Wednesday, January 10, 2007

One platform to bind them...almost

This year was my first time going to the MacWorld Expo. My family has always had one form of a Macintosh ever since they were first introduced in 1985. Only recently did I finally purchase one for myself, primarily because I knew the shift to Intel processors would be a great big thing for all of computing.

That's become true because the wide gap between Windows and OSX has nearly been bridged:
  • Bootcamp allows running of Windows XP/Vista on Apple hardware
  • Parallels Workstation lets you run your Bootcamp XP/Vista partition (or any other OS) along with your OS X so application migration
  • CodeWeaver's Crossover Mac integrates their outstanding work with the WINE project to fill the gap where Parallels doesn't fit yet (No requirement to regularly support a Windows instance, gaming functionality, etc)
As a security professional I find myself having to use a lot of different operating systems regularly and to not have to lug around two or three laptops when I travel would be a tremendous boost to my own productivity, let alone my back. These products are starting to make this a reality.

Sure I use and dearly love VMWare, and they do have a beta version for the Intel Mac, but it's best to be able to stay in touch with the current trends. To be honest Apple makes visually and ergonomically sweet hardware. Their software still has some growing to do. (MOAB, Bastille)

There are still many features missing out of both VMWare and Parallels' OSX virtualization software. The main thing being SNAPSHOTS! Any vulnerability research worth their salt has at least XP, 2K and 2K3 VMWare snapshots with SP0, SP1, SP2, SP3, etc. Parallels says they'll have this Real Soon Now(tm) so I'm hoping for the best. I just dread having to rebuild my images as I'm sure they won't magically migrate.

The actual Expo wasn't anything special to me. Lots of iPod accessories, lots of external drive vendors, lots of bag vendors, bits and pieces of innovation here and there. Some very cool things here and there but other than Apple's iPhone I wasn't really blown away by anything.

Hello to IDG's web dev guys. You've got my name, e-mail and number - I'm sure you'll want to talk more after my next post. :)

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