OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?

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OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?

Lukas Gradl-2
Hi!

Having a customer request to port an app to MacOS I have to think about
some test platform.
As I was never interested in MacOS this is virgin territory to me.

So perhaps some of the Mac-users here can help me out a bit:
I still want to use my current machines as them main ones, I just need a
platform to compile and test my application on.

1.) Do I really need to buy a Mac? Or is there a good solution to
emulate one on an x86 Linux box? Just crosscompiling without the
possibility to do serious tests in house is not an option, as my app has
to integrate in some hardware-subsystems (printing, networking).

2.) If 1=yes, which one would you recommend? Which hardware platform?
Intel? PowerPC? It has to be OSX, do I have to care which version I get
or is just any OSX ok for testing?

Perhaps some Mac-Developer out there could post his/her opinion...

regards
Lukas


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Re: OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?

Jonas Maebe-2

(please follow up to fpc-other, that is the list specifically intended  
for everything that's off-topic for the other lists)


On 11 Oct 2008, at 17:09, Lukas Gradl wrote:

> So perhaps some of the Mac-users here can help me out a bit:
> I still want to use my current machines as them main ones, I just  
> need a platform to compile and test my application on.
>
> 1.) Do I really need to buy a Mac?

That's best, yes.

> Or is there a good solution to emulate one on an x86 Linux box?

Probably, you can illegally run hacked versions of Mac OS X on VMWare  
if you really want to. Testing subsystems like printing like that may  
not give you the same view as an end user on a regular Mac though.

> 2.) If 1=yes, which one would you recommend? Which hardware  
> platform? Intel? PowerPC?

Intel, since PowerPC has been phased out by Apple. Which Intel Mac is  
up to you to decide budgetwise, as there are no particularly bad ones  
in the Intel family that I know of. I'd recommend getting a Core2 Duo-
based one.

> It has to be OSX, do I have to care which version I get or is just  
> any OSX ok for testing?


Just like with any other OS, bugs get fixed with every new release  
(and sometimes things get broken) and something that works fine on  
your release may not work 100% on an older/newer version (although in  
general, it does).

The developer tools contain SDKs to allowing you to target back to Mac  
OS X 10.2.8 when developing on Mac OS X 10.5.x. In practice, you can  
probably get away with supporting 10.4.x and up. When buying a new  
Mac, you'll always get the latest Mac OS X version bundled. When  
getting a second hand one, it will usually also have some version  
bundled. In general, as long as you get 10.4.x or 10.5.x, you should  
be ok.

Note that hardware released after a particular version of Mac OS X has  
been released will only work with that version or higher. If you want  
to run older OS releases, this is useful to keep in mind.


Jonas
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Re: OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?

Brad Campbell
In reply to this post by Lukas Gradl-2
Lukas Gradl wrote:

> Hi!
>
> Having a customer request to port an app to MacOS I have to think about
> some test platform.
> As I was never interested in MacOS this is virgin territory to me.
>
> So perhaps some of the Mac-users here can help me out a bit:
> I still want to use my current machines as them main ones, I just need a
> platform to compile and test my application on.
>
> 1.) Do I really need to buy a Mac? Or is there a good solution to
> emulate one on an x86 Linux box? Just crosscompiling without the
> possibility to do serious tests in house is not an option, as my app has
> to integrate in some hardware-subsystems (printing, networking).
>
> 2.) If 1=yes, which one would you recommend? Which hardware platform?
> Intel? PowerPC? It has to be OSX, do I have to care which version I get
> or is just any OSX ok for testing?

I had the same thing come up. I already had a nice monitor so I bought a Mac Mini. I fell in love
with it and ended up installing Ubuntu on it. It's now my main desktop machine and with bootcamp,
dual booting to get into OSX is a breeze.

I also have an old 400Mhz G4 tower that I test PPC stuff on, but honestly my testing results have
always matched the Intel box.

I have Vine server on the PPC box and don't even connect a head to it, just power and network.
Everything is tested via ssh and vnc. You could easily do the same with a Mini for testing (but for
UI testing it's better to have a Mac keyboard physically connected).

Keep an eye out on fleabay, there are always older macs up for grabs for cheap.

My G4 has about 320MB of ram and is slow as a wet week in may, but it's ideal for optimising code to
run faster (much easier to see the results!)

Brad
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Dolphins are so intelligent that within a few weeks they can
train Americans to stand at the edge of the pool and throw them
fish.
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Re: OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?

Ingemar Ragnemalm
In reply to this post by Lukas Gradl-2

> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2008 17:09:10 +0200
> From: Lukas Gradl <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [fpc-pascal] OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?
> To: FPC-Pascal Mailinglist <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-15; format=flowed
>
> Hi!
>
> Having a customer request to port an app to MacOS I have to think about
> some test platform.
> As I was never interested in MacOS this is virgin territory to me.
>
> So perhaps some of the Mac-users here can help me out a bit:
> I still want to use my current machines as them main ones, I just need a
> platform to compile and test my application on.
>
> 1.) Do I really need to buy a Mac? Or is there a good solution to
> emulate one on an x86 Linux box? Just crosscompiling without the
> possibility to do serious tests in house is not an option, as my app has
> to integrate in some hardware-subsystems (printing, networking).
>
> 2.) If 1=yes, which one would you recommend? Which hardware platform?
> Intel? PowerPC? It has to be OSX, do I have to care which version I get
> or is just any OSX ok for testing?
>
> Perhaps some Mac-Developer out there could post his/her opinion...
>  

Intel, positively. A MacBook is quite sufficient. A Mac Mini would also
do the trick. I would not consider emulation.

A second hand PPC Mac is, of course, a lot cheaper, and will do for a
while, but you will want an Intel one sooner or later.


