Part I of.NET Quest: Installing Boson Software within a non-Windows Environment

By James Hanback If computer gaming was a passion of yours in the 1980s, you may have heard about King’s Quest, a graphical computer adventure game. Sierra On-Line was the company that developed the game and distributed it. King’s Quest was an adventure role-playing game. Your goal was to guide Sir Graham through the three-dimensional computer-generated Kingdom in Daventry. You navigated Sir Graham around Daventry (and further) using the keyboard. You required Sir Graham to perform other actions. To gather items that you could later use to solve puzzles, you used verb and noun combinations. Sometimes Sir Graham’s interpreter didn’t understand what you were asking him to do. In those cases, you would need to be creative.
As an information technology (IT), I have often compared the process of finding a solution to a unique computing need to that of adventuring off on one of the many Sierra game quests. There will always be obstacles to your goals, whether they are financial, logistical or technological. Sometimes, creativity is required to overcome those obstacles. If you need to run an application created with Microsoft’s.NET Framework (such as the Boson Exam Environment, or the Boson NetSim Network Simulator), in an environment not natively configured with Microsoft Windows, this is possible.
Customers occasionally ask our support staff if Boson Software can provide a Mac OS X copy of the Boson Exam Environment and the Boson NetSim Network Simulator. As of this writing, we do not have a native Mac OS X version. Users can still benefit from Boson’s.NET Framework software on Mac OS X or a Linux distribution. This post will examine the pros and cons of different methods to run Boson software in non-Windows environments. The next quests in this series will be focused on how to implement each solution.
Before we get all pixelated and begin adventuring off to next scene, I want to make the following disclaimer:
Ahem. Boson Software, LLC does not officially support any of the technologies or procedures you read about in this or future posts. Boson Software, LLC will not be held responsible if your box begins to smoke, spew bits in your face, etc. as a result. There are many software and hardware configurations. What works for one installation may not work for another. You will need to be familiar with basic operating system (OS), boot loaders, and software configuration in order to use some of the techniques. These techniques can also take a lot of patience and time. Because of all the above, you will be on your own if any of these methods fail to work or you have difficulty obtaining a working Boson NetSim Network Simulator or Boson Exam Environment.
Boson’s.NET Framework-based software is best used in a Microsoft Windows environment that is supported. This will allow you to use it with confidence. The minimum system requirements for the Boson Exam Environment indicate that it is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and Windows XP. The Boson NetSim Simulator’s minimum requirements are