In regards to your first question you can run Windows on your macs via Boot Camp or Parallels.
If you don’t want to do that there is another option. There is a program called WINE that will wrap Windows apps and makes them run on Mac. It might work, I’m not sure if it will properly see the cortex but if it does you’re golden.
They still haven’t gotten USB working with WINE, unfortunately. They’ve been working on it for a while now, but still nothing user friendly. A little bit of Googling seems to indicate there are workarounds, but they certainly aren’t plug-and-play.
Oofda, I hurt for you. Schools and Mac…not sure what the love affair is all about. (I say this lightheartedly…not trying to Mac-bash)
My school has all Mac’s also, but my personal preference is for Windows. So I was happy when RobotC gave me a valid excuse to get the school to buy me a windows laptop and I rounded up a couple older desktops for my room.
Bit of a tangent, but in all honesty it does perplex me why so many schools go with Mac. They are well built machines, but for the cost and capability they do not seem to be the right “fit” for public school use. To many programs are incompatible, and what I find is that our students leave school knowing nothing about how to use Windows, which I think is fair to say is the predominant OS in the “real world”. Yes Mac’s are used, but not to the same extent. I feel like we are putting our students here at our school at a disadvantage by not teaching them the Windows OS.
Lithium Ion batteries run into trouble with the TSA which is an issue for teams who travel by plane to Worlds and various National tournaments.
They’re also slightly more dangerous.
My school went all-mac for a year or two, then installed Windows into the mac computers. This is what perplexes me. If they wanted windows, why spend so much money on mac computers, and then even more on buying all those copies of windows?
I quite like the OS over windows, It seems like apple has put more time into designing the OS. I don’t like macs, because they can’t be upgraded. Take my 2012 MBPR for example, I really wanted a mac, so i got one, but I didn’t save up enough for the really expensive 16GB upgrade, so instead I got less RAM, and got a larger SSD. It was a huge mistake on my part, because I find it hard trying to do some higher-level programming / running servers on my machine.
I run ROBOTC and EasyC using VMWare Fusion, no problems with normal code development and download. I used to run under parallels desktop and that worked as well. The only issue in using a VM is that master code download does not work using either ROBOTC or the VEXnet upgrade utility, however, master firmware is not updated that often and I just find a PC for that purpose (or use bootcamp). There is also occasionally an issue with the USB ports not playing nice with the cortex (and VEX IQ), using a USB hub usually works around this problem. It’s not a software issue, there’s some minor incompatibility between some USB ports and the cortex. For example, my MacBooks are ok, my Mac Pro tower is not.
I bought Windows 7 and run that on my Mac using Bootcamp - works great with RobotC. My son has a PC running Windows 8.something, and RobotC runs better on my Mac. However, don’t do what I did when trying to configure things correctly. I reinstalled Windows 7 without first deactivating my license for RobotC. So, instead of having two RobotC licenses I now only have one. I’m being careful to not screw up again.
They should probably try to invest in making one. I am sure that it is on there minds but they probably would need more data to see whether it is financially viable. Also as said before, RobotC is one of the MANY programs that are like this and people are used to working around it…so they might not think it is worth it.
Also my opinion on the debate earlier, if a school had the money to switch to all Macs then I find no problem with it…3 years ago. Microsoft has done a remarkable job turning things around and making honestly really high-quality PCs available. The new XPS 13 can easily give the MBA a run for its money.
I personally recommend parallels. In most cases, it actually runs RobotC better than windows running computers do. Very few errors, and quick startup. Also allows you to move files back and forth between mac and windows.