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Virtual systems and FreeHand

Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 12

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

Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 12

Postby freehandjim63 » Fri May 26, 2017 5:08 pm

Success running Freehand on a mid-2015 MacBook Pro running OS X 10.12.5 (Sierra) with Parallels 12

I’m new to this forum, so first: I love Freehand and always will. Grateful for this forum and the opportunity to commiserate with fellow Freehand devotees.

After putting it off for literally two years — and inspired by the posts in this forum (especially lovejoy’s), I finally migrated from an old MacBook Pro (6,2) running 10.6.8 to a relatively new MacBook Pro (mid 2015) running Sierra (10.12.5). I also have an Apple Cinema Display connected (via DisplayPort).

My goal was to do a clean install of the latest versions of everything with hopes that it would all work. I did eventually get everything working, although I must say it felt pretty hopeless at times, due to some baffling roadblocks. Since there aren’t any current success stories posted here with Sierra and Parallels 12 (as of May, 2017), I share my experience below, with solutions for the roadblocks I experienced. Hope this helps...

1. Start with a clean install of OS X Sierra (10.12) on the MacBook Pro.

Run software update to the latest version (10.12.5 for me).

2. Install Parallels 12. Be sure to also install Parallels Toolbox (needed later).

Went smoothly for me. No problems.

3. Install OS X Server 10.6.3 DVD.

Parallels requires the server version of Snow Leopard (10.6), not the regular version. The full server installer is not available as a download. I called Apple to purchase a DVD (as suggested by lovejoy), but they no longer sell it (as of May, 2017). Found it on Amazon for $177.

4. Problem: I have an Apple Cinema Display, but Snow Leopard only displays 1024 x 768, with no options to support the full native resolution of the display.

Solution: 1) switch to OS X Sierra. 2) Click on the Snow Leopard panel in the Parallels Control Panel to select it. 3) Go to the Parallels menu (right side of menu bar). Top item in menu should be your Snow Leopard VM. Choose Actions > Install Parallels Tools. 4) Follow the instructions. When the installer restarts, boom, full screen resolution.

5. Run software update several times to get to 10.6.8.

Problem: Software Update froze the first time I ran it. To work around the freeze, I clicked "Show Details" in the initial updater screen and unchecked all items except OS-related update package(s). Then it ran fine. I ran it again, with more things checked, and eventually everything updated fine for me after the 3rd or 4th round.

6. Install Freehand MXa from the 11.02 installer.

7. Launch Freehand MX.

Problem: the app icon bounces in the dock for a few seconds, stops and nothing further happens. Solution: copy the following two folders from the old machine to the same locations on the new machine:

/Library/Application Support/Macromedia
/Users/myaccount/Library/Application Support/Macromedia

Apparently these folders include the authorization key because once I did this step, FH just ran, didn’t ask for a key code. NOTE: save backup copies of those folders for future installs!

8. Run migration assistant from within Snow Leopard to transfer your files, fonts, etc. (or selectively copy what you need by hand).

9. To share files between the Sierra shell and Snow Leopard, in Snow Leopard open a Finder window and click the network "All…" item in the Shared section of the side bar. The Sierra shell should appear in the list of computers available on the network. Click it, click Connect As…, type in Sierra login info and it will mount as a volume. For convenience, put your Sierra documents folder in the Snow Leopard window sidebar.

[ Note to the forum admin: I don't do Facebook, so feel free to post this on the FB page and if folks have questions, post them back here... ]
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby FFH Mark » Fri May 26, 2017 9:13 pm

Great post!
I would add that the issue in #7 for FreeHand icon bouncing can be fixed with this file download from Adobe:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/504/cpsid_5046 ... ration.zip

This is a Freehand registration file you replace your own copy with. This will bypass the activation component which causes the bouncing crash on Snow Leopard.

Also, have you been able to copy/paste between Parallels and OSX10.12 apps?
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby freehandjim63 » Fri May 26, 2017 10:02 pm

Thanks for clarifying Mark. The first time I launched Freehand, I hadn't migrated any files from my old machine yet, so it was essentially a virgin Freehand install (not yet activated). I think when I copied over those folders, they already had that special registration file installed (I had installed it some time ago on the old machine). So my guess is that if someone else tries this and hasn't yet installed that file, your link will fix their bouncing ball.

