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3 Ways to Use Windows on Your Mac

3 Ways to Use Windows on Your Mac

    One of the biggest reasons that Windows users have a hard time making the switch to a Mac is that they have obtained years and years of Windows software. Of course there is no real way to run Windows apps natively on the Mac operating system. But, instead of not becoming a Mac convert or starting your application collection from scratch, you can use these 3 ways to use Windows on your Mac.

    Remote Desktop

    One of the fastest ways to get Windows running on a Mac, especially if you already have an installation of Windows (XP, Vista, or 7 Pro or higher) is to use the free Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection application that is available for your Mac. You will need to do some initial configuration, like making sure that your Windows PC is accessible through a firewall and allows for remote desktop connections.

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    To allow remote desktop connection on Windows do the following:

    XP

    1. Click Start and then right-click My Computer.
    2. Click Properties.
    3. Click the Remote tab, and then click to select “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer”.
    4. Confirm the change.

    Windows Vista/7

    1. Click the start button and in the search box type “Control panel” and hit Enter.
    2. Double click the System icon.
    3. Under Tasks to the left click Remote settings.
    4. One the System properties dialogue under the Remote Desktop heading, choose Allow connections from computers running any version of remote desktop
    5. Click apply.

    If you are on a local area network with the Windows computer that you just allowed to be remotely accessed, all you need is the computer’s IP and that it be turned on to access it from the Remote Desktop Connection application from Microsoft. Simply enter your IP, click connect, and you are good to go.

    Virtualization

    If you don’t want to remotely access your PC, keep Windows with you on your Mac, and have the ability to use your Windows apps next to your Mac apps, then virtualizing Windows inside of OS X is the way to go. There are a handful of great virtualization suites out there including Parallels Desktop ($79.99) and VMware Fusion ($49.99). But, if you want virtualization done for free, you may want to look into VirtualBox that was originally created by Sun and is now owned by Oracle.

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    Virtualization is a great way to use Windows on your Mac but can be a little bit of a bear to setup, especially if you aren’t familiar with virtualization at all. The process basically includes installing the virtualization software, creating a new virtual machine, and then installing Windows on the new virtual machine. The creation of the virtual machine (especially with Parallels and VirtualBox) is pretty straightforward. Where you can run into issues with the virtual machine is when you are trying to virtualize certain hardware components and setups, but for most users, they will never have to touch these options.

    Another thing about virtualization is that you will need a valid license and installation media for the version of Windows you want to install.

    Probably the hardest part of virtualizing Windows on a Mac is installing Windows on the virtual machine. If you have installed Windows before with succes, then this won’t be an issue, but for those that have never installed Windows, it could pose a problem.

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    Luckily there are some great tutorials for installing Windows from the Microsoft Support Site. Also, since Windows Vista, the installation process has become much easier.

    Boot Camp

    While virtualization is a great way to use your Windows apps alongside your Mac apps, some power users may want the full power of their Mac hardware to run Windows. For this type of user I suggest using Apple’s Boot Camp to install Windows on a totally separate partition on your Mac. This gives you the ability to boot into either OS X or Windows when you turn your compter on.

    The benefits of using this type of setup is that you get to use the power of your Mac to run Windows, rather than using a less powerful virtual machine because it doesn’t have to share resources with the “host” operating system. Also, using Windows 7 natively on a Mac is pretty great and can prove to be a better user experience than most of the high-end PCs that are available.

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    The installation guides for Boot Camp can be found here on Apple’s support site. Just choose the installation guide that is applicable to your Mac to make it happen. Once again, you will have to know how to install Windows natively and have a valid Windows license and installation media to get this to work.

    Go forth, you cross-platform warrior

    Now that you have the ability to use Windows on your Mac you can use pretty much all the software in the world. Pretty awesome, huh? You can now turn into a cross-platform, Windows on Mac warrior.

    Resources

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2020

    11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

    11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

    Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

    Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

    Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

    1. Lumosity

    This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

    Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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    Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

      2. Fit Brains Trainer

      This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

      Free.

      Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

        3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

        Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

        First four games free, then $13 a month.

        cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

          4. Brain Fitness Pro

          The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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          Buy for $3.99.

          5. Happify

          If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

          Free to use.

          Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

            6. Clockwork Brain

            You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

            Free.

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            Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

              7. ReliefLink

              Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

              Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                8. Eidetic

                Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                  9. Braingle

                  Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                  Free.

                  Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                    10. Not The Hole Story

                    If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                    Free.

                    Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                      11. Personal Zen

                      This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                      Free.

                      personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

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                        Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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