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Increase the Power of Your Mac with Emulators

written by: •edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 3/31/2011

There is much more that your Mac can do than browse the web and sync MP3s with your iPhone - it is a veritable time machine, capable of emulating computer platforms from the 1970s to the 2010s!

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    Mac OS Emulation Software Roundup

    With a popular design, high specification and the choice of running Mac OS X, Windows or Linux, it would seem that a Mac computer gives you access to the widest selection of software available.

    As such there seems little point in trying to run an emulator on your computer. However there are times when this might be required. For instance you might use a virtual machine and install a new operating system within Mac OS X (only suitable on modern Mac devices with multi-core CPUs) or you might find some emulation software that can be installed on your Mac and used to run old/other software.

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    Different Types of Mac OS Emulation Software

    Power64Screen2Mac Os Emulation Software Roundup Regardless of what platform you want to emulate, you should be able to find suitable software for your Mac.

    For instance if you wanted to emulate MS DOS in order to run a particular piece of pre-Windows software on your Mac you could use the Mac version of DOSBox. (For modern Windows applications you would probably use Parallels.)

    Similarly you might be interested in running a classic 8-bit computing platform such as the Commodore 64, something you would be able to do with Power64.

    Another popular platform you might wish to emulate on your Mac is the Amiga, which can be done with UAE for Mac OS X.

    Image credit: http://www.infinite-loop.at/Power64/Images/Power64Screen2.png

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    Emulating Consoles on Your Mac

    You don’t have to be restricted to archaic operating systems either – various up-to-date systems can also be emulated on a Mac, such as games consoles.

    Kega Fusion is an emulator of almost every Sega console available, such as the Sega Genesis/Megadrive, while ZSNES emulates the Super NES console.

    Finally PlayStation emulators PSMac and Pi are also available for Mac users, just a couple of emulators available in a very wide selection of Mac OS emulation software.

    Remember that using these emulators to run software legally requires you to own a copy of that title.

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    Emulating with Virtual Machines

    Other types of emulation are available for Macs in the shape of virtual machines. These are applications that create a virtual hardware environment into which an operating system can be installed. Popular with IT technicians for running multiple guest operating systems within the same host OS, virtual machine software is available on Mac OS X for running Windows, Linux distros and other operating systems.

    The top choice of virtual machine software for Macs is VirtualBox – our guide on using VirtualBox should show you how this can be done with Windows software.

    Note that although this article largely features Mac OS emulation software for emulating other platforms there are various emulators for allowing OS X users to run legacy applications from “classic” Mac operating systems and even PPC-specific software.

    A good selection of these types of emulator can be found at www.thefreecountry.com.

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    References

    Author's own experience

    thefreecountry.com, http://www.thefreecountry.com/emulators/macintosh.shtml