Regarding copy and paste, I'm still experimenting, but so far, text seems to copy and paste just fine in both directions. That goes for both raw text and formatted text.

PNGs that I copy in Sierra paste into Freehand just fine, but copying graphics from Freehand and pasting into Sierra seems a little squirrelly. I'll report back later on this, if I learn anything useful.
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby lovejoy » Wed May 31, 2017 7:23 pm

Congratulations

The latest method I have been using amongst my machines/employees is to install parallels then copy the whole parallels .pvm (private virtual machine) file for the snowleopard/freehand combo from my main machine to the new machine.
This file resides Documents/Parallels/whatever-u-named-ur-snow-leopard-server-machine.pvm. (mine is 20GB in size)
Drop it in to the equivalent folder in new machine - start parallels it will identify the pvm file - start it up and when prompted tell it to assign new hardware (MAC) address - this is crucial as this identifies the virtual machine as a separate computer.

you should end up with a perfect clone

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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby freehandjim63 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:54 pm

Hey Lovejoy, when I hold down the shift key to constrain dragging, it doesn't constrain while dragging, and only snaps to the constrained position after I let go. Does this happen to you as well?
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby lovejoy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:07 pm

freehandjim63 wrote:Hey Lovejoy, when I hold down the shift key to constrain dragging, it doesn't constrain while dragging, and only snaps to the constrained position after I let go. Does this happen to you as well?


That has to do with the graphics card feeding your external display.

You can allocate more Graphics memory in the settings of the virtual machine u are using (the gear box next to the activate OSX server software when you launch parallels - before u start the VM)

BUT I think it has more to do with FH limitations I remember this problem from days of yore when we would import large image files to the docs
I would first go to FH/Preferences/Redraw panel and change the following:
Check on - Better Anti Aliasing
Check on - Better but Slower display
Check off - Redraw while Scrolling
Check off - Display overprinting


Check on - On Screen image resolution - set to Medium
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby lovejoy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:17 pm

freehandjim63 wrote:Hey Lovejoy, when I hold down the shift key to constrain dragging, it doesn't constrain while dragging, and only snaps to the constrained position after I let go. Does this happen to you as well?


While you are in the VM settings - change the CPU & Memory to the maximum recommended by Parallels
On some macbooks this may not be more than 6GB even though you may have plenty more available - this is an OSX limitation.

i have one imac 27" with 16GB RAM - parallels recommends 8GB memory
Another imac 27" w/ 64GB RAM - parallels recommends 16Gb memory
no idea why.
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby freehandjim63 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:05 am

Thanks for the tips Lovejoy!

I already had all those FH prefs set as you suggested.

I maxed out RAM to the maximum recommended by Parallels (8 GB). My MacBook Pro has 16 GB total.

Same for graphics memory: maximum recommended at 2 GB.

Given your comment about days of yore and the graphics card, I tried plugging my mouse directly into the USB port on the MacBook Pro itself, rather than the USB port on my (displayport) Cinema Display.

After all that, it seems like it now kinda works! The behavior is a little bit different, though. I have to start with the object de-selected, hold down SHIFT, and then click on the object and drag. If I use that sequence, it constrains. Same for creating a new object, such as a line, box or circle: hold SHIFT before I click and drag with the line or shape tool.

I used to be able to start with an already selected object, click, then hold down SHIFT and drag. But I can live with this new behavior. Just have to get used to it.
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby nudnac59 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:52 pm

Has anybody tried running a WACOM tablet on the virtual machine?Have you gotten it to work properly? I last tried it on an earlier version of both Parallels and Fusion. Neither really worked satisfactorily.
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Re: Success with FH on a Macbook Pro, OSX 10.12, Parallels 1

Postby freehandjim63 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Has anybody tried running a WACOM tablet on the virtual machine?Have you gotten it to work properly? I last tried it on an earlier version of both Parallels and Fusion. Neither really worked satisfactorily.


I have not tried a WACOM tablet (or any other tablet) yet, sorry. If I ever do so, I'll let you know how it goes.
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