I’m quite proud of never having owned a PC. Since a BBC B micro, I moved to a Mac Performa 400 in 1994, then on to an original iMac in 1998, a slot loading iMac, an iBook and now a PowerBook G4. Yet for the last 5 months I’ve faced a problem: working as a website designer doing more and more complicated projects I’ve kept on coming across a series of bugs with Internet Explorer on PCs – specifically relating to CSS and how webpages display. As you can see in Google there are plenty of bugs out there… Microsoft discontinued IE for Mac ages ago, and any Mac user has a choice between the very good Safari and excellent Firefox, both of which render webpages correctly. But testing pages for those PC users was a bit of a pain.
So what’s the solution? I even – shock horror – contemplated buying a secondhand PC. It was a gruesome thought. Why not instead try to install Windows XP on my partner’s MacBook? Getting Boot Camp installed on a Mac already configured and running was not a fun prospect… The solution was instead to try with Parallels and what a revelation – XP was installed and running in a total of 20 minutes, no messing. It would have been much harder to do it on a PC! It took me longer to download the security updates XP subsequently needed… OK, it’s probably the strangest possible XP installation as IE6, Firefox, Opera and Acrobat Reader are the only programmes installed, but it works perfectly – IE6 bugs and all… So now I have a proper and robust way to check pages, and it was fabulously easy to do.