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bootcamp, virtualPC... who on the Mac uses Windows too?

Discussion in 'Formats & External Tools' started by staigermanus, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. staigermanus


    Mar 5, 2006
    Just wonder, with the intense exposure created for Apple's marketing campaigns, for bootcamp, which developers here who use Unity use it with Windows as their main target for release of games? and thus, will you be configuring a dual boot on your new or soon coming new MacIntel system? Is bootcamp something you've been wishing for?

    There's still also VirtualPC, albeit still with the stigma of being slow. I think that will eventually change. Sooner or later there 's got to be a natively running version of Virtual PC for Mac coming. Would that help in test running on single-machine Mac with the windows runtime from your Unity games?

    With that in mind, I'm curious to see what Windows-only tools are of interest to mac users? For example, do any of these strike a chord of interest and warm and fuzzy feeling now that they may be closer to your Mac than ever before?

    - Irfanview
    - XnView
    - Archipelis Designer
    - Project Dogwaffle/PD Pro Digital Painter
    - Curvy 3D
    - TrueSpace/GameSpace
    - Milkshape3D
    - Gertrudis Pro
    - Moonster
    - 3impact
    - DebugMode: Wink and Wax

    so I guess I asking, from your game developer perspective, which Windows-based programs are you most likely to start using on the dual-boot MacIntels in the near future.

    Perhaps this thread could serve as an incentive for some developers to look up if their application is on your wish list, and put it on their to-do list for a Mac port for those who won't use Windows. Any thoughts?
  2. thylaxene


    Oct 10, 2005
    well for me the one app that comes to mind is HDRShop. If/When I get a MacIntel, bootcamp, Win2k/XP and HDRShop will be one of my first installs... that is, after all my OSX software is installed.

    BTW does anyone want to buy either (or both) a Acer Laptop and a Powerbook 17in G4? :wink:

    Also there is this: which looks like it could replace VPC....

  3. staigermanus


    Mar 5, 2006
  4. frigginjoe


    Jul 12, 2006
    Parallels is simply amazing, but gameSpace and some other 3d apps I've tried have buggy mouse tracking once you click down. Some mouse issues with Baldur's gate 2 as well, so I take it it's a possible fix down the road.

    Of course rebooting into XP via bootcamp provide a true and above-average XP experience on my iMac, but I'd like to bypass that altogether.
    As of now it appears at least that Milkshape functions normally in Parallels.
    One cannot compare VirtualPC to Parallels, mind you. Parallels appraches using an actual Xp machine in a session, whereas there is no mistaking VPC for being emulation on different architecture.
  5. Eric5h5


    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

    Jul 19, 2006
    Rebooting from one OS to another interferes way too much with my workflow. Frankly, I'd rather just have a separate machine. Something like Parallels is a lot more feasible, although I'd rather have a WINE-based solution, so I can save on the Windows license and use that money toward actual apps instead. Better yet, enough of us bugging the developers for native OS X apps...everything running in one nice environment can't be beat.

  6. Morgan


    May 21, 2006
    I have Virtual PC and an actual PC, and I use both SO seldom that it's not a big issue for me. I may run Boot Camp for testing, because my needs are too rare to pay for Parallels.

    The one Windows-only game tool I want is UnrealEd 3... but UnrealEd 4 is already planned for Mac :)
  7. freyr


    Apr 7, 2005
    No it's not emulating windows. It's using a feature of modern cpus, that allows virtualisation of the processor. What they are simulating is basically an entire PC, but running almost all code natively on the cpu.

    Linux and Windows have had VMWare for many years that does the same thing, which is now free and an a OSX version has been rumored.

    And then there's Plex86, which is the open source alternative. (At least on Linux)

    ... and lastly I have found Xen, which uses a slightly different technique that requires that you run it on and with modified OSes (actually even the "host" OS is running on Xen, just with more privileges), but later versions have some support for running unpatched operating systems (ie. Windows) as a client.

    None of those run on MacOS X yet, but I thought I'd just mention them.

    Edit: It basically works like this: A CPU has different priviledge modes (usually two, but intel x86 cpus have three, although most opertaing systems use only two of them), the most priviledged mode has full and direct access to all hardware features of the machine, whereas the least priviledged mode only has limited access. The operating system kernel runs in a priviledged mode and starts all user applications in a non-priviledged mode. Virtualisation software (or virtualisation monitor) actually runs a client operating system in a non-priviledged mode. If the client operating system tries to access hardware, a priviledge exception occurs, which is then handled by the monitor. It finds out what the operating system was trying to do, performs the action on the simulated hardware (or asks the host operating system to perform the action) and returns control to the client OS as if nothing happened.

    This is of course quite a bit more complicated than that... The main advantage is that most instructions can be run non-priviledged, which means that the simulated machine is running at almost native speeds.

    There's more than you ever wanted to know about virtualisation on Wikipedia (With links actual producs as well.)