How the rest will be won...
Apple + Parallels_icon or vmware2
After successfully switching my mother to the Mac (Hallelujah! I hear you say), and after I had stopped worrying about the bastard sales guy at Harvey Norman who managed to convince her that she needed both Mac and PC version of office if she was going to run VMWare Fusion (I sent her in with a shopping list with only the PC version...) I have been working through helping her come to terms with the concept of virtualisation.

It is at this point that I believe that neither Parallels or Fusion are ready for the typical Mum/Dad Mac using faithful until they can make the experience of running windows seamless. So it is with this in mind that I have put together the following list of Must Have Features that will turn this into something that will truly "just work" for the average "Mother of an IT guy..."

1- Let me stop her from saving files to the virtual c:\
One of the benefits of my mother having a virtual Windows machine (or "Windows In a Cage" as the analogy I have chosen to explain how it works) is the completely disposable nature of the virtual instance. So long as I can be assured that she has not saved any data in the virtual machine, the snapshot is *always* there to return the PC to a known state. This is priceless for me, being 200 kms away, I don't need to make a weekend trip to their place to rebuild a PC (again...) If the Virtualisation tool could help me keep stuff off the c:\, it would make my job that little bit easier...

2- Make printing work - period:
In this day and age, how hard is it to have a virtual VMWare printer in windows that just rips and prompts you for a real output device on your Mac.. I mean.. come on already...

3- Make application access *SEAMLESS*.
Parallels almost got it right with the feature (SmartSelect) that lets you associate word documents with MS Office on Windows, but internet links with Firefox on the Mac (For example) but it just never quite worked right... Get this working properly so that my mother can use it without me having to use analogies like "Windows in a Cage" just so that she can use it... Also, when I have an MS Outlook icon on my dock and click it, it will resume the Virtual Machine (nice!), but launches a second copy of Outlook if one was already running... (Terrible!)

4- Make Exposé work properly in Unity / Coherence
Seriously, when you are using these modes, make the Exposé stuff work properly. I bought a Mac to use the stuff it comes with... no, really.. I did... I will admit that I have not used parallels since the first release of v3.0, and when Fusion shipped proper and this may work properly now in Parallels, but Fusion still gives me incorrect window views in expose (looks like a layering issue) and the last time I tried Parallels 3.0, it just gave me a single "window" for all the windows apps that were open.

5- Make removable media just work:
Make it so that removable media is available on BOTH the Mac and the Virtual side... There is no reason that a USB disk should not show up on the desktop AND be usable from the windows guest OS at the same time. (with the exception of NTFS for writing from the MAc side of course)

6- Leverage the portability into convenience.
Virtual machines are portable.. Make it easier for my Mum to burn her virtual machine to a DVD and mail it to me to fix (for when she needs something fixed that a roll back to snapshot just can't address (like getting new software working for her...) this was the best thing about her switching to the Mac with VMWare: I shipped her an XP virtual machine that I built with my media (and her software license keys obviously) on a DVD that she just drag/dropped and ran. (she was up and running in 15 minutes). Have a Compress and burn to disk function so she can do this with 3 clicks and a blank disk.

7- Make it backup seamlessly with Time Machine:
I will be switching to Leopard once I hear that the kernel panics have stopped (My friends are still getting them every so often. I live on this Mac for work, so I won't be upgrading it till I am happy that it is as stable as my Tiger system, or I refresh to a new laptop that ships with Leopard). I want to use Time Machine for her backups, but it has to *just work* for the virtual too. With incremental deltas and not just backing up the whole flat vmware disk image ad-nauseam.

