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General:  PC Emulators on a Mac, Has anybody tried them


06-Nov-01 (Atus)
07-Nov-01 (inocybe)
07-Nov-01 (Atus)
07-Nov-01 (Mark Pulver)
07-Nov-01 (Atus)
08-Nov-01 (inocybe)


Original Message
Atus.... PC Emulators on a Mac, Has anybody tried them (06-Nov-01  04:08PM )

- I'm thinking about getting a powerbook c3 the 600mhz white one for basically pairing with a controller and reason, more than anything else this laptop will be a hardware sampler for me as far as software goes i only use reason, Battery, acid and sonar, does anybody know how good pc emulation is. and how do you compare the G3 to the Sonys?

Atus

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inocybe.... Re:PC Emulators on a Mac, Has anybody tried them (07-Nov-01  04:47AM )

- As far as i know Connectix VPC is the only PC emulator existing for MAC. I have version 3 (they're currently at 4.something..) at home (got it as a gift..) but never use it becuase:

1. The PC harddisk is a mac file. This means that you need at least 500 to 1gig to even install the thing, wich is a lot... (The installation is pretty tendious too..) The PC hardisk isn't accessible from the Mac desktop, but the Mac disks are acessible via the PC emulator...It does require a lot of Ram as well of course.

2. It eats up system resources. If you could run the software for Mac you would have far better performance, in PC emulation it's clear that a lot of the system resources are directed to the emulation.. I must say i was able to play TombRaider 1 on my G3 233Mhz with this (although that was running in DOS..)

3. I just couldn' t stand the sight of a Mac running windows.. yayks...

4. I never got windows configured how it should be. (256 colours and a mouse or thousands of colours and no mouse.. what the heck???.. dodgy display drivers??)

5. I found out that some progs just DON'T run or only partially or way too slow to be usable.. other progs run fine, but it's kind of not knowing before you start. But this could also be because I wasn't able to configure the windows enviorment completlly..

BUT I must add here that although all the reasons I have stated above.. it actually works, and works pretty OK. And if you have to run software that's not available on the Mac platform it's the way to go if you don't want to buy a PC. It has support for audio, Printing, 3D acceleration, network activities etc... and some of the things mentioned above are not that bad.. Like PC hardisks being files means that you can create as much HD's as you like, you can change their size on the fly or transport them to other VPC users... The installation is tendious, because you need to install VPC and then install windows on the PC drive (it's in fact a official windows CD lol..:) .. and then update the windows drivers to the ones supplied with the VPC (this is easy as it all happens automatically..).

i found the windows enviorment to be pretty stable.. (It was more stable as my old PC was.. in fact..) .. and easy in use .You don't need to start windows everytime for example, you can pick up the PC state where you left it the last time when you quited.. also you can emulate a lot of different processor types and play around with cache and other PC hardware settings to get the best performance...)

I personally wouldn't advise to use it for audio, as audio is pretty prosessor intensive, and is pretty vulnerable when it comes to timing too.. 2 things you can't really count on when it comes to emulating. .. so the best thing to do is to get reason for Mac etc... it will run smoother, with no hickups..while emulating you might experience hickups or the fact that progs like reason won't work because ASIO makes a low-level connection to the soundhardware.. wich is an emulated soundblaster or something.... totally not what reason is expecting or is told to be.. in the best case you just end up with very high latencies.. but that's a best case scenario...

inocybe

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Atus.... Re:PC Emulators on a Mac, Has anybody tried them (07-Nov-01  03:15PM )

- Damn!

Atus

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Mark Pulver.... Re:PC Emulators on a Mac, Has anybody tried them (07-Nov-01  04:40PM )

- I run Virtual PC as well and generally agree with inocybe. Just a couple of points on his points.

1. This changed a bit in 4.x, you can now create a dynamic drive. Sharing files back and forth is done through a folder that you declare to be a share point. It's a bit of a pain, not transparent in the least, but it does work.

4. The driver set is much better in 4.x.

5. This is still an issue. Starting up Eudora 5.x is a good 5 minute chore on a G3 with 384meg. Once it's up, it's okay, but it will start to bog down after a while. This happens with the same binary on a pure Windows machine, so it tends to say that Eudora has a resource leak. It's more pronounced though on something that is emulating a processor in software in order to make it work at all! :)

One other negative thing is the handling of the keyboard. I'm a keyboard junkie, and stay away from a mouse as much as possible. Emulating a PC keyboard under Windows isn't easy, as the Windows software hooks are ugly as sin. I don't blame Connectix for having trouble, but I should say that there is trouble if you're a keyboard based power user.


VPC is a cool piece of technology, and it does work. I don't depend on it to do my job or hobby, but use it to facilitate traveling so that I have familiar apps. In that regard, I leave it installed on my machine and use it from time-to-time.

I agree with inocybe in that trying to use VPC (or any emulator software) for audio would be a horrible experience.

Mark Pulver

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Atus.... Re:PC Emulators on a Mac, Has anybody tried them (07-Nov-01  05:10PM )

- double Damn!! this is'nt looking good for me, anyone compared the g3's to the vaios

Atus

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inocybe.... Re:PC Emulators on a Mac, Has anybody tried them (08-Nov-01  04:46AM )

- Atus.. most software what you're using is available for Mac as well or at least there is some kind of prog wich is very similar to it... so..

inocybe

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