Running Mer de l'Ouest on a Mac with CrossOver


The following instructions provide a guide to running Don McGuirk’s The Last Great Cartographic Myth: Mer de l’Ouest on a Macintosh computer. Mer de l’Ouest is an electronic cartobibliography, and it is supplied on a USB thumb drive. The software on the thumb drive that runs the application is designed for MS/Windows.  However Mer de l’Ouest can also be run on a Macintosh, using CrossOver (also known as CrossOver Impersonator), an inexpensive ($39.95) but very capable Windows emulator, produced by CodeWeavers. The only restriction is that CrossOver runs just on Intel-based Macs, and the Mac must be running version 10.5 (Leopard) or later of the OS X operating system.


These instructions assume that you have already installed CrossOver on your Mac.  If you haven’t yet done this, please consult the Appendix to this document, which is a step-by-step description of the simple process of downloading and installing CrossOver.


To run Mer de l’Ouest from the flash drive, CrossOver must have already have a bottle configured.  A “bottle” is the self-contained Windows emulation environment inside of which Windows applications are run. If you have installed any Windows software under CrossOver, then one or more bottles will already exist.  However, if you haven’t installed any Windows applications, then CrossOver will not have any bottles configured yet, so you must first create one.


Start CrossOver, and from the Configure Menu choose Manage Bottles ….  In the window that comes up, the list of bottles, at the left, should be empty.  Click on the plus sign (+) button at the lower left to create a new bottle. In the window that pops up, supply any name you want for the new bottle (e.g. “USB Bottle”), and choose winxp as the new bottle type. Click Create and the new bottle will be created; this may take a few minutes. When the display shows that the new bottle is ready, you can close the Create Bottle window.


Insert the Mer de l’Ouest USB flash drive. CrossOver may, at this point, put up a window asking you whether you want to install an unsupported application. Just click Ignore. CrossOver may also display a window asking you whether you want to install or run Windows software. If this window appears, just close it (without selecting either of those choices). Go to CrossOver’s Programs menu and choose Run Command ….


The Use Bottle field will show a bottle name, probably the one you created in the previous step.  Any available bottle should work for running Mer de l’Ouest.  To specify the command, click the Browse button, and in the file selection window that comes up, locate the MER OUEST device, and, on that, select the file named Run_Cartobibliography.bat:


Click Open and then click Run in the Run Command window. Mer de l’Ouest will run. In the Run Command window you will also see the option to Save Command to Programs Menu.  This is a good choice to make, because, in the future, to run Mer de l’Ouest you will simply need to insert the USB flash drive, start up CrossOver (if it is not already started), and, from CrossOver’s Programs menu, select Run_Cartobibliography.  After you save the command to the Programs menu, CrossOver will open up a Finder window, showing you the newly created command.  You can make an alias of this new command and drag it to your desktop. This simplifies running Mer de l’Ouest even more, since you do not even need to start CrossOver to begin; simply double-click this desktop icon and both CrossOver and Mer de l’Ouest will start up. (The icon for the command is a half-full wine glass. This has nothing to do with Mer de l’Ouest. It is a bit of a joke on the part of CrossOver. CrossOver uses emulation technology known by the acronym “Wine” [“WINdows Emulator”], so CrossOver chose to make the default icon a wine glass.)


Appendix: Downloading and installing CrossOver on a Macintosh computer


CrossOver can be installed on any Intel-based Macintosh. However, the machine must be running at least version 10.5 (Leopard) of the OS X operating system. If your Mac is running an earlier version of OS X, you will not be able to download or install CrossOver.


Note: CrossOver does not require you to install or license any Windows operating system software. CrossOver is a stand-alone emulator, so it is the only piece of additional software that you need to install on your Mac in order to run Mer de l’Ouest.


Download CrossOver from the following web site:  You can download a free trial version, which will function for 30 days. This allows you to verify that CrossOver, as well as Mer de l’Ouest running under CrossOver, functions to your satisfaction before you have to pay the $39 license fee.  After clicking the Free Trial button, you will be taken to a page where you supply your name and email address and then click a Download CrossOver Now button. When the download completes, the following window will be displayed:


Click and drag the CrossOver icon and drop it on the Applications folder icon. This will copy CrossOver to your Applications folder. After the copy is complete you can close this initial CrossOver window.


Open your Applications folder and double-click on the CrossOver icon. You may be warned at this point that CrossOver was downloaded from the internet:


Click Open to proceed. You will only be shown this warning the first time that CrossOver is opened.  If you are running the trial version, you will also see the following window:


Click on Try Now to proceed.  Once fully installed, CrossOver will prompt you to install Windows software:


At this point, simply close this window. Read the main section of this document for instructions on how to run Mer de l’Ouest under CrossOver.