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eHam Forums => Computers And Software => Topic started by: W2ZS on January 10, 2013, 12:00:52 PM



Title: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W2ZS on January 10, 2013, 12:00:52 PM
I have about had it with my windows PC crashes and other problems, and am thinking about getting a new Mac.

A some of questions, I understand the new Mac's do NOT have an audio input.
Is this a problem interfacing a transceiver?
Is lack of audio input a problem for digital modes such as PSK31, RTTY?
Am I correct I can transfer my log from HRD to a Mac logging program?

Art (a very fustrated PC user)


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W8JX on January 10, 2013, 01:46:51 PM
I do not know about your crashes but if you have them is is usually hardware related or a errant program. I cannot remember the last crash I have had. In the PC world there is far greater support for radio apps than is Mac's are not without problems of their own. How old is your current PC?


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: N7SMI on January 10, 2013, 02:24:16 PM
I *LOVE* my MacBook, but admit I still use a PC for radio rig control, contest logging, etc. I agree that if you maintain a clean system, any crashes are likely hardware related.

Most new Macs (at least the laptops) do have audio input, but it is integrated into the headphone/audio out port. It uses a 4-conductor plug, the same as is used on iPhones and iPads. For separate input/output ports, you'd need a splitter like this one - http://speechrecsolutions.com/iPad_audio.html#iphoneheadsetadapter Or you could get a USB adapter - something like the Signalink USB works splendidly with Macs.

HRD will output ADIF which can be imported into any logging program worth using.


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: K5UNX on January 10, 2013, 07:26:34 PM
I hate Windows problems as well. Switched to a Mac for my main personal machine last year. But I still have a Win machine or two. I find that if I reinstall Windows and rebuild the machine every so often, it keep the problems away. I do my work laptop about every 6-9 months depending on the problems.


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W8JX on January 10, 2013, 08:10:06 PM
I hate Windows problems as well. Switched to a Mac for my main personal machine last year. But I still have a Win machine or two. I find that if I reinstall Windows and rebuild the machine every so often, it keep the problems away. I do my work laptop about every 6-9 months depending on the problems.


I have never had to reload a windows machine for over 10 years and it was not from lack of pushing envelope either. If you have good hardware and enough. RAM that you do not have to page memory a lot to HD windows is very relible. I have maintained a lot of machines and win versions too. Been using 64bit since Vista with no problems. People that have problems have bad hardware or use questionable software. My daughter has a Mac book she used with getting her MBA but I was not impressed vs a new PC laptop. You can get a lot more laptop for less in PC world than Mac world.


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: NA4IT on January 11, 2013, 07:10:32 AM
Might I suggest a Linux variant, such as Puppy or Ubuntu. FLDigi will work on either very well. Couple it with a Signalink USB and you're good to go for digital operation. There are also logging softwares available for Puppy and Ubuntu, and yes, you should be able to import you existing log.

Also, Puppy will run off a bootable USB stick...


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W2ZS on January 11, 2013, 08:18:39 AM
Thanks all

Yes it was a hardwear problem that started it all. Crashes and blue screens of death appear to have been cause by some bad memory.
After I replaced the memory cards with new ones system is stable...no more blue screens...but now have lost all the com ports in device manager.
Can't get HRD deluxe to connect (worked well for 5 years before) could not get signals into DM780. Device manager refuses to open systems and I get message that my windows is not genuine.

It has occurred to me today that when windows was loaded onto this machine it still had the memory problem. I guess it need to be reformatted and OS loaded fresh.

I have read that new Mac desktops do not have any audio inputs.

Art


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W8JX on January 11, 2013, 08:53:23 AM
Thanks all

Yes it was a hardwear problem that started it all. Crashes and blue screens of death appear to have been cause by some bad memory.
After I replaced the memory cards with new ones system is stable...no more blue screens...but now have lost all the com ports in device manager.
Can't get HRD deluxe to connect (worked well for 5 years before) could not get signals into DM780. Device manager refuses to open systems and I get message that my windows is not genuine.

