Cardbox on the Eee: 4 – what doesn’t work

You have installed Cardbox on Wine on the Asus Eee, and you have set things up so that you can start Cardbox.

This means that you can create your own databases, edit and search them, and access databases on Cardbox servers on the Internet (or on a local LAN server).

Despite this, not everything works. The problems come from the partial nature of Wine’s implementation of some Windows functions.

We would welcome your help with this. Would downloading or installing additional software make a difference? Are there changes to the configuration that will make Cardbox work better?

We are giving away the Cardbox Home Edition licence on the Asus Eee because we want every Eee user to have the benefit and enjoyment of having Cardbox available. Help us to make this happen!

Getting Started

Cardbox comes with a “Getting Started” guide that gives you a guided tour of the program and what it does. This is an Adobe PDF file called getting.pdf. Cardbox provides the command Help > Getting Started to allow you to view this without having to navigate to the file itself. On Windows, this command works. On CrossOver Mac, this command works. On Wine on the Asus Eee, it doesn’t.

To read the Getting Started guide:

  1. Go to the Work tab of the desktop and open File Manager.
  2. If you can’t see a folder called “.wine“, open the View menu and turn on “Show Hidden Files”.
  3. Navigate into .wine, then drive_c, then Program Files, then Cardbox 3.0.
  4. You will see a file called getting.pdf. Double-click on it.

Online help

Online help doesn’t work. This is a serious problem, because Cardbox is richly provided with help. At a time when many software manufacturers were turning their help into a hurriedly reformatted version of the manuals, we have spent time and effort creating context-sensitive help for every menu item and every command window, and (especially important) for many error messages. Most of the time Cardbox is simple enough for you not to need help, but when you do need it, it is absurd to be deprived of it.

The first time you try to display online help, the system will ask you if you want to download and install the Gecko engine to display the HTML in the help. If you say No, you will have a help window that has a table of contents but no readable articles. If you say Yes, the Gecko engine will be downloaded and installed: as soon as it tries to display a help page, an error will occur. Before Build 4261 of Cardbox, the error would crash Cardbox; from Build 4261 onwards, Cardbox traps the error, tells you that you can’t view Help, and carries on working. But it is not possible for Cardbox to cure the fundamental bug that stops help pages from being displayed.

Possible cures

This blog posting details the problems that CrossOver Mac has with displaying online help. You’ll see that downloading and installing Microsoft Internet Explorer appears to install enough working DLL files to allow help to be correctly displayed.

In theory it should be possible to do something similar on Wine, but my attempts on the Asus Eee have failed. Unfortunately the hopeful-sounding ie4linux scripts tend to stop halfway through installation, and in any case the new files are installed in a separate space from the one in which Cardbox was installed, so the Cardbox environment is unaffected.

It may well be that there is a way round these problems, and I’d welcome any solutions, possibly as comments to this blog posting.


One Response to “Cardbox on the Eee: 4 – what doesn’t work”

  1. Saskia Leefsma Says:

    Up till now (and I have installed Cardbox about three months ago, in december 2010) all works fine with CrossOver on my apple.
    There is one exception: import and export. It just crashes. Anyone out there with the same problem and better still, a solution? Hope to get it solved soon.

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