Several students have asked about how to run Visual Basic using a Macintosh Computer. The short answer is that Visual Basic is not supported on the Mac and therefore to complete this class you will have to either find a Windows PC or use the computers in the lab. The longer answer is a bit complicated but if you are really interested I'll provide some links and resources to get you setup. First and foremost let me say you try this at your own risk, I'll try to help as much as I can but at some-point the answer will be just use the lab computers.

For the those who want to try

First determine if your Macintosh is a PowerPC or Intel based. You can determine if you have a PowerBook or MacG5/G4 then you have a power PC. If you machine is new and isn't one of these models then it is Intel based. If you really can't figure it out come talk to me.

Intel based (newer macs)

Virtual PC doesn't not exist for this platform so your options are limited. The option you have is to do what is called a "dual-boot" on your macintosh. This involves installing Windows XP on your macintosh and then have the ability to reboot your machine into either Mac OS or Windows. This is officially supported by apple and I'm not going to provide any support for this in the class because I don't have a fancy new mac to try it on. I'm just going to point you to the macintosh webpage that explains how to do it:

If you successfully have a "dual-booting" macintosh then you will need to "boot" into the windows installation then install Visual Basic there. From there everything should act just as it does on the windows computer.

NOTE: you will need a copy of Windows XP to do this. This is
available to you in software licensing for FREE.

PowerPC based (older macs)

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac comes with a program called Virtual PC. This program allows you run Windows inside of a Mac. I'm going to provide a brief tutorial on how to get this to work (or at least how I have it working on my PowerBook G4).

What you need (both available from software licensing):

  • Virtual PC for Mac.
  • Windows XP install CD's
  • Install Virtual PC (its located on the 2nd disc of Microsoft Office 2004 and marked VirtualPC)
    • install Virtual PC software
    • setup Virtual PC software (this is the part that asks for the software key)
    • install Windows (this is the tricky part)
      • In Microsoft Virtual PC, on the File menu, click New.
      • Click Install your own operating system, and then click Begin.
      • Click Continue.
      • On the Operating System pop-up menu, click the operating system you want to install on your virtual machine. If the operating system you want to install is not listed, click Unspecified.
      • Under Hard Disk Format, select the default format for the virtual hard disk image, click Continue.
      • In the Name box, type the name for your virtual machine.
      • Accept the default location (unless you know what your doing), click Create.
      • On the Install Your Operating System screen, click Start PC.
      • A black screen with the message "OS not found. Install an OS on this hard drive." appears.
      • With Virtual PC in the foreground, insert the CD that contains the operating system into the CD drive of your Macintosh. (this is the Windows XP disc)
      • In Virtual PC, on the PC menu, click Reset.
      • To confirm that you want to restart the virtual machine, click Reset again. When the text "Press any key to boot from CD." appears on the screen, immediately press any key on your keyboard.
      • Note You must press a key on your keyboard quickly, without pausing. Otherwise, the black screen with the message "OS not found. Install an OS on this hard drive." appears again, and you will need to click Reset on the PC menu in Virtual PC.
      • When you see the Welcome to Setup screen, press RETURN. To cancel the installation, press F3.
      • To accept the terms of the End-User License Agreement (EULA), press F8. To cancel the installation, press ESC.
      • Select a partition for the virtual hard disk image, and then press RETURN. Accept the partition that is selected by default.
      • Caution Do not convert your file system to the NTFS.
      • Press F to format your partition
      • Continue the install process (this takes time, lots of questions)
    • Install visual basic
      • Once you have a windows installation up and running you can start this step
      • This should follow the same instructions found here