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Monday, March 30, 2009

CrossOver Games you can play Windows Games on GNU Linux

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

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

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

3) WE INSTALL VERSION TRIAL
After to have unloaded the install-crossover-games-demo-7.2.0.sh rows, we open a shell and we render it eseguibile with the commando;
chmod +x install-crossover-games-demo-7.2.0.sh
we launch and it;
./install-crossover-games-demo-7.2.0.sh
After a phase of verification of integrity of the archives, we will have to accept the license.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to enable font anti-aliasing in Wine

What is Aliasing?
All computer displays show images in bitmap mode. What this means is that every image is really a bunch of tiny little squares that make up the image. What this essentially means is that computers can't display really smooth curves.
These two letters are printed with the same font face, size, and style. The only difference between them is that the top letter is aliased and the bottom is not.

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

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

With anti-aliasing, the curve is created with squares of color that are shaded darker or lighter depending on how much of the curve would take up that square. For instance, if a portion of a curve takes up 10% of a pixel, that pixel would be shaded with 10% of the color saturation of the curve.
What this amounts to is that anti-aliasing adds shading along the curve to "fool the eye" into thinking it's seeing a smooth curve rather than a jagged bitmap.

Anti-aliasing Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Makes fonts look smoother
  • Rounded edges look round
  • Type is easier to read (for some) because it looks more like what printed type looks like
  • It's just plain prettier (some would argue)
Cons
  • Small fonts become too fuzzy to read
  • Sharp edges may be fuzzy and not precise
  • You can't print anti-aliased text as it comes out blurred
  • Images are generally larger
  • Type is easier to read (for some) because the blurring is reduced and the fonts are clear

Understanding Antialiasing and Transparency
Introduction
When designing web pages, you will often wish to incorporate graphic elements. The easiest way to include graphics is through the use of images.
Images, though, have two fundamental limitations for supporting graphic elements. First, rather than being vector-based (as are text and graphics created in programs such as Illustrator), images are a collection of pixels. Second, images are always rectangular.
In order to make your graphics look as smooth and accurate as possible, and in order to seamlessly integrate them into your design, you will need to understand antialiasing, and how it relates to transparency. This tutorial will explain the basics of antialiasing, and how to use succesfully use it in tandem with transparency.

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

In our case, the smooth and continuous feature we are interested in is vector data, such as text or an illustration. The sampling that occurs is due to rasterization: the process of converting vector data into pixel data. The limitation of this representation is that while vector data can represent limitless shapes and has infinite resolution, pixels are square and are relatively large.
This limitation isn't visible when dealing with rectangular objects, as in the images below:
Rectangular features, even when magnified (right) suffer from no visual artifacts.
As soon as we deviate from rectangular shapes, however, we begin to see some unwanted artifacts.
Diagonal lines are rendered less accurately. A magnified view demonstrates jaggies.
These unwanted artifacts, often called stairsteps or jaggies, are a form of aliasing. They'll appear whenever we attempt to represent a shape that deviates from a rectangle.

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

The example below demonstrates the most effective technique of antialiasing graphics: taking advantage of the many levels of color that our monitors can represent.
Here is a simple image that is still complex enough to show jaggies when rendered. This is even more noticeable in the detail image.
A large atmark rendered without antialiasing.
Here is the same image rendered using antialiasing. Note how much smoother this image appears, and how much better integrates into the background.
Antialiasing smoothes out the jaggies.
The detail image should demonstrate the basics of how antialiasing works with images. Rather than only using black and white pixels, intermediate levels of gray are used to blend the pixels together. The amount of black or white used represents how much the original graphic covers a pixel. A fully covered pixel will be black. One that is not covered at all will be white. One that is halfway-covered will be gray.

In this case the border pixels are shades of gray because the foreground is black and the background is white. If the foreground were red, however, the border pixels would be shades of pink.
With a red foreground and a white background, intermediate pixels are pink.
When anti-aliasing is working Winecfg should look like this. (on Wine 1.1.0)


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

REGEDIT4

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

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

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

Here is a screenshot of the script running.


