Alan posted about the grief he's been having with running Windows on his MacBook Pro. He rarely fires up Windows, but when he does, it's a painful and ugly process. The last recommended updates just hosed his Windows install. Again.

But, there's a better way. Crossover for Mac - it's a polished commercial version of the open source Wine tool/library which provides a way to run Windows applications in MacOSX without having to install Windows. Basically, it provides a self-contained environment where applications are tricked into thinking they're running on Windows, but they're actually running on a bridge between the Windows API and MacOSX (and X-11 for display). You set up a "container" or a "bottle" to hold an application or two, and Crossover takes care of system-level stuff. You get an application icon that's right at home in your dock, too.

Here's what a cross-platform browser test might look like. Safari, Firefox and IE6/Win all on one screen:

crossover cross-platform browser testing

Text rendering goes from great to craptastic, from left to right. Also, apparently there are a few *cough*issues*ahem* rendering my blog in IE6/Win. Sorry. Shows how often I've used IE over the last year...

For something simple like browser testing, Crossover can't be beat. It also runs with a bunch of other apps (including HalfLife). I tried to install NASA WorldWind, but didn't get past the .Net install. I'll try again after doing a bit of research first.