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VT alternative for Mac users

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As a VT user myself, I like my clients to follow- happy with ensuing positive responses.

However another Mac user has arisen.  I see three alternatives:-

Firstly, splash the cash and buy a Win10 laptop.  Secondly, use Excel and Bridging Software.

Or.... Did I dream it or can a Mac be "tweaked" to accept VT?

If all fails, is there a respectable application close to VT for Mac users?  Must be minimal cost as new client is a PSC....... Only got until next March for payback of outlay.

BTW- I've never used a Mac myself.......

Thanks in advance

 

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By SJRUK
19th Jul 2019 16:55

I know of a couple of clients who have managed to tweak their MAC to use VT - but I've no idea how it was done.

Might be something to do with a split screen or log in or something..............So sorry not much help other than the solution is out there!

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19th Jul 2019 17:03

You can bridge from Numbers on a Mac directly. There is no need to install Excel. I did a Numbers bridge today for a rock group. I did a Numbers bridge on Wednesday for a yacht manufacturer.

Cell references on Numbers are a bit odd (for the digital links) it is like "=Table 1::C2" otherwise it works the same except you cannot link between workbooks only within sheets in a workbook.

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19th Jul 2019 17:12

You can install WINE ( https://sourceforge.net/projects/wine/ ) which allows you to run Windows programs on a Mac. Or you can install Windows on it and set it up as a dual boot machine. Or you can wipe MacOS entirely and install windows on it.

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By zebaa
20th Jul 2019 07:44

Or buy a micro computer with W10 installed for < 200 quid and just run spreadsheets on that.

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By jenks81
20th Jul 2019 15:41

Could always look at cloud alternatives and alleviate the need for these sorts of things to occur.

We used Google Chromebooks for a number of years which are cheap as chips to run our practice as everything was cloud based. Totally removed the issue of compatibility. Isn't for everyone but it meant we didn't spend much time on IT related matters.

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to jenks81
20th Jul 2019 17:45

In a sense, however, you have changed the issue of compatibility. By deciding to run only software that operates via internet protocols and runs in a browser that places a limit on the software you use.

I think your decision is a right one and I think over time people will move more and more towards using internet protocols and software running in a browser even if the server is being used in the same building rather than remotely somewhere.

It is harder to write software that is not clunky that works that way, but not impossible.

The end result is that anyone who has a browser that can handle the javascript properly will be able to make at least some usage of the system whether it is on an android (linux) mobile phone/tablet, apple phone, apple tablet/desktop/laptop.windows desktop/laptop, linux laptop or desktop.

My MTD software uses the internet protocols properly so it will easily handle Apple Numbers.

Software that runs in Excel cannot work for Numbers and probably not for Open Office/Libre office.

There are still limitations with Safari and Firefox, but to be fair to both Apple and the Mozilla foundation (that handle Firefox) they are not far off. They handle real time protocols reasonably well - which allows your browser to operate as a video phone and that is pretty difficult.

However, from a security perspective it is an improvement as a lot of effort is put into making the browser a safe environment into which to load code.

Hence, over time, I expect pretty well everyone to use these protocols. It will reduce the time taken in dealing with IT issues, but first it requires native cloud software that is also efficient to use.

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to johnhemming
26th Jul 2019 07:01

johnhemming wrote:

By deciding to run only software that operates via internet protocols and runs in a browser that places a limit on the software you use.

That limitation is already there if you are filing VAT by MTD which requires both a browser and an internet connection so you aren’t actually adding any limits.

johnhemming wrote:

It is harder to write software that is not clunky that works that way, but not impossible.

It’s the other way round really. Desktop software is for the most part much clunkier than modern web software in my experience. There are some exceptions such as VT bookkeeping but usually the web software I use is also faster than my old desktop software as there is much less time spent watching the dreaded “hourglass” cursor.

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to Tim Vane
26th Jul 2019 07:52

Tim Vane wrote:

It’s the other way round really. Desktop software is for the most part much clunkier than modern web software in my experience.


