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Old Oct 14, 2012, 06:10 PM   #1
colinet
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Help! Software not working any more

I have an image database called Art Explosion Photo Object (formerly Hemera).
I use it ALL THE TIME for reference material for my children's book illustrations.
I bought a Mac Mini with SnowLeopard just to run this database as it needs classic mode so won't work on Lion or later. It worked fine, but now won't any more.
I'm not a programmer, but I think I have worked out what the problem is. When I run it, the first image that come up say it is 'Contacting the server to determine if any updates are available' then it quits and shows a report of the screen. I've checked and Hemera is no more - I assume it was still there when the program was working.
I'm not looking for any updates, I just want to access the 150,000 images I've already got. How do I make it work without it trying to go online and crashing when it can't find hemera.com? I've tried disconnecting all web access, but that hasn't worked.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 08:51 AM   #2
Fishrrman
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"I bought a Mac Mini with SnowLeopard just to run this database as it needs classic mode so won't work on Lion or later."

Just to clarify, I don't believe Snow Leopard (OS 10.6) can run Classic.

I believe the last Mac OS that could support Classic was 10.4 (Tiger).

Others will jump in and clarify if I'm mistaken.

Which version of the OS (number, please!) are you running?
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 11:59 AM   #3
old-wiz
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were you running it on another computer before? what os version?
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 01:22 PM   #4
dZp
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You have correctly assessed the problem. Hemera's server is no more, therefore the check for update fails. It is piss-poor programming for all users who paid for this to lock them out of their purchased app.

2 options I see:
- convert all the hpi graphic files with GraphicConverter.
- hack the executable to bypass the check for update (unless there's already a setting in the app's Preferences to disable it).
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 02:17 PM   #5
colinet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dZp View Post
You have correctly assessed the problem. Hemera's server is no more, therefore the check for update fails. It is piss-poor programming for all users who paid for this to lock them out of their purchased app.

2 options I see:
- convert all the hpi graphic files with GraphicConverter.
- hack the executable to bypass the check for update (unless there's already a setting in the app's Preferences to disable it).
I know how to convert the images - tried with a few. BUT there is no way to identify what file is what image and life's too short to go through 150000 images every time you're looking for something!!
Hacking the executable is what I was hoping someone could do. It's certainly beyond my abilities. Can't get into the preferences as the program crashes!!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post
were you running it on another computer before? what os version?
I've had it running on THIS computer with Snow Leopard. The only difference I can think of is the Hemera site closing down. I've re-installed everything to how it was when it did work - no luck.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 02:30 PM   #6
MarcelEdward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinet View Post
I know how to convert the images - tried with a few. BUT there is no way to identify what file is what image and life's too short to go through 150000 images every time you're looking for something!!
Hacking the executable is what I was hoping someone could do. It's certainly beyond my abilities. Can't get into the preferences as the program crashes!!

----------



I've had it running on THIS computer with Snow Leopard. The only difference I can think of is the Hemera site closing down. I've re-installed everything to how it was when it did work - no luck.
Have you tried to turn the internet off, when you are lucky then it cannot look for updates and will not run into the crash ...
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 02:33 PM   #7
colinet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcelEdward View Post
Have you tried to turn the internet off, when you are lucky then it cannot look for updates and will not run into the crash ...
Tried that - it didn't help - this is really bad programming by arrogant Hemera programmers who assumed they would be there forever!!
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 03:24 PM   #8
colinet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
"I bought a Mac Mini with SnowLeopard just to run this database as it needs classic mode so won't work on Lion or later."

Just to clarify, I don't believe Snow Leopard (OS 10.6) can run Classic.

I believe the last Mac OS that could support Classic was 10.4 (Tiger).

Others will jump in and clarify if I'm mistaken.

Which version of the OS (number, please!) are you running?
Snow Leopard - 10.6 - Actually Snow Leopard Server as the Mac mini I got new at a bargain basement price was actually the server version. NOT the server software at fault as I installed the regular Snow Leopard on the second drive. It used to run on both, now on neither.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 03:35 PM   #9
Member(TM)
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If the crash is caused by the connection failure, maybe the program won't crash if it connects to a random web server even if that server doesn't provide the expected update services. There's a trick to force the software to connect to a server of your choice. The problem is you need to guess what server the software is trying to connect (maybe the crash report has a hint?)

The simplest way is to enable the local web server in your sharing preferences, edit your /etc/hosts file and point the server name to your own computer (i.e. 127.0.0.1).

