My MacBook Pro Experience - Day 28

My MacBook Pro Experience - Day 28

Summary: WOW! I’ve been a Mac user for 28 days! Did you know that it's possible to run a number of Windows applications on a Mac? All you need is an emulator, such as Crossover Mac. But how good a solution is this for those wanting to run Windows-based applications on a Mac? This is what I tried to discover.

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TOPICS: Apple
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WOW! I’ve been a Mac user for 28 days!

Did you know that it's possible to run a number of Windows applications on a Mac?  All you need is an emulator, such as Crossover Mac.  But how good a solution is this for those wanting to run Windows-based applications on a Mac?  This is what I tried to discover.

CrossOver Mac

The idea behind CrossOver is simple - it's emulation software that uses Wine that allows you to install and run a number of popular Windows applications and games on Mac OS X running Intel CPUs.  In theory the software sounds simple to use - you download CrossOver (there's a 60-day trial if you want to try it out), create a "bottle" (a virtual Windows environment), install the applications and start using it.

If you want to see CrossOver in action, I've put together an image galley that you can browse through here.

In theory, things are a bit different.  I won't bore you with the installation suffice to say that it's what I have come to expect from a Mac and pretty straight-forward.  The only hiccup is that you need a file off the Mac OS X disc called quartz-wm.  This is to make Windows  apps look and feel more like Mac applications.  I since wasn't supplied with the Mac OS X disc, this presented a bit of a problem.  Fortunately, the file is available as part of the X11 update from Apple (thanks to Mac OS X Hints for the pointer here).

On the CrossOver website there's an extensive list of software that can run under CrossOver Mac.  This is handy because it lets you see what apps you can run before you buy or even install the software.  I was interested in trying out a game on CrossOver but I couldn't find a game that was listed as working that I had immediate access to so I gave up on that.  Instead, I decided to see whether I could install a couple of Windows applications.  I picked on UltraEdit and Microsoft Word Viewer 2003. 

CrossOver Mac

First off I tried installing UltraEdit (a text editor that I use all the time in Windows).  Things went fine until it tried to register a file and then the installation bombed out.  I went back to the compatibility page and confirmed that UltraEdit is listed as working.  I tried the installation again and it bombed out again.  All I can think of is that a previous version of UltraEdit worked and that something new in version 12 causes problems.

Next I tried installing the Word 2003 viewer.  I was amazed to find that I didn't have to go find and download this app myself - the program knew where it was located on the Internet, went away and downloaded it and then proceeded with the installation. 

When the installation was done I was eager to see if this would work.  Amazingly it did.  And it worked very well indeed. 

CrossOver is a great applications but I can see one limitation - while there's a lot of software listed in the compatibility list, much of this is untested.  To top that off, as I discovered with UltraEdit, not all software marked as working will work.  Another issue is that much of the listed software has been around for a while now.  For example, Photoshop 6 and 7 works under CrossOver Mac, but CS2 is untested.  I found this to be very common indeed - CrossOver seems OK if you want to run old Windows apps on a Mac, but it's not that good with newer releases.

CrossOver Mac

I'm left with mixed feelings about CrossOver Mac.  It's an amazing application but it's very limited.  My advice would be to take advantage of the trial and thoroughly test each application before you hand over your cash.  Don't part with your money based on information in the compatibility list.

Anyone else have any CrossOver experience?  What do you think of the software?  What applications do you run on your Mac using CrossOver?

Topic: Apple

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  • Oh noooooooooooooooooooooo

    nt
    D T Schmitz
  • Amazing app?

    [i]I'm left with mixed feelings about CrossOver Mac. It's an amazing application but it's very limited.[/i]

    If you think an application that can kind of run a select few antiquated Windows programs is "an amazing application", what would you call Windows that can run all Windows programs without any problems? Is Windows "super duper awesomely incredible"?

    I think even the Mac zealots would agree with me when I say that you shouldn't judge OSX's impressiveness based on its ability (or lack thereof) to run Windows programs. Is software on the Mac so lacking that you need to manage 2 OSs just to get any work done? If there is software on the Mac that can do everything you need from a computer, why does anyone bother with CrossOver, Wine, Parallels, or Bootcamp?

