Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Steven Edwards for South Carolina US House District 4

The Platform

My campaign consists of a simple platform with a singular plank. Reapportioning the United States House of Representatives.

The political body that is supposed to represent us, the US House of Representatives is no longer serving it's constitutional designed purpose. John Adams believed the purpose of the house was to represent popular interests to combat the natural aristocracy that would be represented in the Senate.
Our voice has been lost. The people have spoken out time and time again, overwhelmingly to limit bad decisions by government. We see examples of it almost daily, be it the TARP program, the so-called healthcare overhaul, certain foreign affairs and the so-called war on drugs.
This problem can be traced back to Public Law 62-5 of 1911 and the Reapportionment Act of 1929 when the Number of US House Representatives was fixed at 435. Prior to this, the the house upheld it's constitutional duty to add representatives as needed as part of the redistricting process. This is a travesty akin to the 3/5th's compromise. Taxation without adequate representation is no better than taxation without representation.
To regain our voice, we must increase the number of seats in the house to better reflect original intent. Currently each of the 435 members represents an avarage of over 700,000 citizens. I believe trying to raise the number to reflect the original approtionment of one representative per 33,000 would be impractical. With a population of over 300 Million this would result in the house having over 9000 members. Instead I propose increasing the number of representatives to 3000 or 3500 which would give each member a constituency of 100,000 to 125,000 citizens. This number should be viewed as a seven fold increase in freedom and a seven fold reduction in corruption.
It has been said that there is something along the lines of 34,000 lobbyists in Washington which at 435 members of the house works out to about 80 per congressman. If there were suddenly 2000 more members of the US house, the corrupting influence would be reduced by seven fold.
I think it's time that we teach the body politic what Adams spoke about. The lesser house exists to represent the people while the upper house exists to represent the upper class. I know class warfare is a word that is thrown around derisively but the fact is that class warfare is a natural part of our constitution. If the lower house was a proper reflection of the population at large rather than the lobbying interests, the lobbyist proxy in the senate would not have the power it currently has to buy some of the votes we've see

Steven for Congress

Monday, December 28, 2009

CodeWeavers CrossOver PRO for Mac

CrossOver Mac allows you to install many popular Windows applications and games on your Intel OS X Mac. CrossOver includes an easy to use, single click interface, which makes installing Windows software simple and fast. Once installed, your application integrates seamlessly in OS X. Just click and run your application directly from the OS X Finder. Clicking a Windows file or document ? including email attachments ? will launch the appropriate Windows program, allowing you to work on the files. Best of all, you do it all easily and affordably, without needing a Microsoft operating system license.

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac

DNS Benchmark with Wine

Internet browsing is a huge part our daily lives. No matter where we are we are bound to have contact with the internet in one form or another, and thus when we need it we want/need it to be as fast and as responsive as possible.
Before I get into how to find the fastest DNS for you, you need to know what a DNS is. DNS stands for Dynamic Naming Service. It’s been around for a while. It is why you are able to type in “” or “” instead of an IP address such as It is much easier to remember a name right? Than trying to remember (one of) Googles IP addresses such as: Not only that, DNS allows you to have multiple sites and servers under one name (ie:,, ect…).
The problem with DNS servers is that they are heavily used, and a heavily used server will be slower than a server with little load. Your ISP probably sets an optimal DNS for you, but not always. Also, if you are behind a rounter or NAT, it’s likely that it is acting as your DNS. Especially if you are at home behind a router, consumer level router products are pretty poor at handling DNS optimally. Either way, it is a good idea to find what is the best DNS for you!
There are two very popular methods. Both methods work, but one is preferred. There is the NameBench program on Google Code and the GRC program DNS Benchmark (which is the preferred product). Both are free and great, but I trust GRC greatly. Both are free, but only NameBench is open source.
Note though, that both program will take a while to execute. They need this time to test all their known servers and then some. So give it some time. Grab some tea and munchies, might be a while.

GRC always produces high quality software. This is no exception. Programmed 100% in assembly language, this program performs spectacularly. It only in a Windows version, but Linux users can easily (and completely) run it using Wine.
Running DNS Benchmark is just as simple as the previous program. All you do is run it and click “Run Benchmark”. Again, go get more tea. It will be a while.
It’s kind of fun seeing this program run as it shows you live results. So you see as all the bars and graphs move. Kind of fun. Your current DNS servers are marked with bold text and a darker thicker black border.
You can view the current results in many forms. There is the Response time bar graph, Status, Owner and by name. You can also look at the “Tabular data” which is basically the same thing as the graph form except in all text and in a excel style tabular data format (kinda boring, so stick with the graph format for maximum excitement).
The results of DNS Benchmark are similar to that of NameBench. Except that GRC’s software does not test Google’s DNS or any other special ones.
I originally ran this program, and made changes using it’s suggestion. As I found out, my router was acting like a DNS server and allowed me to have only one DNS server listed. It is very highly recommended that you have at least 2, preferably 3 servers listed, just in case if one goes down.
As seen in this result shot, I have already implemented it’s suggest changes so there is nothing new for me here. Also, GRC’s software will not give you pretty graphs like NameBench. The result you will get back is in this form as you see here: plain text (with some light formatting). Anything highlighted in green is a good thing; anything in Red is something that you should probably change. Though these are only suggestions, implement them of your own free will.
After turning off my routers DNS services, I saw a considerable response time increase in my internet browsing. Soon I’ll try and implement the use of Googles DNS and Ultra DNS as suggested by NameBench. We’ll see how more responsive those are. Only actual user testing will tell.
To run DNS Benchmark just open a terminal and type :

$ wine DNSBench.exe

HOWTO Devil's Tuning Fork under Wine

I've been in a gaming mood of the late and I much prefer to be able to run my games under Linux as opposed to having to reboot into Windows. That being said a game I've really enjoyed playing is Devil's Tuning Fork. It is a very unique first person indie game in which your character "sees" with their ears. It is being developed by a team of students at DePaul University in Chicago and it is a free download from the game's homepage.
Getting DTF working under Wine is fairly easy. To do so do the following:
  • Download & Install Wine version 1.1.32 (It crashes out under the latest version which is 1.1.35 as of my posting this, you may want to consider installing 1.1.32 along side the latest version instead of replacing it)
  • Download & Install DTF using Wine - Note when it tries to install DirectX it may fail, this is fine just click finish.
  • Download Wine Tricks
Now open your favorite terminal and navigate to the directory you saved the winetricks file to and run sh winetricks d3dx9 vcrun2008 xact dinput directplay at this point you will see lots of scrolling text as Wine Tricks works its magic, eventually it will prompt you to install VC2008 - install it.

Full Article

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wine-Reviews and Bordeaux T-shirts now available at

Aren't your T-shirts too dull? All my StarWars tees have a lot of colours and shades...

