Thursday, January 31, 2008

Buzzsaw on a MAC

With MAC becoming more and more popular, even in A/E/C markets, how do MAC users (I'm one of them) work in a largely PC dominated workplace? We'll be keying on Buzzsaw usage with a MAC in this post.

Here's how we manage to use Buzzsaw on a MAC. First things first, Orange Blade Consultants' main activities involves Autodesk Buzzsaw training and consulting (Site Setup, administrator training, member training, trade partner training, custom business processes, etc). Our most important applications - Buzzsaw, Autodesk Design Review (the free viewer for doing takeoffs and printing plans from buzzsaw), and Microsoft Infopath (Microsoft App for designing custom Business Processes) are made for the PC.

There is a "web version" of Buzzsaw (pictured below). The web version is made available for those using web browsers other than Internet Explorer. My browser is Safari, and sometimes Firefox. You can use Buzzsaw on a MAC within these browsers. When using this web version, you are visiting a web page with an assortment of links. You can upload/download files (if you have the proper permissions to do so), Size information about a files, see the size of the file.

However, I'll tell you that we prefer the client version of Buzzsaw better (pictured below). The client version just feels right. It has all the familiar tools and everything has it's place........feels like I'm using Microsoft Outlook. It's easy, and that's what I'm after. With the client version, I can drag-and-drop files to/from Buzzsaw. I can view files within the Buzzsaw view window. I can email from within buzzsaw. I have the Find function available to me.....etc,etc.

So how do we manage to use this client version on MACs? There is more than one answer. Our answer has been a product from VMWare, named VMWare Fusion( In essence, I run Windows (XP, but other Windows versions will run with Fusion) simultaneously with Leopard (the latest MAC OS). And it runs flawlessly. Truly the best of both worlds. All of the features of the MAC that I love with all the benefits of Windows that I need. We paid $79 for Fusion back in November 2007. Well worth the price. Note: You must also have a version of Windows available to run windows on your MAC.

There is also "Boot Camp" ( Boot Camp comes with the latest MAC OS. Bootcamp will run Windows on a MAC. The downside is that you are booting to MAC, or you are booting to Windows. Fusion lets both MAC and Windows run simultaneously. You can bounce from MAC apps to Windows Apps, share drives, printers, external peripherals, etc.

There is also another product by the name Parallels ( I've heard good things about Parallels, and it will run Buzzsaw in a Windows environment. We've chosen VMware Fusion, and we're sticking with it. But for those considering one of these Windows virtual machines on their MAC, check both of them out. 30-trial versions available form their respective websites.

Regardless of how you run Windows and Buzzsaw on your MAC, just do it. The price is well worth it. It's great having the best of both operating systems.