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Hi everyone. It’s been forever since my last post and with good reason. I’ve been working non-stop on updating all of my apps in the Mac App store to support sandboxing as well as working on my first Mac game, more on that in another post.

This post is mainly for reference so that I don’t forget how to do this but I thought that maybe this would help out some of you as well.

So basically this applies to anyone who is wanting to use a font that is not part of the Mac OS X system fonts within your Mac game using Cocos2D.

For this tutorial, I’ve created a new project named Demo and have chosen the default Cocos2D Mac Template

If you’ll click on the HelloWorldLayer.m file, and review the init method. We will be changing the default font from Marker Felt to our own custom font that we will download.

To use a custom font here is what you’ll have to do:

  • Click on your project and then click on your project target and then click on Build Phases
  • At the bottom, find the Add Build Phase Button, click it and then click on Add Copy Files
  • Click on the disclosure triangle to expose Copy Files
  • Destination should be Resources and Subpath should be Fonts
  • If you haven’t done so yet, please go ahead and download a font. I will be using Led 8×6 

  • When your download has completed, drag the font file into the Add files here box within the Copy Files Build Phase. Keep the defaults and click Finish
  • You should have something similar to the below screen shotScreen Shot 2013-02-11 at 7.42.25 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

You then need to add the ATSApplicationFontsPath key to your Info.plist file, with the name of the folder containing your font as its value:

<key>ATSApplicationFontsPath</key>
<string>Fonts</string>

Now we are all set to begin using our custom font within our project. Let’s go ahead and click back over to the HelloWorldLayer.m file.

  1. Within the init method replace @”Marker Felt” with @”Led 8×6″

Notice that we are not using the name of the file which is led_8x6.ttf but instead we are using the actual font name. The way you would go about knowing what the name of the font is, would be to double-click on the file and let it install, then look for it in Font Book.

Finally lets run the project. You should see your custom font now.

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 8.08.26 AM

 

Over time I’ve read many articles and comments about Mac’s vs. PC’s. The articles are mostly bias to one or the other and the comments are mostly the opposite. In the world of computers today, it is very difficult for someone to make an educated decision as to what platform is best for their use. There are so many factors to take part in the decision making process and in my opinion searching online for an answer makes things even more confusing for the average consumer. For the most part, a lot of people have their mind made up. Those who love Apple and their products will buy a Mac and those who have been raised on Windows will purchase a PC.

This article is not to persuade anyone that Mac is better then PC / Windows. This article is meant to educate and help people make up their own mind about what to purchase.

So lets first analyze the phrase, “Mac vs. PC” what does that even mean anymore?

Well, back in the day it used to mean a great deal when OS X (The operating system that runs on Mac’s) used to run on PowerPC’s which use a completely different architecture from Intel or AMD processors found in PC’s.

Today; MacBooks, iMac’s, Mac Mini’s, etc… all run on Intel Dual Core, i5, i7, etc… processors. You could go as far as stating that a Mac is a PC. Apple will never come out and say this, but yes, the Mac operating system runs on hardware that you could purchase to build a PC that will run Windows.

So what makes a Mac so different? Here’s the thing you have to remember when comparing a Mac to a PC. PC’s can be built using a variety of motherboards, processors, memory, video cards, hard drives, optical drives, etc…

What does this mean?

Without getting to technical, an operating system such as Windows, OS X, Linux, etc… is nothing but a bunch of code that was written and compiled to operate and recognize computer hardware.

Why does this matter?

Well, you could go anywhere online and start ordering parts to build yourself a computer and be pretty much guaranteed that you can install Windows on it after you’ve put it all together. Have you ever wondered why? When Microsoft Windows was written and compiled, it was done so that it would be compatible with almost any type of cpu, motherboard, video card, etc… you could throw at it. That’s great you think, Windows is compatible with anything which makes it easy to pick the parts you want for the computer you want to build. This is actually a bad think when you think in terms of optimization.

Because Windows is so very much compatible with so many different hardware combinations, it is very difficult to have an optimized operating system specific to certain hardware. On the other hand, there are many different distributions of Linux, Gentoo comes to mind that allow you to download the source code to the operating system and compile it to be optimized for the computer it is being installed on. This is no easy task.

Mac’s on the other hand, use very specific combinations of hardware which the operating system ( OS X ) is built around to have maximum optimization and utilization of the hardware being used.

So in short here are the 2 things you need to remember:

  • OS X, the operating system that runs on Mac’s is optimized for the hardware that Mac’s are numberswiki.com

    built with. Leaving less for compatibility and more for optimization.

