Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

January 2017 General Meeting

Parallel universes with Parallels

January 28, 2017, 9:30 a.m., George Mason University

Note change in building: the Pi will meet in Johnson Center, the Gold Room, #29 in red on the map below, rather than in our normal location in Enterprise Hall.

In case of inclement weather or other emergencies, the Pi follows the same schedule for closures as the Montgomery County school system or, in the case of General Meetings, George Mason University.

There may have been graphical interfaces before the Mac was introduced, but the original Macintosh brought graphical user interfaces to the masses. Prior to this time, computers were essentially text-driven, and the first Macs even had some emulators for some of these earlier operating systems (Commodore, CP/M, and Apple II, for example).

Today, the world is both simpler and much more complex than it was in 1984. A modern Mac doesn't have to emulate another operating system; it can run it natively, through a hypervisor. A hypervisor is a suite of software that maps the non-native operating system to the native hardware (screen, speakers, keyboard, mouse, external ports) of a Mac. At the January meeting, we will explore the leading Mac hypervisor, Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Parallels company logo.

First introduced in 2006, Parallels is more than a company name or the name of the product: Parallels 12 allows you to run Windows, Linux, and OS X (OS X 10.10, 10.11, or macOS 10.12) at the same time. You don't need to have a dedicated computer, and you don't need to partition your hard drive into Mac and non-Mac partitions. You can even set up virtual machines for specific purposes: business, games, or mad scientist projects.

Though not part of Parallels Desktop, there will also be a demonstration of Parallels Toolbox, a stand-alone (Parallels Desktop) set of useful utilities for doing common tasks on a Mac. Parallels Toolbox can be launched from the Mac menu bar, shown below:

Parallels Toolbox menu bar drop-down list of utlities.

We will also start our 39th year of Questions and Answers, but probably have not a single question on switching diskettes on an original 128K Macintosh or loading programs from cassette tape into an Apple II. (Though I wouldn't put it past a couple of our more mischevious members.)

Once again, we will attempt to stream the meeting over the Internet: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wap-general-meeting.

The General Meeting will be in a substitute location, Johnson Center, the Gold Room, #29 on the George Mason University campus in Fairfax VA. Check back closer to the meeting date for any updates or changes.

George Mason University map

Enterprise Hall, our normal meeting place, is #16. Click on the map for a much larger version of the George Mason University campus map.

George Mason University Essential Information

The meeting will be held in Johnson Center, the Gold Room.

Address: 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA (near Rte 123 and Braddock Road). Directions and Map: http://www.gmu.edu/welcome/Directions-to-GMU.html

Interactive map of campus: http://eagle.gmu.edu/map/fairfax.php

Video guide to the Gold Room (this assumes you have already reached Johnson Center):

(There is an audio track but it is quite soft.)

Important Parking Information: Two Options, Paid and Free

The Shenandoah Parking Garage (formerly the Sandy Creek Parking Garage because it is located on Sandy Creek) is fee-based facility. It is more convenient and closer to the meeting location. The Pi will subsidize the facility's parking fee by providing vouchers for donation request of $4.00.

If using the parking garage, park in Visitor's area; i.e., the lowest level. Take the elevator to the third floor (Campus Level), and exit along the sky bridge.

After the meeting, exit the garage using the exits marked for Validated Tickets. Your parking ticket goes in first. Then the validation ticket goes in next. If you have any problems, there is a speaker box for calling the parking lot attendant at the checkout point.

Free parking in Lot A

Park as close to Mattaponi River Lane as possible, then walk north along that road toward the main campus buildings. The sidewalk route takes you directly to the side of Enterprise Hall, on your left. The meeting room is located on the second floor, accessible via outside stairs or via an elevator on your right as soon as you enter the building through the doors behind the outside stairs. We will endeavor to have signs posted to help guide you to the right location. It is at least a five-minute walk from Lot A and up a slight incline. We will be using a golf cart along the route, to offer rides to those who want or need a lift.

Handicapped Parking: There are three handicap parking spaces next to Enterprise Hall that can be used by members, on a first come first served basis. Have your Handicap Sticker showing on the dashboard or on the rear-view mirror.