14 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2006 5:25 AM by Thielith
Angel Ilarraza Level 1 (35 points)
I am helping someone "switch" and they are ready to but a macBook Pro the problem for them is that they need to be able to use ArcGIS software on their new mac. Initially my response was thatthis would not be a problem because of virtual PC (I use it with no problems whenever I need to use PC exclusive software).
I have come to learn however that currently, VPC7 will not run on a MacBook Pro. The issue is that my colleague absolutely must be able to work with ArcGIS. Does anybody know if and when will VPC be upgraded so that it will function with the MacBook Pro? I called MS and the customer service person had no clue about what I was talking about.

  • Brian Caslis Level 3 (795 points)
    I think the official statement is that Microsoft is investigating it. So who knows. In any case expect that it will be at least 6 months or more. It took them longer than that to add G5 support in Virtual PC 7.
  • John Slaughter Level 1 (140 points)
    There is no date as of now when VirtualPC will be working on an Intel Mac. Several other projects are trying to bridge the gap (IE: "Q" from the QEMU project), but are experiencing difficulties that leave them "less than stable" right now and not ready for prime time yet.

    If you need Windows support NOW, then your best bet is to try out the "XP on Mac" solution, but be warned, it's NOT for the faint of heart, although they have detailed the steps necessary to do it very well. You will also have to shut down the Mac side to reboot into the Windows side.

    So, aside from hacking CDs or stumbling along in emulation... your best bet might be to wait a while longer. Good luck.


    Forum for discussing Q:

    XP on Mac solution:
  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 (16,785 points)
    I have no idea how good or bad this software is, but... there is an open source GIS application available for Mac OS X: Grass GIS. You should read over this site very carefully. This app may allow your friend to forego VPC altogether. I do think it is an X11 app, though.
  • John Slaughter Level 1 (140 points)
    What the...?

    What does this have to do with Virtual PC? That's a geological application. Virtual PC is for emulating PC operating systems like Windows.
  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 (16,785 points)
    The OP is asking about VPC because his friend needs to run ArcGIS, which is a Windows-only app. I offered an alternative application that does not require VPC to run.
  • ad_2001 Level 1 (10 points)
    Even if you can run Virtual PC on a MacBook Pro, I seriously doubt that your friend will be happy with the speed of ArcGIS running in VPC. ArcGIS is a very intense program. I think you setup the Macbook Pro based on the Dual Boot solution over onmac.net . Booting the MBP to Windows XP and run ArcGIS that way is the fastest and extremely useable. However, you should be aware that NO ONE has tried ArcGIS to run in MBP under Windows XP yet, it may not work ... My gf is going to a MB / MBP after the big announcement in April (if there's any) and runs ArcGIS using the Dual Boot method. .. let me know if it works out for your friend ^_^
  • Randall Schulz Level 3 (800 points)
    Well, if VirtualPC were to be reincarnated for Intel Macs, they certainly would not run it under Rosetta. That would be an Intel processor emulating a PowerPC processor emulating an Intel processor. It's a tad wasteful, which I think is what you were saying.

    We might hold out hope (or send our requests and wishes) for VMware to be ported to Intel Macs. It should not be too big of a leap for them to support this hardware. Now that's a full-fledged virtual machine environment. And their low-end product was recently made free of charge, so it could be very affordable.

    Let's hope…

    Randall Schulz

    iMac 20" Core Duo; MacBook Pro   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • ad_2001 Level 1 (10 points)
    Actually, it doesn't really matter. ArcGIS is such a huge CPU intense program which run not too fast in my 2 years old 3.2Ghz Windows XP.

    I use VPC on Windows to test my programs and it's much much faster than running VPC on my Powerbook G4 1.25Ghz. However, running ArcGIS in it is just painfully slow and very much unusable.

    I still think the Dual Boot solution is the best choice at the moment to run Windows Apps on Intel Mac
  • Randall Schulz Level 3 (800 points)
    Well, from among all 0.10 solutions for running Windows (apps) on Intel Macs, dual boot is clearly the best. Nonetheless, it's not actually an option until someone writes a boatload of drivers. It's not clear who's going to do that, since I don't think the necessary hardware data is generally available and it's doubtful Apple's going to release it. That means the drivers will have to be written by reverse engineering the hardware. If you think people complain a lot about instability of the current Mac OS X on Intel, how will they tolerate what's bound to be a much less reliable set of hack drivers?

    Randall Schulz

    iMac 20" Core Duo; MacBook Pro   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 (16,785 points)
    With the release yesterday of Boot Camp your friend no longer needs to concern himself about Virtual PC, or any other emulation software. You can tell him he can buy a Powerbook Core Duo and use Boot Camp to install a licensed version of Windows XP SP2 so he can run ArcGIS at native speeds.
  • Randall Schulz Level 3 (800 points)
    But he cannot run it concurrently with Mac software.

    Naturally, everyone's needs are different, but to me virtualization is a clear winner over dual boot. Many issues vanish with virtualization, and despite what some are claiming, if it's done well, the overhead is minimal and performance indistinguishable with that of a bare-hardware configuration.

    But I'll admit, I care not about games.

    Randall Schulz
  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 (16,785 points)
    True. However I have attempted to show the OP that his friend has options. There are emulation methods other than VPC available as well, although I have no experience with them.

    I agree with you that virtualization would be nice to have but at this time we have no viable solution for Mac OS X. And let's be honest -- except for some very specialized apps, like ArcGIS or AutoCAD, there is very little software not available to the average Mac user. I have never come across a situation where I wanted to do something and the software did not exist.

    The OP is describing a specialized case where special software is required. Fortunately there are solutions. How viable those solutions are is up the person who has to use them to determine.
  • Arjen Level 1 (0 points)
    Bootcamp is the solution !!
    ARCGIS9 is running very well on macbookpro 15". 0n 3rd of may 2006 we did a test on macbookpro 15", with extra 1GB memory. ArcGis9 is running perfectly. Even heavy simulations with 3D-analyst (high value of rendering or video-clips) are running fast.
    So conclusion of this test is when you are using ArcGIS from ESRI, MAC is ARCGIS-Proof.
    Thanks to Bauke Veenstra of Vitens for the support and Dalsheim - Leeuwarden for the service of offering a "test Macbookpro"

    Arjen Kok
  • Thielith Level 1 (0 points)
    Try Parallels for the Macintosh:


    It's currently the best virtualization solution for Intel-based macintoshes.