Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CodeWeavers Crossover Come To The Light Sale

Codeweavers offers downloads of its Crossover Games for $39.95 and Crossover Professional for $69.95 If you apply coupon code "ComeToTheLight" this will drop CrossOver Games to $29.96 And Crossover Professional to $52.46 That's 25% off and the lowest total price we've seen since a 1-day sale in October 2009. CrossOver enables you to install Windows applications and games on Intel-based Macs and Linux.

Update 12/15/2012 : The ComeToTheLight dealcode has expired, you can now use "GameTime" as your dealcode and save 15% off CrossOver for Mac and Linux.

The new and improved CodeWeavers CrossOver version 9.2.1 was recently released, So if you need a Windows Application or Games to run on Linux or Mac OS X this is your chance to get it at 25% off the normal selling price.

CrossOver 9.2.1 contains many fixes to existing applications, and just generally makes the product better. As of this writing CrossOver has been merged with Wine 1.2.1 and contains many improvements for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Quicken, PhotoShop and many other supported and none supported applications.

Second, the folks at CodeWeavers have re-written the entire user interface from scratch, and have created what they feel is a more intuitive installation process and user experience. The new user interface is written in GTK and the look and feel is much more intuitive then the older Tcl/TK UI that was used before this upcoming release.

Third, and perhaps most important, the CrossOver installer will now be directly linked to their online Compatibility database and allow people to install unsupported software via (recipes) contained on the Compatibility Center.

Here is a screenshot of the Crossover Professional 9.0 (UI) user interface.


Keep in mind this sale is for a limited time only, and may be discontinued at any time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Guide to Wine on Ubuntu for Beginners

This guide is divided in four parts, so that you can jump to whichever you want using the links below:

What Is Wine?
Installing Wine in Ubuntu (Two Methods)
Starting Up and Configuring Wine
Customizing Wine

What Is Wine?
Wine is a compatibility layer which allows Windows applications to run on Linux by translating Windows system calls into native Linux calls. Wine runs successfully a variety of Windows applications and games on Linux - the official website offers an application database which organizes those depending on how well they perform under Wine, known issues and solutions, screenshots and helpful comments.

You should give Wine a try if you have some Windows-only game or application that you really need and want to be able to use Linux for it.
Installing Wine in Ubuntu (Two Methods)

I will approach two different ways of installing the latest Wine release in Ubuntu: using the Wine PPA and compiling from source.

Using the Wine PPA

This method is pretty straightforward. First, we need to make sure that we uninstall any older version of Wine:

sudo apt-get remove --purge wine

Now, let's add the Wine PPA repository to our sources.list file:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
Finally, update the package lists and install Wine:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wine
This should be all.

Compiling Wine from source

This is usually not needed considering there is an updated repository available, but sometimes the PPA repository may have a delay until the packages are built and uploaded. Usually this happens immediately after a new version of Wine is released and there are no updated packages in the PPA. This is where compiling Wine from source could come in handy. Also, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat comes with the latest stable release of Wine, which is 1.2, so if you want the latest development release you will need to install it from the PPA or compile it from source.

First, make sure you have the sources repositories enabled, meaning a line that starts with deb-src is in your /etc/apt/sources.list file, like the following:

deb-src http://ro.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ maverick universe multiverse
If not, add it and save the file. Also, make sure to replace maverick with your actual Ubuntu version. Sources are enabled by default in Ubuntu, so you will probably need to do nothing at this step, unless you commented or deleted this line yourself.

Next, let's install the compilation tools, the needed development libraries and additional Wine dependencies:

sudo apt-get build-dep wine
sudo apt-get install libgsm1-dev libmpg123-dev

The first command will fetch the needed development libraries needed by Wine, together with the compilation tools like gcc. The second one will install two additional development libraries. Now, download the source tarball from the official website (direct link here), and then uncompress it by typing in a terminal (don't forget to make sure the current working directory is the one where you saved the tarball):

tar -xjf wine-1.3.9.tar.bz2

I used the latest version available at the time of writing, but replace the version number accordingly if it differs.

Next, enter in wine-1.3.9 directory and issue the following commands to compile and install it:

./configure
make
sudo make install
This will take a while, but in the end Wine should be properly installed. Alternately, you can specify a different installation prefix from the default, e.g.:
./configure --prefix=/home/USER/usr

In this case Wine will use /home/USER/usr (replace USER with your actual username) as the installation prefix, and you can issue make install as normal user, without the need of sudo. Notice that in this example Wine would install inside /home/USER/usr/bin/wine, so if you specify a different prefix don't forget to include the path to the Wine binary in your $PATH. Also notice that for older versions of Wine the commands needed to compile it should be ./configure; make depend && make; sudo make install.

