On Thursday 04 May 2006 15:55, Barnaby Scott wrote:
> I am new to FreeBSD (or any other Unix operating system) but am very
> keen to make the switch. I have read as much as I can over the last
> couple of years, and am very nearly ready to ditch the various Windows
> versions on my network - however there is one Windows-only application I
> really cannot find a replacement for, and that is Rhino3D
> (http://www.rhino3d.com/). Looking at the CAD section of the ports
> collection does not offer any alternative that is at all comparable, so
> I fear I'm stuck with it.

Congrats on your decision.

> I believe Rhino does not work with any Windows emulators either, so I
> imagined I had only 2 options left - have completely separate computers
> and retain Windows on one - no good because my desk is cluttered enough
> already, or to go for a dual-boot one - no good either as I would
> constantly be rebooting (or would in practice revert to Windows and
> never get to learn FreeBSD which is what I want to do!)

There are other options - see below.

> However, I don't mind having a Windows machine running somewhere on the
> network out of the way, but would want to use the keyboard, monitor and
> mouse attached to my FreeBSD machine. Does anyone know if it is possible
> in principle to drive a Windows program on a Windows machine, but from a
> Unix computer? If this is not an idiotic question, and this sort of
> thing is possible, where would I find some fairly idiot-proof
> instructions on how to set it up, or at least some reading to get me
> started?

If your secondary machine has Windows XP Pro or another Windows OS that 
includes "Remote Desktop", then that's an easy way to go.  There is 
an "rdesktop" port on FreeBSD that you can use to connect to it.

Similarly, you could install a VNC server (there are a few, I like TightVNC) 
on the Windows box (any version of Windows is OK) and run a VNC client from 
the FreeBSD box for the same effect.  [This is actually the reverse of what I 
do currently. I run Windows on my primary desktop for various reasons, but 
have a VNC session open to my (headless) FreeBSD machine so I can run kmail 
and other X / Unix type programs.]

If you want to stick to one computer then the options become a bit more 
exotic.  On my work computer I run FreeBSD but am required to use Microsoft 
Outlook, so I run Windows XP inside a qemu virtual machine (qemu is in the 
ports).  Performance is acceptable but not stellar.  Wine may also be worth 
exploring if you haven't yet, but it's hard to tell if a given program will 
work with Wine until you try it (although there is an application database on 
their website - winehq.org).

> I realise that a common bit of advice is to try stuff out and see, but
> if I cannot see a way forward, the time invloved in installing and
> learning FreeBSD would be very hard to justify, so please bear with me -
> I would be grateful for any advice at this stage.

If anything you're to be commended on your forsight; it will make your 
transition much more painless.

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