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MacRumors
Jan 7, 2004, 02:14 PM
Alongside Office 2004 announcements for the Mac, Microsoft also announced that Virtual PC Mac Version 7 (http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040106/sftu020_1.html) will be arriving in the first half of 2004.Customers can look forward to key enhancements over the current version 6.1, including performance and usability improvements, as well as compatibility with the Macintosh G5.Earlier rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/12/20031208140623.shtml) had hinted at its announcement.

Chealion
Jan 7, 2004, 02:15 PM
Nice to see but details are very, very vague. You'd think they'd push it harder or something? They tried to wow us with the new features in Office 2004 (I wasn't impressed, as I have no use for those features.), but with VPC being part of Office you'd think they'd cover something.

autrefois
Jan 7, 2004, 02:16 PM
Great news!! I'll be first in line...er online!:)

TMA
Jan 7, 2004, 02:22 PM
I'm curious to see what Microsoft have done. 'key enhancements' they say. hmm. Microsoft Apps for Macs have never seemed very speedy to me, so I'm really skeptical that MS can do anything to further improve VPC speed-wise.

wrldwzrd89
Jan 7, 2004, 02:24 PM
I'm getting a G5 so I will NEED VPC7 (assuming I want to use Virtual PC, which I do). This is good news! I won't have a use for the Office bundle, at least not as far as I know... (I might get it if I can find a good reason to have Office)

<edit> TMA, you just got me curious... Will VPC7 be fast enough to be more usable than bad for those that are impatient? If not, I probably will NOT buy VPC. </edit>

mkaake
Jan 7, 2004, 02:25 PM
i'd really like to know more - i have a friend who knows very little about computers (60+years old, took the dive a few years ago), and while he uses a mac, he also uses virtual pc cause one of his investing sites requires the use of ie 6.0, as well as a few of his programs for investing. that said, he came to me about a week ago and asked what it would take to max out and upgrade his g4 350 (agp). that put me in a real hard place - he'd spend about 1100 upgrading that thing to what he's looking for (he wants much better performance in vpc), about 12 or 1300 for a new g4 (using my edu discount, possilby). a g5 would cost just a little more than that, have better performance and upgradeability (for ram, about the only thing he'd ever upgrade on the machine), but right now, they can't do what he needs, and there's no idea of how fast vpc will go when it *eventually* gets here.

bummer of a place to be. can't really give him any recomendation right now other than to wait...

matt

RIP
Jan 7, 2004, 02:32 PM
Needs the right tool for the job. In this case a PC. I would spend that money on a PC, rather than a Mac. Shoot me, but I am not that biased.

A question I have is if VPC7 would run slower on the same hardware as VPC6 if ran on a G4? I have no immediate plans to purchase a G5, as much as I would love to, however I also don't want to purchase an upgrade to VPC7 if there are features I like about it just to find that it slowed down because of the need to make it work on a G5 that does not support little endian.

Has anyone a clue about this?

Originally posted by mkaake
i'd really like to know more - i have a friend who knows very little about computers (60+years old, took the dive a few years ago), and while he uses a mac, he also uses virtual pc cause one of his investing sites requires the use of ie 6.0, as well as a few of his programs for investing. that said, he came to me about a week ago and asked what it would take to max out and upgrade his g4 350 (agp). that put me in a real hard place - he'd spend about 1100 upgrading that thing to what he's looking for (he wants much better performance in vpc), about 12 or 1300 for a new g4 (using my edu discount, possilby). a g5 would cost just a little more than that, have better performance and upgradeability (for ram, about the only thing he'd ever upgrade on the machine), but right now, they can't do what he needs, and there's no idea of how fast vpc will go when it *eventually* gets here.

bummer of a place to be. can't really give him any recomendation right now other than to wait...

matt

squatch
Jan 7, 2004, 02:33 PM
I wonder if Microsoft will do for VPC what they are doing for Office, by allowing you to upgrade to the newer version for free when it comes out if you buy the current version now. I have a B&W G3 that can run VPC 6.1 and really need it right now, but will be getting a (rumored) G5 iMac when they come out and would love to run VPC 7. Any rumors of this? :confused:

Lancetx
Jan 7, 2004, 02:35 PM
VPC 6.1 on a G4 is pretty much a dog, so I honestly hope that VPC 7 on a G4 (and certainly on a G5) will be a far better experience. It had better be anyway if M$ expects many people to pay the $129+ they'll be certain to charge for it.

squatch
Jan 7, 2004, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by RIP
Needs the right tool for the job. In this case a PC. I would spend that money on a PC, rather than a Mac. Shoot me, but I am not that biased.

I agree (as much as I hate to say it), but if he absolutely needs more speed for his Windows apps, build him a cheap PC. I just did for my dad who uses a lot of business software for around $250 (no monitor included). Check out NewEgg.com. They always have great deals and free shipping on most products.

ethernet76
Jan 7, 2004, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by mkaake
i'd really like to know more - i have a friend who knows very little about computers (60+years old, took the dive a few years ago), and while he uses a mac, he also uses virtual pc cause one of his investing sites requires the use of ie 6.0, as well as a few of his programs for investing. that said, he came to me about a week ago and asked what it would take to max out and upgrade his g4 350 (agp). that put me in a real hard place - he'd spend about 1100 upgrading that thing to what he's looking for (he wants much better performance in vpc), about 12 or 1300 for a new g4 (using my edu discount, possilby). a g5 would cost just a little more than that, have better performance and upgradeability (for ram, about the only thing he'd ever upgrade on the machine), but right now, they can't do what he needs, and there's no idea of how fast vpc will go when it *eventually* gets here.

bummer of a place to be. can't really give him any recomendation right now other than to wait...

matt

This is dumb, why doesn't he just get a PC? Why spend 1100 on upgrading performance when it wouldn't ever reach the performance of even a cheap PC?

varmit
Jan 7, 2004, 02:55 PM
Do we know if there has been some major speed improvements, or just a little bit of speed. It is going to be included with MS Office when it comes out right?

andyduncan
Jan 7, 2004, 02:58 PM
including performance and usability improvements

Usability improvements consist of the following:

The Virtual PC 7.0 application is now written in a single line of applescript:

tell application "Finder" activate

tny
Jan 7, 2004, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by RIP
Needs the right tool for the job. In this case a PC. I would spend that money on a PC, rather than a Mac. Shoot me, but I am not that biased.


