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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blue World Notes: Three Ways Blue Mars Can (and Will) Run on Macs & iPads (UPDATED)

Recently I said Blue Mars can run on a Mac “with a few tweaks”, and a lot of my Mac-owning friends grumbled. Not being a Mac man myself, they had to gently explain to me why “tweak” isn’t exactly the most accurate term. However, there are several options for Mac and Apple fans for accessing Blue Mars, and some are definitely easier than others. Here’s the top three:

Blue Mars on the cloud -- and iPad!

As Jim mentioned earlier this year, Blue Mars will soon run on the cloud -- which is a fancy way of saying it won’t require a download or an expensive computer to enjoy. That also means the cloud-based version of Blue Mars will run on a Mac, on the native OS, without requiring Windows. Not just Blue Mars on a Mac, but Blue Mars on the iPad -- watch this immensely cool demo video of Crysis, which uses the same 3D engine as Blue Mars, running on a cloud:

The cloud option for Blue Mars is coming in the next few months. So for Mac users who want to try Blue Mars with a minimum of hassle, this is probably your best bet.

To be sure, the cloud version won’t come with all the development tools that are part of the downloadable versions of Blue Mars. For Mac users interested in becoming Blue Mars developers, you will need to run the Windows version. Here’s the best options for doing that:

Windows running in Bootcamp

The Bootcamp utility included with Apple's Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" and v10.6 "Snow Leopard" enables you to install Windows (we recommend Windows 7) on your Mac, from which you can download and run Blue Mars.

Windows running on Parallels

For high-end Mac owners, Parallels, a popular program which creates a virtual Windows emulator, is also an option -- especially with the latest version, which includes more support for 3D applications (i.e. Blue Mars.)

Other options may be available in coming months and years. For now, if you’re a Mac user who occasionally uses Windows, Parallels or Bootcamp are your best bets. Otherwise, look to the cloud, coming soon.

Update, 9/22: Here's an article on Blue Mars cloud technology provider, OTOY.

Thanks to Blue Mars Community Manager Glenn Goodliffe (also his name in SL) and our Blue Mars Mac friends for the research help!


  1. Is that an actual live demo, do we know, or more of a "conceptual demo" (i.e. someone randomly moving their thumbs while a Crysis movie plays, to show what it would be like if this technology were actually operational)? My impression when it came out was more the latter, but I could be wrong...

  2. Thumbs up from a Mac OS guy who does not want to install Bootcamp. I'll review Blue Mars' cloud client for a future issue of Prim Perfect.

  3. So Tweak has been revised to "Vapourware" or buy a new OS and dual boot / Voodoo.

    Nice. Fair to say - DOES NOT RUN ON A MAC !!

  4. Would you tell someone who runs a Windows-based PC that a Linux-only VW app is compatible with their computer because they can always reboot in Linux? Technically true, but practically useless. (Especially if they had to go out and buy Linux first.)

    That said, I'll give the true Mac OS version a spin when it's ready. And the iPad version.

  5. Oh, did you say the development tools won't run on a native Mac? Then never mind.

  6. As a Mac User myself, there somethings i should point out.

    a. While BootCamp is a handy tool to have, there is a downsides to it. It uses all of your resources you have on your computer. You need to double the requirement to run windows. So lets say for Windows 7 you need 2GB of RAM, you need to get a 4GB. Hard Drive is not so bad but double go above a 250 GB and you will be fine. However, when I ran Blue Mars on my BootCamp, I wasn't too pleased about it. When I go and sign in, instantly I would freeze. Once i am able to sign in, it freezes again, and it takes me 15 minutes to go to a location. It runs very slow with Blue Mars running. When I check my task manager, it tells me how much resources is being taken, and when I see it, I am shocked.

    b. While BootCamp is great, you need to understand, you need to buy Windows. You can look for cracks, but the best way is to buy it and they are expensive. i spent $137 dollars for Windows 7 Home Premium.

    c. Windows, running Parallel. I never used it, so I can't say, but I can say this. If you install Windows 7, Apple is not responsible for it. If your computer crashes because of Windows, it voids your warranty, because it is not an Apple product. You are using windows at your own risk.

    While, I love Windows, and it works great on my Mac, running Blue Mars with it, I am not happy with. I love Blue Mars, the graphics, is outstanding, and I see the next generation of Virtual Worlds, but I am going to wait until the Clouds are released. I am excited to see new stuff from my friends on Blue Mars, and the outstanding work they put in.

    Keep up the excellent work BM :D



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