Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Necessary Is Windows? Part 5 Crossover

There have been several attempts down the years to make Windows unnecessary. The most audacious is doubtless ReactOS, which cuts to the heart of things and wants to be a complete Windows XP-compatible OS. Needless to say, this is no small project and will take a long time to complete; right now, I'd call it somewhere between completely useless and intriguingly experimental. (It runs Skype, at least.) I'm also concerned that if they ever do get it anywhere near useful completion, Microsoft will stomp on it hard.

That's certainly the high road. But how necessary is it to clone the whole damned OS? A Windows app, after all, is just a block of x86 machine code that makes calls into one or more APIs. If you can clone the APIs in an acceptably clean-room manner, you don't need to duplicate the entire architecture, kernel and all.

And that brings us to one of the oldest and oddest ongoing projects in open-source computing: Wine, which dates back to 1993, and provides a compatibility layer consisting of clean-room DLLs implementing the Win32 APIs, plus whatever magic is necessary to make the deeper host OS machinery look like Windows to the app. This is easier than implementing a whole OS, with the further advantage that if done properly, Wine can act as a Windows compatibility layer over several Unix-like OSes, rather than only Linux. Currently, Wine can operate over Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD Unix, and x86 Solaris.

After 16 years of dogged work, Wine actually works pretty well. Part of its success is due to a remarkable cooperation between the Wine project and a commercial software house in St. Paul named Codeweavers. Codeweavers sells a $40 deployment/management utility for Wine called Crossover, which basically makes Wine noob-friendly. (Naked Wine is pretty stark.) Codeweavers also tweaks Wine itself to improve app compatibility, and contributes those tweaks back to the Wine project under LGPL. Some financial support is also provided to the otherwise volunteer-based Wine project. Wine's maintainer, Alexandre Julliard, is an employee of Codeweavers, where he works full-time on Wine development.

Codeweavers focuses mostly on big-market apps like Microsoft Office, and doesn't officially support apps beyond a relatively short list of "gold" software. However, I've found that a great many Windows apps install and run just fine under Crossover whether they're on the list or not. InDesign 2.0 is listed on the site as "known not to work" but apart from a minor display glitch, it seems to work as always. (I haven't tested it deeply so far.) Most Microsoft apps work beautifully (especially older ones) and I've been using Office 2000 and Visio 2000 under it without incident since last fall.

Wine implements a sort of runtime environment emulation for Windows called a "bottle." More than one bottle may be created on a single host OS, and each bottle has its own emulated C: drive and Registry. By giving each Windows app its own bottle under Wine, apps are prevented from interfering with one another in the dreaded "DLL Hell" effect. Because it's not a VM, the performance hit for running Wine/Crossover is very small, and most important, you do not need to have a legal copy of Windows running in the VM. On the other hand, a bottle looks enough like Windows to be infectable by Windows malware, though one bottle probably can't infect other bottles on a Linux system, or the underlying system itself. (From what I've heard, the low-level system tricks played by many malware packages keep them from running or at least running completely.) There are known conflicts between WGA and Wine, so don't install WGA if you can avoid it.

Bottom line: If Wine supports all the Windows apps you absolutely must use, you do not need Windows at all. I haven't tested all the Windows packages that I use here (next up is MapPoint 2004) but for Office and Visio 2000 it's been nothing short of magical, and I'm guessing InDesign will come along eventually. In a mature software market, time works in our favor: One by one, existing apps will be installable under Wine, and each time that happens, Windows slips a little bit deeper beneath the waters of irrelevance.

Next up: For the hard cases, there's always virtualization.

Any customer from the USA purchasing CrossOver Games or CrossOver Professional until December 1st 2009 will be automatically registered to win this loaded CodeWeavers Gaming PC. So enter today!

CrossOver Games 8.1.2 for MAC OS X released

CrossOver Games... Now gamers can play the games they want, on whatever platform they want! With CrossOver Games, you can run many popular Windows games on your Intel OS X Mac or Linux PC. Whatever your tastes — first-person shooters, fantasy, strategy, MMORPGs — CrossOver Games provides the capability to run many popular games titles. CrossOver comes with an easy to use, single click interface, which makes installing your games simple and fast. Once installed, your game integrates seamlessly into your Desktop. Just click and run! Best of all, you do it all easily and affordably, without needing a Microsoft operating system license.

CrossOver Games is built on the latest versions of Wine, based on contributions from both CodeWeavers and the open-source Wine community, and then lovingly hand-crafted by Stefan Dösinger, our very own Wine/Games connoisseur. Unlike other CrossOver products, which are aimed primarily at office productivity applications (and hence maximum stability), CrossOver Games aims to bring you the latest, greatest, bleeding edge improvements in Wine technology. This means that the newest games run faster and better under CrossOver than under other versions of CrossOver, or other version of free Wine, for that matter. You want to run your Mom's knitting software? Maybe you should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you need better framerates on Linux or Mac so you can frag your buddies: check out CrossOver Games!


Mac Games Fixes and Changes

Version 8.1.2:
• Fixed installation of Left 4 Dead 2 via Steam on the Mac.

Mac Games System Requirements

Intel Required
Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Any customer from the USA purchasing CrossOver Games or CrossOver Professional until December 1st 2009 will be automatically registered to win this loaded CodeWeavers Gaming PC. So enter today!

Friday, November 20, 2009

CXGames 8.1 Zombie Mallard Overview

Left 4 Dead 2 was one of the most anticipated games of 2009 (even with the boycott). Even before its full release (the demo opened to players a few weeks prior) the good people over at Codeweavers where hard at work making sure their CXGames software would be ready to allow Linux/Mac gamers everywhere to fully enjoy this latest edition to Valve's source games. Less than twenty four hours after L4D2 hit shelves (digital and otherwise) CXGames 8.1 (codename Zombie Mallard) was released.

This newest update to the CXGames line is really just a small update (as the version number increase of .1 implies) rather than a full upgrade. In fact depending on what games you play - you might not even notice a difference between this and the previous 8.0 release. From the official 8.1 change log:

  • Add support for Left 4 Dead 2
  • Fix a problem with directory permissions in World of Warcraft in Ubuntu 9.10
  • Fix a number of problems with Guild Wars
  • Fix a number of Mac audio issues which should fix Steam voice chat
  • A few minor adjustments for Snow Leopard
  • Fix a bug registering CrossOver under Snow Leopard
What makes this release so special then? I feel it important because it displays Codeweaver's dedication to their product. They are obviously aware of what their users want and what is going on in the gaming community at large. This CXGames update, I feel, shows how they plan to react to big releases in the future. I say this because the main reason for this CXGames update is to add support for L4D2 (in addition to the various other small bug fixes listed). This gives me great hope that they will be quick to the draw in their supporting of other soon to be release big name titles such as Starcraft II and Diablo III. As a side bar I feel it is also worth mentioning that performance under CXGames 8.1 is about the same as it was under 8.0 (And Left 4 Dead 2 benchmarks about the same as L4D)

Left 4 Dead 2 Menu

Left 4 Dead 2 loading a new game

Left 4 Dead 2 Game Play on Ubuntu with CXGames 8.1.0

Any customer purchasing CrossOver Games or CrossOver Professional until November 25th will be automatically registered to win this loaded CodeWeavers Gaming PC. So enter today!