Although I agree with you that using internet protocols is a good idea (unsurprisingly given that I provide software using internet protocols) it is harder because you need to take into account the time that it takes for communications from the browser to the server (which may only be 20ms, but this can be an issue if there are multiple serial calls).

Hence designing a responsive system is harder. What I like to do is to write pages that do things in the background. Hence as people move from field to field (boxes on the screen) the browser talks to the server and does things.

I think this provides a much more time efficient type of response. Traditional web forms have a "submit" button that sends everything to the server. There is a role for that at times, but it can be quite clunky.

There is also the issue that people can come in at any point in a process. Hence you either have to design a system that won't really allow the back button to be used or design something that copes with a bit of randomness (which is a bit harder). I prefer the latter myself as that again makes things easier for users.

I started programming in machine code on an SDK 85 (based around the 8085 chip) in 1977 and Fortran at school. I then went into IBM GSD systems (System/34/38 AS/400 iSeries etc) and have also done a range of other coding on PCs. I am now mainly using java and javascript. Hence I would claim quite a wide experience of systems and approaches.

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25th Jul 2019 09:24

Hi- OP here. Many thanks to all for responses
Clearly the VT matter is not resolved (it was a huge task)
Never having used a mac myself, I'm not too sure of the kind responses from johnhemming, Duggimon and AW71 but I shall pass over to my client.

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to WallyGandy
25th Jul 2019 11:14

In 2014 bought MB pro and converted to Apple full time. Bought and loaded VM Ware Fusion, a Windows 7 disk to run in conjunction with Apple IOs. A flick with 2 fingers on mouse changes from one to the other OS instantly.

Downloaded VT+, which I had been using for some 4-5 years in Windows.

The only hitch that became apparent was that the Fn keys don't behave in the same way. You gradually work out what combination of Control keys etc to give you the same shortcut function

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25th Jul 2019 10:43

I installed Parallels on my Mac 5 years ago primarily to carry on using VT Transaction+. You can then run any windows programs.

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25th Jul 2019 16:00

For your client to add VT to a Mac they will need Parallels or VMWare to set up the virtual machine with which to run Windows, a Windows 10 licence and a VT licence.

Presumably they'll want to avoid subscribing to Office if there is no call for it day to day.

Haven't used VMWare, but Parallels was easy to install and runs pretty much seamlessly. It's like having a Windows PC on your Mac Desktop without having to buy the hardware. I imagine VMWare is the same.

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25th Jul 2019 16:00

For your client to add VT to a Mac they will need Parallels or VMWare to set up the virtual machine with which to run Windows, a Windows 10 licence and a VT licence.

Presumably they'll want to avoid subscribing to Office if there is no call for it day to day.

Haven't used VMWare, but Parallels was easy to install and runs pretty much seamlessly. It's like having a Windows PC on your Mac Desktop without having to buy the hardware. I imagine VMWare is the same.

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25th Jul 2019 19:13

I'm not sure what you're asking.
(1) Who is the software for: you or your client?
(2) What version of VT do you or the client need: Transaction+ or Cash Book or Final Accounts or something else?
(3) Or does the client perhaps not need VT, but merely a spreadsheet that you will then use bridging software to file via VT for MTD?

Have you seen this:
http://www.vtsoftware.co.uk/system/index.htm

I am guessing (as you haven't made it clear) that you have a PC with VT Final Accounts and you have a client who has a Mac. If that is so, then they cannot run any version of VT unless they use a PC-emulator such as Parallels, which allows a Windows environment to run within the Mac OS.

If the client can run a spreadsheet, then they can do that on a Mac (ideally by purchasing Excel, or in Numbers which they then save for you in Excel-compatible format). They can then send you the Excel sheet that you can link to your copy of VT and file under MTD.

Alternatively, use cloud software (eg QBO or Xero) for your Mac clients, as they run on almost any OS that can run a web browser.

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