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Apple Phasing Out Support for 32-bit Applications in 2018; SC4, SC2013 Likely Affected

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For those who haven't heard yet, Apple announced at this year's Worldwide Development Conference (WWDC) that it was going to be phasing out support for 32-bit applications for macOS in 2018.  The main points of the announcement are as follows:
 

  • Beginning January 2018, no new 32-bit applications will be allowed on the Mac App Store.
  • Beginning June 2018, all apps on the Mac App Store must have 64-bit support.
  • macOS High Sierra (10.13) will be the last version of macOS to support 32-bit applications "without compromise".


As SimCity 4 is a 32-bit application, and it is very, very unlikely that Aspyr would invest in conversion to 64-bit (it would require a complete re-work of the original source code from EA), this would appear to put the future of the Mac port of the game in doubt, particularly once macOS 10.14 is released.   Since EA also built SC2013 as a 32-bit application, it would also be subject to the same.

If so, this is a pretty huge blow on Apple's part, and even more damaging to SC4's Mac userbase than Microsoft's changes were for Windows users.

-Tarkus

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Looks like they're always trying to do something to drag SimCity 4 down nowadays. I still have a passion for the game for how more "normally realistic" looks compared to successors such as Cities: Skylines (though I have much respect for that one) and has a plethora of mods that you all helped to create and share. I actually run my game on a Mac myself so I will have to see how I can hold things up when SC4 begins to drop down.

If only EA were to release some sort of megapatch, but how could that be feasible with the Origin problem and other things?

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  • Original Poster
  •  

    -Thanks for featuring it, Cori!

    @Bridge XL, to answer your question, EA has very little to do with the Mac port itself.  All they did was license Aspyr Media to port the game over to the Mac platform, and to my knowledge, they've left Aspyr solely in charge of everything pertaining to the port.  Aspyr does seem to care more about SC4 than EA does--evidenced by Aspyr re-releasing their port with a Universal Binary fix in 2014, at the same time that EA was offering a nerfed copy on Origin. 

    That said, the margin of profit that Aspyr is getting off the port likely isn't anywhere close to justifying the amount of work that would be necessary to re-write SC4 as a 64-bit application, especially without EA doing so first on the Windows side.  Aspyr starts their ports from the completed Windows source code they obtain from the original developer, and they generally only work on making the game Mac-compatible.  They've already indicated that they have no plans to go back to EA to obtain the source for the SC4 patches, and that's code that already exists. 

    It is also worth noting that Apple has killed 32-bit app support with iOS 11, and Aspyr announced earlier this month that they are discontinuing an iOS app due to that change.

    Quote

    Also, Fahrenheit: IPR for iOS has been discontinued due to ioS 11 dropped support of 32-bit apps.  There are no plans to implement an update for it.

     

    -Tarkus

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    12 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    What I don't know is if the fact that the game itself is 32 bits will become an obstacle for Wine to run it.

    If Wine emulates Windoze then it might be ok. 64 bit Win will run 32 bit programs just fine tho it refuses to run 16 bit ones. 32 bit Win can run 16 bit tho.

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    That’s a real shame. 

    A big loss for the Mac community. We’ll figure out a way to get passed this, but it will never be the same or as easy as it once was. We’ll have to develop a comprehensive guide on using Wine or parallels with something like the GOG version of the game

    RIP SimCity 4 on Mac       2003 - 2018

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    Usually I think I would do my homework before commenting in a thread like this, so excuse me for being a bit lazy, but I just need to say that I feel from my whole experience with computers that Microsoft even when it goes astray still comes back to the basics of what is real in processing, material logic gating, electronic flow, I mean hard-core reality of what can actually be engineered, and that is why Microsoft systems actually do rule the world, and IBM I would say is a close 2nd with the 7nm chip.

    Hey, I'm not trying to rain on the parade of the fantasy world, I love fantasy too, but I must emphasize that MICROSOFT systems are still the most advanced vastly applied actual and real application of actual and real material physical computer tech.   Mac and Apple are amusements and somewhat useful in special applications, but they are not useful to a developing technological culture where people need to learn computer science and computer skills.  Apple prefers your complete absolute and total stupidity and passive compliance and helplessness.    MICROSOFT still leaves the door open just enough that you can actually learn something and take control.

    WIN 16

    WIN 32

    WIN 64

    WIN 128 coming soon to a 16 core multiplexed processor with IBM 7nm chips soon.