Full Overview of CXGames 8.1

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CodeWeavers releases CrossOver Games 8.1 for MAC and Linux

CODEWEAVERS RELEASES CROSSOVER GAMES 8.1 FOR MAC AND LINUX
Latest "Zombie Mallard" Release Features Support for Left4Dead 2; Free PC Giveaway

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (November 18, 2009) – Despite a crazed assault of zombie playtesters on their headquarters, CodeWeavers, Inc., a leading developer of software products that turn Mac OS X and Linux into Windows-compatible operating systems, today announced the release of CrossOver Games 8.1 for both Mac and Linux, available immediately.

CrossOver Games allows Windows games to be played on Mac and Linux PCs without the need for a Windows operating system license.

The newest version, codenamed "Zombie Mallard", allows CrossOver customers to play the fervently anticipated sequel to the runaway hit Left4Dead, appropriately named Left4Dead 2. "Frankly, that's all we need to support to justify a new release," said Jeremy White, bloodless President and CEO of CodeWeavers. "We had the zombies practically beating down our doors to be able to run the sequel. We're particularly pleased that we were able to support Left4Dead 2 as soon as it was released. In this way, Linux and Mac users can also do their bit to stave off the effects of the apocalyptic zombie plague sweeping this nation."

As part of their efforts to arm the gaming populace with zombie killin' tools, CodeWeavers will also be giving away a fully loaded, custom built CodeWeavers gaming PC to some lucky winner.

"Jeremy Newman, our sys admin, is also our foremost first-person shooter in the office," said White. "He'll be custom building a brand-new, loaded CodeWeavers Linux Gaming PC, with a quad-core CPU, dual graphics cards, 27" monitor, and CrossOver Games installed. We'll be giving it away to someone this week. It'll be built and shipped to them in time to put under their (non-denominational) Christmas / Kwanza / Hanukah tree. It's part of our way of saying ‘Thank you' to our loyal customers. Oh, and zombies must die."

CrossOver Games is available for purchase directly from CodeWeavers and its authorized resellers. It is a download-only product. The cost for the product is $39.95, which includes 12 months of free product support and software updates.

About CodeWeavers

Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers today focuses on the development of Wine, the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac OS X and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the UK and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held. For more information about CodeWeavers, log on to www.codeweavers.com.


Win a CodeWeavers Linux Gaming Rig

Win your very own CodeWeavers Linux Gaming Rig!

As part of the CrossOver Games 8.1 release, and its support for Left4Dead 2, CodeWeavers felt it was important to put superior firepower into the hands of their users! Any customer purchasing CrossOver Games or CrossOver Professional until November 25th will be automatically registered to win this loaded CodeWeavers Gaming PC. We'll pull the name out of the hat on December 1, 2009, just in time to have this little gem sitting under some lucky winner's (non-denominational) Christmas / Hannukah / Kwanza / Festivus tree. Lovingly hand-crafted by their very own sysadmin / web genius / first-person shootist Jeremy Newman, they promise it will have all the woof you need to feed smoke to the baddies. Did we mention that it comes with a lifetime license for CrossOver Games Linux as well?
Yeah, baby! So enter today!

Technical Specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93 Ghz Quad-Core Processor
  • EVGA 893-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 (2x SLI) [because two cards are better than one]
  • G.Skill Trident 4GB RAM (2 x 2GB)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA2 drive
  • Plextor 24x DVD Writer
  • LIAN LI PC-V1200Bplus II case
  • Hanns·G HG-281DPB Black 28" 3ms Widescreen LCD HDMI Monitor
  • Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard [The keys freakin' glow in the dark, and you can pick which color they glow! How cool is that, man?!?]
  • Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse
  • CodeWeavers Chassis Decal
  • Ubuntu Linux OS
  • 1 lifetime copy of CrossOver Games

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CrossOver Games 8.1.0 beta 1 adds Left 4 Dead 2 support

Also intros rough Modern Warfare 2 compatibility

CodeWeavers has posted the first beta of CrossOver Games 8.1.0, a significant update to the company's virtualization software. The program runs Windows games within Mac OS, Linux and FreeBSD potentially eliminating the need to dual Boot, or even own a copy of Windows. Version 8.1.0 is concentrated on support for Left 4 Dead 2, set to be released November 17th. CrossOver Games owners should already be able to play the demo.

Early compatibility has been added for the first-person shooter Modern Warfare 2, though CodeWeavers describes the code as "not quite ready for prime time." Other changes include fixes for Guild Wars as well as miscellaneous audio problems. The software requires an Intel Mac running Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Linux or FreeBSD and typically costs only $39.95.

Codewavers also ships CrossOver Office geared more towards a broad range of Windows office and productivity programs.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wine, Cedega, and CXGames Benchmark Comparision

In one of my earlier postings I did a compare and contrast of the various different features Cedega and Codeweavers offer. Today I am going to try leave my opinions aside and stick strictly to the numbers. Source Engine games are some of the most popular played today so I feel it is only fitting I use them to test the Wine software we have today.


The Test: I will be running an FPS test under both the original source engine (Counter Strike: Source) and the latest version of the source engine (Left 4 Dead). For each test I used the same detail settings and tested each game at three different resolutions, using each Wine, CXGames, and Cedega.

The Hardware: While my hardware is not fastest in the world it is (as of posting this) relatively new and decently quick. Proc nVidia 260m with 1gig DDR3 dedicated memory.

The Software: Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty), 64bit. Running the nVidia 190.42 driver

The Wine Programs Used: The following test results where obtained using CXGames 8.0.0, Cedega 7.3.3, and a vanilla install of Wine 1.1.32 (all latest versions as of today).

The Results:
Counter Strike - Source
  • Resolution: 1680x1050
  • - Wine: 72.29 fps
  • - CXGames: 153.03 fps
  • - Cedega: 113.83 fps
  • Resolution: 1024x768
  • - Wine: 49.33 fps
  • - CXGames: 163.03 fps
  • - Cedega: 119.22 fps
  • Resolution: 640x480
  • - Wine: 63.23 fps
  • - CXGames: 179.94 fps
  • - Cedega: n/a
Full Article with more scores!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Office 2007 in Ubuntu 9.10 with Wine 1.1.32

About Office 2007

Microsoft Office 2007 (officially called 2007 Microsoft Office system) is the most recent version of Microsoft's productivity suite. Formerly known as Office "12" in the initial stages of its beta cycle, it was released to volume license customers on November 30, 2006 and made available to retail customers on January 30, 2007. These are, respectively, the same dates Windows Vista was released to volume licensing and retail customers. Office 2007 contains a number of new features, the most notable of which is the entirely new graphical user interface called the Fluent User Interface (initially referred to as the Ribbon UI), replacing the menus and toolbars that have been the cornerstone of Office since its inception. Office 2007 requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, or Windows Vista.

Office 2007 also includes new applications and server-side tools. Chief among these is Groove, a collaboration and communication suite for smaller businesses, which was originally developed by Groove Networks before being acquired by Microsoft in 2005. Also included is Office SharePoint Server 2007, a major revision to the server platform for Office applications, which supports "Excel Services", a client-server architecture for supporting Excel workbooks that are shared in real time between multiple machines, and are also viewable and editable through a web page.