/Ingemar

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Re: OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?

captnjameskirk
In reply to this post by Lukas Gradl-2
On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 10:09 AM, Lukas Gradl <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi!

1.) Do I really need to buy a Mac? Or is there a good solution to emulate one on an x86 Linux box? Just crosscompiling without the possibility to do serious tests in house is not an option, as my app has to integrate in some hardware-subsystems (printing, networking).

No, you don't need to buy a Mac to run Mac OS X natively on an intel-based machine. It's tricky to get installed and running properly, but I absolutely LOVE my Dell Inpsiron 9300 with it's 17" widescreen monitor at 1920x1200 resolution -- the perfect latpop for development IMHO, with that huge screen area. Until Apple makes a 17" MacBook Pro, or this one breaks, I'm sticking with this one. Don't get me wrong, there is a learning curve, but no harder than getting linux running on a laptop used to be. Head over to http://insanelymac.com for some interesting reading, and if it doesn't scare you off, try one of the modified installer DVDs available via torrent, like JaS 10.4.8, or Leo4All if you want leopard (my laptop dual-boots into Leoaprd and Tiger). As with installing linux, you need to check hardware compatibility first (mainly video and audio). Lots of fun, even if you don't intend to use it as your primary machine.
 

2.) If 1=yes, which one would you recommend? Which hardware platform? Intel? PowerPC? It has to be OSX, do I have to care which version I get or is just any OSX ok for testing?

I don't think you can get a PPC Mac anymore, other than used. I beileve Apple went Intel-only with the release of Leopard, and most Tiger machines were intel as well (they began phasing out PPC with the into of Tiger). You might want to plan on dual-booting Leopard and Tiger, since Lazarus currently has some issues when compiled under Leopard (ie. TButtons appear square and flat, not round and 3D as they do on Tiger, plus some other minor glitches here and there). Plus, if you compile your app on Tiger, it will run on Leopard, but not the other way around.
 
Just my $0.02

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Cross-compiling for a different Mac OS X version (was: Re: OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?)

Jonas Maebe-2

On 13 Oct 2008, at 02:42, John Stoneham wrote:

> Until Apple makes a 17" MacBook Pro


Well, they already do, albeit with a lower resolution than your Dell.

> I beileve
> Apple went Intel-only with the release of Leopard


No, they didn't. That will probably happen with the next release  
(10.6, aka Snow Leopard).

> and most Tiger machines
> were intel as well

Not really.

> Plus, if you compile your app on Tiger, it will
> run on Leopard, but not the other way around.

You can compile apps on Leopard which run all the way back to Jaguar  
(10.2.8). You do have to use the proper SDK (-XR/path/to/SDK) and tell  
the linker to generate compatible binaries (-k"-macosx_version_min  
10.2" or whatever).


Jonas
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Re: OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?

Krishna-33
In reply to this post by captnjameskirk
Hi,

On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 6:12 AM, John Stoneham <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 10:09 AM, Lukas Gradl <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi!
>>
>> 1.) Do I really need to buy a Mac? Or is there a good solution to emulate
>> one on an x86 Linux box? Just crosscompiling without the possibility to do
>> serious tests in house is not an option, as my app has to integrate in some
>> hardware-subsystems (printing, networking).
>
> No, you don't need to buy a Mac to run Mac OS X natively on an intel-based
> machine. It's tricky to get installed and running properly, but I absolutely
> LOVE my Dell Inpsiron 9300 with it's 17" widescreen monitor at 1920x1200
> resolution -- the perfect latpop for development IMHO, with that huge screen
> area. Until Apple makes a 17" MacBook Pro, or this one breaks, I'm sticking
> with this one. Don't get me wrong, there is a learning curve, but no harder
> than getting linux running on a laptop used to be. Head over to
> http://insanelymac.com for some interesting reading, and if it doesn't scare
> you off, try one of the modified installer DVDs available via torrent, like
> JaS 10.4.8, or Leo4All if you want leopard (my laptop dual-boots into
> Leoaprd and Tiger). As with installing linux, you need to check hardware
> compatibility first (mainly video and audio). Lots of fun, even if you don't
> intend to use it as your primary machine.
>

I read that the MSI Wind U100 runs OS-X pretty well too not that I'm
suggesting that (atleast not on a public forum :)).

Cheers,
-Krishna


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Re: Cross-compiling for a different Mac OS X version (was: Re: OT: Buy a Mac to develop for MacOS? Which one?)

captnjameskirk
In reply to this post by Jonas Maebe-2


On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 1:26 AM, Jonas Maebe <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 13 Oct 2008, at 02:42, John Stoneham wrote:

Until Apple makes a 17" MacBook Pro


Well, they already do, albeit with a lower resolution than your Dell.

I suppose I should say, "until I can afford one", heh? They do offer a 17" LED-backlit version that's 1920x1200. Way out of my pricerange, though.

beileve
Apple went Intel-only with the release of Leopard


No, they didn't. That will probably happen with the next release (10.6, aka Snow Leopard).

I meant Apple hardware. Yes, Leopard itself supports PPC for those people with older G5s or G4s who want the new OS, but all hardware sine Auguest 2006 has been intel only.
 


and most Tiger machines
were intel as well

Not really.

Well, every Tiger machine made since August 2006 was Intel based. Leopard wasn't released until October 2007, so that's quite a few Intel-only Tiger machines.
 


Plus, if you compile your app on Tiger, it will
run on Leopard, but not the other way around.

You can compile apps on Leopard which run all the way back to Jaguar (10.2.8). You do have to use the proper SDK (-XR/path/to/SDK) and tell the linker to generate compatible binaries (-k"-macosx_version_min 10.2" or whatever).

Yes, it's tricky. I never did get it to work right. However, since Lazarus apps compiled on Tiger run just fine on Leopard, that's the solution I've been taking.

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