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

To run the script:

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





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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 on Linux with Bordeaux

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

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

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

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

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

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

Broader Distribution of Your Documents
Home and Student 2007's features aren't limited to the work you do at home; they extend to broader distribution of your documents and presentations. New support for Portable Document Format (PDF) and XML Paper Specification (XPS) file formats helps ensure increased distribution and sharing of your documents with users on any platform. This is particularly ideal for either sharing documents with friends and families, or for presenting information and assignments in a computer-integrated class.
  • Contains: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote
  • Create great-looking documents faster and easier using improved picture, charting and graphics tools with Smart Graphics.
  • Create eye-catching spreadsheets and charts with shading and colour in Excel 2007
  • Give documents, spreadsheets and presentations a consistent look automatically with Themes
  • See formatting changes in one click using Live Preview.
  • Get better results fast, with improved user interface, menus and toolbars.
  • Gather, organize and search your notes and information in one place with Office OneNote 2007
  • Remove comments, hidden text and personal information from documents with Document Inspector
  • Recover documents lost while working during inopportune system problems through the Document Recovery Tool

About Bordeaux 1.6.0

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

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

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

System configuration

Linux Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Wine Version 1.1.4
Bordeaux Version 1.6.0

Getting Office Trial

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

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


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

Installing Office 2007

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


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


Running Office 2007

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

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


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

Conclusions

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

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


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PlayOnLinux has a new server and website

Today I announce to you the transfer of PlayOnLinux to a new server. We have taken this opportunity to give the website a little makeover.

What's new? I hear you ask. Well, among the many wonderful new features, you will find :
  • A brand new front page, all made up and pretty
  • A complete, rewritten documentation
  • The forum has undergone some changes as well, with a search feature! yes, you read right!

At the moment of the server change, there may be a period of time when the website will not be available. Also, the domain name change may take some time for some of you.

Here is what the new front page will look like :


And here is what the scripts will look like:


Update: All the main configurations of the new server are now in place. All that's left is wait for a few optimizations and the server change will then take place.

Update: It seems that the scripts had stopped working since the site's migration. This problem has been fixed and everything should be back to normal now. We apologize for the temporary discomfort it may have caused you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My struggle with Wine and Lord of the Rings Online

From Jeremy Whites Blog at CodeWeavers...

So I'm blessed with a wonderful wife. She helped support our efforts around World of Warcraft by playing WoW with me (up until I got sick of it at about level 40). Last summer, we decided we wanted to tackle Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). That is, we wanted to bring the Windows version to Mac and Linux.

So we both got accounts, and started playing. The idea was that I'd be the perfect beta tester, so that as we worked to officially support it, I could be a lead tester.

Nicely, the game engine itself works great in CrossOver Games and Wine. Unfortunately, the launcher, the main program that does updates and gets things going, is a .NET application, and it doesn't work. It's really the key to genuinely supporting LOTRO.

Now you can get around that, with a variety of pretty tough work arounds. So I've been using those for the last 6 months or so, and she and I have been gaming happily. We're up to level 47 now, and are having a great time. (As a digression, I need to boast about my wicked cool rig. I've got a Linux box hooked into our 40" Samsung LCD TV, with MythTV for our TV. And then when it's time to play, I get to play this gorgeous game on this beatiful large screen TV. My wife is often quite jealous ).

Unfortunately, our work on the launcher has become a nasty 'Tar Baby' that is deeply frustrating. I've had 5 different developers look at bugs in the launcher over many months, and I've even spent several weeks myself.

This happens every now and then with Wine. We'll get one application bug that is just a humdinger and it takes us forever to break through it. I remember that Project 2003 took us over a year to find. But when we finally did, it was a one line fix. We're having a similar struggle with Service Pack 1 for Office 2007. This is just one of the most maddening things about Wine. We'll get it eventually, but it's deeply frustrating along the way.

But this has been a lovely dimension to my job; it's fun to have my extra curricular activities dovetail with my day job like this. Now just to find a kinship on Vilya...

