Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New 3DConnexion "10 beta 10" drivers - still not usable under VMWare > Win7 32-bit > Inventor 11

I tried the 3DConnexion (Logitech 3D mouse subsidiary) "10 beta 10" drivers today. Great improvement on both Windows 7 (32-bit) and OS X side. At least it feels way swifter, now.

However, one homework remains for 3DConnexion and one for Autodesk.

The backdrop (shortly)
I'm running things on a Mac Mini, and Inventor 11 is almost the only reason (Solitaire being the second) for having Boot Camp and Windows 7 (32-bit) on this machine. I can use the Boot Camp partition either via dual boot or via VMWare (as a virtual machine running under OS X).

While this sounds like a complicated setup, it really isn't. I presume it to be rather common for OS X users, really.

The problem (3DConnexion's homework)
The SpaceExplorer USB 3D mouse works splendidly under VMWare, but the Inventor driver for it is useless under the VMWare Fusion > Inventor 11 setup. Response times are in seconds. If it weren't for this, I'd be using Inventor as a virtual machine.

Since all the "little demos" are as fast on VMWare as they are on native boot, I'm very inclined to thinking this is actually some kind of bug somewhere in the Inventor / 3DConnexion code. Something is done wrong and can be fixed.

Homework: try this setup. Analyze it. Getting it "right" will be a relief to us Mac + Inventor users.

The problem (Autodesk's homework - or maybe VMWare's)

Inventor license handling doesn't work with VMWare launching from a Boot Camp partition. The same license should be valid, regardless of running the partition natively or as a virtual machine. It's a one copy, not two.

This has been reported to Autodesk in the forum or bug system, but I don't expect much to be happening on it. I believe, VMWare could fix this on their part independently by reporting the magic thingies Autodesk asks (probably hard disk serial number or something) in a uniform fashion.

This means one must make a decision, either to run Inventor 11 always native or always virtualized. That kind of sucks, don't you think.

With these companies doing the above mentioned homework, life with VMWare, Inventor 11 and Mac would be pretty much perfect! :)

Picture of VMWare Fusion running Inventor 11. The "jet" demo runs as smooth as ever, controlled by the SpaceExplorer USB 3D mouse. The handle in Inventor - well - does not. Notice the "UNREGISTERED VERSION" in the caption. This copy really is registered (but on the native boot side).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the linefeeds. Blogger seems to be impossible to please, these days (written with Safari 5.0.5 OS X). :/