  • Windows, the operating system that runs on almost every computer is optimized to run on almost any combination of hardware leaving less for optimization and more for compatibility.
It is for these 2 reasons that when you run Mac and Windows side by side on identical hardware that OSX will always be faster then Windows.
Also, going forward, I would like to correct the phrase Mac’s vs. PC’s to read OS X vs. Windows, since we are stating that a Mac is basically a PC with an operating system optimized for the hardware it contains and that Windows is an operating system optimized to work with a wide variety of hardware.
Ok, so now that we’ve got the hardware and operating system out of the way, lets talk about viruses and spyware… What? why? I thought Mac’s couldn’t get viruses? Wait, can Mac’s get viruses? Ok, first, lets refer to the operating system instead of the brand. We are talking about OS X, which really is a graphical user interface built on a version of Linux / Unix namely Darwin.
There are 2 questions you should think about here. Can OS X get viruses? and Does OS X get viruses?
Can OS X get viruses? Sure, but its not likely. A lot of people out there claim that because Windows has a bigger share of the market that there are more people actively writing viruses for that operating system. Wait a minute though, OS X has a fair market share, doesn’t it? I’ve been using my MacBook, iMac and MacBook Pro for the last 6 years and have yet to see a single piece of spyware or viruses. I don’t have any Anti-Virus software or anti-spyware software installed, never have. Maybe I should consider myself lucky that I haven’t contracted a virus or spyware or maybe because of the underlying operating system OS X is a lot more secure then Windows. I’m sure the Linux community would agree with that statement.
How about software compatibility? Back in the day it used to be difficult to get software that was made for Windows to work on a Mac. Today, almost every software that is made for Windows is also made for Mac, so that is no longer an issue. For those few exceptions, you can usually find an alternative.
What should you purchase?
In my opinion, if you’ve got the money, buy a Mac, you’ll be happy you did. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind dealing with the viruses, spyware, crashes, etc… then buy a PC running Windows.
Am I bias? In a way, yes I am. I made the switch from Windows to Mac about 10 years ago when I came to the conclusion that Windows was never going to get their act together. I got tired of constantly having to deal with viruses / spyware, reformatting the computer, dealing with Blue Screens, etc…
Windows is great when it is first installed and is reasonably fast. I recommend it if you never ever connect to the internet and don’t mind that after about a year your computer slows down to a crawl because of all the file fragmentations.
Last but not least is the price.
Apples latest release of their operating system OS X Lion 10.7 was only $30.00
Microsofts latest release of their operating system Windows 7 was about $189.00
What do you think? OS X or Windows? Anything you would like to add? Feel free to comment below.

Due to the very many requests I receive asking how to burn XBox360 backups on a mac, I’ve decided to put together a guide. This will be a very detailed step-by-step guide. The guide will begin with the XGD2 discs and go on to cover burning XGD3 discs.

What You Will Need to burn successful XGD2 and XGD3 XBox360 backups.

  • Latest iXtreme Firmware update for your XBox360

      iXtreme LT+ 2.0 Firmware (12.1 MiB, 1,792 hits)

  • A DVD burner compatible with iXtreme Burner Max Firmware (Buy on Amazon)
    • Liteon iHAS124B = baseline model
    • Liteon iHAS224B = 124 + LightScribe
    • Liteon iHAS324B = 124 + SmartErase
    • Liteon iHAS424B = 124 + LightScribe + SmartErase
    • Liteon iHAS524B = 124 + LabelTag + SmartErase
    • Liteon iHAS624B = 124 + LabelTag + LightScribe + SmartErase
  • iXtreme Burner Max Firmware

      iXtreme Burner Max Firmware (11.5 MiB, 2,904 hits)

  • Verbatim Dual Layer DVD’s (Buy on Amazon)
  • isoBurn 1.3 or later (Mac App Store) – to support burning XGD3 with the recently released iXtreme Burner Max Firmware. isoBurn 1.2 will still burn XGD3 discs but will force truncating of your ISO. isoBurn 1.3 has been submitted to the App Store for approval and should be available sometime this week if all goes well. There are already plans for isoBurn 1.4 that will have more features and functionality. 1.4 should be available at the beginning of next month.

What are XGD2 discs?

XGD2 (XBox Game Disc 2) is the original disc format used by Microsoft for all XBox 360 games. This format is basically the capacity of a Dual Layer DVD.

What are XGD3 discs?

XGD3 (XBox Game Disc 3) is a new format developed by Microsoft to help prevent piracy by using the extra layer of the outside of the disc basically increasing the capacity and therefore using more space then is currently available on all dual layer dvd’s on the market.

What is Truncating?

Truncating is a process by which the item being truncated is sized to a particular length. Taking a number for example 3.141592654. What if we only have 3 available boxes to fit this number into? By using truncation we could truncate this number down to 3.14, do we need the other numbers? NO we don’t. Does 3.14 change drastically because we’ve truncated it to 3 digits? NO it doesn’t.

When we truncate an ISO, all we are doing is cutting off the end of the file, most of it being meaningless data that is not needed. We do this to change the size of the ISO so that it can fit onto a standard dual layer disc.

A word of warning about truncating. In some circumstances the data being cut off while truncating contains important security information that is sometimes required for validation and could quite possibly get you banned from XBox Live. You should only use truncation as a last resort for burning XGD3 discs and when you do, make sure that you do not game online.

Layer Breaks

What is a Layer Break? A Layer Break simply put, specifies at which point on the disc, the first layer should end and the second layer should start. It has been my experience that you can set the layer break lower but not higher then what the maximum layer break supported by the media is.

Layer Breaks were first introduced to the XBox 360 scene when making backups became available. To burn a successful backup, you would have to enter a layer break that was different from the one that would be set by default.

Since we first started hearing about layer breaks several years ago, there hasn’t been much of a change, until recently. Microsoft developed a new disc format which would hold a slightly higher capacity then what is supported on all current Dual Layer DVD’s. With that came a new layer break.

It just so happens that this Layer Break is higher then the maximum supported layer break for current Dual Layer DVD’s. What does this mean? Well, on a Mac, if you try to set a layer break that is higher then the max supported by the media, the mac doesn’t know what it should do and will kindly give you your media back.

So how do we get around this issue? The very first fix was to truncate the ISO file since it was believed that the information at the end of the file was not relevant to game play. So to burn, you would truncate the ISO to the full size available on the blank Dual Layer DVD and then burn with the maximum supported layer break and your XBox360 drive firmware would take care of the rest. Keep in mind that this layer break again, was different then that used for XGD2 discs. So we are now at 3 separate Layer Breaks.

