My friends, although itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gotten a lot of press of late, the truth is that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been able to run Windows on your Mac for years. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always a pleasant solution, however, not because Microsoft builds a mediocre operating system, which is largely true. But there were other reasons why you would find the task to be an unbearable chore.
Back in 1995, for example, I was asked to write a Windows 95 version of one of my books. As a Mac user, this presented a dilemma that was addressed by an emulator, known as SoftWindows. The application has since passed to the great software graveyard in the sky, but it got the job done, sort of. While I had the speediest Mac of that era, with as much memory as I could afford, every single function moved slowly, stuck in quicksand it seemed.
I suppose I could have bitten the bullet and bought a real Windows PC, but the cost would have been too high considering the modest advance I received for that particular title. And, besides, after the book was completed, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d end up with another wasted piece of hardware to put in the closet or sell.
But you have to understand that it wasn’t bad programming that made SoftWindows or Virtual PC so slow. The process of duplicating the functions of another processor in software entailed a huge overhead, so that it worked at all seemed almost a miracle.
Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.
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