[opensource] Using WINE with MacPorts (Applications in Chemistry)

still.23 at osu.edu still.23 at osu.edu
Wed May 5 11:39:32 EDT 2010

For those of us using Mac OS X and Linux, drawing chemical structures that  
are compatible with Microsoft Word boils down to using ChemDraw.

ChemDraw is a program from CambridgeSoft for Mac OS X and Windows. The  
Windows version allows one to draw a structure, cut and paste it into a Word  
document, and then if needed, edit the structure directly in Word. For some  
reason, the Mac OS version doesn't allow these critical functions, only  
letting users draw structures, and paste them in Pages/Word as .gif files;  
often distorted in scale and missing atoms.

My solution has been, get a Windows virtual machine (VMs) to do my chemical  
editing. However, this is time consuming and Microsoft updates are annoying.  
Even with a reasonably powerful computer (4GB RAM, Core 2 or Quad processor,  
etc.) VMs are a bit clumsy loading, never really as fast as a native OS.

WINE has the potential be a nice alternative for Macs in Chemistry. Through  
the use of MacPorts, WINE runs Microsoft Office quite well, which has been  
established for years now. But what about ChemDraw?

What follows is a list of steps I've taken to install ChemDraw using WINE,  
with MacPorts. The steps don't list all the command-line imputs and keep in  
mind, none of these steps have resulted in a successful installation......


1. Installed cabextract 1.2, and used winetricks to install .NET 2.0  
framework that's necessary for ChemDraw installation.

command: sh winetricks corefonts dotnet20

Result: Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework installed; corefonts installed

2. Moved MSVBM60.DLL into ./drive_c/Windows/system32 folder

3. Tried to install ChemDraw

command: wine install.exe

Result: .NET framework still needed, installation aborts automatically

4. Tried Mono cross platform framework:

webpage: http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page

Result: "mono install.exe Cannot open assembly 'install.exe': File does not  
contain a valid CIL image."

Literature search results: Very little literature is out on CIL images and  
the mono - platform altogether.
Using ChemDraw via WINE in Mac OS X has the potential to be a useful, time  
saving alternative to slower VMs. CambridgeSoft and Microsoft have really  
dropped the ball with Mac OS X support with other issues not mentioned in  
this thread. With WINE, Mac OS X and Linux users can run ChemDraw with  
greater speed while keeping compatible with XP/Vista/7 users.

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