MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2008 (#38)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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REVIEW | CREATIVITY You can keep your favorite Windows programs in your Dock and run them as if they were Mac native. An optional display setting that VMWare refers to as "experimental" gives Fusion one of its biggest advantages over the competition. Check this box and Fusion will activate DirectX 9.0 graphics in compatible software and video hardware and represents a significant boost for gamers. (Fusion 2 beta adds the DirectX shading engine.) For our testing, we installed Windows XP Pro x64, Windows Vista Business, and Ubuntu Linux on a Mac Pro, and the results were really impressive in terms of performance, convenience and stability. Vista, in fact, felt more responsive and graphically smooth than a number of PC- native installations we've tried. For an informal performance test, we loaded Microsoft Flight Simulator on our XP virtual machine, plugged an old Force Feedback joystick into a USB port and toured New York in our DC-3. Awesome. Fusion also lets you import virtual machine images directly from PCs, an option that's also getting the attention of enterprise IT. To test this out, we pulled over a Windows 2003 Server Standard VM from a PC. We had to delete a few lock (.lck) files from the image, but after that it came right up. (And, of course, we pulled it right off. There are a number of licensing issues to work through if you want to do this in the real world.) There are a couple of areas were Fusion falls short of Parallels and even VMWare's own Workstation product for other platforms. The 12-page "Getting Started" guide pales next to Parallel's comprehensive 240-page manual. And even though Fusion's networking features are on a par with Parallels, Fusion apparently has the same powerful virtual networking underpinnings as VMWare's Workstation, but lacks the user interface tools to access them. Could these be waiting in the wings for the next release? When you come right down to it, there are a lot of reasons why, beyond the smug pleasure of being able to do it, you would want or need to run any number of operating systems on your Mac. If you're looking for performance, flexibility and possibly the smoothest way to integrate your Macs into a Windows shop, VMWare's Fusion is the way to go. There are headphones and there are headphones. Ear buds, ear canal, over-the- ear, noise canceling – you name it, but for serious studio work it is hard to beat the accuracy and functionality of a good quality pair of closed back dynamic phones such as the Studiophile Q40 from M-Audio. At $179.95, they hit a perfectly dialed-in ratio of bank to buck, offering a dynamic range of 10Hz to 20 kHz, excellent isolation, a comfortable and clever folding design, an ample cable that is both detachable and lockable, a carrying bag, and best of all, they simply sound great. The wires to the individual ear cups are a bit finer than I would prefer (ever snag a wire when grabbing the phones off a mic stand?). The cable, which has a " jack, uses a threaded (rather than universal) ear cup connector, which is very secure but proprietary. Of course, the most important feature is the quality of sound, which is quite good, and that is what a serious set of phones is all about. When it comes to studio sound, you should never skimp on the headphones and with the Studiophile Q40, you get a serious piece of studio gear that sounds great, travels well, and is available at a reasonable price. Product VMWare Fusion 1.1.2 Made by VMWare Price $79.99 (download) Pros Excellent performance, DirectX graphics support Cons Limited documentation, access to advanced features Rating HHHH Product Studiopohile Q40 Headphones Made by M-Audio Price $79.99 (download) Pros Excellent sound, clever design Cons Proprietary cable Rating HHHHH WORDS BY TREY YANCY VMWARE FUSION 1. 1.2 > THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS STUDIOPHILE Q40 HEADPHONES > TOP NOTCH, REASONABLE PRICE

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