Yeah, just get him to buy a cheap headless PC and run it through VNC. That should do it.

swissmann
Jan 7, 2004, 03:14 PM
VPC 6 runs on my dual 1 GHz G4 about like OS X.2 runs on my parents' iMac G3 400 MHz. I think to surf the web a bit, type some letters, do basic things it's OK. However when you run it on a fast Mac to get this OK performance you go from the speed you are used to to the equivalent of a much older slower system and it feels incredibly sluggish. If Virtual PC could increase it's current speed by 400% or so instead of the usual 20% or so I would think it a valuable app instead of something that some need to fall back on if there are no other options and don't want more hardware on their desk.

lynnpye
Jan 7, 2004, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by varmit
Do we know if there has been some major speed improvements, or just a little bit of speed. It is going to be included with MS Office when it comes out right?

From the article:


Consumers who pick up a copy of Office v. X for Mac any time from today until 30 days after the availability of Office 2004 for Mac can obtain the new product for free, plus shipping and handling. The promotion also provides inexpensive upgrades to the Office 2004 Professional Edition: $90 estimated reseller price (ERP) (U.S.)* from Office v. X Standard Edition and $129 ERP (U.S.)* from Office v. X Student and Teacher Edition (reseller prices may vary).

and:

-- Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition. This is the same
offering as Standard Edition, but also includes Microsoft Virtual PC
for Mac Version 7 with Windows(R) XP Professional.


So it appears that if you buy Office X now, you will be able to upgrade to Office 2004 Pro for $90-$129 depending on what version of Office X you are upgrading from. The free upgrade only brings you up to Office 2004 Standard.

ZildjianKX
Jan 7, 2004, 03:41 PM
Hell, who cares how bad VPC 7 is, just as long as its ANY faster than 6.1, and it works on G5s.

grahamtriggs
Jan 7, 2004, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by TMA
I'm curious to see what Microsoft have done. 'key enhancements' they say. hmm. Microsoft Apps for Macs have never seemed very speedy to me, so I'm really skeptical that MS can do anything to further improve VPC speed-wise.

I can't say I have a problem with the performance of the Microsoft Apps, and just because VPC comes out of the same BU doesn't mean it was coded by the same developers!!!

The claims seem a little wild, but then Connectix made good speed improvements over the years, so there is no reason why it can't be improved again.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me that if they could be really clever about the big/little endian handling that it could account for it (switching to a little-endian mode may be quick for low development cost, but the context switching is going to have some penalty).

Jetson
Jan 7, 2004, 04:27 PM
I'd like to avoid Microsoft altogether on my Mac. I've tried to use Appleworks but sorry Apple - it's not ready for prime time.

WordPerfect was a great little word processing package, but it's also fallen by the wayside.

So it looks like it's the bloated, buggy, way overpriced Mac version of MS Office for me! What a world, what a world.

I hope that Microsoft has really made some great improvements and are not just shoving out more half-baked code for the Mac platform.

Burrell
Jan 7, 2004, 04:34 PM
I asked around and one guy said he is running the beta on his 2 ghz G5. He merely noted that the G5 version is somewhat faster than his dual G4 1.42 ghz.

Take it for what it is worth.

Blackcat
Jan 7, 2004, 05:12 PM
If the MSBU can make a DirectX 'driver' for the graphics card in the Mac VPC will go much faster and do 3D.

Connetix claimed this was impossible, but you're already simulating hardware which doesn't exist and using other real hardware with virtual drivers so I don't see why it can't be done.

Marble
Jan 7, 2004, 05:12 PM
If this is possible, why isn't there a Mac OS emulator for Windows? I am sure that someone would at least want to try, but those that have tried in the past have been unable to get the equivalent of a 1mhz PPC out of even a very fast (2ghz+) x86 rig.

grahamtriggs
Jan 7, 2004, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by Marble
If this is possible, why isn't there a Mac OS emulator for Windows? I am sure that someone would at least want to try, but those that have tried in the past have been unable to get the equivalent of a 1mhz PPC out of even a very fast (2ghz+) x86 rig.

There is a Mac OS emulator for Windows. In fact, there is more than one.

However, they only emulate the old Motorola chips, not the PPC's. PPC's are simply a big challenge for x86 boxes, thanks to the difference in architecture. PPC is RISC based. RISC machines get their speed from having few instructions but executing them very quickly. x86 is CISC based. More complex instructions that run slowly.

CISC is quite easy to emulate on RISC, because even breaking down the complex instructions, those instructions execute quickly, and so there isn't much loss in performance (beyond the process of chopping up / converting the instructions).

Emulating RISC on CISC means that you can't really take advantage of the complex instructions. So you simply can't take advantage of much of the power contained in a CISC chip. Which makes the whole thing very slow.

It's worth noting that many CISC chips nowadays are actually a CISC 'layer' that presents a CISC interface to the outside world for compatability (with older generations of the chip), but the actual execution cores are RISC, and the complex instructions are broken down for the RISC core to process.

