A smaller lotro for Mac

So this is another random post that maybe 2 or 3 people on the planet would care about, basically if you aren’t a mac user, who plays lotro (Lord of the Rings Online) and has a separate windows SSD with the game already installed, then you won’t care about this.

That said, I found out today that it’s possible to symlink the .dat/.datx files from Lotro on windows inside the lotro app package on mac, so you don’t need to duplicate the full ~20GB install if you want to be able to play on both OS’s.

Please note, these steps ensure maximum paranoia; you could easily just drag and drop the LotroLauncher.app out of your steam library and into /Applications, and then delete all the .dat files inside of it, but I prefer to keep backups of everything, multiple if necessary.

  1. Install Steam for Windows, and add Lotro to your library if it isn’t already.
  2. Install lotro through steam on windows.
  3. Once installed, patch the lotro client to latest version
  4. Verify the game runs ok on windows, then reboot into OSX
  5. Make sure your OSX install sees your NTFS/Windows drive in read-only mode
  6. Find the path to your lotro installation on windows, the default steam path will be:
    /Volumes/your_windows_volume/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Steam/SteamApps/common/Lord\ of\ the\ Rings\ Online
  7. Install Steam for Mac, and add lotro to your library again
  8. Install lotro for mac (yep, have to waste the whole ~20GB at least once)
  9. An optional step, if you have a backup drive, backup the full mac lotro client so you never need to do this again:
    $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/Steam/steamapps/common/Lord\ of\ the\ Rings\ Online/LotroLauncher.app
    Your location might be different if you’ve moved your default steam library, regardless, find LotroLauncher.app and back it up if you can. I have it backed up on a physical 2TB HDD, e.g. /Volumes/Storage/Gaming/LotroLauncher.app
  10. Copy the LotroLauncher.app into your /Applications folder, without the internal/embedded .dat or .datx files:
    cd $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/Steam/steamapps/common/Lord\ of\ the\ Rings\ Online
    rsync -aP --exclude="*.dat*" ./* /Applications

    The resulting LotroLauncher.app in your /Applications folder should be around 4.5GB in size instead of ~20GB
  11. Now symlink in all the .dat and .datx files from your windows drive:
    find /Volumes/your_windows_volume/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Steam/SteamApps/common/Lord\ of\ the\ Rings\ Online -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -name "*.dat*" -exec ln -s '{}' /Applications/LotroLauncher.app/Contents/Resources/lotroclient.app/Contents/Resources \;
    Depending on how you have your permissions setup, you may need to run that command with/as sudo.
  12. Launch /Applications/LotroLauncher.app and make sure it runs. You may need to disable gatekeeper (e.g. allow applications from anywhere) for it to work.

Lastly, a couple of notes/thoughts. With this setup, you need to remember that for any future game/client updates, you MUST patch the client via the windows launcher first, else your client may try to re-download all the .dat files since OSX can’t write to NTFS natively.

Also, this same idea could almost certainly be implemented with a third SSD, formatted fat32, to share the .dat/.datx files between both OS’s, you’d just change the ln taret path, and then make use of the hardlink function in windows, though I’m not familiar with windows command line tools anymore to automate this like above with find -exec, etc.. The syntax for a link is something like:

mklink /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Lord of the Rings Online\some.dat" "D:\some\random\path\to\real\file\some.dat"

Handoff on a Hackintosh!

In case anyone missed it, Toleda just pushed a new set of patches (credit to skvo for figuring everything out) to the airport/wireless half mini repo, and it includes new kext patches for the BCM4352 on Yosemite to enable Handoff, as well as fix the ‘third party’ string in system information.

Here’s some quick screenshots showing handoff enabled on my hackintosh using the Asus built-in BCM4352 half-mini wifi card.

Of course, I can’t actually test that handoff is working since I don’t own a modern/recent enough iOS device, but given that bluetooth has worked fine for me pretty much from day one, I’m going to assume that it will work.

I’ll be updating the config.plist downloads on my 10.10 page shortly, but for anyone that can’t wait, just delete any older 5Ghz patch you may have in your config.plist, and here’s three new patches you need to add:

MacVim for Yosemite

For anyone out there that uses Macvim, and is annoyed by the lack of updates, I took some time over the past few days to merge in the latest vim updates (e.g. 7.4.493) as well as pulling in some commits from the open pull-requests to refactor the tabs and full-screen mode for Yosemite.

Please note, I am NOT the author of any of the actual code, credit for the Yosemite refactoring is all to @zenangst on github.

