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Computer science

The power of i7

Yesterday, I got truly impressed after months of disappointment about performance. I was trying to reinstall Myst IV and have some nostalgic fun with it, but this time, Windows 8.1 decided that it wouldn’t start the autorun program on the DVD. There was no other setup program on the disk, so I had to either downgrade my system or try on an older machine. No help from any forum, only complaints about games failing on Windows 8.1 but working on Windows 8.0! Grrrr…

I got fed up of all these difficulties with Windows 8.1, got tired of reading repetitive non-constructive posts about Microsoft releasing one good Windows version over two and no way to easily roll back to the “good” version, and reached the point of creating a virtual machine running an older version of Windows. For this, I used VirtualBox, which served me very well at Nuance for creating a virtual Ubuntu box.

When I started VirtualBox, I found that my Ubuntu machine was still there. I started it, it was still working, then I decided to upgrade it to 14.10. During the upgrade, I created a second VM and installed Windows XP on it. Yes, Windows XP, no fuss with Windows 7’s bad contrast between selected and unselected items, I was just tired of fighting with Windows. The installation first failed, because I had to configure the VM as IDE and not SATA, but after that it worked like a charm.

Not only two virtual machines were working smoothly in parallel (one installing downloaded packages, one installing Windows XP), but my Core i7 computer was still responsive! I was able to browse the Web without any problem.

In the end, these virtual machines didn’t help much, because when I launched the autorun from Windows XP, I found out I was inserting the second DVD of the game. The autorun of the first DVD failed to start as well on Windows 8.1, but there was a Setup program that started, worked correctly, and the game (patched to 1.03) worked very well. So for this time, no need for a virtual machine, but I will keep it around.