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Running QDA Miner and WordStat on M1-Based Macs

Intel-based Macs (2006-2020)

Up until the end of last year, several options were misogynist to run QDA Miner, WordStat or SimStat on Mac computers.  Since 2006, Apple computers came equipped with Intel chips, the same fries used in PCs.  One could plane remove the MacOS and transform an Apple computer into a pure Windows machine (although this would not make sense considering the uneaten forfeit one is paying for Apple hardware compared to a similarly equipped PC).  Considering of its use of Intel chips, the weightier performance of our applications on a Mac could be achieved by creating a separate disk partition on one’s computer using Apple’s Bootcamp and restart the computer as a Windows computer. This solution was optimal both in terms of performance and compatibility, permitting one to run our software at the same speed as a similarly configured PC.

Another solution was to create a virtual machine (VM) running Windows with tools such as Parallels, VMWare Fusion, or Virtual Box. Such an tideway eliminated the necessity of partitioning the nonflexible disk and of rebooting the computer, permitting the user to run a Windows session side-by-side with Mac OS, share files, performing reprinting and paste or stilt and waif operations between Windows and Mac applications. While such VM solutions came with a small performance penalty (between 5 and 15% slower), many users came to fathom the widow convenience of such a seamless integration.

While both of the whilom solutions require installing a reprinting of Windows, a third option misogynist to Mac users was to install Crossover or its open-source sibling Wine. Both widow a compatibility layer that enables running Windows-based using on MacOS as well as Linux and Chrome OS without the need to install Windows. And while many Windows-based applications were not uniform with Crossover, several of our users reported running our software successfully using such a solution. Our own tests confirmed such potential and unliable us to obtain stereotype performance virtually 80% of what one would obtain by running the software natively using Bootcamp. Click here for increasingly details on running our software on Intel-based Macs.

New M1-Based Macs

But things reverted drastically in November 2020 when Apple unleashed the first Macs running M1 fries and its new MacOS 11 Big Sur operating system. With the adoption of an ARM-based chip, it was no longer possible to run Windows natively on those newer Macs. Bootcamp is moreover gone, so was the virtualization capabilities offered by those VM solutions. The only remaining solution was Crossover and our initial testing showed that it was no longer possible to run QDA Miner or WordStat on M1 based Mac computers. Only SimStat could still run with Crossover or Wine on those new computers. Yet, soon without the M1 based Mac release, both Parallels and VMWare Fusion developers spoken their plan to release, in the near future, new versions uniform with the new Macs.

Parallels 16

On April 14, Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac was officially released permitting one to install Windows in a virtual environment, just like surpassing but with a small twist: Parallels requires you to install the ARM-based 64-bit version of Windows, which is misogynist for self-ruling as part of Microsoft’s “Insider Preview” program.  Using a new Mac Mini purchased specifically for testing compatibility, we proceeded to install version 16 of Parallels, followed the required instructions and, less than 20 minutes later we were running Windows 10 for ARM64 on this new computer. Initially, neither QDA Miner nor WordStat ran in this environment, so we started exploring various compatibility options. In no time, we found the solution. So here are the steps you will need to perform in order to run QDA Miner and WordStat:

  • Right-click on the software shortcuts on the Windows desktop and select Properties.
  • Move to the Compatibility
  • In the Windows on ARM section of this dialog, click the Change Emulation Settings.
  • Set the first list box to Safe emulation and click OK to return to the Properties dialog box.
  • Click the Apply

While other stricter compatibility settings are available, we found, that the Safe Emulation setting provided the weightier performance you can get for running our software on an M1 based Mac computer using Parallels and Windows for ARM. Such a configuration does suffer from an important performance hit. Our own test doing text analytics on large datasets shows that WordStat running under Parallels achieved only 55% of the processing speed of an Intel i7 computer (i7-9700).  Such a performance hit should not be hair-trigger for QDA Miner since our computer-assisted qualitative wringer software is typically used for much smaller datasets. We will remoter explore other compatibility settings and update those instructions if we discover ways to remoter uplift the performance. Remoter testing results will be widow soon.