Cheers,
Jeremy



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CrossOver Games Mac 7.2.0 Review

This week we're going a little meta here. Today's focus is on CrossOver Games, by CodeWeavers. CrossOver Games is part of the CrossOver platform, which purports to let Mac users run PC programs as though they were native. I was full of doubt when I started out on this journey, and I have emerged on the other side a True Believer. CrossOver works. It just works. I don't know, it's magic. Why, you ask? Read on to find out!


CrossOver Games is a simple installation, even if its underpinnings is crazygonuts. Essentially, games (and applications for the CrossOver application) operate as though they exist within specialized environments contained within the Mac itself. CodeWeavers calls these environments "bottles". For example, the Guild Wars application lives inside the Guild Wars bottle. You can have multiple bottles for each game you want to run, and can configure each of them separately.

If you look at the configurable settings for bottles, it's apparent that what's going on here is pretty much an actual, discrete build of Windows that fires up every time you want to play that particular Windows-only game. There are separate controls for managing tasks in the Windows instance, and you can simulate a reboot for that instance. There's even the option for opening the C: drive and displaying its contents in the Finder, should you need to delve down into that level of software support. For people like me, that's unnecessary, as my Windows Fu doesn't extend to actually modifying registers or editing .ini files, but it's good to know that that stuff is there.

CrossOver Games creates a distinction between Supported and Unsupported games. Supported games include EVE Online, Guild Wars, Half-Life, Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine, Spore, and the Valve Software Steam interface. What this means is that CrossOver Games is ready to let you play these games (with the proper install CD or file) without any monkeying around. If you select one of these choices, you're given a small message recommending a particular flavor of Windows to use, or you can just go with what it suggests. From there, the process is painless. For Steam, as an example, you're given the option to install the client from the Orange Box CD, or download it directly from the Steam website. CrossOver creates the necessary environment, and suddenly you're looking at the ugly Windows interface.

Then it's just a matter of choosing which game you want to play. Opening a game opens CrossOver Games, and it all just functions seamlessly with the Mac environment. Venturing into the realm of Unsupported games, however, is a different beast. From the app: "CrossOver should be able to run many games that use Direct X 9 or any previous version of Direct X. However, there are sometimes problems with particular games." This is where being knowledgeable about Windows guts would probably come in handy.


When setting up the environment for an Unsupported game, you're given the choice of choosing one of four Windows versions for your bottle: Vista, XP, 2000, and 98. And no lie: when I saw that Windows 98 was available, my heart leapt with joy, because it meant that I could stop feeling silly for holding onto my The Neverhood CD for all these years.


Without allowing myself to hope too strongly, I slid the CD into my drive, created the Win98 bottle, pointed it to the CD, and crossed my fingers. Less than a minute later, the screen went black and the old familiar opening Neverhood indicia displayed, meaning I was in like Flynn.

There were a couple of issues: you can't play The Neverhood in a window, for instance. And all the video runs at roughly half-speed with a lot of skipped frames. But for the simple joy of being able, after over a decade, to play one of my very favorite games of all time, I could get used to a ton of even worse issues.

Of course, having successfully installed and played The Neverhood, I was unprepared for when I was unable to install Age of Empires 3, which runs on Windows XP. At some point in the install, I received the message "Error loading the PID Generator DLL. The DLL could not be found!" My tactic of staring at the screen until the message turned into "Oh, nevermind, I found it" completely failed, and that was my experience with installing AoE 3.

Note: If any of my readers understands what this is about, please drop me a line or leave a revealing comment. I fault nothing but my lack of Windows knowledge for this. CrossOver Games is still awesome.



How awesome? Awesome enough that not only can I play The Neverhood, but I can also play Guild Wars without having to restart into Boot Camp, which saves a ton of time. Because CrossOver Games runs Guild Wars, I'm going to assume it'll handle all the subsequent expansions as well; I'll find out sooner or later.

That brings me to something I've been wondering about, and hoping to see for a while now. If CodeWeavers can make Windows-only games run nearly natively on the Mac, is it too much to ask that Apple itself figures out a way to do the same without needing Boot Camp? Isn't this really kind of a proof of concept? What would Apple lose by this? All they'd need to do would be to add this as yet another bullet point in their Switchers campaign: You can run your actual Windows apps directly on the Mac! Steve, I know you're not doing Keynotes anymore, but this would make the ultimate One More Thing.