    As for the lunatics yet attempting to fool the world with a quantum computing 3D printing the universe...  And balloons also do fly simply because they 'want' to.  And that 'tinkerbell' isn't she cute?

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    Shame to see this trend in computing.   I was going to install ArchLinux on an older 32-bit machine I got at a garage sale when I realized that Arch no longer has a 32-bit version.   IMHO, and speaking from a bit of coding experience myself, 64-bit is an overkill and 9 times out of 10 unnecessary.

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    Thanks for the information.

    Since Aspyr released that new version of SC4 in 2014, I suppose there remains a very small glimmer of hope until it's ruled out. But it does sound like the task of making a program 64-bit compatible is no mean feat, and it all gets back to profitability. Why would they do it?

    I suppose what Apple are going for is streamlining the OS. But forcibly removing support for backwards compatibility is very disappointing news. There must be millions of 32-bit applications out there, and this can't be a small-scale problem. I'd like to think at least users won't be forcibly upgraded (tricked) away from High Sierra. In a way, this reminds me of the recent move by Mozilla to end support for legacy browser extensions. Without an adequate framework, many devs abandoning ship as a result.

     

    1 hour ago, Hamish said:

    We’ll figure out a way to get passed this, but it will never be the same or as easy as it once was.

    It really is an obstacle. A significant one at that, but like most things there's hopefully a way around. Since technology is constantly developing, niche communities like ours are forced to adapt. With the drive and determination to find solutions, it's a great idea to have a guide making them known.

    Now, I wonder who could help write it?

     

    1 hour ago, RandyE said:

    Mac and Apple are amusements and somewhat useful in special applications, but they are not useful to a developing technological culture where people need to learn computer science and computer skills.

    I think it really depends on each person's requirements. As a Win 7 user myself, I've never felt the need to switch to a Mac, and in fact I'm yet to own a single Apple product in my entire lifetime. The same also goes for Linux as a system. For my personal needs, Windows has been more than adequate. It's the OS I've grown into and it's become the norm for me personally. On the other hand, there are people who've started out with the original Macintosh back in 1984.

    Since every sub-genre of technology has its own pros and cons, for some the biggest reason is familiarity.

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    6 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

    If Wine emulates Windoze then it might be ok. 64 bit Win will run 32 bit programs just fine tho it refuses to run 16 bit ones. 32 bit Win can run 16 bit tho.

    Strictly speaking, Wine doesn't emulate, but rather loads Windows libraries reconstructing enough of the environment to make the executables to run on a foreign system; but as is not a virtual machine, it still depends on parts of the host system.

    Well, I guess that the Wine team will make a public statement on this soon.

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    4 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    Strictly speaking, Wine doesn't emulate, but rather loads Windows libraries reconstructing enough of the environment to make the executables to run on a foreign system; but as is not a virtual machine, it still depends on parts of the host system.

    Ah. This makes it a lot more clear to me. Thanks.

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    Disclamer: Not a Mac user, but experienced with Wine/Linux

    When you install 64bit Wine could you get 2 Program Files folders (Program Files, Program Files(x86)) the latter, as mentioned earlier, allows for 32bit applications. Is this not the case on a Mac?

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    I have to say, this cements my opinion of macs being overpriced computers for people who want to browse the internet while displaying a luxury brand. And also people who like the computers and then instantly put on something other than macOS. 

    There is such a massive massive number of 32 bit programs out there that practically anyone who actually USES their computer for anything will no longer be able to do so. And that's even putting aside the fact that mac has so many fewer useful programs to begin with.

    It's so outrageous to me that I find it hard to believe that they'll even go through with it. What will the pushback be when the flip is switched and a whole bunch of people's programs stop working because apple arbitrarily decided so? Forcing new programs to be 64 bit is one thing, and completely understandable, but this...

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    OMG, I remember now, I was just about to pull the cover on a Mac SE and then some hippies gave me an Adam Osbourne with a Z-80 processor and a manual on assembly CP/M code.   The TOOL on the Mac, it was a prong-shaped tool I think, and it clicked and locked into place, enabling executive access to the OS.

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

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    The sheer number of programs that will stop working is going to be enormous because developers won't get a new port completed within a year.  This will be a disaster for Mac users no matter what.

