The Real Deal 148: Mac and PC side by side

If you use a Mac and a PC, we have some tips for making the combination smooth and in sync.

Tom Merritt Former CNET executive editor
3 min read

If you use a Mac and a PC, we have some tips for making the combination smooth and in sync.

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Synergy or KVM http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/ For mac, this is a better client: SynergyKM? and do the 1.3.1 update (http://stevehorbachuk.com/?p=45) KVM - IOGear makes good ones

MS Live Sync Box.net Dropbox. http://www.getdropbox.com/ has versioning, sharing, but $100/yr for 50GB

Office sort of - or Open Office Google Docs

VMWare Fusion shared folders settings for e-mail/mailtos

WHS for backup

LogMeIn? for remote access Or MS Remote Desktop from Mac to PC

A good stand! -mStand

Apps that sync themselves Foxmarks Evernote Google docs

Things to make a Mac more like a PC Witch - adds alt-tab equiv Input Remapper - http://www.olofsson.info/ MacFuse? and NTFS3g - Read AND write NTFS drives. http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/ -- Tom's video on MacFuse? - http://cnettv.cnet.com/2001-1_53-32399.html

Via twitter: pcubed: @Rafe Dropbox, Office/OpenOffice, & using syncable e-mail/contacts (like Gmail) help alot.

julianrendell: @Rafe freeware tool called synergy. Lets you 'remote' keyboard and mouse from 1 machine to others. Also cut & paste. But bit odd to setup.


Hi Rafe,

* I use MSFT RDC to get into my work computer when I'm working from home or in another office. I have an old iBook G4 on the go and I must say it runs much smoother than I would have imagined. On my Intel iMac, it works very well!

* I've also found that Keynote in the iWork suite from Apple exports to PowerPoint? and can be read by my Windows machine better than the same export from PowerPoint? for Mac does. I did a presentation in PowerPoint? for Mac and I discovered that it didn't save my images properly when opened in Windows.. some sort of Mac only image format. When using Keynote I didn't have these problems.

* I use more web apps now that I'm in a multicomputer / multiplatform environment. Google Reader is my easy way to keep up with my RSS feeds regardless of any computer I'm using.

* MSFT Office can sync with Google Calendar now and that now sync with Apple iCal. I know it works in principle, but I'm a little scared to try it and lose all of my events.

I still have not found the holy grail to sync my contacts effortlessly between Outlook (and therefore my Blackberry) and Apple Address Book.

Hope this helps,




Foxmarks just released v1.0 of "Foxmarks for Safari"; also Internet Explorer (for Windows) is available but still in beta.

A good backup service that's cheap and accessible via the web or through a mounted share drive on a Mac or PC is JungleDisk?. It works in tandem with Amazon's S3 service and is dirt cheap to sync files on a very regular basis. I don't think I've ever paid more than $2.00 in a month, usually more like a dollar or so. They make Mac & Windows versions of the client that integrates with S3 and performs the backups, etc.

RDC is worth noting as a method to connect to a PC from your Mac and vice-versa.

Picasa from Google has a Mac client now, so users of that photo service have alternatives for both Mac & Windows now.

Isn't there also another Microsoft product other than Live Sync? It's some sort of backup/file storage service. I can't recall the name at the moment, but I think it's free.

OK, that's what I've got for you.


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