Archive for November, 2009

32 vs 64

November 27, 2009

In MBP I could boot to use the 64 bit kernel from this I have to check if firmware supports it by entering below in Terminal

ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi

If the return is ‘EFI64’ then I just need to boot by pressing the ‘6’ and ‘4’ keys together while starting up.

After trying Windows 7 x64 bit with Office 2010 x64 bit public beta I just couldn’t see much difference in performance. There is also printer driver support problem if I run Windows 7 x64 in the office. However it looks like that memory utilization is slightly better in OS X running 64 bit.

Now if you want to boot into x64 all the time you could modify this file


to insert this between ‘string’ tags


Before you do the above first of all you’ll need to gain root privilege into your MBP. Haven’t done this before here’s the way.

Roll back

November 24, 2009

I have decided on Fusion 3 and purchased a boxset from a retail store. I have been playing around with it for a while now, am still learning. Obviously with VM I could do all sort of silly things such as

  1. Install Ubuntu 9.10 64 bit
  2. Install Vista 32 bit
  3. Install Windows 7 beta 64 bit (not successful)
  4. Install Office 2010 public beta (later removed)

I have also experienced serious problem with the working copy of Windows 7 32 bit which I need during the day due the my dumb idea of storing the pst files of outlook on a desktop folder of OS X which is a bad idea.    That crashed the OS I need for work which I had to reinstall again.

A feature that I overlooked is the AutoProtect which enables me to roll back to a earlier healthy version of the OS, see below



Apparently this doesn’t consume too much of disk space. I’m now so efficient in reinstalling OS, connecting to the office network, installing printer drivers, mapping network drives …. etc but I don’t really want to do this over and over again.

(Edited: this roll back feature turns out to be a bad idea, it took more than 30 minutes on my MBP and while it’s doing that the guest OS is basically not functional and I can’t even run a broswer on OS X)

Supraspinatus muscle

November 17, 2009

I suffered this problem once last time was back in January 2007.   This time it’s the same except that it was the left hand side that caused the problem last Sunday night.

Having discussed this with my Doctor I think the cause was probably due to my shoulder pain recently which was caused by the supraspinatus muscle.   I must have rolled to my left and due to the shoulder pain my neck was twisted abnormally which caused the VBI.

Parallels or Fusion continued

November 12, 2009

I have been switching between Parallels 5 and Fusion 3 over the last few days.    I’m not a geek so this is not a technical review of these products. I may end up deciding on the wrong one.

I need Windows at work so I’ve been testing these on Windows 7 public beta, an pretty early build 7100.   First of all I did a layman test using Windows Experience Index.

This is Fusion 3


This is Parallels 5


Parallels have a obvious win on graphics, I can feel that even I have not tried games or any fancy 3D business graphics. Having said this I didn’t feel any slowness in graphic response when using Fusion.

Next is about memory usage, below is fusion 3


This is Parallels 5


I also looked at the Activity Monitor showing all processes I noticed that VMWare assigned a memory block of 2.35G with 25 threads to the guest OS whereas Parallels uses 217M with 35 threads. Other applications opened in Parallels have their separate processes and ‘real memory’ consumed. Which way is better I don’t know.

Fusion 3 is native 64-bit as advertised while Parallels is sort of hybrid according to some information on the net.

Parallels is feature rich, my view, however for me I just don’t need those fancy view features such as below.


I normally use a single window, full screen or ‘use all displays in full screen’, that’s all. Talking about screen the 17 days trial copy I am using has a serious flaw which is that the screen would flicker from time to time and CPU load would spike to maximum for a second or two. That’s pretty annoying if it happens in the middle of my typing.

[Edited: Parallels is certainly marginally superior than Fusion on graphics, e.g. it boots faster bringing me to network login screen in about 50 seconds, Fusion takes longer to boot and once I logged in there’ll be 10~20 seconds of black screen. Desktop widgets are all placed on the wrong edge of the screen when boot up is done.]

Apart from Windows 7 I also tested them with Ubuntu 9.10, Parallels works well with the enhanced graphic supported, such as below, while Fusion 3 doesn’t.