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Discussion: OCAD/Condes on VM Mac or buy separate PC?

in: Orienteering; General

Dec 24, 2018 4:27 PM # 
I have a MacBook Pro and originally had planned to set up a VM to run various orienteering software (course setting first, mapping eventually). My Mac is ridiculously full (planning on a NAS drive to solve this issue, but that is another discussion), so I wanted to run the VM on an external drive. After reading through the VM threads here, it looks like parallels or VMware Fusion were the best options. Now, it appears that parallels and VMware fusion have both switched to a subscription model. With the cost of the yearly subscription, ssd external drive, and windows, I think I may be better off just buying a cheap PC laptop. There are quite a few at Microcenter in the less than $400 range.

If so, any recommendations of what specs this laptop would need? OCAD and Condes look pretty heavy ended, so I'm assume 8GB RAM would be best? Do I need a SSD? 256GB hard drive? 500GB? How big are the files in OCAD and Condes? Any recommendations on screen size/resolution? As a side note, a separate PC laptop would only be used for orienteering software and embroidery software (I doubt there is a cross-over to garment sewing in this group, but the embroidery software is Floriani Total Control U).

Thanks for any help or recommendations!
Kathy M (from DVOA- finally joining Attackpoint ;) )
Dec 24, 2018 8:52 PM # 
Hello Kathy M from DVOA,
My laptop Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P7HA of 4GB RAM for 340 $ working fine with OCAD 11. This is a not hard weight software. And I hope a Condo light weight too.
I've shared for Windows 10 30GB (for better reinstalling Windows) + 32GB of hard disk space. It is enouth for work for orienteering. But not enouth for games and movies.
Small screen of my laptop not comfortable some time but it nice for transportation anytime.
U can find more cheapper PC if needed
Dec 24, 2018 11:05 PM # 
I would think that "it depends". For ages my OCAD files were quite small, in the background there were only some 150dpi scans of fieldwork. We used to joke that OCAD could run on a Casio watch. Now we can work it much harder. In a map under development one can have high-res imagery, GPS data and products derived from point-cloud data - hundreds of mb.

We could make a distinction between "basemap development" and tweaking "finished" OCAD files from which this base data has been removed. I would think that a cheap PC would be fine for the latter. And for Condes.
Dec 25, 2018 4:45 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I have several mapping projects with base maps in the 300-600 MB range, excluding all images, just the .ocd files.

This is very easy to do by mapping 30+ sq km with raw 1m contours derived from nearly unfiltered dense LiDAR data, then adding high-resolution vegetation objects and all the government topo data.

On these projects even 64-bit OCAD 2018 will have big problems if you ever click on "Show entire map" without first hiding at least the 1m contours. (This is on a quad core + hyperthreading machine with 32 GB RAM.)
Dec 26, 2018 9:37 PM # 
If only there were Mac versions of Condes etc. our lives would be simpler.
I don’t think you need computer power to run Condes.
You could consider a separate large monitor for working at home.
I’m going the Bootcamp way as the cheapest option.
Dec 28, 2018 1:53 AM # 
I believe both VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop are still sold for a single price (not a subscription model). Both are around $80. The "professional" edition may be on a subscription basis, but you don't need that. The basic, single-user, entry-level edition is all you need, and both of them are simple and easy to set up. You can download Windows 10 from Microsoft for free and run it in a VM without a license, but it has a little watermark in the corner to remind you to purchase a license. You can also download other Windows versions but you need a license key to run them.
Dec 28, 2018 2:42 PM # 
Thank you so much for all the information!! I didn't realize I could download Windows 10 for free and I can now see the single-purchase for Parallels. But a separate laptop also is tempting. Decisions, decisions!
Dec 28, 2018 6:03 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
It should be possible for anyone with a Vmware workstation (or better) license to create a Win-10 VM. Even using the free VMware Player I believe you should be able to load OCAD/Condes inside that VM? (There used to be usable workarounds that allowed you to actually create new VMs using just the player, I don't know if that is still possible.)
Dec 28, 2018 7:00 PM # 
Keep in mind that with every or every other Mac OSX version you will be required to get a new Parallels version, or something along those lines. So you end up paying every couple of years anyway, at least in my experience.
Dec 28, 2018 7:05 PM # 
At least upgrade parallel licenses are cheaper than new parallel licenses when you update your Mac OS.
Dec 30, 2018 5:16 PM # 
Final decision was to get a dedicated PC for the orienteering and embroidery software. I found a refurbished Dell Latitude with a 128 SSD, 8 GB Ram (expandable, once I start mapping), high resolution screen, and Intel core i5 processor for $379. The cost of updating the parallels software repeatedly as the Mac updated was the final factor in deciding to get the separate computer. If I didn't need to run the VM on an external drive, I might have gone with bootcamp. Thanks, again, for all the help!

This discussion thread is closed.