    Finally, who do we have to thank for the ability to run Windows programs on the Mac? Do we thank Apple or Microsoft? The answer to that question is found by asking the reverse: Who do we blame for the inability to run OSX on a Dell? Do we blame Dell or Apple? It is obvious that any Mac user who uses CrossOver, Parallels, or Bootcamp should thank Bill Gates for not doing what Apple does: [b]artificially and onerously[/b] restrict the OS to the OS makers' approved brand of hardware. It would be hilarious to read the talkbacks of the Mac zealots if Microsoft announced that Windows was going to be modified to shutdown if it detected Apple's TPM chip on the motherboard!
    NonZealot
    • It really rags you

      That your Mom won't give you the money to buy a Mac, doesn't it?
      frgough
      • Couldn't answer any of the questions...

        so you resort to the personal attacks? Nice.

        [i]If there is software for OSX that can do everything you need from a computer, why does anyone bother with CrossOver, Wine, Parallels, or Bootcamp?[/i]

        Answer it. Note that there is no (legal) way of running OSX software on a PC yet 96% of the world buys something other than a Mac. I guess the answer is that everything you need to do, can be done in Windows but the same can't be said for OSX.

        [i]who do we have to thank for the ability to run Windows programs on the Mac? Do we thank Apple or Microsoft?[/i]

        Answer that and then answer this:
        [i]Who do we blame for the inability to run OSX on a Dell? Do we blame Dell or Apple?[/i]

        Can you answer those questions without mentioning my Mom even once? Tough challenge. Let's see if you are up to it.
        NonZealot
        • Basically we don't care about your stupid questions.

          If you want to use a Mac computer with its very own Mac OS, shut up and go buy one.

          Apple sells hardware, with its very own OS that's much better than Windows, and Apple DOES NOT SELL software.

          If you want an alternative to Windows that will run on your cheap, crappy hardware, try Unix, Linux or Solaris.

          Otherwise shut up and quit whining.
          msolgeek
        • i'll bite

          "If there is software for OSX that can do everything you need from a computer, why does anyone bother with CrossOver, Wine, Parallels, or Bootcamp?

          Because some don't know about apps on the mac that can replace the counterparts on Windows. I use Parallels because I had to install .NET so I could upgrade a client's software which had already been written in .NET. So I needed SQL Server and #develop, and .NET, IIS... which can't be found on a Mac. But for a brand new app I'd suggest Java, MySQL, Tomcat, and use Eclipse to write it.

          "who do we have to thank for the ability to run Windows programs on the Mac? Do we thank Apple or Microsoft?"

          Thank Apple for converting to x86 and parallels / wine / apple for providing ways to make it happen.

          Blame apple for the inability to run on a dell, because they are a hardware company competing with dell.

          THink about it like being able to replace the software in your car navigation system.
          Voodoo187
          • Thanks for the repy

            [i]Because some don't know about apps on the mac that can replace the counterparts on Windows.[/i]

            Why not? What is it about OSX that makes people so ignorant about what it can do? Could it have something to do with the fact that the cost of entry is so high? After all, if a family can only afford to spend $400 on a computer, they certainly can't buy any Mac. Could it have something to do with the fact that Apple is downright hostile to businesses? After all, just look at the recent Mac vs PC ads nor do they give businesses much of an opportunity to customize the hardware they buy (at least not as much as someone like Dell).

            [i]Blame apple for the inability to run on a dell, because they are a hardware company competing with dell.[/i]

            Hmmm, Apple is a hardware company. Interesting. I wonder why they are attacking Vista in their attack ads? For a hardware company, they sure care a lot about Microsoft's OS and how it compares to OSX!

            [i]THink about it like being able to replace the software in your car navigation system.[/i]

            Hmm? I'm not sure what analogy you are going for. Care to elaborate?
            NonZealot
          • Basically, no

            [i]Why not? What is it about OSX that makes people so ignorant about what it can do?[/i]

            It's NEW. When Windows first came out, it took anyone months to figure out what it could do. When you switch to Mac, you don't know what software is available for it right away, what utilities are included and what they do. People who switch know Windows, and if they wanted to accomplish a certain task, they know how to do it, but on anything knew, it takes some research.

            Macs are high end machines. There's no $400 mac because a $400 computer goes obsolete or bad in a few months.

            What customization is needed for an already high end computer? More ram, faster CPU, more HDD space... Dell lets you upgrade or downgrade to save you money, Apple tells you what you need for it to not go obsolete before it arrives at your house.

            I need to explain why they attack Vista?!? Fine. Their competitors like Dell, since they are a hardware company, include Windows on their computers. Attack the operating system, you attack every manufacturer that includes Vista on their PCs.

