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February 01, 2023, 05:21:46 PM

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Mac and .exe files

Started by whennthen, January 02, 2023, 09:57:20 AM

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whennthen

I have moved my game to a mac, about ¾ of my files don't work they need an installer that uses the exe.  (windows)  I am looking for a installer that will convert the exe for mac.  somewhere I found a file that suggested a program that specifically states it doesn't do exe files, I've tried wine and get no results, can anyone help?

Edit by Tarkus 20230102: Split to a separate thread, as it wasn't really related to Cleanitol for Mac.

Tarkus

Quote from: whennthen on January 02, 2023, 09:57:20 AMI have moved my game to a mac, about ¾ of my files don't work they need an installer that uses the exe.  (windows)  I am looking for a installer that will convert the exe for mac.  somewhere I found a file that suggested a program that specifically states it doesn't do exe files, I've tried wine and get no results, can anyone help?
The program that was recommended for many years by SC4 content creators who used installers was File Juicer.  It specifically states that it can "Convert ZIP files which have been saved as .EXE files to zip".  It is, however, a paid program (14 Euros, which, if you're in the US, is $14.92 at current exchange rates).  I've not used it personally, so I can't speak for how that process works.

I will also note, though, that we have updated a sizable number of files on the LEX to get rid of the .exe installers, as part of the Project ZIP efforts that Tyberius06 made possible.  It's possible that many of the files you're looking to install have been switched to .zip, in which case, you'd have no issue.  And if you're looking at the Network Addon Mod (NAM), it's been using a Java-based installer, which will work on a Mac if you have Java installed (at the bottom of this page, pick up the macOS x64 if you're on an Intel Mac, or macOS aarch64 if you're on Apple Silicon).

Additionally, if you still had your Plugins folder from your previous computer, it should generally work on your Mac without any major issues.  There are some slight differences I should note:

  • Load order of Plugins works differently on a Mac, and if you have load order-sensitive files (i.e. files that override other files), it's possible they may require rearranging.
  • The Mac version (at least after the Universal Binary switch in 2014) has a "number of files" limit, above which the game will crash.  Size of the files does not matter, and some tests inexplicably showed the limit being lower if the computer was not online.  Consolidating things into a lesser number of files, using JDatPacker (which is also Java-based, and runs on a Mac with Java installed), is advised.
  • Nightlights do not work on custom buildings.
  • While Plugins can be safely transferred between Mac and PC, regions built on a PC can be transferred to a Mac, but cannot be transferred back to PC after they've been played on a Mac.  This is because the Mac port is presently 64-bit, while the PC version remains 32-bit.
  • If using the NAM, for whatever reason, Aspyr's 64-bit update mucked up the TAB/Shift-TAB functionality used to cycle through options under NAM buttons, such that they'll often skip every other item.  You'll need to use Ctrl-TAB/Ctrl-Shift-TAB as equivalents to access everything.
  • Also with the NAM: some models might randomly end up showing up blank white, without textures.  This is a quirk with the Mac version's rendering engine, and we have no solution for this, other than reloading the city (which can sometimes restore the textures).

-Alex


whennthen

thank you for your reply one item I would like to point out is that file juicer specifically states it cannot convert exe files.  I tried anyway and yup it didn't work.  I have nam installed.  Does anybody know the file limit you can place under plug ins, I think I might have hit that and it is not as large as I would hope.  PLEASE ask the people that design these things to include in their description if it is windows or mac compatible,  I have downloaded a ton of stuff that I can't use and would not have downloaded if I knew before hand.  Thanks for being there and for your swift reply.

mgb204

I can not tell you the exact file/folder limit, but it is small enough that my opinion is if you are using Mods, DAT Pack them. The NAM will for sure take you over this limit by itself.

There is no such thing as a Windows or Mac Compatible SC4 mod. All mods for SC4 work regardless, the problem here is specifically packaging, i.e. in what form these mods come as downloads. MacOS is pretty smart, you can open many files using the built in Archive Utility tool, including .zip and 7z (7 zip) files. That just leaves a problem with .exe files, which tend to be installer programs and these do tend to be Windows only.

Apparently Keka is able to extract files from .exe's in a bunch of common formats, for example according to the description it would extract files from NSIS installers. Other utilities exist also, I recommend running a search to find the options and work out what's best. The most common installers are built using something called ClickTeam, but I don't know what the internal compression formats used by that are.

One other option is using WINE/WINESkin to run the installer under MacOS. I don't have a specific set of instructions and this isn't particularly user friendly to setup.

Otherwise, why not just simplify things and find a way to run Windows on your Mac? I personally am using Virtual Box to run a WinXP VM as an App. But plenty of solutions exist from BootCamp (Intel Macs/OSX only) to Parallels and other VMs. Having access to Windows means I can run all these installers natively and I also have access to SC4 modding tools which tend to also be Windows only apps.

Lastly, there is one exception for mods, .DLL files will not work on a Mac, since they are very Windows-centric, but only 4-5 exist anyhow.