The most recent fix which seems to be the most successful is a firmware by iXtreme that will enable you to burn Dual Layer DVD’s at a higher capacity by way of overburning allowing you to use the correct layer break without having to truncate the ISO file. This method requires a special burner as well as the iXtreme Burner Max firmware.

So, what are the 3 layer breaks and when should you use them?

  • Layer Break 1 – 1913760
    - This is the original layer break and should be used with all XBox360 backups that are not labeled as being XGD3 discs.
  • Layer Break 2 - 2086912
    - This layer break can be used for XGD3 discs but only if you are truncating the ISO file to fit onto a Dual Layer DVD.
  • Layer Break 3 – 2133520
    - This layer break can be used for XGD3 discs. ONLY use this layer break if you are burning with an iXtreme Burner Max firmware updated burner that can burn the full ISO file without truncating. If you attempt to use this layer break without the special burner, your disc will be ejected.

Media

So, what media should you use when burning XGD2, XGD3, backups? Let’s take a quick second and address this. Why? because this is where most people do not believe us when we say ONLY USE VERBATIM MEDIA. Do not attempt to use anything other then Verbatim. Verbatim has been proven to be the most successful when burning backups. So unless you want to burn coasters / have your burn fail have way through, have problems with verification, etc… buy Verbatim.

Let’s put it this way, if you post a comment asking why your burn failed and I ask you what media you are using, you better answer with. “Verbatim”. If you say anything other then Verbatim, I will not help you.

Let me also add… ONLY BURN AT 2X / 2.4X. Never Never Never burn any higher then 2X. If you are impatient and you can’t wait 45 minutes for a backup to finish burning, then go ahead, burn at 4X or even at 6X and watch your burn fail or experience glitches while playing, etc… Bottom line, the amount of time you would spend burning again and again because you are using crappy media and or using a burn speed that is set too high could have been spent playing the game had you used VERBATIM MEDIA and burned at 2X speed.

So, what Media do you use and what speed do you burn at?

  • Verbatim Media (Particularly MKM-003) I’ve heard from a trusted source that they are much better because of the specific dye being used
  • 2x

Burners

So what about burners? Can the internal burner on your Mac burn XGD2 / XGD3? For the most part, yes it can. I’ve tested backups on early iMacs and MacBooks as well as a Mac Mini without issues but with the occasional coaster of course. Why do the burns sometimes work perfectly and other times they don’t? It’s because the internal burners that come with your Mac are pretty much crap, its as simple as that.

So what can you do? You can try to go through the hassle of replacing your internal burner which is a real pain or you can go purchase an external burner.

The latter leaves you with a plethora of options, in an almost overwhelming way… Which burner should I get, there are literally thousands of different ones. I will make a suggestion for you and even provide you with a link to the burner you should purchase. This particular burner I am talking about will allow you to in conjunction with isoBurn, burn backups without having to truncate your ISO file. All you have to do is flash the burner with iXtreme Burner Max firmware and voila just like magic you have now turned your Dual Layer DVD media into a higher capacity disc, that now has just enough space to hold a full XGD3 format ISO.

So, what is this magical burner? There are several models that are compatible with the firmware.

  • Liteon iHAS124B = baseline model
  • Liteon iHAS224B = 124 + LightScribe
  • Liteon iHAS324B = 124 + SmartErase
  • Liteon iHAS424B = 124 + LightScribe + SmartErase
  • Liteon iHAS524B = 124 + LabelTag + SmartErase
  • Liteon iHAS624B = 124 + LabelTag + LightScribe + SmartErase
As you can see here, you’ve got plenty of models to choose from. So if you are going to purchase an external burner you may as well purchase one that is compatible with the iXtreme Burner Max firmware so that you can burn XGD3 discs at 100% without having to truncate. You can pick these up from Amazon, NewEgg, etc… or if you’re lucky, check out your local Walmart. I found that Walmart is currently selling the iHAS324B for $25.00.
Hey, so I thought this was supposed to be a burning guide and not an informational post? Well, I thought I would educate everyone, bring them up to speed so that when I go through the guide, that everyone can understand it and then maybe there won’t be so many people out there who are confused and have no clue how to get their backup to burn.
So without further delay or blabber, here’s the guide.

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 on Mac OS X Definitive Guide

The guides below assume the following:

  • You’ve acquired an ISO file, either XGD2 or XGD3
  • You’ve purchased isoBurn 1.2, 1.3 or 1.4
  • You’ve verified your ISO file using abgx360 (Note: At the time of this post abgx360 is unable to verify XGD3 ISO’s)
  • You have Verbatim media and understand that using anything other then Verbatim could result in bad burns aka coasters.
  • You understand that you must burn at 2x
  • You understand Layer Breaks and their differences
  • You understand the difference between XGD2 and XGD3
If you’ve read the more info

first part of this guide then all of the above items should make sense to you.

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 with isoBurn 1.2

Note: isoBurn 1.2 currently does not support iXtreme Burner Max Firmware. You can still burn XGD3 discs with isoBurn 1.2 but the ISO file will need to be truncated which for the most part is not an issue. XGD2 games burn normally.

isoBurn 1.2, the version currently available on the Mac App Store is able to burn both XGD2 and XGD3 discs without issues. isoBurn will produce 100% playable backups.

