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Using PC software

ard126k
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 24-03-2009

Using PC software

Hi
My daughter would love to buy a Mac for her office but the accounting software she uses (Sage) isn't available for Macs.
Her options seem to be BootCamp, Parallel PC, or buy a boring old PC.
Can anyone comment on the pros and cons of BootCamp vs. Parallel PC? She's been told Parallel PC is "slow"?Huh
Cheers
Alex.
10 REPLIES
Waldo
Grafter
Posts: 473
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Using PC software

Crossover may be a good alternative if Sage is supported and the only Windows app your daughter needs to use
acr
Rising Star
Posts: 222
Thanks: 13
Fixes: 1
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Using PC software

Bootcamp is provided as part of the operating system and therefore has no additional cost to it other than the purchase of Windows itself. I have no experience of using it but from what I have read Windows runs quicker and better on a Mac using Boot Camp than on many PC's. The downside is that you have to reboot your Mac every time you want to switch between Windows and Mac. Bootcamp will currently run Windows XP (SP2 or SP3 disc required) or Vista.  Apple are aiming to provide support for Windows 7 by the end on 2009.
The other option is to use virtual machine software such as Parallels or VMware Fusion. They both integrate with Mac OSX allowing you to go from Mac to Windows at a click of the mouse without rebooting. I have tried both but much prefer VMware Fusion. A new version of VMware Fusion (version 3) is being launched on 27 October which fully supports Windows 7.
http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/overview.html
I currently use VMware Fusion 2 to run Windows XP on Mac OSX Snow Leopard and use it mainly to run Microsoft Money. VMware Fusion opens quickly on my Mac Pro and Windows XP operates just as quickly as on a PC. If you want to have Windows and Mac OSX programs open at the same time then you will need lots of RAM (I have 7GB) or the opened programs may run slowly. Also it is not suitable for any graphically intensive program or game.
You can also run the same copy of Windows from both Boot Camp and VMware Fusion (or Parallels). This gives you the option to run Windows from Boot Camp when you want Windows to run natively (for speedy operation) or open up VMware Fusion when you want ease of use.
Both VMware Fusion and Parallels offer use of the software on a trial period from their web site. If your daughter wanted a Mac then she will always be able to use Boot Camp for full speed. She could then try out the virtual machine software for a trial period to see which she liked (VMware Fusion or Parallels) and whether it slowed it down too much. If it did then she has not lost anything because she still has Boot Camp.

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,346
Thanks: 1,680
Fixes: 189
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Using PC software

I have used crossover with some success, but it is worth checking if the software is supported under it.
Also virtualbox from sun is free and I run windows xp for a vpn client I use for work.
That works very well.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Using PC software

i used virtualbox on a mac mini for awhile running XP an found it ok. i have it on my vista machine as well for testing stuff on
ard126k
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 24-03-2009

Re: Using PC software

Thanks everyone. Looks like there are a few options, I'll pass everything on!
Alex.
ard126k
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 24-03-2009

Re: Using PC software

Success! After a visit to the new Apple Store in Aberdeen daughter will have a new iMac on Monday with VM Fusion on it.
I have a 64-bit version of Windows XP as well as a 32-bit. I imagine the 64-bit is the one to use?
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,296
Thanks: 30
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Using PC software

64Bit Windows XP isn't something easily recommended.  Basically MS cobbled it together to say "yeah, we got a 64 bit OS too ya know?" so driver/software support on XP64 is spartan to say the least.  It wasn't until Vista that MS started to get a bit serious with 64Bit and hardware companies started to develop lots of drivers.  You could go with XP64 but that is an OS designed to be 32bit that had 64bit bolted on later.  If you go the Vista route though there is no 32/64 bit software, I mean there is, but the CD Key is generic and doesn't say "this CD key is only for 32bit software", but then again Windows 7 blows XP/Vista out of the water.
One question though, if you're just going to be using Windows, why use a Mac?  Wouldn't a better option to be to find software on a Mac that does what you want it to do?  As OSX is based on BSD you should be able to find OSS software that does what sage does and compile it to run on OSX, other wise I really don't see the point in getting a Mac to run Windows unless you are going to spend the majority of time in OSX, but then again if its for an Office you'll boot into one OS to do all your work for the day, then you got the problem that Windows can't see the OSX hard drive so anything you save there has to be saved to an external drive if you want to work on it on both OS's.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Using PC software

Well, the OP's daughter only seems to want to run one piece of Windows software: Sage. As such I'd say that the solution ard126k has arrived it is perfectly suitable; the daughter can spend as much time as she wants in Mac OS X then just open Windows in a virtual machine whenever Sage is needed.
ard126k
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 24-03-2009

Re: Using PC software

dgwebb
I think I'll take that as a thumbs-down to XP 64,not that I understand much of the argument.
Why use a Mac? Twenty years using them without having to learn anything about how they work I guess.
From what I've learned here and on other forums Fusion 3 will allow daughter to use Sage (which was recommended by her accountant) as and when needed straight from the OSX Dock. Everything else will be Mac software.
Thanks again for all replies.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,296
Thanks: 30
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Using PC software

Thing I mean with XP x64 is compatibility.  Every piece of hardware needs a driver to run it, they can be generic drivers (generic HD sound card) or specific (Soundblaster HD FX ABc123 etc..).  With XP32 there are literally millions of drivers available, if you purchase hardware odds are you'll get XP/Vista drivers, but the drivers for XP would be 32bit drivers and not 64, so to get the device working properly you would need to find 64 bit drivers which for XP are most likely not going to exist (and if x64 XP is like x64 Vista it enforces driver signing so you can't just install any driver).
However, having said that if you're installing x64 on a Mac there isn't really the need for many different drivers, Mac's use a limited array of hardware so it could be that there is decent driver support for running x64 on a Mac, but even then I'd still go with 32 bit XP as XP is designed to be 32 bit.