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Thread: Mac Programming

  1. #1


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    Mac Programming
    I'm thinking of switching to a mac for a few reasons. I was thinking of getting the MacBook Pro w/ the 17inch screen. I heard they are a lot better with photo editing and photography, and one of my majors in college is photography. The main concern i have at the moment is programming. My other major is Software Engineer. So, i need to be able to program in Visual Basic, C++, and maybe another programming language. I haven't decided if i am going to take another programming class. So my main question is "Will i be able to program in Visual Basic, and C++? Then can i transfer it to a PC?" I know i cant just transfer it straight to a PC I am sure I would have to do something first. So if you guys can help me solve this problem ill be a happy mac owner. If not, I will continue to be a sad PC user.

  2. #2


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    Ok i was thinking maybe since now you can run Mac OS X and Windows at the same time. If maybe i could program while having Windows up and then my programs would be fine. any help anyone?

  3. #3

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frewegooh View Post
    Ok i was thinking maybe since now you can run Mac OS X and Windows at the same time. If maybe i could program while having Windows up and then my programs would be fine. any help anyone?
    Unless I'm mistaken, you'll have to install Windows since OSX doesn't use the .NET framework that allows you to use the same languages in Windows.

    There may be a C language compiler and programming suite, but using VBA most likely wouldn't work as most of the references come from stuff like the Microsoft jet engine and other Microsoft apps.
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  4. #4

    novicew's Avatar
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    If you are intending to write VB programs, OS X is not the right choice, unless you compromise a partition for Windows. There are alternatives such as RealBasic but it is not the same.

    You won't have problems writing C++ prpograms. However there are certain libraries only available in Windows. But for the most part it should work flawless.

  5. #5

    gilesjuk's Avatar
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    You can type the code on any machine, you won't be able to cross-compile.

    The Mono project provides a .NET environment on Linux, Mac OS:

    http://www.mono-project.com/Mono:OSX

    But this is C# not C++/VB.

    Best bet is dual boot or Parallels Desktop.

  6. #6

    Thyamine's Avatar
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    If you want to do something like ASP.Net programming you can do all the work on your system, and then upload the code to an IIS web server to test it. Especially with .Net 2.0 where you don't need to compile the code-behind pages as you did with 1.1.

  7. #7

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    There are some confusing answers here, but gilesjuk is correct - running Windows using Parallels or BootCamp is the solution you need. I run Windows 2000 in Parallels for my Java course and it works perfectly.
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  8. #8

    gilesjuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knightlie View Post
    There are some confusing answers here, but gilesjuk is correct - running Windows using Parallels or BootCamp is the solution you need. I run Windows 2000 in Parallels for my Java course and it works perfectly.
    Indeed. The original post doesn't make clear if the programming is just general programming or programming for a specific OS.

    If you want to make use of Microsoft classes and libraries then you need to program on Windows with VC++.

    If you want to do general C++ programming using the standard C++ libraries then you can do so on most OSes. However once you start using threads this is where the OSes will differ. Unix systems typically provide a fork() call which creates a new thread. With Windows you use another more fiddly method.

  9. #9


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    I don't see it mentioned much here in the forums, but look into Apple's ADC Student Membership (http://developer.apple.com/products/student.html). I found about it via a Google search and some threads from here showed up.

    From what I've read, the savings on the hardware is worth the $99 you pay plus programming related resources too. The pricing appears to be even better than the educational pricing.

    I personally plan on going this route in the Fall once I'm back in school working on my MBA.

  10. #10


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    sorry, some of this is actually confusing to me. I have done some C++ and VB programming, but only in windows. The reason i have such a concern is cause im sure my teachers will be using a Windows OS. So i need to have my program run on their system. So from what i have gathered so far. I will need to just use Boot Camp and partition a part of my hard drive for Windows. Then boot my windows OS, and create my programs with windows. This will allows my programs to run on other Windows Operating Systems? I just wanna make sure this works before spending the $3,000 on a nice laptop.

  11. #11


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    Yes, you'll be running an actual Windows installation so anything you do will be the same as doing it on an actual Windows machine.

  12. #12


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    Ok. cool. Just so i know this will work perfectly. Has anyone done this before?

    p.s. Sorry if im annoying, but im a college student supporting himself. I cant waste any money. I hate being a poor college student lol.

  13. #13

    Ninjab3ar's Avatar
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    You're learning how to program for Windows, logic tells me you NEED to get a PC.

    Sure, you can use Boot Camp, but its intended for OCCASIONAL USE of windows. Something is telling me you want a Mac just to hop on the "Get a Mac" bandwagon. Seriously i didn't think i would ever say this, but, Get a PC!!!


    No Offense, but how does Photography complement Computer Programing?

    On top of that Macs arent Necessarily "Better" w/ photo editing (photoshop on the Mac is exactly like on a PC) However, OS X is very multitasking-friendly, making it a better enviroment to work on

  14. #14

    Ninjab3ar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frewegooh View Post
    Ok. cool. Just so i know this will work perfectly. Has anyone done this before?

    p.s. Sorry if im annoying, but im a college student supporting himself. I cant waste any money. I hate being a poor college student lol.
    Well, I have a Macbook pro w/ BootCamp installed, and i use it for AutoCAD and 3D Studio Max (Both windows-only apps). So far they worked fine and exactly like they would on a comparable pc.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjab3ar View Post
    You're learning how to program for Windows, logic tells me you NEED to get a PC.
    To program Windows, you need Windows. Now that Windows can be run in so many different ways, people need to break the link between Windows and PC.

    If someone wants to use a Mac in order to do that that's up to them, surely? And bearing in mind reports that Mac's run Windows better than PCs, I think he's got the right idea.
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