Hello, everyone, my name is Sally Bode. I am a full-time graphic artist who is employed by a local printer where I do a variety of publications types. I do both prepress and graphic design. We do business cards, newsletters, postcards, flyers, posters, doorhangers, both full-color and spot color. If it can be printed we probably do it. We also have done book publishing, but not as often. On the premise we have four presses, the two-head Hamada is our largest active press. We do a lot of spot color which CorelDRAW does brilliantly. Because it is only a two head press vs. a four head press, it is actually less expensive to farm out our four color process work than to use the Hamada to do it. We also have AB Dicks and our RIP is a Digitial Platemaker by AB ***.
Upgrading to MAC
Recently at home, we decided to upgrade to a MAC whereas we have had PC's for years. My PC's hardware would be too old to make the change to Vista without scrapping all the innerds and just keeping the case and the drives. Why did we at this time decide to make the move? Well, we had three computers, two running Linux and one PC running Windows. I got another desk and so we planned that my old PC could be used by my husband. The new PC or MAC, I'd be using. Well, I do about everything in graphic arts from full renderings to animations and have designed web pages as well as recording MIDI, writing music and editing video. So the MAC was a more powerful choice. But nearly every program I have except for a few which came like CorelPainter with versons for both MAC and PC, I'd be starting over again in getting programs. Expensive leap. We priced what it would run if we built our own PC again with the sort of features we would be getting if we bought a MAC Pro, and decided that the longevity which MAC could give us, the greater upgradeability and resale value were enough worth making the changes for. On the other hand, I'd be relearning MAC, it has been several years ago that I'd worked on a MAC and at that time it was version 9 not 10 like now. But the other advantage is that in the graphics industry being fluent on MAC as well has other advantages, if I have to get another job in the future, knowing MAC is a distinct advantage should I have to use it, I can. As it is I know Illustrator about as well as I know CorelDRAW though I am far more fond of CorelDRAW and work in it on a daily basis. But MAC with either BootCamp or Parallels Desktop for MAC or VMware can run Windows and you can run any of your Windows programs that way. Which meant I would not have to give up CorelDRAW.
We got the MAC about the 1st of May and then put more RAM in it by June 1st and bought Parallels. Actually we first downloaded BootCamp but due to the fact that it is a Beta Version, there are some bugs such as not being able to install and run BootCamp with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Not recognized. You can't go far without that. So we downloaded VMware which is free but although the Windows install went smoothly, we could open it up and look at it, not do anything. Why? RAM is not that reasonable to get it from apple.com, the same RAM sells for nearly 50% less at newegg.com and it is exactly the same brand MAC uses when it builds their computer. So we put the RAM in the 1st of June as I said, getting Parallels as we'd read it had some better test scores on performance.
Running Windows XP under Parallels Desktop for MAC
We are running Windows XP Professional OEM edition which is different from the Windows XP I was using as it has been more stable for my son's computer. The setup and installation went well. I installed CorelDRAW soon after the antivirus. But it lagged so my son configured it to have more of the RAM allocation. I am not sure just how this part was done and I will describe this in another edition of this blog. For now I will concentrate on getting DRAW up to speed. Parallels has Parallels Tools which install under Windows. And you need to know what these are and do, at least two of them are important to users. The first is Mouse Synchronization. The advantage of running Parallels over using BootCamp is that you can go back and forth from one OS to the Guest OS (Windows in my case or it could be Linux) without a hiccough. You can run Windows in full-window mode or in Coherence. Coherence is truly running Windows in the MAC OS, You have just the thin Windows Task bar and if you autohide this, you really wouldn't much tell you are not just running MAC. Except the Window headings are by Windows and not MAC. In Coherence you need Mouse Synchronization so that the mouse moves smoothly without getting stuck from one OS to the other. But what I've found is that Parallels Tools needs to be retold every time I start Windows to sync the OS windows. Yes, it appears to be turned on but it does not behave as it does, so I disable it and apply and then turn it back on. Now the mouse moves properly. CorelDRAW lagged pitifully even with assigning it more RAM via Windows. There is a second tool of importance for Parallels Windows CorelDRAW X3 users and that is Time Synchronization. The default is set to look at MAC every 60 seconds. So what? In CorelDRAW you come to a halt once every minute while it does this. So I played with the setting. Making it first the minimum, it told me I couldn't set it under 10 seconds but I could set it up to 3600 seconds. Which means CorelDRAW will pause once an hour now for about 60 seconds to resink with MAC OS. This is a whole lot better than once a minute!!! You can work this way. Windows could lag on its own for a variety of reasons once an hour. So this way you will not notice a significant difference.
