GuestPC: VirtualPC competitor?


Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
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tutubibi said:
I wonder if anybody had a chance to try recently released GuestPC emulator (http://www.lismoresystems.com/index.html)?

I heard about company before (they had PC emulator before, forgot the name) so I am interested how this compares with VirtualPC in terms of performance and compatibility?
Sounds neat... if they had a free demo, would be even neater. But alas, must wait for someone else to chip in and say what is happening.
 

anthonymoody

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2002
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As a recent switcher who has to use VPC for a couple apps I'd be really interested to know how this compares speed-wise...but not interested enough to buy it to find out :)

TM
 

tutubibi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2003
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localhost
anthonymoody said:
As a recent switcher who has to use VPC for a couple apps I'd be really interested to know how this compares speed-wise...but not interested enough to buy it to find out :)

TM
Same here, that's why I am hoping someone here was brave enough to shell out $70 already :),

It would be great if they would provide free trial, at least at this stage when product is so new.
 

atari1356

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2004
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ClarkeB said:
Why doesn't anyone come out with a free x86 emu?
Because making something like that takes a lot of time... and most people have to work for a living. :eek:

Actually, I think there is a free one on soueceforge in early development, but I forget the name of it.
 

brap

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
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Nottingham
ClarkeB said:
Why doesn't anyone come out with a free x86 emu?
seek, and ye shall find. Seriously, there are 2 fairly advanced ones in that list alone.

I whois'd the website, seems they've had the domain for a while, since '03. Pity is, the GuestPC blurb is wholly inadequate. No real-world comparison (Just some fluff about a 1.8 G5 being "slower"), no technical spec listing what it emulates, or indeed how it does it. Noticeable lack of disclaimer a la iEmulator, regarding use of opensource code.

I'm not going to put down $70 for something which is a poorly described as this. "Yeah, it runs Windows!". Woo.

Final note: "User testimonies". It's only been released today. That smacks of lies and desparation.
 

ZildjianKX

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2003
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I saw this earlier today. If it was faster than virtual PC, they would say it was... period.
 

atari1356

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2004
1,586
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tutubibi said:
I wonder if anybody had a chance to try recently released GuestPC emulator (http://www.lismoresystems.com/index.html)?

I heard about company before (they had PC emulator before, forgot the name) so I am interested how this compares with VirtualPC in terms of performance and compatibility?
I searched on google for "Lismore Software". They DID have an emulator before that was called "Blue Label PowerEmulator". I remember when that originally came out... and the general consensus was that it worked, but wasn't nearly as good as Virtual PC.

Of course, the developer has probably made many improvements since then, but I wouldn't buy it without being able to try it out.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
If I remember correctly, I got WinNT 4.0 to install on top of Bochs and run, but anything i tried to install on top of WinNT crashed on install, so it wasn't too useful. But Bochs is not too shabby. I've been wanting to play with running DSL or Knoppix or something like that off of it.
 

BLINK

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2004
36
0
I would rather persuade my friends to buy Apple computers. Maybe if the Apple marketshare becomes significant, many programs will come for both Windows and Mac. Just curious though, what programs do you guys want to run that isn't already released for the Mac? I think Apple has supplied us with ample amounts of apps and surely there are even more out there.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
BLINK said:
I would rather persuade my friends to buy Apple computers. Maybe if the Apple marketshare becomes significant, many programs will come for both Windows and Mac. Just curious though, what programs do you guys want to run that isn't already released for the Mac? I think Apple has supplied us with ample amounts of apps and surely there are even more out there.
I actually don't; I just play around with it because I'm interested in emulation. But if it did work, or if someone handed me VPC 7, the uses I'd have for it are mostly specialty software. In statistics, most of the packages commonly used for structural equation modeling are not available for MacOS -- Win only. Actually most of them don't even have Unix roots. There are some options, such as <R>, but there are special uses for which some of the apps that are Win only, that necessitate them. Also for instance the latest version of SPSS, which has some features not available on the last Mac version. At the moment, that's the only thing I have any desire to run on a Windows machine.

