Gun control isn´t about guns. It´s about control.
What would Tony Soprano do?

Imagine a computer so intuitive that it hardly requires a manual, so well-built that it barely needs a warrantee and so cool that people you've never met will introduce themselves to your laptop.

Now imagine actually getting some useful work done with your Mac.





But first, a word from our sponsor...

Some of the graphics at this page were created, managed and enhanced with Graphic Workshop Professional and GIF Construction Set Professional from Alchemy Mindworks. You'll no doubt see banners here that were assembled with Animation Workshop. To learn more about these applications, please click on the foregoing links or visit the Alchemy Mindworks home page.

The Alchemy Mindworks page also features Pagan Daybook to start your day with whichever god seems appropriate — the painting to your immediate right was drawn from its database of artworks — Presentation Wizard to assist you in creating multimedia Windows presentations, The Ultimate Screen Clock to give you unprecedented mastery over time and space... well, over time, anyway... and various other epic works of software.

Modesty would forbid my mentioning the extensive listing of my books herein if I were at all modest.

PLEASE DON'T COPY THIS PAGE

The contents of this page are copyright © 1995 — 2017 Alchemy Mindworks. Some portions are copyright © 1995 — 2017 Steven William Rimmer. The copyright holders specifically prohibit reproduction, transmission, duplication or storage of this page or any portion thereof in any electronic or physical medium, under any circumstances. Reproducing all or part of this page against our express wishes may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. The lawyers made us say that.

Please contact us for reproduction rates if you'd like to reproduce all or part of this page on paper. If you like this page and wish to share it, you are welcome to link to it, with our thanks.

Of course I´m out of my mind. It´s dark and scary in there.

Legal notice: If you read beyond this paragraph, you do so with the understanding and agreement on your part that all the information and advice in this article are provided entirely at your risk. You absolve and hold harmless the author of this page, Alchemy Mindworks and its related corporate entities, as well as the stockholders, shareholders, employees and suppliers thereof for any loss, damage or expense arising from your use of the information provided herein, including but not exclusive to attorney's fees and costs, however they may occur. You acknowledge that some of the references in this article are to technologies not developed by or under the control of the author of this page or Alchemy Mindworks, and over which they have no control. The lawyers made us say that.




In a perfect world, there would be a single, universal operating system for computers, and it would be stable, flawless, inalterable and supported by its developer at no cost. In addition, in said perfect world, elected officials would be honorable and trustworthy, consumer goods would cost what they're worth rather than what the market will bear and green would be a color rather than a religion.

If such a world existed, we'd live there, and you wouldn't be reading this.

In this world, there are several largely incompatible, funky and effectively unsupported operating systems. Windows is one of them, and while it's the most widely used, there are workable alternatives. You could, for example, use a Macintosh.

pictureThe current generation of Macintosh computers are powerful and affordable if you don't look too closely at your credit card bill. The OS X operating system installed on Macs is almost worth the price of the computer all by itself, just to watch it work. The catch inherent in Macs, however, is that relatively speaking, almost nobody uses them. Depending upon whose statistics you choose to believe, Macintoshes account for something like five percent of all the personal computers on Earth as of this writing.

While this probably makes them cool, elite and esoteric, it also means that software developers have a relatively small incentive to create applications to run on a Mac. The unspeakable coolness of Macintosh systems has long been offset to a large degree by a paucity of applications for them.

As much as we'd like to port our Windows applications to run under the Macintosh's OS X operating system, the reality of doing so is seriously daunting. Creating a port of one of our applications to run on a Mac would involve an undertaking just this side of a total re-write, and thousands of hours of work.

It's not likely to happen any time soon.

There is, however, a way to run Windows software — including most of our stuff — on a Mac without rewriting much of anything. You can install an open-source, no-cost addition to OS X called Wine, which provides duplicates of the Windows software interface, or API, to Windows applications running on a Macintosh. This, in effect, tricks Windows software into thinking it's running under Windows while it stealthily translates all the software's calls and requests into comparable functions that exist on a Mac.

