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Author Topic: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...  (Read 4815 times)

Geri O'Neil

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'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« on: January 05, 2012, 11:22:27 pm »

Sorry for the Mac newbie questions, but I'm stuck on a particular area...

We use a few processors that are controlled via RS232 serial port. And for all these processors, the control software is PC-only, no Mac version available. I've bought and returned 3 Expresscard-to-serial port adapters. In each case, they were advertised as being Mac-compatible, but in each case, this was false. And it's hard to believe that I seem to be the first guy to point this out to the makers of those cards.

Since I'm using Parallels 7 with Win Vista, I tried to get Parallels/Windows to see the Expresscard and go through the "install new hardware" routine, but this never happened, either.

I've searched for a USB-to-serial solution, but again, I haven't seen one with Mac drivers. There IS one at Best Buy that "claims" to be, but I don't want to do the buy and return routine again.

So I am at a crossroad. Should I consider a serial-to-LAN idea? Or has anyone else had success of any kind with this scenario?

Otherwise, my Mac experience has gone pretty well. Thanx for any help...

Geri O
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Ryan Peacher

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 12:03:52 am »

Since I'm using Parallels 7 with Win Vista, I tried to get Parallels/Windows to see the Expresscard and go through the "install new hardware" routine, but this never happened, either.

Hello Geri...

I know that in VM-Ware, you have to tell the virtual machine which OS to connect the device to... In VM-Ware, this is located in the tool bar at the bottom of the window... The device shows up as an icon, and you have to tell it to connect to Windows, or else Mac OS X takes control over it...

You shouldn't need an RS232 converter that is compatible with OS X, since you are using it with Windows...

Hopefully this helps, and that you can find a similar option within Parallels...

Good Luck!
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Ollie Morrish

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 12:25:05 am »


So I am at a crossroad. Should I consider a serial-to-LAN idea? Or has anyone else had success of any kind with this scenario?


Hi Geri,

I use a Gigaware USB - Serial adaptor that I bought from Radioshack of all places.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3120513&CAWELAID=174180240

I run Windows 7 on Parallels, and before that I used XP. Can't speak for Vista. The trick is that you install the driver on Windows, not on OS X. Also, don't have the adaptor plugged in until windows is fully booted. When you do plug it in it will ask you if you want to use it with Windows or Mac, and you should choose Windows.

I use this regularly with Soundwebs, DFR-11's, and an iCom scanner and it's rock solid.

Good Luck,
Ollie
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Riley Casey

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 12:19:37 pm »

Have you tried to end run this by simply booting the Mac into Windoze directly and not running the Mac OS and the virtual machine software?  I think getting the serial port to work in that mode and then moving onto the Parallels adventure might be useful.  If you haven't yet tried this just hold the option key down as you restart the mac and it will show the available start up OSs.

Greg_Cameron

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 02:06:58 pm »

Hi Geri,

I use a Gigaware USB - Serial adaptor that I bought from Radioshack of all places.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3120513&CAWELAID=174180240

I run Windows 7 on Parallels, and before that I used XP. Can't speak for Vista. The trick is that you install the driver on Windows, not on OS X. Also, don't have the adaptor plugged in until windows is fully booted. When you do plug it in it will ask you if you want to use it with Windows or Mac, and you should choose Windows.

I have the exact same setup: cheap Rat Shack USB to RS232 adapter, Parallels and Win 7 64. I have no issue controlling my XTA or Xilica processors with that setup.

Greg
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Geri O'Neil

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 08:51:38 pm »

Okay, thanx to everyone's help directly or indirectly, I have determined a coupe of things...

A. The PDF copy of the complete user manual of Parallels would have been a handy thing to have on hand when I firsted started using it. Getting it tonight and thoroughly reading it tonight has been enlightening.

B. My install of Parallels is corrupt or at least incomplete. I should see an option of which OS to use when a USB device is connected. And where to install the drivers. I've never seen this option. And I'm not seeing the Paralllels preference option at all now, although I remember seeing it at first.

It appears that I need to start over with Parallels and Windows 7 this time.
The guys that sold me the Expresscard to serial unit sent a refund and said to not send it back. They asked me to just let them know if I had any luck installing it either way.

