The Mac client supports iSync for syncing with iCal, Address Book, iPods, PDAs, and other devices.

The NightHawk server will be based on SQL, with better performance than the Up-to-Date server. The server will be compatible with the LDAP protocol. Now Software will sell the clients for US $150 per license. The server will be free with purchase of the clients.

Intego bundles Mac and Windows virus software for multi-OS Macs. January 12, 2007 – At Macworld Expo, Intego released bundles of security software that contained versions for both Mac OS X and Windows. Aimed at users of Apple Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, and VMware Fusion, the Intego Dual Protection line (US $80) includes Virus Barrier X4 for Mac OS X and BitDefender Antivirus 10.0 for Windows. The Intego Internet Security and Antispam Dual Protection Edition (US $100) also includes anti-spam and Firewall software for Mac OS X and Windows.

January 9: Special Coverage From MacWorld Expo

No Macs at the Macworld Expo keynote; iPhone dominates Apple announcements. January 9, 2007 – For the first time ever, Apple made no announcement about Mac hardware or software products at Macworld Expo. Steve Jobs instead focused his Keynote on consumer electronics products. The only mention of Mac OS X was to say that it is powering the new iPhone, which Jobs introduced this morning.

Jobs was expected to announce a ship date for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and possibly preview more features. Jobs didn’t demonstrate Leopard or even talk about it.  Jobs had previously claimed that the company would ship Leopard before Microsoft released Windows Vista, which will be available at the end of this month.

Jobs talked about its home media center device, iTV, which Apple has redubbed AppleTV. But he spent most of the keynote on iPhone, a handheld device that combines a mobile phone with iTunes music and movie capabilities and Wi-Fi Internet access and EDGE networking. As predicted by some rumor sites, the iPhone is a touch-screen device with the 3.5”, 160 pixel/inch screen display covering almost the entire area of the phone.  Users operate the device with fingers, not a stylus. There is a single physical button on the front panel.

The iPhone will be able to synch contacts, email, music, and video with both Macs and Windows PCS when it ships. The device connects to the computer with a USB dock, similar to the way iPods connect.

As a Mac OS X-based device, the iPhone runs applications with the look and feel of Macs. It includes the Safari web browser, which can render an entire web page as it would appear on a computer. A tap can zoom in. There is also a separate Google Maps application.

Apple will ship the iPhone in June North Ameriac at US$499 for  4 GB storage, and US $599 for an 8 GB model. The iPhone will work exclusively with Cingular Networks’ services.

Apple drops Computer from its name. January 9, 2007 – Reflecting the company’s shift from a personal computer company to a consumer electronics company, Apple Computer, Inc., today changed its name to Apple, Inc.

New Office Mac to offer compatible with Win Office 2007. January 9, 2007 -- Today, Microsoft announced Office 2008 for Mac OS X, an Intel-native version that will be compatible with the XML-based Office file formats of Office 2007 for Windows. This includes native support for the new.DOCX Word format and the .XLSX Excel format. The new version will also be the first Universal Binary Office, running natively on both Intel-based Macs and PowerPC Macs. Microsoft will ship Office 2008 during the second half of this year.

Microsoft also announced that it will also ship a file converter for  Mac OS X that will allow users of Office 2004 to translate between the old and new Office file formats. Currently, Panergy software offers a Mac OS X utility called DocXConverter (US$20) that can convert between .DOC and .DOCX formats.

The company said that PowerPoint 2008 will have better compatibility with PowerPoint 2007 for Windows, particularly with embedded images. A company spokesperson said that users could move a PowerPoint file between Mac and Windows versions of Office without losing graphics, a common problem with current versions off PowerPoint.

“Users should no longer see the big red X,” said a company spokesperson.

The company said that the compatibility is created by a new graphics rendering engine in PowerPoint 2008 that is essentially the same graphics engine in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows. 

Microsoft did not provide any details on Entourage 2008. A company spokesperson acknowledged that Entourage did not have the functionality of Outlook for Windows, but said the company had nothing to announce. Microsoft did say that Office 2008 will include a new application called My Day, which is a calendar viewer that displays a single day of appointments.

One notable change is the user interface, which adopts numerous Windows conventions, including aspects of the Aero interface of Windows Vista. This includes toolbars that are attached to document windows instead of the screen and Windows-like behavior in tabs and buttons. There are also a number of instances of Vista-like graphics, include the use of transparency and an increase in the use of 3-D interface elements.

Other new features include a new toolbar that embeds the Project Gallery in every document window. Excel has a new Ledger Sheet, a type of template available from the new Gallery. Word 2008 will include a new Publishing Layout View which includes page layout features such as linked text boxes that can be drawn anywhere on screen, similar to those in Adobe InDesign. (Each corner of a textbox is marked by a 3-D globe. It was not evident in our interview with Microsoft if this or other 3D interface elements served a functional purpose.)

Citrix Universal client not secure. January 9, 2007 -- Svein Tjemsland reports that the recently released Citrix ICA Client for Mac OS X version 7.10.500 lacks one security feature that the older version has:

All is not that great, it does not do 128-bit secure communication, so I still have to use the old PowerPC version on my MacBook Pro.