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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DirectX 10 coming to Linux through WINE and CrossOver

Most desktop Linux users have at least heard of the free application Wine or its retail cousins CrossOver Linux and CrossOver Mac.


If you haven't heard of these applications, you may want to give them a try. They allow users to run Windows programs in other operating systems (namely Linux, Mac OS and Solaris) without any virtual machines or other resource-intensive processes, as long as you have an x86-compatible CPU in your PC -- and let's face it, nowadays, who doesn't?

In fact, with WINE there's no need for Windows at all. WINE< creates an environment that responds to Windows API calls, so apps 'think' they are running in Windows, when in fact there's no Windows there at all.

The difference between the two applications is that CrossOver uses a proprietary, more up-to-date version of Wine along with some handy extensions. The two also differ as far as support; CrossOver is commercially supported by CodeWeavers while Wine relies on the community for support.

Last week Codeweavers' Jeremy White posted an update on the CodeWeavers website outlining what has been happening over the last eight months and giving a preview of what is to come this year for CrossOver and Wine.

As far as the last eight months, most of the development work has gone towards what White calls "under the hood" improvements and better support for the newer releases of Microsoft Office. Many of these changes are now present in the development version of Wine. Quite a few DirectX 9 games are well supported along with many other common applications such as Photoshop and QuickBooks.

What is more interesting, though, are the few details White gives about what this year has in store. It seems that this year will be focused more on the core functionality and user experience. Developers will begin working on adding DirectX 10 compatibility layers while improving support for Outlook, Quicken, Photoshop, QuickBooks, and many other applications. On top of that, CrossOver will get a user-interface makeover.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Google Summer of Code 2009 and Wine

It's time for another round of Google's Summer of Code (SoC). The SoC is an effort that first started in 2005 as an effort to get students involved in open source code development. Google provides a stipend to the student and to the mentoring organization that helps the student.

Kai Blin this week sent the application for this year's Summer of Code. Below is the email Kai sent to the wine-devel mailing list.
Hi folks,

I've just sent our application for this year's Summer of Code.
Could everyone please have another look at the proposed projects at
http://wiki.winehq.org/SummerOfCode to see if all the proposals are still current. Feel free to discuss new project ideas on the mailing list as well.

Cheers,
Kai
The deadline for mentoring organizations to submit is March 18, 2009 and Google will begin taking student applications on March 23, 2009 with the deadline for student applications on April 3rd. On April 20th, Google will formally announced the accepted student applications and then after a several week learning period students will begin coding their projects on May 23rd. The SoC coding then continues on until August 17th.

If you have an idea, please post it on Wine Developers mailing list so we can help you with your idea and find out if it's realistic or not. Showing initiative and willing to discuss your idea greatly improves your chances of getting accepted.

As long as you work hard and interact with the community and your mentor in a positive and constructive way you don't have to worry about not meeting all your goals.

For updates and news about Google's Summer of Code 2009 (SoC) and Wine keep a eye on the Wine (SoC) wiki page. If your interested in participating in this years (SoC) it might be a good idea to subscribe to the Wine Developers mailing list now and start the discussion.




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Monday, March 9, 2009

CodeWeavers Outlook for 2009

Tom Wickline pointed out that it has been 8 months since I had put out a road map. So I thought I'd take some time to review what we've accomplished in these past 8 months, and what we hope to accomplish through the rest of the year.


This has been an interesting 8 months. We've deliberately been working on some very 'unsexy' initiatives. For example, we've been focusing a lot of energy on some 'under the hood' improvements to Wine. Things like .NET support, work on a DIB Engine, Gdiplus, and a lot of Direct X work. We've also spent a lot of energy focusing on issues with Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007, in an effort to bring those applications fully up to 'Gold' level.

We have had some challenges; for example, we discovered, after working our heart out on a DIB Engine, that in fact, the DIB engine wasn't the magic bullet we were hoping for. (Instead, we've recently focused more energy on Gdiplus, and we're pleased with the performance boost that is giving things like Quicken).

