Monday, January 18, 2010

Macs And Windows

As a confirmed Mac-head, I have always bemoaned the fact that there has not, until recently, been enough interest shown in making applications usable for the Mac. Well, that has changed for several reasons. First, the Mac is now using the Intel chip, which is the same as in PC's. This means virtual Windows software is much easier and faster running on Macs. Second, Apple has the benefit of "cool," what with iPods, iPhones, and all sorts of other neat products, like their wafer-thin and light MacBook Air, so more people are buying them. Finally, the sheer power of the latest Mac's and their own native Boot Camp allows virtual Windows to run on the machines with little drop off in performance.

Even better is not having to purchase Windows in the first place. Wine, which stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator, was first designed for Linux. As the the web site says, "Rather than acting as a full emulator, Wine implements a compatibility layer, providing alternative implementations of the DLLs that Windows programs call, and processes to substitute for the Windows NT kernel." However it works, if you are good at programming, you can implement Wine for free. However, a company called Codeweavers is compiling a database of Windows programs that will run under the Mac Wine interface, so that Mac owners can use their computers at work without switching. As a Codeweaver advocate, I try to get my chosen Windows programs to run under CrossOver, the Wine program from Codeweavers. So far I am batting about .500, which is not too bad. It is great when a program to which you were denied due to your computer choice suddenly works.


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