Along time ago in the late 90’s I started to create a gaming framework for windows that I could re-use quickly to create games. I chose the Microsoft DirectX7 SDK for my graphics, sound and input devices as this was fairly stable and the industry standard at the time (OpenGL wasn’t mainstream then). I set about creating the necessary C++ Classes to wrap DirectDraw, DirectInput, DirectSound and DirectMusic API’s. As a result of my project I’d created a remake of the 1983 classic ZX Spectrum Game Manic Miner originally written by Matthew Smith for Bug Byte.
Manic Miner was (and still is) a very addictive game of the era. Unlike Medal of Modern Battlefield Ops4 we started off with three lives and we used them sparingly to complete all 20 levels to escape the mine that Miner Willy had fallen into. (Only to be taken back to the beginning again 🙂
So why am I blogging about this now?
Well, nearly 14 years on, I’ve moved away from Microsoft Windows and use Apple Mac’s for the bulk of my work. I just love the quality of the hardware and the operating system. That said, there are times when only Windows will do. So as a Mac user I have choices, either use BootCamp and create a Partition on my hard drive and dual boot into Windows, or I can run machine virtualisation software like Parallels. I’ve been running Parallels software since Version 3 (I’m now on Parallels 8).
Why Parallels? Because like a Mac it just works, and I have the power of both the Mac operating system, and the ability to use a PC when I find on occasions that need to run PC only software. The software just seems flawless, I have no problems running real DirectX games that stretch the hardware such as Modern Warfare, Sonic Racers, Doom 3 etc. At the same time, I can run my business critical applications such as MS Office, Photoshop, and FrontPage, Visual Studio etc. All in the comfort of my Mac!
Recently though as a test, I downloaded my original version of Manic Miner that was written and compiled on a Windows 98 Machine, and it just worked! Manic Miner for DirectX up and running on my Mac, Virtualising a PC running Windows 7 in an OSX Window! Talk about split personalities 🙂
Not impressive? Well… When you think about it, my software is old, it uses a DirectX Driver/Version set that is no longer supported by Microsoft, MS have upgraded Windows through ME, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7, and yet my legacy software still works on all these versions of Windows. This is both a testament to Microsoft’s engineering feats that have ensure backward compatibility with legacy software, and the engineers at Parallels (www.parallels.com) that make this all happen and seamless when virtualising Windows or many other Intel based operating systems!
How many pieces of Mac Software have you purchased over a decade ago that you are still able to run today on OSX? (None is the answer you are looking for)!
So well done Microsoft, Well done the team at Parallels.
Manic Miner is available for download (Free) just by clicking the Manic Miner link on my website, or look for it under the PC Software Menu item.