Making Age of Mythology work in Parallels

Now I’m not a gamer, but I do like to have the occasional multiplayer game of Age of Mythology or Age of Empires. When I purchased the upgrade to Parallels 4 earlier in the year I was disappointed to find Age of Mythology wouldn’t run on it.

You wil get the error message “This graphics card is not supported by Age of Mythology”, etc.

I did some research and found a forum post by awittenauer which pointed me in the right direction. By copying existing GFX files and modifying them so that AoM would recognise the Parallels Video Driver, I was able to get it working easily. I imagine this process should work for other games if you are receiving a similar message.

AOM Parallels Screenshot

  1. First, download my Parallels GFX Config Files
  2. Unzip and copy the contents into the gfxconfig folders of your game. In my case this was C:Program FilesMicrosoft GamesAge of Mythologygfxconfig   &   gfxconfig2.
  3. You should now be able to run the game.

If you are still having trouble getting it working, or want to add support for different resolutions, open up the parallels.gfx file in Notepad. Here you can customise resolution options etc.

Please let me know how you get on! Thanks again to awittenauer for the idea..

'Back to My Mac' flak?

One of the features of Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard, that was getting many people excited, was Back to My Mac. The service was designed to allow you to access your Macs at home, when you are on the road, or from work. However since its release, it seems that many users are having some serious problems trying to get it to work. (You only need to spend a few minutes in Apple discussions, or listen to MacBreak Weekly to find out…)

I say forget it! I recently installed LogMeIn Free on my MacBook Pro, a service I have used with Windows machines for years and it works brilliantly. If Back to My Mac is persuading you to buy a .Mac subscription, give LogMeIn a try first – after all it costs nothing, and it actually works, period.

Let me list three key improvements Apple would have to make for me to even think about using Back to My Mac.

  1. Tunnel the connections over a hosted SSL solution – in other words, you don’t need to map any ports in your NAT, or put holes in your firewall – you can have a guaranteed connection wherever your Mac access HTTPS websites. Where I live, there is a mandatory firewall on all incoming traffic, I can’t open any ports, so Back to My Mac would not work for me, where LogMeIn works perfectly.
  2. Add a Windows client – I only own one Mac – I can’t afford any more, just like I can’t afford a .Mac subscription. Therefore, I would likely be wanting to access my Mac from Windows machines, either from work, or any of the majority of computers in the world. 
  3. In fact, why not do it through a web interface? – That way you don’t even need a specific Windows client, a web interface would allow you to control your Mac from nearly any web browser in the world. If I’m at an internet kiosk, or other location where downloading/installing software isn’t possible, and/or where strict outbound firewalls are in place, I could just rock straight onto my Mac (of course using an on-screen keyboard to type passwords!) as fast as opening my Gmail.

Back to My Mac is fundamentally flawed in their decision not to have a hosted SSL solution for it, and for the fact you can only use it from other Macs.

Wake me up when Apple start to do things right again; I’m already being driven insane as it is by their AirPort AirDisk botch-ups!!

MacBook Pro Defects Update

I took my MacBook Pro down to iLike Computing, who kindly arranged to have it sent off for warranty repair. After spending some time and being put through to many different people at Renaissance New Zealand I finally got a woman named Claire who basically said that because I had parallel imported it, they couldn’t do anything about it. I brought up the issue of the international warranty, and she said that yes if there was anything covered by warranty (the pixel was not) they would be obliged to repair it.

Anyway – it turns out that the whole screen did end up getting replaced (it mustn’t have been easy to replace just the bezel), and I got it back a day or two before I went on holiday. So now both the issue with the bright red pixel, and the buckled screen is fixed… But be warned! If the screen wasn’t buckled, they wouldn’t have touched the pixel and I would have had to send it back to Sparco to get a replacement – by that time it would be out of the 14 days you have to claim a replacement.

Now I just need to fund some portable external hard drives, and get my work flows converted to Mac!

MacBook Pro

After spending many hours trying to find the best deal, watching the NZ dollar and all the rest, I finally ordered a MacBook Pro on Friday from Sparco Computing.I feel this is probably as good a time as any I will get to buy one – I figured that next year I will be a poor student and there will be no way I can afford one; the NZ dollar is buying a decent amount of USD; and apple have just updated their Pro laptop line-up.If you say “Eww Mac”, go away – I don’t want you reading my blog. So the specs are as follows:

MacBook Pro running Front Row

  • 15″ Wide Screen
  • 2.33Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 120GB Hard Drive
  • Built in Wireless LAN & Bluetooth
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 256MB Graphics
  • Built in iSight Camera
  • Dual Layer DVD Writer
  • Apple FrontRow Remote

 

I also ordered a USB Modem for it, a DVI to Video adaptor (so I can plug it into the TV), a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard, and a Logitech V270 Bluetooth Mouse. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000Logitech V270 Bluetooth MouseFor a while I was a little overexcited, thinking that because I was getting it from the USA it was going to work out that I could get the 17″ model for the same price as the cheapest model in NZ, but that turned out to be incorrect because I wasn’t allowing for GST. It still works out around $1000 cheaper getting it from overseas. So on Friday I went down to the bank and did an International Money Transfer – my first telegraph! Now the hard part – waiting for it! The ETA in the States was the 5th November, that has now been pushed to the 9th, but I suspect it might be even longer than that. If anyone is interested in buying my PC – let me know. I will put it up on TradeMe soon.