VPC - How does it work, which version, etc.?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by h0kie99, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. h0kie99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    #1
    I am using an iBook that I recently purchased in June. However, I am starting to do some work for this web development company and the software I need to access online is for PCs only! So, I originally thought I needed to go out and buy a PC, but someone recommended the VPC.

    Is this a good idea for me? When I am working in my mac, do I just easily switch over to the VPC and run the one part of the application I need? Or can you only work in one system at a time? If someone would take the time to explain how it works, I would be very grateful!

    Also, what version? 2000, XP, etc.? I currently have only 512MB of RAM on my iBook.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #2
    First of all, I would recommend upping the RAM in your iBook to the max, which is 1.25 GB. This would, unfortunately, entail getting rid of the 256MB module you currently have installed in the expansion slot (assuming you have the newer iBooks - I can't remember the release dates). In either case, you'll want more RAM.

    Virtual PC runs as a separate application - it launches like any other OS X application and you can switch from other Mac apps to VPC and it's "internal PC apps" at any time. You can also essentially network from your Mac to your PC to share files, and you can cut and paste between "platforms."

    When VPC is running, it is like a PC is running - the complete system, not just individual PC apps. It can be run as a window or in full-screen mode if you are strictly running a PC app at a given time. Beware that VPC is not blazingly fast, but is okay, and in my experience it tends to drag the rest of the system down with it (in terms of speed), so I've only launched it when I needed it, then quit (you can save the PC state so it's like hibernation).

    The version of Windows you choose depends on the applications you need to run. From your previous thread, I would assume that it is primarily IE, so perhaps any version would work.
     
  3. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    #3
    I don't VPC would run that well on an ibook, then again I only have a G3 700mhz one with 256ram so VPC would run like a dog on it anyways. I would recommend though, for you to use Remote Desktop Connection. Get a headless PC, enable RDC on it, and just connect via that with your ibook, you will be able to run any PC only apps like that(unless the application requires DirectX, ie a game)
     
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #4
    Your original thought sounds a lot better to me - especially if this work turns out to be a long term engagement. If you have the room, I am sure you can find a decent PC for a couple hundred on craigslist or ebay - make life easy on yourself and find one with the original install CDs and a windows license, as many people sell the hardware but not the software the machine came with.

    As a web developer I would recommend it anyways for a true testing environment. You can then dual/tri/quad boot the PC for linux/windows98/ME/2000/XP for a true testing environment or look into a product like VMWare for the PC based OSes. To save on desk space I use a KVM switch to share the monitor.
     
  5. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Mac since 7.5
    #5
    By the time you purchase VPC and enough RAM to run it, you'll have spent almost enough to buy a cheap PC. Do yourself a favor and spend a little more and get that PC.
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    Are you a PC guy who has switched to a Mac and now doesn't want to go back, or are you pretty much unfamiliar with supporting your own PC?

    The reason I ask is that if you're not used to supporting a PC, then you could have issues - viruses, spyware, etc. - that don't occur on Macs, and from which you would at least be marginally protected by running VPC behind OS X's firewall, and only when needed.

    If you're a PC guy, then it may not matter, except for the potential cost.

    VPC is only $120 at CDW, and you may be able to find it for slightly less. The RAM is something that will help you regardless of using VPC, so I wouldn't include it in the cost of VPC.
     
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #7
    Wouldn't he need windows too?
     
  8. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #8
    I thought "complete" meant it came with Windows. My bad. Here's the one with XP home for $210.
     
  9. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Location:
    Hell@HighAltitude
    #9
    I would recommend getting a cheap PC too. Virtual PC has depressing performance.
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #10
    You could get a cheap PC and enable Remote Desktop. But VPC isn't that bad if you just need it for basic Windows stuff. Especially if you use Win2000 instead of XP, it's a little faster. But it would still be slower. You might want to go to an Apple Store to play around with it if they have it installed on a similar machine. You could always up your RAM and get a fast hard drive, or get a cheap external firewire 7200 RPM hard drive to run it off of (if you're doing work on it, you'd want a backup anyway). The good part about VPC with a laptop is that you can run it anywhere. You don't need to be near your PC (or on a network if you go with Remote Desktop). And if you have any issues (security or otherwise), you don't have to go through the whole tech support nightmare. Unless you know your way around a PC, it would be easier to just run VPC, and re-install it if neccessary. Of course, if you have an issue with your iBook, you'd have a whole nother PC to work on, so there are positives and negatives of both arguements.
     
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    "To the man whose only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

    If PC performance is what you are looking for, then VPC is not for you. If a Mac that runs Intel-compatible OSes and applications is what you need, then VPC is the only real choice. VPC allows you to run at your choice as many Intel-compatible OSes as you have have storage available to your Mac. VPC frees you from Wintel hardware worries. VPC on the Mac requires no additional deskspace, electricity, network ports, or other non-software resources required to support a second computer. VPC is a Godsend for PowerBook users who need to run Intel-compatible OSes on the road or in the field.
     