Microsoft FrontPage has been removed from the Office suite entirely. It has been replaced by Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer, which is aimed towards development of SharePoint portals. Its designer-oriented counterpart Microsoft Expression Web is targeted for general web development. However, neither application is included in any of the Office suites. Also, since speech recognition and handwriting recognition are now part of Windows Vista, speech and ink components have been removed from Office 2007. Handwriting and speech recognition work with Office 2007 only on Windows Vista or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.

Product Information

Microsoft Office 2007 is a complete suite of productivity and database software that includes the 2007 versions of Publisher, Excel, Outlook, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, PowerPoint, Access, and Word. Powerful contact management features help you consolidate all customer and prospect information in one place, while improved menus present the right tools exactly when you need them. Office 2007 also lets you develop professional marketing materials for print, e-mail, and the Web, and produce effective marketing campaigns in-house. In addition, you can create dynamic business documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and build databases with no prior experience or technical staff.

Whether you're working on a financial spreadsheet, creating an important presentation, or building a customer database, Office 2007 helps you find and use the features you need faster and more easily. The intuitive look and feel of this software, including task-based menus and toolbars that are automatically displayed based on the feature you are using, improves your productivity. With Publisher 2007, you can create and publish a wide range of marketing materials for print, e-mail, and the web with your own brand elements including logo, colors, fonts, and business information. Or take advantage of hundreds of professionally designed and customizable templates, and more than 100 blank publication types. This software also lets you reuse text, graphics, and design elements, and convert content from one publication type to another. You can also combine and filter mailing lists and data from multiple sources, including the 2007 versions of Excel, Outlook, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, and Access, to create personalized print and e-mail materials, and build custom collateral such as catalogs and datasheets.

Wine version tested: 1.1.32
Windows version emulated: XP
Office version: Microsoft Office 2007

This is the simplest way to install office 2007 on ubuntu 9.10 this method should also work with ubuntu 8.04,8.10 and 9.04.

If you have an iso image to MS Office 2007 you will need an iso mounter to mount the image, the best one I found was "Furius ISO Mount" you can download it from the programs manager.


You have to install a version of wine after v1.1.10 older Wine releases will not work.

Step 1. Install Wine:

  • wget -q http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/387EE263.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -
  • sudo wget http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/...t.d/hardy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo aptitude install wine
A .deb package can also be downloaded from http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/ please keep in mind that Ubuntu versions older than Hardy are no longer being updated.

Step 2. Download Winetricks
  • wget http://www.kegel.com/wine/winetricks
Step 3. Install Cabextract to run the Winetricks smoothly
  • sudo aptitude install cabextract
Step 4. Run Winetricks
  • sh winetricks
In the Winetricks window, install each of the following *individually*, which means check & install one, then re-run Winetricks and do the next:

* dotnet11
* gdiplus
* vb3run
* vb4run
* vb5run
* vb6run
* msxml3
* msxml4
* msxml6
* riched20
* riched30
* vcrun6

Step 5. Install MS Office 2007.

From your MS Office Installer CD or Directory, run:
  • wine setup.exe
Step 6. Run Office 2007

Professional support options

If you should run into any problems with the above howto you can always purchase CrossOver Office from the folks at Codeweavers. Crossover Pro runs on practically every Linux distribution as well as Intel Macs.

And Use Promo Code ( Tribeca ) in CodeWeavers store and save 25% off CrossOver.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cedega vs Crossover Games A Hands on Review

Most people who use Linux for desktop use are well aware of the one of the largest issues facing the platform: Lack of commercial software. Now in most cases this is not an issue, no MS Office - use OpenOffice, no Internet Explorer - use FireFox. However one thing which there is currently no replacement for is gaming. Try as they might there are just not enough Open-Source game developers (or even closed-sourced ones) that bring the level of gaming quality, as of yet, to Linux that Windows enjoys.

Enter the world of Win-on-Lin. The Wine Project, was start in 1993 and has slowly come into maturity over the course of the last sixteen years. Wine is a compatibility layer, or more precisely a reimplementation of the Windows API, that allows Windows applications to run under Linux. While the Wine project does a wonderful job of what it is designed to do (run Windows applications on Linux) how ever it sorely lacks in the means of a GUI front end for easy configuration/calibration.

Which brings me to my topic at hand - Cedega & Codeweavers. What are Cedega and Codeweavers? They two (closed source) programs both based off of the Wine Project to create what it lacks - a user friendly interface. Designed to help you get your Windows games working with ease on Linux. They both have their ups and downs and today I am going to look at each program and see how they compare. I currently have both Cedega and Codeweavers licenses so all the information given is from first hand experience working with both products. I'm going to be judging based on following criteria:

  1. Functionality - How well do they do what they are suppose to do?
  2. GUI Front End - How do the front-ends between the two compare?
  3. Website - Being able to find information is everything, how do the websites compare?
  4. Customer Service/Support - If you are paying for a product you want to know you can get help with it if it doesn't work properly.
  5. Fees & Licensing - How much do they cost and what are you paying for?
Functionality -

Cedega does a fairly good job of helping the user get their programs up and running. Upon selecting install it auto-detects any disc drives on the system for known game discs it can install. If it does not find any (or finds the wrong one) it is easy enough to direct it to the proper file/disc via the GUI. One of the things I really like about Cedega is the large number of pre-defined profiles it contains for different game titles (and just because you game isn't listed doesn't mean it will not work). Basically what this means is when you install a game that has a profile it automatically uses what are known to be the "best Wine settings" to get the optimum performance out of your game.

While Cedega does a great job at actually running the important parts of your games it is obvious that certain aspects of some programs have been neglected, Steam for instance works fine for loading and playing games but the friends network does not work in the slightest and installing flash for it is difficult at best.

Also worth noting here is that while Cedega started off as a fork of the Wine project (version 4.0 and earlier of Cedega was known as WineX or Wine Extreme) initially, it is no longer associated with it. Because of this of this fact the Windows API behind Cedega is also now different from that which powers Wine and as such there are a few applications that will not function under Wine (or things powered by Wine) that perform with out a hick-up under Cedega.

All in all I'm giving Cedega a 9 out of 10 points for functionality - it is a good software.

Functionality 9/10 - Cedega Total 9/10

Upon opening the Codeweavers program installer you are presented with a small list of applications that it will auto install and configure for you. I say small list because by comparison to the amount of game profiles listed under Cedega it feels somewhat incomplete. How ever as with Cedega just because the game you want to run is not on the list does not mean that it will not work. Also like Cedega, Codeweavers will auto detect any disc drives you have when you go to install a piece of software, one thing I also really like is that when detecting disc drives it also detects mounted iso files you may want to install from.

While the given list of games that are pre-configured in Codeweavers is small compared to the games list present in Cedega, it is very obvious that most of the games on the list have been worked on extensively to get them working to a optimum level with a careful attention to detail. Using Steam as my example again upon installation Codeweavers downloads and configures flash, in addition to other things, to help it work almost as good as it does natively on Windows (the only issue currently with the Steam UI is a small scroll bar issue).

Codeweavers is based directly off the Wine project, as such if a program works poorly under Wine odds are it is going to work just as poorly under Codeweavers. As such this also means that any performance you see with an application under Codeweavers can be replicated under just a standard Wine install (how ever it may take you several hours to get everything just right).

I'm giving Codeweavers an 8 out of 10 on functionality. It is good software but it needs to expand its games list some.

Functionality 8/10 - Codeweavers Total 8/10

GUI Front End -
One of the most important things about both these pieces of software is their GUI. One of the wonderful things about Linux is how alot of things "just work" and having a front end to install Windows applications through is a nice addition to have.

