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View Full Version : Best combination of virtualizer + Windows version for PPC?




skateny
Oct 4, 2012, 05:36 PM
Hello again.

I've gotten lots of help from this forum.

I'm teaching an online course. The program they're using supports OS 10.5 and up, but does not provide technical support for Macs. They suggest that, for those of us using Macs, we have Windows installed in the event of any technical problems.

I used VPC many years ago, and only when completely necessary.

All suggestions are greatly appreciated.



eyoungren
Oct 4, 2012, 05:58 PM
I've got Virtual PC7 on my Macs, using WinXP SP3. I've heard that Win2000 works well on VPC7, but I've never tried it. Win98 is acceptable and you can get so-so performance out of XP if you have every app closed except VPC.

Nothing modern that I know of today runs on Win2K or 98 so you are probably looking at XP at a minimum and even then you'll probably need to be running Service Pack 3.

There is a free alternative called Q (you bring the OS) that works on PowerPC Mac. My experience with it hasn't been all that great though (instability), but it seems to work for a lot of other people.

Your only other real alternatives are an Intel Mac with Bootcamp or Parallels or an actual PC laptop.

Don't even think about trying to get Win7 or 8 on VPC or Q. I've tried it and it just won't work. The kind of hardware required for those systems is not built into the virtualization programs. I'd guess it's the same with Vista, but that's not one OS I've tried with VPC or Q.

skateny
Oct 4, 2012, 10:44 PM
I've got Virtual PC7 on my Macs, using WinXP SP3. I've heard that Win2000 works well on VPC7, but I've never tried it. Win98 is acceptable and you can get so-so performance out of XP if you have every app closed except VPC.

Nothing modern that I know of today runs on Win2K or 98 so you are probably looking at XP at a minimum and even then you'll probably need to be running Service Pack 3.

There is a free alternative called Q (you bring the OS) that works on PowerPC Mac. My experience with it hasn't been all that great though (instability), but it seems to work for a lot of other people.

Your only other real alternatives are an Intel Mac with Bootcamp or Parallels or an actual PC laptop.

Don't even think about trying to get Win7 or 8 on VPC or Q. I've tried it and it just won't work. The kind of hardware required for those systems is not built into the virtualization programs. I'd guess it's the same with Vista, but that's not one OS I've tried with VPC or Q.

Thanks. From what I've been reading, it probably isn't even worth it to try on my iBook. I'm probably better off buying a cheap Windows laptop, in the event I need it.

cocacolakid
Oct 5, 2012, 12:11 AM
Trying to run Windows on a PPC is not easy, especially if you need to rely on it for work. Also, I don't think it's possible to track down a license for VPC7 anymore, and even if you could, it was quite expensive.

You're right, your better option is to pick up a cheap Windows machine. Here in the Chicago area I can find older but still working Windows desktops on Craigslist and in thrift stores often for $25. Laptops, not so easy to find cheap from those sources, but you can find some old XP laptops on eBay for relatively cheap.

skateny
Oct 5, 2012, 12:48 AM
Trying to run Windows on a PPC is not easy, especially if you need to rely on it for work. Also, I don't think it's possible to track down a license for VPC7 anymore, and even if you could, it was quite expensive.

You're right, your better option is to pick up a cheap Windows machine. Here in the Chicago area I can find older but still working Windows desktops on Craigslist and in thrift stores often for $25. Laptops, not so easy to find cheap from those sources, but you can find some old XP laptops on eBay for relatively cheap.

Thanks. I found VPC7 on Amazon for $29.99, but it just isn't worth the hassle.

cocacolakid
Oct 5, 2012, 02:02 AM
That's still good to know it's available, that might help someone down the road.

eyoungren
Oct 5, 2012, 08:35 AM
Thanks. I found VPC7 on Amazon for $29.99, but it just isn't worth the hassle.
Anyone that might be looking to buy the program should know that the base install is unstable on G5s. Microsoft released an update (7.03 I think) that should be applied directly after install if you want to run the app on a G5.

thorns
Oct 5, 2012, 10:51 AM
I read that VPC is performing relatively okay on G4 CPUs, since they can switch between big endian and little endian modes, whereas the G5 lacks this capability. Could someone verify this?

skateny
Oct 5, 2012, 11:52 AM
I read that VPC is performing relatively okay on G4 CPUs, since they can switch between big endian and little endian modes, whereas the G5 lacks this capability. Could someone verify this?

I don't know about this. About a decade ago, I was using VPC (don't recall which version) with Windows 98 on a G3 PowerBook with max RAM. It was initially only barely okay for the few tasks with which I used it. I eventually bought a Compaq laptop for $175 after being consistently frustrated with waiting for stuff to load. It would be great to hear from someone who's had better experiences.

What I've been reading the past few days tells me that VPC is very, very slow for most tasks (dropdown menus taking a couple of minutes or more to appear, e.g.), and (from what I understand) it has a RAM allocation limited to 512MB.

Based on this alone, using VPC would not be suitable for my purposes, since I'd be using an interactive program with some time constraints.