For most of this software, the size of the market is probably honestly too small to justify Mac versions. SPSS is an exception to that -- I'm not sure why they haven't upgraded it. Actually, building cross-platform would make a lot more sense for most of these applications, but they're usually cobbled together by non-programmers (i.e. statisticians and mathematicians) and then slightly sanded-down by programmers and released.... That makes <R> a lot more appealing, since you can see the algorithms it uses, but again, there are things it doesn't do perfectly, and many more that it doesn't do easily, as wonderful as it is.
 

cyanide

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2005
234
0
Chicago
not to mention

..i think Microsoft, with their infinite knowledge of their own OS (okay, no jokes necessary) would have a far better chance of creating a faster version of an emulator software. That isn't to say they always would, but probably have this time. I don't think another emulator will come close to VPC, but the fact that people put their time into this is admirable. I say GuestPC is phony, but that's just my hunch.

Current Song: Karma Police::Radiohead
 

tutubibi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2003
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cyanide said:
..i think Microsoft, with their infinite knowledge of their own OS (okay, no jokes necessary) would have a far better chance of creating a faster version of an emulator software. That isn't to say they always would, but probably have this time. I don't think another emulator will come close to VPC, but the fact that people put their time into this is admirable. I say GuestPC is phony, but that's just my hunch.

Current Song: Karma Police::Radiohead
I don't think GuestPC is phony. At least company had previous products and google search shows that they ware working on OSX version at least starting in 2003. I am pretty confident this is not another CherryOS.

As for Microsoft, even with infinite resources they ware unable to make decent OS. But I agree that VPC is very good product. Microsoft Mac team and VPC team from former Conectrix are doing good job. People from Windows teams should learn something from them. I am just afraid that corporate policy will cripple VPC and make it unable to run Linux and other OSs not named Windows.
 

freiheit

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2004
643
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California
Just the way I feel about VPC7 - no demo

atari1356 said:
Of course, the developer has probably made many improvements since then, but I wouldn't buy it without being able to try it out.
Funny, that's the way I feel about Virtual PC 7. I rather liked the demo version they had for Windows (it ran OS/2 very well under Win2K) but there is no demo version for Mac to let me see just how fast/slow Win2K under Panther would be.
 

Little Endian

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Apr 9, 2003
677
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Honolulu
freiheit said:
Funny, that's the way I feel about Virtual PC 7. I rather liked the demo version they had for Windows (it ran OS/2 very well under Win2K) but there is no demo version for Mac to let me see just how fast/slow Win2K under Panther would be.
There is no demo for a reason. If there were a demo no one would actually buy it beacase for most people it is just to slow to justify. Unless you have a very fast machine it is quite a turnoff. Better for Microsoft to sell you the crap first then deal with complaints later. VPC 7 runs Ok on my Dual 2.5 G5 however I would not have bought it had I been running with anything slower than a Dual 1.8 machine.
 

tutubibi

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Original poster
Sep 18, 2003
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Little Endian said:
There is no demo for a reason. If there were a demo no one would actually buy it beacase for most people it is just to slow to justify.
...
You are probably right. Performance would be a major turn-off for some potential customers. However, it would be worth a risk for GuestPC if they want to take customers from VPC.
I had worked with VPC 6 on iBook G4 1GHz and it was OK to run some of the accounting software like SimplyAccounting and QuickTax.
So the question for me is performance/price ratio of GuestPC vs VirtualPC. I can live with 70% of VPC performance if I have to pay only 50% of the VPC price. Without demo (or same brave soul willing to shell $70 and tell us about it) I will probably stay away from GuestPC for now.
 

anthonymoody

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2002
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I unfortunately have to use MapPoint (a MSFT product) in my consulting work so VPC is a must for me...

TM
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,678
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New Zealand
OK, I've done some quick tests with Guest PC. I was interested in video support, so I tried out a couple of games. Final Fantasy 7, which *just* works in VPC 6, was unplayable in Guest PC. Half-Life was also unplayable. So the video support is worse than VPC.