The Cedega GUI does a nice job of giving you a centralized location to house all of your Games/Windows applications. (You can add launchers for your favorite native Linux apps/games to it as well) Also present in Cedega that Codeweavers does not have is a "diagnostic test". Basically it checks over your hardware and configuration for anything that may cause issues when running your games. In addition to being able to check your configuration the diagnostic tool also allows for an easy copy and paste of your system specifications which is useful if you are unsure of your setup (or too lazy to type it out) when trying to debug an issue.

Lacking in the Cedega GUI how ever are native menu entries. Applications installed under Cedega often times feel foreign as you have to open a separate program to launch them or create your own custom menu entry (and hunting down the correct icon for you game can be a headache). Also worth noting with netbooks becoming more and more popular is that the Cedega GUI is obviously designed for a resolution of at least 768 pixel height, parts of it get cut off on most netbook screens. The Cedega GUI as a whole is good but it could stand a few changes - 8 out of 10

GUI Front End 8/10 - Cedega Total 8.5/10

While Codeweavers does not give you a centralized location for all your install applications like Cedega does, however it is still well done. Codeweavers does a beautiful job of integrating with your local menus (Gnome, KDE, ect) when installing applications. In fact if Codeweavers would simply add the games you install to the games section of your menu instead of its own section I do not think most users would be able to tell the difference between a natively installed game and one installed via Codeweavers. Same as Cedega here 8 of 10, fully functional but could still be slightly better.

GUI Front End 8/10 - Codeweavers Total 8/10

Website -

Knowledge is power as they say, one of the most important things about any piece of software you may have is that you fully understand how to use it. Often times these days ones of the best resources for learning such information is an application's homepage.

Cedega's home page is relatively horrid to say the least. It does provide the basic information on the product and pricing but that is about it. Many parts of the website have been 100% non-functional for the last months I have had my subscription and it really takes from the product as a whole. Voting for which applications you wish to be supported is one key feature that is lacking for example. On top of this another "feature" of the page is that you cannot view certain data if you do not have a current subscription - meaning if you are someone looking into Cedega to see if it will run a certain game you will have to pony up the cash to give it a try. Also horrid is the Cedega rating system for applications which has three options: "Certified, Works, and Known not to Work". Certified means you are able to contact customer service in order to get help with said application should an issue arise and well the other two kind of explain them self. Also, and this is not Cedega's fault per-say but odds are is due to a small user base, but the information about many application in their listing is rather lacking by comparison to others.

Cedega's website needs some HUGE improvements, as of now it is functional. So I'll give it a 4 out of 10.

Website 4/10 - Cedega Total 6.7/10

Codeweaver's website is a refreshing change from that of Cedega. It is obviously that of a professional company, the layout is nice and everything is clearly labeled. Everything is accessible with or with out a user login. If you are a member they have a nice system for allowing you to "vote" for which applications you would like to see better support for (So they know what they should be spending time working on). The user forums are slightly non-standard but not necessarily in a bad way, they just take some getting used to. Also a feature worth noting is Codeweavers ticketing system, you can browse past support tickets that yourself or other people have posted for solutions to past issues.

I really do not have anything bad to say about the Codeweavers website, it is well done and fully functional - 10 out of 10

Website 10/10 - Codeweavers Total 8.5/10

Customer Service/Support -

Llink to : Full Review and final score's

Mac Gaming 101.3 with CrossOver Games

Hello and welcome to Mac Gaming 101.3. Today I'm looking at Crossover Games for the Mac, a new product by CodeWeavers, based on the open source Wine project and featuring support for a number of current and popular games.

First up, what is Wine?
Started in 1993, Wine is an open source project that has developed a way of running Windows software on Mac and Linux operating systems. It offers a unique solution in that instead of booting to one of two different operating systems on one machine as we saw in our look at Boot Camp, or running Windows inside an emulator or virtualization such as Parallels which won’t cope with gaming, Wine is a re-implementation of the Win32 API, basically acting as a further level of translation between the software and the OS, so Windows applications can run on Mac or Linux as if they were native.

Enter CodeWeavers, the largest corporate sponsors of Wine, who have developed a range of products for Mac and Linux called ‘CrossOver’ based on Wine technology, but offering support, incorporating a host of user friendly features such as graphical installation for Windows applications, and including their own development, Bottles, where each bottle is a virtual windows environment with its own C: drive, registry and a few other bits and pieces, which holds a programme and its particular settings. Being a commercial venture, CodeWeavers have been able to plough resources into developing Wine to handle gaming better. While the other CrossOver products which are very office based, have been designed for stability, the resulting CrossOver Games which was released in March, is focused more on bringing you the latest improvements in the technology so that games run faster and better.

So what are the pros and cons?

Specification: For the Mac version, you need an intel Mac running OSX, and for the initial install, a tiny 120MB of free disk space, with a further 50MB for each bottle. It’s recommended that you use a separate bottle for each programme to avoid contamination, but at that size this is hardly an issue and makes programme management very easy.
On the downside, their website warns that Systems with integrated Intel GPUs will suffer performance degredation on graphically intense games.

Cost: Although Wine is open source, Crossover Games IS licensed software. If you own CrossOver Office you’ll get a free copy, or you can purchase CrossOver Games as a standalone for £26, with 12 months of unlimited upgrades and support. This is a pretty low price, particularly as with Wine being developed independently, then you don’t need a Microsoft OS or license which, given that the cheapest I could find Windows Vista Home Premium for is £140 on amazon, is a hefty saving.

The only financial downside is that if you want upgrades beyond the one year period you will need to renew your license with CodeWeavers. Some people may also object to paying for something based on open source, but this implementation does have significant advantages for gaming over raw Wine.

Usability: Installation is as easy as any dmg on the mac, drag and drop. Once you’ve done this, then any Windows .exe or dvd will be recognized. The software has a simple interface built in for downloading, installing and running games and managing your bottles.

Games and performance: A number of popular games are supported including Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and mods like Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2, Portal, Call of Duty 1 & 2, Prey, Guild Wars, EVE Online, World of Warcraft… Although some of these ARE available natively for Mac anyway.

There has been collaboration with Steam so Steam itself and most of its features, including multiplayer, works well and there are a number of Steam games supported.

Something on the supported list should definitely work, and for us they ran very well with no noticeable problems with framerate etc. Although the load time was a bit long, and as with anything, if you look at the forums, there are some people experiencing difficulties.
There are also a number of games that are unsupported which will also run either well or reasonably well, but then again there are also a number of games which won’t, particularly more demanding titles from the last 3 years or so like Unreal Tournament 3.

Support: There is a pretty comprehensive customer support system in place, and you also get access to community features such as the online Compatability Center where you can search for games, check what games are supported or reported to run well, and read and give feedback about user experience.

And on a symbiotic flip side, as CodeWeavers gives the vast majority of its developments back to the Wine project, then buying this means that you and they are actually contributing support to the development of this open source project. Which is nice.

So overall a very interesting product, and one to watch out for as it develops. You can download a free demo version, which has all of the functions and features of the full version, but which limits bottles to a seven day lifespan. If you purchase the full version and unlock the demo during this time, your existing bottles with the applications you downloaded in your trial period are unlocked as well so you don’t have to download them twice.


