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Kaluza and the Mac

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We often get asked whether Kaluza runs on the Mac. In fact, that's such a common question that it's addressed in the frequently asked questions section (Appendix C) of the manual. Still, there isn't a lot of detail there (and a lot of people don't read manuals) so it's a good topic to discuss here as well.


Kaluza is a Microsoft Windows program, but it turns out that a lot of people need to run Windows programs on the Mac so there are solutions available. I'm going to discuss the options here, lay out some pros and cons, and hopefully some of you can chime in with your own experiences.


The first option is to dual-boot to Windows using the "Bootcamp" application from Apple. This works great, but the down-side is that you can't run Mac programs at the same time.


A more practical option is to use Virtual Machine (VM) software. This software allows you to run Microsoft Windows within a window on the Mac. This sounds awkward, but the best of these VM packages provide tools to make it a pretty seamless experience. It's often possible to configure things so that Kaluza runs in its own window, without any portion of the Windows desktop showing.


One thing that's important to remember with the VM approach is that you have some extra things to think about when it comes to your license. The first is that the 30-day trial license does not work in any type of VM. Second, if you have your own USB license key you'll probably have to "map" it into your VM. Normally a VM is only given access to the hardware that you explicitly allow, so you'll have to do that for the USB device to be accessible.


For both the Bootcamp and VM options you'll need a legal license of Microsoft Windows. If you're part of a large institution you should check with your IT department; they likely have a site license that you can use.


There are a number of different VM packages. I've heard good things about VirtualBox (and it's free) but your institution may have a license for one of the commercial packages. Right now I think that VMWare is the most popular of these.


Setting up Kaluza in a VM on the Mac is a little more work, but it's worth it if that's the computer you spend most of your time on.

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  • 6 months later...

If you go into any research account a growing portion of people have Apple products and most PIs or research managers have iMacs and MacBooks. I don't see this trend going away and feel it can only increase. This is based on my opinion and experiences with the Apple ecosystem, but more importantly, observing and listening to my customers. With the addition of Parallels and VM Ware it expands the remote capabilities and has been very functional and solid for me.

As a background, Virtual Machine software packages (Parallels or VMware) sit on top of the Mac OS and run whatever operating system you load into it.


It is not partitioned, both parts of the hard drive are available to each OS, and they are loaded at the same time. Files can be saved and shared across each OS and Windows programs can be launched from the MAC side. Windows programs can be loaded directly onto the MAC OS desktop (Coherence Mode) or have their own Desktop (Modality Mode). Using the Sharing feature, you can share higher folders (Pictures, Desktop, Documents) with both OS so you don't have duplication. As an example, you can put Windows files in the Mac Trash can to delete.

The attached file is a picture of my iMac computer with Parallels, running Windows 7 running Kaluza 1.2, with remote devices connected through Parallels Mobile. All three devices are entirely interactive.

The iPod (lower Right) is connected through Verizon Broadband connection, through Parallels Mobile. The iPad (Left) are connected through WiFi Parallels Mobile for iPad. Parallels is running Windows 7 OS in the MAC OS. The entire Mac OS is running also with several programs loaded.


Although these are connected through the same WiFi, I've tried this with my broadband hotspot (4G LTE) and it worked fine, no skips, no errors. post-65961-0-62716000-1365432971_thumb.jpg


- Radial Menu works perfectly. Click on the workspace or plot and leave your finger down on the screen for a few seconds, then lift off = Radial Menus (Right Click).

- Display refresh is less than a second under the same WiFi network; a second or two under 4G LTE hot spot broadband card. Considering what I'm asking of the network, it isn't too bad if you are patient.

- Drawing is easy, moving and resizing gates/regions is the difficult part. Dragging, pinching and selecting are all part of the touch-screen experience (Zoom in/Zoom out, Pan Over). I haven't found the gestures for moving or resizing regions yet or, I have a feeling it can't tell the difference...?


A file of 500K events is the largest file I used. No display breakdown yet with either device. With Parallels, Kaluza software, Mac functions and Windows features are fully-functional and neither cause lockup. I have sent email from both Mac and MS Outlook and edit pics in iPhoto, while running Kaluza. I'd have to dig deeper with Kaluza specifically.


Using this setup I was able to move freely through the two operating systems and software. Copy/Cut and Paste works across the OS in Parallels but Drag and Drop doesn't (as far as I have tested).


Hardware and Software Specifics:

iMac 2011 edition (Mac OS 10.7.3), 12GB RAM

New iPad (3) and iPod 4th generation.

Windows 7 with Parallels Desktop 7.

I have both devices connected at the same time with Parallels; I'm not sure what the maximum device number is.



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