    Now, that said, the fault here is probably really on the many companies and programmers who have continued to produce updated 32-bit versions of their old software because re-writing a 64-bit program would be a lot of work.  They knew this was coming; Apple is just trying to be stubborn about it and use their influence force it to happen overnight.

    The biggest problem comes from all the programs people use from the last 10 to 15 years that are no longer maintained and updated, like our SimCity games here.  And there will be a lot of those.

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    I think desktop computer sales have been in decline for quite a while, around here many of the large retailers that used to carry several PCs, all with MS, are gone.

    As well many of the major PC manufacturers are gone.  The old debate seemed to be between having a wide selection of different machines with different architectures many of which were sold 'stock' with MS, and as well allowed complete user accesibility and ease of upgrading and adding hardware. 

    Mac and its OS were inseperable.  You were buying the machine and the OS as one comprehensive product, but with PCs you had many choices of building your own computer with so many different architectures and OS/s.  They mostly came retail shipped with a basic MS system.

    Today in so many businesses and public offices MS systems are still primarily being used as far as I can see, Macs became specialized in academic, some industrial and especially printing industries mostly, at least as I experienced.

    In general terms it seems to me that the Apple move is in stride with the transition to handhelds, notebooks, laptops.  I think the 32-bit apps are more associated to the desktop days and are probably expendable as Apple is banking on the new devices becoming the norm, and pushing in that direction.

    For the average consumer, the newer generations, I suppose the loss of the desktop will hardly be noticed.  What's a PC?  So it seems we are seeing the final throes of the battle between Mac and Windows, but its not so much between Mac and Windows as the traditional debate goes, but more so as the battle between PC Desktops and other devices.

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    13 hours ago, rsc204 said:

    Still, compare this situation to MS making a similar change, it would be nothing short of a shitstorm. Windows 10 is Windows, there won't be an 11, well not for a very long time. It's not inconceivable that MS will ditch something essential, like 32-bit support. When they do, you'll be updated without a prompt or option and the consequences are your problem. So in many ways, the prospect of such a change under MS is vastly more troubling. Of course, we all trust the warm and fluffy corporation MS to do what's best right, it's not like forcing you to re-buy all your software on their app store would be good for them?

    I don't think we are that far away from this scenario. The latest "feature" update hit me last Tuesday, and I had nothing but trouble (BSOD's etc.). I tried a few fixes, noticed that they hid even more of the system data away (I could still find them via search), tried a  rollback and forgot to keep the automatic updates from rolling in again... Anyway, it turned out that my antivirus software was causing the issues. Uninstalling that one made the system behave again. I heard from the head of a different company that deals with security software for Windows that their dll's don't work anymore with the newest Windows, either. Which meant I had to use Windows Defender now. It's a slippery slope towards a captive system.

    As for the Mac, let's see whether some Wine solution may be possible.

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    Me and my computer - we two became like a married couple. Growing slowly old together. And becoming slowly weak and outdated and old fashined together. With old bones and bad blood pressure and when the pedestrian light switches to green we hardly make it in time to cross the street.

    But we know each other best. Every single screw there is, every wrinkle in the face. I've grown all acustomed to all the strange behaviours. And I know - to switch over to a young sexy computer would only mean to get a bunch of new issues I'm totally unexperienced with.

    I don't pray anymore for better computers. I used to so. But now I only pray - he and me, we will survive modern times. They just let us be here for a litle while and stop creating incompatibilties between generations. As if this is the deal - making commercials about a world full of understanding where thanks to computers all people form one big community of love and peace - and then building machines all in all incomatible with each others - the fridge will communicate but has its own language, the car may communicate but has its own language - the internet of things, the intelligent tools but all with their own language.

    How they lie in their commercials - creating a world of understanding. Instead doing tools full of limits and incompatibilty and brand-related (proprietary) specifications. They don't unite the world, they make it more complicated each year.

    Like they exclude elderly people from society lock them away in barracks for senior citizens - now they do the same on my tools.

    But no. I won't devorce. They'll have to kill both of us. We are a perfect couple, my computer and me. He's the best computer in the world. And I'm the best user in the world. Nothing can come between us.

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    Apple is phasing out 32-bit at one end and re-incarnating 16/32-bit at the other end.   We might be able to play SimCity Classic (Micropolis) next year in an Apple Lisa emulator.   

    Maybe I'll get lucky and some hippies will give me an Apple Lisa with a manual for the Motorola 68000 processor.  Stranger things have happened.

