Monday, March 30, 2009

CrossOver Games you can play Windows Games on GNU Linux

WINE (acronym of Windows Is Not Emulated) is a software whose objective is that one to make to turn Windows programs in GNU/Linux atmosphere without no emulazione, but “intercepting” the calls that the program makes to the operating system (Microsoft Windows) and transforming them in relative the GNU/Linux. Therefore up we have a program that it believes of being on the system of Redmond house, low the operating system GNU/Linux and to the center this river system () construction of the BEES (Application Programming Interface), WINE exactly, than ago they give through between the program and GNU/Linux. Own on WINE is based CrossOver Games, a package concurs that us to play with tito them Windows also on GNU/Linux. We see like using it.

screenshot-crossover-games

1) CODEWEAVERS… THE CONTINUOUS SEQUELA!
WINE is a program sponsored from famous the CodeWeavers society for the program CrossOver Office. Of recent it has been released a new “member” CrossOver who, naturally, ago always use like motor of plan WINE; this ulterior member calls CrossOver Games with the clear attempt to dedicate itself, besides the ambient office, also to the field of the videogiochi.

2) GENERALITY
Based naturally on WINE, CrossOver Games, like its analogous CrossOver Office, it can be tried for a week unloading, previa compilation of this form, the version trial (approximately 27MB). The purchase, in the event to us thought itself satisfied of the product, can itself be made directly via web to a price of €37.

3) WE INSTALL VERSION TRIAL
After to have unloaded the install-crossover-games-demo-7.2.0.sh rows, we open a shell and we render it eseguibile with the commando;

chmod +x install-crossover-games-demo-7.2.0.sh

we launch and it;

./install-crossover-games-demo-7.2.0.sh

After a phase of verification of integrity of the archives, we will have to accept the licence.

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To this point we will indicate the installation distance and we will start the installation.

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4) YOU PLAY SUPPORTED
Being specific for the videoludico field, it could not classifies certainly lack it of the games on the “quality” of the support. To this address we will be able to find the directory of the games and the relative support. Being an exited new us working cannot be waited for that the directory turns out complete and all.

5) WE INSTALL A GAME
We try the installation of the version demo of Half Life 2 tito it, this, with “silver medal” in the support. Of CrossOver Games, once installed, we can find of the correspondent voice in the system menu.

menu

We choose the voice Installs Windows software and in the successive window we choose the game to install between those in directory; naturally the members necessary will have themselves to be installed also to make to work the game (as an example in Microsoft Windows atmosphere typically are necessary the DirectX). Carried out the choices can itself be gone ahead cliccando on the Succ push-button >>.

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In the successive window we indicate the lease for the rows exe launch; clicchiamo on He leaf through if we have rows on hard disk as in the event of ours demo or we select the relative voice to the optical reader.

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To this point a series of typical windows of the installation of the programs in Windows atmosphere will leave.

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Al term of the installation will leave the game and the eventual associate applicativi.

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6) CONCLUSIONS
Still there is much road to make for this new product and on the fact that cannot, the moment, to compete with an other product of the field ludico and based newly on WINE. For this last support on beyond 300 it is tito them, while for CrossOver Games the official number is gone around on twenty or so tito them, but we are sure that if will have a sure reply as program, the number of the titles supported them will not be able that to increase in the successive versions.

Original review in Italian

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to enable font anti-aliasing in Wine

What is Aliasing?
All computer displays show images in bitmap mode. What this means is that every image is really a bunch of tiny little squares that make up the image. What this essentially means is that computers can't display really smooth curves.

These two letters are printed with the same font face, size, and style. The only difference between them is that the top letter is aliased and the bottom is not.

As you can see, the top letter has a jagged, "stair-step" effect that is the hallmark of aliasing. It is the way that computers display curves on the screen. The bottom letter, on the other hand, has a smoother, fuzzier look to it. It is anti-aliased to simulate the look of a smooth curve on the screen.

How does anti-aliasing work?
Anti-aliasing works with the way that our eyes see things. Human eyes do not see in as precise detail as we would like to think. In reality, the mind converts the images into what it "thinks" they are supposed to look like.