We think different, and give preference to quality over amount of colours. Those princess Leia in bikini T-shirts are printed with a technique called transfer, which more or less is like putting your T-shirt inside a printer.
We use screen printing, a technique that limits us to 6 colours per T-shirt (besides the T-shirt base color), but in return print quality is better, and your T-shirts will survive washmachines, pets and some small tsunami. Furthermore, we individually iron each T-shirt after printing, so that the design finish is smooth, firm and able to stand more tempests.
And what the hell, good things in this life have less than 6 colours: black chocolate (#000), a terminal (#000 and #fff, or #000 and #0f0 if you are that kind of geek), ...

So much OpenSource and stuff but neither your tees are free of charge nor I can see the source code!

Well, first, our T-shirts are "free as in speech but not as in beer", I mean, you can wear them orwards, backwards and sideways, and we'll not sue you for sharing them with your friends.
About source code, we tried to upload T-shirts but FTP won't let us, so at least here you have some screenshots of a T-shirt compilation.

Here is a couple images of what the shirts look like, they come in sizes from small to XXL. For each shirt sold they will donate 3.00 Euro back to us to help support this site.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

To purchase a shirt just click on the shirt image on freewear.orf and it will take you to their check out cart.

The Wine-Reviews T-shirt is here.
The Bordeaux T-shirt is here.

So if you would like a new T-shirt and to help support us at the same time then please buy a T-shirt :)

HOWTO Setup Steam Version of Crysis on Ubuntu

In one of my previous posts I mentioned I had the game Crysis running successfully under Cedega with a few native dll over rides. Today I am going to detail the few hoops you will need to jump through if you wish to get Crysis running on Linux.

We are going to need a few things before we get started and I feel it is easiest to round up all the files before we get started. Go download the following files:
In addition to these three files before we start you are going to need Cedega and the latest Wine version installed as well as Steam installed under both Wine and Cedega.

First thing we want to do is get Crysis downloading under the Wine version of Steam (this is going to take awhile depending on your internet connection). While you are waiting for this to download take the two .dll files you downloaded and place them into ~/.cedega/Steam/c_drive/windows/system32 next load up Cedega and install the vcredist_x86.exe into your Steam folder.

Once Crysis is done downloading on Steam (running under Wine) go ahead and load the game through Steam. It will prompt you to install several things (DirectX, .NET, and Punkbuster) - install all of them. Once it is done with this Wine should even load Crysis to the main menu for you (however if you try to load a level of the game itself it will result in X crashing - give it a try if you do not believe me).

Full Article

Running Tales of Monkey Island with Wine

I’m a proud adventure game fan boy and have enjoyed countless hours in the company of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Legend of Kyrandia among others. ScummVm have helped to re enjoy many of these titles after replacing my preferred desktop system with Linux.

When the news reached my ears about “Tales of Monkey Island” I was very exited. But also nervous if would be able to play these episodes without Windows… but fear no more.
It is possible!
My system:
  • Nvidia graphic card
  • Ubuntu Karmic 64bit
  • Wine from special package archive (to get native pulse audio support)
The episodes install on all Wine versions I’ve tried on so far (several guides on the internet suggests not to check for DirectX, though I haven’t personally experienced any difference). When the game starts you are asked to provide the serial number. In this phase I’ve encountered trouble several times. Earlier providing the serial number only worked in old versions of Wine (like version 1.0) but this time I got it working with the newest version of Wine (which at the time was 1.1.32). Also I had to delete my .wine folder in order to reset wine because I apparently had some IE6 leftovers in there which otherwise would mess up the registration.

After activating the episodes you need to install D3DX9_41.dll into .wine/drive_c/windows/system32. Remember Linux is case sensitive so it is possible to have several different files with the same name except for the case. If it still doesn’t work make sure you only have one d3dx9_41.dll and that it’s not the one provided by wine (which won’t work).

Full Article

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How to install Spotify on Ubuntu Linux

Although there's officially no Linux client, it's actually very easy to run Spotify from a Linux computer.
Spotify is a great application that allows you to stream music direct from Spotify's servers and play it on your local machine. There's a good Mac client, one for Windows, but as yet no Linux client.

However, it's actually quite quick and easy to get Spotify up and running on Linux when you know how. Spotify even provide details on how to do this on their website.

Download Spotify for Windows
First go to and download the Windows version of Spotify. This is a .exe executable.

Install Wine
We're going to run the Windows version of Spotify using the Wine software. Wine recreates a Windows-like environment within Linux allowing you to run Windows software relatively seamlessly. To install simply open a Terminal and paste in this command 'sudo aptitude install wine'.

Load Spotify with Wine Windows Program Loader
Find the Spotify.exe file in your Downloads folder, or wherever you saved it to, then right click it and select 'Open with Wine Windows Program Loader'.

Select install location
You can simply select the default install location when prompted. Wine doesn't save files to a place within your home directory so this doesn't really matter too much.

Login using your Spotify credentials
When the login form comes up, simply enter your Spotify username and password to login.

Play with Spotify

Full Article

Monday, December 21, 2009

Google Map Saver on Linux with Wine

About Google Map Saver

Google Map Saver is a portable software program that feels more responsive and less complicated to use. The user can enter a location or point of interest and the program will download the available data from Google Maps. Then just click on the Go! button and the map of the location will be displayed, this process takes only a few seconds on a fast Internet connection. The usual Google Maps controls are available including zooming in and out, moving around with the mouse or switching between map, satellite and terrain view. The ability to save loaded maps as images, so that you can use them offline or take them anywhere with you is really nice.

The zoom factor and map type can also be changed in pulldown menus at the top. Just select the desired map size and output format and click a button to save the map in PNG, JPG, BMP or TARGA format. Images of the maps that are displayed can be saved in various resolutions (e.g. window size, QVGA – 320×240, VGA-640×480, iPhone-320×480, PAL-768×576, NTSC-720×480, SVGA-800×600, XGA-1024×768, WXGA-1024×600, WXGA-1280×800, HD720-1280×720, HD1080-1920×1080 or custom formats up to 10000×10000. Various output formats including jpg, png, targa and bmp are available. The resulting images can be large (40+ Megabytes) if the highest resolutions are selected.

Google Map Saver is an uncomplicated program that can be used to save locations in Google Maps in a short period of time. The program is portable and available at the developer’s homepage. The watermark can be removed by clicking on the globe in the upper right corner to get to the about page and there on the Activate button which will remove the watermark.

Wine configuration

This is with a clean configuration directory.

Linux Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Windows version emulated: XP
Wine version tested: 1.1.35


Before Google Map Saver will run properly with Wine you will need to install Internet Explorer, I installed IE 7 via winetricks as this is the easiest way to install IE 7 on Wine at this time.

GMS Download

Version 1.0.2 of Google Map Saver can be downloaded from here. gms.exe is a stand alone application that doesn't need to be installed only run from Wine.

First Run

Just open a terminal and run $ wine gms.exe and the application should start and display a blank page. The default location is Karlsruhe, Germany and if you try to load it as is you will receive a error.