If you’ve used the new Universal Citrix client

More on VMware; integration tools in Linux. January 9, 2007 -- Pascal Robert from Montreal, Canada, says that says VMware Fusion is better for Linux than Parallels Desktop. One reason is that the integration tools work with Linux in addition to Windows. The tools allow for moving the cursor continuously from Mac to Windows, support copying and pasting between operating systems, among other things:

I tried the beta of Fusion, so far it's working fine.  For people who want to run Linux, it's better than Parallels Desktop, because VMWare does offer integration tools for Linux, Parallels only have tools for Windows.

And like your anonymous reader said, you can run pre-built virtual machines from various vendors (and open source projects), this is quite useful for evaluating software without the need of a PC.

I tried the tool to convert images from VMware to Parallels, but Parallels don't copy settings if it's a Linux image, and I can't open the converted images in Parallels.  Parallels Linux support is really basic.

BTW: I made 3 suggestions to VMware : one to convince Apple to let VMware runs OS X VMs (useful to test new releases), to let VMware Fusion to act as a console to connect to VMware Server (we have a GSX 3.2 Server here, and we have to connect from Windows) and to integrate Eclipse and xCode with VMware (they are doing this with Workstation 6, when you build an application in Visual Studio 5 or Eclipse, it can launch a specific VM and loads the compiled application in the VM).  Other people already made the same suggestions, so if people want them, they should give feedback to VMware.

Finally, VMware Fusion don't support a lot of OS’s for now (my VMs with RedHat ES 3 don't run well), but they says that the final version will run the same OS’s as VMWare Workstation 6.

Larry Prall had some problems running Windows:

My experience hasn't been as good as some others.  I've had frequent problems with crashes and hangs (all duly reported and core files and logs uploaded). Also had a problem with an application which runs just fine under Parallels (and under VMWare on Redhat 8 Linux) but hangs every time on Fusion.  I haven't tried reinstalling, so it could well be a botched installation of either Fusion or of XP Pro. I actually haven't used it extensively since the app which won't run is one of the very few things I run on Windows.

There are more comments on VMware Fusion in yesterday's news.





January 8

Citrix releases Intel-native ICA client for Mac OS X. January 8, 2007 -- Citrix has released version 7.10.500 of its ICA Client for Mac OS X, a "thin client" used to run Windows software hosted on a Citrix server session.

The new version is the first Universal Binary build (Intel- and PowerPC-native), though Citrix is still offering the older PowerPC-only version 7.00.411 at the site.

Of the new release, reader Brian Paquin said "Other than a new icon, I haven't noticed much different."

(Thanks also to Chris Phelps, Brian T. Paquin and Geoffrey Green for the tip.)

Readers say VMWare Fusion compares well to Parallels. January 8, 2007 -- Readers are reporting good things about VMWare's recently released beta of Fusion, a virtual machine environment for Mac OS X for running x86 operating systems on Intel Macs. Readers pointed out some advantages over Parallels Desktop.

Craig Douglas points out an advantage over Parallels Desktop, the ability to run 1 GB of RAM:

I have been playing with Fusion on a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. I installed a prebuilt Ubuntu 6.06 LTS operating system, giving it 1 GB of memory. After updating the operating system and installing the VMWare Tools multiple times, I have a system that works, seemingly with both processors in use. I have an application that needs the GB to run, so this is a real plus over Parallels Desktop, which only lets me run with 0.5 GB for the same operating system. I cannot say if Fusion is fast or slow, but at least my application runs.

Peter Mitchell of Adelaide, Austria uses it with iSight:

You asked to hear about the VM fusion beta.  I have been using the VMWare Fusion Beta alongside Parallels Workstation and it goes well.  It does some things that the Parallels program does not. It can run an iSight driver so that you Skype in Windows. (I haven't tried MNS Messenger yet with the iSight.) 

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous is running it with a pre-built “virtual appliance” OS bundle from VMWare, something you can do with the Windows version of VMWare:

I downloaded and installed Fusion on my MacBook Pro. I loaded a VMware-built Red Hat special Linux build that I use on a PC for demo's. It booted up with no issue at all. Runs in debug mode only, and warns you that it will be slow due to debug mode.

I was amazed that I could take an existing VMware build and load in Fusion with no alteration.

Its not nearly as sleek as Parallels, which I use everyday. I even had Parallels, Fusion, running at the same time.

If you’ve used the VMware Fusion beta

Groupcal 3.75 iCal-to-Exchange utility updated. January 8, 2007 – Snerdware has released Groupcal 3.75 (US $55), an update to the Mac OS X software that syncs data between Microsoft Exchange and iCal, and enables iCal users to manage Exchange calendars. The new version is a maintenance release to fix bugs and add some minor user interface improvements.

Beta of Entourage Email Archive X 3 is available. January 8, 2007 – Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 3.0.0b3, a beta (prerelease) version of an upcoming release of the utility for archiving emails and attachments received or sent using Microsoft Entourage in Mac OS X. The company says the new version is 200 percent faster than version 2.x.


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1999: | January/February | March/April | May/June | July/August | September/October | November/December |

1998: | December | November | October | September | August | July | June | May | April | March | February | January |

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