            A car navigation system is a specialized piece of hardware, much like a Mac. Do you think you could just buy any old navigation system and load up any old Navigation software? You think Garmin wants you to install some other company's software on there? No. Because hardware company's don't trust anyone else's software.
            Voodoo187
          • ummm

            >>>Macs are high end machines. There's no $400 mac because a $400 computer goes obsolete or bad in a few months.<<<

            I've had my $450.00 ($300.00 after rebate) PC for over 2 years. I put in an additional 1gb of RAM since then, carried over my video card from my previous PC, and upgraded it to Vista (took about an hour btw). I expect it will be replaced in about 1 year.
            dwsmith
          • ummm reply here...

            http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12554-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=30026&messageID=559515&start=-16

            what's up with that reply limit? oh well...
            Voodoo187
          • No I suppose it isn't

            $300.00 for the PC. + $85.00 for the memory +... I believe $120.00 (after rebate) for the video card = $505.00.

            Which Mac can I buy for $505.00?

            Well Best Buy has this one:

            http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8040309&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat103700050049&id=1157068036589

            At 1/4 the memory the same size HDD and a video card equal in memory to the onboard one that came with my $300.00 system. It does however have a much nicer processor (core 2 duo). All that for only $94.00 more ---2 years later---!

            But that's right, my $505.00 PC was going to be out of date in a few months (2 years ago).
            dwsmith
          • I disagree.

            Personally I don't think that people are ignorant about the alternatives to
            the Windows software. But I do think that a nnumber of people that want a
            better, more secure OS and have the money to buy a Mac, might not be
            willing to plunk down all the cash that would be needed to purchase OSX
            versions of all the Windows software they have invested in over the years.
            Programs like Parallels, VMWare and Boot Camp offer a cheap alternative in
            the interim.

            Open Office and its variants are Okay, but the compatibility still isn't 100%
            with MS Office. This is especially true if you use a lot of VB macros in your
            spreadsheets. Even the rate() function has a different syntax in Ooo than in
            MS Office that doesn't translate right. So in order to work in the Windows
            world but live in the Mac world, I wanted a copy of Office for the Mac.

            I tried using Virtual PC, but that was like going back to WIndows. If Parallels
            or VMWare had been available for a PPC PowerMac I would have purchased
            that and used it to run the x86 version of Office until I could afford to
            replace it with the Mac version.

            Ditto with Photoshop. The Gimp is a terrific alternative, but I wanted the
            integration with the rest of the Adobe suite. Again, I wish I could have run
            parallels and my x86 versions of Adobe software until I could afford the
            Mac versions.

            And finally, games. I don't play them but my son does. He would be very
            disappointed in the lack of gaming titles for OSX, but would gladly run his
            Windows games under VMWare on OSX. In fact, now that they have had
            time to work most of the bugs out, he wants an Intel Mac for his next
            computer. Personally I use OSX and nothing else except for the occasional
            Open Source program, but then again I was fortunate enough to have been
            able to afford to upgrade my software collection. Not everyone is as
            fortunate.

            BTW, I think the car navagation system is a good analogy. But I'm not
            surprised the kid didn't get it. He probably doesn't drive yet, or perhaps
            analogies are too advanced for his x86 type thought processes.
            FallGuy7254
          • True

            I only speak from personal experience. I've been in the Open Source world for a while, I haven't purchased much software. Maybe like PC Anywhere off of ebay for $10, or a copy of Windows or two... aside from games. I accept that I need a (my beast of a) Windows PC to run my games, but not for anything else, unless, like I said, a client comes to me with a web app that they need updated and it's written in asp.net using sql server, etc. Although most of what I do is browse the web, listen to music, write music, write software, and watch movies. Occasionally I'll come across a special need, but either I'll write something or find some open source tool that does it. I could give up games and not need Windows. I do have a Wii, and it has rapidly consumed much of my gaming time.
            Voodoo187
        • Religious zealot

          You're like an evangelical bashing Catholics or Mormons. It doesn't matter how many
          times you get the answer, you keep making the same stupid accusations.

          Go take your religious zealotry somewhere else.
          frgough
          • Couldn't answer any of the questions...

            so you resort to the personal attacks? Nice.

            If there is software for OSX that can do everything you need from a computer, why does anyone bother with CrossOver, Wine, Parallels, or Bootcamp?

            Answer it. Note that there is no (legal) way of running OSX software on a PC yet 96% of the world buys something other than a Mac. I guess the answer is that everything you need to do, can be done in Windows but the same can't be said for OSX.

            who do we have to thank for the ability to run Windows programs on the Mac? Do we thank Apple or Microsoft?

            Answer that and then answer this:
            Who do we blame for the inability to run OSX on a Dell? Do we blame Dell or Apple?

