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Thread: Do MediaLab and DirectRT work with Macs?

  1. #1
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    Do MediaLab and DirectRT work with Macs?

    [edited from support email]

    Can MediaLab and DirectRT be installed and run on Mac computers? [Moderator''s note: Scroll down for more recent posts--this thread started in 2006!]

    -
    Last edited by jarvis24; 02-22-2010 at 05:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    Medialab, yes, but it requires you to run it through VirtualPC. DirectRT, no. Some labs run MediaLab on Macs via Microsoft's VirtualPC. This program allows the Mac to pretend that it's a PC--just a bit slower. We don't support it but it can be done and from what we hear, MediaLab runs pretty well on it, looking and feeling much as it does on an actual PC. A G4 or G5 processor with lots of memory would be a good idea. I have run it myself on a G4 powerbook and thought it was pretty cool. In contrast, DirectRT will not run through Virtual PC on a Mac because of its dependence on actual (rather than simulated) PC hardware.

    Now that Macs are about to utilize Intel chips though, the world of Macs may be opening up to us in a much bigger way. We'll see.

  3. #3
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    Update

    With the new Intel chips, Macs can now run Windows in addition to OSX on the same machine--you just choose which one you want when you start it up. As far as I know they can run Windows as efficiently as any PC. I believe a beta version of the required software is available for installing Windows XP on the newest Macs. I'm guessing that this will be a very nice and convenient way to run both MediaLab and DirectRT on Macs without the klunky VirtualPC interface. We'll see--let us know if you want to try this!!

  4. #4
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    I have successfully run DirectRT on an Intel-based MacBook Pro 17" by installing Windows XP Home Edition under Apple's Boot Camp Public Beta 1.1. While I don't use Windows for much more than running DirectRT, it seems to run flawlessly on the Mac, and certainly DirectRT runs without a hitch. I tried it out with a few experiments which involve playing 28 fps, 640x480 WMV movies and the movies play smoothly and with excellent timing. Load times are shorter than I've seen on any other computer running DirectRT, in fact.

    The only shortcoming I ran into was that I wanted to output codes via TTL to an ERP system, and the MacBook Pro doesn't have a serial or parallel port. Obviously not a shortcoming of DirectRT! USB-to-serial adapters don't work. I will be trying a PCI serial/parallel card when I get an Intel-based Mac tower and will report on whether that works.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the update Aaron, this is great to know!
    -Blair

  6. #6
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    Howdy - I used Apple's Boot Camp app (the 'beta version' jarvis24 refers to above) to partition the hard drive on a relatively new MacBook (1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo and 1.25 GB SDRAM) and installed XP Pro. At start-up, you just hold the 'option' key down and you are presented with the choice to boot to OSX or XP. Very simple. I've not used DirectRT, but Medialab has run flawlessly on the Windows partition. I concur completely with the comment by jarvis24 above that it's a great way to use the product if you are an Apple person.

  7. #7
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    Hi there,

    I am using Windows (via Bootcamp) with both my iMac (core duo) and Macbook Pro (C2D). It is fully functional and both ML und DRT run just fine.

    Best,
    Rene
    Last edited by jarvis24; 06-28-2007 at 07:02 AM.

  8. #8
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    Just to note--we have had, so far, no reports of any problems running MediaLab and DirectRT on the new Intel based Macs with Boot Camp. Cause perhaps for cautious optimism. Mac users, please let us know if you run into any trouble at all (minor or major) so we can make the info available to others of your kind

  9. #9
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    Bootcamp vs. Parallels

    A customer recently informed us that their attempt to use DirectRT on an Intel Mac within Parallels (an emulation program) failed. Parallels is great because you can have an active OS X desktop and run Windows in a second... 'window.' If your accounting program or CAD program is only available under Windows, this is a great solution.

    However, DirectRT may fail in the Parallels environment. This is primarily because DirectRT requires the OS to give it direct access to the system hardware and Parallels does not offer this in the way that BootCamp does.

    Bottom line is that, so far, BootCamp seems the way to go. As stated above, just use BootCamp to reboot into an actual Windows environment on your Mac and you ought to be fine running DirectRT.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 04-04-2008 at 08:26 PM.