To work around this error just enter the name of the city or the country and then your map should start to load. You will receive two script errors once the map starts loading, jut click yes and proceed. once the map is loaded the zoom in and out will go blank but it still works. One the fist zoom in or out go to the upper left and click in or out. Once the first zoom is completed you can then use your mouse to zoom by just double clicking the map. You can also drag the map with your mouse as usual.

Here is a screenshot of GMS running on my laptop, also two maps I saved of Reykjavik Iceland the most beautiful city on our blue planet, and a satellite image of Nuuk Greenland.

B.T.W... This howto should also work on FreeBSD, OpenSolaris and Mac systems.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Has Transgaming Abandoned Cedega?

Pretty much anyone who has used Linux for at least a short while is aware of Wine technology and what it does. For many Linux users, largely Linux gamers, having properly working Wine technology is essential to their everyday computer user. The topic of commercial Wine software has been known to cause many heated discussions over the years on various Linux message boards. It appears at long last that perhaps this seemingly eternal argument may finally be coming to an end. Transgaming, the company behind Cedega, appears to be finally putting down its (some would say much controversial) Linux software.

While nothing official has been posted by the company itself, I feel it is pretty obvious Transgaming is letting Cedega die a slow death. November 13th 2009 marked the one year date since we last saw an update in Cedega's news page - The Den. While we did see a small update to the software in August - this did not add any new functionality to Cedega, it simply resolved an issue a World of Warcraft update had introduced. It is also heavily obvious that Transgaming does not check their user forums (or they really just don't care about what happens there if they do). There is now a two page thread on the boards of users simply asking for news on what is going on with the company/future of Cedega - we've gotten no official response.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wine 1.1.35 Released

The Wine development release 1.1.35 is now available.
What's new in this release:
  • Support for OLE transacted storage.
  • Better certificate checking on secure connections.
  • More progress on the 16-bit separation.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 DRM really supported now.
  • MSI performance improvements.
  • 64-bit fixes in debugger support.
  • Various bug fixes.
The source is available now. Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations.
Bugs fixed in 1.1.35:

5908 Ability Office 4 doesn't start up?
6930 TortoiseSVN fails to install
8394 IMVU 3D Instant Messenger not visible in wine's uninstaller
8895 Circuit Design Suite 10 fails to install
9535 WinPCap 4.0.1 installer does not run at all
10950 Colin McRae Rally 04: picture shifted down by ~1/4 of height
12014 Ability installer crashes in crypt32
12418 parent window getting closed instead of a tool window in KDE
13393 closing one virtual desktop closes other(s)
14378 Issues with maps and character portrait in Morrowind
14390 Gmax 1.2: Fatal Error on Install - Ended Prematurely.
14465 NdrClientCall2 is unaware of comm_status and fault_status variables
14536 FLSynthmaker crashes FL Studio
14995 wined3d regression results in broken rendering for Age of Empires II
15176 Assassin's Creed Install crashes
15278 ApexDC++ cannot connect to users
15624 poivy crashes
15638 Adobe Photoshop CS4 installer crashes on unimplemented GetProductInfo if run in Vista mode
15711 GetHostName and GetHostByName
15940 Ethnic Cleansing crashes: mpegsplit.c assertion
16244 Installer of Age of Empires 3 crashes
16299 IMVU 3D Instant Messenger installer crashes
17666 WinARM make crashes
17911 Gothic 3: Stripe on the right part of the screen is not updated in high resolutions
18120 No text in Qt-4.5.0 and later apps when winver >= 2000
18574 Win92 Radio Scanner does not start
18648 Error unimplemented function snmpapi.dll on start bginfo program
18753 wineboot --shutdown does not close running programs
18786 Minitab doesn't run anymore
19483 crash when launching zattoo
19802 SiSoftware Sandra 2009.SP4 unhandled exception
19898 WinMX: crashes instantly upon start
20013 Exchange Server 2007 fails to start
20224 dlls/d3dx9_36/tests/math.C: Test failed: Expected matrix
20281 Adobe Photoshop CS4 installer unusable
20397 Eclipse (Europa) Welcome window is empty
20492 Adobe CS4 installer hangs in memory and has to be killed
20522 Graphic Glitcheson Game Maker games
20653 Warcraft 3 freezes after successful login into
20684 Memory leak in CryptGenKey/CryptDestroyKey?
20727 Characters in Sacred Underworld invisible
20742 Sorted list view control always inserts at the end
20806 Civilization II crashes on startup
20823 Trackmania Nations Forever: really loud crackling / no sound
20850 Write buffer overflow in WidenPath()
20851 Read buffer overflow in CombineRgn, triggered by user32 and imm32 tests
20898 Rayman 2: wine does not render "transparent color"
20913 Multiple games crash on start
20920 Read buffer overflow in StorageImpl_Construct in many msi tests
20923 Crash in mshtml/tests/events.c when run under valgrind
20941 3DMark 2001SE crash on start
20943 Red Alert 3 fails to start
20944 Civilization IV Beyond the Sword crashes after the loading splash screen.
20949 Native d3dx9_27.dll causes crash on save load
20960 Textures missing in demoscene's demo fr-041_debris
20963 CIV4(BTS)/steam crashes at launch after upgrade wine1.2 1.1.33-0ubuntu1~ppa1 to 1.1.34-0ubuntu1
20978 Quicktime installer fails
20991 EnumRfc1766_create return values
20992 Invalid free in oleaut32 / vartype tests in test_VarBstrFromDate
20995 Crysis Demo does not start
20999 installations that were fast in 1.1.34 are very slow now due to ole32 storage changes
21021 F1 Challenge 2007 crash
21044 Platform SDK 2003 install fails?
21045 Memory leak in SECUR32_addPackages

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stuck with Windows Because of PC Games? Make the Switch to Mac and Bring Your Games with You

There are a lot of people who would like to give Mac a try, but for those that identify themselves as PC gamers going to Mac really isn’t an option because the majority of popular games these days are made for Windows and don’t have any Mac ports. Luckily, through the magic of software, it is possible to play some of the most popular PC games on your Mac.

Enter Crossover Games for Mac by Codeweavers. Based on a free program called Wine, which allows Windows applications to be executed on Unix operating systems like Mac or Linux, Crossover Games for Mac is a $40 application which will let you play the following PC games right on your Intel-based Mac (click on the image of each game to see Codeweavers’ compatibility report on the game):


guild wars.jpgpreytf2css cscivilization peggle cod2 max paynegta2
Steam game images are from the Steam Store website.
…and the list goes on.
Granted, you’ll still need a computer powerful enough to run the games of your choice, and you’ll want to check the compatibility report for the game(s) you’d like to play before you drop your coin on this software, but Crossover Games provides a solution for people who like PC games but want to go with a Mac computer. If you’d like to see Crossover Games in action take a look at this video.

