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Re: [Xen-devel] running Windows (albeit slowly)

To: Mark Williamson <maw48@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-devel] running Windows (albeit slowly)
From: "Eric S. Johansson" <esj@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:15:28 -0500
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Mark Williamson wrote:
Under the opinion that there is no crime if optimization fails on incorrect code, would it not be appropriate to do all the things necessary to run Windows unmodified albeit poorly slash slowly?

It's not just that the modifications improve performance, guests actually need to be modified to work on Xen at all.

I'm sorry. I misunderstood what was written. I was under the impression that to run Windows or unmodified operating systems quickly required a great deal of complexity on the order of vmware and that you could run Windows slower (under certain circumstances) with "simple" emulation features

If you want a free means of running a Windows virtual machine your best bet right now is probably QEmu. Faster than Bochs although with less complete machine emulation. The author intends to enhance it further to eventually get VMWare levels of performance (although that's a non-trivial undertaking!).

I was under the impression that the performance degradation for qemu was on the order of 3x native which would be a bit problematic for speech recognition. Is this impression wrong as well?

Yeah, speech recognition on Linux (and others) is a bit of a pain. There are a few open source products (e.g. sphinx, perlbox) but I doubt they're usuable for dictation, if that's what you want. Out of interest, does Wine have any success at running NaturallySpeaking / ViaVoice / whatever?

tell me about it. I am heavily involved in the Open Source Speech Recognition Initiative (www.ossri.org) and just trying to figure out what's necessary to make NaturallySpeaking work on wine is a handful because we need to make it tremendous number of assumptions about NaturallySpeaking. Scansoft, the current owner of the desktop speech recognition monopoly, views customers as a hostile necessity and doesn't provide any support to anybody for any reason unless you show up with a big fat checkbook.

The open source speech recognition engines are "cute research projects". To get something useful will take approximately five to eight years of work and $40 million. in other words, we're going to need some major grants.

as for wine and NaturallySpeaking, we can't get past install. Again we are going to hunt for grants sometime after the first of the year to pay for the evaluation and development. It wouldn't be entirely fair to go to the wine community without some compensation for their efforts.


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