I Love WINE!

Well, as some of you may already know, I’m one of those people that game on a Mac. One of the select few, who, despite crappy integrated graphics, try their best to game (CS: Source being the FPS of choice) on what hardware they have.

Now for some strange reason I can get Source to run under Steam (the gaming portal of choice) under Windows, under Apple’s way of Bootcamp – which is pretty much an emulated BIOS, since Mac’s use EFI nowadays.

However, under native Windows it runs great – as a slideshow. I get maybe 5-10fps – totally unplayable.

I even took the step to borrow and upgrade a computer that was just lying around to be able to run Source – something it now does a LITTLE better than it did. Only thing I did was up the graphics card from a Nvidia MX440 to a FX5500 – however, the mobo’s audio is screwed as a direct result of me giving the board a good shock a couple of years back – luckily, the processor, ram, HDD, and all the other parts are still fine. We replaced the case, PSU, and the board now works – albeit loudly as the fan for the PSU is attached to the heatsink by 4 different screws, none of which quite fit properly. Result? Massive vibrations and noise.

Luckily, I’m an advocate (glorified beta-tester) for this great app called CrossOver, by CodeWeavers. It’s basically a cross-platform app that emulates a VERY BASIC Windows environment so that your Windows apps like Office, Internet Explorer *shudder*, and other productivity-based apps. I use their derivative product called CrossOver Games, their Windows emulator designed purely for games (and Mac/Linux gamers!) in mind. From their website:

Based on the latest Wine Games development work, CrossOver Games allows Mac and Linux users to run their favorite Windows games in the environment of their choice. No rebooting, no switching to a virtual machine, and no Windows Operating System license required; CrossOver gives you the best performance possible if you’re not running on Windows.

For those of you that don’t know, it’s based on the WINE package – one of those recursive acronyms for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”. Basically it uses X11 under OSX for GUI stuff, and then wineloader is the process that makes the magic happen in the background.

Again, those of you that are in the know would have heard that WINE 1.0 was released not too long ago – CrossOver games was updated as a result of this. Now before the update to WINE 1.0, I had a couple of strange issues – things that I put down to WINE incompatibilities.

However, one particular issue frustrated the heck out of me – in Source under CX Games, I couldn’t play on Internode servers.because of their “server start screen”, that screen when you join a server, and says things like “Don’t Cheat!”, and “The player of the week is NOT YOU!” Now for some strange reason, I couldn’t click on the “OK” button underneath that screen on any Internode server. Bizzarely, GameArena (BigPond’s gaming portal) servers didn’t load the “Don’t Cheat!” screen either, but I could just hit OK and then all would be, okay.

With the WINE 1.0 update, and the corresponding CX Games update to 7.1, I am pleased to report that Internode servers on Source, under CX Games on OSX, now work.

Here blogs a happy, integrated-graphics card, Mac OSX gamer, all thanks to CodeWeavers and Crossover Games. And, of course, the WINE dev crew. Kudos to you, guys!

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