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NWC on Linux!

So... what kind of bribage is required for us to get a Linux port of NoteWorthy Composer? :)

I'm sure you could find someone to port the software who would be willing to work for little or no compensation... please port it? Pleeeeease?!? :P

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #1
NoteWorthy works on a good version of Wine. See this tip

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #2

Nick D. actually posted the original message on my behalf, so that explains why I'm hijacking this thread :). I have Linux Mandrake 8.1 and Windows 98. I've tried various things, and so far, nothing's worked fully.

I have two versions of Wine on my system. I got one of them, version 20020411, from . This one runs Notepad and various other programs I have on my Windows partition; it runs NoteWorthy Composer 1.70, but the notes appear as square blocks (though not all score components do; the orchestral score bracket appears correctly for instance). I have a screenshot if anyone wants it. Incidentally I have to use Freetype 2.1.0 or earlier with this; 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 both result in an unhandled exception for all Windows programs I've tried.

The other version of Wine on here is the old CVS version with patch found in Matt Johnson's download package. No matter what I do, this one fails to run anything; unhandled exception again. I've tried gcc 2.96 (Mandrake) and gcc 3.1, and I've tried Freetype 2.0.5 (recommended in the instructions), 2.1.0 and 2.1.2.

I had a look at some forum threads from two or three years ago; it's my understanding that Wine needs a patch before it can display the font properly. I'd like to apply this patch to the latest version of Wine, but it doesn't seem to be available for download, unless I just haven't looked hard enough.

Am I the only one having this problem, and does anyone have any suggestions?

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #3
I have had similar frustrations getting NWC working with
Wine. Although I'd love to have an easier path to making it
work "out of the box" with Wine (or more time to mess with
it), this is only a stopgap measure anyway, in my opinion.

Wine will continue to get better and better, but native
apps is what will make Linux better, not Wine.  In fact,
the improvements in Wine might have a detrimental effect
on Linux, because it makes developers less interested in
developing native apps that are as good or better than their
Windows counterparts.  (Try running Evolution vs.
Outlook-in-Wine to see a native app that beats the Windows

I have stated before in this forum that I am confident that
many NWC users would much prefer to be able to work in
Linux.  I reiterate this claim and ask again what it
would take to get a porting effort underway.

I don't use Windows at work or home anymore, but I haven't
done any NWC work in a while either.  I'm ready to sit
down to my music again.  However, to be perfectly honest,
I'm thinking of trying out the various Linux music
notation programs.  I don't feel like switching, because
NWC is great, but I'm not interested in customizing
Wine, etc., to get it to work.

My $0.02.


Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #4
I agree, a nice Linux port would be very valuable.  However, as people on this forum often point out to ME (not that this stops me, mind you ;-),  most of the NWC users aren't as techno-savvy as the rest of us.  Which means the majority of the users wouldn't benefit from a port, which means it's not likely.

But for what it's worth, I still support this idea 100%.  The sooner my music programs are available in Linux, the sooner I can stop using windows altogether!


Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #5
Hear Hear

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #6
Since moving to Linux some years ago, I have stopped using NWC.  I find that with timidity, abc, abc2midi, abcm2ps and kghostview I can create an environment that is just as good as  NWC.

I suppose it all depends on what you need.  The only thing I miss about NWC is being able to play the tune slowly and watch the cursor move across the screen in time.

I suspect that even that I achieve with Linux with just a little more effort (and fun!).

Thanks for the opportunity.


Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #7
Good for you, Joe!

But that won't affect most present and prospective users of NWC. The do-it-yourself group is quite active on the Internet, for obvious reasons, and are often heard from. But judging from the user base, NWC attracts a lot of people who don't want to go through all of that.

In particular, it seems to attract a lot of school-age learners. Say, are there any elementary school music teachers out there who know how to install and configure Linux on a PC? You have to be able to do it without disabling any of your educational software, of course.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #8
Find it very hard to live without nwc, but it is a fact now. Have tried wine on Debian and Gentoo, but I cannot make it work.

As I have now migrated to Linux for good, I'd like to thank for all the nice moments with nwc on µ$oft. I hope some day there will be a pure linux nwc.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #9
Just a few random thoughts, as a new (and still very green) Linux user:

New distros are getting much better in terms of user-friendliness. In many ways, it's already far easier to install and run Linux than Windows (I refer specifically to my experience with Mandrake 9.1). We can only hope that WinE will eventually become easier to configure and use also.

