IE logoI’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.


  1. Michael Ray


    You most certainly can. The URL would be the host computer’s IP address coupled with the port used for MAMP. It is the same as viewing the website from another computer on the same network. It would be something like

  2. @Osu – no clue. Sorry!

  3. Hi Jon,

    Can you connect to a MAMP installation (i.e. localhost:8888) from parallels?



  4. Jon,

    I’ve been having trouble with precisely the same issue: I’ve never owned anything other than Macs and I’m having trouble checking pages in IE6.

    I have bought Parallels, but I have been reluctant to buy a copy of XP. I suppose that I’ll have to, but the idea of having to do so simply to check my work is galling.


  5. Jon, it’s been a while that I’ve been using Windows on my Macs for the same purposes, web development testing. In fact, I did hacked my iMac to have Windows installed before Bootcamp appeared some weeks later, folllowing the videos for dual boot that I later posted on my video website (h

    When Parallels was pre-released I was among the first to buy a license and since then I’ve been happily using it. It is a great piece of software and with spaces on Leopard you can virtually have two machines in one full screen and switch with key stroke between them.

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