Re: G3 and G4

From: William D. Richards (
Date: Sat Jan 01 2000 - 03:25:26 EET

At 10:04 AM -0600 12/29/99, Jonathan Chertok wrote:
>An "intro" question for the list.
>Can anyone tell me if it is possible to run rapid prototyping type
>software on the new Macintosh G3 or G4 processors?
>I am looking to pick up a personal computer to begin very modest
>work on rapid prototyping software such as
>I know I can run FormZ and MINICAD on a Macintosh and am trying to
>find out if I can do tutorials and limited "intro" work on the new
>MAC's. Also wondering whether it may be reasonable to use "Virtual
>PC" software to make these programs compatible with the G3 or G4
>I'd prefer to stick with my beloved MAC if possible and don't need
>industrial size strength for this initial work.
>If this is not possible, any suggestions for minimum requirements,
>brand of computers, configurations should I decide to go non-MAC for
>this at home use?
>Thanks list,
>Jon Chertok
>Austin, Texas
>Get Your Private, Free Email at
>For more information about the rp-ml, see


I've been quite successful running Windoze-based software on my G3
using Virtual PC and Windows 98, 2nd Edition. The only packages I've
had problems with were those that required a hard key (aka HASP or
Dongle) to run the software, where the key was a parallel-port-type.

If the company offers a USB HASP, there should be no problems as
Virtual PC can access anything plugged into your Mac. I'm looking
into this matter myself at the moment.

As far as performance? Well, keep in mind, that my G3, running at 400
mHz, was simulating the hardware of a PC, and through that, running
Windows 98, and then through those, running the software (JewelCAD,
Sanders Modelworks, SolidWorks, etc...). And yet it was still running
as fast as some of the $6,000 Windoze workstations I've used. Even
with all the overhead of the simulation. The new G4s, and the
upcoming G4 MPs, can run Virtual PC much faster than my G3.

You will need RAM. LOTS of it! I devoted about 100 megabytes of RAM
for Virtual PC to run. If you have a lot of programs running, your
performance will suffer. But if you max out your RAM, it can really
bog down. While running Modelworks and JewelCAD on Virtual PC, I also
had the Mac versions of form-Z working on a rendering, Painter 5.5
performing an unsharp-mask, as well as Netscape Navigator connected
to the internet performing a FTP download, when I started to notice
my G3 getting sluggish. When form-Z finished, I quit from it,
releasing another 100 meg of RAM, and performance went back up its
usual snappy state.

The only thing I haven't actually tested is Virtual PC's ability to
connect into a Windows-based network. Nor have I tried to access the
internet through it. There is also the possibility that some given
piece of software may not work, so you may want to try out demos
before you commit any money to a given package.

Bill Richards
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