Full Article

CrossOver Games For Mac

Introduction

I'm going to go against the grain here and embarrass my fellow bit-tech staffers – I love my Macbook. In fact, since I recently acquired my Macbook Pro after an accident involving some rather delicious green tea, I've fallen even more in love.

Now, I'm not here to preach about the love of Macs, because I happen to be a firm believer in the idea that all of the major operating systems have their place. I do my office work on Windows, run Linux servers, and live my daily life on a Mac.

The problem has always been in gaming – the area is almost entirely dominated by Windows. I'm not going to whine about the developers leaving the rest of us in the cold or any of that hooplah – let's be realistic here. Windows dominates the market and honestly DirectX (for all its quirks) is arguably one of the best APIs in the whole history of computing, let alone gaming.

Of course, since DirectX is exclusively Windows-based, it's left Mac and Linux users out in the cold for quite some time. Releases lag by months if not years before a Mac port is created, and that's if one is ever even seen. Updates are rare and bugs linger for ages. Sure, there are some great games coded natively for OSX or Linux as Glider wrote about previously, but most commercial titles are just not there.

Enter Wine, an ages-old project to get Windows software running on non-windows machines. The Wine project now has several offshoots, which in the gaming side come in the form of Cider (at the architectural level from the makers of Cedega) and a very highly-tweaked Wine (at the virtualization level) which remains open source.

This is where we've sat for years – a couple open source projects trying to scrape together enough funding and open source love to make a difference. And it's where the company Codeweavers comes into play – a "funding bridge" between open source and corporations.

Codeweavers sells its software commercially, which is based on very carefully tailored packages of Wine that it calls "Crossover." But rather than become a big company making money off an open project, Codeweavers exists as little more than a professional conduit – the developers are some of the best and brightest of the Wine community for years, and so your money goes 100 percent back into the Wine community. Businesses and individuals that buy the company's Crossover software are actually donating to the Wine project, and in return get support and assistance with getting their needed programs to run.

The company has had some great success with Crossover, enough so that it could begin devoting part of its resources to fund solidly game research. Wine as it stands right now has some problems with its ability to handle gaming, particularly in the DirectX API and the .NET 2.0 Framework – you can bet that Microsoft isn't exactly chomping at the bit to help, either. So, with some actual funding in hand, Codeweavers began to work on the project that is now known as Crossover Games – the product we'll be reviewing today.

Why Crossover Games?

Crossover Games is not a new concept by any means, but it is the first product to actually promise some real meaty gaming on Mac and Linux. In particular, the company boasts support for Valve's Half Life 2 and Team Fortress 2, as well as several MMOs such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Eve Online.

Crossover Games for Mac Introduction and Installation Crossover Games for Mac Introduction and Installation
Steam and Half-Life 2 on the Mac? That's not possible! Or is it?

Now, the first thing that an astute cross-platform gamer will notice is that one of the biggest names on this list (WoW) is already cross-platform. So...whoopie? You can run some games that are already on the Mac natively! However, in days on days of testing various games (It's a hard job, I finally understand what Joe feels!) I can say that it actually runs quite a lot of software, including but not limited to Call of Duty 2, Prey and many (maaaaaannnyyyy) others.

Installation

Crossover Games for Mac Introduction and Installation

Purchasing Crossover Games is quite easy – just zip on over to the Codeweavers website and grab your copy of a free 30-day trial for either Mac or Linux. Once that expires, it's going to set you back $39.95 USD or £25.99 GBP which can be paid via Paypal. This means that for once the Brits don't appear to get completely shafted on pricing!

Today we'll be looking specifically at the Mac version of the software, though I'll take a look at Linux later this month just to see if it's functioning as well. As my trial had recently expired, I'm using a retail copy – purchasing will not only net you an actual working system for more than a month, but also unlimited updates and support for a year – even for incremental builds and subversion releases. If you like to tinker or help out, these will let you play with the absolute bleeding edge and be one of the first voices heard if there's a bug or feature request.

Installation is as easy as any Mac user would expect – open up the .dmg file and drag it into your applications directory. Pretty neat, huh? From this point forward, any Windows-based .exe file or DVD will be recognized and you can choose for it to run them automatically, prompt you for what to do or ignore them completely. I set mine to ask politely...I'm not a fan of things thinking for me.

Looking under the hood

Now that we have the basic program installed, it's time to actually understand what it's doing. After all, Crossover is not really an emulator, nor is it a Virtualization solution like VMware or Parallels. It sits somewhere in between not running Windows at all and running a full copy inside of a virtual computer.

Crossover Games (and the underlying Wine installation) is actually much like an API – it takes the procedure calls from the machine instructions given by the program and "translates" them from Windows language to Mac language before they get executed. It's almost like an API for the APIs – translating things like DirectX commands into OpenGL the same way DirectX translates commands for the hardware.

To do this, Crossover uses Wine's "Bottle" approach, which it doesn't really go into great detail on – so, I'll spend a minute with you on it. Rather than create a whole virtual partition that is "formatted" and installed with an entire OS (and thus wasting a ton of space), Crossover uses a little "bottle" to hold just the program you install in it and that program's specific needs. So, if one program needs the .NET Framework 1.1, Crossover will automatically install it for you in that bottle.

The good news is, each of these bottles takes around a whopping 50 megabytes (yep, that's it) above your software install. That means you're not really wasting space on a whole Windows installation just to run a game or two. You can have as many or as few bottles as you'd like – Codeweavers recommends that you install each piece of software in its own bottle just to avoid accidentally screwing up one thing by installing another. With such little overhead between bottles, this isn't a bad idea, though I've yet to actually experience a crash. It certainly does make uninstalling easier, which I'll get into in a bit.

Crossover Games for Mac Gimmie the games Crossover Games for Mac Gimmie the games

Each bottle has its own "C:\" drive, which is fully accessible in your GUI or CLI. If you'd like to quickly locate it, you can click on "Configure -> Manage Bottles -> Advanced" and you'll see an option to open the drive. This way, you can manually add patches, no-CD fixes and edit game configuration files. It’s incredibly easy, and incredibly handy.

Installing games

Now that we have an idea of how bottles work, let's get started actually creating and filing one. Installing games is not quite as simple as installing the base software, but it's close.

To start off, there are two types of installations in Crossover Games – Supported and Unsupported. Supported games are the ones that are guaranteed to work pretty much flawlessly, like Half Life 2 or Battlefield 2. For these, you can just choose the install from the basic menu and follow the on-screen prompts. For Steam games or things like Guild Wars, I highly recommend just downloading the installer from online – it will ensure you have the latest version.

Crossover Games for Mac Gimmie the games Crossover Games for Mac Gimmie the games

Steam's install couldn't be simpler, and it's what many people will use this for right out of the gate. It grabs the download from the website, asks you for a couple quick install instructions, and gets to work. Installation of the full Steam package and Half-life 2 by download took me a bit under an hour, most of that being spent in download time from the Steam network.

From my understanding, the guys at Valve helped Codeweavers get the products compatible, and it shows. Installation is no harder than on Windows and all of the normal Steam functions are operational. You can browse games, download new games and updates and play single- or multi-player with no headaches at all.

Playing games

Playing games in Crossover Games is oddly intuitive. Simply click on the "Programs" menu in your menu bar and you'll be greeted with a list of all available programs in all existing bottles. Click your program and watch it run!