The line you need to modify usually looks like this:

Code:
# /etc/hosts
127.0.0.1	localhost
You want to change it to something like this:

Code:
# /etc/hosts
127.0.0.1	localhost hemera.com www.hemera.com update.hemera.com updates.hemera.com
If you don't know exactly the subdomain, you may try to guess and write several possibilities, as shown above. To edit the /etc/hosts file you need administrator privileges. TextEdit is not good to edit configuration files, so this is usually done through the command line. If you are not comfortable with the command line, you may try another editor such as TextWrangler, which will prompt you for your administrator password as needed.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 04:52 PM   #10
colinet
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Thank you so much for your help. I'll have a go at this later today - still sort of working in the dark as I'm not into programming or the command line etc.

I might be able to get the info of where the file is looking from the error report when it crashes?

I'll play with it later, but I might have to get back to you again!!
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Last edited by colinet; Oct 15, 2012 at 04:57 PM.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 05:52 PM   #11
old-wiz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinet View Post
Tried that - it didn't help - this is really bad programming by arrogant Hemera programmers who assumed they would be there forever!!
You would be surprised how many programmers make this assumption.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 06:07 PM   #12
dunderheid
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Found this link - might be relevant.....

http://www.softcity.com/question/cre...ion/wN0YDNwADN

PS your illustrations are great Colin!
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 04:12 AM   #13
Member(TM)
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Another thing you may try is edit the preferences file. With a bit of luck, it will be human readable and it will contain some obvious text like "Automatic updates: YES" where you can simply replace the YES with a NO. Preferences files are usually located in the folder "Library / Preferences" under your home folder, and most of them are named after the program, so you should look for a preferences file containing "Photo Object" in its name.

As before, my suggestion is quite vague because I don't have the program and cannot test it, but these are the kind of things I would first try if I had the same problem.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 10:07 PM   #14
colinet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Member(TM) View Post
Another thing you may try is edit the preferences file. With a bit of luck, it will be human readable and it will contain some obvious text like "Automatic updates: YES" where you can simply replace the YES with a NO. Preferences files are usually located in the folder "Library / Preferences" under your home folder, and most of them are named after the program, so you should look for a preferences file containing "Photo Object" in its name.
Good suggestion, but I suspect it might be optimistic!! I'll see if there is a prefs file there.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 05:36 PM   #15
NeedsCoffee
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The solution is the hosts file mod

The solution offered by Member(TM) is the answer. I tested this today by monitoring the connections attempted by the app using Wireshark. It attempts to do a DNS lookup for www.hemera.com which of course fails. Once I added the www.hemera.com entry to the hosts file against the 127.0.0.1 entry and saved the file, the app launches properly! I checked the settings in the app, there is no option to disable the update, so this is our only solution - but at least it works. Big relief.

Plenty of blogs out there explaining how to edit your hosts file, just add the following line:
127.0.0.1 www.hemera.com

Hope that helps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Member(TM) View Post
If the crash is caused by the connection failure, maybe the program won't crash if it connects to a random web server even if that server doesn't provide the expected update services. There's a trick to force the software to connect to a server of your choice. The problem is you need to guess what server the software is trying to connect (maybe the crash report has a hint?)

The simplest way is to enable the local web server in your sharing preferences, edit your /etc/hosts file and point the server name to your own computer (i.e. 127.0.0.1).

The line you need to modify usually looks like this:

Code:
# /etc/hosts
127.0.0.1	localhost
You want to change it to something like this:

Code:
# /etc/hosts
127.0.0.1	localhost hemera.com www.hemera.com update.hemera.com updates.hemera.com
If you don't know exactly the subdomain, you may try to guess and write several possibilities, as shown above. To edit the /etc/hosts file you need administrator privileges. TextEdit is not good to edit configuration files, so this is usually done through the command line. If you are not comfortable with the command line, you may try another editor such as TextWrangler, which will prompt you for your administrator password as needed.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:32 PM   #16
colinet
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Tried adding/editing the host file, but it's made no difference at all. Still won't run Snow Leopard on a Mac Mini.

My workaround is rubbish, but it does work - eventually - click to run then when it quits, click on 'Reopen' which never works first time. Hold enter key down with sliver of cardboard jammed down the side and go back to work on my MacPro. Eventually it works - could take up to 100 retries!! but once it's running, it works fine - obviously something to do with timing, just catching it at the right moment or whatever. A better solution would be great, but at least I can access Photo Objects!
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Last edited by colinet; Jan 24, 2013 at 06:59 PM.
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 02:48 AM   #17
Umineko
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The solution is the hosts file mod

I can confirm that the solution posted by Member(TM) does work.
All you have to do is edit your /etc/hosts file.
You will need to use the terminal and use the sudo command with an administrator account to be able to change it.
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