To use this guide you will need the following:

  • isoBurn 1.2 (Mac App Store)
  • Verbatim Media
  • An ISO of an XBox 360 backup
After you’ve downloaded and installed isoBurn, go ahead and launch it, you will see a window similar to the image below:
This is the main interface for isoBurn 1.2. As you can see, there are not very many options. This makes isoBurn very simple to use. The following are the steps to burn XGD2 / XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.2:
Burning XGD2 backups with isoBurn 1.2:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 1913760 – NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it.
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.2:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 2086912 – NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you and will be INCORRECT. You must manually set the layer break to 2086912 or isoBurn will eject the disc and will not burn.
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking you to truncate your ISO
  • Click OK
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 with isoBurn 1.3

Note: isoBurn 1.3 will not be available until it has been approved by Apple. isoBurn 1.3 fully supports XGD3 burning and is 100% compatible with iXtreme Burner Max firmware so it will burn XGD3 without having to truncate the ISO file. XGD2 games burn normally.

isoBurn 1.3, currently awaiting approval from Apple is able to burn both XGD2 and XGD3 discs without issues. isoBurn will produce 100% playable backups.

To use this guide you will need the following:

  • isoBurn 1.3 (Mac App Store)
  • Verbatim Media
  • An ISO of an XBox 360 backup
  • A burner flashed with iXtreme Burner Max (Optional – If you want to burn full XGD3 without truncating)
After you’ve downloaded and installed isoBurn, go ahead and launch it, you will see a window similar to the image below:
Although not very apparent, you’ll notice a very small change in isoBurn 1.3 from isoBurn 1.2. With isoBurn 1.3 a verification option was added which is needed to verify 100% successful  burns of XGD3 discs… YES, ALWAYS VERIFY YOUR BURN. The following are the steps to burn XGD2 / XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.3:
Burning XGD2 backups with isoBurn 1.3:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 1913760 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it.
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.3 – Truncating Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 2086912 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you and will be INCORRECT. You must manually set the layer break to 2086912 or isoBurn will eject the disc and will not burn.
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking if you would like to Truncate, Try Without Truncating or Cancel
  • Click OK to Truncate
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.3 – iXtreme Burner Max Firmware Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 2133520 – NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Check the box to Verify After Burn
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking if you would like to Truncate, Try Without Truncating or Cancel
  • Click Try Without Truncating
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish burning
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish verifying. You’re Done

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 with isoBurn 1.4

isoBurn 1.4, currently available on the Mac App Store is able to burn both XGD2 and XGD3 discs without issues. isoBurn 1.4 fully supports XGD3 burning and is 100% compatible with iXtreme Burner Max firmware so it will burn XGD3 without having to truncate the ISO file. XGD2 games burn normally.

To use this guide you will need the following:

  • isoBurn 1.4 (Mac App Store)
  • Verbatim 2.4x Media
  • An ISO of an XBox 360 backup
  • A burner flashed with iXtreme Burner Max (Optional – If you want to burn full XGD3 without truncating)
Enhancements to this version:
  • Added Optimal Layer Break button, for auto setting the layer break for XGD3 discs (Truncating / Full Burn)
  • Added Cancel button to the burn dialog so that you can cancel the burn process
  • Added Alert Popup to alert you if an error occurred
  • Added Alert Popup to alert you when the burn finished
  • Added Alert Sound to alert you if an error occurred
  • Added Alert Sound to alert you when the burn finished
  • Added Data Transfer Rate to the burn dialog
  • Added Burn Speed to the burn dialog
After you’ve downloaded and installed isoBurn, go ahead and launch it, you will see a window similar to the image below:

Although not very apparent, you’ll notice a very small change in isoBurn 1.4 from isoBurn 1.3. With isoBurn 1.4 an Optimal Layer Break button was added which helps you set the layer break by detecting the media size and determining the maximum layer break. isoBurn with the help of the Optimal Layer Break button will auto set the layer break for you for XGD3 discs. For XGD2 it is still necessary to enter 1913760 for the layer break. The following are the steps to burn XGD2 / XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.4:
Burning XGD2 backups with isoBurn 1.4:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2.4x
  • Set your layer break - 1913760 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it.
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.4 – Truncating Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2.4x
  • Set your layer break by clicking on the Optimal Layer Break button or enter it manually - 2086912 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you and will be INCORRECT. You must manually set the layer break to 2086912 or isoBurn will eject the disc and will not burn.
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking if you would like to Truncate or Cancel
  • Click OK to Truncate
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.4 – iXtreme Burner Max Firmware Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2.4x
  • Set your layer break by clicking on the Optimal Layer Break button or enter it manually - 2133520 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Check the box to Verify After Burn
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish burning
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish verifying. You’re Done

 

If you have any questions that this guide doesn’t cover, feel free to ask. If you think any of the information in this guide is incorrect, please contact me and I will verify and correct the guide.

If you’ve read the entire guide and followed it word for word, number for number and you are getting coasters then you haven’t followed the guide word for word, number for number OR you may have a batch of defective media which isn’t likely but possible or your burner is defective which is more likely.

I hope that you all have enjoyed reading this guide as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Seriously, I’m probably the only person with a blog that hates writing.. haha.

Swipe Lock, released today by Empoc, LLC is a new app for Mac OS X 10.6 and later that allows you to lock and unlock your Mac in a similar way to the way you lock your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

You can grab a copy of Swipe Lock at http://swipelock.empoc.com

From there you can download the Demo of Swipe Lock as well as purchase the full version for only $4.99.

