I have been a big fan of emulation and Virtual Machine technology for years.
A couple weeks back I tried to run an old game of mine, you know, those really, really old ones that were more DOS than Windows games or were made for really old versions of existing libraries like DirectDraw and DirectX. Well low and behold, it just doesn’t work. Now many of these games are also available from http://www.gog.com if you want to buy them again, but if you are like me and a cheap son of a gun, well you would try to exhaust all possible options before spending money on these titles.
Sure it may be convenient and it may be user friendly to buy from Good Old Games… but where is the fun in that?
So I went looking for options and I found several software suites that allow for emulation of a complete operating system. Sure there is DOS Box for the really old stuff, but I hate messing with it if I don’t have to. And plus, my game was an early Windows title, not a DOS application.
Now since the vast majority of our users are Windows customers, this will be highly windows focused.
However, for those of you on Mac and Linux, “WINE” is a great piece of software that essentially is a compatibility layer (much like the compatibility layer that modern windows has for older versions of itself) for windows software on your system. This provides almost Windows level performance that you may have trouble reaching when virtualizing or emulating older operating systems.
So what is all this gobbleygook about virtualization and emulation?
(Note: you have to scroll past the headlines section … it’s on every page).
Emulation and virtualization apps that allow you to run computer programs in a simulated old computer or game console are a mature technology. The technology has also become very easy for the non-computer expert to install, use and enjoy for numerous computer needs, not just limited to computer gaming.