With anti-aliasing, the curve is created with squares of color that are shaded darker or lighter depending on how much of the curve would take up that square. For instance, if a portion of a curve takes up 10% of a pixel, that pixel would be shaded with 10% of the color saturation of the curve.

What this amounts to is that anti-aliasing adds shading along the curve to "fool the eye" into thinking it's seeing a smooth curve rather than a jagged bitmap.

Anti-aliasing Pros and Cons
Pros

  • Makes fonts look smoother
  • Rounded edges look round
  • Type is easier to read (for some) because it looks more like what printed type looks like
  • It's just plain prettier (some would argue)

Cons

  • Small fonts become too fuzzy to read
  • Sharp edges may be fuzzy and not precise
  • You can't print anti-aliased text as it comes out blurred
  • Images are generally larger
  • Type is easier to read (for some) because the blurring is reduced and the fonts are clear

Understanding Antialiasing and Transparency

Introduction

When designing web pages, you will often wish to incorporate graphic elements. The easiest way to include graphics is through the use of images.

Images, though, have two fundamental limitations for supporting graphic elements. First, rather than being vector-based (as are text and graphics created in programs such as Illustrator), images are a collection of pixels. Second, images are always rectangular.

In order to make your graphics look as smooth and accurate as possible, and in order to seamlessly integrate them into your design, you will need to understand antialiasing, and how it relates to transparency. This tutorial will explain the basics of antialiasing, and how to use succesfully use it in tandem with transparency.

Aliasing

The term aliasing pertains to the process of sampling something smooth and continuous using a series of discrete measurements. If the measurements do not accurately represent the function, unwanted artifacts which are not present in the original will appear. The appearance of these artifacts is referred to as aliasing.

In our case, the smooth and continuous feature we are interested in is vector data, such as text or an illustration. The sampling that occurs is due to rasterization: the process of converting vector data into pixel data. The limitation of this representation is that while vector data can represent limitless shapes and has infinite resolution, pixels are square and are relatively large.

This limitation isn't visible when dealing with rectangular objects, as in the images below:

Rectangular features, even when magnified (right) suffer from no visual artifacts.

As soon as we deviate from rectangular shapes, however, we begin to see some unwanted artifacts.

Diagonal lines are rendered less accurately. A magnified view demonstrates jaggies.

These unwanted artifacts, often called stairsteps or jaggies, are a form of aliasing. They'll appear whenever we attempt to represent a shape that deviates from a rectangle.

Antialiasing

As you have probably surmised, antialiasing (or sometimes, anti-aliasing) refers to methods of eliminating (or most often, reducing) these unwanted artifacts. In the context of rasterizing images, antialiasing refers to the reduction of the jagged borders between colors.

The example below demonstrates the most effective technique of antialiasing graphics: taking advantage of the many levels of color that our monitors can represent.

Here is a simple image that is still complex enough to show jaggies when rendered. This is even more noticeable in the detail image.

A large atmark rendered without antialiasing.

Here is the same image rendered using antialiasing. Note how much smoother this image appears, and how much better integrates into the background.

Antialiasing smoothes out the jaggies.

The detail image should demonstrate the basics of how antialiasing works with images. Rather than only using black and white pixels, intermediate levels of gray are used to blend the pixels together. The amount of black or white used represents how much the original graphic covers a pixel. A fully covered pixel will be black. One that is not covered at all will be white. One that is halfway-covered will be gray.

In this case the border pixels are shades of gray because the foreground is black and the background is white. If the foreground were red, however, the border pixels would be shades of pink.

With a red foreground and a white background, intermediate pixels are pink.
When anti-aliasing is working Winecfg should look like this. (on Wine 1.1.0)


To enable smoothed fonts in Wine you will need to run regedit and change these settings.

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"FontSmoothing"="2"
"FontSmoothingType"=dword:00000002
"FontSmoothingGamma"=dword:00000578
"FontSmoothingOrientation"=dword:00000001

You may also want to install the free windows core fonts and even the
Tahoma font. Most Linux/Unix operating systems come with nice fonts also such as the Liberation font set.

OK, this sounds like chinease to you...Don't worry their is a handy little script that will do everything for you as
Wine has supported font smoothing, including subpixel since wine 1.1.12.

