I have now taken the advice of Jools and purchased a copy of VMWare for my previously Linux-only PC. I have been wanting to run a couple of windows packages, Autocad and Protel (a printed circuit design package), and the advice of Jools on this forum prompted me to try the evaluation version of VMware as a means to achieve this.
I have to say that I encountered one or two fishhooks, but not so much with installing the VMWare package as with (*&$%$#(!! windows but then this was only to be expected.
After spending Sunday afternoon and evening working through it, and resisting the urge to throw my PC out the nearest window a couple of times, I now have a stable, functioning virtual machine running Win98 in a window under Mandrake Linux. I have given this machine a 4GB chunk of hard drive space - this should be more than enough for the tasks that I am planning to use it for.
I must say that I am well impressed by the quality of the VMWare and the online help that is offered. I found good, pertinent answers to all of the questions that arose, the VMWare installed cleanly and without fuss, and even installing Win98 was fairly trouble-free. One nice thing about it was that VMWare stops those nasty windows lockups - where the only way ahead is normally the hard reset and reboot- in their tracks without locking up the entire machine. The linux part of the PC stayed totally stable and responsive throughout.
Let me temper my gushing enthusiam by saying that anyone tempted to try this route to get windows and linux to coexist on the same machine will need to be fairly clued up on the workings of both OSÂ´s.
VMWare cam be downloaded from www.vmware.com.
The evaluation version is free and gives you 30 days trial. The full version costs $US189. At just over 67MB you will need either a broadband connection or a fair amount of patience and a dial-up connection.
A top product.