My Intel Mac can boot in the Mac operating system or the Microsoft Windows operating system, should I choose to set it up that way. This presents a bit of a problem for sharing files across the platforms because the two operating systems are compartmentalized on the hard drive and don't read the files of the other OS. Lo' and behold, someone built a cool piece of software called VMWare Fusion that allows a virtual machine to be constructed within the Mac OS so that you can run Windows (or another OS) in a window on your Mac OS. Ironic? Oh yes. Useful? Hell yes. Creepy?
Well yes, actually. I love Mac and will always choose it over anything IBM or MS. Trouble is, there is some useful software out there that is still only available for IBM-compatible machines. For a current project we need to be running SPSS which is available for Mac or IBM-compat, but the recent add-on, SPSS with Text Analysis for Surveys, is only written for the Windows version of SPSS. And, of course, that's what I need. So I installed VMWare Fusion and now I have a virtual Windows machine running inside my Mac screen and can run this software on files saved to the Mac. Pretty handy stuff but it is SO WEIRD to see the iconic Windows screen open on my Macbook. In fact, the following cartoon sums up the experience very well as I'm sure other Mac devotees will agree.