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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, Virtual PC is a non-starter on the G5, and the new version of RealPC is vapourware. Maybe it's time to give new legs to an old idea - the Houdini card.

For those who don't recognize the name, the Houdini card was an entire 486 (later Pentium) computer squeezed into the form factor of a NuBus (later PCI) card to give rise to a line of "DOS Compatible" Macs. The first of the breed was the Quadra 610 DOS Compatible, which allowed Mac users to run DOS and early Windows versions. Later, the devices made the transition to Performa 630's and other Power Macs. The last Houdini was the Power Mac 7300/180 DOS Compatible of 1997.

The Houdini card seems to have faded away due to the acceptable performance of Virtual PC on the G3 and G4 Power Macs - after all, it's easier and cheaper to load in a software app rather than plugging in an expensive card that occupies one of your precious slots. Also, later Pentium motherboards had power and cooling requirements that were possibly incompatible with the PCI slot environment.

Maybe the idea could be made to work all over again on the G5. It would require no permissions from Microsoft - it is, after all, just another piece of Intel hardware. The mighty cooling capacity of the G5 would probably be sufficient for even a Pentium 4 - a processor fan could also be employed - look at the massive fan/heat sink on the ATI Radeon 9800 video card employed in some G5's. Any shortage of power from the PCI bus could be dealt with by tapping extra juice from a drive connector, as some G4 expansion cards do already.

So, is The Great Houdini ready for a comeback? Whadda yez think?

Cheers :-> Bill
 

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I had a 1997 version of that card, it was poop. I bought it with my beloved 8600, *sniff* I miss her so...

VPC 2 replaced it shortly for me and it blew the doors off it running the same OS (at the time it was win 95)

I think the cheapest way of dealing with your PC need is buy a used P2 for $200 and get a keyboard switcher.

Hell it's cheaper than buying VPC
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the cheapest way of dealing with your PC need is buy a used P2 for $200 and get a keyboard switcher.
Cheap in terms of dollars, true, but what about space? The whole PC-on-Mac thing, whether hardware of software, is intended for convenience and space saving. If you've got space galore, the obvious solution is a second computer desk and a hardware PC - no question.

In my case, I use both. My casual PC needs are readily met with Win98 on VPC 5. If I need real power, I've got a generic AMD Athlon 1 GHz box with Win2K and MS Office. I deal with the second monitor issue by not having one - free software does the trick - I control the PC over the network with VNC.

Cheers :-> Bill
 
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