Swipe Lock, is not just a screen locking app but also allows you set various options. For instance, you can set which widgets you want to show on your screen when its locked, such as; a clock widget, an airport signal strength meter, a battery meter and a button to put your Mac to sleep.

You can also choose from various pre-made themes that change the look and feel of your locked screen as well as set your own image as a background image. What’s also cool is that for those of us with multiple monitors, you can choose which monitor the lock screen should be displayed on.

Further options include setting custom lock and unlock sounds. Setting passwords, automatic startup on login, and many more. Give Swipe Lock a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a tutorial regarding anything dealing with XBox360. There is a reason for that… Quite simply, God of War III came out on the PS3 as well as Gran Turismo 5 so I had no choice but to ditch the 360 and get a PS3. In my opinion it was a good move. I don’t want to make this post about comparing the 360 to the PS3, so with that in mind, I would like to post up a quick tutorial on how to burn Xbox 360 backups using a new app I developed called isoBurn. isoBurn, simply put is an app that burns ISO’s and DMG’s for the Mac. It is the only app that I am aware of that can correctly burn backups of 360 games using native Mac OS X API’s, better yet, I have tested this app on OS X 10.7 (Lion) the next release of Apple’s operating system and it works flawlessly.

Tools you will need for a successful Burn:

  • isoBurn 1.0 (Available at the Mac App Store – Link) NOTE: As of 10/4/2011, Version 1.2 has been submitted to the Mac App Store with support for XGD3
  • abgx360 for Mac (Available on the abgx website – Mirror 1)
  • Blank Dual Layer Verbatim Media (All the others suck in my opinion and will not constantly burn a working game)
  • A Mac running at least OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • A good DVD burner. The ones that come with the Mac’s are not the best and you would be better off with a good external burner.
  • A backup of a 360 game that you would like to burn
  • A modded Xbox360 running firmware iXtreme LT + for best compatibility

Ok, so now that you’ve got everything you need, fire up abgx360. We use abgx360 to verify the ISO and make sure that everything is properly patched and to generate a .dvd file if there isn’t one already. At the end of the tutorial I will cover briefly how you can use isoBurn to verify your disc to ensure that it has been burned properly. This is a good way to check some discs that you may have burned previously that don’t work, at least you will be able to know why they don’t work.

Verify your ISO with abgx360:

Open abgx360 and then open up your ISO file of the game by clicking on the blue folder icon to the right of the text input field. You should have something similar to the below illustration.

Now click on the AutoFix tab and copy the settings below.

When you have everything set correctly you can click on the blue Launch button at the very bottom it should turn green when you hover over it with your mouse.

After clicking on the Launch button, a Terminal window should open and you should start seeing a bunch of text similar to the below. DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS. Let it do its thing.

Notice the lines in Red, the game I am working with has a blank DMI, a blank PFI and my Stealth check has failed. These are all bad things and fortunately are all things that abgx360 will fix for us.

You will notice that towards the bottom you’ll see some nice green lines of text. PFI, DMI, Video and Stealth have all been fixed, now it just needs to verify the CRC of the ISO. Let it finish, be patient this could take a few minutes. Finally we know that the program has finished when we see the line AutoFix was successful!

You can now close the Terminal and abx360. We can now move on to burn our game using isoBurn… Do me favor, when you get a chance, please rate isoBurn on the Mac App Store.

 

Burn your ISO with isoBurn:

Go ahead and open up isoBurn, if you haven’t downloaded it yet you can get it here from the Mac App Store. The interface of isoBurn is pretty simplistic which makes it a very easy tool to work with.

Opening isoBurn should present you with an interface as shown below:

Let’s quickly go over the interface. The big square on the top left is where you drag your ISO or DVD file into. Tip: If you drag your DVD file into the square, isoBurn will automatically set the correct layer break for you. If you drag in the ISO you have to set the layer break manually. To the right of the square you have File Name, File Type and File Size, these should all be obvious.

The Drive drop down will allow you to choose which burner you want to use if you have more then one. The speed allows you to select your burn speed, which should be 2x. isoBurn displays some general information about your chosen burner below the drive selection and speed pop ups. There is also a button that allows you to eject your disc if you need to.

The last section of the Burn interface is Burn Settings, this is where you would manually set your layer break if you used the ISO instead of the DVD file. From here you have the option of selecting to eject the disc or mount the disc after burn. Last but not least, we have the Burn button, when you’re ready to burn, click it. Now for the tutorial with a few screen shots.

With isoBurn opened, drag your DVD or ISO onto the big square on the left hand side, you will know that it worked when isoBurn shows you the File Name, File Type and File size of your image. See the screenshot below for an example:

If you used the DVD file you should have noticed that the layer break was automatically set for you, please reference the screen shot above.

If you used the ISO file you will need to enter the layer break manually, the proper layer break is 1913760. You should enter this into the layer break text field under Burn Settings.

Select your burner if you have more then one.

Select the Burn speed, IMPORTANT: Do not burn faster then 2x, it does not produce consistent results and may very well leave you with coasters.

Click the burn button. Wait about 45 minutes and your game should be ready.

 

Verify your burned disc with isoBurn:

isoBurn, is not just an ISO / DMG image burner but is also a tool that can provide you with useful information about any of your discs. One thing I’ve noticed with coasters is that for the most part, either the layer break was incorrect or the session was not properly closed. isoBurn can verify this for you, with the Media Info tab.

With isoBurn opened, go ahead and click on the Media Info Tab and put a burned 360 game in your burner. isoBurn will immediately analyze the disc and give you a few important pieces of information. See screen shots below for a game that has been correctly burned and one that will never play in a 360.

