My kids’ favorite piece of educational software is “Clifford The Big Red Dog Thinking Adventures” by Scholastic. We received it as a hand-me-down from their cousins. The CD was designed for Windows 95-98 and pre-OSX Macintosh. Unfortunately, it does not run on OS X 10.6. (I think it fails to run because it uses the PowerPC instruction set and Apple dropped support for emulating that instruction set in 10.6.)
After some trial and error, I found the most reliable way to run Clifford on my Mac was:
- Install VMWare Fusion.
- Install Ubuntu 10.10 32-bit in a Virtual Machine.
- Install the VMWare Additions to make Ubuntu work better in the VM.
- Install Wine on Ubuntu 10.10. (Wine provides partial Windows API emulation for Linux.)
- Configure the audio for Wine. (I accepted the defaults.)
- Insert the Clifford CD and manually run the installer.
The result is that the Clifford game runs full screen with smooth animation and audio, even on my lowly first-generation Intel Mac Mini.
You may scoff at all these steps, but (a) it’s cheap, and (b) it’s less work than installing and maintaining a Windows PC or VM just to play this one game.
(It’s too bad there isn’t a Flash, HTML5, Android or iOS version of this game, it’s really quite well done.)