Running Windows Applications On Your Mac

You switched to a Mac because you like having a stable, fast, reliable system. However, it may sometimes be necessary to run Windows XP. If you need to run old applications or the occasional game, having a Windows box might come in handy.

Fortunately, Apple and some 3rd parties have devised solutions which allow you to do just that.

This videos shows you how you can run Windows XP using Bootcamp, VMWare Fusion or Parallels. All three are decent solutions. Bootcamp has the advantage of completely taking over the system. For games or other performance intensive applications, this is a good solution.

Parallels and VMWare Fusion provide what is called hardware virtualization. This software allows you to run Windows and Windows applications side by side with your Mac OSX system. While this might sound like a better solution, it comes at a small performance hit for both systems. This performance hit only happens when you are running the virtual machine.

Whichever solution you choose it’s great to know that you don’t have to abandon the investment you might of made in Windows software.

Organize Your Photos with iPhoto and Faces

If you take a lot of digital photos, you know how challenging it can be to keep them organized. iPhoto, a free photo library application is included with Mac OSX. It does a great job helping you keep your library organized.

In iPhoto 9, Apple introduced a new featured called Faces which tries to identify and tag people in your pictures. With a little bit of training, it does this very well.

In this short video, Apple introduces Faces and shows you how you can start using it to track the people you love in your photos.

Share your songs around the house with iTunes 9

People have had a love hate relationship with iTunes since it’s inception. If you own an iPod you are pretty much tethered to using iTunes. If it didn’t have features you wanted too bad.

One feature that was missing for years is the ability to share files among multiple computers on your machine. Let me explain the scenario. If you and your wife have a Mac or in my case, you have three Macs in your house you may want to share songs on your iTunes library with her and vice-versa. To do this you had to share the appropriate music folders on the network, find the file, copy it to the new machine and import it into iTunes. Not an easy process.

With iTunes 9, Apple has finally offered a feature that should have been there since version 1.0, the ability to easily sync files between computers on your home network. This feature called Home Sharing is super easy to setup as you will see in this video from engadget.

Get your files faster with a Mac Bittorrent Client

Bittorrent is a very efficient way to send large files around the Internet. There are a number of great torrent clients for the Mac. My personal favorite is Transmission. In this video tutorial, we walk through how to get Transmission installed on your machine and use it to download some music.

Keeping your iPhone, iCal, Addressbook and Google Accounts in Sync

I use Google to manage host my email, calendar and contacts. This obviously allows me to connect to my data from any location. However, I really like the productivity software that comes with the Mac and there is a benefit to keeping your contacts inside the Mac Address Book.

Google has some ability to do this using ActiveSync but it never worked cleanly for me.

I struggled to find a great solution until I discovered Spanning Sync. I was going to create a screencast showing you how great it was but the people at Spanning Sync Inc. already did. Check it out below.

Spanning Sync installs as a System Preferences application. When you click it, you are presented with the sync options. You can choose to sync one or more calendars and your contacts. You can also choose how often to sync. Because I want to make sure that I have my calendar synchronized at all times, I choose 10 minutes. Close the System Preferences and you are all set.

The first time you sync especially if you have a large number of contacts might take a few minutes. After that, the process is very seamless.

Spanning Sync is also smart about conflict resolution. When there is a conflict between copies of your data, Spanning Sync shows a Window which let’s you specify which copy of the data is most current.

Spanning Sync isn’t free, however, at $25US. It’s a great bargain that will help keep your web based Google Accounts in sync with your Mac OS X applications.

If you have any other ways to synchronize Mail, Address Book and iCal with Google GCal please tell us here.