  10. #10

    definitive answer regarding macs?

    Our Department has a site license for Medialab, and I'd really like to use it, but I can't get a confident answer on whether it will work in my Macintosh lab. The consensus I have found, culling through this forum, is "probably": Medialab itself seems to run ok when booting up in Windows, not necessarily using Mac's "parallels" (much preferred from my perspective). And the jury is still out on DirectRt.

    Can you give a more definitive answer? My studies are usually cognitive paradigms involving some combination of picture or video presentation and questionnaire and response time data. I want to go with your company but not if there will be any doubt about the validity of my data.

    Thanks for any clarity you can offer!

    JH


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Dr. Jamin Halberstadt
    Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology
    University of Otago
    P.O. Box 56 Dunedin, New Zealand
    (03) 479-8289 (work phone)
    (03) 479-8335 (fax)
    (027) 688-9899 (cell)
    [intern'l callers add the country code (64) and drop the "0" in the city code]
    jhalbers@psy.otago.ac.nz
    http://psy.otago.ac.nz/staff/halberstadt.html

  11. #11
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    Definitive Answer

    I've been running DirectRT on Mac Pro and MacBook Pro hardware for almost 2 years now, for behavioural and ERP studies, and can attest that DirectRT works perfectly on Macs running Windows through BootCamp. In this mode you are really just running Windows the way you would on any other Intel-based hardware - BootCamp just takes care of setting up your computer so that you can boot into OS X or Windows, installing drivers for the Mac hardware, etc.. - it is in no way an emulation or virtualization. Parallels (and VMware Fusion) are however virtualizations and cannot be expected to be as reliable as you need for cognitive research. Rebooting between Mac and Windows OSes is easy anyway, and it's not like you're going to be checking your mail or doing anything else in Mac OS while running a subject anyway

    The only oddity I've experienced is that on the MacBook Pro (but not on the MacPro), there seems to be some weirdness with the video card such that DirectRT runs at whatever screen resolution that Windows is set to, not the resolution you specify in the Styles file. But I haven't updated this machine's BootCamp to the current version that ships with Leopard (which has updated video drivers), so this may be fixed as well. At any rate it's a trivial problem really.

  12. #12
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    Aaron--thanks so much for the thorough update!!

  13. #13
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    [edited from support email]

    I recently installed DirectRT on my laptop, but have had difficulty running the samples in your training - it comes up with the following message:


    DirectRT can not determine your display's refresh rate which is critical for accurate timing. The cause of this problem is usually an outdated or disabled video driver, or disabled video acceleration in your video settings. If you need help resolving this issue please report this error to support at www.empirisoft.com. Error #6. Overflow


    I am running this program on my Mac, via Parallels with Windows XP and all attempts to reinstall drivers have been met with reports that they are installed ok. I have attached a diag report, as suggested in your manual.


    I am tempted to simply switch to your beta program for Macs instead of trying to run it through Windows - would it be possible to switch my license to this if you can't help me with the problem with the program?
    See above for discussion regarding Parallels versus BootCamp and see if that helps.

  14. #14
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    Hi all,

    I just registered ML on my Mac using Crossover. I opened an que-file and it
    seemed to work.

    So, besides bootcamp (which is basically Windows) you can run ML on a Mac
    via at least three platforms now: Parallels, VMWare Fusion, and Crossover. Just so you know

    All the best,
    Rene

  15. #15
    Ah, cool. If it runs with CrossOver on a Mac, it should also run on Linux by using Wine (CrossOver is a proprietary clone of Wine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_(software)) for Linux). Wrong thread, I know, it's all about the Macs here. However, MacOS is based on UNIX, and so is Linux.

    All the best,
    Tom

  16. #16
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    This is all great, info, thanks all!

    Quick update re: Parallels 5.0 as Nov 9, 2009:

    Intels Macs running DirectRT and MediaLab seemlessly on XP, Vista or Windows 7--right along side OSX? Eeek! Taken straight from Tekserve's site here in NYC (link to Apple's info on it below):

    With Parallels Desktop, Windows applications run great on a Mac, even side-by-side with Mac OS X.