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac

Install MS office2007 on ubuntu using PlayOnLinux

PlayOnLinux is a piece of sofware which allows you to easily install and use numerous games and softwares designed to run with Microsoft®'s Windows®. In this tutorial i will show you how to install MS office 2007 student using Playonlinux on ubuntu jaunty jackalope, the installation has been tested also on a ubuntu 9.10 karmic koala, the install process is easy and no command lines are used.

For ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, PlayOnLinux is actually available in the universe repositories, you can install it by typing the simple command :
sudo apt-get install playonlinux
Now after playonlinux is installed ,lets start

Now the installation is easy just follow the steps as described on the screenshots bellow :
1- Open Playonlinux
Go to your menu and open Application-->Games-->PlayOnlinux

2- Click Next

3- Select from where you will install MS office 2007

4- enter you MS office 2007 KEY
5- Accept the term and conditions then click continue
6- Click install now to start the installation of MS Office2007
7- MS office is installing :
8- Installation is complete :
9- Create Menu and Desktop shotcuts
10-Ms Office 2007 has been installed successfully

Monday, December 14, 2009

Games for MS Win run in Linux with Crossover for Games

Tutorial Screencast on how to use Codeweavers Crossover for Games to be able to run almost all Games which where designed for MS Windows on Ubuntu Linux 9.10.

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac

winetricks 20091213 released

Dan Kegel announced the release of winetricks 20091213 here is the email he sent to the wine-devel mailing list.

Austin and Andrew have been hard at work keeping winetricks working smoothly.
In particular, the ie6 and gecko verbs should work again.
Thanks guys!

Changes since 20091125:

Austin English:
  • Workaround wine bug for IE6
  • Update shockwave sha1sum
  • Add python-comtypes verb
  • Explain windows licensing a bit better
  • Gdiplus no longer comes from powerpoint viewer, update description accordingly
  • Update DivX to latest version, remove obsolete /silent option
  • Make append_path work if called more than once
  • When installing gecko, regsvr32 mshtml afterward, so it actually works
  • Update KDE to 0.9.6-5
  • When using native mdac, also override oledb32
  • Bump artk2min to 2007 Access runtime (freely redistributable, wooo!)
Andrew Nguyen:
  • Update flash to latest version.
  • Check more exit codes.
  • Update the vb6run verb to use the Service Pack 6 variant.
  • Revise vcrun6 verb to remove more fake DLLs and more simply extract mfc42u.dll.
  • Add vcrun6sp6 verb. (New verb rather than update of vcrun6 as it's a
  • huge download.)
  • Add richtx32 verb.
Dan Kegel:
  • Add heapcheck verb (for use with the not-yet-committed heapcheck patches)
  • Avoid double-trying regedit

Online as always at
(Bug reports to the issue tracker at the above URL, please.)

Source Games and Wine

Many a day on the Ubuntu Forums, I stumble upon posts like: “Program X doesn’t work under ubuntu, I’m leaving”. As it turns out, some of these posts are for the Source games, mainly the multiplayer ones (Counter Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Half Life 2: Deathmatch, Team Fortress 2). For that purpose I’m gonna make a short guide, just to show how I had luck getting the Source games to work.

First, get WINE (obviously). For best results, add the WINE PPAs. This allows you to use the latest WINE release:
  1. Go to System>Administration>Software Sources. You will be prompted for a password.
  2. Click on the “Third Party Software” tab
  3. Add the appropriate PPA to this list by clicking on “Add”. The PPAs are according to your Ubuntu Version. If you are not sure which version you are using, go to System>About Ubuntu, and look at the second paragraph. It should say something like “Thank you for your interest in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron”. Anyway, here are the PPAs:
  • ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa (for 9.10)
  • deb jaunty main #WineHQ – Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” (for 9.04)
  • deb intrepid main #WineHQ – Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex” (for 8.10)
  • deb hardy main #WineHQ – Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” (for 8.04)
  1. After Adding this you will need to vailidate it. Please download Scott Ritchie’s Key and save it to your desktop. In Software Sources, click on the “Authentcation” tab, and click “Import Key File”. Then click on “Desktop” and double-click “Scott Ritchie.gpg”.
  2. Finally, you can close Software Sources. A box will pop up asking if you want to reload sources. Click this, and the window will close after a minute or so.
  3. Moving on to installing WINE, go to Applications>Software Center (or Add/Remove) and type “wine” into the search box. If in software center, click on “wine windows emulator” and then “install”. If using add/remove, click the checkbox next to “wine windows emulator”, and then hit apply. Enter your password as prompted, and then close the box when completed.
  4. Now to install Steam. Download this file, and double-click on it. It should open through WINE, and then follow the instructions in the installer. Enter your account info, or create a new one.
  5. Once Steam is up and running go to Settings, and click on the “In-game” tab. Uncheck the box next to “Enable Steam Community in-game (Sorry, In-game does not work on WINE). Now it’s time to install your games. If you bought them through Steam (or have already activated them), simply right click on each game you want to install and click “Install Game”. If you bought them through retail (On CD/DVD), you need to activate your game. Click on “Activate a Product on Steam”. Click “next” and then you will see a License Agreement. Go ahead and click “I Agree” if you agree with the terms (or just don’t care). You will have to enter a CD key (located on the small card inside of the game’s box. It is toward the bottom of the card). You may be prompted to insert the game CD/DVD. Go ahead and place the CD/DVD into the drive and Steam will ask you what games you want to install. Check all that apply, let it run, and if you need to insert addtional CD/DVDs, please do so.
  6. Now, go to Applications>Wine>Configure Wine. Under the applications tab, click “Add Application”. Go to Program Files>Steam>steamapps>username>game, replacing “username” with your username, and “game” with the multiplayer source game of your choosing. Double-click hl2.exe and select under the menu “Windows Version” to “Windows 98″. Save and exit. (you do not need to do this for each Source game. This will configure all multiplayer Source games you have, no matter which game’s hl2.exe you configure)
  7. Open up Steam and right click on each of your Source games (yes, for each one). Click on “Properties” and then “Set launch options”. Type “-dxlevel 81 -novid” exactly like that (but without quotes). click OK and exit.
  8. Double Click on the game and Launch. Technically you’re done!

This was my method. It works perfectly for me, but your experiences may differ.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review Crossover Games Linux 8.1.3

To start off, here's some info on 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, OSX Mac or Linux PC. Whatever your tastes, be they first-person shooters, fantasy, strategy, MMORPGs, or more, 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.

Some notable features already in previous versions are Multi user support, Bottles (It is essentially different wineprefix for each application to ensure compatibility) and a list of supported games for quick installs.

The Latest release from them is Crossover 8.1.3


8.1.3 CrossOver Games - November 24, 2009

  • Fix yet more Left 4 Dead 2 issues
  • Worked around a driver bug on ATI cards on Snow Leopard. Should improve behavior in Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, and many others.

8.1.2 CrossOver Games - November 20, 2009

  • Fix installation of Left 4 Dead 2 via Steam on the Mac.