The MAC Mouse
On to the next issue, the MAC mouse: no real right click. I use a right click for drag and duplicate. Work around: right drag and when you stop you are asked by a context menu if you want to move or copy. Pick copy. Or if you are using a tablet, you can right click on the pen of the mouse you have with that or you can use a Windows mouse. Microsoft works and so does Logitech.
Using a Wacom Tablet
Tablet issues: I was having no luck with a tablet having pressure sensitivity in the Guest Windows OS. This is not Windows fault, MAC for whatever reason does not release the driver for the pressure part. I did learn by reading on the Parallels Forum for MAC that most everyone else had no pressure either and those who were able to get pressure, the pen point does not sink to the pointer making it really hard to tell where you are painting. What to do to solve this. I have two tablets by Wacom, I use one at home and one at work. I got a free tablet when I upgraded to CorelDRAW X3. Amazon.com had a special offer at the time. It was reasonable so I have two Wacom Graphires. I decided to use one for MAC and one for Windows. So long as the one tablet (a different model from the newer model and it uses a different driver) is used by MAC, the other one might work in Windows. I downloaded the newest driver, and I got pressure like I had hoped in all the apps that pressure could work for. But the mouse pointer and pen pointer were not in sink. From the Parallels Forum I learned that by enabling Mouse Trails and setting them to short, you get just barely a flicker, that this sinks the mouse pointer to the pen pointer. It sounded stupid, but it works. And once that is set, you don't need to touch it. So I had two tablets and I figured if I ever forgot to just plug in my older tablet that I could just reboot. Well I forgot and decided to unplug and replug it in, it was instantly recognized by Windows and I had pressure sensitivitiy like I did before. So that meant I could do that same thing with the newer tablet so I took the old one back to work. Now it is just a matter of unplugging and plugging the tablet back in. Windows does not forget my tablet settings and you only need to do the setup for pressure sensitivity in Corel PhotoPaint once and it remembers no matter if you unplug the Wacom Tablet or not. I do also have an Aiptek 8000U, it looks cool but it is not as recognized by other programs as Wacom is. And PhotoPaint does not show any pressure sensitivity with Aiptek at all, I do hear good things about the Genius Tablet but review after review after review recommend that if you make a living with your art skills, get a Wacom, period. So next investment, an Intuos as I know it will work for MAC and Windows on one machine.
Setting up a Printer:
This was not easy as it would appear to be. When you set up Parallels, you need a Sharing Folder. The Sharing Folder is a way to drop things between OS's in a folder you can access from either OS, hence "Sharing Folder". But being tidy, and not knowing what is was for, I deleted it. Come to find I have to have one if I set up a printer. In MAC OS, it has nearly every printer driver under the sun in the OS so you don't have to download any or install from disk. And these drivers are not the same as what Windows needs so it isn't a case of not making the driver available such as with the tablet. According to the help files in Parallels Desktop for MAC, you set up the Sharing Folder, which the directions to do so are easy to follow. And then you use Bonjour, a MAC app downloadable from apple.com. You do a search for it there and then download it. It is a Windows executable file. Running this is what told me I needed the Sharing Folder as I did not have permission. Then the help file told me that if Bonjour didn't work, then do a standard install with Windows. I had to do it twice as my printer has two drivers it needed. I didn't know that. So after two regular installs I then could finish using Bonjour, and since that time I can print anything at all from Windows or the Web. I did find that I needed some of the information to understand about Bonjour in a book I bought right after getting the MAC called "Cool MAC Apps" by Robin Williams. It is the manual you didn't get with iLife and it tells you how all the cool MAC apps like GarageBand and iTunes works, all of 'em. It is handy to have and was available at the local bookstore which for me was Barnes and Noble. Ran me $30.00.
