SoftWindows 95

Softwindows 95- not for the faint of CPU

The Good

Softwindows 95 proves to me that Insignia can pull off miracles. I like to put it this way: Softwindows 1.0 walked, Softwindows 2.0 ran, Softwindows 95 flies! The biggest shock isn’t Windows 95 on a Power Mac, it’s Windows 95 FAST on a Power Mac. On my 75MHz 6220, which is PPC 603 based, it runs at what appears to be about 60 MHz. Since 601 based machines perform better, it’s bound to run faster on a 601 based Mac of the same speed and even faster on a 90 MHz or higher machine.

That is only the half of it. Remember how if your CD-ROM extension didn’t load that Softwindows couldn’t read CDs? Not anymore. You don’t need ANY extensions except maybe Quicktime if you want to play a MIDI file (but isn’t that what MoviePlayer is for?)

TurboStart is a new feature which lets you quit Softwindows without exiting Win95. This means that the next time you start Softwindows, Win95 will appear just the way you left it. This speeds the boot process when you start Softwindows 95.

The Bad

Softwindows 95 HOGS hard drive space. That’s why you can’t get the demo from Insignia’s web site. It’s over 125 Megabytes and that’s only the half of it (watch that phrase people, it’ll become my trademark.) Remember how Softwindows 2.0 took up twice as much RAM? Softwindows 95 wants 25 megabytes for optimum performance!
It’ll work with 16 MB and Connectix Ram Doubler but I suggest having 32 MB of RAM.
I’ve been using 16+RD and I’ve experienced a few problems that I have yet to work out.

The Ugly

SW 3.0 and 95 require a PPC processor so if you don’t have one, you are outta luck.

Since the demo is HUGE, you have to borrow the CD from a friend. You only get 20 minutes to play around but that’s plenty to help you decide if you want it.

Even uglier is the price. Now we’re gettin’ down to brass tacks. “How much would you expect to pay for this wonderful product, Mike?” says the British guy selling it. You can bet it’s an arm and a leg. Ding! Ding! Ding! Correct! SW95 boasts a ginormous ( that’s pronounced jy-nor-mus) price tag of $350 unless you previously owned Softwindows. Then it’s only $150. SW 3.0 costs less, $300 full/$80 upgrade. but doesn’t include Windows 95.


I like it. It ain’t bad. All things considered, it’s cheaper than a DOS card and supports a wider variety of Power Macs. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t provide the quality that DOS cards do. Try the demo, then decide. If you have to use PC programs like I do, but refuse to be like those other zombies and by a PC, try it… then buy it.

-Eric T. Manchester

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