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Wireless Toolkit under Virtual PC on OSX?

Kathy Sierra
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Howdy all -- I've been trying to research whether Wireless Toolkit will work under Virtual PC for Windows 2000 (running on Mac OSX). There is not version of WTK that works under OSX... the Linux version uses some native code, so that's not an option for OSX. But I'm hoping that I can use the Windows version running under Virtual PC rather than trying to upgrade my ancient PC or worse-- buy another PC.
I've looked and looked on the web and found nothing definitive, and the lead engineer of the WTK doesn't know either, although both of us had *heard* that it doesn't work, but with no real proof. And since that would be the ONLY reason for me to purchase the Virtual PC product ($250 US), I'd really like to hear from just one person who has actually seen the toolkit work under it (or ANY J2ME development environment).
Anyway, if anyone knows about this or any other issues related to J2ME development (or rather, the LACK of support for J2ME development) on a Mac, especially for MIDP 2.0, I'd love to hear about it.
cheers,
Kathy


Co-Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007124/ref=jranch-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">"Head First Design Patterns"</a><br /> <br />Just a Jini girl living in a J2EE world.
Michael Yuan
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Joined: Mar 07, 2002
Posts: 1427
I tried. It did work on Virtual PC v6.1 w/ WinXP Pro on OS X 10.3. The Nokia developer suite works too. But any Java program is *dog slow* on VPC -- maybe it is close to real world device performance! I guess optimizing Java performance is not a priority for the Virtual PC team now!
Now, I primarly use VPC for VS.NET and Office 2003. My Windows based Java applications are installed on a headless windows XP computer in the closet and I connect to it wirelessly from my PowerBook using the free "Remote Desktop Connection" client.
I use VPC because I can get it and the win XP OS for free from my MSDN subscriptions. If you need to spend $250 on it, I think you are better off buying a new PC.


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Kathy Sierra
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Thanks Michael! I don't know why I didn't think to ask you directly... I asked Ariel (lead engineer on WTK), and he really didn't know. You are the FIRST person I have found who at least has seen it work!! I would buy a PC, for that money, but I can't stand to work on anything but a laptop (I tend to roam everywhere), and a laptop would be a little pricier. But I can accept dog-slow. It makes you kind of, well, *disciplined*. Maybe I'll just have to get a faster Mac (I'm on a Titanium 800MHz). I heard they're updating VPC to work with the G5. I do have Panther, so it's good to know that you tried it with 10.3.
I noticed that on the WTK download site, they specify Windows 2000 -- so I was thinking of getting the Win 2000 VPC -- but you say you have the Win XP Pro version; I'm hoping the Win 2000 version works just as well.
cheers and happy holidays
-Kathy
p.s. I bet a lot more people got Java-enabled phones yesterday
Michael Yuan
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Joined: Mar 07, 2002
Posts: 1427
Kathy,
You are more than welcome. I have been researching J2ME options on Mac for 8+ months now.

I would buy a PC, for that money, but I can't stand to work on anything but a laptop (I tend to roam everywhere), and a laptop would be a little pricier.

Hmm, with the setup I described (headless PC + WiFi + Windows Remote Desktop Connection for Mac), you can roam around. You only need to carry your TiBook. It is more convenient than getting a PC laptop (and cheaper). Of course, the problem with the RDC approach is that it requires fast and stable network connections to refresh the remote screen at a reasonable rate. I rarely use it when I am away from home as my cable upstream speed is not very fast.

I noticed that on the WTK download site, they specify Windows 2000 -- so I was thinking of getting the Win 2000 VPC -- but you say you have the Win XP Pro version; I'm hoping the Win 2000 version works just as well.