NB: This is all a bit of a simplification, but you should get the overall idea.

ipoddin
Jan 7, 2004, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by mkaake
i'd really like to know more - i have a friend who knows very little about computers (60+years old, took the dive a few years ago), and while he uses a mac, he also uses virtual pc cause one of his investing sites requires the use of ie 6.0, as well as a few of his programs for investing. that said, he came to me about a week ago and asked what it would take to max out and upgrade his g4 350 (agp). that put me in a real hard place - he'd spend about 1100 upgrading that thing to what he's looking for (he wants much better performance in vpc), about 12 or 1300 for a new g4 (using my edu discount, possilby). a g5 would cost just a little more than that, have better performance and upgradeability (for ram, about the only thing he'd ever upgrade on the machine), but right now, they can't do what he needs, and there's no idea of how fast vpc will go when it *eventually* gets here.

bummer of a place to be. can't really give him any recomendation right now other than to wait...

matt

As others have said, just have him buy a cheap (http://www.emachines.com/products/products.html?prod=eMachines_T2642) PC. Combine that with a KVM switch so he can use his existing monitor, keyboard, and mouse on both computers, and he's all set!

KREX725
Jan 7, 2004, 05:35 PM
Does this new VPC mean I can play Counterstrike on my Mac? :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I'm shocked there wasn't one person asking that this time around. :D

pgwalsh
Jan 7, 2004, 05:47 PM
Not sure if I'd have him buy a cheap PC just to use a few business apps...

If he really enjoys his mac then mabye asking him to wait for an hardware upgrade and explain that a new VPC will soon be available..Then he could add the money he's willing to spend and sell his old mac or better yet, donate it to a local school. Then he can get improved performance and still be on a Mac without having two computers hogging space.. He doesn't need a dedicated PC for browsing investment websites. Soon as he gets the PC he'll have to worry about security and other aspects, which the Mac can do reasonably well. However, others here disagree..

I'm waiting for the G5 and VPC for the G5.. When that happens, I"ll ditch my PC and donate my Mac to a school.

Marble
Jan 7, 2004, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by grahamtriggs
There is a Mac OS emulator for Windows. In fact, there is more than one.

<snip>

NB: This is all a bit of a simplification, but you should get the overall idea.

Interesting. Thanks for the illumination.

wdlove
Jan 7, 2004, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by Lancetx
VPC 6.1 on a G4 is pretty much a dog, so I honestly hope that VPC 7 on a G4 (and certainly on a G5) will be a far better experience. It had better be anyway if M$ expects many people to pay the $129+ they'll be certain to charge for it.

My hope is that Microsoft will do the as they did with Office X Professional version. VPC 6.1 was part of the package.

iChan
Jan 7, 2004, 06:21 PM
i like installing a completely barebones windows XP on my 12-inch PB. it's is quite fast, i uninstall absolutely everything I can...

I have no idea why...

iChan
Jan 7, 2004, 06:23 PM
what is VNC?

mattmack
Jan 7, 2004, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by KREX725
Does this new VPC mean I can play Counterstrike on my Mac? :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I'm shocked there wasn't one person asking that this time around. :D I would highly doubt it

wdlove
Jan 7, 2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by iChan
what is VNC?

This is what I found at apple.com.

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/networking_security/vncdimension.html

Photorun
Jan 7, 2004, 06:31 PM
Whew, good, it was this announcement or having to budget buying a peecee in 2004 and who would want that!

jcgerm
Jan 7, 2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Blackcat
If the MSBU can make a DirectX 'driver' for the graphics card in the Mac VPC will go much faster and do 3D.

Connetix claimed this was impossible, but you're already simulating hardware which doesn't exist and using other real hardware with virtual drivers so I don't see why it can't be done.

Writing a driver that supports directx won't do anything for performance. No versions of windows use directx with a GUI. The graphics card that connectix simulated isn't even 3D accelerated so it couldn't use directx anyway.

Beck446
Jan 7, 2004, 07:53 PM
Can someone help me understand what exaclty VPC can do? The MS website wasn't exactly the most helpful place ever.

I will be attending law school next Fall and would like a brand new G5 powerbook to be in my bag at the time. Problem is (other than the obvious), that law schools test on laptops using the school's software that you must install. All the brochures I have seen so far are clear - windows is required.

Will VPC basically just load windows on over the OSX? If so, there is no difference at all between VPC and, let's say, XP????

Please help me NOT have to buy a PC!

Thanks
P@ul

MrMacMan
Jan 7, 2004, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by KREX725
Does this new VPC mean I can play Counterstrike on my Mac? :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I'm shocked there wasn't one person asking that this time around. :D

Because we know the answer:

No.

Because Microsoft can't use HARDWARE video cards.

If they could you could run it.

Run it poorly.

But run it never the less.

Understand that they EMULATE video Card Memory... yeah sad.

Along with a Bad Emulation for CPU... total crap.


How about they TOTALLY rework VPC 8?

Like re-written FROM the top... TO the Bottom.


It needs is baddly.
Originally posted by Beck446
Can someone help me understand what exaclty VPC can do? The MS website wasn't exactly the most helpful place ever.

I will be attending law school next Fall and would like a brand new G5 powerbook to be in my bag at the time. Problem is (other than the obvious), that law schools test on laptops using the school's software that you must install. All the brochures I have seen so far are clear - windows is required.

Will VPC basically just load windows on over the OSX? If so, there is no difference at all between VPC and, let's say, XP????

Please help me NOT have to buy a PC!

Thanks
P@ul

VPC emulates the x86 environment... Like Windows.

You would probably need to buy VPC with a version of windows on it, or install your own. Brochures don't seem very CPU intense so I would imagine you could open them with VPC.

Note: It is a Very Slow emulation. (as with most emulators in general)

You ask if VPC is like XP... I say No.