If you need to uninstall Wine, issue the following command from within the wine-1.3.9 directory:

sudo make uninstall

Configuring Wine :

Winecfg

winecfg is used to configure Wine and change settings like sound, graphics, Windows version and so on. Wine uses the winecfg utility for configuration, which you can start either by typing winecfg in a terminal or pressing Alt+F2 and typing it there, followed by Enter. Note that the default settings usually will do, so it's not necessary to change the configuration options after installing Wine. When it starts for the first time, winecfg will prompt you to install Gecko, a web rendering engine used to embed HTML in applications (the same engine which is used by Firefox). It is recommended that you install it.

gecko

If you don't install Gecko now, you'll be prompted later when it is needed by some application or you will be able to install it manually using the winetricks script (which is explained below this section). After installing Gecko, let's have a look at the Wine configuration window:

wine_configuration

I'll briefly explain each tab:
  • Applications tab: this is used to set different Windows versions for different applications. The default (Windows XP) should be fine for most of them.
  • Libraries tab: here you can add dynamic link libraries (DLLs) and specify whether they should be a Wine builtin or a native Windows binary; this will be used to copy various libraries needed by certain games or applications to run properly.
  • Graphics tab: in this tab you can specify graphics settings, emulate a virtual desktop and choose its resolution, change Direct3D vertex shader options and set fonts dots per inch (DPI).
  • Desktop Integration tab: in this tab you will be able to change the look of Windows applications that run through Wine, and also to change the theme which it uses (this is explained below in the section Customizing Wine).
  • Drives tab: this tab allows you to set drive mappings, which will give Wine access to certain devices and drives on your system. Default is usually fine, but you may need to add an optical drive here for applications which require the CD or DVD.
  • Audio tab: the first time you click on this tab a message window will appear notifying you that a recommended driver has been selected. Click OK, then in the Audio tab click Apply. You can also test the sound using the Test Sound button. Default settings should be fine.
  • About tab: optionally you can fill in the Owner and Organization text fields (anything will do).
wine configuration

Winetricks

Winetricks is a powerful script which automates installation of various useful packages, offering a friendly interface to do so. Before downloading and using winetricks, first let's install the cabextract package, which is a native Linux application that extracts Microsoft Cabinet files (CAB), and is available in the repositories:

Full Article

Friday, December 17, 2010

CodeWeavers 30% off Winter Solstice Sales on CrossOver Mac and Linux

While the big box stores and shopping malls run black Friday sales, and in recent years many of the online retailers have began to have black Monday sales. Leave it up to the wacky folks at Codeweavers to have a 30% off Winter Solstice Sales on CrossOver Mac and Linux.

Why a Winter Solstice sale you might ask, well you see CodeWeavers has their headquarters in Minneapolis St. Paul Minnesota and in Minnesota in the winter you measure snow by the feet and temperatures to the negative. So when the Solstice comes on December 21st, the beginning's of longer days and warmth are surly on the way. And this is a time of mass celebration on the magnitude of world cup winners, or your favorite team winning the super bowl. And in all this mass hysteria a thirty percent off sale was devised so everyone around the world can join in this festive time of the year.

This sale runs from now until December 20th 2010 and to take advantage of it just use "Solstice2010" as your dealcode in CodeWeavers store at checkout.

This is a good time to purchase CrossOver not only because you will save 30 percent off the normal retail selling price. And as a bonus to this discount in the next month or so CrossOver 10.0 will be released with many new and exciting features. And if you purchase now you can upgrade to CrossOver Pro or Games 10.0 when it's released.

This sale is open to anyone who needs to run Windows Applications and Games on Mac, Linux and FreeBSD. So please help spread the word and post about the "Solstice2010" sale on Facebook, your web site, and don't forget to send a tweet to all your friends and family.

Update 07/31/2014 : The Solstice2010 dealcode has expired, you can now use "GameTime" as your dealcode and save 15% off CrossOver for Mac and Linux.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Help spread the word about CrossOver for Linux and Mac

The folks over at CodeWeavers are having a get the word out campaign. If your a proud customer of theirs and would like to help them spread the word about the great products that they have, this would be a good time to do it. Ive personally used their products ever since CrossOver Plugin 1.0 first shipped and have always been satisfied with the product and support that I've received over the many years.