    Source Code for Apple's Lisa Operating System to be Released for Free in 2018

    https://www.macrumors.com/2017/12/27/lisa-source-code-free-release-2018/

    Apple's Legendary Lisa Operating System Is Coming to Your Desktop for Free

    https://gizmodo.com/apples-legendary-lisa-operating-system-is-coming-to-you-1821606783

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    18 minutes ago, jumbers said:

    Why are technology companies so boneheaded, what went wrong?

    My take on this is it's all about the money.

    By phasing out the old stuff they can sell more new stuff. If that royally pisses off a few peeps they don't care the least little bit. They are using the P. T. Barnum concept: "There's a sucker born every minute." and will just take money from the next generation. (As well as the few nostalgic ones who give up, abandon their old programs, and buy new.)

    From a money-is-the-only-thing-that-matters perspective it's not so boneheaded at all. Evil, yes. Boneheaded, no.

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    My take on this is more technical. When distributing an operating system that supports both 32-bit and 64-bit systems, you have to compile core system libraries, utilities and applications twice — once for 32-bit compatibility and once for native 64-bit — which effectively doubles the size of the operating system and increases the number of binaries that need to be tested. Since the release of Mountain Lion though there are no Macs that can run that OS or later that don't support 64-bit, and this was five years ago. There really hasn't been a reason to support 32-bit this entire time aside from compatibility with apps built for the 32-bit-only Macs that were released before then.

    What really makes the situation convoluted is that when Apple made the switch from PowerPC to Intel for their Macs, they produced a few models in 2006 that only supported 32-bit. Later that same year, though, many of those products were replaced with models that had 64-bit processors, so had they waited another couple of quarters and not jumped the shark on the Intel conversion there would've been no reason to have 32-bit builds of OS X in the first place. They also made the situation worse by waiting as long as they did to deprecate 32-bit, and if they announced that there'd be no 32-bit support starting with Mountain Lion there'd be far fewer apps that would need to be rebuilt and the damage would be less severe.

    I don't blame them for trying to walk back 32-bit compatibility, though. There are some performance advantages1 with making everything native 64-bit, the switch reduces the complexity of producing macOS and it can save on the amount of space required by the OS.

    1 The biggest improvement that 64-bit processors have to offer there are more data registers offered by the processor. Data can be stored in those registers without having to go to RAM, which is far faster, and can help speed up compute-intensive tasks. All 64-bit processors also support SSE2 instructions which are useful for parallel processing, but 32-bit processors may not necessarily support these instructions.

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    HI Everyone, I made an account just to comment on this thread. 

    What a revelation. I used to play this game years ago, I only JUST came back to it and started playing the app store version just a couple days ago on MAC OS High Sierra (no mods).

    The price of the app was 4.99, I was surprised it was so cheap because i think I looked years ago and the price was more in the 15.00 - 20.00 price region. This announcement would explain the price drop right?

    All I can say is, what about people like me? People who PAID for this application in the App Store, were just gonna upgrade to 10.14 one day and no longer be allowed to play the game we bought? That doesn't seem fair to me. We're paying customers! At least when you buy a CD of the game you have the CD for life, their just gonna take the game away against our consent in the next update and not let us play anymore? In that case I think I will complain to the Apple App Store for a refund (all 4.99 of it - I know it's not much but ... principles)!!!

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    4 hours ago, k-anime said:

    HI Everyone, I made an account just to comment on this thread.

    Hiya. Welcome to Simtropolis! *:)

    Disclaimer first, I know very little about Macs. However, it seems if you jump thru the hoops to install it under Wine you'll still be able to play so perhaps you could look into that before you try for the refund. *;) (Or maybe you then need the Windoze version for the Wine Trick and if so, you'll want to get the digital version from Gog. A couple of times per year they have it on sale for $4.99.) It's certainly a delightful game to have and to play.

    Good luck however you decide to go.

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    On 17/12/2017 at 1:38 PM, Bridge XL said:

    If only EA were to release some sort of megapatch, but how could that be feasible with the Origin problem and other things?

    It's clear the only version Origin cares about is the disc version, to the higher-ups at EA, everything after Rush Hour simply didn't happen. ...Did EA switch to their current Hades-Pluto CEO before or after the SKU updates were released?

    I swear, if a level 1 evil God took all of humanity's greed, he'd be level (3↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑3f666)

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