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April 9, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:58pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Connectix Corp, the San Mateo, California company best known for its RAM Doubler, and also a developer of videoconferencing software, is muscling in on the Windows emulator market with Virtual PC for PowerPC-based Macintoshes – and claims that it will run all the Pentium games as well as business applications when it ships in June. It has been providing what it calls a sneak preview of its dynamically recompiling emulator, which it claims will provide playable performance, by which it means that it will handle the heavy audio and video requirements of games, and will be the first emulator capable of providing full sound support for both MS-DOS and Windows. It will run unmodified versions of Windows 3.1, Windows95 and Windows NT, OS/2, OpenStep and Unix operating systems that run on Pentium machines. Virtual PC is claimed to provide full SoundBlaster Pro support, Ethernet networking, CD-ROM support, modem support for access to the Internet and support for printing. The program is expected to take less than 800Kb of disk space and will require 6Mb more RAM than the equivalent Pentium machine so that emulating a 16Mb machine will require 22Mb on the Mac. Interoperation between the Windows operating system and Mac OS will initially be limited to cutting and pasting text via a shared clipboard; the Virtual PC’s hard disk is a folder on the Mac’s hard disk. Extensions emulated include floppy and IDE disk controllers, with AT Attachment Packet Interface support for the CD-ROM drive; Creative Labs Inc’s SoundBlaster Pro sound board; a VGA display; mouse and keyboard; Intel Corp Triton chip set; and Digital Equipment Corp’s EtherWorks networking board. Moreover the thing emulates the floating-point unit and memory management unit instructions as well as the base set, and Connectix says it plans to support Intel’s MMX multimedia extensions by the end of the year. It uses the PowerPC’s memory manager to speed logical-to-physical address translation, rather than emulating the Pentium memory manager as Insignia Solutions Inc’s SoftWindows does. Connectix says that it has not yet decided whether to offer Virtual PC a stand-alone product or bundled with an operating system, or both, and will not set pricing until it hits retailers in June.

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