Spreading the word about CrossOver

Friends of CodeWeavers, unite! First of all, thank you very much for your support. We greatly appreciate everyone who has purchased a copy of CrossOver, or has worked hard as an Advocate to ensure that CrossOver continues to improve and run the apps that you need. Beyond that, though, we also really value those of you who help spread the word about CrossOver. Your favorable comments, both in person and on the Web, are absolutely some of the most powerful things you can do for us.

Link to CodeWeavers From Your Page

If you have a web page, blog, MySpace page, Facebook page, or whatever, we'd love to have a link from you. Here's are some graphics for your Mac or Linux PC that can show that you're a CodeWeavers customer. Simply copy the image and link to your site. You can link from the image hosted here or right click and save the image to your PC then upload it to your site and use the link provided here.

Also, please add a link to this page from your blog, facebook page, twitter, buzz account etc. etc... and help spread the word about spreading the word. :)


CodeWeavers

CodeWeavers

CodeWeavers

CodeWeavers

CodeWeavers

CodeWeavers

CodeWeavers

CodeWeavers

Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Transgaming Cider Game users can now save 25% off CodeWeavers CrossOver Games for Mac

About Transgaming Cider

"TransGaming's Cider Portability Engine is a proprietary technology that allows PC games to be enabled on Apple's Intel Macs without the traditionally expensive and arduous need to redevelop a game from the ground-up. Cider acts as a "wrapper" around the PC game dynamically translating PC API calls to the Mac OS X operating system. As such, games can be enabled with Cider in a matter of days to weeks as opposed to the typical man years that traditional development takes.

Cider is an extremely powerful technology that allows games to be released day and date with their PC counter-parts giving publishers significant upside revenue potential and leveraging marketing and branding initiatives. Cider also allows publishers to release either dedicated Mac versions of their games or PC/Mac hybrid versions (i.e. both versions of the game in a single box)."

In reality how well do games really run with Transgaming's Cider on Mac? Well with the the help of my friend Google I did some searches for Cider Games and this is what I found. Below is a quote and link to the original article.

GTA2 [Intel][Cider] (Mac Games) :
"Notes: The resolution can't be changed in game - you will have to leave it at the preset value.
Known Issues: If you click on Options in the main menu the game will crash, so don't do it. Controls and other settings have already been configured for you." Full Link

'Cider' could see PC/Linux/Mac game releases :
"Cool, but also a bit frightening, many publishers will rush games and release fairly buggy products as is, I can only imagine the horror unleashed adding all that" Full Link

Sins of a Solar Empire :
"Personally, I would really really hope that if a port ever happened (which it doesn't seem like Stardock has ever had any inclination to do for any of its games - which is a shame) it wouldn't use Cider as Cider games are often very buggy due to not being Mac native. Hell, EVE Online uses Cider and there are still dialogs to pic a DirectX version in the options..." Full Link

Dark messiah with Cider and font issue :
"the fact that the cutscene videos won't show up and had to be deactivated because they use a DirectX 90c shader which Cider can't handle I can hear the sound but the screen is just black with a white quare - too bad since the videos contain major story elements..."

"I am currently fiddling with Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, but the game is extremely buggy and crashes every time I try to load a new game." Full Link

COD5 Cider Port Released :
"I hate cider. Everything about it is just annoying. I would rather have it then no port, but really, for big game companies? Its slow, buggy, and resource intensive. The valve apps that are programmed in OpenGL should run much better." Full Link

Settlers Community Technical Support :
"Cider C Runtime Error Runtime Error!!!!! Program: C:\The Settlers 7\Data\Base\_Dbg\Bin\Release\Settlers7R.exe abnormal program termination" Full Link

And this is just a small sample of the search results regarding Transgaming Cider ported games for the Mac. All I can say is, Wow... it sure seems that Cider is a extremely buggy piece of technology at this time, and therefore you can most likely expect crashes and errors with a Cider ported game on your Mac.

Most people choose a Mac because it is a quality premium product with a elegant OS to go on that hardware. So the last thing your going to want is a buggy Cider based game on your Mac right? Keep in mind extremely buggy software like this also taxes your CPU and GPU and can cause premature hardware failures do to overheating and constant 100% system loads. Not to mention system lock ups and system crashes. I personally would not put my Mac through this torture, because their are alternatives at this time to Ciderized Games.

What are the alternatives to Cider ported games?

At this time there are more and more native Mac ported games coming on the market all the time. With the recent market share increases the Mac has seen more and more game developers are porting to the Mac.