VPC can LOAD Windows XP, but it can also load DOS, Win 3.1 and up (along with some Linux's).

classic009
Jan 7, 2004, 08:19 PM
I have a 1.3ghz 17" Powerbook and i run VPC 6.1 with Windows 2000. Stripped down to the bone. But im capable of running AutoCad2000, so for the law school requirement, i would say you are fine. In fact, I was blown away with the speed on the powerbook, and cant wait to run it on my dual 2 G5

uberman42
Jan 7, 2004, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by Beck446
Can someone help me understand what exaclty VPC can do? The MS website wasn't exactly the most helpful place ever.

I will be attending law school next Fall and would like a brand new G5 powerbook to be in my bag at the time. Problem is (other than the obvious), that law schools test on laptops using the school's software that you must install. All the brochures I have seen so far are clear - windows is required.

Will VPC basically just load windows on over the OSX? If so, there is no difference at all between VPC and, let's say, XP????

Please help me NOT have to buy a PC!

Thanks
P@ul

My Suggestion is to go find a new law school.

Just kidding. Basically VPC emulates a copy of Windows onto your mac. From this emulation you can run Windows only software on your mac. It acts as if it is an application on your mac.

The downside is a performance hit. Jerky and slow, but usable.

What applications do they require in law school that is Windows only? A mac can pretty much connect onto a windows network and play nice when it comes to apps.

I hear that the marketshare of Macs in law firms is pretty healthy.

uberman42
Jan 7, 2004, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by classic009
I have a 1.3ghz 17" Powerbook and i run VPC 6.1 with Windows 2000. Stripped down to the bone. But im capable of running AutoCad2000, so for the law school requirement, i would say you are fine. In fact, I was blown away with the speed on the powerbook, and cant wait to run it on my dual 2 G5

To make it run pretty good- what needs to be stripped to the bone in terms of the VPC app?

ZeroKoolNess1
Jan 7, 2004, 09:35 PM
As for professional schools, i.e. law school and an MBA program...here is what you need to know.

I work at IT for Kellogg Business Management School at Northwestern University (NOTE- This is the best business school in the world according to basically every publication) (I am also a student at NU, and my brother is in a NU master's program in Public Policy)

First off, out of all the students in the MBA program and/or the law school there are only 5 macintosh computer.

The fact is clear, at a high level of professionalism you must conform to the policies of the school. Most law schools require a certain computer and or model for each graduation class. As does the MBA program. It is easier to administer tech support, gain deals with IBM for computer at cheaper costs if all students must buy one. And it also allows for the tech department to know serial number and track MAC addresses. The process is just easier and more secure on the school's side if all computer must be bought from the school or through their program. True, you can attach a mac to their network ( I do it at work) however I am allowed to because of the tech support I provide to those few student with powerbooks.

And for the comment on how the mac population in law firms is "healthy". I have large number of friends and family in the legal business in New York, Chicago, and L.A. and none of them use macintosh computers.

Do yourself a favor, keep you mac and use it at home and for some of your work. But don't try and stand out in Law school with a mac, it won't be the same reception you got in college or in a coffeeshop.

vniow
Jan 7, 2004, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by mkaake
he also uses virtual pc cause one of his investing sites requires the use of ie 6.0, .

There's a debug menu you can add to safari that gives it the IE6 tag so that you can view sites which say that they require it. I forget that it is, just do a search for Safari and debug and you can find it.

Beck446
Jan 7, 2004, 09:55 PM
<<As for professional schools, i.e. law school and an MBA program...here is what you need to know.

I work at IT for Kellogg Business Management School at Northwestern University (NOTE- This is the best business school in the world according to basically every publication) (I am also a student at NU, and my brother is in a NU master's program in Public Policy)

First off, out of all the students in the MBA program and/or the law school there are only 5 macintosh computer.

The fact is clear, at a high level of professionalism you must conform to the policies of the school. Most law schools require a certain computer and or model for each graduation class. As does the MBA program. It is easier to administer tech support, gain deals with IBM for computer at cheaper costs if all students must buy one. And it also allows for the tech department to know serial number and track MAC addresses. The process is just easier and more secure on the school's side if all computer must be bought from the school or through their program. True, you can attach a mac to their network ( I do it at work) however I am allowed to because of the tech support I provide to those few student with powerbooks.

And for the comment on how the mac population in law firms is "healthy". I have large number of friends and family in the legal business in New York, Chicago, and L.A. and none of them use macintosh computers.

Do yourself a favor, keep you mac and use it at home and for some of your work. But don't try and stand out in Law school with a mac, it won't be the same reception you got in college or in a coffeeshop.>>


Ah, the arrogance of MBA's! Invigorating!
Perhaps I should go get my NU accpetance letter and look through to see whether or not they make me buy a Dell or some such non-sense... ok, brb... ok, nope.

Let me get this straight, you think I should buy ANOTHER laptop, one for tests and one for home use?

Anyway, I appreciate some of the replys above letting me know a bit about VPC. Whether or not lawfirms use Macs is irrelevant to me, whether or not the MBAs at the school I go to think that it's cool or lame to have a Mac is irrelevant to me too. Just wanted to know if I could install any Windows app on a Mac because that's what I'm going to have to do.

P@ul

wookitus
Jan 7, 2004, 10:04 PM
I spoke with a representative @ the Microsoft booth @ Macworld today. He said that VPC will be faster across the board for all users, but will not feature any specific G5 enhancements to speed it up even further on that processor. It would simply be compatible with the G5.

hulugu
Jan 7, 2004, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by Beck446
Can someone help me understand what exaclty VPC can do? The MS website wasn't exactly the most helpful place ever.

I will be attending law school next Fall and would like a brand new G5 powerbook to be in my bag at the time. Problem is (other than the obvious), that law schools test on laptops using the school's software that you must install. All the brochures I have seen so far are clear - windows is required.