Unfortunately, this is partially where the pavement of an objective review starts to change to the dirt road of a subjective observation. See, there's very little actual method to test frame rates inside of the games. Things like FRAPS (at least to my knowledge) don't really work, and it's hard to trust the in-game rates because it's not a sure thing that the report is accurate. Is it measuring the actual output, or the output it thinks it is giving because of the middleware?

What I can offer is an honest opinion from an avid gamer about whether things are running slowly. The test system is as follows:

MacBook Pro 15.4"
  • CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz;
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 256MB;
  • RAM: 2 GB Corsair 667Mhz DDR2;
  • HDD: Seagate Momentus 7200.2 160GB.

As you can see, I'm not running Apple's top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. As a mid-range laptop, it should give you an idea of what you could expect from anything that isn't an Intel-integrated system that's running Linux or OSX.

Supported games

I fired up my copies of Half Life 2: Episode 2, Guild Wars, Call of Duty 2, Prey and Team Fortress 2. All of the games ran with no issues out of the same bottle, and actually every one of them performed very well. I noticed no slowdown compared to playing on my full desktop which sports much more admirable specifications.

The one thing that you will definitely notice is a bit of a load time for the executable to begin its magic. Loads are considerably increased compared to an equivalent Windows installation, and there's not really any good indicator that it's doing much at all. This can be quite misleading when you think nothing is happening but the system as a whole is behaving quite sluggishly.

Crossover Games for Mac How well does it work? Crossover Games for Mac How well does it work?
Half-Life 2 runs beautifully on the Macbook, as does Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2.

Games actually do something better in Crossover Games than most do in normal Windows – they can run as a windowed mode instead of full-screen. Because of the high-end virtualization technology present in Intel processors and the excellent mutlitasking of 'Nix based operating systems, it's easy to play a game at three quarter size and do work around the edges.

So, these all run great. But what if you want to play something other than Half Life 2 or Guild Wars?

Unsupported games

Unsupported games are a broad topic on Crossover Games...mostly because there are so damn many. Anything that is not specifically listed and advertised is considered 'unsupported.' Does that mean they don't work? Absolutely not.

However, caveat emptor. Several games actually don't work, and that's putting it lightly. What I'm quite surprised about are the games that do work – and I'd dare say that the list is bigger than those that work in Vista!

Crossover Games for Mac How well does it work? Crossover Games for Mac How well does it work?
Crossover running Dungeon Siege II and Baldur's Gate II on the Mac.

Functional games are pretty much anything that's been made from 2005 or earlier. These engines are all using stable code and standard API calls from DirectX 9.0c or previous. Pretty much anything that runs DirectX 8.0 or older runs with no issues, even many Windows 95/98 games that did not play well with XP or Vista without serious tweaking.

"New games" really depend on the engine – anything based on the Source or Doom 3 engine seem to run without a hitch. Games with their own high-end engines are quite hit-or-miss - Bioshock did not run at all, while Neverwinter Nights 2 did not run due to a possibly fixable problem with the .NET Framework 2.0. I've not had the opportunity to actually fix that problem, but it is indeed reportedly fixable.

This seems to be one of the biggest problems – tinkering still exists, which one does not expect to pay top dollar to still need to do. Unreal Tournament 3 didn't run, but it was again tantalizingly close – Crossover Games seems to install optionals like the Ageia engine into the "Default" bottle, whether or not that is the bottle which you're installing your software in.

Making the decision

One of the hardest things to review about Codeweavers' implementation is the whole idea of a retail cost. For starters, we're talking about software that is genuinely open source, and there is the possible moral question of whether anyone should duly profit from it.

On the other hand, these are the same coders that have been driving Wine for ages and the money is going directly to the further development of games support. It's an unrealistic belief to hold developers responsible for developing for 95 percent of all computers simply because we fall in the five percent minority – so the idea of a company being funded to help us run software better is simply a blessing.

Let's be honest – how many people truly donate to open source projects? Even most of the penguin-clad zealots would have to put their hands down. When the money isn't flowing, people can't spend their full time on a project – and if all you can count on is the occasional charity of a few impressed people, the talented coders shouldn't be expected to donate much more. Codeweavers allows a direct injection into one of the biggest weaknesses of both Linux and Mac, and I hardly believe that isn't worth paying for.

Native Windows games on Mac?  It's not as  far away as it seems, but not as close as it could be.

Native Windows games on Mac? It's not as
far away as it seems, but not as close as it could be.

In that, this software is a bit hard to rate – Crossover Games is in its infancy, and even that infancy is pretty damn impressive. However, we're talking $40 USD for software that really fits a niche at present. Though the wholehearted support from companies like Valve is both impressive and promising, we're still lacking the love of major developers and publishers like Epic and Electronic Arts. The growing library available on Steam is a great starting point for a multi-OS assault on the Microsoft stranglehold of gaming – but would it ever be seen?

Because of that, Crossover Games is in a precarious position – one that we as gamers need to look at closely. Piracy is an often justified behaviour nowadays, and it's probably even easier when you recognise that the base this software is built on is completely open source. Then, there's the idea of paying for something that will take time to grow into the all-around answer. Probably half of what you will look for out of this program isn't there – yet.

On the other side of the coin, it's a chance to actually stand up for support of both the developers and the OS of your choice. With time and funding, Codeweavers could evolve Crossover Games into the same fantastic and excellently supported program that it did to its initial Crossover project. Real gaming on Mac and Linux would be nothing more than $40 or twenty-five quid away for a fully featured solution, and the Wine code will reap the benefits for those who are willing to DIY their own solutions for free. Every change that Codeweavers puts into the Wine source goes right back into the GNU open license, so the benefits are pretty far-reaching.

Conclusion

So, bottom line...is it worth it?

The answer is, that depends. It depends on your moral stance, it depends on your needs right now and it depends on what you are willing to wait for. If you believe in supporting open source, supporting cross-platform gaming or have a love (like I do) for older games or things that don't require the absolute bleeding edge of technology, then the answer is an easy "yes." A simple $40 investment has allowed me to bring so many great games onto the computer that goes everywhere with me...and it will just get better over time.

For anyone else, it's not going to be the same equation. The compatibility list from Codeweavers will tell you pretty much everything you need to know – if your app is on this list at all (even just Honorable Mention), chances are it works. If not, it's probably in your best interests to just keep an eye on it – when the "turning point" game for you shows up, you can jump in with both feet.

In the end, I think that Crossover Games is a great start to an even greater goal. If you go into it expecting for everything to work flawlessly without thought, you may be disappointed. If you are looking for a program that already offers some neat functionality and is geared to offer a whole lot more, you'll be extremely excited at the prospect that Crossover Games offers.

Full Article

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 on Linux with Wine

About Internet Explorer 8

Windows Internet Explorer 8 (abbreviated IE8) is the latest web browser developed by Microsoft in the long running Internet Explorer browser series. The browser was released on March 19, 2009 for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7. Both 32-bit and 64-bit builds are available. It is the successor to Internet Explorer 7, released in 2006, and is the default browser for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems except in Europe. IE8's global market share is estimated to be about 18-20%.

According to Microsoft, security, ease of use, and improvements in RSS, Cascading Style Sheets, and Ajax support were its priorities for Internet Explorer 8.

Standards mode

Internet Explorer 8's main rendering mode, known as standards mode, has improved support for various web standards, especially CSS, compared to Internet Explorer 7 and earlier versions.

