The Big Two Choices: Mac and PC
of us are familiar with the two kinds of desktop and laptop computers
from: the Apple and the PC. There are other
choices, such as Lynux, for example, but most people choose a PC
computer but some choose a Mac. The most essential difference between
the Mac and the PC is the operating system: The Mac uses an operating
system known as “MAC OS”. The PC uses an operating
system known as “WINDOWS”. These two competing operating
systems are distinct from each other, although attempts have been
made to bring them closer to each other.
Bringing the Mac and PC Worlds Closer Together
All of us hope that advancements in the technological world will
make life easier but unfortunately sometimes the reverse occurs
and we find that sometimes technological advancement brings more
complexities and more technical details to consider. With the new
technical issues that have arisen in the relationship of Macs and
PCs there are, as usual, pros and cons, and one has to weigh the
advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Several years ago, several
software companies developed software that enabled the Mac to
run PC software. In other words, this software
allowed Windows programs to run on the Mac OS operating system.
One of the earliest of these programs is “Soft PC”.
A few years later the “Virtual PC” software was developed
by Connectix. The Virtual PC provided the capabilities of the Windows
operating system on a Mac computer. With Virtual PC installed on
a Mac, you were able to install and run virtually any PC program
on your Mac computer.
In June 6, 2005, Apple announced that it will use Intel microprocessors
on its new computers in the beginning of 2006 instead of the
Motorola microprocessors that were used on Macs until then. Here
is the link to the article. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/jun/06intel.html Intel microprocessors are the ones used on PC computers. It appeared
that starting the year 2006 the Mac would move rapidly towards
becoming more compatible with PC computers. The future looked
bright and the barriers between the Mac world and the PC world
would be slowly taken down. Each new version of the Windows operating
system seemed to have more similarities with the look and feel
of Mac OS and some Mac users felt that new versions of Mac OS
had some features of Windows.
It seemed that things were moving in the right direction but having
the fact that Intel microprocessors are used in the new Apple computers
does not mean that you are able to automatically install any PC
software on the new Macs. You must still install PC emulator software
on the new Apple computers.
With changes in technology and changes in software companies,
PC Soft and Virtual PC are no longer options that people choose
or that are even easily available. Below is a list of 4 different
popular ways that a Mac can be adapted to run Windows software
through the use of PC emulator software.
- Note that
none of these PC emulator software works 100% bug free. Because this technology
is so new, it could take a little while to get used to it
and some users experience headaches and face complicated issues
the PC emulator software to work.
you choose one of the four options below, I suggest that you
purchase the technical support
package for each of the PC emulator software so you get the
proper technical support to get your PC software running.
Camp (and Windows operating system): The latest version of Mac OS is also
known as Leopard. Leopard comes with a program
called Boot Camp. The Boot Camp assistant sets up your hard drive
so you are able to install Windows on the Apple computer. Boot
Camp creates a separate partition on your Mac drive so you are
able to install Windows. The Windows operating system must be purchased
in order to have PC emulation! Boot Camp is not sufficient. The
Windows operating system can be purchased at various electronics
and software stores for about $250 or so, plus any technical support
fees. Here is the link to the information about this option: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/bootcamp.html
Mac: This software is the most flexible and inexpensive of them all,
but it does also have some issues to deal
with. When you install the CrossOver Mac software on your Mac computer,
it automatically comes with the features of Windows and it emulates
the look and feel (appearance) of Windows. When CrossOver Mac is
installed on your Mac computer and you insert a CD with a PC software
installation program on it, CrossOver Mac automatically detects
the installation file and starts the installation process. CrossOver
Mac is easy to use. Like other PC Emulator Software however, CrossOver
Mac is not 100% bug free! There is one very significant and potentially
annoying problem of a window disappearing behind another window
if you click outside the window that is in the foreground. The
window that has disappeared will be visible if you drag or minimize
the window that now obscures the window that should be in the foreground.
I suggest that you download the trial version of this software
to see if it will work on your Mac computer. If it works, and you
like it, then purchase the software. It is not very expensive anyway.
Here is the link to their web site: http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/
Mac currently costs $69 or so plus the technical support fee,
and you can simply download it from the website. Unlike the
other 3 options described in this article, CrossOver Mac does
not require the purchase of the Windows operating system so the
is much less than the other options.
Desktop (and Windows operating system): This
software creates a partition on your Apple computer’s hard
drive which allows you to install the Windows operating system.
Note that as with Boot Camp (and VMWare Fusion described below)
you must purchase the Windows operating system. Here is the link
to the Parallels Desktop web site: http://www.parallels.com/. This
option will cost you the price of the Parallel Desktop Software
and Windows which is about $350 or so plus the technical support
fee. I suggest that you download the trial version of this software
to see if it will work on your Mac computer. If it works and this
option seems better than the others, then purchase the software.
Fusion (and Windows operating system): This software
is similar to Parallels Desktop. It also creates a partition on
your Mac computer’s hard drive, which allows you to install
the Windows operating system. To repeat: as with Boot Camp and
Parallels Desktop, you must purchase the Windows Operating System.
Here is the link to the VMware information: http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/ This
option will cost you the price of the WMware Software and Windows
which is about $350 or so plus the technical support fee.
As I suggested with Parallels Desktop, I suggest that you download
the trial version of this software to see if it will work on your
Apple computer before purchasing it. After testing it, you may
decide that this is the best option for you.
PC Software Emulator Problems
Any of the above 4 options can be rather tricky, problematic,
and costly. Even users that are very familiar with computers are
having issues using the above options. If you are not very familiar
with using a computer and you are planning to switch to using Apple
computer to run your PC software, I suggest that you stick with
your PC computer to avoid headache and frustrations.
The most common issue that you will encounter with any of the
above PC Emulator software is not being able to print. The PC emulation
software is not able to recognize the printer that is connected
to the Mac computer. When this happens, you will have to contact
the PC emulator software technical support to solve it. Their technical
support however is not free. Make sure that you enquire about their
technical support before you purchase any of the above PC emulator
option is to also have a PC computer. This may seem extravagant
but the cost of a PC that is more than adequate can be less than
$400. An additional printer is well under $100 or if you don't
print very much on one of the computers, you can get a printer
that works on both computers. If you like to have both a PC and
a Mac on a laptop that you take with you, however, this may not
be a good choice.