I haven't done any sort of CPU speed tests yet. I'll try later and post back here.

My Mac's specs are in my profile.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I was using Win 98. I haven't tried XP yet.
 

anthonymoody

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2002
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Hopefully you guys will see the new thread I started but in case not, any sense of why VPC would all of a sudden stop letting me drag files into or out of the VPC desktop? It was working fine...

Sorry to go OT and repeat a Q I asked elsewhere I just figured smart VPC folks would be reading this thread.

THanks,
TM
 

Little Endian

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2003
677
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Honolulu
anthonymoody said:
Hopefully you guys will see the new thread I started but in case not, any sense of why VPC would all of a sudden stop letting me drag files into or out of the VPC desktop? It was working fine...

Sorry to go OT and repeat a Q I asked elsewhere I just figured smart VPC folks would be reading this thread.

THanks,
TM
Shut down your Guest OS completely then restart. The VPC additions in Windows has to be running in your Windows Guest OS for drag and drop, somtimes these extensions crash but should restart if you do a complete restart of the Guest and host Mac (though the latter is probably not neccesary). If that still fails try reinstalling and or Updating your VPC additions from the"PC" menu in VPC.
 

goron

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2004
10
0
London, UK
I'm testing GuestPC 1.0.1 now...

Well, it's very slow (compared to VPC7).
It's BIOS has no configuration options.
You can use a real CD/DVD or a image.
You can use a floppy image.
You cannot mount arbitrary disk volumes, although you can probably hack the bundle for that.

I've tried:
PCDOS7 (ok)
MSDOS6.22 (ok)
WindowsME (hangs during install)
Xandros2.0 (still installing after a couple of hours)
Fedora C2 (Guest PC crashes)
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (locks up in first run)

I've been trying to convert my working Win2k disk from VPC7, but had no success yet.

I'd say it is less buggy than qemu, but just as slow.

This is the emulated hardware:

Processor • Intel Pentium Pro
Chip Set • Standard x86 based motherboard
BIOS • Standard motherboard PnP BIOS and VESA BIOS
Memory • up to 512MB physical memory
Graphics • Emulated Cirrus Logic 5430 PCI graphic controller
Disk Controller • Standard Dual IDE Controller
CD-ROM • Standard ATAPI CD-ROM drive
Floppy Controller • Standard Floppy Disk 1.44MB controller
Modem on COM2 port• Standard 56K Modem connected to the Mac modem
Printer on LPT1 port • Emulated Apple LaserWriter connected to the Mac default printer
Ethernet Card • Emulated DEC Ethernet 21040 PCI controller
Sound • Emulated Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16
Monitor • Emulated Samsung SyncMaster 17Gli connected to the Mac monitor
Keyboard • Standard 101/102-key keyboard
Mouse • Standard 3-button PS/2 mouse with Wheel support

AFAIK, no direct USB/Firewire support.

Ridiculous that it's *still* going through the Xandros install. VPC7 installed it in about 20 mins...

(Running all this on dual 2.5ghz G5 PM)
 

goron

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2004
10
0
London, UK
M$ crippling VPC

tutubibi said:
... I am just afraid that corporate policy will cripple VPC and make it unable to run Linux and other OSs not named Windows.
I noticed that my Fedora C2 and Xandros 2.0 Linux images now crash regularly (Fedora on startup) since 'upgrading' to VPC 7.0.1

:(
 

tutubibi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2003
538
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localhost
goron said:
I noticed that my Fedora C2 and Xandros 2.0 Linux images now crash regularly (Fedora on startup) since 'upgrading' to VPC 7.0.1

:(
Thanks for this info, goron. This is something I feared will happen once MS took over VPC. Unfortunately, looking at you other post, GuestPC is still having version 1 hickups.

Did you manage to install Win2K in GuestPC? I find W2K is the best Windows to run in VMs, for both performance and stability.