During the 11Years Boris has been on the
market, I have received numerous calls and letters regarding what
kind of computing hardware is necessary. During this time, the
software has of course become more complex, and therefore morre
capable; requiring more powerful computing hardware. However,
depending upon your needs, you might be surprised to find the
different hardware configurations that will run the software to your
liking. SO, let's talk about this.
Regardless of your personal feelings about
Microsoft Windows (I frequently refer to it as WinDoze), there is
absolutely NO QUESTION that it has revolutionized the computer
industry. The current Releases and Editions of Boris ALL require
Windows to run.
Boris 4.X is designed as 32-Bit software on purpose enabling it to run well on Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, or XP. Overall, Boris should run under ANY 32-Bit Windows system (Win 95 or later) as well as any Windows emulation software, such as that found on the power MAC.
Whether you are looking to purchase your FIRST computer or upgrade existing hardware, it helps to establish what your Boris needs are before doing so. From my conversations with Boris users over the years, I have determined that there are 3 major things the software is used for:
Practice Play: Using Boris as a training tool. This is arguably what Boris is BEST suited for.Running Simulations: Using Boris to study the efficacy of various strategies and/or combinations.Studying Shuffles and Washes: Studying the Shuffle Displays can offer you TREMENDOUS insight into the game, available nowhere else.
Purchasing Boris is not a trivial
decision; whether you purchase the $27.95 "Gambler's"
Edition or spring for the Professional Edition at $199. You purchase
Boris with the intention that it is going to be of some assistance in
the improvement of your game. So, take a minute to examine your
Blackjack Software needs; i.e. what you need Boris to do for you.
Doing so will pave the way for determining what kind of hardware you need.
To illustrate the above points consider
the following thoughts. If you are looking to engage MAINLY in live
practice play, then the speed of the processor is not that crucial -
a Pentium 200+ may well fit your needs. However, if your goal is to
run numerous high speed simulations with little live practice play,
you will want a scream-demon system such as a Pentium-500+; even a 1
Ghz Pentium would not necessarily be overkill.
Because Boris requires Windows, you will need a MINIMUM of a Pentium computer. While Boris WILL run on an older computers, it will require a MINIMUM of 32mb of ram to prevent (or at least reduce) swapping from being initiated by Windows itself. Ideally however, a 200Mhz processor (with 32mb of ram) should be considered as a minimum configuration. With 16mb or less, you will experience considerable wait periods when switching from screen to screen.
If you are looking to purchase your FIRST
computer JUST for running Boris, I suggest visiting the used computer
stores in your area. A used Pentium-500 or AMD-500 may be ALL that
you need. Then again, there are many mail-order catalogues offering
500+ Mhz. systems for under $500 (sans monitor, which will set you
back another $150 to $250, depending upon size and quality).
Intel is NOT the ONLY maker of Processor
Chips. Quality CPU chips are also made by Advanced Micro Devices
(AMD). AMD offers the K6-line and the Athalon Processor, both of
which are on average 10% faster than the equivalent Intel Pentium,
and JUST as reliable.
I currently sport a K6 2-500 on my
desktop. With 256mb of Sync-dram (Sdram) memory chips, simulations
really FLY! I previously designed and tested Boris on an AMD K6
2-300, and prior to that began Version 4.3 for a Toshiba 1555 (K6-380)
laptop. As I described earlier, depending upon your needs, processor
speed may or may not be an issue.
Because version 4.X of Boris utilizes the VGA graphics configurations (800 x 600), just about any VGA (or equivalent) equipped graphics system will suffice. Higher quality graphics configurations/cards will give you sharper graphics, but are not absolutely essential.
One of test computers I checkout Boris on, utilizes a cheesy 8-bit bare-bones VGA card with more than adequate results. If you experience washed out graphics when running the software, this is probably due to a lack of RAM, rather than a problem with your graphics card. This problem is usually caused by having to many applications simultaneously active, or, an active application is "memory-leaking", most likely consuming Windows' precious Resource Memory.
Belonging in the category of useable Pentium computers, are older model laptops.
Because laptops have a limited battery
life, the Save Environment feature of the software allows you
to save the table and resume play at a later time. With laptops such
as the Toshiba series (I use a T-1555), thanks to the auto-resume
feature (which keeps the memory charged even when the computer is
left off), saving is not essential, although still suggested.
Occasionally, the resume feature of the hardware fails, requiring a
reboot of the system.
Upcoming versions of the software will
include male/female dealer voices for more realism. I am currently
searching for the perfect female voice. If you know of a woman's
voice that reminds you of the stereotypical woman dealer you have
played against, please let me know.
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