One great result is that we're continuing to see a lot of broad success stories; an awful lot of applications just work better now than they ever have with Wine in the past.
We've just shipped a lot of those 'under the hood' improvements for games out in CrossOver Games 7.2. We're really pushing Direct X 9 support pretty far along, and getting ready to move on Direct X 10.

In the next few months, we'll be shipping CrossOver Linux 8.0, and CrossOver Mac 8.0. That revision of our flagship product will bring support for IE7, modern QuickBooks versions, Quicken 2009 (at a nice speed), Photoshop CS3, and many many other improvements, particularly around Microsoft Office and specifically Outlook.

After we ship version 8, and make sure we keep Games fresh as well, we're going to turn our focus to our next major revision. In addition to our normal work of broadening and deepening our application support in Wine, we're going to try to dramatically improve the CrossOver GUI itself. First, the Linux version will get a fresh new look. But both versions are going to get an interface that we hope will bring the power of the Compatibility Center right into the installation view. The key idea is to make it easier to distill the gathered wisdom on unsupported applications and make it far easier to use. I hope we'll have that available before the end of the year.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

New PlayOnLinux Helper Plugin adds winetricks integration

NSLW posted on the PlayOnLinux forums about the new helper plugin he wrote. I have posted this news here in the hopes that PlayOnLinux users will download and help test the plugin. The feature list is impressive for a first release, with some testing and input im sure it will only improve over time...

I wrote a application which makes PlayOnLinux more ergonomically usable. The program can be freely redistributed and executed. It is written in GTK and it meets the needs of the PlayOnLinux community.

http://www.playonlinux.com/en/topic-1801-winetricks_integration.html
http://www.playonlinux.com/en/topic-2058-further_to_suggestions_re_already_installed_games.html

I know, it may still contain bugs and therefore it only shows basic information if executed from the terminal which may help me to further debug it. I'm currently using PlayOnLinux 3.4 from the generic package on Fedora 10 and the application works for me. The application starts in Ubuntu 8.04 but I didn't tested it yet.

To install PlayOnLinux Helper copy the "POL Helper" directory to your "/home/YourUsernameHere/.PlayOnLinux/plugins/" directory and then you can easily run it from the PlayOnLinux menu. (see download link below)

Features list:

1) Create or Edit PlayOnLinux scripts
  • You can add already installed applications.
  • You can easily define the Command-line.
  • You can correct paths in PlayOnLinux script if you were installing not in the default directory.
2) Change icons of PlayOnLinux scripts
  • You can add and change the icon for unsupported applications.
  • You don't have to worry about the size of the icon as the script will automatically re-size it to right size.
  • You chose from the directory where wine throws all icons.
  • You've got icon preview during choosing.
  • Current supported formats are .png .xpm .ico
3) Rename PlayOnLinux scripts
  • You can easily rename PlayOnLinux scripts without searching through POL directories.
  • You don't have to worry about assigned icon as it will be carried along.
4) Create shortcuts on your desktop and in the menu for PlayOnLinux script
  • You can easily add shortcuts for PlayOnLinux scripts.
  • You don't have to worry about icons, because if there was any, it will be automatically assigned to that shortcut.
5) Easily use WineTricks with PlayOnLinux prefixes
  • You can (and have to if you want to use this feature) easily download WineTricks from "http://www.kegel.com/wine/winetricks"
  • You can easily use WineTricks (created and maintained by Dan Kegel) on all PlayOnLinux prefixes.
  • You don't have to worry about WineTricks and the version of Wine assigned to the prefix (it is vital thing for e.g. gecko package)
The file is on the file share server and it's name is "POL Helper.zip" you can download it from here.