It has occurred to me today that when windows was loaded onto this machine it still had the memory problem. I guess it need to be reformatted and OS loaded fresh.

I have read that new Mac desktops do not have any audio inputs.

Art

How old is laptop and what is its hardware configuration.


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W8VVE on January 14, 2013, 05:31:18 AM
Increase memory (RAM).  Most of us buy a computer with a small amount of RAM.
Sure it works fine but over the years...programs and applications are requiring more
memory. Before I'd consider buying a new pc...I'd install more RAM.  73...Sam W8VVE


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W8JX on January 14, 2013, 09:06:11 AM
Increase memory (RAM).  Most of us buy a computer with a small amount of RAM.
Sure it works fine but over the years...programs and applications are requiring more
memory. Before I'd consider buying a new pc...I'd install more RAM.  73...Sam W8VVE

Sometimes this depends on age of PC because then you have to consider HD speed and its viability due to its age. Sometimes you can be throwing good money after bad. Especially given that you can get a new entry level laptop in 300's that is far ahead of old PC in speed, hardware and memory too.


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: N6SBN on January 14, 2013, 09:32:31 PM
  My IMAC has audio in and out plugs.  They're the little ? 3.5 mm (earphone style) jacks.

  My Imac has connected to both of my radios through the USB cables, appropriate for the radio.  This is for rig control and the Singalink.

  I get Rig control from Rumtrol7000  and the FL RIG for mac.  FLDIGI works.   Most mac programs are not as developed as the windows variants, but they do work well.


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: AE5J on January 16, 2013, 06:41:44 AM
I have been a computer systems engineer since we barely had computers and have worked with almost everything ever made - programming in machine code (and lots of others) for military and space hardware systems. I won't comment on the usefulness of either PC or Mac. I have a Mac G5 that I was given by a granddaughter. I have several built/purchased PC's.

I will say this. I have always been, and remain, deeply offended by Apple's policy of "planned obsolescence" and their obvious disregard for their customer base. When one of their machines falls out of favor at Apple, it is just too bad for those customers who paid out the nose for Mac systems. I even had a Mac tech one day who told me, "Don't be cheap, go buy a new Mac system." In a pig's eye.

I also deplore the software situation that exists with every Apple product. If you need software for a specific application, chances are it will not have been written for a Mac. Why? Sales volume and proprietary policies. I don't want to have to spend months writing software when I can get it already written for a lot less than my time would cost. I wouldn't (and haven't) ever considered writing software to sell for a product that sells 1 system for every 25 the competition sells.

You should consider these two items carefully before spending hard-earned money on a computer. PC's can be made extremely reliable if you are diligent about junk software, watch for hardware problems, and learn your system. Others have mentioned system memory. Mac's are not the trouble-free panacea some would have you believe. Heaven help you if they obsolete your hardware/software combination.

One last thing to consider. Both Mac's and PC's now use Intel processors. Guess who has more experience designing system architecture for the Intel chip set?

Just my comments anyway. Worth exactly what you paid for them.

73   Pete


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W8JX on January 16, 2013, 01:18:20 PM

One last thing to consider. Both Mac's and PC's now use Intel processors. Guess who has more experience designing system architecture for the Intel chip set?