    Parallels Desktop 5 lets you seamlessly run Windows programs on the Mac OS without rebooting. You can easily drag-and-drop documents, pictures, and music between Windows and Mac applications, and launch your Windows programs right from your Mac's dock.

    With Parallels, you don't even have to see the Windows desktop you can make Windows invisible while using its applications. Or, if you're new to Mac, you can keep the familiar Windows background and Start Menu. And, if you're a little bit of both, choose as much Mac or Windows as you need, without compromising performance.

    If you already use Parallels Desktop, the new version 5 adds over 65 new features and enhancements, making it faster, smarter, and more powerful than ever. Parallels Desktop 5 adds full Windows 7 compatibility and Snow Leopard support; up to seven times faster graphics performance; improved USB compatibility and speed; support for multi-touch gestures in Windows applications; and more.
    If this is true, my PCs are toast (ha ha).

    For Apple's info on Parallels Desktop for Mac 5.0, see also: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...topformac.html

    Opinions, experiences, musings welcome and encouraged!!
    Last edited by jarvis24; 11-09-2009 at 05:13 AM.

  17. #17
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    MediaLab on Mac using Parallels Desktop for Mac 5

    Hi all,
    I can happily report that MediaLab run smoothly on Mac also using Parallels Desktop for Mac 5.
    Keep on with the good job!

    Eyal Peer
    Experimental Psychology Lab
    Ruppin Academic Center, Israel

  18. #18

    DirectRT still giving "refresh rate" error in Parallels 5.0

    I'm running Parallels 5.0 on a MacPro with a Boot Camp partition. DirectRT opens just fine, but when I try to run an input file, I get the same old "refresh rate" error that people identified above. It looks like the earlier recommendation was to just boot through Boot Camp, and I can do that, but would like to continue working in the coherence mode...any workarounds for getting DRT to recognize the refresh rate?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by overbeck View Post
    I'm running Parallels 5.0 on a MacPro with a Boot Camp partition. DirectRT opens just fine, but when I try to run an input file, I get the same old "refresh rate" error that people identified above. It looks like the earlier recommendation was to just boot through Boot Camp, and I can do that, but would like to continue working in the coherence mode...any workarounds for getting DRT to recognize the refresh rate?
    Unfortunately, for DirectRT to run properly, it needs, er, 'direct' access to the computer's hardware. Since Parallels emulates the hardware, there's no way for DirectRT to run.

  20. #20
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    New user advice

    Hello!

    My lab is in the process of starting up a number of new experiments (IATs, Stroop etc) on DirectRT and are hoping to use Macs. From what I understand on the forum, this is possible if we purchase 'Bootcamp'. I would love your advice on the following questions:

    1) Can I run Bootcamp/Direct RT on a MacBook Air (memory 68-128 GB, processor speed 1.4-1.6 gHz). ? (The computer will need to be very portable)

    2) What would be the best versions of Bootcamp & Direct RT to download?

    3) Anything else we should know that is key for setting up Direct RT on a Mac?

    Thanks!

    - Leslie

  21. #21
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    Hi Leslie

    Bootcamp comes for free with every Mac. Kind of like the toy in a Happy Meal. You do need to have a copy of Windows on CD though, so you might have to purchase that. With your copy of Windows at hand, launch Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac and it will walk you through the installation. There's lots of help on this on the 'net, just google it if you need to.

    Once Windows is installed, you should be able to download and install the latest version of DirectRT.

    Whether the MacBook Air is mighty enough for your task depends on what you want DirectRT to do. The answer is "probably yes". The timing may not be that good if you run off battery; best if you have it plugged in when running. We've done ERP and fMRI studies (where timing is important) in DirectRT on a ca. 2006 MacBook Pro, which is probably roughly equivalent in performance to a current MacBook Air.

  22. #22
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    Btw, the refresh rate issue (mentioned above) may have a solution for all *but* the Parallel's environment (see below). If anyone has found a fix for the latter, let us know!

    See:
    http://www.empirisoft.com/Support/showthread.php?p=9407
    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=5697

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