The display error is not specific to the demo version.
You can use the Z Inhibit option on the Program Run screen and specify a value below which the Z will not go. Use a value just above the material and you can visualize your tool moves. Also when I am running a program the first time and not sure about it I usually decrease the FRO to a very low value so I have enough time to hit FeedHold if things go wrong.
I can have CamBam open and be using it while cutting but not with the parallel port.
This is what I was meaning. That the SS frees up a lot of CPU resources which in turn can allow running other processes along with Mach3. Not the case with the PP, so if you're judging based on a SS system that might not be true for a PP system.
I can tell that stripping all the unused features of XP using the XPlite software made the PC (which is far not the best out there nor a new) boot VERY fast. 23 seconds to fully load Windows! About 20 seconds faster than before I stripped it. Not that it runs Mach3 better this way, I just like it being loading fast.
BTW, Jeff, isn't it with the Smooth Stepper? With the SS I can switch screens and such (but still prefer to avoid doing it) while running a program and nothing wrong happens.
The conversational interface as you call it, will be very good. Most of the work I do on the lathe I don't use any CAM, just the wizards or manual coding. And I also like the look of Gerry's new mill screen. Looks very clean and easy to look at.