The web standards supported by IE8 include the following:

  • HTML, including the HTML object fallback and the abbr and elements
  • Data: URIs
  • CSS level 1 is fully supported. CSS level 2 is mostly supported however the CSS level 2 implementation does diverge from the CSS2 specification on over 50 counts. CSS level 3 is partially supported.
  • DOM storage
  • Partial HTML 5 support, including cross-document messaging
  • Selectors APIs
  • DOM, that brings it in line with implementations in other browsers. Attributes and properties in DOM objects are now handled differently, and the behavior of the getAttribute, setAttribute and removeAttribute modifiers have been changed to match the behavior of other browsers.
  • Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) specification for enhanced accessibility in Ajax-based rich Internet applications.
However, IE8 does not support some other W3C standards.

Wine configuration

This is with a clean configuration directory, with no other applications or games installed.

Linux Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Windows version emulated: XP
Wine version tested: 1.1.32

" browseui="native, builtin"
"crypt32"="native, builtin"
"gdiplus"="native"
"hhctrl.ocx"="native, builtin"
"hlink"="native, builtin"
"iernonce"="native, builtin"
"iexplore.exe"="native, builtin"
"itircl"="native, builtin"
"itss"="native, builtin"
"jscript"="native, builtin"
"mlang"="native, builtin"
"mshtml"="native, builtin"
"msimtf"="native,builtin"
"msxml3"="native,builtin"
"riched20"="native,builtin"
"riched32"="native,builtin"
"secur32"="native, builtin"
"shdoclc"="native, builtin"
"shdocvw"="native, builtin"
"shlwapi"="native, builtin"
"url"="native, builtin"
"urlmon"="native, builtin"
"usp10"="native, builtin"
"uxtheme"="native,builtin"
"wininet"="builtin"
"wintrust"="native, builtin"
"xmllite"="native, builtin"

DLL Overrides can be set in winecfg, just run winecfg from your favorite terminal and then go to Libraries and set the above DLL's as shown above.


You will also need to copy a number of DLL's from a Windows XP machine and place them in /system32 as winetricks doesn't provide these DLL's at this time.

msctf.dll
msimtf.dll
uxtheme.dll

Winetricks

Now download winetricks if you don't already have it and install the following Windows redistributables.

corefonts
gdiplus
msls31
msxml3
riched20
riched32
tahoma

IE 8 install in Wine

Download Windows Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP from Microsoft and save it to your home directory.

Now open a terminal and run $ wine IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe

The IE 8 install should now start, I didnt select the Windows security updates in my install.

IE 8 on Wine Screen Shots

Here's a few Screen Shots of IE 8 running on my Ubuntu 8.04 laptop.

Wine-Review.net rendered with Internet Explorer 8
Internet Explorer 8 Internet options
Google searh and about Internet Explorer 8
Internet Explorer 8 Developer Tools


Conclusion and known problems

While IE 8 will run and render web pages just fine there is still a large number of problems/bugs that remain to be resolved before you will want to use the browser on Linux on a daily basis.

Bookmarks and RSS feeds don't currently work and their is a number of problems related to comctl32.dll for example the forward and backward buttons background isn't painted and even worse if you select Help the browser will lock up. I also had a number of lock ups when trying to save Internet options.

Their are also major problems with comdlg32.dll the address and search bars don't accept input at this time, so what ive done is set Google as my homepage and then go from there.

You can easily do this in the user.reg file, just change the start page to what you want your home page to be. Here is what I have as a example :

[Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main]
"Start Page"="http://www.google.com/ncr"

You can however view web pages, and navigate around a site to see how well it renders with IE 8 if your a web developer.

One way to help support further development of Internet Explorer is to purchase CrossOver Office and then vote for IE 8 as the app that you would most like to see supported in a future release.

You can use ( Tribeca ) as your Promo Code in CodeWeavers store you will save 25% off CrossOver for Mac or Linux!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

uTorrent 2.0.0 on Linux with Wine

µTorrent, the BitTorrent client that is..

Micro-Sized Yet Feature Filled

Most of the features present in other BitTorrent clients are present in µTorrent, including bandwidth prioritization, scheduling, RSS auto-downloading and Mainline DHT (compatible with BitComet). Additionally, µTorrent supports the Protocol Encryption joint specification (compatible with Azureus 2.4.0.0 and above, BitComet 0.63 and above) and peer exchange.

Resource-Friendly

µTorrent was written with efficiency in mind. Unlike many torrent clients, it does not hog valuable system resources - typically using less than 6MB of memory, allowing you to use the computer as if it weren't there at all. Additionally, the program itself is contained within a single executable less than 220 KB in size.

Skinnable and Localized

Various icon, toolbar graphic and status icon replacements are available, and creating your own is very simple. µTorrent also has support for localization, and with a language file present, will automatically switch to your system language. If your language isn't available, you can easily add your own, or edit other existing translations to improve them!

Actively Developed and Improved

The developer puts in a lot of time working on features and making things more user-friendly. Releases only come out when they're ready, with no schedule pressures, so the few bugs that appear are quickly addressed and fixed.

Wine configuration

Linux Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Wine Version: 1.1.32
Windows version emulated: XP

Installing µTorrent

Download µTorrent 2.0.0 Beta 17127 from here.

uTorrent first run

uTorrent 2.0.0 Beta runs out of the box with Wine 1.1.32 so no need for dll overrides and hacks.

tom@tom-laptop:~$ wine utorrent-2.0-beta-17127.upx.exe

RealPlayer SP 1.0.2 on Linux with Wine

RealPlayer has always enabled you to play RealAudio (*.ra) and RealMedia (*.ram) files.

Now, with RealPlayer, you can:

  • Download videos from thousands of Web sites with just one click
  • Build your own video library and playlists
  • Play all major audio and video formats

RealPlayer for personal use includes audio CD burning capabilities, DVR-style playback buffering, multimedia search, Internet radio, a jukebox-style file library, an embedded web browser (using Microsoft Internet Explorer), and the ability to transfer media to a number of portable devices, including Apple's iPod, MP3 players, and Windows Media devices.

Since version 11, RealPlayer also includes Flash Video support, DVD, SVCD, VCD burning and video recording.

Wine configuration

Linux Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Wine Version: 1.1.32
Windows version emulated: XP

Installing RealPlayer SP 1.0.2

Download RealPlayer SP 1.0.2 from here.

RealPlayer should install without any problems, just open your favorite terminal and run :

$ wine RealPlayerSPGold.exe

After the install you will want to install some native windows dlls and the flash plugin. The easiest way to do this is with winetricks, if you don't already have a current release of winetricks just go to the archive section of this site and select winetricks.

Select the following software in winetricks to install : Microsoft core fonts, tomaha font, richedit 20 and 32, flash plugin & ie6
After all the above software is installed cd to the install directory and run realplay.exe

$ cd /home/tom/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Real/RealPlayer
now run realplay.exe
$ wine realplay.exe

RealPlayer SP playing a mp3 file


RealPlayer SP Radio
RealPlayer Movies/TV
District 9 movie trailer


What works :
  • Audio : All of the audio files I tried played without any problems.
  • Radio : works reasonably good, each time you select a station select open in the dialog box.
  • Movies/TV : about 75% of the movie trailers I tested worked with any problem.
What doesn't :
  • Selecting Station, Genre etc... caused the player to lock up on me, narrowing the available selections works fine with the search option.
  • Some of the movie trailers wouldn't play, the player screen remained black but the audio played just fine..Maybe this can be worked around with a codec change or video setting change.
  • I didn't test DVD, VCD or burning so im not sure how well these features work at this time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Codeweavers Profile in High Definition from G4TV

Video Description: Codeweavers is bridging the gap between Windows and Mac. Their sofware allows you to run most major games and software that are Windows only to run on your Mac OS without even having a windows license.

