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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Running Windows programs in OS X

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mehekorokorotui's Avatar
Member Since: Jun 22, 2007
Posts: 1
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Hi All,

This is my first post here. I've decided my current laptop isn't worth upgrading and I'm thinking of getting a Macbook. I'm weighing my options since I know I can build a pc desktop for less but that's not very portable.

I'm getting Polar ProTrainer5 but it is only released to run on Windows. Is there any software I can run PPT5 in on the Mac that's preferrably free/open-source?
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Member Since: Jun 18, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 20
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Mac Specs: Macbook 1gb 80gb 2.0ghz intel core 2 duo

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You can get bootcamp and run windows on a partitioned space on your HDD

Mac Convert
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Member Since: Feb 13, 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
Posts: 1,186
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Mac Specs: 13" Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz Unibody 4G RAM 160G HDD Superdrive

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There are actually three different ways (with differing philosophies accompanying each) to run any given Windows application on an Intel Macbook.

* The aforementioned BootCamp to dual boot to a Windows partition. You have to restart out of Mac OS X, but you have a full-blown Windows machine on which you can run any Windows application.

* Purchase Parallels Desktop ($70US) and make a virtual machine in which you can install pretty much any OS that runs on Intel (Windows [95,98,2000,XP,Vista) and run your app in there. This is my preferred method. It's easy, you don't need to restart your Mac (the virtual machine runs like an app in Mac OS X either in a window, full screen, or Coherence mode wherein Windows apps appear like any Mac app dispensing with the Windows desktop; the disk appears as a file on the Mac's drive) and you can shut down/suspend the VM when you're not using that particular Windows app.

* Purchase Codeweavers' Crossover Office Mac, which allows Windows apps to run without having to have a copy of Windows. I only have experience with Crossover on Linux, and while it works rather well there it only supports a subset of popular Windows applications (like Office, Photoshop, Lotus Notes) and there is no guarantee that your application will be supported or work like it's supposed to.

My recommendation? Parallels. No fancy partitioning, dual booting, or mucking about with possible bugs. Yes, it costs about eighty bucks, but it is certainly worth it for what it can do. I use it when I need to do work like stuff and don't feel like dragging out the employer supplied Dell.

In any event if you buy a Macbook you have a plethora of mechanisms with which to run Windows applications while enjoying the wonders of Mac OS X.
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Member Since: Mar 02, 2007
Location: St Helens, OR, USA
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Mac Specs: MacBook CoreDuo 2Ghz 768M RAM

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2nd vote for Parallels.
I do consulting/tech support for Mac and Windows. I have XP and Vista installed w/ Parallels. Makes troubleshooting a breeze. No reboots (a la boot camp), plus it impresses the Windows users when they see Windows in a window and I can show them how I do the "Mac equivalent" to whatever Windows task/program I'm helping them with
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