Screen Shot A

Screen Shot B

If you’ll notice on screen shot A, the key pieces of information are the layer break, Sessions and Appendable. A correct layer break should be 1913760 and there should be 1 session and Appendable should be No.

Now if you’ll look at screen shot B, you’ll notice that the Appendable is set to yes and that there is no session. This is an example of a disc that will never play on a 360.

This feature adds a valuable troubleshooting ability to your tool set. This will allow you to rule out if there is anything wrong with the burn itself or if there is another issue. How many times have you asked yourself after a burn and finding out that it doesn’t play if its because of a bad burn or because of outdated firmware that doesn’t support Wave ‘X’

Well with this tool at least you will know that the layer break is correct and that the session is closed and if abgx360 verified before you burned then there must be an issue with your 360 or the firmware you are using.

Please don’t forget to rate isoBurn on the Mac App Store, it only takes a minute, do it while your waiting for a burn to finish :)

Tutorial Disclaimer: This tutorial or the software isoBurn does not claim that it is able to produce working backups of Xbox360 games. This tutorial is only based from my own experiences and does not guarantee results. Use this tutorial and isoBurn at your own risk.

Legal Disclaimer: Copying or downloading games that you have not legally purchased or own is illegal in all countries. This violates not only laws in your own country, but international copyright laws as well. The purpose of this turoial is for making backup copies of games that you legally own. Software piracy is illegal carries a huge penalty if convicted, is ethically wrong, and hurts the game companies. Support the game developers by purchasing the games you play. You wouldn’t work for free would you? I am offering a SERVICE to those who cannot make backups of the games they legally own. Chris Fletcher is not affiliated with ANY of the companies, Microsoft, Xbox 360 or any others.

First and foremost, loving the new Mac App Store. The Mac App Store makes it very easy to find new apps at great deals and also makes it easy to keep track of updates, etc…

The Mac App Store is a great tool not only for consumers but even more so for developers. Being a developer myself I find it very simple to have a central location that I can submit my Mac applications to and not have to worry about any of the backend processing such as merchant accounts, refunds, updates, etc…

The downside is when a consumer has an issue downloading one of your apps. There isn’t much you can do short of telling them they must contact Apple. Well, if I was a consumer and had an issue downloading an app after I had already paid for it, then I would expect the app developer to help me with the issue. I have recently encountered an issue with a consumer that tried to download an update to one of my apps. After attempting the download the consumer was greeted with the very generic error message, An Error has occurred…

In this post I am going to show you how to fix this error message. In my opinion this error occurs because of some Meta Data issue.

There are 2 possibilities for fixing this issue, one of which involves deleting all the content from the AppStore folder and the other involves the terminal and running a command line tool to enable debugging for the Mac App Store.

Solution Number 1: Deleting all content from the AppStore folder

  • Sign out of the Mac App Store by clicking on Store->Sign Out from the App Store Menu
  • Quit the Mac App Store App
  • Open Finder and browse to ~/Library/Application Support/AppStore/ (Where ~ is your home folder) If you don’t know how to get to your home folder you can open up Macintosh HD double click on the Users folder and then double click on your username and then follow the rest of the path or you can from the Finder menu click on Go and then click on Go To Folder and copy and paste the above path.
  • Once you are within the AppStore folder, select everything and move it to the Trash
  • Start the Mac App Store App
  • Sign into the Mac App Store by clicking on Store->Sign In from the App Store Menu

After signing in, you should see your downloads resuming and hopefully everything will go smoothly and you will not have to witness the “An Error has occurred” error message.

Solution Number 2: Enable Debugging for the Mac App Store

  • Open Terminal either by navigating to Applications/Utilities/Terminal or by pressing Command+SpaceBar and typing Terminal into Spotlight
  • At the prompt type the following: defaults write com.apple.appstore ShowDebugMenu -bool true
  • Relaunch the Mac App Store
  • Choose the menu item Debug Menu->Reset App
  • Choose the menu item Debug Menu->Check for Available Downloads

Solution 2, seems like a much cleaner way to fix the issue, especially moving forward. With Solution 2, you only have to set the debugging once and then if you experience the problem again you can just do Reset App and Check for Available Downloads.

Did you find this post useful? Did this fix your issue? Do you have any alternate fixes to the same problem? I’d like to hear from you, please comment below. Have a great weekend everyone..

Coming soon to the Mac App Store is my new application, ISO Burn. The main reason I created ISO Burn is to have an app similar to imgBurn for Mac OS X, I’m hoping to have many of the features that are available in imgBurn available in ISO Burn. Most notably with ISO Burn you can set a layer break for your image files which will make it simple to set where on the disc the second layer will begin. Another reason for building this app was so that everyone would have a simple intuitive application to build and burn image files for the Mac. I know Apple has an app called Disk Utility, and I know its awesome, etc… but for the average user, I think its a bit too much and doesn’t have some of the core functionality that will be present within ISO Burn

ISO Burn is the successor to ISOX360 which was an application I developed about 2 years ago for Mac OS X. ISOX360 was built mainly to support burning XBOX360 backups but otherwise didn’t have any other features. ISO Burn will not be a direct replacement of ISOX360 and will not feature verification or patching of XBOX 360 images. However, ISO Burn does support the burning of XBOX 360 images 100% as well as many other types of disc images. Some of the disc image formats that are supported are listed below:

  • .DVD
  • .ISO
  • DMG
  • IMG

ISO Burn also supports multiple burners. If you’ve got an external burner connected you can choose between that and your internal burner. This is a feature that was lacking in ISOX360 that I have been asked countless times to implement.