Codeweavers Profile

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wine Cedega Crossover and PlayonLinux

As the title says I'm going to talk about some of the differences between all of the above.

WINE is basically a windows emulator for Linux operating systems. WINE allows you to run some applications on Linux that does not have Linux support or installers ie: Office 2007, World of Warcraft and many others. This is not a how-to but more a idea of what is going around and what its all about. WINE is the underlying technology for all the above applications. But lets face it, this was made so we could run the nice M$ games on our Linux distros. I for one love to game and I really would like to have more games written for M$ and Linux. I can't figure out what the big deal is as most games are written in C++ and could be compiled for any OS type.

Games is a major stumbling block when it comes to people moving from M$ to Linux and most don't have the knowledge or time to sit and try figure out how to play there favorite games on Linux. Here comes the solutions. Some are free and others not but lets take a look at them a little more.

WINE

WINE is easy to setup but hard to configure. Most of the time you need to install things like flash, msfonts and direct X to make things work. So far I found that if you don't want to physically install something from a CD or download it, the best option is to use WINE on its own and check out WINE AppDb for some useful tips on how to run some of the applications. WINE has some add-on tools to make life a little easier like winetricks and others.

Cedega also known as WINEX

Cedega is a commercial application that will cost you around $5 a month if you want to play games on Linux but it does support some really nice games. It's a frontend that was built on top of WINE which runs basic scripts to install the needed applications to run specific games. Now, as South Africans in a recession this is not a viable option as we already have to pay monthly subs for some games and then also just to run it on our system.

Crossover

Crossover has two versions: Crossover Linux Professional and Crossover games for Linux. And as you can guess it is WINE with some scripts and uses WINEPREFIX to run its applications. I must say if I had to pay for applications this would be the one. Its a once-off charge of $39.95 and no monthly subs.

PlayOnLinux

This is exactly the same as all of the above its uses WINE with scripts to make installations easy. The big difference here is that its absolutely free and according to their site will remain free. But with all free things there comes a price. Their application support is not as big as WINE and they are still working out what all is needed to run what applications.

Now for my 2 cents worth on the entire subject is that if you have all the install CDs and your looking for less fuss and more play time then get either Crossover or PlayOnLinux as they are reasonable and less hard to work with. If you have all your games on a external hdd like me from Windows past then WINE with winetricks is about the best option. This is a work around for playing games on Linux and until supplies start recognizing that the Linux gaming community is growing rapidly and start selling games for all OS's this will have to be the workaround.

Oh, the one thing that all the others do is use WINEPREFIX with different names. Crossover calls it bottles and PlayOnLinux something else. But what it basically does is install your game on its own little windows framework so that if you install something that might help one application but break another then they don't affect each other. CodeWeavers Crossover also gives you a 30-day trial on CrossOver Games Linux if you want to check it out before you buy it.

Full Article

CodeWeavers Announces Lame Duck Support Insurance Policy

On Anniversary of Huge Software Giveaway, CodeWeavers Announces "It’s NOT Free" Special for Wednesday, October 28
In 2008 CodeWeavers Gave Away 650,000 Free Licenses in 24 Hours; This Year’s Special Includes "Lame Duck Insurance Policy" Offering 2-for-1 Support

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (October 27, 2009) – On the one-year anniversary of the software industry’s largest-ever one day giveaway—a publicity stunt that nearly crippled his company—Jeremy White, the deeply embittered CEO of CodeWeavers, announced ALL of his software will NOT be free tomorrow in celebration. "Not even CLOSE to free," White proclaimed in announcing his non-giveaway. "Still, we’ll have some pretty good deals."

Last Year: A Mushroom Cloud of New Users
The time was July, 2008. The plan: as part of CodeWeavers' "Great American Lame Duck Challenge," if President Bush could accomplish one of five goals by his term’s end – including reducing the price of gas to below $3 / gallon – CodeWeavers would give away its CrossOver software to anyone who wanted it. CrossOver is a highly-celebrated open source software that enables individuals to run Windows applications without purchasing a Windows license from Microsoft. And then, in mid-October 2008, as the global financial meltdown unfolded and the Great Recession kicked into fifth gear, gas hit $2.79 in the Twin Cities, and CodeWeavers announced that the giveaway was on.

The result was an internet phenomenon. On October 28, 2008, nearly 650,000 people downloaded CrossOver. "Our servers melted, my sales director was sobbing uncontrollably and we basically burned to the waterline," White said. "We were suddenly the hottest commodity on the Web after porn." One year later, though, White says he’s seen the light. "My socialist phase has passed; I’m back to being a greedy capitalist. It’s time for somebody to bail me out!"

This Year: CodeWeavers Actually Asks People to BUY Their Software
Wednesday, October 28, 2009, in a shocking, one-time-only shift away from its previous marketing stance, CodeWeavers has decided to try making money instead. For a 24-hour period commencing at midnight, October 28, CodeWeavers will offer ALL of its software for NOT free. "Half off, to be precise," intoned White. "But that’s still pretty darned good. No, we probably won't be moving as many licenses, but our servers won't be puddles of slag in the morning, either."

Users buying during the NOT free promotional period will automatically later receive CodeWeavers forthcoming "Zombie Mallard" and "Snow Mallard" releases, named in honor of the twisted Lame Duck that spawned them.

"Zombie Mallard" will allow CodeWeavers users CrossOver Games product to play Valve's fervently anticipated forthcoming Left 4 Dead 2 release, available in mid-November. "Snow Mallard," CodeWeavers next-generation productivity app, will allow users to install Windows applications directly from CodeWeavers huge online database of known software installation recipes.

"We think the Mallard releases will offer significant improvements to the way our current (non-paying) customers enjoy using CrossOver," White chuckled, then gagged from his stress-induced acid reflux. "A pity the Mallards won't QUITE be ready until after the Lame Ducker's 1-year support period has expired. That's just pure coincidence, though."

CodeWeavers Offering Assuring Insurance With Sale
White is also offering customers two further perks during this year’s "giveaway." First, they will receive the Lame Duck Insurance Policy.

"Starting Oct. 28th, for every day the customer waits for Snow Mallard to be released, we'll tack TwoWO days onto their support entitlements," White said from his desk, as he bent over and picked up a penny. "How’s that for a public option?

"It’s a pretty sweet deal: The later we ship, the more value the customer receives for their money. Not only that, but we're giving away 25 free lifetime licenses of CrossOver as well. That oughta pump up some interest; at least, that's what Marketing better hope," White muttered, in reference to his disgraced Marketing department, now chained to their desks until the company sells 650,000 PAID licenses. "Marketing got us into this mess in the first place; they ain't getting out of it until I say they’re out," White sneered. "Back to work, you!"

About CodeWeavers

Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers today focuses on the development of Wine, the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac OS X and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the UK and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held. For more information about CodeWeavers, log on to www.codeweavers.com.