This document will discuss installing Darwine — the Wine implementation specific to the Macintosh — installing Alchemy Mindworks applications under Wine and the issues involved therein. Please keep in mind that it, like Wine — and as has been said of late, like Windows — is a work in progress.

Did we mention this isn't a perfect world?

INSTALLING WINE
Save the whales! Trade them for valuable prizes.

You can find out more about Wine at Wine HQ. Wine is easy to install — most of the time — and considering what it does, it works surprisingly well.

As you might imagine, this isn't the same as working perfectly.

Before you start getting your brain wrapped around Wine, it's probably worth pointing out that Wine was written to run under the Linux operating system, frequent references to which will be encountered at the Wine HQ web page. While it's cool and shiny and more user-friendly than an eight-month-old Labrador retriever, the Macintosh OS X operating system is actually a species of Linux under the hood. It's possible to install the Linux implementation of Wine on a Mac and have it work therein with relatively little head-bashing, but even this isn't necessary.

There's a Macintosh-specific version of Wine, called Darwine, and it requires no head-bashing at all.

As an aside, there's a Linux-specific version of this article available, should you have arrived at this page by mistake.

It's probably worth mentioning that Wine can be used successfully under the current releases of the Macintosh OS X operating system – that would be the ones named after large predatory felines. It won't run on older Macintosh systems, especially those that were built before Macintoshes began being running Intel processors. Those old Macs look very nice if you can persuade some ivy to grow through the ventilating slots in their cases, or if you remove their monitors and make them into aquariums.

pictureIt should also be said that using Wine on a Macintosh is not comparable to using one of the software solutions that allows a Macintosh to run Microsoft Windows, such as Apple's BootCamp. In running Windows software under Wine, the software in question will behave more or less like a native Macintosh application. In addition, you won't have to buy a license for Windows. In fact, you won't have to buy anything other than the Windows software you actually want to run.

The Darwine package for Macintosh OS X can be downloaded at no cost from its maintainer. As of this writing, you can get it from Sourceforge. There are a number of additional third-party implementations of Wine for OS X, linked to from the Wine HQ page for Macintosh. The Wine Bottler link is particularly useful.

As with all Macintosh application software, you should not install or run Darwine when you're logged into your system using an account with Administrator privileges. Darwine expects to be installed from a normal user account. As of this writing, it will not install correctly if it's installed through an Administrator account, and nothing to be discussed hereafter will work.

To install Darwine, download the latest stable release of the software. Darwine is distributed as a Macintosh disk image package. Double-click on it to open it, and then double-click on the Darwine package. The installer will run, with the usual request that you accept its license.

Once your Darwine installation is complete, you can run Darwine from the Finder. Locate the Darwine entry in Applications, and double-click on WineHelper.app. Select Open from the Applications menu of WineHelper to run a Windows application.

To ensure that Darwine has installed correctly and is generally behaving itself, you should run one of the example Windows applications that installs with it before you try something serious. Having selected Open in WineHelper, navigate to the Sample Applications folder and run notepad.exe.

graphic

The first time you run a Windows application under Darwine, the Wine implementation will create some files and perform a number of initial housekeeping tasks. This won't happen in the future.

It will also boot an X11 window, X11 being the part of Leopard that Wine uses to simulate Windows.

The process of installing Darwine will create a folder structure on your hard drive to represent the C: drive of a Windows system. It resides in a hidden directory called .wine in the home folder of the user who installed it. As such, if your user name is admin, the directory /Users/admin will include a folder called .wine.

Life's a bitch, and some days, it has puppies.

You can investigate Darwine's folders by opening the Finder window for your primary hard drive. Make sure you're looking at the List view and select your user name from the list of places along the left side.

pictureWine installs its Windows components in a hidden folder, so you'll need to make sure you've enabled viewing hidden folders in the Finder window you're using — click on the magnifying glass with a line through it at the top of your Finder window.

You should find a sub-folder in your home folder called .wine — the period at the beginning of its name indicates that it's hidden. Double-click on it and you'll find several sub-folders, one of which will be named drive_c. The drive_c folder represents the root of the synthetic Windows hard drive that's running on your Mac.