Will VPC basically just load windows on over the OSX? If so, there is no difference at all between VPC and, let's say, XP???
Please help me NOT have to buy a PC!

Thanks
P@ul

It creates a window that shows the PC environ inside, metaphorically speaking Windows XP(or whatever) is in the Matrix, it thinks it's running on a PC, albiet slower.
I've been using an older version and while it's not the fastest thing in the world, it does work rather well for stuff that doesn't require much horsepower. You wouldn't want to run say Counterstrike ;) but it will run some difficult appraisal software I need for work, the program and server don't notice I'm on my Powerbook and I can simply hide VPC when I don't need it and use my Mac for everything else.

PubGuy
Jan 7, 2004, 10:50 PM
Best and cheapest way to boost the performance of your firend's Mac is buying an upgrade card.

http://eshop.macsales.com/Accelerators/index.cfm

"OWC Mercury Extreme G4/800MHz Processor Upgrade w/2MB SDR L3 Cache for PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics(Sawtooth), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, & QuickSilver. New, 3yr Warranty, 30 Day 100% Money-Back Guarantee! $249"

I bought one of these myself for my G4-400. Simple installation. Works like a champ! It's actually FASTER than my friend G4-800 machine. Also, VPC 6.1 really likes the L3 cache and it made a significant difference in the VPC performance.

With a 30-day money back guarantee, you've got nothing to loose by trying it to see if that solves the problem.

One other thing -- be sure to have at least 1 G RAM in the machine and then set your VPC RAM usage to the minimum you need to run effectively. I've got my Win2K image set to use 192 MB RAM. Higher settings didn't buy any additional speed and left more memory available to the Mac so I could still use it effectively.

MtDewaholic
Jan 7, 2004, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by RIP
I also don't want to purchase an upgrade to VPC7 if there are features I like about it just to find that it slowed down because of the need to make it work on a G5 that does not support little endian.

Has anyone a clue about this?

As far as I can tell, Microsoft is flat out lying about this. The PowerPC 970 does in fact support little endian mode. EVERY PowerPC chip ever produced supports little endian mode. Being able to set the endianness of the processor is part of the defining qualities of the PowerPC architecture.

Every PowerPC has an MSR register. The LE bit in the MSR is used to set the endianness of the processor. This bit is not optional like some of the other bits in the MSR. You can read all you want about it in "PowerPC Microprocessor Family: Programming Environments Manual for 64 and 32-bit Microprocessors" http://www-306.ibm.com/chips/techlib/techlib.nsf/techdocs/F6153E213FDD912E87256D49006C6541 Notice that this manual doesn't reference any specific processor, because it is for all processors.

Here is all of the documentation I can find about the 970 at IBM's site. http://www-306.ibm.com/chips/techlib/techlib.nsf/products/PowerPC_970_Microprocessor I challenge anyone to find any technote saying that the PowerPC 970 doesn't support little endian mode. Not supporting this bit in the MSR for this one processor would be a big deal and it would absolutely be well documented if IBM redefined the PowerPC architecture for this one processor.

MisterMe
Jan 7, 2004, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Beck446
Can someone help me understand what exaclty VPC can do? The MS website wasn't exactly the most helpful place ever.

I will be attending law school next Fall and would like a brand new G5 powerbook to be in my bag at the time. Problem is (other than the obvious), that law schools test on laptops using the school's software that you must install. All the brochures I have seen so far are clear - windows is required.

Will VPC basically just load windows on over the OSX? If so, there is no difference at all between VPC and, let's say, XP????

Please help me NOT have to buy a PC!

Thanks
P@ul VPC emulates an x86 computer. A minimal installation requires two parts, the emulator and a disk image that serves as the virtual disk drive. You may have as many disk images/virtual drives as the hard disk space on your Mac will accomodate. You may install a different Intel-compatible operating systems as you want in each disk image. You are not required to install Windows on any of them. After your virtual drives have been selected, they will appear in a window within the VPC application. If their disk formats are compatible, you can map each virtual drive to a drive letter on every other virtual machine. You launch your selection by double-clicking its icon in the VPC window. You can select at will among PC-DOS, FreeDOS, your favorite Linux distribution(s), FreeBSD, QNX, etc.

VPC can do things that no real PC can do (unless it is running VPC for Windows). Imagine running your choice of x86-compatible OSes on a PowerBook G4. Start writing a newspaper article in M$ Word on Win 2000. Shut it down from VPC. Launch a virtual Linux machine. Do some development. Shut the Linux environment down from VPC. Relaunch the Win 2000 virtual machine. Your Word document (along with the rest of the Win2k environment) is exactly where it was when you stopped.

Make daily back-up copies of each virtual drive disk image file. Keep them on your PowerBook's hard disk if you like. Burn weekly copies to DVD for insurance. When one of your virtual Windows drive takes its expected powder, use VPC to select its back-up copy. Get back to work with a minimum of down time.

VPC is not for children who want to play games. VPC is for Mac-using professionals who need to get work done in an Intel-compatible environment and are willing to accept the limits of an emulated computer.

Photorun
Jan 8, 2004, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by ZeroKoolNess1

Do yourself a favor, keep you mac and use it at home and for some of your work. But don't try and stand out in Law school with a mac, it won't be the same reception you got in college or in a coffeeshop.

Wow, Does NU have a degree in Pompous Arse? It's better to just conform then, like sheep, that seems to be your point, don't rock the boat... hmmm, what the heck are you doing on a Mac? And on a Mac forum?

Also your school may be the "best" but they need to teach grammar and spelling but guess that hoighty toighty school will let anyone in. BTW, I know four lawyers who use Macs, two are in my family and work in NYC, one actually went to Harvard (guess that little no-nothing school doesn't have a "be a stooge" policy of conformity), maybe you heard of it. Must be a midwest law thing you speak of.