You could also duel boot using bootcamp, but your going to have to pay for the Microsoft Windows licence. And you cant run any of your Mac software while your booted into Windows. You will also loose a large chunk of hard drive space for that Windows install.

You can install vanilla Wine from WineHQ on your Mac and play games, this is a good option for technical minded people. And for people who have hours to spend tweaking Wine and the Game for the best playing experience. But if your not familiar with compiling software and then further configuring Wine once you have Wine installed this option might not be for you.

And then their is CodeWeavers CrossOver Games for Mac. CrossOver Games can run hundreds of Windows Applications and Games on Intel based Mac PCs.

About CodeWeavers CrossOver Games for Mac :

"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 lets you run many popular game 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 with your Desktop. Just click and run! It's like running Windows on your Mac or Linux machine, but without Windows. No rebooting, no switching to a virtual machine, and no Windows Operating System license required!."

To see if your favorite game currently runs on CrossOver Games just visit CodeWeavers CrossOver Compatibility Center (C4) and browse through the over 8,000 applications and games in the C4 database.

About CodeWeavers CrossOver Compatibility Center (C4) :

"CodeWeavers goal is to make Linux and Mac OS X fully Windows-compatible operating systems. All Windows applications should be able to be run: cleanly, harmoniously, within the native environment, and without using an emulator. To that end, we maintain this Compatibility Center."

If your favorite games currently runs via CrossOver Games Mac you can join the C4 forums and share your experience with other CrossOver Gamers. You can also become a advocate for your favorite games and vote on your games support level, give feedback, and much more. If by chance your game doesn't currently run with CrossOver Games you can vote for your game and let the people at CodeWeavers know the game is important to you and you would like to see it supported in a future CrossOver Games release. Their is also a tips and tricks section in the C4 forums where you can use or add to known tips for getting a unsupported game up and running.

If by some chance your game isn't currently listed in the database you can still install the game as a unsupported application and see for yourself if it runs. And then submit the game for inclusion in the database and once its accepted submit your ranking. You will also want to keep in mind that just because a game isn't officially supported by CodeWeavers doesn't mean it isn't playable. As of today their is currently well over 1,000 Gold ranked applications and games in the C4 database.

So how do you save 15% off CrossOver Games for Mac? Just use "GameTime" in the CodeWeavers store at checkout time as your coupon / dealcode and you will get a instant 15% discount off the full retail selling price. Anyone who has ever had any problems running a Cider based Game can use this dealcode and give CrossOver Games a try. You can also share the "GameTime" dealcode with friends and family so they can join in the fun and start playing many of today's most popular games on their Mac computers with you.






Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CodeWeavers Releases CrossOver Games 9.2.1

CODEWEAVERS SUPPORTS WORLD OF WARCRAFT CATACLYSM:
CodeWeavers Releases CrossOver Games 9.2.1; Vows Extensive Personal Testing for Quality Assurance Purposes

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (December 7, 2010) Twelve million addicts, err, players cant be wrong. Theres no doubting the draw of World of Warcraft. And today, as Blizzard rolls out its third, much-anticipated expansion to the game Cataclysm, CodeWeavers ensures that Linux gamers can play right along with their PC and Mac brethren. CodeWeavers Linux customers will be able to run Cataclysm as if they were running on Windows with today’s immediate shipment of CrossOver Games 9.2.1.

CodeWeavers Chief Operating Officer Jon Parshall vowed that testing of the new CrossOver build would be ongoing. All day at his office. All night at his home. Probably until I hit level 85, Parshall stated. Well, to be honest, probably for a while past that. I actually have six level 80s to get to 85, and Im thinking about leveling up a worgen, too, he continued, referring to the new Alliance race of fearsome werewolves. That’s gonna take quite a while, but its all in the name quality assurance.

With the release of Cataclysm, the dreaded dragon Deathwing has returned to Azeroth, ripping asunder and utterly transforming the game world that players have lived in for the past six years, and leaving chaos and destruction in his infernal wake.

Im thinking chaos and destruction is what my wife may visit on me as well for sequestering myself in my mancave for hours at a time, but that’s a price I’m going to have to pay, Parshall added as he grabbed three cans of Red Bull and a bag of All Nighter Cheeseburger Doritos® before disappearing into his basement.

For footage of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm running under Linux

CrossOver Games 9.2 replaces all previous versions of CrossOver. The software is immediately available at www.CodeWeavers.com.

About CodeWeavers

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