Must I purchase a mac machine?

On 14/01/2014 at 03:51, xxxxxxxx wrote:

User Information:
Cinema 4D Version:   13,14,15 
Platform:   Windows  ;   
Language(s) :     C++  ;

Eventually I will have to compile my plugins for the Mac OS.
I am a Windows man, and will continue to be. It is not that I think Mac is worse etc., it is just that Windows programmings has been my bread and butter the last 15 years, and I do not have the time, nor the interest to learn a new OS.

But with this C4D plugin writing endeavour, things might change.

I understand I must purchase a Mac. Right? Has anyone tried to use C++ Builder for C4D plugins? It compiles to the Mac platform, but I am in doubt it will serve this particular purpose. 
So what Mac to purchase? Getting an extra machine in house, I also want to use it for network rendering.

I also understand that the source code can be used almost as is, provided I use a version control system that Xcode can access. Is this right? And xcode, does it cost money? Being a Visual Studio developer, is the uphill struggle noticeable, learning xcode?

Can I install C4D on the Mac, using the same serial number as I have on Windows? Because I of course want to test my plugins. Then, can I also use the Mac as a Team Render Client? When the main C4D is installed and not Team Render? Or can I install Main C4D and additionally Team Render side by side?

Many questions.. I thought I would never ever own a Mac, but now I have to bite the bullet.. it seems.. And - I am very reluctant to send my source code to someone else for compiling. Although I am considering it. An idea is to find a Mac partner, one who would like to cooperate writing plugins. For sale, worth to mention.

On 14/01/2014 at 04:35, xxxxxxxx wrote:

I was in the same position a few years ago. You need to use Xcode, which is free from Apple (though a paid Apple developer membership is very useful if you need to get hold of older versions of Xcode, e.g. if compiling for really old versions of Cinema, such as R12 or earlier).

The source code is often usable in Xcode without any changes; occasionally you may need some small variation for the mac but you can do this with conditional compilation directives for the two platforms. When we build X-Particles, which is a *lot* of source code, the source is identical for both platforms.

Xcode is nice enough to use, a bit different from VS, but it shouldn't be a problem to learn enough to get it to build your plugins. The main issue I find is that compilation and linker errors, if they occur, are more opaque than in VS, but I expect that those who prefer Xcode probably say the same about VS :-)

You can install Cinema on a PC and a Mac at the same time if you have the MSA. Yes, you can use the Mac as a TR node as well as having the main app installed. That's what I have - full Cinema on both platforms (I have the MSA) and the TR version also on both platforms.

I think that was all your questions?


On 14/01/2014 at 05:03, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Steve!
Yes, you answered all questions, but I have a couple more.
What is MSA? I think I have no MSA. But I believe I can use the full C4D on both my Windows machine, as well as the potential new Mac, as long as I do not use them at the same time. Right?

Then - the really important question: What Mac to purchase? I have built all my Windows machines, picking mother boards, memory, PSUs and harddrives, setting them up in RAID configurations etc, getting exactly the machine I want. For Mac, I have to obey the Mac laws, right?
So - I will probably never  travel with the Mac, so is a stationary ok? I need just the machine, no screen. My main screen has two DVI connectors plus a HDMI input, so I could run the mac on my main screen. or?

Does Mac have something similar like remote desktop on Windows? I have several Windows machines, and apart form the main machine, I run the others using RDP. No noticable lag and latency, even with video, on my local network.
If I could run the mac from my main PC, using the same keyboard and mouse - it would be real good.

It is encouraging to hear that you can use the same source code as easy as that!

Yet another idea.. It it were possible to install the Mac OS in a VM Ware machine.. wow.. I own a VM Ware license. But I think that is not possible.

On 14/01/2014 at 06:40, xxxxxxxx wrote:

MSA = Maxon Service Agreement; this specifically allows you to install the software on two machines (not for concurrent use though). If you don't have an MSA then I can't comment on dual installation.

