Please Note: Since the subject matter is applicable to Mac users, this topic has been posted here to spread awareness. However to keep the discussion contained in a central location, we encourage replies in this thread posted in SC4 Bugs & Tech.
Message added by Cyclone Boom
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Greetings, fellow SimCivilians and Mac users. I am so glad this community persists. It seems I am late to the draw often when it comes to things like technology. I started playing SimCity 4 Rush Hour on a G4 Mac only in 2009, and a bit later on my MacPro 1,1, which I still stubbornly use now as my only computer. I love Snow Leopard and seriously dislike every Mac OS since then for a variety of reasons, so am determined to use this machine as long as I can. Meanwhile, I recently got nostalgic/excited to reacquire and play SimCity 4 again, which I had eventually let go, and am glad there has been a bit of life breathed back into the game thanks to the updated reissues in the wake of the disaster that was SimCity (2013). SimCity is a fantastic game, despite its many flaws and challenges, and I love how much the world community of fans has done to make it a much better game and keep it going long after the shelf life of most games. You folks here are amazing. Truly amazing.
So, my DVD Deluxe copy (the old original Mac release) arrives in the mail on Monday. I only had to pay $7.50 for a virtually new, intact copy I found on eBay, yay. Meanwhile, I have been preparing to get reinvolved, especially since I lost my games related backup volume which had all my accumulated mods and maps and information: I've been busy making many downloads here again and from SC4D to reassemble all those plugins and mods, and see what's new and improved. The I-HT fix is complete and I see we've solved the Prop Pox problem (not that I can utilize it yet). I've been reading up on all the latest info, especially as Macs and my options for how to play the game again are concerned. I have virtually never used Windows in my life, and was only vaguely aware that it was possible to run Windows on a Mac, since way back when my MacPro 1,1 was introduced (but I didn't get mine till, what, five years ago, when it was already "old technology" and cheap.) Reading about the disappointing Aspyr port for the new Steam version which did -not- add the EP1 patch or night light fix, Ive been contemplating, and discussing a bit here elsewhere already, my options for how I want to go about playing this game at this point. So, following are the parameters I have to work with. Please help me figure out what would work best for me, because I keep waffling as I read more information about each option—none seems very easy or ideal. The Steam version is out of the running, because that would require an update in both my hardware and my OS.
What I have to work with:
• MACPRO 1,1 "quad" core 2.6 GHz, using OS 10.6.11, 11GB of RAM.
• A Crucial SSD I am also just now acquiring, my first ever, which I know I will be happy to have, whether or not it will speed up the gameplay at all. It should speed up load time I would think at least. Does that sound likely? I know I am still limited to 3GB SATA speed with this older MacPro instead of 6GB. Oh well.
• GRAPHICS: two options: I had been using an NVIDIA GeForce7300 GT video card with my MacPro while I was using this computer for the game my last go around. I eventually upgraded the card to a Radeon HT 5770, which actually slowed down graphic performance for this game rather badly. It got intolerably choppy scrolling across a city. I was really surprised and disappointed to see that, but I was mostly interested in playing CIvilization 4 at that point, which was running nicely enough with the card. That's when I abandoned this game until now. I still have the NVIDIA in slot 2, and I suspect I'll have to use it with the game, if I want to play on this machine again. Would the only way to do this practically be to switch cabling to my monitor from the NVIDIA when I want to play? I could run a second monitor simultaneously too, I suppose, rather than keep swapping every time I want to play, though I wonder how that might affect the game graphics, running two at once. That's my first query, is there anything I should know or am missing regarding the graphics card situation here? Is there a way to get the better performance the Radeon should be providing, or will I need to use that NVIDIA which is more native to the way the game graphics were designed to run, but less powerful?
• In the process of researching things related to the game, I just now really learned how Boot Camp works on a Mac and about the existence of WINE, which sounds very cool in function, less so in utilizing. Each of these is tempting, so I can play the patched Windows version. Pluses for Boot Camp include that it is going to run faster and more probably reliably than in WINE. Downside is having to buy Windows (I'm advised to go with XP), and it's selling for $100 on eBay! Wtf? It's ancient. I also really dislike the thought of having to boot up in Windows just to play, because I use my Mac as a continual music server and other things, while I am at home/playing a game. I can't do that practically through an actual Windows environment. So, the downside is the expense to buy an old overpriced OS I have little other use for besides running some of the exe files related to SimCity like the SC4Mapper I've not been able to use before, plus losing my Mac environment/background I am so very fond of.
Please be aware, I'm not super tech savvy in this stuff. I am pretty good at researching new information, basic logic, organization (I'm good with my plugins), and following explicit directions. My eyes start to glaze over in a hurry when someone throws a ton of tech jargon at me that a non-coder is not likely to comprehend. I need this kind of stuff coming from the approach that I know nearly nothing that a normal casual computer user would not know. I know next to nothing about anything coding related. Reading about configuring and installing WINE sounds daunting and problematic to me so far. I did (in anticipation) already download the Winebottler app which -appears- to make it easy and does most of the harder work for me. Or does it? I do like the idea of being able to run Windows version SC4 right from within my Mac environment and still be able to run iTunes and have access to my music library, email, internet, etc. On the other hand, WINE sounds potentially very twitchy and challenging to get working properly, and I suspect it could take a long time, a lot of hunting down answers for issue after issue, seeking a lot of advice in stages here, etc. just to understand all the things I have to do to get it successfully running satisfactorily. Or maybe it's not that bad a process. Like I said, I'm no dummy, but my mind is not primarily mathematical—it's intuitive and reasonably logical when someone explains things very concisely, so I understand the what, how, and why of things.
So, that's my primary query here: For someone in my situation with my hardware, software, and limited understanding of or patience for coding/nonintuitive kinds of computer tinkering, what route would you advise? WINE? Boot Camp + XP? Work with the Mac version as before? I can live without night lighting and I know the NAM has largely addressed the pathing errors of the Mac version, despite the Mac version never getting the EP1 patch. I forget...was there anything else very critical or annoying that was not fixed for the Mac version that hasn't been fixed otherwise here by the modding community? I will have the Mac version back in hand Monday to get started on seeing how things are performing at this point.
Help please, from much more knowledgeable computer/Mac people than me. Thanks so much. I love this place. I'm glad to have a reason to return, but I also feel like I missed out on the glory days of this game, catching only the tail end of it years ago when I first played it.
Yes, I know, this should be in the Mac section, but no, it shouldn't be only in the Mac section. Because a fellow player and I seem to have stumbled upon a rather sneaky difference which affect the game on both platforms.
We had a discussion way back then about merged.dat. which I used as a dependency for my lots and relots -- it just showed up in DataNode, so I listed it. Then I was advised not to use it and it was apparently right, because not using it didn't cause problems for me, whereas it caused some before. At the time I had been playing on a Windowsed partition on my Mac. But before that, for many years, I had been playing on a Mac. Which is why I had merged.dat in the first place, because it helped solve problems with some lots while on a Mac.
And now, a fellow player, playing on a Mac, has problems (CTDs) when using some of my earlier lots without merged.dat.
Ergo, I though, maybe Mac players must have merged.dat for my lots/relots to be functional for them, Windows players need not to have it.
I just want to be absolutely sure before re-uploading the lot swith merged.dat and issuing a warning Mac/Windows, so could someone playing on a mac please download my Obelisk Place and LLB modular version of it as well and plop it (merged.dat is not included anymore, I had taken it out of the deps after the discussion I am refering to above) and see how it goes ? And ditto with merged.dat ?
I am also posting this on the Mac forum...
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