AtlantaGuy
Jan 8, 2004, 12:37 AM
p@ul, Beck446, et al -

You might find http://macattorney.com/ to be of some interest, particularly the newsletter (more up-to-date). Also, there is a ton of info for general users at:
http://macattorney.com/tutorial.html
http://macattorney.com/panther.html

Sherlock
Jan 8, 2004, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by tny
Yeah, just get him to buy a cheap headless PC and run it through VNC. That should do it.

Or if the PC he has is running Windows XP he can use the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client:

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/otherproducts/otherproducts.aspx?pid=remotedesktopclient

hulugu
Jan 8, 2004, 12:55 AM
ZeroKoolNess1 is wrong.

I mean first to state that you work at the "best" of anything smacks of arrogance, but then to suggest that a user get a computer just to conform. A computer is a tool, like a pen only ridiculously more complicated, and therefore should be suited to the.....ready drum roll.....User!

And not the administrators. The Personal Computer is just that and while I understand that in cases of corporations it makes sense to buy a single series of units from the same company because it makes the logistical chain easier, but in the case of students (and other examples too numerous to mention) they should have a choice. If a student is willing to use a different machine be it an Acer tablet running Red Hat, or a PB running OSX.3 it should be up to admin to help as much as possible.
Obviously there's a balance to be struck, but too many administrators think and act as if its the user's responsibility to make the sysadmins' life easier; it's the other way around.
Besides, it's not like a Macintosh uses Cyrillic serial number or Kanji MAC addresses, it's a computer just a better one.

By the way vniow the debug feature is very cool, I just went to two sites that required IE for Windows, and guess what, they work. Ha!

If anyone is interested, close Safari, open Terminal and type:

defaults write com.apple.safari IncludeDebugMenu 1

to get rid of the Debug Menu type:

defaults write com.apple.safari IncludeDebugMenu 0

<edit for non-sensical grammar, plus I added the nod to vniow for the debug and added the Terminal commands>

mkaake
Jan 8, 2004, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by RIP
Needs the right tool for the job. In this case a PC. I would spend that money on a PC, rather than a Mac. Shoot me, but I am not that biased.

<snip>

sorry, but it's not about a bias. it's about a guy who is almost completely computer illiterate using a computer that works for him all of the time so that he doesn't have to spend his time figuring out how to configure it or figure out what's wrong (which actually means he calls me, and since i now live almost two hours away, he needs a system that works).

sorry, but a pc is exactally what he doesn't need...

matt

mkaake
Jan 8, 2004, 06:57 AM
Originally posted by squatch
I agree (as much as I hate to say it), but if he absolutely needs more speed for his Windows apps, build him a cheap PC. I just did for my dad who uses a lot of business software for around $250 (no monitor included). Check out NewEgg.com. They always have great deals and free shipping on most products.

well aware - read above post. anyhew, for those that want a pc, i'll build a pc - point in case - about 6 months ago, between newegg.com and ebuyer.com, i build my grandpa this computer for 610 (including tax and shipping)

2.53 p4
80 gig ibm hd
512 megs kingston ddr (333)
asus p4pe mobo (fully supports 333 ddr and 533 fsb)
new dvd rom drive
ati radeon 8500 le (128)
and we re-used his cdrw (42x24x42, $20) from his old computer.

it's a speedly little machine, and not bad for what he paid. now if only I could get them to run their 17 inch higher than 800x600, we'd be set...

matt

mkaake
Jan 8, 2004, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by pgwalsh
Not sure if I'd have him buy a cheap PC just to use a few business apps...

If he really enjoys his mac then mabye asking him to wait for an hardware upgrade and explain that a new VPC will soon be available..Then he could add the money he's willing to spend and sell his old mac or better yet, donate it to a local school. Then he can get improved performance and still be on a Mac without having two computers hogging space.. He doesn't need a dedicated PC for browsing investment websites. Soon as he gets the PC he'll have to worry about security and other aspects, which the Mac can do reasonably well. However, others here disagree..

I'm waiting for the G5 and VPC for the G5.. When that happens, I"ll ditch my PC and donate my Mac to a school.

that's almost exactally what i did, other than i recommended he donate his 350 g4 to me :) (i'm running a beige g3 at 266 right now, no agp...)

matt

(oh and for those of you wondering, i plan on donating my beige if he 'dontates' his computer to me...

matt

RIP
Jan 8, 2004, 09:56 AM
I think you are correct. I looked around on the web after deciding not to take MS's word for it and the conclusion I came up with is that the 970 does in fact support little endian (Macintosh uses big endian) however the way it is enabled on the cpu must be different than the CPU's VPC supported hence the reason it didn't work all the sudden on the G5.

They have since tweaked the software to enable little endian by the method required for whatever CPU it's running on, and suddenlty they have a 7.0 release of VPC.

It's just like MS to use something like this to market a completly revamped product which will most likely be nothing more than a point release underneath.

I am however confident that it won't be any slower on my Mac that 6.1 is currenty. It may be dog slow, but its worlds faster than version 5 was.

Originally posted by MtDewaholic
As far as I can tell, Microsoft is flat out lying about this. The PowerPC 970 does in fact support little endian mode. EVERY PowerPC chip ever produced supports little endian mode. Being able to set the endianness of the processor is part of the defining qualities of the PowerPC architecture.

Every PowerPC has an MSR register. The LE bit in the MSR is used to set the endianness of the processor. This bit is not optional like some of the other bits in the MSR. You can read all you want about it in "PowerPC Microprocessor Family: Programming Environments Manual for 64 and 32-bit Microprocessors" http://www-306.ibm.com/chips/techlib/techlib.nsf/techdocs/F6153E213FDD912E87256D49006C6541 Notice that this manual doesn't reference any specific processor, because it is for all processors.