Here is a screenshot of the script running.


Wine font smoothing english version can downloaded from here.
And a Russian version can be downloaded from here.

To run the script:

wget http://files.polosatus.ru/winefontssmoothing_en.sh
bash winefontssmoothing_en.sh


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 on Linux with Bordeaux

About Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 is the essential software suite for home computer users and includes 2007 versions of Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote. This system enables you to quickly and easily create great-looking documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and organize your notes and information in one place, making it easier and more enjoyable for you to get things done. This updated version features a new streamlined user interface that exposes commonly used commands, enhanced graphics, and formatting capabilities that let you create high-quality documents, plus a powerful note and information organization tool, and more reliability and security with the document inspector tool and improved automatic document recovery. With these enhancements, Home and Student 2007 makes it a pleasure to complete schoolwork and other tasks at home.

Create High-Quality Documents
Home and Student 2007 gives you access to updated graphics, formatting galleries, and an intuitive user interface that exposes commonly used commands. These features enable you to easily produce high-quality documents that will make you proud. Improved picture, charting, and graphics tools help you produce better-looking documents, spreadsheets, and presentations more quickly, while a large library of standard charts, quick formatting tools, and SmartArt diagrams make it easy to include rich and stunning visuals and charts. The results-oriented user interface makes it easier for you to find and use product features so you can enhance your documents according to your specifications. More stable bullets and numbers, SmartArt diagrams, and graphics and charting galleries provide you with a wealth of other formatting choices. Meanwhile, document themes help ensure a consistent appearance among the documents you create in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to make working across the programs you use most more convenient. PowerPoint also features context-sensitive tabs and easy-to-use galleries that make it simple for you to include tables and other graphics in your documents.

Enhanced Reliability and Security Features
With an improved automatic Document Recovery tool and the new Document Inspector tool for removing personally identifiable information from your documents, Home and Student 2007 helps you work with more confidence and security. Thanks to these two features, you'll never have to worry about losing documents after a system failure or exposing your personal identification information or unwanted comments to others before sharing your documents.
User-Friendly Operation Packed with innovative features and improvements, Home and Student 2007 has a streamlined interface and an enhanced Help system, including online tutorials with step-by-step instructions, so you can quickly learn the product and find the answers to your questions. In addition, command tabs on the results-oriented Ribbon reveal commonly used commands that previously appeared only in lengthy drop-down menus. The Help system also offers a smooth transition between the Help menu in the Microsoft Office system and Help on the Internet (when connected). Larger, more informative ScreenTips provide help concerning commands, and the command tabs themselves are context-sensitive, changing automatically depending upon the task that you are trying to complete, so you won't waste time figuring out the appropriate command. When you need more guidance, online tutorials provide step-by-step instructions for common tasks.

Organize Notes and Information
Home and Student 2007 includes OneNote, a digital notebook that helps you gather, organize, and search many types of information in one place. This means you can consolidate typed text, images, audio and video recordings, digital handwritten notes, Web clippings, and more on the same page. OneNote also provides flexible note-taking tools to help you organize information the way you want. Categorize important projects or information in a way that makes sense to you, using an easy-to-use layout of notebooks, sections, and pages. Type or organize content anywhere on the page and track important items with customisable note tags. To help keep you on track, the powerful Instant Search feature helps you to find information you are looking for quickly. With it you can even search handwritten notes, the text in images and scanned documents, and spoken words in audio recordings.

Preview Changes and Spot Trends
Home and Student 2007 saves you time by making it easier to format your Office documents with Live Preview. This tool lets you quickly preview proposed changes to your document while you're working on it without having to repeatedly search through layers of menus. Taking a look at your proposed formatting before committing to it lets you experiment without risk and can help minimize future edits. Excel features highly visual conditional formatting with new data bars, more colourful gradients, and icons that you can use to format data based on specific rules, so you can more easily identify key data trends, which can help you study and prepare written papers or reports.

Create and Save Custom Slide Layouts
PowerPoint lets you create presentations with ease using pre-built and user-defined custom slide layouts. With the custom layout feature you can quickly create the precise layout you envision without being bound by one of the prepackaged, standard layouts. You can then save your custom layout for use in future presentations.

