Canada Post’s tools are a must-have for many businesses shipping in Canada. Even though many of the tasks you can do for business mailing are now accessible on their website one mainstay office tool is still desktop-only. That’s EST Desktop 2.0.
EST (Electronic Shipping Tools) Desktop lets you connect to a digital scale, prepare bulk shipments, mail quick-ship and thermal labels, prepare manifests, and generally do a lot of the “fun stuff”. Oh, and EST Desktop 2.0 is super old. Old enough that the recommended operating systems for it are “Windows 2000, XP or Vista”.
If you’re working in a Mac office, like me, you might think you’ll be stuck running Windows in boot camp or a VM to use EST. Thankfully, there’s another option that works remarkably well and doesn’t need Windows at all.
CrossOver is an emulator for OS X, based on the Wine project for Linux. CrossOver runs Windows applicants in small containers called “bottles” while making them think they’re running on Windows. It even comes with a little wizard to help install new applications.
Crossover tends to work well with less graphical office-style applications, and runs EST Desktop like a champ, even auto-detecting my network printer without any hassle. You can get it as a 15 day free trial, and the full version costs $59 (although can often be found on sale in bundles).
Download the latest trial of CrossOver for Mac from CodeWeavers. They’ll ask you to register for a trial key, and then a zip will download. Extract it and run the CrossOver app inside, then accept when it offers to move itself to the Applications folder.
Download EST Desktop 2.0 from Canada Post. You’ll be asked to log in with your business account and then a file called something like EST2.0Setup.exe will download. You can put it anywhere you’d like.
Now the fun part…
CrossOver registers itself to the .exe file extension on MacOS, so you can directly launch the downloaded exe file to open it in CrossOver.
You’ll be asked to search for the name of the software you’re installing. In this field enter “EST Desktop” and select the “Unlisted Application “EST Desktop”” option that appears.
If you click continue from this point the CrossOver Software Installer will skip to the last step, and display the options it has automatically selected.
It’s safe to accept the defaults and click “Install”. CrossOver will create an Windows XP-like environment bottle that the EST installer can run within. The EST Desktop 2.0 installer will automatically launch.
…and that’s it!
There you have it! I hope this process proves useful for you and your Mac office.