Airport Disk performance issues...
It appears that my Airport Disk has hit a serious slow down rendering it effectively useless for data transfers (Data transmissions kit 300-400 Kilobytes a second, not good for transferring 32 Gig of data... I have read many suggestions including reformatting with HFS (no journalling) and replacing the disk / usb enclosure etc... For the time being I think I will try an airport reboot and a disk defragmentation and see how that goes... Fingers crossed.
Parrallels vs Fusion Round III
Parallels_icon vs. vmware2
I am quite impressed with VMWare's stability on the Mac. Much leaner and more reliable than Parallels. Lack of a Snapshot manager is a big killer in VMWare though. For someone who relies on a virtualisation app to run corporate apps, it is nice to be able to back up my VM as a whole and restore it to any point I have previously had a snapshot for.

I have a killer problem with Parallels at the moment. As soon as my Parallels VM is running, Expose & Dashboard refuse to work, which is quite catastrophic for someone like me that has expose bound to hot corners for fast app switching (with a flick of the wrist!!) . The strange thing is that as soon as I make the Parallels active application, expose works again. As soon as I quit Parallels, you guessed it, expose works again...

I guess the best of both worlds would be for Parallels to keep innovating, and VMWare to be 1 release behind copying Parallels ideas, but making them perform faster and more reliably.
Panasonic SDR-H20 Support under iMovie'08
I have just purchased a Panasonic SDR-H20 and can confirm that you won't get any footage off it under OSX unless you install iMovie '08 (iLife '08 suite) as there is no USB camera support under iMovie HD '06.

iMovie '08 supports the Panasonic SRD-H20 camera perfectly.
Parrallels vs. Fusion
I have just bought Fusion and have installed XP to trial it against Parallels. So far my initial thoughts are: "Holy smoke" it installed XP faster than I have EVER seen before. I am seriously thinking about re-installing just so I can time it. I will post more as I find it... But so far I agree with Unkie Walt's assessment that it does not hit your mac as hard as Parallels does...
Parrallels 3.0 - The dissapointment that is virtual 3d support...

I purchased Parallels 3.0 when I picked up my new 2.4 Ghz MacBook Pro. I have since been relegated to a large case of buyers remorse... Not that I don't appreciate Parallels, I use it on a daily basis for the work interface, and it is kinda neat having a vendor that has a tools package that works so well with Feisty Fawn also, but it is alas the touted 3D support that has been a complete waste of my time. The games that I have that I am interested in running:

- Halflife 2: "Half-Life 2 will run, but it crashes in a critical area. This rating may be upgraded if the problem can be worked around"
- Battlefield 2: Dead out of the gate - Direct X 9 - no support...
Battlefield 1942: "Game fails to start. Says "invalid videomode" even after applying the refreshRate-fix. "

For what it is worth, my opinion: buy it if you need something for running work apps under windows, ignore the games aspect - it really does not equate to much and your decision should not weigh anything against this feature feature that I feel is essentially a waste of time....
Automate backups to external HDDs when mounted
A quick backup automation script based as extensions to this TUAW article on this tutorial. It will likely become redundant when Leopard ships, but I needed a solution now... Follow the tutorial linked in the beginning of this post, and just replace the tcsh script with the one in the downloads section. (Don't forget to set the appropriate variables in the top of script)

- Supports the backing up of multiple source directories
- Uses rsync to cut down on un-necessary file transfers
- Designed to allow for a minimum time between backups (default 24 hours) to prevent un-necessary system interruption

To Do list:
- Add network based rsync support (to initiate a backup on the detection of a "home" network);

Comments Welcome... dumptrash gmail dot com
OSX 10.4.8 and the green iSight...
After I was greeted with a wonderful green screen on launching photobooth on my MacBookPro this evening, I noticed with relative shock the sheer number of people with a problem after applying 10.4.8, and so few solutions.. So after several unsuccessful reboots, I finally caved to this suggestion,and reset the PMU on my MBP:

Reset PMU on the MacBook, MacBook Pro

1. If the computer is on, turn it off.2. Disconnect the AC Adapter and remove the computer's battery.3. Press and hold down the power button for 5 seconds and then release the button.4. Reconnect the battery and AC Adapter.5. Press the Power button to restart the computer.

iSight back so far. Time will only tell if it sticks..