- QuickVic can be installed on to any computer running Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. This includes Apple MAC's which have Virtual PC installed which in turn allows Windows to be loaded and run. Once the MAC is loaded with Virtual PC, and a suitable version of Windows, then the MAC is not really that different to computers which run Windows without Virtual PC, the only difference is that some extra software is running along with Windows.
- Virtual PC is an emulator which allows software written for Intel (or AMD) processor based machines to be run on computers running the IBM G4 processor. Emulators have existed in the IT sector for decades and have had numerous commercial and industrial applications. They are a valid tool and their usage in allowing users to run a Windows applications (QuickVic) on a computer which does not natively run Windows is a legitimate application.
- Virtual PC performance on an iBook with Windows XP is similar to running XP on a fast Pentium 3. Running Virtual PC with Windows 98SE is similar to running Windows 98 on a fast Pentium 3 or a slow Pentium 4. In other words XP performance is generally a little less than what users generally expect whilst Windows 98's performance is quite acceptable.
- Windows running in Virtual PC is only marginally more unstable than Windows running natively on a workstation. A marginal amount of additional instability may be attributed to the Virtual PC software that is running in-between Windows and the MAC operating system (OSX), however in general, the majority of instability issues are with Windows, not with OSX or Virtual PC i.e. Windows is Windows regardless of the computer it is running on and any inherent Windows instability or issues will appear on a computer running Virtual PC just as they will on a computer running Windows natively i.e. without the need for software such as Virtual PC.
- Regarding the installation and configuration of Virtual PC, all TSP's technicians attended a MAC OS / Virtual PC training session in April of last year. They were also provided with a handout which is still available for download from the TSP Intranet site should they require additional copies.
- Virtual PC can be purchased at a total cost of approximately $12.50 (including postage) per school. Schools may wish to use the technical support grant of $300 to cover these costs.
It is acknowledged that having to run software such as Virtual PC on the iBooks, in order to install and use Quickvic, or other Windows software, is not a perfect solution, however it is a legitimate usage of Virtual PC and the resulting usability, stability and performance are all within acceptable limits.
To some extent running QuickVic in this environment has advantages when compared to running QuickVic on a Windows based computer as it is very easy to backup and restore the teachers Windows/QuickVic system within Virtual PC or for that matter copy or relocate the entire Windows/QuickVic installation to another Apple MAC.
Please note, this is also not the first time that Virtual PC has found a valid application in schools. Previously it has also been used to run other Windows only based reporting software and is also used on Principals and Assistant Principals iBooks in order to allow them to run various DE&T administration applications such as CASES21.