Tying into another thread about the use of TiMidiTy -- This soundfont-based rendering machine is included in the Mandrake distro by default, once your system is installed, TiMidiTy is already there, configured, and ready to go.

While I'd love to see a native NWC build for Linux, I can understand Noteworthy Software's hesitance in providing one. The *nix community is so used to getting everything for free, that you have to wonder if makes business sense to try to earn a living selling software to *nixers. It would actually make more sense, from this standpoint, to address the opposite end of the spectrum; Macintosh. Mac users are quite used to a closed architecture, and having to pay significant sums for their software.

For myself, I've given myself a year to emigrate from the Billyville, that strip-mall and gated community faceless commercial wasteland along the freeway to the future. I sincerely hope I can get NWC running under WinE by then.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #10
I don't have Linux or Mac, but I do participate in another forum where the software is availabel for Windows and mac platforms. It seems that for that software, and for some other products mentioned by users, there is difficulty in operating system compatibility between OS9, OSX, and OSX.2. The differences may be minor, but just look at all the troubles some users have installing drivers in XP that used to work with W98! Same for Mac.

My point is that cross-platform is great for products, such as Adobe Photoshop, that are a near-monopoly in their field. It might not be a good idea for products that are no a near-monopoly.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #11
Since I live in a town that has one of the mirrors for Linux, and since I had some extra space on my hard drive, I decided to take Fred's advice and try it.

After installing Linux, I only had to re-install Windows XP, and all applications, once. No doubt, during the installation of Linux I answered a question wrong, such as "Do you want KQ_kernel_makeFRngZ set as your X34_whither_DK boot? If you do not know, let this installer make the choice for you Bwah Ha Ha."

At any rate, having eventually obtained a satisfactory system that boots either XP or Linux, the first thing I discovered is that Linux does not have a driver for my WiFi card, which is the only way I connect to the Internet. Now, my browsing experience is enhanced by the availablility of at least 3 browsers on Linux; but if I want to view a web site in any of them, I have to download the site in XP, save it to CD-ROM, then reboot and open the CD-ROM in Linux.

But that doesn't matter. Most of the interesting sites have media content in formats for which Linux doesn't have the players, so I can't see or hear them anyway.

Actually, the drivers DO exist. They are in source code, and need to be compiled. But getting the compiler involves obtaining additional components (also in source code?), none of which I understand.

Not that I'd bother. There are several web boards that are frequented by Linux programmers, and even THEY admit that compiling the source code doesn't necessarily produce software that works as intended. Of course, being programmers, they can pu in about 80 hours to fix the source code.

There are a few outfits that claim to have pre-compiled binaries of the necessary drivers, which they are willing to sell. But they may or may not work on the specific version of Linux installed here. In any event, instead of buying all those separate drivers, I can save up my money, and upgrade to whatever system follows XP.

When I finally got Linux running, and was staring at the screen (in a local pub), I finally blurted out, "Great. Now what do I want this for?" A fellow nearby asked if I was a computer programmer. No, I'm not. He was, and he said that if I wasn't a computer programmer, he couldn't imagine why I would want Linux. For all I know, he was Linus Torvald himself (it's possible).

So, in the end, I don't think we'll see Noteworthy Composer on Linux. There might be a GnoteWurthy_KompZer.0.0.01alpha (in source code, compile it yourself), but I won't interface with any known MIDI drivers except maybe for GMiddi_Zonk.0.03beta (source code, compile it yourself, known bugs).

But I can't knock all that free software that comes with Linux. I have no idea what any of it does, but it's free.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #12
ROTFL! Robert, what a priceless post.

Your points are all valid, of course. I don't know how to compile a Linux program either ("Yet!" he adds defiantly), and in fact it's even hit-and-miss if I can properly install a pre-compiled binary without an RPM (sort of an "install wizard" thingie for Linux).

There's much to be said for setting up Linux on a box that has "established" hardware on it. There are resources for finding out if specific hardware has been tested, if anyone else is still interested after Robert's tale of woe, A listing of URLs for a wide range of Linux builds is available in this post at

I myself have a hardware conflict involving my two soundcards; the "legacy" SB16 devices are apparently at war, both trying to usurp the same (fixed) DMA's and IRQ's. This is one thing to be said for Windows, it's quite easy for the average bear to disable one (or even both, if desired) to resolve the conflict; it must be possible in Linux, but I haven't found it yet.