I'll let you know what happens. For now, I gotta get through 4 more days of a new governor's inaugural events. Oh yeah, and get a newly-aquired PM5D ready for a run of shows starting next weekend.

Thanx, all. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Geri O
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Trevor Ludwig

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 01:02:13 pm »

Okay, thanx to everyone's help directly or indirectly, I have determined a coupe of things...

A. The PDF copy of the complete user manual of Parallels would have been a handy thing to have on hand when I firsted started using it. Getting it tonight and thoroughly reading it tonight has been enlightening.

B. My install of Parallels is corrupt or at least incomplete. I should see an option of which OS to use when a USB device is connected. And where to install the drivers. I've never seen this option. And I'm not seeing the Paralllels preference option at all now, although I remember seeing it at first.

It appears that I need to start over with Parallels and Windows 7 this time.
The guys that sold me the Expresscard to serial unit sent a refund and said to not send it back. They asked me to just let them know if I had any luck installing it either way.

I'll let you know what happens. For now, I gotta get through 4 more days of a new governor's inaugural events. Oh yeah, and get a newly-aquired PM5D ready for a run of shows starting next weekend.

Thanx, all. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Geri O


First, I would suggest upgrading to Windows 7.  It has a much better driver database and it installs things much more fluidly.  Aside from that, unfortunately, my only advice is getting the right tool for the job.  If you happen to need a PC to run software and connect a serial connection to configure something simple, just go out and buy a refurb, or used laptop just to do that.  I have 3 at my house, can't be that hard to come by.

Trevor
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 01:30:34 pm »


First, I would suggest upgrading to Windows 7.  It has a much better driver database and it installs things much more fluidly.  Aside from that, unfortunately, my only advice is getting the right tool for the job.  If you happen to need a PC to run software and connect a serial connection to configure something simple, just go out and buy a refurb, or used laptop just to do that.  I have 3 at my house, can't be that hard to come by.

Trevor

Thank you for stating the obvious.  I've been holding my tongue on this.

I suspect when Geri figures in what his time is worth, the results would buy a Windoze laptop and working RS232/RS455 adapter.  Sure, it's another thing to take to a gig... but it will work (and if it doesn't, support is much easier to come by).

Tim "uses 'nix, winderz and macs" Mc
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Riley Casey

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 02:44:44 pm »

Actually, a current Mac IS a Windows computer as long as the OS is installed on the HD and the computer is booted into Windows.  Where Geri is running into grief I expect is in the translation between the virtual machine running within the Mac OS and the guest OS, in this case Win Vista.  I have been using a Macbook Pro with a copy of XP installed for years and I have had no more ( or less trouble ) with those hardware and the software that are Windows specific than I have with the Gen-U-Wine IBM Thinkpad that lives in the shop.  The Mac just seems a bit more solidly built but I'd expect that for the price premium.  I would by far prefer to have an Apple made computer running windows than most of the cheesy Dells and HPs that I see so many people struggling to make work on show sites.  We've run our shop on Macs for 24 years and the only PCs we have are the accounting computer ( as Quickbooks for MAc is even more lame than Quickbooks for Windows if you can imagine that ) and the aforementioned Thinkpad that was bought before I started installing Windows on the show Macs.



First, I would suggest upgrading to Windows 7.  It has a much better driver database and it installs things much more fluidly.  Aside from that, unfortunately, my only advice is getting the right tool for the job.  If you happen to need a PC to run software and connect a serial connection to configure something simple, just go out and buy a refurb, or used laptop just to do that.  I have 3 at my house, can't be that hard to come by.

Trevor

Tim McCulloch

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Re: 'Nother Mac Inquiry...
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 02:51:32 pm »

QB for Mac is waaaaay lame and is my primary source of frustration when using our union local's Mac.

Also agree that generic, consumer Dell, HP and Gateway laptops aren't typically robust enough for show work.  Funny, but when I see the "big guns" of audio break out computers, they're older Toshiba, Panasonic or Motion Computing units.  Fairly certain I've seen some Pentium 3 machines out there...
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut
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