REVIEWS

Daydream Believer

After months of hard work and negotiations, Quix Computerware is finally shipping Daydream, a combination of hardware and software that allows black machines to run not just emulate Macintosh software. This product represents the first time the Mac- intosh operating system has been ported to a non-Apple system with Apple's blessings and license.

To provide this dual capability, Quix took the ROMs from the Macintosh LC series and put them in a box that connects to the NeXT DSP port. On the software side, the package uses Apple's System 7.1 and a custom app developed by Quix. We looked at a prerelease version for this review.

Similar to Insignia Solutions' SoftPC, Daydream uses a disk file that acts as a virtual Macintosh volume and holds the System 7.1 files. Unlike SoftPC, however, Daydream doesn't run in a window: Starting Daydream reboots the NeXT machine under the Daydream kernel and turns it into a Macintosh. The Quix effect is quite amazing, but rebooting to switch back and forth between Mac and NeXT prevents cutting and pasting between environments and limits Daydream to specific, self-contained tasks outside of a user's normal workflow. In contrast, ARDI's software emulator, Executor, is less seamless but operates within the NeXT environment.

A NeXT using Daydream will talk and act like a Mac, but, because of hardware differences, some limitations do exist. Full 24-bit color video is not supported, printing is limited to Ethernet networks, and support for NeXT laser printers isn't yet ready. Except for scanners, most standard SCSI devices can be used, but ADB devices are not supported.

We were skeptical that a first release of an emulator for a system as complex as the Macintosh would perform well, but it did. Installation took less than five minutes. We tried to choke the Daydream with tasks in Adobe Photoshop, Quark XPress, and a variety of accounting applications from Microsoft Excel to Peachtree's Insight all from a PLI Infinity Turbo 105S SyQuest drive. We printed to both a Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 1200 C/PS in full CMYK color and an Apple Laserwriter Pro 630 across an Ethernet network.

The result: No problems. The only bug we ran across involved using a modem, and Quix promised to fix it before shipping.

For NeXT users with Mac needs, this package is a dream come true, providing authentic Mac system software with the performance of a Quadra 950 at a fraction of the cost.

by Don Wilson


Daydream (beta)

4 Cubes

Quix is an excellent, Apple-approved software-hardware combination that lets a NeXT machine act just like a Macintosh. Runs Mac software flawlessly but requires reboots to switch between Mac and NeXT environments.

$895

Quix Computerware AG, P.O. Box 306, 6030 Ebikon-Lucerne, Switzerland.

201/ 928-0420, 41/41/34.88.43, 41/41/34.86.80 fax; quix@applelink.apple.com.