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Virtual, stylized as VIRTUAL, was a control panel utility developed by Connectix to enable virtual memory in classic Mac OS, years before Apple Computer had managed to implement it.[1]


Virtual was first released in January 1989 for System 6 by Connectix as their original flagship product at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple president Jean-Louis Gassée pledged to provide virtual memory later that year, but Apple's implementation not arrive until System 7 was released in 1991. Virtual was updated for System 7 and had the advantage of requiring less disk space than Apple's own version of virtual memory.[2][3]


A modified version called Compact Virtual was released for early compact Macs (such as Macintosh Plus, SE, and Classic) to enable virtual memory on 3rd party 68030 upgrades that were not supported by System 7. 68040 processors are not supported.[4] Virtual was superseded by RAM Doubler, which added the capability of memory compression for further improved performance by reducing reliance on disk swapping.[5]


  1. Brett Glass and Tracey Capen. "Orchestrating Applications: Multitasking", InfoWorld, 1990-09-24, p. 78. 
  2. MacWorld Expo January '89 by Greg Scott, U-M Computing News vol.4, no.4, p.9, University of Michigan. 1989-02-20.
  3. Connectix CEO Weighs Companys Future by Peter Galli, eWeek. 2003-02-20.
  4. 030 powered 512k, thoughts on maker? by Bolle, 68k Macintosh Liberation Army. 2017-01-02.
  5. 25 Years Ago in TidBITS: RAM Doubler Debuts by Adam Engst, TidBITS. 2019-01-24.

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