Here is all of the documentation I can find about the 970 at IBM's site. http://www-306.ibm.com/chips/techlib/techlib.nsf/products/PowerPC_970_Microprocessor I challenge anyone to find any technote saying that the PowerPC 970 doesn't support little endian mode. Not supporting this bit in the MSR for this one processor would be a big deal and it would absolutely be well documented if IBM redefined the PowerPC architecture for this one processor.

RIP
Jan 8, 2004, 10:03 AM
Ok, but he is running VPC. How is that any different other than it is much slower than a real one? I mean, if all you are worried about is the complications of troublshooting a PC, you still have the same problems in emulation.

You know, I used to have a 100Mhz PC on a PCI card made by Apple that sat in my Umax box. I loved that setup. I would gladly pay 400 bucks, maybe 500, for something that worked like that now. I have the need for a PC, I just don't want another box in my office. I like the fact that I can have MacOS and Windows on my screen at the same time. Actually, I have two monitors and when I run VPC, Windows is full screen on one while the Mac is full screen on the other. It's nice.

Anyhow, what ever happened to Orange Micro and the others? I think there is still a market for this type of thing. After all, I would buy one in a heartbeat and eveyone knows I constitute a "market". :)

Originally posted by mkaake
sorry, but it's not about a bias. it's about a guy who is almost completely computer illiterate using a computer that works for him all of the time so that he doesn't have to spend his time figuring out how to configure it or figure out what's wrong (which actually means he calls me, and since i now live almost two hours away, he needs a system that works).

sorry, but a pc is exactally what he doesn't need...

matt

mkaake
Jan 8, 2004, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by RIP
Ok, but he is running VPC. How is that any different other than it is much slower than a real one? I mean, if all you are worried about is the complications of troublshooting a PC, you still have the same problems in emulation.

You know, I used to have a 100Mhz PC on a PCI card made by Apple that sat in my Umax box. I loved that setup. I would gladly pay 400 bucks, maybe 500, for something that worked like that now. I have the need for a PC, I just don't want another box in my office. I like the fact that I can have MacOS and Windows on my screen at the same time. Actually, I have two monitors and when I run VPC, Windows is full screen on one while the Mac is full screen on the other. It's nice.

Anyhow, what ever happened to Orange Micro and the others? I think there is still a market for this type of thing. After all, I would buy one in a heartbeat and eveyone knows I constitute a "market". :)


not too much difference in trouble shooting, but if he's using the mac, then he's only using vpc when he absolutely needs to, instead of it being his primary work environment. you guys are really over estimating how often he uses this - i mean, he fires it up prolly two times a week. to me, that's not enough to justify a switch to pc land - it's the perfect candidate for vpc.

as with orange micro, those things did rock, and it's a shame that they don't make them anymore...

matt

jpd
Jan 8, 2004, 10:25 AM
Does anyone know whether or not Virtual PC works with PC USB webcams and Yahoo video/audio messenger? If so, I'm definitely getting VPC7 so that I can video chat with my PC-centric family (hey, you can't choose your relatives). Thanks.

CmdrLaForge
Jan 8, 2004, 11:46 AM
This is good news even if its very little.

I remember the disussions about M$ purposes when the aquired C. few months ago. Now its clear that they are still developing VPC. Hope its quite fast on my iMac G5 :-)

manu chao
Jan 8, 2004, 12:32 PM
In principle you have the same trouble with VPC as with a real PC, but you will likely only run a few programs on Windows, and Windows will not run all the time, which reduces the chances of something going wrong with your WinOS markedly.
Admittedly, if you get an extra PC just for a few apps, you won't use a lot either.

But, if your VPC WinOS runs into trouble, it is very easy to replace it with a back-up image (a one-step back-up is even build into VPC). With a real PC a bootable back-up image should also be possible but I have the slight feeling it won't be as easy as clicking 'Discard changes made the the VPC image'.

KingOfPain
Jan 8, 2004, 01:23 PM
First of all, I think it's good to know that Microsoft really continue VPC and didn't just let it die (like Sony buying Virtual Gamestation from Connectix just to get rid of it).
I hope it'll help me that I don't have to boot my old PC just to run some simple tool or something like that. And because I have a G5 I certainly need the newest version of VPC.

Now onto the subject of the possibility of DirectX, or more precisely Direct3D, with a PC emulator...
I think it's possible, and here is why:

I have a so-called PC-card, basically an addon card with a x86 processor, for my Acorn RiscPC, which is driven by some software which also emulates the remaining hardware.
The emulation only simulates VGA, so Win9x normally only runs in 640x480 with 16 colours.
But Acorn wrote a special driver for Windows, and installing that driver enables you to select much higher resolutions and colour depths in Windows.
You don't get 3D acceleration that way, but that's mainly due to the fact that the RiscPC doesn't have any 3D hardware, and that such a driver wouldn't be that trivial, but theoretically it should be possible.

Someone (sorry, I forgot who it was) wrote in this thread that such a driver wouldn't help increase the normal speed because it doesn't use DirectX and because VPC only emulates a 4MB video chipset.
That's basically true, but you only need the video hardware emulation until the special video driver is loaded; when that is done you can completely bypass the hardware emulation because the emulator and the operating system are communicating through the driver. With this trick you get faster graphics even with simple 2D stuff, as I noticed with the Acorn PC-card.
Since applications (even games) aren't allowed to directly access the hardware in a protected mode operating system anyway, they'll be using the driver as well.

I hope we can agree on the fact that the graphics emulation can be sped up by using a special driver which is basically just a means to bypass the video emulation.
I gets a bit more tricky when 3D is involved, of course...