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Saturday, March 7, 2009

PlayOnLinux 3.4 Released

Hello everyone,

PlayOnLinux version 3.4 has been released and it has some long awaited new features and as always bug fixes and tweaks. Also a new version of the PlayOnLinux website will be coming soon, so keep a eye on the site for these future updates.

what's new in version 3.4
  • The manual installation will suggest you to open winecfg before each installation; allowing you to configure your profile as you want.
  • The repository is automatically updated when it is changed. Therefore the button "update repository" will no longer appear on the tool bar.
  • The "Automatic Execution" button has been moved to the Tool menu.
  • POL_SetupWindow_prefixcreate was causing problems and so has been rewritten. The former version allowed to fix some issues in the Program Files so it has been kept under the name : POL_SetupWindow_oldprefixcreate will allows to create functional prefixes on older versions of Wine.
  • The changelog will not be displayed when an application is launched

To download PlayOnLinux 3.4 for the first time or update a older version go to the official download page and get the installer for your Linux distribution.



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Windows gaming on Linux and Macs made easy

Sure, it's handy being able to run Internet Explorer or Microsoft Office on Linux or the Mac thanks to WINE and Crossover Linux and Mac, but you know what's even cooler? Running WoW (World of Warcraft) or Guild Wars on them.

That's why I'm really pleased to see that CrossOver, the company behind WINE, the programs that lets you run Windows programs on Linux and Mac OS, has just released new editions of CrossOver Games for Mac and Linux, version 7.2.0.

At first, you might think, "Are they kidding, you can't run -- seriously run -- a demanding Windows game on Linux or the Mac." You'd be wrong.

I'm not much of a game player, but I'm a hardcore player vs. player gamer in Guild Wars-look for level 7 gladiator characters in Team Arenas with 'Totten' as part of their name-and it works great. Let me put it this way, if I couldn't kick rump and take names just as well while running Guild Wars with CrossOver on Linux as I do on native Windows, I wouldn't be running it. I like winning more than I do operating systems.

The major new feature in this version is that it now supports Spore. Spore, I'm told, is a popular, single-player game where you evolve your species from one-cell organism to interstellar empire builder.

This edition comes with a lot of improvements. The overall effect is to improve speed and stability. That's especially true if you're running Steam-powered games. The most noticeable upgrades are in CrossOver Game's DirectX support. I see a lot fewer artifacts now than I used to.




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CrossOver Games 7.2.0 for both Mac and Linux Released

Jeremy White the CEO of CodeWeavers announced the release of CrossOver Games 7.2.0 for Mac and Linux. Below is the message Jeremy sent to their announce mailing list.

Hi Folks,

I am happy to announce that we have now released version 7.2.0 of CrossOver Games, for both the Mac and for Linux.

This new version adds formal support for Spore, and has a wide range
of improvements for Steam and Steam based games. We've also incorporated
a pretty far ranging set of improvements that should improve game play
across a wide range of games. On the Mac, we've also added support for Megaten,
a fun Fantasy MMORPG by Aeria Games.

I would like apologize if this is the second time you're seeing this; we had a glitch with our forum code, and sent this out to only part of our very large announcements list.

A full change log is included, below.

If you are an existing CrossOver customer with an active support entitlement, you can visit our web site to download this latest version : www.codeweavers.com

You will need to log in with the email and password that you used when
purchasing CrossOver.

At any rate, thanks for all of your support, and I hope you enjoy
gaming with CrossOver!

Cheers,

Jeremy

7.2.0 CrossOver Games - Change Log
  • Fixed Guild Wars on ATI Macs with 10.5.5.
  • Added steam:// link support for OSX
  • Fixed Steam+compiz
  • Added support for "Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine" on the Mac
  • A few improvements for City of Heroes
  • Improved support for SPORE
  • Improved support for WoW:WotLK
  • Improved support for the latest Steam client
  • A range of general DirectX improvements
    which will improve many games
  • Updated Wine version
Supported Games

CrossOver Games is capable of running a range of Windows games.
CodeWeavers officially supports the following games:
  • World of Warcraft
  • EVE Online
  • Guild Wars
  • Prey
  • Steam Games, including:
    • Half-Life 2
    • Team Fortress 2
    • Counterstrike
    • Counterstrike: Source
    • Civilization IV
    • Peggle Extreme
    • Call of Duty 2
    • Max Payne 2
    • Grand Theft Auto 2
  • and more...


CrossOver Games GUI on Linux

CrossOver Games GUI on Mac OS X


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