This in itself was a big concession of sorts for Apple. In year past the first used CPU of Motorola 68k series an then when to RISC (reduced instruction set cpu/computer) because at time it offered higher clock speeds than intel logic but required much different code. When Intel finally "broke" the speed barrier with their CISC CPU's, CISC lost favor and they went to Intel logic. A similar battle is about to be waged by Intel in tablet smart phone logic too. Currently ARM CPU's rule here because because of their power efficiency and speed (they are RISC CPU's too) Intel has long ignored this market but this is changing. It seems the that the current "lowly" Atom CPU is actually faster than all but a few of the latest ARM CPU's. Intel is launching a new generation of Atoms that are targeted to tablets and phones and are very low in power usage. In late 2013 they plan release of a quad core atom that will beat any ARM currently available easily. Microsoft made a big blunder when they entered tablet market and tried to play Apple in marketing the Windows RT tablet. It uses a ARM CPU only and WILL NOT support legacy windows apps because of ARM CPU limitations. MS then want you to buy all new apps for it on line.  Other manufactures of Windows tablets are using Intel Atom CPU and run "regular" Windows 8 and have legacy support. Because of this any one considering a Windows tablet for legacy support of apps (which is good to have) need to select a tablet that DOES NOT run/use Windows RT.   


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: W4MMR on January 22, 2013, 05:08:45 PM
Art,
There is a device called an iMic made by Griffin Technology that can be used on computers that have no audio inputs - it is a USB device.

http://store.griffintechnology.com/imic

Mark


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: KB1YWP on January 23, 2013, 11:54:25 AM
Just a little bummed out. Wile trying to download EchoLink app
I'm finding that EchoLink does not support Safari .

Is there another way other than spending money on something like Parallels ?

 I'm using a Mac Book Pro 


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: K9IUQ on January 24, 2013, 02:22:25 PM
I will say this. I have always been, and remain, deeply offended by Apple's policy of "planned obsolescence" and their obvious disregard for their customer base.

My thoughts exactly. I was an Apple fan for a very long time, in fact I started my Apple buying with an Apple II.  :D

I hate Apple after 20 plus years of them. Give me a PC any day. When it came time to buy a Tablet I almost bought an iPad. Then I remembered why I stopped buying Apple products. I got a nice Android tablet instead.  :D :D
FWIW I do own an iPod, my only concession to Apple these days. I never buy anything from iTunes tho.

I have been the Linux route too. Give me Windows anyday..

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: K1CJS on January 25, 2013, 04:01:43 AM
One thing that almost always affects crashes in some computer systems are the way the machines are maintained.  All too many people think that PCs--or any computer system, for that matter--don't get choked up by dirt and dust.  I went to a small business about a year ago that was suffering crashes on its server system, a computer that was tucked into a closet that I found out, after the fact, had a problem with dust.  The owner had just ordered a new server, and I was there to install it.

Part of the payment was that I took the old server with me--an older IBM IntelliStation Z Pro.  After doing the work and getting the server up and running, I had the chance to open up the old server back at home.  You wouldn't believe the amount of dust and dirt that had built up inside!  After disassembling the server down to its parts and brushing and blowing the dirt out (and restoring the cooling airflow) the old server ran fine!  It's now my home server, and I have, after showing the business owner the restored machine--along with what came out of it--and how it's now running, a cleaning contract that will both keep all his machines clean and running properly--and my wallet comfortable too.

Do yourself a favor.  If and when you're experiencing more and more crashes and failure of programs to execute properly, take your machine offline and clean it out or get it cleaned.  Even if you're not having any problems, do it at least once a year--more often if the machine is in a dusty environment.  There's a good chance that doing that may just relieve your problems--and make your computer systems last longer too!


Title: RE: New Mac Desktops
Post by: K3NPO on February 04, 2013, 08:58:19 AM
I love my macbook pro... and there's plenty of software to support ham operation on it from what I can tell so far. I only got licensed last month, but have been searching and installing anything relevant I can find...

I've currently got the following installed:
  • Aether (simple and efficient, a pricier alternative for logging is MacLoggerDX)
    EchoMac (haven't used yet)
    CocoaModem (haven't used yet)
    SdrRX (works great)
    Morse Mania (use all the time to learn Morse currently)
    MacDoppler (track the satellites, a little buggy but overall works)

And then don't forget about:
  • CrossOver

A pretty nifty app that will let you install windows programs on your mac... doesn't work for all programs, but supports a lot.