I'll close with the comment that my first reaction to Linux after installing it for the first time three years ago was exactly the same as Robert's. It's taken me this long to get the nerve up to try again. This time, though, I'm absolutely loving the experience.

Must be senile dementia starting to set in, or perhaps I'm a closet masochist.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #13
I have two ways of dealing with software:

1) Click.
2) Double-click.

If neither of them work, that's the end. And, the last time I dealt with RPM was when I slowed down Judy Collin's recording of "Both sides now" from 45 to 33 so I could sing along.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #14
And, the last time I dealt with RPM was when I slowed down Judy Collin's recording of "Both sides now" from 45 to 33 so I could sing along.

That's gotta be the inverse operation to "playing Black Sabbath on 78-speed."

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #15
Indeed. Speaking of Judy Collins v. Black Sabbath, I now realize what I did wrong the first time I installed Linux on my XP machine. There is a certain mentality among Linux users. Somewhere during the install process, the following dialog appeared:


Not having my glasses on at the time, I read the large type and made the first choice.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #16
Robert, are you sure you didn't install it using the "blank space in the Windows partition" without defragmenting and backing up all data like they asked you to? :-p

On a more serious note, there is at least one definite shortcoming to Linux as it pertains here; it does not yet do sound and music very well yet. I'm having the same kind of difficulty getting midi devices etc. recognized as are many of the unfortunates running XP. When it comes to networking, Linux is unsurpassed. When it comes to other applications like office software, graphics apps, file management, etc. it's anywhere as competent as the later Windows releases. But it might be awhile before that same slickness migrates into sound and midi management.

Another area in which Linux was traditionally handicapped was in the GUI. But now, I think it easily surpasses any other OS in that regard. I can't think of a single thing I've done so far where I *had* to use the console; everything (or almost everything, depending on which Windows Manager you use) can be done by click / doubleclick within the GUI.

Probably the easiest WM for Windows users is KDE (KDE Desktop Environment). It behaves very much like Win32, even down to the "Start Menu". All the usual Windows operations are there. You want themes? There's a kazillion of them.

If you want a look-and-feel more like Macintosh, no problem. Within moments you can shift to the GNOME Windows Manager, the other popular "middle-of-the-road" WM. Want a really fast and minimalist WM that makes Win3.11 look overdpme? Window Maker does exactly that; which is to say, as little as possible. A bit too austere for you? No problem, a nice alternative (but still very snappy) is Blackbox.

At the other end of the spectrum is Enlightenment. This is a very hoitie-toitie WM, beautifully animated and loaded to the pits with fancy graphics. (I found its actual interface somewhat counter-intuitive, though. Guess that's part of the snob appeal, just as the controls on a Rolls-Royce aren't where your average Ford Tempo driver expects them to be.)

The other area where there have been massive UI improvements is in software installation. Used to be you had to type long and arcane commands into the console, one mistake and you were toast. Not anymore, with RPM (RPM Package Manager). It's wonderful, a bit like playing Black Sabbath at 78 speed. Download anything with the .rpm extension, and just double-click on it. Voila, it's installed. As near as I can tell this is only available on the later builds of some of the distros, such as RedHat and Mandrake (I'm using the latter).

Now you just have to figure out where it put it. ;-) Althouth, usually that doesn't matter. For instance, I installed Wine by doing exactly that - double-clicking on the install file. I then just had to do a file search for the configuration program "winesetupk". After running that, it didn't matter any more where Wine was located; I just double-click on the Windows .exe and away it goes.

In short, it's unlikely that Linux will ever replace Windows and Mac for casual users. But for people serious about computing generally, and with perhaps a bit of the gypsy in the soul, it provides an eminantly workable alternative.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #17
Fred's above comment is a good summary of the current features and drawbacks of Linux, as least when it is installed as alternative-boot with a Windows machine.

Actually, Fred, I had no problem with the default Mandrake 9.1 installation to alternative-boot with XP. But when I tried to get Linux to do what I wanted it to do, I failed to understand that boot modifications applied within Linux might percolate outward and interfere with XP. No problem, I DID have backups of everything. Besides written CD-ROM backups, my computer came with on on-board backup partition for XP (an extra third-party feature).

