Saturday, February 4, 2012

Putting Wineskin to Work

I have several posts now about using Wineskin to convert games from Windows to Mac. I have had a range of success, with some games fully functional, some partially functional, and some not at all functional. I thought I could convert several of my older games like Warcraft and Diablo, but ran into a bit of trouble when the the Windows partition of these hybrid disks wouldn't mount on the Mac desktop. I found a solution with this help from the Codeweavers site on how to mount and unmount a Mac/Windows hybrid disk with a little help from Disk Utility to determine the device name of the CD (generally the one in Disk Utility that is grayed out) and the terminal commands:

mkdir cd (creates a directory as a mount point; any name will do, but cd is a safe and simple one to use)
mount -t cd9660 -r /dev/<device name of CD grayed out in Disk Utility> <name of directory you  created> (the cd should now mount on the desktop so you can use it with Wineskin)
umount <name of directory you created> (this unmounts the cd so you can then eject it normally)

Even with this resolved I haven't yet been able to get working versions of either Warcraft or Diablo.

However, I have had some success with applying Wineskin to solving some Mac-incompatibility problems with software we use at USC.

Oracle Calendar 10.1.2

For many years we have used the calendar originally called CorporateTime and now called Oracle Calendar. There have been both Windows and Mac clients of the software, but the Mac client will not work on Mac OS X 10.7 because it is not a native Intel application. This meant that people were either not upgrading to Mac OS X 10.7, switching to using the less functional web client, or running the Windows client in Parallels. Since Oracle has no plans to upgrade the client themselves I decided that this would be a good candidate for converting with Wineskin. I had a functional beta within an hour. It took a little more time to get full functionality. Because I used the icon from the PowerPC client the final product looks just like an official client and actually works better and faster than the Mac client was on Snow Leopard.

I used the WS8Wine1.3.37 engine with the Wineskin 2.5 wrapper. In options I enabled the Map User Mac OS X folder in wrapper and the Option key works as Alt settings. The Windows client I installed was version 10.1.2. I saved the wrapper after running the app and configuring the Oracle Calendar server settings, so users who download my client can just login without having to do any setup at all. The most complicated thing to do involved installing Gecko. Gecko is required for the in-client help system, but installing it into the wrapper was an exercise in frustration. I finally got it working though.

I decided to provide a FAQ along with the application because (1) the cut/copy/paste keystrokes in the Windows client require the ctrl key while on the Mac you use the command key. So to copy something from a Mac program to the clipboard you use command-c, but to then paste it into the Oracle Calendar you use ctrl-v. And (2) Wine seems to have some issues with multiple monitors, so if you move the application to a secondary monitor it may become unresponsive to the mouse; this doesn't always happen but when it does the only solution seems to be either closing and reopening the application or moving it to the primary screen.

Amdocs ClarifyCRM 13.1

Also for many years we have used the ClarifyCRM client, for which there has never been a native Mac client, for problem ticketing. The Windows client is an old product that hasn't been upgraded in years. If newer versions are available we are not using them. I again had some success getting the application to run within an hour using the WS8Wine1.3.37 engine and Wineskin 2.5 wrapper, but then I ran into difficulties. At doh123's suggestion I turned on warnings and was able to determine that many dll's were reported to be missing. The strange thing is that the dll's were not missing as they were installed by the Clarify installer.  I messed around with it for some time, but eventually resolved it in an unexpected manner. I noticed that many of the warnings referred to "nt" and I knew the application was pretty old. So I went into Wineskin > Advanced > Tools and then used the Config Utility (winecfg) to set the Windows version to Windows NT 4.0. After that the application worked correctly except for the in-client help system. I did install Gecko, but even attempting to open the help causes the application to crash. I was unable to resolve this, but figure that most users are already familiar with the client and would not require the help system anyway.

Update: I was able to get the in-client help to work by using winetricks to add corefonts and in the Wine configuration Libraries tab removing the msvcrt override.

The thing that actually took the most time was to find an image that allowed me to use to create the appropriate application icon.

As I had done with Oracle Calendar I wrote a FAQ to explain how to use the copy/paste keys and to explain the outstanding issue with multiple monitors.

It was very nice to be able to spend only a few hours and have working Mac versions of these applications.

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