Win7-64: SMAC/X can't Alt-Tab to other windows or use Win7 file dialogs?

smacfan

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Dec 28, 2005
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Hi All,

Just installed Planetary Pack on my Win7-64 system. It's been a long while since I played, though I still had it laying around on my old WinXP system.

I followed all the patch advice I could find, applied the XP/2000 patch and the Unofficial patch from scient and I can now start either SMAC or SMAX and start a game. However, on my WinXP system I had in the Alpha Centauri.ini file this line:

WindowsFileBox=1

And I copied it to my new ini file before I first started up, which caused me no end of grief, as it seems that both SMAC and SMAX insist on staying "on top", hiding the Windows "Open FIle" box when you want to load a game or a scenario or anything else (also for Save Game, obviously). So now I am back to WindowsFileBox=0 and I get the in-game file dialogs, so that works OK. I don't like it, but it works.

BUT -- I still cannot Alt-Tab away from SMAC or SMAX to another application. Even Task Manager "Switch To" (at least Task Manager comes up on top of SMAC/X to start with) will not actually go to the other application.

Is this because we have to use DirectDraw=0 to get desktop screen resolution on modern systems? IMHO the inability to Alt-Tab away from SMAC/X would seem to be related to not being able to use the Windows file dialogs.

It's possible that Alt-Tab away from SMAC/X was never something that could be done (I honestly don't remember if I ever could), but at least with WindowsFileBox=1 the Windows file dialogs could be used.

Any thoughts or advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.

[Edit] I tried setting my graphics resolution down to 1024x768, and in that mode you can Alt-Tab away from SMAC/X and I suspect (but didn't test) that WindowsFileBox=1 would work as well. I begin to suspect that with DirectDraw=0 the Alt-Tab switch away can't change the resolution and just goes back to the game that set the "current" resolution. Just a SWAG though.

Unfortunately, staying at 1024x768 just is not an alternative on my system, the screen is just too coarse and grainy to be at all useable. I guess I'll just have to play when I don't need to switch away to some other task and live with the in-game file dialogs. My beef against the in-game file dialogs is that you can't rename or otherwise manipulate files from them as you can with regular Windows file dialogs.

I really hope scient or his team can implement a windowed version if they ever get back to it.
 

Petek

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Does the [PREFERENCES] section of your .ini file contain the line

DisableOpeningMovie=0

? If so, change it to

DisableOpeningMovie=1

You then should be able to Alt-Tab. If not, please post again. The game will still run full-screen when doing so. I haven't been able to figure out how to minimize it and have it stay minimized.

HTH

Petek
 

smacfan

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Thankes Petek. I was, indeed, able to Alt-Tab away after disabling the opening movie.

After trying to actually read the windows I could Alt-Tab to though (I couldn't see the window controls in the upper left corner, for instance, they were just all black), I've decided it's probably best to play SMAC/X in one of my WinXP virtual machines where I can adjust the screen resolution to SMAC/X preferences and still be able to actually read the other windows and can use WindowsFileBox=1 effectively.

One day I may even figure out how to make a VirtualBox "appliance" out of a SMAC/X dedicated WinXP virtual system. Ain't technology wunnerful?

Thanks for helping though.
 

Petek

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Glad to hear that you found a solution that works for you.
 

PeeDub

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I was able to neither alt-tab nor actually disable the opening movie by using that flag. Any ideas?

EDIT: OK, I was confused. I added the flag to the [PREFERENCES] section of my ini file, not realizing it was already there in the [Alpha Centauri] section. Changing it there worked.
 

memorex

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Oct 20, 2011
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Apologies for thread necro, but I've got exactly this issue. I recently installed SMAC/X from GOG on Win7 64-bit and can't alt-tab out of the game.

I changed the line in the .ini file as mentioned in post #2 to DisableOpeningMovie=1. This disables the movie but doesn't help with alt-tabbing.

The only other change I've made is to add DirectDraw=0 to run the game at desktop resolution (even without this line I still can't alt-tab).

Just wondering if anyone got any further with solving this issue -- it would be great to be able to refer to the tech tree chart without quitting the game.
 

Petek

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GOG deliberately disabled Alt-Tab. See the section titled Restoring Alt+Tab support on this page for information how to restore it.
 

memorex

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I wonder why they disabled it? Anyway, the fix worked fine. Thanks for the info and quick response Petek.
 

Petek

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GOG told me that they disabled Alt-Tab because it caused problems when they tested the games. They didn't specify the exact problems, however.
 

Volcanon

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Thats weird, because I could alt-tab when I was virtualizing SMAC. On a real pc I can't.
 
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