Thursday, 5 March 2015

I Hate Hate Hate Hate Macs

It's take me two afternoons to remember why I absolutely bloody loathe Macs. I've been allowed access to one just to get my software running under OSX. The process is simple. I run this command:

mono thegagmachine.exe

Simple. Mono is the miracle software which turns my Windows program into something that runs under OSX (or, incidentally, Linux).

What's not so simple is getting that working from a simple command.

There's supposedly a simply way of embedding everything into an 'app'. An app on Mac OSX looks like an icon but is really a directory. If you right click on many 'apps', you can ask to see their package contents, which are a number of directories containing all the files, graphics and other resource files. There's also a 'simple' way of telling the Mac to run a script inside that directory structure when you double click on the icon.

So, in theory: I create the directory structure. I tell the package to run 'launch' when it's been opened. 'Launch' is just a script containing 'mono thegagmachine.exe'.

And that'it. And what's more amazing is that it worked. Wonderful!

However, I needed to update my bundle (that's what you call this .app directory structure) with a newer version of my Windows exe file. So I duplicate the (which, remember is just a directory). In the copy, I replaced my exe file. Should be simple. When I double click on the script inside the .app structure, everything runs. So I guess the script is correct.

Only, when I click on the main icon, I now get nothing. Just a momentary bouncing icon and nothing more.

Two afternoons it's taken me and I seem to be getting further from the solution.

I hate Macs. Beautiful machines but even doing the simplest thing takes hours of research and a damn lot of luck.



  1. Many, many years ago I was working for as company that sold HP computer systems and some other 'unbranded' stuff... the most sophisticated things we had were Z80 systems running CP/M...

    Anyhooo... we were invited to see the new Apple Lisa with a view to taking on the Apple franchise... The Apple II competed directly with one of the HP products we sold (the 80 Series) so it was a big step..

    Well, the Lisa was mind blowing! The first GUI I had ever seen and a mouse too! Having a 68000 was also a big plus as we also sold Motorola Microprocessor Development Systems (The EXORmacs) and knew how powerful it was....

    Everything was going well and we were impressed UNTIL the guy rather unwisely decided to demonstrate the multitasking ability of the machine by getting it to print a document while he edited another.

    The whole thing ground to a halt with the printer (a badged Epson matrix printer I seem to remember) printing a single line of dots every 30 seconds or so...

    We left.... and that was my one and only look at Apple products in all these years!

  2. Christ, I vaguely remember drooling over the Apple Lisa when I was a spotty youth. Mind you, I also remember drooling over the large chested vested woman running with the huge hammer in those Apple ads... Now I come to think about it, I've always drooled over everything Apple. I even moved to use Apple for about a year or two, with one of those fancy screens on an arm attached to a beautiful white dome. The dome eventually went yellow and I got sick of OSX. I bought a cheap PC and the world suddenly felt better again.

    Apple are beautiful machines but your experience pretty much sums up my day yesterday. A lavish screen, beautiful to behold, but struggling with a tiny tiny keyboard as I was trying to remember Unix commands just to do something which on the PC would have been so simple using a .bat file. The problem with Apple is that they're championed by people who aren't serious computer users or people who are *really* serious computer users. For anybody in between, the PC is definitely the way to go.

  3. Were you wearing a black turtleneck? Apparently Macs work better for people who wear a black turtleneck. Or almost (but not quite) have a beard?

  4. Agree that the hardware is lovely.... just that clever little magnetic power connector that some of them have makes you WANT one! :D

    But a friend brought me her MacBookAirLite or whatever it was recently as it refused to give her access to her e-mails... Her Mac 'expert' BiL had struggled for days to get it to work before declaring that it mus either be possessed or 'have a virus'....

    I did explain that "I don't do Apple" but she was desperate so I had a look... Just switching the thing on was a bastard and I had to resort to Google (on my PC) to discover how.... To be fair and balanced, I also had to resort to Google when another friend handed me a Windows 8 laptop and said "now try and shut it down...".

    Anyway, having fired-up the MacbookAirLite and confirmed that e-mail access would most certainly NOT be allowed because of some heinous security violation nightmare scenario situation, a quick Google (on my PC) discovered that the data and time had been set incorrectly! :D

  5. Probably true and, sadly, I don't even own a black turtleneck. I often wonder if people in black turtlenecks are really unhappy behind the scenes where they have constant computer problems but are too proud to ask people for help.

  6. Many years ago, my sister had one of those Powermac latops with a magnetic connector which kept breaking. Never in my life have I seen something so tricky. Makes me doubt all magnetic connectors since, except, of course, for the magnetic connector on a Surface Pro 3.

    LOL. 99% of the world's computer woes are brushed off as viruses, though I thought it was still true that Macs don't get viruses. I recall something about the Unix kernel being secure so that code couldn't break out to infect other pieces of code. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if 99% of the world's computer problems aren't caused by the clock being set wrong. I've fallen for that one a few times and it's sometimes the hardest thing to spot. ;)