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Virtual systems and FreeHand

Another way to keep FreeHand MX alive!

All about running FreeHand inside a virtual system on more recent Macs with OS 10.7 or newer.

Another way to keep FreeHand MX alive!

Postby Handsfree » Mon Apr 25, 2022 10:53 am

I have been in contact with CROSSOVER who are advertising to convert 32 bit Apps (like FreeHand MX) into 64 bit Apps. An idea that we could convert FreeHand MX to an newer Mac os i.e. Catelina and later using the same scheme and method.

I already use something similar BUT its entirely based on the Windows PC and so all my Mac fonts and familiar mac look (GUI) is gone. I run several old Windows apps this way already.

CROSSOVER is based on wine, and its not 'emulation' but a conversion layer and works much like a sub system for all previous Windows apps. Its also as fast as the machine your working on, NO performance hit! But as yet they (CROSSOVERS) don't do an Mac version, and Adobe have said WON'T help and such cause..

So I emailed them and asked IF we could get enough FreeHand MX users together (as in CROWDFUNDING), would they convert FREEHAND to 64 bit App for MAc users?

The answer is yes!, but with a whole bundle of caveats. Mostly about ADOBE total refusal to help anyone (or discuss it to developers), and it seems we are not the first to ask! All (I mean ALL past) Adobe products seem doomed to live an online only life on their expensive cloud based subscription model).

So for FreeHand to live again (and its just possible). It will cost all us existing FreeHand MX users a small packet. Its not a 'cheap' option (maybe $20,000) - or twenty of us £1,000 each - or a hundred of us £200 (no promises) - and there is NO guarantee that it will work -in all areas and Mac systems.

We don't need any support from ADOBE or their permission. They have abandoned us, its not the other way around!!

As personal proof-of-concept I use FreeHand on an iMac using CODEWEAVERS - a WINE layer with obvious issues as it sure UGLY Windows look!). I would prefer a newer Mac Catelina or Monteray app. Without any performance hits

Although I play with a few look-a-likes, none comes close to usability for Graphic Artists.

So we could all 'CROWD-FUND' a FREEHAND MX app.
I am not that keen on using the 'PARALLELS' or a 'Hackintosh' solution when we 'could' - simply convert a 32 bit app - to 64 bit. Not a PC-to-Mac compatibility layer but a Mac-to-Mac layer for a specific Mac os such as Catelina os....

Mark. I can email the reply I have from CODEWEAVERS. Its interesting but not entirely negative, mainly as Adobe refuse to talk about it. If we can fund it, they will make it.
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:54 pm
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Re: Another way to keep FreeHand MX alive!

Postby lovejoy » Thu May 12, 2022 4:08 pm

Hi, a few thoughts.

1)FH MX is not a 32 bit universal or Intel app, it is a PowerPC Classic that only worked on the 32 bit OSX via the (32 bit) Rosetta interpreter provided by Apple during the PPC to OSX transition. Rosetta was removed post Snow Leopard which was the end for PPC apps. The whole Mac emulation software strategy is to get access to the original Rosetta to be able to run FH within OSX structure.

2) The most interesting direction to explore with CODEWEAVERS is: Can they adapt the original Rosetta to work on current 64 bit and perhaps the M1 chips?

That is beyond my knowledge and skills.
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:36 am
Location: NYC
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