Un-installing Linux was a trick. Even after nuking the partition, the Linux boot welcome screen appeared. Fortunately, Microsoft has a utility for restoring the master boot record, and that fixed it. I may now be the only person in the world who knows how to fully uninstall Linux. There's an expert forum for Linux users, and whenever some Windows users asks "Fine, I tried Linux, now how to I get it off my machine?" the response from the Linux expert is, "Why would you want to do that?"

Do not try this at home, folks.

Back to the original question: NWC is famed for its ease of use. It may not have every feature one would want, but it has a lot of features, and it really gets new users up and running quickly. Most of the forum questions regarding something-or-other that doesn't work are actually problems with the operating system or drivers, not NWC. Given that Linux is missing many drivers, and has less than sparkling media support, and requires great thought to do many common installation and modification tasks (even with GUI), why would the NWC user market be interested in porting to Linux?

At any rate, I tossed Linux. Office applications and networking are not my big needs. But I can see how Linux might be the way to go for a lot of common needs. Until AOL/Time Warner, Apple Quicktime (unlikely!) and Microsoft (!!!) get involved in providing media components for Linux, I expect that it will lnaguish in the entertainment field.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #18
Yes, I can see that there might indeed be issues with XP, since it runs under the NT kernel rather than DOS. For the DOS-based Windows versions (up to and including ME) it's easy to remove the bootloader from the MBR, you just boot into DOS and type "fdisk /mbr". (This information is in the Quick_Startup.pdf file for Mandrake 9.1.)

[From ME, since it doesn't by default come with a "reboot into DOS" option, you'd have to do it from a floppy boot.]

I don't think it's farfetched to imagine Apple providing Quicktime components for Linux. I thought that the present uneasy partnership with Microsoft was far less likely, and yet it happened. (Though it may not last much longer, with Apple providing its own browser, by all reports far superior to IE.) AOL/Time Warner? Piece of cake. AOL's mission in life is to be a thorn in Bill's side. They've spent big bucks on the open-source Mozilla project, essentially thwarting Microsoft's attempt at web domination.

Microsoft itself? You never know. It comes down to whether they can make money at it. If there's a dollar to be made, they'll make it. Bill's present mission is to "make the Chinese pay for software." Maybe if he succeeds with this one (or, more likely, finally gives up) he'll try to sell xsnow to xpenguins. ;-)

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #19
Fred's above comment is a good summary ...
At [abbr=VERBOSE!]554[/abbr] words, that's a summary?!??!?!!?!??!?!!?!??!?!!?

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #20
Oh, 554 words is nothing in the Linux world. It's absolutely staggering how much as been written on the subject, even the built-in "man" (manual) command can go on for many pages, on each of hundreds of native *nix commands.

If you're averse to reading, Linux is not for you. There's even a classic Linux "amusements" program called "xpenguins", in which these penguins walk and fly around the screen doing various cute things. One of the cute things is to sit down periodically and flip pages through a big book. ;-)

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #21
... At the local bookstore, there's not only "Linux for Dummies," there's "Linux for Dummies, for Dummies."

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #22
Linux books tend to have cute titles, too, with trademark pictures of animals on the covers. A title that doesn't exist yet but really should is AWB.

Another one that really should exist is [abbr=Getting NWC's Font To Work Under Wine]GNWCFTWUW[/abbr]. So far I haven't figured out how to get around that little problem. The book would, of course, have a picture of a meadowlark on the cover.

Yes, I had a look at Matt Johnson's instruction on the Scriptorium. Guess I'm one of the "faint-hearted" types referred to there, think I'll wait until someone comes up with a point-and-click RPM solution.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #23
Hi there!

I finally got NoteWorthy 175 and sp2 working on Linux. I got it working on gentoo using the november candidate of wine. Can now view files. The only thing I cannot do thus far is getting midi to work. It won't find any midi mapper. Gotta figure that out, too.

I'll be back.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #24
... halfway there, I guess.

It is possible to change the appearance of the Windows logon screen (XP and 98, I believe). I haven't tried it, but I see not reason why it couldn't be changed to "Welcome to Linux!" and display a picture of a penguin.

That might be the easiest solution, for those who need Linux solely for the purpose of impressing bystanders.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #25
Hi all and happy forthcoming holidays!

