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Recommend a Mac for using Firemonkey

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I recently purchased Embarcadero’s Delphi XE2 and had some interest in experimenting with porting code over to a Mac. I called Embarcardero for purposes of asking what type of Mac I should purchase and after two call transfers, the technician told me he could not recommend a specific Mac machine, He said that whatever the machine it should have OSX 10.7 (Lion) and iOS 4.3. I thought it was curious that the company that touts this multi-platform development package (Firemonkey?) wouldn’t be able to recommend a specific Mac computer, so I called Apple. After three call transfers, the “specialist” said he never heard of Embarcadero, never heard of Firemonkey, said iOS was for the iPad etc. and not for a Mac. He never mentioned simulation software and said he was unable to recommend a Mac that would be suitable for my purposes. Instead he wanted me to pay $99 to become a developer (which I don’t mind, but I wanted to know what I’m getting in to first).

My company develops relatively simplistic software that is used for filling government forms. About as complicated as we get is using TLabel, TEdit, and TCheckbox components. I’m ready to purchase a Mac, but I wanted to make sure I purchased one that would suit the purpose. Can anyone with experience in this area make a recommendation? Many thanks.
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Question by:efz
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by:MichaelStaszewski
MichaelStaszewski earned 250 total points
ID: 37738790
I have not used Firemonkey so take this with a grain of salt, but there are tutorials out there for developing in this way. As far as I know your Windows box is still your development machine and you are building applications targeted for execution on the Mac. Your Mac should be capable of executing your application. If your application is simple and if it is not resource intensive then you can probably get by with any low-end Mac (if there is such a thing!) including the Mac mini.

I have a Mac mini as a personal machine and it's a fine machine. It also makes a decent home theater PC so if you can convince the boss to buy it for testing perhaps you could borrow it for home use after. :-) I also run VMWare Fusion on my mini and have a fully working Win7 x64 VM running Delphi 2009 and it runs that perfectly fine.

I'd check out the tutorials and demos to verify, but I do not think that your Mac is used for development. The demos that I saw also show applications that look like Windows applications running on the Mac. They do not look like Mac applications. In other words, they look cheesy and out of place in my opinion. Perhaps there are some more advanced tutorials or techniques out there that demonstrate an app with a native look and feel, but I've not seen one yet.
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Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 37738861
You might want to sign up as a developer first to see what hardware is required.  The cheapest Mac computer is $999.

If you go to the Apple store http://store.apple.com/us , you can see that they only make 5 different lines, two laptops and three desktops.  The Mac Pro is a monster both in size and price.  Out of my price range though.
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by:MichaelStaszewski
ID: 37738887
Mac mini starts @ $599. You can use keyboard, mouse, monitor that you already have. I picked up my Mac mini for $699 and picked up compatible RAM on Amazon for $50 to bump it up to 8 GB. You can get into a mac for a bit less than $999 especially if it's only for testing. This is *not* traditional development on a Mac so I'd start by researching XE2/Firemonkey development and see what is required, but I'm fairly certain that your Mac will just be a test platform.
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by:efz
ID: 37738974
Thanks. Your info is greatly appreciated.
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