Current state of DirectX on Intel Macs

I’ve been spending some time trying to get DirectX applications running within Mac OS 10.5 using VMWare Fusion, CrossOver and Darwine.

Darwine — Darwine uses OpenGL for it’s DX emulation, and there’s apparently an issue with the OpenGL drivers in 10.5’s X11 that’s preventing wine from using OpenGL. The latest builds of Darwine you’ll find around the net don’t even include OpenGL support, and if you try to compile it yourself you’ll run into problems. Apparently Apple is aware of the issue and is working on a fix, but there’s no ETA.

CrossOver — I did some DirectX tests with CrossOver and it looks like it does not include support for DirectX 9. It will initialize a HAL interface without error and return pixel shader model 1.4 support, but inspecting the video card properties returns an error, and trying to actually grab the video surface returns an error. I haven’t tried DirectX 8 yet. (Which I don’t really care about anyways)…

VMWare Fusion — In Fusion I was only able to create a DirectX 9 surface if it was fullscreen; windowed surfaces would return an error. For shader support it returns 0.0 and 0.0 for ps/vs, so the second you try and use a shader it returns an error again.

We still have a ways to go before DirectX 9 is really usable on OS X in my opinion…

802.11 beacon interval confuses Mac OS 10.5.2

I just got a new MacBook Pro laptop this week and the wireless networking stopped working no less than a day after I got it. The culprit? The 10.5.2 update.

Apparently this is a well known issue but Apple doesn’t make any mention of it in their knowledge base.

I figured since the laptop is brand new I would call Apple tech support to see what they had to say. They walking me through the typical stuff: reboot, remake your network settings, reset the hardware, upgrade my wifi router firmware, etc. Nothing seemed to help. Their final suggestion was to downgrade to 10.5.0. Unacceptable!

After a lot of experimentation, I figured out that the culprit in my case was the beacon interval on my WRT54G v6 wifi router. I had set it a long time ago to 1000ms, and the moment I changed it to 100ms (the default) it started working again. Change it back to 1000ms and its broken again. So strange.