[APG Public List] Publisher for Footnotes - Running Apps Not Native To Your Platform

Ray Beere Johnson II raybeere at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 14 10:43:38 MDT 2010

--- On Tue, 9/14/10, Amy Crow <amy at amyjohnsoncrow.com> wrote:

> Running Windows on a Mac is actually rather painless. I use VMware 
> Fusion and found the set-up to be rather straightforward. I know of 
> others that have had good success with Parallels. The downside is the 
> space it takes up on the hard drive and the expense of obtaining a
> copy of Windows. 

     First, it depends on your own level of knowledge. I know there are many people on this list whose understanding of computers is rudimentary, and I doubt any of them would consider it possible, let along painless. :-) And it also depends on the exact details of your system. There are people who swear by VMWare Fusion - and people who swear _at_ it.
     My own rule is that, if you don't know enough to clean up the mess if something goes wrong, you'd probably better not try it. And virtualisation gone wrong can leave a pretty big mess. That isn't to say that anyone on here who knows what they're doing shouldn't try it, just that it isn't the sort of thing I'm going to recommend as a "try it yourself" option on a list like this one.
     And for anything you do, on a computer or otherwise, there's _always_ a downside. It does eat up hard drive space, but so does storing many types of files. It does cost extra - but so does getting and using most software. It isn't an option for everyone - I just thought list members ought to be aware that there are options.
     There is actually another option I didn't bother mentioning before, since it can be a little more complicated - but also avoids some of the downsides of virtualisation. If you have an old computer hanging around, you could always set that up as a server, and access programs on it via a network. This _can_ be done from a different OS, if you set it up right. And, if that other machine has Windows XP or later already installed, you won't even need to pay for a license. :-)
     If you hear about anything on Linux you want to try, you may not even need to worry about installing anything, and you certainly don't need to worry about cost. It is often possible to create a custom LiveCD which contains the apps you want to run. Yes, then you have to reboot to use them. Or, you could run a virtual machine with Linux, but then you do have the installation and the disc space issue. (Or, if you have an old machine that works, but the hard drive is dead, just set it to boot from the CD drive, insert the Live CD, then use it on that. You could save files on a USB stick to transfer them to your other system.)
     My point was not that there is one answer which will suit everyone. But there are answers out there, and no one need feel restricted just because they use a certain OS.
                               Ray Beere Johnson II


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