NETWORKING How your Mac can run IBM software

January 20, 1992|By Craig Crossman | Craig Crossman,Knight-Ridder News Service

Offices with both IBM PCs and Macintosh computers are becoming more and more commonplace.

Trouble is, the DOS and Mac computers are inherently incompatible with each other. For this reason, many solutions to integrate the two systems, such as networks, are available.

One solution, SoftPC from Insignia Solutions, allows the Macintosh to run PC software via software emulation. The Macintosh simulates the PC's capabilities.

While this is an ideal solution for many, SoftPC can emulate only the slower "AT" class computer. Another limitation is that SoftPC can display only the lower-resolution EGA video, which offers fewer colors and not as much detail as the newer VGA display standard.

RunPC, a program from Argosy Software Inc. of New York, is another way to run IBM software on a Macintosh. With RunPC, you run software on a PC and display what is happening in a window on the Macintosh. In essence, you are controlling the PC from the Mac.

With this scheme, you realize the full power and flexibility of the IBM system, including its memory, VGA display, hardware accessories and software. The computers may be connected via the included cable or a modem. Since RunPC allows you to control any PC, the PC window on the Macintosh is endowed with all of the controlled PC's attributes.

For example, if you are controlling a 33-megahertz 80486 PC with a VGA display, the program running in the IBM window on the Macintosh will perform just as fast as it would on a 33-megahertz 80486 PC. And it will be displayed in the same colors as it would be on a VGA display. RunPC also allows you transfer information, be it text or graphics, from the IBM window to almost any Macintosh program.

RunPC includes Argosy's Software Bridge document translator. This program allows you to transfer documents from popular PC word processors into a Macintosh word processor without the loss of formatting information, such as paragraph indentations and tabs.

Also included is the MountPC utility, which allows you to insert DOS 3.5-inch disks into the Mac's disk drive, giving you access to the DOS information they contain.

If your office contains DOS and Macintosh computers, RunPC provides a relatively inexpensive way to run IBM software directly on a Macintosh.

RunPC/Remote ($219) lets a single Macintosh connect to a PC. RunPC/Network ($445) lets one of up to 10 Mac users connect to a PC via a modem or across an AppleTalk Network.

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