Also of note, this includes the proposed ‘Yosemite’ style icons by @jasonlong. I’ve not yet managed to merge in the old split-browser hack, maybe one-day I’ll actually learn Objective-C and be able to figure that part out, right now it’s beyond me (sorry, I’m just a fuck-up.)

Anyway, if you want to use/install this fork, the easiest way is with homebrew:

brew edit macvim

and change the line:

head 'https://github.com/b4winckler/macvim.git', :branch => 'master'


head 'https://github.com/jocelynmallon/macvim.git', :branch => 'b4-yosemite'

Then run:

brew reinstall macvim --HEAD --with-lua --with-luajit --override-system-vim

And of course feel free to omit any options you don’t personally use.

Why EVGA? Why butcher the GTX970?

So now that pricing is pushing $700 for a reference-cooler model, there’s basically no chance of my ever affording a GTX980. So I’ve instead started looking for a 970 with the Reference cooler, and of course nobody makes one, not even EVGA who was basically the only manufacturer to sell the GTX770 with a reference cooler option.

Beyond the fact that that all third-party coolers look god-awful (come on, not every computer enthusiast is a 12-year old!) they just flat out won’t work in a case like mine. I flat out NEED a card with a blower-style cooler for my FT03-Mini case.

And the only blower-style GTX970 on the market (made by EVGA btw) has butchered/crippled video-outputs. Compare the image above to the reference Maxwell configuration:

Maxwell by design is supposed to have 1x Dual-Link DVI, 1x HDMI 2.0, and 3x Displayport 1.2 outputs. But every single GTX 970 model from EVGA axes two of the displayports for a second DVI port. And in case you’ve somehow missed it EVGA, thanks to 4K@60p, DVI is on it’s death-bed.

It’s worth mentioning that EVGA actually kept the reference port configuration on their GTX980 Models (even the non-reference/ACX versions), but not their 970 models. And I flat out don’t understand this move, why go out of your way to butcher the outputs on the 970? Why trade 2 extra modern/4K capable outputs (Displayport) for a single output that isn’t 4K capable? Those two missing dp outputs (for me at least) are the difference between being able to one day upgrade to a dual/triple monitor setup (think of how nice it would be to use a pair of the adafruit retina ipad screens for tool palettes, chat windows, etc.) and being stuck with a single monitor, since those only work over displayport.

Honestly at this point it seems like they just said ‘fuck nvidia’ and re-used as much as possible from their kepler boards/layouts to maximize profits. Even Gigabyte worked in an auto-sensing port-config on their (as-yet-unavailable) mITX specific 970 (GV-N970IXOC-4GD)

Please, somebody, anybody, give us a blower-style (preferably Nvidia/NVTTM reference style) with the standard/reference Maxwell port configuration.

Just my fucking luck

Well fuck you EVGA, Asus, MSI, Gigabyte… better yet, just fuck you to pretty much every damn GPU partner.

I’m finally close to being able to afford a GPU, and bam, time for the GTX 980′s to skyrocket in price, and the reference models especially so. And of course, beyond the fact that all the third-party coolers look god-awful, none of them will physically fit in my mITX case. I have to buy a reference model card, and even a reference model will require I cut a small clearing in the bottom panel.

Just fuck my life, I can’t ever get a fucking break.

An end to an infuriating ethernet bug!

So for the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing an infuriating bug with my ethernet connection and OSX. The short, short version, is that booting into windows break ethernet in OSX, leaving ethernet constantly with a self-assigned ip. No matter of configuration would change this. I could manually setup the IP config, release/renew dhcp, setup manual IP settings, disable the connection, remove the connection entirely, reboot, and set it up again, etc., etc., etc.

Only one thing would work, physically pulling the power cord from the computer.

Needless to say it’s a bit annoying to have to pull the plug every time you want to reboot from one OS to another.

Well, tonight I think I’ve finally found a solution!

I dug around the intel ethernet driver config options on windows, and in addition to “Wake on Magic Packet” (which has always been there, and I use for wake-on-lan) I found the following settings:

  • Wake on Pattern Match
  • Wake on Magic Packet from Power Off State
  • Wake on Link Settings

So I disabled those settings, and ethernet is once again working fine from a normal/hot reboot! I’ll try them all one by one later, but I suspect it’s the “Power Off State” setting that was causing the issue.

23 October, 2014 – UPDATE: So I did some more isolation testing, and indeed it’s only the ‘Wake on Magic Packet from Power Off’ setting that needs to be disabled, the other two don’t affect my ethernet connection in OSX.