  12. h0kie99 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    #12
    let me explain better...

    this is what my current situation is, and what i need:

    i've got an ibook... not very much power to it, just 512MB of RAM. up to this point, i have done no business on my computer, just personal use. i have been working for a large healthcare organization and i have a laptop pc with them, but i will soon have to give that back when i quit and start full-time with this small internet consulting group.

    so, i started doing some work for this small company and i was working online in this site content editor for a client's website. i can do most everything to work on their site, etc. however, when i try to edit the raw html, it is invisible to me. so, i called this particular vendor's support line and they indicated to me that their SCE will only work for PC users. i was appalled! so, basically, i can do EVERYTHING on my mac except edit the raw html code. i have photoshop, dreamweaver, etc. all on my mac and i would be spending very little time in the raw html code on this software program because i'll be writing it all in dreamweaver... it is just a matter of being able to paste it in the damn text box on the software program! ridiculous! so, in this case, is it wise to get an entirely separate PC and have to save the html code to a disc, then put the disc in the PC to copy/paste?!?

    the only other options i can think of are:
    1) use a different vendor (which is unlikely at this point because they are the top dogs)
    2) get VPC... but i don't have enough RAM on my ibook...
     
  13. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #13
    Of course you can edit HTML on a mac, there's BBEdit which is a bit of a hammer to crack a nut but it's probs the best text editor on the mac (there are other's subethaedit for example - $35 for commercial use) or if you want free there's plenty of Unix text editors that run under x11
     
  14. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #14
    I'd recommend getting VPC and worrying about the RAM issue later. I've used VPC with 512 MB of RAM in my Mac (that's what I have now) - sure, it's slow, but if you're only using it for running an SCE to get the raw source code, it's far simpler to copy the code from VPC and paste it into a Mac OS X application, then do the reverse when you want to throw that code back into the SCE. Plus, if you're ever asked to test the web site, VPC can fulfill part of that task too. I've never tried a copy/paste between RDC and Mac OS X, so I don't know if that will work.
     
  15. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #15
    I am surprised VPC 7 is still vaporware at my local CompUSA. They have the older version. I ended up buying a $200 dollar PC. Even at 1.5 Ghz and 340 MB of Ram, the Athlon is dog slow. I have used VPC 6 and the speed wasn't that bad in comparison. Probably because it is running on a PB 1.5 Ghz with 2 GB of memory.
     
  16. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #16
    VPC 6 isn't even going to compete with an Athlon 1.5. If your PC is that slow, you gots other problems.
     
  17. h0kie99 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    #17
    if i was creating a website on my own from scratch, i could certainly do everything on my mac, upload the html files using fetch, and all would be wonderful. my problem is that these already developed sites have these back-end site content editors that the clients are using, and they are only compatible with PC's... i have no idea how to edit their website without it, but maybe if i just got the ftp info, etc. i wouldn't even need to use the SCE and i could just manually ftp everything onto the server... !?!? hmmm. i just feel like having 2 computers and burning discs or emailing files to myself on 2 different computers is a bit silly.
     
  18. ShermDog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #18
    Are there freeware alternatives to VPC that will allow you to run only the most basic Windows Programs like IE, or is VPC the only solution?
     
  19. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #19
    There are a couple of opensource x86 emulators. QEMU comes to mind, but I know there is another one. QEMU us sposed to be the fastest opensource option, and while I haven't tried it on a Mac, it is very slow emulating an x86 on an x86! For that matter, I am not even sure what the current status of their x86 on PPC emulation is.

    The other one's name escapes me at the moment, and I hear it's very very very slooow. So VPC is likely the only usable alternative right now.

    Rob
     
  20. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #20
    Well if you had 2 seperate systems you could just setup one drive to be a shared 'project' drive and both machines could work off of files from there.

    Anyways, from the sound of it, all you need to do is open up a PC specific app, copy the raw HTML out of it, paste it into you Mac HTmL editor of choice, do our work, and copy it back to the PC specific app to be uploaded to the server, right?

    I would use VPC for that. It's not gonna be crazy fast on your machine, but it will launch an app and let you copy some text from it. Also, I would check to see if this application you need to run will work in Win98SE. You can probably get a copy from some PC user who doesn't need it any more for free, and it will probably run faster on VPC than either 2k or XP will. (You will still need VPC of course, just the cheaper version that comes without an OS).

    Lastly, don't forget to put the Virtual PC into a hibernate mode and quit program entirely after you copy your text out of it, as was mentioned above. You'll want to free up as much of that 512MB as possible to do real work.

    is there a demo version of VPC? Maybe you should get a copy on CD of the software you'll be using and see if you can get an Apple store employee to run it on a machine similar to your (that has VPC on it already) if there isn't a demo version available.

    Good luck,
    Rob
     
  21. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #21
    As a consultant you will learn that you will have to use a computer that is most compatible for the task at hand. If a client only caters to PC users, then you will most likely need to use a PC, and if they were Mac oriented, consider yourself lucky.

    I am forced to use a PC as a consultant at most clients and enjoy my Mac at home. Being stubborn about it just turns the client off and shows your inability to compromise for sake of getting something done.

    With that said, sounds like a PC is in order for this client unless you can convince them to adopt a new HTML editor that is truly cross-browser/platform like FCKEditor. http://www.fckeditor.net/

    Good luck to you.
     
  22. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #22
    Have at least 1Gig of ram in your iBook, and a 1Ghz G4. VPC will run fine.

    I run it on an iBook with the 1280MB of ram and a 1.2Ghz G4 and it runs quite fine. I suggest you stick with win2k rather than XP, since XP seems slow to me for some reason, could be all the GUI elements or more garbage code in the new version. :)
     
  23. h0kie99 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    #23
    Oh boy, I feel completely torn between buying a PC and getting Virtual PC. But from what I understand, buying a PC and using it for business purposes is the way to go. BAH!
     

Share This Page