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Java Programming: Do You Have a 32-bit or 64-bit Operating System?

To write Java programs for Android devices, you have to install Java and the Android SDK on your computer. Java comes in two flavors: 32-bit and 64-bit. The Android SDK comes in the same two flavors, and in order for the Android SDK to work with Java, the Java flavor must match the Android SDK flavor. You need to find out which flavor is best for your computer.

For Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista:

  1. Press the Windows key.

    In Windows 8, the Start screen appears. In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the Start menu appears.

  2. In Windows 8, type the words Control Panel, and then press Enter. In Windows 7 or Windows Vista, click the Control Panel item on the Start menu.

    The Control Panel appears.

  3. In the Control Panel, select System and Security (Windows 8 and Windows 7) or System and Maintenance (Windows Vista).

    The System window appears. To recognize the System window, look for the words View basic information about your computer near the top of the window.

  4. In the System window, look for the words System type.

    The system type is either 32-bit or 64-bit, as shown in the figure.


For Windows XP

  1. Press the Windows key.

    The Start menu appears.

  2. Click the My Computer item on the Start menu.

    Windows Explorer opens.

  3. In Windows Explorer, navigate to Drive C.

  4. In Drive C, look for folders named Program Files and Program Files (x86).

    If you find Program Files but not Program Files (x86) folders, you’re running 32-bit Windows. If you find both Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders, you’re running 64-bit Windows.

For Macintosh OS X

  1. Choose Apple→About This Mac.

    The About This Mac window appears.

  2. In the About This Mac window, look for the word Processor.

    If your processor is an Intel Core Solo or Intel Core Duo, you have a 32-bit Mac. All other Intel processors, including Intel Core 2 Duo, are 64-bit Macs. (See the figure.)


Here’s an alternative (geeky) way to find out whether your Mac is a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system: In the Spotlight, type the word Terminal, and then press Enter. Then when the Terminal app opens, type uname -a and press Enter. If the Mac’s response includes i386, you have a 32-bit system. If the Mac’s response includes x86_64 instead, you have a 64-bit system.

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