is was a port of QEMU for OS X. It's a universal binary, so it works on the Intel Macs without translation. The price is a mere $25.00 (downloaded version), which makes it
hard to have any complaint if it works at all. It does work, though I'll
still complain, albeit more about minor packaging details than the
The first problem was ordering. OpenOSX offers downloadable versions
(that's the $25.00 option) or shipped CD's for more money. I didn't
want to wait for CD's, so I chose the download. They have PayPal as a
payment option, which is always appreciated for small orders like this. I got
an immediate acknowledgement of my payment from PayPal, and was returned
to a splash page.
Um, hello - what now? Nothing on the splash page told me where to
go to download the product, so I assumed another email would arrive
with those instructions. Well, eventually it did, but that was five
hours later. The email gave me a url and a login/password
for that. From there, I downloaded the OpenOSX Wintel product and
a bunch of disk images (packed as .sitx files).
You can't open the OpenSX download without a password because it's
encrypted. Notice this is not the password they sent to gain access
to the directory for the download. To get this password, you
need to send them back an email which effectively confirms that
you have downloaded the product. Several hours later, you get
the encryption password and can actually install the emulator.
Seems like a heck of a lot of protection for a $25.00 product,
OK, I had the product. The web site says:
Our WinTel product includes the following separate disk images with
10 different popular open source x86 operating systems pre-installed
Well, that's a bit of puffery. You do get the images (assuming
you downloaded the .sitx files), but they are older versions and they
aren't exactly "pre-installed". Unpacking the software
does give you a couple of images that just need to be double-clicked,
but for the rest, you need the .sitx files.
is what you need to unpack the .sitx files. On my Mac, I hadn't
yet installed that, so the files downloaded as .sitx.txt fles. You
can open those with Stuffit (control click and choose "Open With")
but it's easier if you rename them as .sitx first. Either way,
Stuffit is quite amusing on the larger files: it says things like it will
take some 22,000 hours to unpack, and the number keeps getting larger!
Obviously some overflow or a sign mismatch due to Intel vs. PPC.
You end up with
package files which you can double click and that action will
stick the actual disk image in the Disk Images folder of your OpenOSX
in Applications. Great fun, but I guess it could be worse.
But wait: there's still more to do! What you get from this is commpressed
tar files that need to be copied from the very inconvenient place
the package installer put them (because it's hard to get at them
from Finder) and uncompressed and untarred. Will this ever end?
Well, yeah, it ends here. Finally, you have .ddimg files usable
with OpenOSX Wintel.
Once you have an image, you can fire up OpenOSX Wintel, and
tell it to boot that image as the C: drive. Bingo, there you
are, running Dos, Linux or BSD under your OS X. Cool, fun,
and very handy.
I'd like to try Windows as soon as I can find a legal copy -
I have several here somewhere, but can't put my hands on them. I'd
hate to have to go buy a copy when I know I have at least two
unencumbered (that is, they were not bought as upgrades or
with an OEM PC) sets buried here.. but it may come to that.
At $25.00, I don't expect miracles. I'll be more than happy
if I can read man pages, run a few shell scripts, and I don't
expect or need much more. For me, this is just convenience
when I want to check syntax across different OSes or compare
older versions - that's all I need. If it can do more, I'll
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© 2012-07-09 Anthony Lawrence