I'm no Mac expert, quite the opposite. I know enough to use it and that's about it. But you don't need a very powerful machine for software development, so look at price rather than hardware. I used a MacBook Pro for several years before upgrading to an iMac (for the larger screen - and it's far more than I need just to build plugins).

The iMac is now an integrated machine so everything is packed into the monitor unit. I don't know if you can ouput a Mac of any kind to a non-Apple monitor but that's something to watch out for with Apple kit, you tend to be locked into their proprietary equipment.

I have no idea about remote desktop or vmware for using a Mac, but there are lots of folks round here who will know, hopefully they will chip in. Personally to avoid complications I'd go for an iMac, just make sure it has a reasonable amount of memory.

On 14/01/2014 at 07:20, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Well, explain to me why I have to buy a screen when I have the best there is, Eizo, I only use Eizo screens because I sit in front of them most of my life..
Integrated into the screen.. in the 80ies there were combi machines with cassette player, record player and a radio. And anyone interested in Hi Fi would shudder, just by the thought of it.
I need to ask the local dealers, and see what I can get.

This is not a thread about pro / cons of the Mac. But when it comes to Apple.. how can people accept this? Why can't I myself pick a monitor of my liking? I use 3 monitors all the time, so in any case I would need two extra. I just need a box to tuck under my desktop or store in my hardware rack, my workplace will be the same.

Well, there is the Mac Pro if I am not wrong, which is what I am after - a box and just that. But very expensive according to a few googles..
I need it Just to compile plugins. And I will run Windows, forever, for everything else, you bet!

Ok, having ranted about this, I discovered there is something called Mac Mini, which apparently is right up my alley. A box - and just that. With USB 3, Gigabyte Ethernet, HDMI and DVI, etc. And a reasonable price, to boot. So that will be the solution, as it looks now!

On 14/01/2014 at 18:18, xxxxxxxx wrote:

As far as I am aware, the Mac Mini may not be the best solution.  If it is indeed capable of running Xcode and Cinema 4D, then you are in business.  Otherwise, you will be returning it quickly.  A MacBook is a great and reasonably inexpensive solution.  I purchased my MacBook Pro used for $500 and it is a newer model (2009 Core 2 Duo + 4GB).

Again, verify that a Mac Mini is capable of running both required pieces of software before purchase.

On 14/01/2014 at 18:41, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi Robert,
the mac mini has
2,3 GHz 4 cores Intel Core i7
4 Gb RAM
1 Tb 5400 rpm spin or 256 Gb SSD

So it should be capable since I can run C4D on a 7 years old Windows machine with just a fraction of those specs.  I can opt for more RAM when ordering, because I find 4Gb way to little.
I need to run C4D on the mac for a) Testing that my plugins really work on Mac, b) Use it as a Team Render Client.
I assume that xcode will have no problems at all, compilers do not need much CPU power, if that is not very different on the mac.

A use machine would perhaps be ok! Problem is, I live in Norway and I want an English OS in case I am making screen casts. An not the least for getting help. If I search for help on a Norwegian OS, I can get 3-4 hits, for the corresponding words on an English OS perhaps 3-400 hits. And getting a used machine with UK/US OS can be difficult. I just hope I can order a mac with UK/US OS.

Wow - that I must say, I searched the local Norwegian version of e-bay, there is a ton of second hand Macs, lots of them sold "as new". And lots of the latest models. 127 hits on mac mini alone, in little Norway..

On 19/01/2014 at 06:50, xxxxxxxx wrote:

Funny, i happend to buy a MacBookAir recently in order to compile plugins on and because my regular laptop is very old.

4 GB Ram, 1.3 GHz CPU. Not exactly great. But to my surprise it built the example project just fine. After launching XCode the compiler still has roughly 2GB to work with which seems sufficient for the next few years. Speed does not seem much of an issue either.

@ingvarai: Team Render Client. Yeah you probably want more than 4 GB Ram for that.