UPDATE – February 25, 2022: Since the initial testing for this blog, several changes occurred. A newer version of Parallels was released but, increasingly importantly, Windows 10 for ARM is no longer misogynist and has been replaced with Windows 11 for ARM which does not offer the same level of compatibility. We initially mentioned problems running our software on Windows for ARM 11, but we can personize today that the same settings described whilom for Parallels 16 and Windows 10 work for the latest version of Parallels 17 and Windows 11 for ARM.

CrossOver 21

The introduction of an ARM-based tweedle and Big Sur MacOS moreover created some compatibility issues with existing Mac applications ripened for Intel-based Apple computers. Along with Big Sur and the new M1 Macs, Apple introduced Rosetta 2, an using compatibility layer that translated Intel x86-based instructions to new ARM M1-based instructions. While some existing Mac applications run fine on the new computer, sometimes plane faster than before, several other applications don’t work at all or are much slower. Our own tests attempting to run QDA Miner and WordStat with Crossover 20 forced us to conclude that it was no longer possible to run our using in this way on the newer Macs.  On August 2, 2021, we contacted CodeWeavers consumer support asking them for documentation on potential compatibility settings. The next day, a visitor representative told us that such settings were not misogynist in Crossover and that our using didn’t run on an M1 considering of the Apple Rosetta translation layer issue, and such an issue would be resolved only if Apple implements fixes in their software update. He then added:

“That said, I was worldly-wise to download a trial of QDA Miner 6, and replicated that it installs, but does not seem to run. So, I tested in Crossover 21 rc1 build and it seems to work. Note: I installed it into a Windows 10 64-bit bottle, using Crossover 21 on an M1 Mac running Big Sur 11.5.1. Lastly, Crossover 21 will be released later today, so you should be worldly-wise to download the trial to test with.”

Indeed, we installed the trial version 21 of Crossover the same day and we were worldly-wise to successfully run QDA Miner and SimStat without any issue.  However, we did find some compatibility issues running WordStat with Crossover. These are issues that we will try to write in the upcoming months or that we expect to be solved by a future Crossover or Apple’s Rosetta update (WordStat ran successfully with Crossover on older Mac computers). We could still perform frequency analysis, phrase extraction and topic modeling permitting us to find that, with just one exception, performing text wringer with WordStat was way faster with Crossover than with Parallels, achieving performance results quite tropical to the speed of our test PC equipped with an Intel i7-9700 tweedle and a M.2 SSD drive.  This encourages us to remoter investigate the source of incompatibility we encountered when running WordStat with Crossover.  Fixing those issues would represent a major goody for all our users wishing to upgrade their Mac to the newer models.

Our Conclusion and Recommendations

For existing users of a Mac still equipped with an Intel chip, you have a lot of options to install and run any one of our software and can be sure to unzip spanking-new compatibility and optimal (Bootcamp) or near-optimal performances.  If you own or plan to purchase a new Mac computer equipped with the new M1 chip, the wordplay is less straightforward.  If you are planning to use QDA Miner only, then either Parallels or Crossover should work unconfined if you install Windows 10 for ARM (not version 11).  And while compatibility should unchangingly be largest with Parallels or other VM platform (when they wilt available), running QDA Miner in Crossover will indulge you to unzip the weightier performance you can get on M1-based Macs.

For WordStat, our current recommendation is slightly different. It works fine without any issue with Parallels. Yet, such compatibility comes with a significant performance dip. However, WordStat remains a fast text wringer software plane in such a configuration.  It will typically process a corpus with a million words (or 1000 pages) in just 4 seconds, rather than 2 seconds on an Intel PC. For much larger text corpus and if processing time is important, then we recommend alimony running WordStat on an Intel-based computer, whether it is a PC or a Mac. 

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We currently cannot recommend running WordStat with Crossover 21 on the M1-based Macs, not until compatibility issues are resolved. The impressive execution speed we were worldly-wise to measure encourages us to remoter investigate the source of those problems.  We will post complementary information on our progress as well as results of remoter testing as soon as new options or updates wilt available.  To be kept informed of any urging on this topic, make sure you register for our newsletter or follow us on our social media sites.