apple with virtual pc worth it

bman9111 used Ask the Experts™
I am a and c# programmer. I am wanting to explore the world of mac's I am looking at a powerbook and just found out that I can run a program called virtual pc on it. This would allow me to continue writting programs, etc. Will this be ok, or not??????

Or is it not going to work for me on the programming side.

Basically if I get this apple pc this will replace my regular windows pc, However I still need to be able to use, etc. So I need to know if this is a good idea getting the apple with virtual pc or am I going to have too many programs using virtual pc.....
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OK, here is the low down.  The VPC works for result-oriented programs -- i.e you can run windows apps on this VPC without any problem -- if the app is written to the core specifications of windows 32 bit app mode.  But if you are trying to DEVELOP apps on this platform -- I can almost guarantee that you will have innumerable problems -- most of all, the APP debuggers and time slicers need to stop the CPU execution mid stream to see the state of the CPU registers on the PC -- well, that just ain't gonna happen on a MAC, because (1) these "intel registers" do not exist, and (b), since the OS is emulated, there is no time-slicing possible, since the CPU is not running intel instruction sets...  You see the problem....

However, as a means to debug the OUTPUT of the code, I could not recommend your strategy more highly -- it is what every developer SHOULD be doing.  We in the PC world tend to forget that about 25% of the world in high end computing are running MACs -- and when you get to serious graphic design, it is more like 50%.  If you can develop your apps on a true 32 bit PC, but then have a way to instantly test the output on a MAC, you are far far ahead of the competition.  You can now sell your apps to 100% of the high-end graphics world, not just 50%.

But as for trying to execute the development code under a windows emulation on the MAC -- no, save yourself the hassle, it won't work.  DOes this answer your Q sufficiently, if not, just ask a-more.


I want to make sure I understand correctly. U are saying that it is a bad idea for me to make windows programs on an apple. So I don't confuss anyone I want to replace my desktop with an apple pc, but still need to have the ability to create applications. So a buddy stated it would be a good idea to get the apple, but get virutal pc so I an run windows xp and use my visual studios.

From what i think I understand u are saying I can't do it effieciently???????? These programs will not be for my apple pc, but for windows pc.
That is correct -- you will find that the PC emulation on the MAC is slow, buggy, and at best, intermittent -- some apps will work, others won't.  For  the ones that don't work that well (e.g. browsers) you can get a version native to the MAC for many applications -- browsers, editors, spreadsheets, accounting, image editing -- especially ADOBE apps -- most of what you he says you can run in "emulation mode" -- you will end up running MAC apps for these, because the emulation mode is slow, arduous, and buggy.

But actually *developing* PC applications with C++ or -- or anything like that -- this will NEVER work on the MAC because you will never be able to debug them -- because the debuggers cannot function without the real PC CPU to deal with -- which doesn't exist on a MAC.  SO to develop apps, you will STILL HAVE TO USE THE PC.  There is no way around this, and in fact, there never will be, because the processor that drives a MAC is a power PC type architecture, and MAC is a UNIX OS -- it CANNOT ever emulate the PC OS on an Intel CPU architecture.

So develop apps -- no -- test them, on an alternate platform -- definitiely YES -- test them on the native PC platform -- NO, you cannot do this on a MAC.  

I think your friend is very mis-informed.  He is thinking only of using general programs to do things like browse the internet, graphics, cameras, pictures, so forth.  That is what MAC does fairly well.  I don't think he has any idea that the two systems are so fundamentally different, you will never be able to write AND DEBUG code that is meant for the PC platform, using a non-PC platform.  It just cannot be done, technologically.  

So bottom line -- get a MAC for testing the "other side" and use it as you like it.  But for developing APPS to run on windows PCs, you will ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE a windows PC to do that with.
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have u tried this?????

meaning opened virtual pc then created a small program and hit run, to run the application.

I just want to make sure before I decide not to get one....

Virtual PC emulates a standard hardware platform.

I personally do not see why this would be an issue, it would depend on what you were writing.  

I know a ton of devs who use VPC for the PC to develop all day long.  I see no difference between VPC on a MAC.

I would caution you that if your app requires specific hardware and drivers, then that would be another story, but if you are trying to write 32 bit standalone apps or web applications, there would be no stopping you.

FYI on the PC version, I like to have 1 gig of mem at least so I can split it up 512/512 between the 2.

If you HAVE to have an apple... buy one, then dload the eval of VPC and test it out.  As long as you do not wait too long to test it, you can return the mac if you do not like the experience.


I don;t see the version i need for the macx  for demo....

What I write is basic programs that connect to access and programs that delete files, etc.... However I just don't need to write the code, but I need to actually run it to test my code...... Then create a setup to distribute to windows pcs...

I am confussed with what sciwriter  is saying.....

bman, I still think that RealBasic might be a good solution... it is "cross-platform"... Windows, Macintosh, Linux.  One version of source, but compiled with platform-specific compilers.  There is a new version, RealBasic 2005, that is supposed to be available around May 15.  Currently, you can get a free license for the Windows Standard Edition if you're a VB6 developer from the following link.  The offer expires in a couple of days... March 31.  This would allow you to evaluate its compatibility with VB 6 or .net.  The Professional Edition comes with the compilers for all 3 platforms.

I forgot to mention that RealBasic creates single-file executables containing machine code... they are not semi-interpreted by a runtime system.  Therefore, they're not dependent on other files such as dll's to run.


well I write applications for companies using and just need a place to be able to continue writing code since my apple will be my desktop replacement. If I can't write applications on my apple using virtual pc then there isn't a point of me gettingan apple.

VPC doesnt emulate hardware acceleration.
Code that uses Directx or OpenGL fails. Code that doesnt but draws using software-only is slow.

Mac offers MONO as a .NET implementation but that has limits.
Some classes the .NET framework offers arent there yet and the Windows.Forms namespace is not implemented using aqua - it uses GTK and that uses X11.

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