I'm neither a 3D nor a graphics driver specialist, but I think that a driver that behaves is if a 3D chipset is behind it would be much easier to realise than emulating the hardware of a 3D accelerator.
It should basically boil down to working with display lists that are sent to the driver. The main problem should be to transform that D3D stuff to OpenGL, but even that shouldn't be impossible. And once that is done, MacOS X should be able to render the 3D graphics in a window or fullscreen.

What I'm saying is:

a) 2D accerleration via a driver that runs on the emulated system has been done before, so it's certainly possible.

b) 3D acceleration via a driver will be hard, but I don't think it's impossible.

c) Microsoft should be able to write such a driver for Windows.

The question is if Microsoft want to put that much effort into it, but in my opinion it should be possible.

RIP
Jan 8, 2004, 09:04 PM
I just emailed Orange Micro and begged them to bring back the OrangePC PCI card. Maybe some of you can do the same, spread the word and maybe there could be enough demand to create the spark.

Just look at the specs of some of the discontinued producs. I would take one of those right now if there were support for OSX.

http://www.orangemicro.com/productarchive.html

wookitus
Jan 9, 2004, 03:33 PM
I know that VPC is not permitted on most law campuses for exams. The software most of the law schools use forces you to boot the computer using their disk and the reason for that is to prevent you from cheating and entering your hard disk to access data. Even if VPC could boot this software, no law school admin would let you because you could easily switch into another document from VPC. I take it creating a mac client for this software would be quite a task.

Larshart
Jan 9, 2004, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by mkaake
i'd really like to know more - i have a friend who knows very little about computers (60+years old, ...

matt

Has he invested in a broadband connection? This would be the first place to Upgrade.

oingoboingo
Jan 9, 2004, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by grahamtriggs
There is a Mac OS emulator for Windows. In fact, there is more than one.

However, they only emulate the old Motorola chips, not the PPC's. PPC's are simply a big challenge for x86 boxes, thanks to the difference in architecture. PPC is RISC based. RISC machines get their speed from having few instructions but executing them very quickly. x86 is CISC based. More complex instructions that run slowly.



I thought the issue was more to do with re-creating compatibility with Apple's low level BIOS and firmware environment (which is heavily copyrighted and protected) rather than problems with x86 chips emulating the PowerPC.

Grimace
Jan 9, 2004, 05:18 PM
Beck446 - get a clue, NU is not rated the best:
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/mba/brief/mbarank_brief.php

Harvard has Apple and IBM as their main computer providers - and students/faculty get discounts on both.

There is nothing about an Apple computer that wouldn't work equal to or better than a PC here - I dunno what you're talking about.

grahamtriggs
Jan 9, 2004, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by oingoboingo
I thought the issue was more to do with re-creating compatibility with Apple's low level BIOS and firmware environment (which is heavily copyrighted and protected) rather than problems with x86 chips emulating the PowerPC.

Not at all... there would be no emulator for 68K / pre OS 9 Macs if this was the case.

The BIOS / firmware can be dumped, and there is nothing to stop an emulator from loading that data.

Copyright protection just means that the emulator can't be distributed with the BIOS files. (Nor can the BIOS files themselves be distributed at all).

billyboy
Jan 9, 2004, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by Sherlock
Or if the PC he has is running Windows XP he can use the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client:

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/otherproducts/otherproducts.aspx?pid=remotedesktopclient

Just to reiterate this post seeing as noone seems to be seeing beyond VPC. Go to versiontracker (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15544) take a look at what plenty of users seem to see as the obvious answer to having to deal with a few Windows only apps.

"eg Brilliant!
Got to give it to Microsoft - this is a brilliant application. SO much better than Virtual PC. If you need to run PC apps - don't buy VPC - just get hold of a cheap 2nd hand PC with XP Pro, install RDC on your Mac & away you go! Easily worth 5 stars, & that's before you find out the price!"

Grimace
Jan 9, 2004, 10:38 PM
that looks great - thanks for posting! Two questions:

1. The PC computer has to be on your same home network for you to make the connection - right?

2. The downside is you can't take the PC programs with you to a conference etc. because they aren't actually on your computer - right?

wrldwzrd89
Jan 10, 2004, 04:27 AM
Originally posted by carletonmusic
that looks great - thanks for posting! Two questions:

1. The PC computer has to be on your same home network for you to make the connection - right?

2. The downside is you can't take the PC programs with you to a conference etc. because they aren't actually on your computer - right?

1. That APPEARS to be the case - however, the Microsoft page for RDC is unclear about this.

2. Yes, this is true.

grahamtriggs
Jan 10, 2004, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by wrldwzrd89
1. That APPEARS to be the case - however, the Microsoft page for RDC is unclear about this.

2. Yes, this is true.

1. As long as you can make a TCP/IP connection to the machine, and the port(s) used by RDC / TS are not blocked (ie. by a firewall), then you can connect to a machine anywhere.

2. Yes, although if you can get to the machine via the internet... although that may create security implications.

Note that RDC takes significant amounts of bandwidth. Quite practical for local networks, or connecting to the office. Less practical when you are trying to connect to a machine at home (whilst elsewhere), when you may have limited upload bandwidth and/or low bandwidth at your location.

Mord
Jan 10, 2004, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by Jetson
I'd like to avoid Microsoft altogether on my Mac. I've tried to use Appleworks but sorry Apple - it's not ready for prime time.

WordPerfect was a great little word processing package, but it's also fallen by the wayside.

So it looks like it's the bloated, buggy, way overpriced Mac version of MS Office for me! What a world, what a world.

I hope that Microsoft has really made some great improvements and are not just shoving out more half-baked code for the Mac platform.

dont just run to microsoft: open office

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/unix_open_source/

apple and microsoft arn't the only software developers in the world