Well, I can assure you that WTK v2.0 works on Win XP. I ran it on both XP Home and Professional editions. I think VPC for WinXP is the same price as VPC for Win2000?
Now, I am concerned that your TiBook 800MHz might be *really slow* with VPC+WTK. Mine is a TiBook 1GHz with 1GB RAM. I allocated 512 MB for the VPC. It is still too slow for me. I am told duel processor mechines are better.
I would suggest you to try things out before you shell out $250 to Microsoft. I might be able to arrange a 30-day software trial for you. If you are interested, shoot me an email. But my gut feeling is that you are better off with a cheap new PC + RDC.
cheers
Michael
Kathy Sierra
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
OK, I got it all working! Yes, it *is* really slow... but it does work, at least the KToolbar which I've so far used to build and run new MIDlets. That's as far as I've gotten, but this is still really fun!!
My configuation:
* Virtual PC 6.1 for WinXP Pro
* Panther (10.3) OSX on an 800MHz Ti with a pathetic 512 RAM (I gave half of that to VPC)
* Installed J2SDK 1.4.2_03 on Virtual PC
* Installed the latest WTK on Virtual PC
That's it... set a PATH to the JDK and so far it works fine. (OK, "fine" is a little overstatement, but it really does work, and if you're desperate to just play with the WTK on your Mac, well, it's an option.
I like what you're doing Michael, although the word "headless" always freaks me out But I just wanted to get something running with what I had right now. I went ahead and bought VPC because the kids have been wanting it anyway, to run some PC stuff on their Mac (most likely because the Win platform has better options for illegally downloading music )
Bert just got me an iPod for Christmas (very unexpected!) so now I'll probably just spend all my time on iTunes store, while I wait for my teeny tiny MIDLet to RUN in WTK
cheers,
Kathy
p.s. Hey, anybody here going to MacWorld SF in a couple weeks?
Michael Yuan
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Joined: Mar 07, 2002
Posts: 1427
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:
Bert just got me an iPod for Christmas (very unexpected!) so now I'll probably just spend all my time on iTunes store, while I wait for my teeny tiny MIDLet to RUN in WTK

Enjoy your iPod and VPC! You can use your iPod hard drive to backup the entire VPC hard drive image. When I think about it, you can install RedHat Linux on VPC and then install WTK on top of that. Would that yield better performance? I doubt it. But someone can try if you get time to kill.

p.s. Hey, anybody here going to MacWorld SF in a couple weeks?

Maybe Jobs will announce a new iPod that runs MIDP 2.0! But seriously, how hard is it to port the WTK to Mac? Can you ask Ariel?
serge masse
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 102
For years I have been waiting for Mac OS where Java is as good as on Windows. Once, a while ago, I asked a Sun employee well positioned to know about the issue and the answer that I received was basically that, for the Macintosh market, Sun had decided to leave it to Apple to adapt for the Mac the specs and software that Sun gave to Apple. The reason for this are not clear but show business *disagreement* or lack of cooperation between Apple and Sun, and Sun was trying to point out that the problem was on Apple's side.
The lack of good Java platforms on the Mac does hurt Java and Apple. If there were good Java platforms on the Mac I would have continued to buy Macintoshes since I bought one of the first one in 1984. But I had to switch to Windows after waiting for a good Java platform in the late 1990's.
Relations between Apple and Sun seem to be warming up but we still are missing good Java on the Mac.


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Kathy Sierra
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Whoa -- I think Java on the mac today is *outrageously* good. I run J2EE and the new Tomcat 5 on my Powerbook, and it's awesome. You can see James Gosling, Bill Day, even BIll Joy all talking about how Powerbooks rock when it comes to Java. Apple managed to do memory and performance tricks that Sun has not managed to do. Many (if not *most*) of the key Java engineers at Sun are now walking around with Macs. I believe Java on the Mac is much better than Java on Solaris, and at least from my days working in our PC training labs at Sun, much much better than on the PC. On OSX, javac compiles before you even let go of the return key. It's that fast.
I went to work for Sun in 1999, and it was hard to find anyone walking around with a Mac. Today, you go to a Java-related meeting with the technical people, and half the room -- if not more -- is filled with Macs. And there are some great development tools from Apple as well. The issue for me is with the J2ME development. You can do J2EE and J2SE on the Mac, but J2ME is certainly a problem still. Hoping that will change... But for now, at least I can do *something* using VPC.
cheers,
Kathy
(Thanks for the iPod idea Michael
serge masse
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Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 102
Kathy,
thank you very much for describing the much improved situation of Java on the Mac and pointing out some of the remaining weaknesses (e.g., J2ME).
If I was a decision maker at Sun, I would require that Sun first develop its Java tools for Solaris, Mac, Linux, Windows and other OS, in that order. If the latest versions of Java tools would come out for the Mac before Windows, I would definitively buy and use a Mac for my Java development and I would recommend the same to my clients.
 
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