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Problems Loading PBEM Files Mac & PC


MajorH TacOps Developer
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>If I download my opponent's orders through WretchedMicrosoft's Outlook

>Express, TacOps does not recognize them.

I am assuming that you are a Mac user since you mentioned "file type". However, some of the info that follows also applies to PC users.

Many email programs can damage unzipped/unstuffed binary file attachments in a variety of ways depending on how the options are set in the email program. Simply traveling across the Internet can also damage an unzipped/unstuffed binary file. Mac users can also intentionally or inadvertently make op system settings that assign incorrect file types to incoming attachments that are in or that are thought to be in PC format. Mac unzipping/unstuffing programs may assign incorrect file types to incoming attachments that are in or that are thought to be in PC format. Some time ago I gave up on trying to keep track of all the damage causing "favors" that the many different programs try to do for a user.

Rather than going through a long series of email exchanges to try to figure out which of your programs is the culprit I will give general ways to solve the problem below. There will be info for PC vs PC play, and Mac vs PC play, Mac vs Mac play.

Everyone ...

Always compress (zip or stuff) PBEM files before sending them to your opponent. Although it is possible to discover programs and program settings that will successfully transmit uncompressed files, it is still possible for such files to be damaged while they are crossing the Internet in a way that TacOps can not detect - thus causing your game to crash or go out of sync. Compressed files may also rarely be damaged during Internet travel but if this happens to a compressed file then the damage will most likely be automatically detected during decompression and you will probably be alerted to the problem by the decompression utility.

PC vs PC ...

Zip PBEM files before sending them. Some PC email programs may think that an uncompressed TacOps PBEM file is a text attachment (it is not) and may try to automatically convert it to text and may try to automatically display it and or save it as such. Check the options settings in your email program for such features - disable or modify as appropriate. Check the options settings in your email program for anything that offers to try to automatically display or run file attachments after they arrive - disable or modify as appropriate. Most people disable such features anyway since they are a popular door for viruses. Also look for options settings that offer to automatically decompress incoming attachments - disable or modify as appropriate.

Mac vs Mac ...

Zip or Stuff PBEM files before sending them. Examine the options settings in your email program for items similar to what was described above for PC vs PC play.

Mac vs PC ...

Examine the options settings in your email program for items similar to what was described above for PC vs PC play. Zip PBEM files before sending them. The Mac user should get and use a Mac compression utility that can Zip files. The Stuffit format is the compression standard in the Mac world while Zip format is the compression standard in the PC world. The latest versions of the Windows op system have Zip compression/decompression capability built into the desktop. Although Alladin (the maker of Mac Stuffit program) now produces a Stuffit compression utility for Windows, there is exactly zero chance that the PC world will switch to the superior Stuffit format at this late date.

Mac user. The Mac version of TacOps expects PC saved game and PBEM files to have Finder Type fields of either '????' or 'TEXT' (even though they are not really text files). If your email program or your decompression utility or the Mac operating system assigns either of these types then TacOps will automatically recognize and display the file name in the TacOps file finder dialog. If a different type field is assigned then TacOps may or may not display the file name in the TacOps file finder dialog.

Mac user. When playing against a PC opponent, always confirm and set the 'PC Filenames' box in the TacOps preferences window at the start of each PBEM game session. This will normally cause the TacOps file finder dialog to also look for and display file names that end with the appropriate TacOps PC file name dot extensions.

Mac user. If all else fails, hold down the Shift key before selecting 'PBM Receive Orders'. This may widen the file name search. The Shift key trick may also allow a PC saved game file to be loaded by the Mac version of TacOps if the Shift key is held down while clicking on the 'OK' button in the game session startup window.

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