August 31, 2006

We dont need no stink’in virtualization

Posted in Commentary, OSX Software at 7:33 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

While I am a huge fan of VMware and Parallels for the Mac, sometimes it is a real pain to have to boot Windows just to run IE for a single POS website. It’s also nice to be able to run Visio on demand and not have to boot windows. Run visio on demand you say? Without Windows? you bet!! I came from a heavy Linux background before I found OSX and one tool I really missed was Crossover from Codeweavers. This was the commercial version of WINE that allowed a Linux user to run a Windows application without having to actually run the Windows OS. Finally, they have the public beta of the OSX version out from Codeweavers and I was all over that in a New York minute 🙂 And the price? Hows 50 bucks sound and there is a special right now for under 40 for the OSX version if you prepay.

Honestly, it is still rough around the edges but enough works to be very promising. For example, where I work settled on using TrackIT for tickets. Not my choice and I would not recommend it to anyone but we have it and that is life right now. It requires IE since it uses ActiveX due to lax and lazy programmers and up to now, my only option was to boot Parallels and then use IE. But, now even with the beta, I have about 85% of the application running in the Crossover version of IE6. There seems to be some screen paint issues remaining with the libraries but I have a few ideas to try. Visio 2003 boots but the only fonts I have are dingbats so that is a major flaw. Word runs perfectly as do a few other applications I tested. My testing so far is on a slow 1.6 Dual core Mini with a gig of ram. I suspect that with a faster CPU and more ram, it would be very good indeed but the response is not bad right now. I also plan to run it on my Powerbook and my iMac G5 to see the differences.

crossover-screenshot.jpg

You can see in this screen shot that I have Safari open in the background and IE 6 running in the foreground. No Parallels, no emulation, no Windows. Very clever programming to be sure and I love I can just start IE as an application and not have to boot the entire Windows OS just to run it.

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