More on Emulation

Published: March 5th, 2004

One correspondent who uses PC Study Bible in Virtual PC comments
that he finds it “…not as fast as I would like, but usable for study…”. This, of course, brings up the question of how each one of us perceives the relative speed of the software, and what the threshold of our patience is. I’m afraid there will be as many answers as people you ask. In his review on Windows Software for Bible Study, H. Van Dyke Parunak has a whole section on Timing, where he says, among other things:

One of the most important characteristics of a Bible software package for me personally is searching speed. I often build searches incrementally, starting with a simple search, then refining it to narrow in on what I want. If each search takes more than a second or two, my thought process is interrupted. This experience is in line with research in computer interface design. A recognized authority on website design describes 0.1 second response as ideal, 1 second as maximum acceptable,
and 10 seconds as likely to cause users to leave a site and look elsewhere. In one experiment, if a process lasted longer than 8.5 seconds, users assumed the computer had frozen and rebooted.

This is probably one of the areas where I find it difficult to agree with him a hundred per cent. Not that searching speed isn’t important, but I am probably willing to wait a little bit if I like other important aspects of the package (important to me, that is! - see how much subjectivity comes into play?). After all, I don’t think surfing the net is quite the same as waiting for a Bible search to be performed. Well, anyway, what is “usable” for someone will probably be considered “unusable” by somebody else.

Further to my previous entry on emulation, I should add that I run Virtual PC on a 600 MHz iBook with 640 MB RAM, and BibleWorks 5 running on Windows 98 is “barely usable”, but usable still. As for Basilisk II, it runs on a 2,4 GH Pentium IV with 512 MB RAM, and Accordance 6.1.2 with Mac OS 7.5 runs very fast. Two caveats: I haven’t tried BibleWorks 6 with VPC yet, and yes, the program would run better if I had a G4 (VPC is optimized for machines with G4 microprocessors). You’re welcome to share your own results and experiences. On one thing we all seem to agree: Libronix Digital Library System, to name just one, cannot be used efficiently on a Mac.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 5th, 2004 at 9:45 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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