Broader Distribution of Your Documents
Home and Student 2007's features aren't limited to the work you do at home; they extend to broader distribution of your documents and presentations. New support for Portable Document Format (PDF) and XML Paper Specification (XPS) file formats helps ensure increased distribution and sharing of your documents with users on any platform. This is particularly ideal for either sharing documents with friends and families, or for presenting information and assignments in a computer-integrated class.

  • Contains: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote
  • Create great-looking documents faster and easier using improved picture, charting and graphics tools with Smart Graphics.
  • Create eye-catching spreadsheets and charts with shading and colour in Excel 2007
  • Give documents, spreadsheets and presentations a consistent look automatically with Themes
  • See formatting changes in one click using Live Preview.
  • Get better results fast, with improved user interface, menus and toolbars.
  • Gather, organize and search your notes and information in one place with Office OneNote 2007
  • Remove comments, hidden text and personal information from documents with Document Inspector
  • Recover documents lost while working during inopportune system problems through the Document Recovery Tool

About Bordeaux 1.6.0

The Bordeaux Technology Group is a software services and development company specializing in Windows compatibility software. Users of Linux systems from time to time find themselves in the need to run specialized Windows software. The Bordeaux suite enables access to these programs and data in a seamless and low cost manner without requiring licensing of Microsoft Technology. The Bordeaux Group also provides migration services and support for alternative operating systems specializing in Windows compatibility.

There is a multitude of software developed only for the Windows operating system and even when software vendors port thier applications to another platform, generally it lacks features that the Windows version contains. The only solution these developers face is to have access to both systems for testing which leads to increased infrastructure demands, and wasted project resources. If you are vendor interested in supporting your application on Linux or a software user that needs to run a Windows application on Linux or BSD, we can help.

The cost of Bordeaux 1.6 is $20.00. Anyone who has purchased Bordeaux in the past six months is entitled to a free upgrade. Bordeaux comes with six months of upgrades and support and of course a 30-day money back guarantee.

System configuration

Linux Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Wine Version 1.1.4
Bordeaux Version 1.6.0

Getting Office Trial

Go to the Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 trial download site and download the trial downloader the file I downloaded was X12-30107-DLM.exe the Office downloader is only 357.5 KB and takes only a couple seconds to download.

Now run Bordeaux and select Office 2007 and choose X12-30107-DLM.exe as the installer file. The downloader will ask if you want to install Gecko and once this is completed the download will start. The download will be placed in your home directory in %MYDOCS%


If you decide to install Office 2007 at a later time just run Bordeaux again and select the installer in %MYDOCS%

Installing Office 2007

Start Bordeaux and select Office 2007 and when asked for the install location navigate to %MYDOCS% in your home directory and select X12-30107.exe and the install will begin.


After the install has completed go to Applications > Bordeaux > Run Command (In Alternate Cellar) and run the Bordeaux Cellar Manager. You will want to select Office 2007 and then Configure. Wine Configuration will start and then go to Libraries and add usp10.dll and set it to (native,builtin) then click Apply then OK. You can now exit the Cellar Manager and start using Office 2007.


Running Office 2007

Their should now be a Wine directory in your Applications Menu, Just navigate to Applications > Wine > Programs > Microsoft Office > and select Microsoft Office Word 2007.

When you first run Word 2007 the Microsoft Activation Wizard will run and ask you to activate the Trial over the Internet.


Office 2007 should activate and once this has completed you can start using Office 2007 until the Trial period expires. I suggest once you activate Office 2007 to exit Word and then start it again before you do any real work as some features wont be fully activated until you re start the program. The only down side with this Trial is a nag screen will come up asking if you want to convert to the full product each time you start a Office 2007 program.

Conclusions

If you want to try the new features of Office 2007 before you go ahead with the full purchase this is a good way of doing so on Linux and BSD. I have installed the Trial many times with Bordeaux 1.6.0 and each time it has activated and run with out any problems. Also If you purchase Bordeaux 1.6.0 we will support Office Home and Student Trial or the full product at this time.


Update 03/30/09 : Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 will also run on Free-BSD and PC-BSD with Bordeaux.