8.1.1 CrossOver Games - November 19, 2009

  • Prevent 'error 53' during installation of Left4Dead 2 with the latest Steam client.

8.1.0 CrossOver Games (aka Zombie Mallard) - November 18, 2009

  • 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

8.0.0 CrossOver Games - September 2, 2009

  • Improved behavior of the Steam game store
  • Fixed several problems with memory management -- this should fix TF2 crashes, among others.
  • Enabled Shader Model 2.0 and 3.0 by default
  • New supported games:

    • Dragon Sky
    • Last Chaos
    • Jade Dynasty
    • Ether Saga
    • Perfect World
    • Left 4 Dead
    • Tales of Monkey Island
    • Shaiya (Though only in non-English versions, for DRM reasons)
  • Fixed various regressions in:

    • Half-Life 2
    • Team Fortress 2
    • Spore
    • Guild Wars
    • Civilization IV
    • LOTRO (unsupported)
    • EVE (unsupported)
    • Pharaoh (unsupported)
    • City of Heroes (unsupported)
    • Lego Star Wars (unsupported)
    • Bejeweled
This release, Crossover Games 8.1.3, has fixed various issues with L4D 2 and created workarounds for the ATI driver issue with SnowLeopard.

Crossover Games 8.1.3 utilizes Wine 1.1.25

And in this Review (like every other I have written, I will again attempt to find the reasons why Crossover 8.1.3 is worth our money.

In this review Crossover Games 8.1.3 will be pitted and benchmarked against Wine 1.1.33 using Everest Ultimate Edition benchmarking utilities (don't ask me why I use it. I just happen to have it conveniently on hand.)

I didn't go through all the benchmarks though, as 5 were sufficient.

PS: For those of you wondering about the memory latency, both Wine and Cxgames achieved 65ms.

My test rig (also my daily usage rig):
C2d 2.4ghz
4gig ram
Nvidia 8400 gs

For me, I generally use Crossover Games to run Steam and other Half-life 2 mod games like Counterstrike source, TeamFortress 2, Insurgency and Left4dead.

Well, the bench marks aren't everything, so I decided to give it a road test. This time Crossover Games 8.1.3 with wine 1.1.25 (Counterstrike source has a minor bug with wine 1.1.33 )

Running Counterstrike Source with DirectX level 8 and a resolution of 1150 by 900 in a sever of 77 tick and 20 people.

The results aren't really glamorous, but Crossover games did indeed perform better than Wine on the road test.

Running Team Fortress 2 with DirectX level 8 and a resolution of 1150 by 900 in a sever of 100 tick and 26 people

Well, this review wouldn't be complete if I didn't insert a few screenshots. I love screenshots As you can see from the screenshots Steam integrates rather well with Compiz thanks to Crossover Games 8.1.3.

Forgive me, I was playing mouse hunt on Faceboook while writing this review.

Yup, Some Screenshots when I am playing Counterstrike Source.

In conclusion, the results, graphs, and statistics have shown Crossover Games 8.1.3 is better than Wine. IMHO, yes it is worth our money. Plus Codeweavers (the company behind Crossover) are one of the main contributors to Wine.

The state of Mac gaming part 3 of 4

Last week, we asked developers to reconsider the idea of creating games for simultaneous release on both PC and Mac platforms. However, we cannot control what others do; we can only ask. So let's concede for the moment that things will continue as they are now -- very few games coming out on both systems at the same time, and Mac getting ports of popular PC games much later than their original release. What's an avid Mac gamer to do?

Short of actually buying a PC just to play games -- and it must be said that the cost of a decent PC has dropped dramatically over the past few years -- there are a few options available, and they all contain the crazy voodoo called virtualization. Bear in mind that these are only the applications that I've personally tried myself. Check 'em out after the jump!


Parallels Desktop for the Mac is an application that allows a user to run Windows emulated within the Mac environment. It is now up to Version 5, and has been around since 2006, taking advantage of Macs that use Intel processors. Parallels works by providing a completely virtual PC -- all software, yet tied to the Mac's hardware to function. Not specifically meant to allow playing games, it rather offers the complete Windows platform. As such, you can install any Windows application and it should work just fine.

I have Parallels Desktop for Mac Version 4 on my 2.16 Intel Core Duo iMac, and I have to say that my experience has been somewhat uneven. I recently tried to play Torchlight, and was able to run the installer just fine. When it got to the point of actually executing the program, I was able to see the game's splash screen, then was shown an error message before Torchlight shut itself down. I have been unable to get the game to run.

I had also attempted to run Age of Empires 3 and found it fairly slow and unresponsive once too many units popped onscreen. However, I was able to install and play the latest Popcap game Amazing Adventures: The Caribbean Secret just fine. Admittedly, it might be that all these games run well in Parallels 5, so take this personal experience for what it's worth. Your mileage may vary, but at $79.95, you might ask yourself if it's worth the price to find out for sure how it will run your PC games.


The CrossOver suite of applications by CodeWeavers is another virtualization option for Mac users that operates in a slightly different fashion than Parallels does. Instead of the full Windows environment, each Windows application is self-contained -- you could run the PC version of Microsoft Office right in your Mac without having to fire up Windows at all. There are two applications for Mac users: CrossOver Mac, which includes support for Office, Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Quicken, and a few other PC apps; and CrossOver Games.

CrossOver Games works the same way as CrossOver Mac, but its focus is to play specific games: Counter-Strike, Prey, Team Fortress 2, and World of Warcraft, among certain others. I was able to install and play Guild Wars with no problems whatsoever. However, if you venture beyond those supported games, you might run into problems. There is a way to attempt to install unsupported games, but it's a trial-and-error process. Some games will install properly but refuse to run, others might not install at all. The tentative nature of this process makes purchasing CrossOver Games an iffy proposition -- it seems unlikely that you'll want to play the PC versions of some of these older games badly enough to buy the program, especially since some of them already have Mac clients.

Boot Camp
Possibly the best experience in playing PC games on my Mac comes from running Boot Camp. Installing Boot Camp is very easy, though it does require you to own a valid copy of whichever flavor of Windows you want to run, which is something the other two virtualization programs mentioned above don't ask of you. However, the benefits of using Boot Camp are immediately obvious: it's an actual copy of Windows, running directly on your Mac. With one exception, everything I installed and ran on the Boot Camp partition worked very well, both applications and games.

The one issue with Boot Camp is that you must reboot your machine to access it, which almost seems beside the point to an extent. If I can't use my Mac at the same time as playing these PC games, then why wouldn't I just buy a PC and have done with it?

There have also been mentions of strange video card issues. My iMac holds an NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT, which has its PC analog, so I haven't necessarily run into any issues, but some PC games certainly optimize for cards from other vendors, so sometimes that issue rears its head. To be honest, the reboot process is a pain, but it boots into Windows XP (on my machine) fairly quickly, so it's not as onerous a complication as it might be. My personal wish for future Macs is that eventually Boot Camp technology will follow Parallels Desktop, and make Windows available directly within the existing environment without the need for a reboot.