In the event that you can't persuade the Finder to show you hidden files, use the Go menu and select Go To Folder. With the Users folder selected, enter your account name followed by a forward slash and the name of the hidden folder you'd like to open, in this case .wine. If your account name is admin, for example, you'd enter admin/.wine to point the Finder to your .wine folder. All the folders under .wine are conventional, non-hidden folders, and you'll be able to deal with them without any further head-bashing.

Double-click on the drive_c folder and you'll find two sub-folders, Program Files and Windows. The Program Files folder is where all your Windows software will be installed. The Windows folder is where the various low-level Windows components reside. When Windows software is installed, the installer knows to place it in Program Files — you won't have to drill down to this part of your hard drive on a regular basis.

The Windows folder includes libraries that duplicate the core functionality of Windows, as viewed by a Windows application, but none of the software that installs with real Windows. As such, common applications such as WordPad and Paint aren't available under Darwine — the latter may prove to be a problem.

Wine is now good to go.

ENHANCING WINE
Brands are for cattle.

While a simple Windows application will now run under Wine, there are several things that a complete Alchemy Mindworks application will find missing. The first one is a library called msvcp60.dll, which most of our software likes to have on hand. In its absence, applications like GIF Construction Set and Graphic Workshop won't run under OS X, and perhaps more annoyingly still, they won't say why they're misbehaving.

You can address this by downloading msvcp60.dll and copying it to the .wine/drive_c/Windows/System32 folder on your Macintosh. You'll need to navigate to your Darwine folder structure, as discussed above, and drag the msvcp60.dll file to System32. Alternately, you can have Winetricks install it for you — Winetricks will be discussed later in this article.

The second problem is slightly more obscure. Alchemy Mindworks software stores its documentation as HTML documents, which require a web browser to view them. Macintoshes install with the Safari web browser, but this is a Mac application, not a Windows application. A Windows application that wants to open an HTML document won't have access to the Mac installation of Safari.

The first thing you'll need to install under Darwine, then, is Firefox. Visit the Firefox web page, download the Windows version of Firefox and double-click on it. It will install under Wine.

INSTALLING SOMETHING USEFUL
If you´re not outraged, you´re not paying attention.

You're now ready to install some actual software under Wine. In this example, we're going to install GIF Construction Set Professional 3. The installation procedure discussed herein should be applicable to any contemporary Alchemy Mindworks application.

You should have GIF Construction Set Professional 5 to complete this installation.

Run WineHelper, as discussed earlier, and use the Open function in its Application menu to locate and run the gcsp50.msi or GIFConstructionSet.msi installer for GIF Construction Set Professional. Alternately, just locate the gcsp50.msi or GIFConstructionSet.msi file in a Finder window and double-click on it to run Wine and open the installer. Work through the installation screens — it's all pretty much self-explanatory. It's a profoundly good idea to allow the installer to install GIF Construction Set to its default folder.

We'd like to take this opportunity to note that if you use Alchemy Mindworks software to do productive work, even if it's running on a Mac while it's doing it, you need to register it.

GIF Construction Set is now ready to rock... mostly.

RUNNING GIF CONSTRUCTION SET
Can´t sleep... the clowns will get me.

Installing GIF Construction Set Professional 5 should have created a Darwine icon on your Macinosh desktop for GIF Construction Set. Double-click on it and GIF Construction Set should run. Alternately, you can run GIF Construction Set through a Finder window by navigating to your Wine folder structure, or through WineHelper, as discussed earlier.

We too were shocked when this actually worked.

Honk if you do everything you´re told.

In the event that it doesn't work for you — that is, if you double-click on the GIF Construction Set Professional icon and nothing happens — the most likely cause of the problem is GIF Construction Set proving to be unable to find msvcp60.dll, as discussed earlier in this document. Make sure you've installed it in your \windows\system32 folder.

When GIF Construction Set Professional first boots up, it will probably complain about being unable to find Windows Paint. This is normal — the default installation of Wine doesn't include Windows' ancillary applications such as Paint, and as such you wouldn't expect GIF Construction Set to be able to find it. We'll address this one in a moment.

