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Film Gimp in an X11 World

Installing and configuring the 16-bit image editor on your Mac By Dave Nagel
Today, friends, we're going to dip our little tootsies into the shallow end of the Unix pool and learn how to install Film Gimp and run it under Apple's new X11. Sound scary? It is. But, in the end, you'll have a 16-bit image manipulation program running in a relatively fast, friendly, Aqua environment right alongside your regular Mac OS X applications. All for free!

Now, I'm not a Unix-loon. I'm not going to try to explain why things are the way they are in the Unix world or try to convince you that doing things like launching applications from a terminal window is better than launching them by, say, double-clicking on an application icon. That's Not the point. I'm just going to try to show you how to get started with this thing.

First off, what could be more scary to you than installing and attempting to use Unix software? How about pre-release Unix software. Nothing that we'll be installing today is really in any kind of shape that could be called "final" (as if there were such a thing in the software world). It'll be buggy and a little bit crashy (at the application level, not the system level), but, again, if you want a free 16-bit image editor, this is the way to go. In my experience, none of this software has caused me any troubles other than the frustration of learning how to do this so that I could share the simplified method with you. But just be warned.

Also be warned that it's entirely possible that a new, fully Mac OS X-compatible version of Film Gimp will be available very soon and that all of this will be unnecessary.

Also be warned that this might not work on anything other than North American versions of Mac OS X.

And, finally, be warned that you should read the warnings accompanying each individual piece of software we'll be using today.

All of this said, let's get to it. I'm going to try to make this as painless as possible for you.

There isn't too much preparation for this process. You'll need to download five files, detailed below. You need to be running Mac OS X 10.2.3. You need an administrator password on all of the machines on which you'll be installing this software. And you need to install the Developer Tools package from Apple, which is already located on your hard drive.

To install Developer Tools, go to /Applications/Installers/Developer Tools on your hard drive. There you'll see a file called Developer.mpkg. DOuble-click this file, and follow the instructions. You won't need to do anything with the files that are installed. They simply need to be present on your hard drive in order to complete the installation of Film Gimp.

Download the software
Fortunately, some of the good folks out there who have developed this software have made much of the process relatively painless. What isn't painless is the documentation for doing all of this. Nowhere is there a source for non-Unix people to find straightforward answers for installing this software, which is why I'm posting this tutorial now.

To get things going, you're going to need to download five separate pieces of software:

  • Apple's X11
  • XDarwin 4.2 and the XDarwin updater (still required for installing Film Gimp at this point)
  • Fink 0.5.0a
  • MacFilmGimp.

Download all of the files from the locations listed below. Unstuff them (if necessary) using Stuffit Expander, but do not install them yet.

You will find Apple's X11 at http://www.apple.com/macosx/x11/download/. You'll need to fill in some appropriate personal information, and then you'll be good to go.

The two XDarwin installer files are located at http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=18034. You need to download the 4.2.0 installer (XInstall_10.1.sit) and the installer (XFree86_4.2.1.1.zip). After you've downloaded these, unstuff/unzip them using Stuffit Expander. (This will happen automatically for most of you.)

Download Fink from http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/fink/Fink-0.5.0a-Installer.dmg?download.

And, finally, download the latest MacFilmGimp from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=57007. As of this writing, the most recent version was called MacFilmGimp-0.13-1.dmg.gz.

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