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CodeWeavers Ultimate PC Giveaway Winner Announced

Congratulations to the winner of the CodeWeavers Gaming Rig: Mark Scarton of Park City, UT! Mark will be receiving this sweet machine in time for Christmas (UPS willing).

Mark is the owner of
Park City Software, LLC he is also a Computer Software Consultant.
Videos of the Ultimate Linux PC
  • Building
  • Running Left4Dead
  • Picking the Winner

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac

Monday, December 7, 2009

Howto Install latest wine with patched source and manage wine prefixes

If you dont need a patched wine, I strongly recommend you to use the package manager to install compiled sources.

To obtain the latest wine in this way, you first need to add the gpg key of winehq's repository:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Then add the repository:

sudo wget$(lsb_release -sc).list \ -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list

And then wine can be installed with:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine


Well, although there are repositories with the latest development version of wine 1.1.33 at the date of writing, many of the latest games require some patches to the source. So, this is what this tutorial is about!

Unlike other howtos ive seen elsewhere, I download and keep the sources up to date using git, and install wine with checkinstall. Almost all this with some slight modifications was written by the user Massimo from the Wine appDB.

1. Installing Wine

So lets begin by removing wine (only if you have installed it already through the package manager):
sudo apt-get remove wine

If you had previously added the winehq repository, delete it:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list

Then, we install git:

sudo apt-get install git-core

And download wine sources from the git repository (this should take a while):

git clone git:// ~/wine-git

This will download the sources at a folder called wine-git inside your home folder. You should keep this folder after the installation so it is easier (and less time consuming) to update and apply your patches later.

Next, we install the necessary packages to build wine:

sudo apt-get build-dep wine
sudo apt-get install fakeroot

You will also need checkinstall to install it later:

sudo apt-get install checkinstall

Build wine. This will quite some time (over 40 minutes to me with an AthlonX2 with 2gb ram):

cd ~/wine-git
./configure --prefix=/usr

Then, install wine (DONT CLOSE YOUR TERMINAL! or if you did, open it again and run cd ~/wine-git). I use checkinstall because it creates a deb package and installs it, and this makes it easier at the end to manage all of your compiled programs (NOTE, if you have installed the latest wine with the package manager, then you should delete the entry of the wine repository from /etc/apt/sources.list and then run sudo apt-get update before continuing). To install wine, I need to specify the version on checkinstall so it works. For example, with the 1.1.33 version, I did this:

sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --pkgversion=1.1.33

Answer yes to everything, add a minor comment to the package if you like, and you'll have wine installed.

2. Patching Wine

This instructions can be followed any number of times you want, for all the patches you want, after going through the installation as explained above. Take care though, that it might be possible that patching one application will affect another one.

Almost all patches can be downloaded from internet. So, Ill suppose you have the URL of the patch (referred as ). First, we will create a folder to store your patches on your home folder:

mkdir ~/wine-patches

Then we download the patch:

wget -O ~/wine-patches/

Where is the name you want for the patch. If you have more than one patch, you need to download each one separetaly. Then, patch and compile wine (Compilation will take MUCH less time than before):

cd ~/wine-git
patch -p1 < ~/wine-patches/

If you have more than one patch, run the patch command for each patch before compiling. Finally, you must install it again with checkinstall:

sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --pkgversion=1.1.33

and TADA! you have a patched wine installed.

3. Updating Wine

To update wine, first you need to update your sources:

cd ~/wine-git
git reset --hard origin
git fetch
git rebase origin

Then you should apply your patches as explained in the previous section, compile, and install (I suppose here the version changed form 1.1.33 to 1.1.34 so I change that on checkinstall):

cd ~/wine-git
patch -p1 < ~/wine-patches/
sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --pkgversion=1.1.34


4. Undoing patches

To undo patches, you can try two different methods, number 1 is a sure way to go, but is time consuming cause you need to recompile everything, and number 2 should compile swiftly, but I havent personally tried it. I recommend trying number 2 first, and if it fails, trying number 1.

Method 1: Slow but sure...
If a particular patch ruined your installation, then you have to recover the original sources, apply the patches you want to use (obviously, omitting the one that left a mess), recompile and install:

cd ~/wine-git
git reset --hard origin
patch -p1 < ~/wine-patches/
sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --pkgversion=1.1.34

Remember to run the patch command for all your patches but the one that caused conflicts!

Method 2: swift, but untested
However, the precious procedure will have to recompile everything and so, it will take quite long. The unsure way to do this while avoiding (I mean unsure cause I haven't test it) is to unpatch your sources:

cd ~/wine-git
patch -p1 -R < ~/wine-patches/
sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --pkgversion=1.1.34

Where the patch command should be run for all patches you wish to undo. This should take much less time than compiling with the first method. If it works for you, please let me know...

5. Wine prefixes, or as I like to call them, BOTTLES!

Next, Ill explain an additional topic, BOTTLES!. Bottles (actually called wine prefixes, but I got accustomed to this term) let you encapsulate different applications, and apply particular tweaks only to the environment of a particular application. Here Ill explain how to install an application in a bottle, run the wine configuration utility winecfg, downloading windows dlls and setting as native, and uing winetricks, all these for an specific bottle so we dont mess with other applications configuration.

5.1 Keeping all your application on separate "bottles"

It is highly recommended to keep all your applications on separate "bottles" with they're own tweaks. This is because the tweaks for one application usually render other ones useless. To do this, lets create first a directory to keep all your bottles (You only need to do this once!):

mkdir ~/wine-bottles

Then, to install an application, do the following:

export WINEPREFIX=/home//wine-bottles/

So, for example, if I want to install spore, Ill call the bottle spore, my username is pablo, and the installer is in /media/cdrom0/SPORESetup.exe and the previous commands would read:

export WINEPREFIX=/home/pablo/wine-bottles/spore
wine /media/cdrom0/SPORESetup.exe

And thats it!

5.2 Running winecfg to configure different bottles

There are some windows applications that I prefer to keep windowed, while others full-screened. Another advantage of bottles is that you can configure this and many other stuff with winecfg for each bottle independently. To run winecfg for a bottle, you must open a terminal, specify the bottle, and run winecfg:

export WINEPREFIX=/home//wine-bottles/

And go ahead and configure all you want!

5.3 Set a dll as native on a bottle

To use a downloaded dll as native for an specific bottle, you must download your dll and put it at the appropriate place in the appropriate bottle. The folder where you must put the dlls is:
(In case you dont know, ~/ is equal to /home//)

Then, open the winecfg application for the bottle as mentioned in the previous section, select libraries, look for your dll, and set it as native.

5.4 Use winetricks with a bottle

winetricks is an useful app to install common packages needed for some applications. Usually, the versions required for different applications vary, for instance, some applications work with dotnet 1.1, and others with dotnet 2.0, so By keeping things on separate bottles, you can solve this.