Using a Web Browser
Automatically you get Windows Explorer when you install Windows but since I also have a MAC, Safari, the MAC browser is also available for Windows. On this forum not all the tools you need to use to upload pictures, etc., even appear in the Safari Browser, and you do not get a paragraph by hitting the enter key, you have to use HTML formatting. And it doesn't like inserting an image, so forget that. Use IE for this forum in otherwords. With having a Windows Browser you can download into Windows directly apps you need or drivers without using the Sharing Folder. The Sharing Folder does take a moment longer to think about contacting MAC for what you have on that desktop. Other features such as copy and paste between OS does work well for me.
Difference with using a Keyboard: MAC vs. Logitech
The MAC keyboard does not have a Print Screen button, instead you get F14. But Corel has CorelCapture for doing what Print Screen can do and more. I haven't found out how to get around it yet unless I plug in my Logitech keyboard. In which case, plugging in the Logitech, in less than a minute after plugging in the Logitech keyboard, print screen function is there. Additionally, you may find that for prolonged typing, the MAC keyboard can lead to tired wrists since there is no keyboard lift under the keyboard to tilt the keys like I am used to. For all othe functions, you use the MAC keyboard the same so far except for the F-keys. CorelDRAW does not grab the F-Keys function. So if you are used to hitting F12 for the Outline Properties and F11 for Fountain Fill you need to assign a different keyboard shortcut. I did this, I just added the Ctrl key. On the Logiteck keyboard, it doesn't have this confusion as it is a Windows keyboard natively. But there are reasons for not doing this as you have some other cool features which MAC uses some of the Fkeys for such as Widgets is F12 and F11 is reveal desktop and F10 reveals the edges of your window frames and F9 tiles all open apps. Now it does this with Window apps too, so finding an app is quite easy once opened.
For those who don't know what Widgets do, they can do almost anything from playing cards to telling the time and the weather to giving you useful stats on the resources of your computer. It is handy to have, also can be accessed by just pushing the whole MAC mouse down on the scroll button. It really is a scroll button as it is round and can scroll horizontally too though you may need to hold down Ctrl depending upon app for this to use this feature. It works on the web in Safari for MAC though.
I will review the other features of MAC such as iLife with the next edition of my blog. As of now I have not run Linux or other versions of Windows. I have found out that I can use a Microsoft Mouse so most likely a Microsoft Windows Keyboard would work in Windows, but if you need a keyboard to work both places, I know Logitech will work as I have tested it.
By in large almost any Windows WebCam will work with a macam driver. You can find the driver with a search for macam driver in Google more easily than finding it as a MAC driver supplied by your camera manufacturer. It works.
Skype works as well for MAC but if you install two versions, one for Windows and one for MAC it can and will crash your system. Stick with the one for MAC so that your microphone/headset will work in both OS's. I have not tested iChat nor have I tested Windows Messenger. Once Bonjour is setup, as I have read iChat should work with any webcam or microphone set up.
If you have used Cakewalk for Windows and have a USB MIDI interface, it will not work for MAC. But the M-Audio UNO USB MIDI interface will work for both MAC and Windows, though the drivers are not seen off the disk in Windows, get them from M-Audio's website. It is far more convenient to use one set of wires than to plug in one for Cakewalk and go to the other for GarageBand. MIDI does work well with GarageBand and can work also with recording voice or real instruments via a USB microphone. I have a desktop USB microphone and it does quite nicely recording music from. The Cakewalk setup doesn't recognize the USB microphone. So I have another USB to XLR connector wire to buy. This is not all that unreasonable at apple.com or it is probably also available at Guitar Center. I have not compared the price.
Line Out and Line In and Optical inputs and USB
You have Line Out and Line In and Optical inputs on the back of the MAC, also a headphone jack in front, 2 USB jacks and firewire male and female jacks. On the back and this is on the MAC Pro, you have 3 more USB jacks on the rear, again firewire male and female and two ethernet connections. Additionally you have your digital output for your monitor.
The MAC runs silently, It is odd you hardly know its on.
I hope this information will be useful to you.
Sun, Jul 8 2007 20:52