Pretty much everything in GIF Construction Set will work, with the following exceptions.

  1. Dpending upon the build of Wine you've installed, the Movie import and export functions in GIF Construction Set could prove a tad obstreperous. The AVI codec support may or may not work. The MOV functions should work if you install QuickTime for Windows.

  2. The Paint function in the Image block edit window won't work, as GIF Construction Set couldn't find a Paint application.

Also, note that the Help menu will appear at the extreme right end of the GIF Construction Set menu bar under Wine.

By default, Wine will present applications running under it with two lettered drives. Drive C is the top of the Windows folder structure — that is, the contents of the .wine\drive_c hidden folder in your home folder. Drive Z is the top of your Macintosh folder structure. If you want to work on animations stored somewhere on your hard drive that's not under your .wine folder, you'll need to select drive Z.

picture

If you open the Configure Wine item in the WineHelper menu of WineHelper, you can fine-tune some of Wine's stealthier aspects. You can, for example, assign additional drive letters for use under Wine's simulation of Windows. This can save a fair bit of rodent action if you keep all your graphics in a particular folder which you'll want to open quickly from within GIF Construction Set.

The lack of Windows Paint under OS X is a problem for GIF Construction Set, and it's one that can't be resolved without a bit of stealth.

There are several ways to address this:

  • If you don't actually need the Paint facility under GIF Construction Set, disable the Search for Paintbrush item in the Display tab of the GIF Construction Set setup dialog. This will disable the search each time GIF Construction Set starts up.

  • You can download the installer for an older version of Paint from Microsoft's web page. There's a detailed discussion about doing so at our blog. This is by far our favorite way to resolve this issue, as the "classic" Windows Paint application is a good match for the sorts of tasks GIF Construction Set typically requires of its Paint function.

  • You can install another Windows paint application under Wine and configure GIF Construction Set to use it whenever you click on Paint, as discussed in the GIF Construction Set Reference document in the Manual. Click on the ? button in the GIF Construction Set tool bar. Being mercenary capitalist swine, we'd suggest our e-Paint software.

You can install the current Alchemy Mindworks animation plugins under GIF Construction Set running on a Macintosh... and they'll largely work, too. One possible exception is the 3D Effects #1 plugin, which uses some features of Windows that don't appear to be entirely functional under some builds of Wine.

USING WINETRICKS
Shouldn´t it be spelled fonetic?

Wine installs with just enough simulated Windows to perform the basic functions of the Windows software environment. It lacks a number of the resources that real-world Windows software likes to have available — and that includes most of the Alchemy Mindworks applications.

There's a script called Winetricks that will automatically install many of the things Wine lacks, all without requiring that you search the Internet for files and then figure out where to put them in your Wine directory structure. Winetricks is only slightly more complicated to use than a toothpick, and no trees were cut down to make it.

You can download the Wintricks script and save it to the /home folder for your account. It can be run with a menu-driven GUI, if the correct libraries are installed on your system. Failing that, it can be run from the Terminal command line. The latter is arguably all you'll need for the few things Wine needs to run GIF Construction Set.

You'll probably also need to install a few additional programs, to download the Winetricks script and to extract files from the archives downloaded by Winetricks. You'll need to open a Terminal window to enter the following commands.

sudo port install wget
sudo port install cabextract
sudo port install unzip

Here's how to download and install Winetricks. This assumes that you've opened a Terminal window and that you've navigated to the home folder for your account.

wget http://winetricks.org/winetricks
chmod +x winetricks

Once Winetricks is ready to rock, the first thing you should do is run Winetricks to install the Windows standard TrueType fonts, which will make a lot of things look nicer under Wine. Here's how to do this:

sh winetricks corefonts

If you have a fair bit of hard drive space, you can install all the available Windows TrueType fonts like this:

sh winetricks allfonts

Having done this, it's a really good idea to install all the available Windows media codecs as well, like this:

sh winetricks allcodecs

This involves Winetricks downloading a number of things from Microsoft's web page. Microsoft's installers will pop up windows to let you specify where their contents should be installed. Be sure to accept the default locations for all of them.

