(Moderator and writer)
12/12/05 12:23 PM
Re: help Mac user with an iMate!

Technically, there are two different types of EXEs. EXEs are normally Windows programs, which means they don't run on a PocketPC. Normally, people associate CAB files with PocketPC programs, since it is generally a CAB file that is installed on a PocketPC when you add a new program.

However, CAB files are actually archives with a built-in installer script, and if you look carefully, you will discover that they actually install whatever libraries they want as well as an actual program file, probably somewhere in C:\Program Files\, and the actual PocketPC executable is indeed a .EXE file. Still, running a Windows EXE on a PocketPC is just like trying to run a PocketPC program on a Palm or an Amiga or whatever - due to processor differences as well as OS differences, it is impossible without building a complex emulator. Windows XP is far more complex that WIndows Mobile, and PocketPCs are already slower than Windows XP machines, so trying to build an XP emulator for a PocketPC would certainly be a disaster.

If you're not a developer, I wouldn't worry too much about PocketPC EXE files - what you really need is a way to get the CAB file.

One other trick I didn't mention, since it is not generally needed for PocketMac users, is that some Windows EXE installers can just be renamed to .ZIP and decompressed into their component files, which will hopefully get the CAB out of them. This won't work for anything more complicated than a basic self-extracting archive, so make sure you keep a backup of the unmodified EXE. If you try forcing it to be a ZIP, it may work with only the Finder's dearchiver, only Stuffit Expander, or both, so it may be worth trying both methods if the first one doesn't work.

So the answer to your question is, "There is more than one type of EXE file." If you actually get a PocketPC EXE, you can just send it to your PPC and use it, but it is impossible to run a Windows XP EXE on anything other than Windows/a Windows emulator.

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