Packaging & Deploying the TI-SmartView CE 84 Emulator

This is based on a post I made on Jamfnation back in March.

I recently started testing some of our existing software on the latest version of macOS Sierra (10.12.5) and ran into an issue with the TI-SmartView CE emulator software for Mac when trying to activate with our institution’s license that was a result of a change Texas Instruments had made to the software installer that wasn’t communicated and is somewhat buried line in their software installation and activation knowledge base article.

See the details below.

The Problem

When TI-SmartView CE is installed via its install PKG, a file gets created in /Library/Application Support/TI-SmartView CE 84/res/. This file is essentially a template in order to automatically activate a perpetual serial number when the software was launched for the first time. As a result, you could run the TI-SmartView PKG installer and then install a separately packaged file to this directory so that when a user launched the application for the first time it became activated.

However, in the most recent version of the software while the file still gets created through the installer in the directory specified above, the PKG installer as part of its install process now actively looks for a file in the same directory as the PKG installer.

The Solution

Create a PKG installer and put both the standard TI-SmartView CE install PKG and the file in the same directory – I use /private/tmp/.

I created a postinstall script to log the install and remove both files afterward.

## postinstall


writelog () {
    /bin/echo $(date) "${1}" >> "$LOG"

# Function to remove all install files after successful install
removeallfiles () {
    rm "$INSTALLER"
    if [ $? = 0 ]; then
        writelog "TI-SmartView installer deletion successful!"
        writelog "TI-SmartView installer deletion failed."

    rm "$LICENSE"
    if [ $? = 0 ]; then
        writelog "TI-SmartView license deletion successful!"
        writelog "TI-SmartView license deletion failed."

# Checks for both the PKG & License, and installs if both exist
if [ -f "$INSTALLER" ] && [ -f "$LICENSE" ]; then
    writelog "CHECK: TI-SmartView installer and detected. Installing ..."

    sudo installer -pkg "$INSTALLER" -target /

    if [ $? = 0 ]; then
        writelog "TI-SmartView installation successful!"
        writelog "TI-SmartView installation failed."
        exit 1
    writelog "ERROR: TI-SmartView installer and/or file not detected."
    exit 1


Below is the standard file.


# for TI-SmartView CE for the TI-84 Plus Family 5.1 and TI-SmartView pour la famille TI-83 5.1
# Creates an empty file immediately after activation. The file name indicates success or failure using the following format: <AppName>-<Success/Failure>- <Host name>-<Date>-<Time>.log
# Example, if TI-SmartView CE for the TI-84 Plus Family Software were installed successfully on the ClassDesktop01 computer on August 15, 2011, at 2:30 p.m., this entry would appear: TISmartViewCE84-Success- ClassDesktop01-20110815-1430.log
# Accepted values: A valid Unix, UNC, or Windows path.
# License Number of the TI software to be activated on the client computer.
# Accepted Values: A valid 31-digit license number.
# When ACTIVATE is set to YES, the software chooses a random value between 1 and the specified value to wait before the activation Volume attempt and between attempts. This prevents a large number of clients from attempting to communicate with the activation server at the same time.
# The system tries automatically to activate up to three times.
# Accepted Values: 0 - 600 (Default: 600)

To build your own file, you’ll need a valid 31-digit license number in the format of XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXXX (dashes must be included).

While you can leave the deploy.log.dir value blank, you must have a value for activation.time.limit.  I just put 1.


When you deploy your package, it will copy both the standard TI-SmartView CE install PKG and file to your chosen directory and then run the postinstall script which installs the software and applies your license.

When the software is run for the first time it should automatically activate and not prompt the user to manually enter a license.


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