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My nightmare with Windows is finally over.
Yay! Crossover! It rules!
Late last year my G4 ibook came to a premature demise, probably a victim of all the dust and the ruts on the road to Wadeye from Daly River, which I did enough times to make me and my car age. Can't have done the laptop much good.
So I bought an Intel mac thinking 'great now I can run Toolbox'. I really wasted a lot of time. I didn't lose any data. But when I discovered what Windows was going to cost me, plus the emulator Parallels, in order to run Windows, it was the best part of A$300. I also spent a lot of time, trying just about anything to avoid paying for Windows after forking out for a new computer (for the second time in my PhD candidature). All that just to run Toolbox which is a freely downloadable application.

I tried Running Toolbox via Darwine, couldn't get it to display properly. I installed Ubuntu, a linux based operating system via Parallels, then tried to run Toolbox wine version. Wouldn't display properly either. I even tried to run Shoebox rather than Toolbox using Sheepshaver (a virtual classic emulator) but I couldn't get my hands on a classic operating system. Well I got Windows installed it and low and behold Toolbox worked. Great! (not).
Now why you would want to run Windows on a mac if you didn't need to just baffles me. The operating system is so thirsty for ram it drains memory from the mac side. With as much ram as this machine can handle, having Windows open turns this machine from something pretty quick into a snail. If you use MS word, another memory intensive application, the mac and pc sides are competing with each other for memory. This makes the hard disk spin up all the time and the machine overheats. Turning down the memory allocation in Parallels doesn't help much. It marginly improves the mac side but makes the PC side worse. It's really horrible. It's like having a computer with a migraine. It's probably OK if you are parsing all day but if you want to just search for a word in your lexicon, then you need to fire up windows, then go and make a cup of tea while it downloads all the virus updates. You can't use the computer at all while its doing that stuff, even the mac side.
It might be different if you boot up as a PC, I wouldn't know. But I reckon running windows through Parallels is like putting tractor tyres on a Porsche. It wont do anything for your performance and handling and it would make for a pretty lousy tractor too. So why would you do it if you didn't have to?
Well now you don't have to use windows either.
Crossover is part of the open source Wine project. I don't know how it works, but it works. It's not free, $30 after a month. That's under half the price of Parallels and about a fifth or a sixth of the price of Windows.
Download the Toolbox for Linux Wine and off you go. Toolbox virtually running natively. Now my computer doesn't overheat. As long as I keep it out of the dust and off the ruts, hopefully I'll get more that two and a half years out of it. Fingers crossed.

Comments

Just a quick question for clarification: Did you ever get toolbox to work in ubunut with wine? I'm using ubuntu and having a hard time with fonts and keyboards. I'm using ubuntu 8.04 hardy on R61 thinkpad.

No I didn't, not properly. I couldn't get the fonts to display.

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
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