Don't make me hate my Mac!
August 27, 2006 2:31 PM   Subscribe

I recently signed up for an Internet based math class. After registering, I discovered that although the class is primarily internet based, you must also download its software in order to complete homework assignments and take tests. The software is not Mac compatible, and I'm on a Mac. Doh!!

I don't have one of those newfangled intel mac's. I'm running 10.4 on a G4 iBook. What options do I have if I want to be able to do my homework on my computer?

Feel free to refer me to previous posts on related topics if I missed something obvious in my search.
posted by serazin to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
Virtual PC?
posted by chrismear at 2:33 PM on August 27, 2006

posted by chrisamiller at 2:37 PM on August 27, 2006

I second virtual pc. I've installed it on a friend's powerbook and it works seamlessly for any windows-based software he needs to run.
posted by marxfriedrice at 2:39 PM on August 27, 2006

VPC is fine and dandy but it's rather expensive for just running one application for one class. Why not something like Q, which is free (though admittedly somwhat slower than VPC)?

Also, um, chrisamiller, Darwine has nothing to do with the posted question. The poster isn't developing a Win32 API application and Darwine doesn't run x86 binaries at all.
posted by majick at 3:00 PM on August 27, 2006

You can buy a crappy PC on eBay or Craigslist for $50. If you get one with XP Pro, you can operate it remotely from your Mac using Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (which is free).
posted by cillit bang at 3:03 PM on August 27, 2006

Virtual PC. But first I'd check if there was any warning about it being PC only. If not, demand your money.
posted by edd at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2006

I agree with edd with regards to the warning. Did they list anywhere a set of "system requirements" for the class, or did they list a PC computer in the prerequisites for the class?
posted by WCityMike at 7:39 PM on August 27, 2006

what's the math software that you have to download? it might be that there's a mac version of it, or something equivalent that does run on the mac.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 5:54 AM on August 28, 2006

Is there a PC running Windows XP anywhere in your house/apt.? If so, download the math software and install it on that PC, turn on Remote Access, install Remote Desktop Connection for Mac on your iBook and connect to said machine.
posted by inviolable at 10:15 AM on August 28, 2006

If you're going to go the emulator route, you want Parallels and Virtual PC.

You'd also need a copy of Windows to go this route, though.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:38 AM on August 28, 2006

My bad - I thought I remembered that there was a WINE port for macs, like the one that runs windows applications on linux. A google search turned that page up. (Is there WINE for mac?)
posted by chrisamiller at 11:36 AM on August 28, 2006

You're probably thinking of Crossover Mac, that only runs on Intel-based Macs, not iBooks (which are all PowerPC-based).
posted by cillit bang at 2:00 PM on August 28, 2006

ursus: uh, he can't use Parallels - he clearly stated that he doesn't have an Intel Mac.

I second the "buy a cheap PC" idea. I keep an old beat up Pentium III around for just that reason.
posted by drstein at 3:29 PM on August 28, 2006

I'll second majick's suggestion. Exact same thing happened to my wife, and it was a math class, too (let me guess, it's a Pearson site?). I think she was ready to marry me all over again after I installed Q and she didn't have to go to the computer lab anymore. It's slow, but it works.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:37 PM on August 28, 2006

Thanks all! Great suggestions.

Yup, Pearson's - the bastards. It's so annoying because it's just some lousy plug-ins. Would it be so hard for them to make them Mac compatible?

I've tried to install Q but I'm having technical problems. Partially I'm not super savvy about what some of the jargon means and the site isn't necissarily designed for the layperson. Working on a bunch of the other suggestions here. Thank you all!
posted by serazin at 7:11 PM on August 28, 2006

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