The following article was published last Friday at the Bankruptcy Practice Pro blog, and it is worth reading:
So you’ve finally done it. You bought a Mac. It’s amazing because
the tools you formerly used on a PC are all there on your Mac. Until
one day when you realize that one of the most important programs you
need for your bankruptcy practice is only available in a PC version.
What do you do?
Since Apple’s switch to the Intel chip last year, this is not as
major a concern as it once was. For those who purchased a G4 or G5
PowerPC machine in the past, there was Microsoft’s Virtual PC, a
program that let you run Windows in an emulation window on the Mac.
Using emulation, you would have a PC in a window and your PC programs
ran within that window. Notice the past tense; the PowerPC processors
and Virtual PC are history.
But don’t panic, there are no less than three solutions to the
problem and a fourth on the horizon. Some of these products are truly
First is Apple’s own Boot Camp.
A part of Apple’s upcoming Leopard OS X update, this is a utility that,
once installed, allows you boot to your Mac into Windows XP. Once you
do that, your Mac is no different than any Windows PC. Windows is in
control of the machine and any Windows program runs completely
natively. According to some tests, in this mode the Mac runs faster
than some high-end PC machines out there. The downside? You have no
access to those wonderful Mac programs that caused you to buy the
computer in the first place and you can only go back to the Mac side by
restarting the computer. Oh yeah, while you are in Windows, your
machine is just as susceptible to viruses and worms as any Windows PC
because it is a Windows PC. Better get those prophylactics out.
Second is a program called Parallels.
This lets you run Windows in emulation mode, just as Virtual PC did for
Mac users in the past. You install Parallels, then your favorite flavor
of Windows. Launch Parallels which starts Windows in a window and then
you can run your Windows program of choice in that window. There is
also a mode that hides the Windows desktop called Coherence which gives
the illusion that you are actually running the program on the Mac. The
advantage of this approach is that you do not need to restart the Mac
into Windows and your Mac programs remain available to you at the same
time. The program is subject to the same criticism as the old Virtual
PC; it’s a little pokey. You can also catch a virus or worm, but the
effect of that pest is limited to the virtual environment, so
restarting from a backup is relatively easy.
The third solution is provided by a company called CodeWeavers
which has adapted an Open Source project called Wine. Called CrossOver
Mac, this program provides a translation service for the Mac OS that
takes Windows instructions and transfers them to the Mac OS. The
advantage is that you don’t need Windows at all! A PC program will run
natively on an Intel Mac just as if it were a Mac program. Windows
programs look like Windows programs, but you don’t need to start
Microsoft’s product first. Double click on a program or document icon
and it launches. So far, my testing shows that this environment may be
less susceptible to viruses and worms because Windows is not running
and so none of the security holes exist. The only disadvantage is that
if the PC program has any legacy code or doesn’t follow standard
programming guidelines, it won’t run. The company maintains an
extensive list of compatible programs that is regularly updated by user
Currently in beta test, Fusion
by VMware is the final tool. Although the focus is to run emulation of
the operating system in a windows, this program allows an Intel Mac to
run all sorts of PC operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, NetWare,
and Solaris all at the same time as the Mac OS. Again the disadvantage
is that you are running Windows (or whatever) in an emulation window
and your programs run inside that. Because you are running Windows, you
are exposed to viruses and worms. I know nothing of the speed and being
a beta product, functionality may also be a problem.
So if you buy a Mac, you don’t need to worry about losing access to
your favorite PC-based bankruptcy petition program. Just pick the
solution that is compatible with your program and the approach you like
the best and carry on. As time goes on, you’ll wish for a Mac version,
but that is the time to lobby your software company to make one.
Source: "Want A Mac But Don’t Want To Lose Your PC Programs? No Problem!" by Eugene Melchionne, published at Jay Fleischman‘s Bankruptcy Practice Pro blog.