First, lets download the winetricks script and make it executable (You only need to do this once). Ill keep winetricks on the wine-patches folder:

cd ~/wine-patches/
chmod +x winetricks

Then, you can run winetricks with the console, specifying first the bottle, and the running winetricks:

export WINEPREFIX=/home//wine-bottles/

5.5 File association
To associate a specific file type in gnome with a wine application, first, create an executable for your application in /usr/bin (WARNING: BE SURE NOT TO OVERWRITE ANYTHING ON /usr/bin).First, create an open the file to edit it:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/

Here is the name of the file that will launch your application. REMEMBER NOT TO OVERWRITE ANYTHING UNDER /usr/bin. On the editor, add this content to the file and save it:

export WINEPREFIX=/home//wine-bottles/

wine "" "`winepath -w "$*"`"

Remember to change and accordingly, and where it says put the path of your program .exe file. If you are not using bottles, drop the line that starts with export. Then, make this executable:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/

Then, on a file you want to associate to this application, select "open with another application", then choose "use custom command", and put this:

/usr/bin/ %f

After that, your files should be correctly associated.

6. Conclusions

Well, I hope this helps someone. If something can be run with wine, then by following this instructions together with specific instructions for the installation of the application (such as patches, extra things needed, etc) you should get it done, as long as there are no hardware specific problems that affect you. Almost all the application-specific info you need can be found at the Wine appdb (

Sunday, December 6, 2009

HOWTO Install Multiple Wine Versions on One System

Wine Technology advances at a rapid rate, in the last month we have seen two updates to Wine (1.1.33 & 1.1.34). Many of us like to stay using the latest and greatest Wine software - with good reason each new version typically fixes issues and improves performance - however on occasion a new Wine release will suffer from some regressions that cause some applications to stop working properly. The solution to this? Quite simple: revert your Wine install back to the previous version so your application can still work properly for you.

This is fantastic if you are only using Wine to run a single program - however in the case you are running two or more programs under Wine it is not unheard of for each of the different programs you are running to perform better under different Wine versions (or with different patches). The solution to this issue is simple: install multiple versions of Wine on the same system and run each program with the version that it behaves best under.

Step 1 - Setup:
Download the source code tar.bz2 file for the additional Wine version you wish to install from Source Forge. Extract the contents of the tar.bz2 file to your preferred directory
Then we want to install all of the build dependencies we will need to compile Wine from source. On Ubuntu we can do this by running the following command in terminal sudo apt-get build-dep wine (You should check here for information on getting the Wine build dependencies on other distributions.)

Step 2 - Compiling Wine:
Open your favorite terminal and change directory to the location of your extracted Wine source. (If you wanted to apply a patch to your Wine source now is the time). Once you are ready we are going to configure and compile your Wine source. To do so we use the following command in terminal ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/bin/wine-someversion && make depend && make

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wine 1.1.34 Released

The Wine development release 1.1.34 is now available.
What's new in this release:
  • Many fixes for crypto certificates support.
  • A lot of MSHTML improvements.
  • Various fixes to support the Left 4 Dead 2 DRM.
  • A number of OLE marshalling fixes.
  • More Listview improvements.
  • Various bug fixes.
The source is available now. Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations.

Bugs fixed in 1.1.34:

835 Add support for the new PDB format
3048 CSpy/Up-Down: Multiple Inconsistencies/Major Work needed
3154 Matchad 5 remains in memory on exit
4543 Free & Clear (fc.exe) crashes after unhandled exception (page fault)
4770 BlackBerry Device Manager fails to install under wine
5061 Copying from Windows Firefox in Wine and pasting to Linux OpenOffice pastes metadata as data
5726 MotionBased agent main screen doesn't render all elements
6159 DeviceLock installer crashes in NdrSendReceive()
7142 Wanted: OpenAL support
8302 Transparent backgrounds of text-labels in Ragnarok Online
8407 MPLab 7.60 hangs at splash screen
9464 err:ole:marshal_object object doesn't expose interface {00000001-0000-0000-c000-000000000046}
9527 Silent Hill 4 Does not start
9990 Google Pack installer aborts with dialog "Invalid command line -install -extra ..."
10342 Add support for SubPixel font rendering
11090 menu items are redrawn incorrectly on mouse over - jedi knight dark forces II
11495 Need For Speed: Pro Street crashes during start
12419 eISLP crashes in ole on exit
12632 Publisher 2003 crashes when saving a file
12736 d3d:sampler GL_INVALID_ENUM from glActiveTextureARB @ state.c
12852 Alibre Design: installer fails
12881 whizlabs software does't work
12910 Alcohol 120% refuses to install
13011 Mail.ru_err_ole32.dll
13195 GLXMakeCurrent error with BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes) in SolidWorks
13234 Quicktime 7.4.5, window decoration problems
13963 menubuilder does not escape certain characters
14228 Strip off double quotes from path before trying to load COM servers (Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0/Device Emulator Manager)
14407 wineserver should support Solaris event completion framework (event ports)
14455 Greedy Torrent Does not function without Virtual Desktop Enabled
14517 winscp crashes on exit after connecting
14684 Might and Magic 7: crash at startup
14692 Microsoft Money 2007: Crashes on Program startup
14863 Crash in SCAPS SAM
15046 Graphics Corruption in Star Trek Legacy
15189 Google Chrome can't dock tabs
15251 SQLNotes installer fails to register DLL
15271 Europa Universalis III In Nomine - Crashes at start-up
15448 Font selector is empty in inetcpl.cpl (IMLangFontLink2)
15455 Witcher Enhanced Edition - fails to complete installation at redistributable stage
15605 Baan client Date field is not display correctly.
15805 NetStat live unable to run/install
15885 Phrogram 2.5 requires SHGetImageList implementation
15961 Need for Speed ProStreet: Very slow/low fps when smoke not disabled
16377 AlphaSkins hangs while starting
16490 Falcon 4.0 AF: Clouds visible trough walls
16494 Falcon 4.0 AF: After patching to 1.0.13 game crashes
16589 Unimplemented d3dx9_36.dll functions : .D3DXLoadSurfaceFromFileInMemory, D3DXLoadSurfaceFromFileW, D3DXLoadSurfaceFromMemory
16727 r1gl fails to request wgl features such as multi sampling
16881 CashComm cannot be installed (clicking on Next doesn't do anything)
16955 Dreamfall: TLJ fails to launch.
17099 CallWave: Cannot play recieved calls.
17116 MinGW 5.1.4 won't install
17297 widl should accept unnamed arguments to functions
17367 BizAgi Modeler does not start
17513 Rome total war detects a debugger
17665 Studio Tax fails to install
17921 Just a translation problem
17937 Cygwin compilation fails in rpc_transport.c
17996 inetmib1 test fails when duplicate addresses are in the route table
18009 Tlknow32.exe hangs in startup screen
18250 VDrumLib crashes on startup
18377 NFS 4 Road Challenge: Installer hangs after choosing Setup Type
18378 NFS 4 Road Challenge: Installation of 4.50 patch fails
18400 The program FlatOut2.exe has encountered serious problem...
18425 DLL_PROCESS_DETACH isn't called if a dll returns FALSE on a DLL_PROCESS_ATTACH call
18451 Program error starting Nortel IP Softphone 2050
18466 Wine does not support genitive forms of month names
18472 Mafia hangs
18473 Mafia game losses sound
18478 Wine (snapshot and stable version) crash when running Nikon's ViewNX application
18772 Missing User32.PrintWindow implementation
18852 3dmark Vantage requires avrt.dll
18902 S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (part 1 and 2) crashes
18968 Maize Sampler: GUI is only a white box
19015 quik say: general protection fault
19270 Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Standard freezes after selecting alsa in winecfg
19413 WinZip 12.1 fails to install
19749 EasyWorship crashes
19906 Visual artifacts in Anno 1701
19907 Thunderbird Portable v. startup crash. [dogfood]
19978 python installer: puts python26.dll in C:\windows\system32, not C:\python26 (appinstall)
19982 SetThreadAffinityMask() seems not to work correctly
20152 Oracle IRM Desktop application fails with "unable to initialize the Oracle IRM engine" when invoking a systray context menu option
20249 Venetica game crash
20495 CryptUnprotectData can't handle zero-length payloads (affects chromium unit_tests)
20504 Left 4 Dead 2 crashes after intro movie
20516 Alt-F10 sent on press of F10 with wineconsole --backend=user
20517 temporary language switch causes permanent change of codepage
20527 wine iexplore crashes with charset=gb2312 (with testcase)
20529 SolidWorks Viewer 2010: unimplemented function KERNEL32.dll.CreateMemoryResourceNotification
20553 Invalid read in LISTVIEW_NCDestroy in chromium unit_tests.exe in TableViewTest.Sort?
20602 thread/cpu affinity not correct with multi core enabled source engine games
20622 chromium's net_unittests.exe hangs in SSLClientSocketTest.Read
20672 GetDC change causes black screen in Seven Kingdoms
20681 Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2003 INTERNAL COMPILER ERROR
20686 World of Warcraft screen corruption
20692 Probable benign window title leak
20693 Bogus entries in wine.inf transferred into registry
20696 PAF5 crashes when leaving 'Individual' tab for another tab.
20697 Some applications do not correctly detect administrative privileges
20709 Mordor - the depths of Dejenol installer crashes
20715 ACDSee 3.0 (old version) hanging on exit
20729 Logos4: wine has the ALLUSERS property set
20733 installation of yahoo messenger fails
20734 sfirm demo complains LogonUser contains no value.
20736 Left 4 Dead 2 needs imagehlp/ImageAddCertificate() to complete installation
20737 Mordor - the depths of Dejenol installer crashes
20739 winecfg emits a warning called an error
20745 WinZip 12.1 installer subprocess crashes during installation
20754 QIP Infium does not start
20759 Read buffer overflow in NdrConformantArrayMarshall?
20760 Write buffer overrun in CreateFileMoniker()
20764 Reason 4 application aborts with "unexpected error" dialog after installation
20768 Flight Simulator 98 install: the screen is repainted only when moving the mouse
20772 Wordpad allows opening more than one find dialog
20774 Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines: broken fonts
20787 Watchtower library 2008 (português): crashes when closing the application
20836 Opening non-exe/dll files causes a segfault
20849 read buffer overflow in CRYPT_RemoveStringFromMultiString() triggered by crypt32/tests/oid.c
20855 Appraise-It 8.3 installer fails to download redistributable packages
20860 Read buffer overflow in INTERNET_SendCallback in wininet... calling strlen on non-nul-terminated buffer?
20861 CoTaskMemAlloc()/SysFreeString() mismatch in DocHost_Release(), caught by valgrind in shdocvw/tests/webbrowser.c
20875 EasyWorship 2009 crashes before UI loads
20883 Faults on Portuguese translation of the Winecfg.exe program

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Twenty Bucks Thank You Sir May I Have Another

In my last post, I put $30 towards Heroes of Newerth in August. That left me with $20, and $20 for September, October, November, and now December. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to play any games (aside from some stolen HoN time) and I was looking for a new game. I’m a sucker for zombie movies, and I had paid quite a bit of attention to Left 4 Dead, but had always held off because the game was distributed through Valve’s Steam, a DRM-encumbered platform.

Then, in October, Codeweavers announced they were going to support Left 4 Dead 2 in their next release. I hemmed, I hawed, and I folded, on the rationale that supporting Codeweavers was good enough to qualify this purchase for the Twenty Bucks program. (For those who don’t know, Codeweavers is pretty much the commercial side of Wine, employing most of the key programmers.) I bought CrossOver Games, installed Steam, and bought the combo pack of L4D and L4D2. Then I anxiously awaited the demo and the CrossOver Games release that would support L4D2. When it arrived, the demo ran almost perfectly in regular Wine, after some initial installation issues. I played a bit with my son and was living the good life.

Then came the final release on Nov 17th. The installation was broken again, and when you could get the game to run, it would crash within a few minutes. I spent hours working on the installation, even figuring out that I could keep the crash from being a hard lock by enabling sound emulation in CrossOver Games. Codeweavers released three rapid patches, updating CrossOver games to support changes Valve was making in the game. Many CrossOver users and Wine users were experiencing different crashes, with a variety of fixes that fixed some people and not others. And we weren’t alone – hundreds of Windows users were also reporting the same kinds of crashes and the same kinds of random fixes.

I should have known, of course. I was growing suspicious when I noticed that after Steam verified and replaced files such as the client.dll file, the md5sums didn’t match the previous files or future versions. Clearly, these files were being altered somehow, and a crash would cause them to be messed up and then require a replacement from Steam. Then, in the CrossOver forums, Caron Jensen said this:
Some of the drm protection continues to check during gameplay. Usually CrossOver passes this check, but sometimes it does not. We can reproduce some of the crashes and issues at hand. The best thing you can do is file a support ticket.
Now, maybe it’s not the DRM, and Jensen is wrong – perhaps it is an anti-cheat mechanism or some other system. But I think it’s the DRM, because that explains much about how Valve is responding to this problem. I think this is why they are keeping almost entirely mum about the whole crashing issue, and mostly communicating in patch notes – they know if they explain why these crashes are happening there will be significant customer backlash. As long as they can pretend it’s a game problem, they can maintain the illusion that Steam DRM is transparent and prevent a PR fiasco. I’m also pretty sure at this point that they don’t know what the problem is, since there have been two patches to fix it and both simply caused more problems. Valve could probably fix this problem today, right now, by removing the DRM. But they won’t. Because to them, customers are thieves – even after they’ve paid.

Putty for Mac
Putty for Mac