This week I needed to use Internet Explorer in order to access some systems for one of my clients. This is not as much of a challenge as it used to be for someone based on a Mac now that Apple uses Intel chips in their hardware.
I am using Windows XP on VMWare Fusion, which allows windows applications to run as if they were native to the Apple operating system.
The following scenario made me think of Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
I dragged a file from Apple’s Finder into a folder in Windows Explorer. The directory in Windows Explorer was actually on a remote server I had connected to via WebDAV in Windows Explorer. So this file went from my native Mac filesystem to a simulated Windows operating system which then transmitted it to a directory on Windows Server hundreds of miles away from me.
All via a single drag-and-drop of the file.
This may sound like Greek to many of you but, believe me, so many different things have to be solved for that kind of operation to be feasible that I was awed.
Yeah, VMWare Fusion is really cool software. You can go fullscreen or just have single windows open within your normal OSX view – invaluable for people like me who have to test sites in everything. I just wish it was easier to run IE6 and IE7 on the same install.
It really is amazing when so many disparate systems work together so seamlessly. I’m also amazed at the performance of the VMWare solutions running on an Apple platform. I met an ASP.NET programmer for lunch a few weeks back who does all his Windows-based web application development on his Apple notebook!