Well, firstly I do not use Linux to impress on anybody. And I have no need for such childish nonsence.

Secondly, I now have a running NWC 175 sp2 on my gentoo linux box with the november version of wine (for those who do not know: wine=WINdows Emulation). The reason of me not getting any sound in NWC earlier, was that I had a no good soundcard. Today I bought a Sb Live card with the emu10k1 chip. I simply set up alsa and pmidi and copied some sound fonts from the install CD. That was all.

I have already played the samples and some of my own compositions. Everything sounds great and looks even better. So I guess my decision this summer to give up Microsoft, was a good one.

I also gave up Microsoft, as a result of my soberin up last summer, and as I wanted to start living an honest life. Microsoft products are too expensive for me to keep up with, and as I mostly had pirated goods from Microsoft, I was willing to give that up in order to get a clean conscience.

I don't wish to criticise anybody who likes Microsoft. I like Linux, you like windows. Well, let's be friends anyhow.

Hugz and kissez


Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #26
Sorry, B.H. No criticism implied. I happen to do a lot of work where others can see me. I'm just using my computer for typing. But random observers interrupt, and say, "What do you know about the WRKSICM server on RMSIEM platform with the RMSKEDF protocol?" They assume that I'm a programmer.

At one point, I thought of installing a quick way to change the screen appearance to "Windows 95" whenever I saw someone approaching. But that's not credible with a 1.6GHz wireless laptop. This is similar to putting Mozart over the P.A. system to discourage teenagers from hanging around a store.

And Happy Holidays to all!

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #27
Funny, I thought Wine stood for Wine Is Not an Emulator, in the XINU Is Not Unix way... I must have read an old version.

As my ex-new PC is gone, if I ever buy a new one it'll be with unix (linux and/or macOsX) and/or win95 (in BlueLabel or equivalent). I'm a programmer but as a computer user I don't want to have to be a programmer!! The "configure && make && install" is the most acceptable for any user, even if that user is a programmer. go.bat was the old DOS way.

And that's also why I don't want to be a beta tester of µ$ products. There is no user of µ$. Only betatesters.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #28
Ok.  So I'm trying to tip-toe into linux and I've installed cygwin and
KDE deskop on top of it.  So now I downloaded a *.rpm file.  Fred,
what do you do when you want to run the rpm file in KDE desktop?  I
get an Open file with . . . dialogue box.  Is it supposed to just work?
Francis Beaumier
Green Bay, WI

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #29
Can someone post what it takes to get NWC wrking under a newer version of wine? I am running Fedora Core 1 and Wine 20040213.

When I try to run I get an Unhandeled exception window, but all text inside the window is musical symbols, so I have no idea what it says.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #30
I have NWC running pretty well on this SuSE Linux system.

I installed the Wine 20040309 RPM for SuSE 9.0 that I had downloaded from the Wine website.  I would suggest running an application like winefile at this point to create a ~/.wine directory, but if you're going to use the NWC installer that's not necessary.  I cheated with the NWC installation and copied the installation directory from my NT Partition to my .wine/fake_windows/Program Files directory, but I don't see why the NWC installer wouldn't have worked.  I then had to move the NWCV15.TTF file into .wine/fake_windows/Windows/Fonts (and add the Cresc.ttf and BOXMARKS.ttf files), and finally I created a KDE menu item for NWC.

Some things such as the Printer Setup dialog can be a little slow, but printing through CUPS works fine.  I haven't checked out the MIDI stuff yet although my sound card's external port does show up in the NWC Midi setup dialog (I don't have an on-board MIDI synth on that card).

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #31
Thanks Andrew,

It worked great. The only thing I had to do was to copy all my windows fonts into /.wine/c/windows/fonts. Other wise all the windows had musical noted intead of letters.

Thanks again.

Re: NWC on Linux!

Reply #32
Hello - another Linux relatively-newbie here.

I've got NWC running quite nicely under WINE, with the one exception of the sound output.  It's secondary to my main purpose for using it at the moment (which is to transpose music for a clarinet-playing son) but it would be preferable to have sound as well.

The Tools->Options->Midi tabe comes up with two Midi devices - the wine midi mapper and the one for my sound card.  I've selected both as midi devices, but whichever I tell a staff to use, no sound occurs.

Anyone got sound from NWC in Linux?