As soon as ISO Burn is available on the Mac App Store, download links to ISOX360 will be removed and the application will no longer be supported. ISO Burn will be an active project as are many other apps that I have developed that are now on the Mac App Store. I will offer free support for ISO Burn and implement feature requests as long as they are within reason.

The expected date for ISO Burn to be released should be sometime around mid-July depending on how quickly the review process goes. Sometimes its quick and sometimes it can take up to a month or so.

Ideas? Specific Feature Requests? I’d like to hear from you.

UPDATE 6/23/2011 – isoBurn has been submitted to the Mac App Store, to read more about it and see some screen shots please visit http://empoc.com/isoburn

 

I’m sure many of you have seen the recent E3 event either from a live feed or if you were lucky enough, you were there. I really enjoyed Nintendo’s conference and am really excited about the new Wii that will be coming out. The one thing I think that the conference lacked is the amount of information and visuals about the new console. It seems that the conference was centered mostly around the new controller which in my opinion is great but should not have been the highlight of the new console. Being curious like I am, I started looking around for more information on the console.

Nintendo actually has all of the technical specs as well as an image of the new console on their site. The image below is what I am guessing the new console will look like, according to the image on Nintendo’s own site.

 

A lot of people are wondering if the Wii U is just a new controller that will work with the old console but that is untrue based on the above image as well as the tech specs I’ve listed below. These have been copied and pasted from Nintendo’s website.

  • Launches: 2012
  • Size: Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.
  • New Controller: The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.
  • Other Controls: Up to four Wii Remote™ (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii™ controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk™ controller, Classic Controller™, Classic Controller Pro™ and Wii Balance Board™.
  • Media: A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs.
  • Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
  • Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
  • Storage: The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.
  • CPU: IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor.
  • Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories.

All in all the tech specs appear vague at best. Video up to 1080p is supported but it doesn’t specify what type of graphics adapter the new Wii will be using. All we know about the CPU so far is that it will be a Power-based multi-core processor from IBM. I’m thrilled that they are finally giving us 1080p. Gaming on the Wii will finally be in HD like the rest of the competition.

The only game they have listed with pictures is Super Mario Bros Mii, which I’m not sure will be an actual release based on the E3 conference. It would be a fun game to play and it would be great if they decide to release it. If anyone has any more information about upcoming games, feel free to comment. Here are some images of the game:

All in all, this looks like a winner and I think that Nintendo has once again done a tremendous job designing a great console and being innovative. I will probably be one of those people pre-ordering the new Wii because that’s just how I am when new things come out. I’m a tech geek at heart…

What do you guys think about the new Wii? Pre-Order or not? Ideas? I’d like to hear from you…

Icons 2.0 is now available on the Mac App Store:



 

*** The only Icon App on the App Store that exports ICNS, the Mac App icon file with rounded corners and shine. ***

Icons was one of the first native Mac Apps for previewing and generating iOS device icons. Since then, Icons has gone through some major updates and a complete new look.

Icons still does everything that it used to do but now you can do so much more. See for yourself, check out the features below:

● Preview with Rounded Corners
● Preview with Shine & Rounded Corners
● Export with Rounded Corners
● Export with Shine & Rounded Corners
● Add OpenFeint Logo to any of the 4 corners of your icon
● Add Overlay Text ( Supports Font Selection, Color, Size and Position )
● Overlay a Custom Glass Mask
● Adjust the corner radius
● Adjust the Shine Alpha
● Export for iPhone, iPad and iPhone 4
● Export for Android
● Export for Mac ( ICNS support )
● Export Custom Size
● Export iTunesArtwork (512 x 512)
● Set a Custom Icon Name

Icons is simple to use. Just drag your 512×512 image file into the app and Icons will immediately load all of the icon previews to instantly see how your icons will look in all available sizes. What you do from there is up to you, when you are satisfied with the outcome, export your icons for immediate use.

Supports PSD, PNG, TIFF, BMP, JPEG and many other file formats.

If you have any questions / comments / suggestions / issues you can visit the support site and leave a comment or email me at chris@chris-fletcher.com I try to answer all comments on the same day I receive them.

Please rate and review my application. Icons was developed in my spare time, support Indie developers. Thank you for your support

Check it out in the App Store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icons/id413612688?mt=12

 

Have you ever wanted a professional looking font for your iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad or Mac game but weren’t sure how to go about it? Maybe you are just lacking the artistic talent? One way to get around this is using photoshop and just making textures of the text you want to use. If you go this route then you’ll be stuck with static text and you’ll need to have a separate texture for each variation of your text, not to mention the learning curve that comes with Photoshop.

With Glyph Designed, you can forget everything I just mentioned above. Glyph Designer is a development tool that was designed by Mike & Tom of 71squared.com, a development blog for the Mac and iOS platform. With Glyph designer you can easily choose from your pre-installed fonts and modify them to your hearts content to make them fit perfectly with your game’s theme.

In this post I am going to cover some of Glyph Designer’s features and also provide a short tutorial on how to use Glyph Designer to make custom Glyph textures that you can then import into your cocos2d game project and use for your in-game text.

