80,000 lines of assembly code, Cold Fusion, a Russian winter and one bad TLB entry ….

What do these things have in common?  They are just some of the few things I have lived through in my 16 years of developing software.

In 1990 I graduated college and went to work at Apple Computer.  I still have the "Journey Begins" T-Shirt they gave to all new employees.  While there I worked on the first PowerPC computers.  I left Apple in 1994 and headed off to Europe to work at various companies and in various countries.   After Europe I went to work at Totally Games.  There I worked on both PC and Macintosh versions of X-Wing and TIE Fighter, as well X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter.  

After coming back from Europe I also started learning Flying Trapeze and Circus Arts at a local school in California.  I took a year off to do Circus Performing with the San Francisco School of Circus Arts and the New Pickle Family Circus.

Circus life was great, my paycheck was meager, but I was having the time of my life.  Unfortunately the mortgage company doesn't care too much about clowns or the small paychecks they bring home.  I had to make some real money, or lose my house, so I went back to video games, joining LucasArts Entertainment to help with the Star Wars Episode I video games.  After 4 games in 1 year I left LucasArts and joined a number of friends working at Connectix where I worked on Virtual Game Station and Virtual PC.  I continued to do circus part time for a few more years.  Connectix was purchased by Microsoft in February 2003 and Virtual PC for Macintosh joined the MacBU in Mountain View. 

Now you are probably wondering who I am.  My name is Brad Post, I was the lead developer on Virtual PC for Macintosh.  The folks at the MacBU thought it would be fun for me to write about developing Virtual PC, the transition from Connectix to Microsoft, life at Microsoft as a Mac lover and anything else that comes to mind.

Comments (14)
  1. Teresa says:

    Glad to see you’re writing about Virtual PC for Mac. It happens to be one of my favorite products of all time. I heard they used some sort of alien technology to create it. Any truth to that?

  2. Asam Bashir says:

    I loved them games :! May the force be with you 🙂

  3. Odysseus says:

    The real question is: what are you doing now that VPC has been canned?

  4. mawi says:

    hey hey 🙂 what is the feeling like to be graduated by apple macintosh and now working for microsoft?

    I like the word for mac very. I think its better than the word for windows.. only the excel program could be a little bit better.

    How do you work with apple together? Is there something like a relationship to steve? I mean, also apple should have an interest, that word, excel, power point etc. can run on a mac and that the files can run on both systems.. would be nice if you could talk about this a little bit..

    thanks and kind regards


  5. R.S. says:

    Can you comment more on the "one bad TLB entry?"

  6. I am kicking myself for not getting a copy of Virtual Game Station when I had the chance. I would love it so I could play my PSOne games on my iBook G4.


  7. ExCntx says:

    R.S. if you check out my next post you’ll find out about the TLB entry.

  8. Zen-2 says:

    Interesting background, cool to hear you worked on the X-Wing/Tie Fighter games at Totally Games they were great. It’s a pity those types of games are no longer made 🙁

  9. NoneSuch says:

    Eric Traut doesn’t think Virtual PC for Mac OS X on Intel could use, say, pieces of Virtual Server 2005 to help "port" the PPC implementation over to x86? Yeah, right.

    Sounds more like another case of strategic divesment so that Mac OS X would be yet again a "lesser" platform, lest The Monopoly be threatened. Guess Xen is now a lost cause, too.

    Thank god for VMware, Parallels & co.

  10. Chris says:

    Two questions: Was there a Mac version of X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter that was never released or in development and then cancelled?

    What was the status of VPC 8 before it was cancelled? How far along was it?

  11. Marcelo R. Lopez, Jr. says:

    I’ve been reading up on the MacBU blogs, and came across yours, and your post about the sad ( I’ll refrain from drama and withhold the "tragic" card. Oops, too late. ) loss of VPC PPC.

    This is particularly sad for me because up until now I’d been doing something only a mad man would conceive of. Actually trying VS2005 on a 1.67Ghz AlPB. Yes, I know, with the effectiveness of a 450Mhz P3, but you’re talking to a man who only recently and begrudingly parted with both of his Apple ][+’s ( If you’ve ever seen people use the "][" when referring to an Apple, that’d give you an indication of what an old coot I am. ).

    Anyway, I’m writing with some small glimmer of hope that you might know someone who might have encountered what I’m encountering within VPC 7.02 ( I’ve applied every patch I could find ). Essentially the problem is that while I can run VS2005, I’m unable to install SqlServer 2005 ( Express or Standard, doesn’t matter ). After the actual install has completed copying files, the install actually tries to start the SqlServer service. It’s here that I run into a problem. The service dies ( simply terminates ) with an exception, and then the installation gives up, and removes anything that it had copied onto the drive. I’ve read through blogs, forums, high and low to try to find out why it throws this exception. And since I don’t have the symbols, it’s not like I could fire up WinDBG, attach to the process myself, and trample through the startup to figure out what in blazes is going on.

    I’m sure you’re pretty busy, and off chasing the next version of Office:Mac, but if you find yourself feeling generous, and know someone who could lend me a hand, you’d have my sincere thanks and gratitude.


  12. ExCntx says:

    Unfortunately there was never a version of XvT for the Mac … of course we could have gotten there but back in the day the Mac Games market was really small.  Come to think of it, the Mac Games market is still really small.  VPC 8 was under development at the time.

  13. Laurent P. says:

    If VPC is stopped, you may work on porting MS Money on Mac OS  … this would help people like who bought VPC only to run MS Money 🙁

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