If you didn't like the look of installing msvcp60.dll by hand, as discussed earlier in this article, you might want to have Winetricks do it for you:

sh winetricks vcrun6

Here are two more useful Winetricks commands:

sh winetricks mfc40
sh winetricks mfc42

These install two Windows libraries that are used by a number of third-party applications, including some of our plugins.

If you're curious about Winetricks, or if you need some additional instructions to assist you in using it, you might want to check out its wiki, and the Wine web page.

THE WORKS
I believe in dragons, good people and other fantasy creatures.

The following are the current Alchemy Mindworks applications and plugins, and their likelihood of getting along with Wine. This list pertains to the current releases of our software — most earlier editions were not huge fans of Wine.

The reality of running Windows software on a Macintosh is that not everything Windows does, and hence Windows software expects, is available in the environment of Wine, or works absolutely as it does under Windows. The differences are slight, the issues are trivial... but this is more than enough reason for software to misbehave. Software lives for opportunities like this.

Graphic Workshop Professional 5  Installs and runs under Wine. The digital video issues that pertain to GIF Construction Set, as discussed earlier in this article, are also applicable to Graphic Workshop.
GIF Construction Set Professional 5  Installs and runs under Wine, subject to the limitations discussed earlier in this article.
Presentation Wizard  Not applicable to Wine, as it creates Windows executables that could only be used under OS X by other users who have installed Wine.
Animation Workshop 5  Installs under Wine, requires the Winetricks corefonts installation prior to use or really nasty things may happen. You have been warned. The digital video issues that pertain to GIF Construction Set, as discussed earlier in this article, are also applicable to Animation Workshop.
The Ultimate Screen Clock 5  Installs and runs under Wine, although its screen saver isn't applicable.
Pagan Daybook 5  Installs and runs under Wine, although its screen saver isn't applicable.
Calendar Wizard 5  Installs and runs under Wine — its printing functions haven't been tested as of this writing.
PNG MNG Construction Set 5  Installs and runs under Wine, subject to the same limitations discussed earlier in this article for GIF Construction Set.
e-Paint 5  Installs and runs under Wine.
Digital Camera RAW Plugin  Installs and runs under Wine.
Animation Plugins  Install and runs under Wine — the 3D Effects #1 plugin may encounter Windows resource issues, rendering it unworkable under some builds of Wine.

The foregoing represent our tests of our products under Wine, and should not be interpreted as an assurance or guarantee that they'll work for you. Please be sure to test the evaluation copies of the applications you're interested in on your Macintosh before you register them.

PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN
In the US, a woman gives birth every twelve seconds. She must be found and stopped.

In running Alchemy Mindworks software under Wine, it's important to keep in mind that you'll be using it in an environment for which it was not designed. Wine is a well-written Windows simulation, and its developers appear to be striving to improve it. None the less, the possibility remains that some of the functionality of our applications may not work correctly under Wine.

Unless you encounter a genuine software bug in our products, these issues pretty much always arise from a not-quite-perfect Windows-like environment, that is, Wine is still experiencing a few growing pains. For the most part, we're unable to provide assistance with Wine-related issues pertaining to our software.

We urge you to evaluate our products thoroughly if you intend to run them under Wine, and make sure that they'll do what you expect of them. Not to put too fine a point on it, if you register Alchemy Mindworks software and then decide that it doesn't get along with Wine, you're sunk.

You can always spot the pioneers... they're the ones with the arrows in their backs.


PLEASE DON'T COPY THIS PAGE

The contents of this page are copyright © 1995 — 2017 Alchemy Mindworks. Some portions are copyright © 1995 — 2017 Steven William Rimmer. The copyright holders specifically prohibit reproduction, transmission, duplication or storage of this page or any portion thereof in any electronic or physical medium, under any circumstances. Reproducing all or part of this page against our express wishes may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. The lawyers made us say that.

Please contact us for reproduction rates if you'd like to reproduce all or part of this page on paper. If you like this page and wish to share it, you are welcome to link to it, with our thanks.