            [b]Can you answer those questions without mentioning my Mom even once? Tough challenge. Let's see if you are up to it.[/b]

            I'll give you credit frgough, when you made you personal attack on me and dodged all of my questions, at least you didn't mention my mom. You get a gold star! :)
            NonZealot
        • For cryin'out loud . . .

          when are you guys going to quit quoting sh!t stats?!

          "yet 96% of the world buys something other than a Mac."

          NO they DON'T. They may USE something else but they ALL didn't choose what they
          use! My wife didn't CHOOSE to use a Dell & WinXP at her new job -- the crap was
          waiting there for her. The whole damn company is infected with that combo. But
          nobody chose it. That scenario is repeated all over America everyday. FEW choose
          Windows. MANY have to use it. (Including me at times)
          999ad@...
          • Wow, take a valium!!

            Where did I mention the word "use"? Here, I'll even requote the quote that sent you into a fit:
            [i]yet 96% of the world buys something other than a Mac[/i]

            Yup, I said "buys", nothing about "use". Businesses will [b]choose[/b] to buy the tools they feel their employees need to get the job done. I'm not talking about the end users so read a little more carefully. This is about buying the tool that gets the job done. The decision to buy is made by the buyer, not the user. So: why do 96% of [b]buyers[/b] refuse to buy Macs and the 4% that do immediately install some utility that allows them to run Windows? I guess the Mac/OSX combo by itself does not satisfy the needs of 96%+ of [b]buyers[/b].

            [i]FEW choose Windows.[/i]

            I'm guessing you have statistics that show that once corporate sales are removed from total sales figures, Apple has 50%+ marketshare? I'd like to see those numbers please. If you can't show me those numbers, will you admit that your statement has absolutely no basis in fact?
            NonZealot
          • You say what?

            You didn'y say 'use' -- I did. You said BUY. True, businesses will choose the tools
            they feel appropriate. No argument there. But John and Jill Sixpak have to USE the
            stuff that is provided, and it is THEY who are counted into the stats, not the actual
            individual buyer of the goods. John and Jill Sixpak did not make the decision on what
            to use, they just got it. Now -- the question is, did you? No? I didn't think so -- no
            surprise.
            999ad@...
        • Alrighty, let's see your answers:

          "I guess the answer is that everything you need to do, can be done in Windows but
          the same can't be said for OSX."

          Ok, what is it you can't do on OSX?

          "Who do we blame for the inability to run OSX on a Dell? Do we blame Dell or
          Apple?"
          This is an easy one. Dell makes hardware, Apple makes hardware. Dell buys
          licenses to use other people's software. Apple makes software to run on its
          hardware.

          If Dell wrote software to run its own hardware, do you think they would license it
          to others?

          96% of the world, by the way, doesn't choose Windows. Windows is chosen for
          them.

          If your neighbor had 10 children does that mean you should, too? You be a
          sheep, I have a brain and I use it. I don't need to be a participant in an illegally
          obtained monopoly to make me feel better about the fact I use their product.

          XP sucks and Vista will be a disaster for years to come, mark my words.

          Apple runs its $10 billion per year in sales company entirely on OS X. I think, if
          you need numbers, that's good enough for me.
          mlindl
          • My answers

            You see, I provide answers when asked. :)

            [i]Ok, what is it you can't do on OSX?[/i]

            Presumably you can't do the things on OSX that you need Windows through Parallels, Crossover, and Bootcamp for. After all, if OSX could do [b]everything[/b], you wouldn't need Parallels, Crossover, or Bootcamp, right?

            Turn the question around: What can't you do in Windows that you can in OSX? The answer seems to be: nothing that 96% of the world really needs to do!

            [i]This is an easy one. Dell makes hardware, Apple makes hardware. Dell buys licenses to use other people's software. Apple makes software to run on its hardware.[/i]

            Wrong. Apple [b]sells[/b] hardware and Apple also [b]sells[/b] software. Otherwise, why do they attack Vista so vigorously in their [url=http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=246] stores [/url] and in their ads? Apple seems to think it competes with Microsoft's OS. Do you think Apple is wrong?

            [i]96% of the world, by the way, doesn't choose Windows. Windows is chosen for them.[/i]

            [url=http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12554-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=30026&messageID=558943] My reply [/url]

            [i]Apple runs its $10 billion per year in sales company entirely on OS X. I think, if you need numbers, that's good enough for me.[/i]

            Hmm, they can't seem to make the iPod without the help of Windows machines so I guess you are wrong.
            NonZealot