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July 13, 2011


Dan Devoe

Congrats on the successful transition!

I am thinking of getting a Mac for my wife... I hate working on Windows problems...

I've been playing a lot with Linux over the past few years, and have found Webmin to be an invaluable tool - especially when learning the ropes.

At my last company, I installed Webmin on a few Mac's, and was able to remotely administer them. Here is the link on how to do it:

I've never used the Usermin interface on either Linux or Mac.


I've been waiting to hear about your experiments here because our XP machine is on it's last legs. During a recent PC extended outage, we were loaned an older Mac G5 by friends already firmly in the Apple court. We thought the Mac seemed pretty sweet, but I need RDi or RDp for my college work too. I guess VMWare, parallels and Bootcamp are all options for the Windows side. Hopefully you can discuss why you selected Parallels? Do you give up the mouse completely when you get a touchpad? FYI- I have an iPad and am practicing my gestures although they are different "gestures" from the one I most frequently use with my PC. ;)


And now the downsides; No insert key on the keyboard. That makes using RDP LPEX editor very difficult. I have to bring up the Windows virtual keyboard to press insert.

Weird key presses to get a hash symbol!

No way to create a document directly in Finder.

Different keyboard short cuts for just about everything due to the "different" command and control keys.

Finder does not show hidden files and there's no option to show them unlike Windows Explorer.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Mac too but it has frustrating shortcomings that you need to work around and they are very silly shortcomings sometimes. Apple have attempted to dumb the Mac down to a point where you can't make a mistake but that also means you're artificially restricted from doing things you need to do sometimes.

Jeb Bouchard

Welcome to the club!

Dan Devoe

"Finder does not show hidden files and there's no option to show them unlike Windows Explorer."

This is one reason why I have found webmin to be an invaluable tool. :-)

Jon Paris

@Paul "No insert key on the keyboard. That makes using RDP LPEX editor very difficult. I have to bring up the Windows virtual keyboard to press insert."

Many apps seem to map Command + F3 to the insert key, so I simply added that to the keyboard mappings in the VM.

"No way to create a document directly in Finder."

True - but since I only ever did it about 5 times in the 20+ years I used WIndows I really haven't missed it.

"Different keyboard short cuts for just about everything ..."

True - but most of the common ones simply use Command instead of Control so it didn't take me long to get used to it. You can also of course remap if you want but ...

"Finder does not show hidden files and there's no option to show them unlike Windows Explorer."

You can make finder show hidden files. There's a setting for it. This app is a good idea to use though because it simply toggles the show/don't show state.


The key mapping is fine for a VM Jon put I'm using remote desktop to connect to my Windows desktop at work and use RDP from there. Not so easy. I use CoRD as my remote desktop client.

Thanks for the hidden files in Finder tips. I'm still a relative Mac newbie (although long time Linux user) and discovering new quirks every day.

Aaron Bartell

Paul, I am not sure if I have done a mapping or not, but to do INSERT I select Fn+Enter and that seems to do the trick. Note this is NOT in a RemoteDesktop situation but I believe it might work because I don't *think* I did any remapping to make that key combo act as the INSERT key.

Congrats on your success Susan.

The reason I like Parallels over my initial embrace of VirtualBox is because Parallels does an absolute superb job of making it feel like RDp is running right along side your Mac apps (using Coherence mode).

One of the things that drives me nuts about Mac is that I can't cut and paste a file. I can copy and paste, but not cut and paste. Instead, to emulate a cut I have to hold and drag the file to the folder. This usually means I have to open two Finder windows and that just takes extra time. I am constantly moving things around and this slows me down and is something Windows has that Mac does not.

Chris Vollstadt

Welcome to the club, Susan! I never thought I would like my MacBook's trackpad as much as I do. Once you get past two finger scrolling, try using four fingers moving up to 'push' all the windows out of the way and see the desktop. Or, my other favorite is four fingers moving down to go into expose and see all my open windows. I've also recently started using Spaces, so I now have one virtual desktop for coding, one for email and web browsing, another for Gimp (graphics) and one for the Finder. Of course sometimes tasks overlap, but I mostly like this setup.


@Aaron: Fn+Enter doesn't work in a remote desktop session. Tried that one.

Take a look at Mac Explorer as a replacement for Finder. It behaves a lot more like Windows Explorer with cut and paste and also shows hidden files. It costs but might be worth the expense.


Another thing I love about the Macbook is that you can connect to an external monitor and get more than twice the screen space!

I use my Macbook connected to a desktop monitor with Chrome browser open in the laptop display and then any coding tools open on the external monitor. I can glance down to refer to manuals and other reference sites while I'm coding without having to switch spaces.

Very neat.

Wayne Redmon

I've been a MacBook Pro user for nearly two years, and find it to be a very stable operating systems, with a simple yet powerful user interface.

How delighted I was with your article!

I purchased the Parallels app. I then installed my Windows 7 Pro edition and my licensed copies of RAD for Power (v.8), Client Access Express for Windows. I have been happily developing my RPG/free programs on my MacBook Pro as well as easily accessing both Windows and Mac files via Parallels' Coherence mode.

My MacBook Pro, a Mid-2009 model, had 4GB RAM and Parallels offered up to a "safe" 1.5GB RAM usage for the Window 7 Pro VM. So, this month I upgraded my MacBook's RAM to 8GB and can now assign up to 4GB RAM to my Windows 7 Pro VM - giving a much snappier response time within the VM as well as native Mac application access when the VM is running.

Also, I have a mini-DVI to DVI converter to connect the MacBook to DVI monitors, and a USB keyboard and mouse (the keyboard is a standard Windows compatible keyboard with a 10-key).

These items, combined with the lightweight MacBook, allow me to easily travel from location to location at a moments notice.

Thank you again Susan for bringing this valuable information to us.

Michael Guenther

If you would,could you please tell me which model of Mac you have.

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