If you want to follow along go ahead and download Glyph Designer from here http://glyphdesigner.71squared.com

Glyph Designer Layout:

Selecting a Font to use:

You’ll notice that in the above screen shot, looking at the left most side of the application you’ll see a font browser that has a list of all the fonts that are currently installed on your Mac. You can scroll through this list and select the font you want to use. When you click on a font you’ll notice that it shows up in the preview window. At the bottom left of the app there 2 basic font settings that allow you to adjust the currently selected font. Using these 2 settings, you can change the size and type of the font, and by type I mean; Regular, Bold, Italic, Condensed, etc… whichever the selected font supports.

Editing The Selected Font:

On the right most side of the app you will notice a lot of settings that can be modified. Most of these settings are pretty self explanatory, I will however cover them anyways. The settings that can modified are as follows:

  • Texture Atlas ( Width, Height, Color, Spacing, Auto Size )
  • Glyph Fill ( Fill Glyph, Fill Type)
  • Glyph Outline (Outline, Width, Fill Type, Color )
  • Glyph Shadow (Shadow, Type, Lightsource, Blur Radius, Color)
  • Included Glyphs

I will now cover each of these in more Detail

Texture Atlas:

The Texture Atlas Settings define the properties of the exported texture. If you are not familiar with the term Texture Atlas, think Sprite Sheet, more on that later. You can set the width and height of of the Texture Atlas. I recommend going with the smallest multiple of 2 that you can get away with, meaning: 32 x 32, 64 x64, 128 x 128, etc…

For the Color setting I just set the Opacity to 0 so it doesn’t matter what the background color is, the choice is yours on this one.

You can leave the spacing at a default of 2. Another option to setting the width and height is to check the Auto Size check box which tells Glyph Designer that you want it to determine the best size of the Texture Atlas.

Glyph Fill:

The first option in Glyph Fill is a check box called Fill Glyph. If you want your Glyph to have a fill color, then you should select this checkbox otherwise you can skip over Glyph Fill. For Fill type you have 2 options. You can chose to fill using a gradient or fill using a solid color; gradients are great and look nice but will give you problems if you want to use RGBA4444 unless you set your dithering properly. Maybe Mike or Tom can add a feature that allows you to apply filters when exporting, maybe the ability to choose from RGBA4444 and RGBA8888 as well as some dithering filters. What do you think guys?

With that being said, if you pick gradient then you can pick your start and end colors as well as the angle of the gradient. These are totally up to you and you should go with what you think looks best.

Glyph Outline:

The first option you have here is a checkbox to enable or disable an outline for your Glyph. All of the options here are pretty self explanatory. Choose if you want an outline and then set the width, the fill type, which can be a solid fill type or a gradient fill type and then set your color. The same applies to Glyph Outline with gradients as for Glyph Fill.

Glyph Shadow:

Again, just as with Glyph Fill and Glyph Outline, the first option you have here is to either turn Shadow On or Off by checking or unchecking the Shadow Box. You have quite a few options here for the Glyph Shadow setting. First lets talk about the different Shadow types that you can use.

  • Outer Shadow – This type of shadow will add a shadow to the Outside of your Glyph
  • Inner Thin Shadow – This type of shadow will add a shadow to the Inside of your Glyph. If you want to use an inner shadow, I recommend using this one on fonts that are not very thick.
  • Inner Thick Shadow – This type of shadow will add a shadow to the Inside of your Glyph. If you have a thick font you can get away with using this shadow with good results, you could also use the thin shadow for your thicker fonts for a less shadowy effect.

After you’ve decided on the type of shadow to use we need to look at the Light Source. For the most part the default location of the Light Source should be fine, but if you need your shadow somewhere else then you can drag the light source to a different location, you can also move the light source via its x and y values for more accurate control.

The Blur Radius for the shadow specifies how blurred your shadow should be; in my opinion the default value here should do for most. Last but not least we have the shadow color.. No your shadow does not have to be black, this is your choice, don’t be afraid to be creative.

Included Glyphs:

Not too much to say about the Included Glyphs section. This part of the app specifies which letters, numbers, symbols you want to have in your Texture Atlas. You can edit this to include only the ones you know you’ll use to save some space. For instance if you know you will only use numbers or if you’ll only be using upper case or lower case characters.

Export The Texture Atlas:

Now all that’s left to do before we can use our new Glyph is to export the Texture Atlas, to do this just click on the Export button at the top right corner of Glyph Designer. From the dialog that pops up, just pick a location and specify a name for the Texture Atlas and click on Save.

In the next section I will go over the basics for using our Texture Atlas with Cocos2d by showing some sample code. You’ll be amazed at how easy this is.

Using Glyph Designer Exported Texture Atlas With Cocos2d:

If you’ve exported your glyph from Glyph Designer, you should have 2 resulting files with the name you’ve specified. Both of these files need to be copied to your Xcode Project.

Start a new Xcode Project and choose the cocos2d template.

Place the 2 files that Glyph Designer generated into your Resources folder within your Xcode Project.

After you’ve added the glyph files to your resources folder, select your HelloWorldScene.m file and find the init method. Replace the following code:

CCLabelTTF *label = [CCLabelTTF labelWithString:@"Hello World" fontName:@"Marker Felt" fontSize:64];

with

CCLabelBMFont *label = [CCLabelBMFont labelWithString:@"Hello World" fntFile:@"test.fnt"];

That’s all you have to do to use the glyphs with cocos2d… See, I told you it was easy.

Thank’s to Mike & Tom, we now have a full featured tool that allows us to easily create awesome looking in-game text. Please support Glyph Designer, it will soon be available on the Mac App Store but you can get it now from the Glyph Designer site at http://glyphdesigner.71squared.com