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Old 08-01-2014, 20:19   #1
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SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

A friend who is going to cross the Atlantic is planning to purchase a new MAC computer with dual boot Windows and MAC.
He has SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier, not sure which one) + Winlink + Airmail.
Will it make any difference if he installs WinXP, Win7 or Win8 with regard to the drivers?

Which Windows OS version would be best to install on the dual boot for ease using SSB and Pactor with Winlink and Airmail?

I understand Win8 treats Com ports differently somehow.
Also this friend he had a problem with new com ports being created under his present OS Windows Vista.

Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2014, 21:12   #2
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

I would run Parallels vs. dual boot, just easier to deal with IMO. I have experience with XP and Win7 only, both work well.
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Old 08-01-2014, 22:11   #3
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

I'm using a Pactor IIe (P3) with a Macbook Pro running VMWare Fusion and XP with only one minor problem.... I can't get it to recognise any of my 3rd party Icom C-IV cables so I have to set the frequencies manually.
I have also used it with a Netbook running XP, and two other PCs running W7, no problems with any of them and the C-IV cables.
I did have to find new drivers somewhere along the line... can't remember where or what for though.
I think I would steer clear of W8.
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Old 09-01-2014, 00:53   #4
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Actually, you could run the mac os x by itself, and run sailmail or winlink in crossover.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:33   #5
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Thanks guys that is helpful. Looks like windows 7 would be easiest. I realized I did not say he is using usb connections and lots of ferrules as there were noise issues with the win vista laptop, on which vista kept adding com ports, according to my friend.

I think he likes the dual boot to keep his personal stuff on the mac and ship stuff on windows, but it would be informative to know what your experience is and what setup you prefer with a mac.

I am considering getting a new Dell tablet because of size, with gps for the trip, I wonder if that is asking for trouble. I'd like to run email airmail with ssb pactor opencpn and other favorite nav programs and word and excel. Will I hit some walls?


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Old 09-01-2014, 05:44   #6
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I'm using a Pactor IIe (P3) with a Macbook Pro running VMWare Fusion and XP with only one minor problem.... I can't get it to recognise any of my 3rd party Icom C-IV cables so I have to set the frequencies manually.
I have also used it with a Netbook running XP, and two other PCs running W7, no problems with any of them and the C-IV cables.
I did have to find new drivers somewhere along the line... can't remember where or what for though.
I think I would steer clear of W8.
Cheers,
El Ping
I don't think this is a Mac problem. If you're communicating with the modem, you either have a config issue with the software, or a cable issue between the modem and radio. The modem controls the radio, not the software on the Mac.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:22   #7
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Is parallels similar to vmfusion? Does it create a virtual machine in which we install windows?

Also does mac allow and enable creation of a dual boot without having to reinstall the mac os? In other words can it get out of the way of 80 to 100 go of disk space and create a new partition for windows without requiring reformatting of the hard disk... not sur win can do this in fact it can't.!


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Old 09-01-2014, 06:31   #8
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

Yes, parallels and fusion are similar in their capabilities. The key is that they run Windows as an app within OSx so you can have windows and Mac apps running side by side. The problem with bootcamp, in my opinion, is that you have to boot one way or the other. I want to run both at the same time, and fusion/parallels all that.

I don't know about creating dual boot without having to reinstall MacOS, but you can definitely install Fusion without upsetting MacOS.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:32   #9
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
Is parallels similar to vmfusion? Does it create a virtual machine in which we install windows?

Also does mac allow and enable creation of a dual boot without having to reinstall the mac os? In other words can it get out of the way of 80 to 100 go of disk space and create a new partition for windows without requiring reformatting of the hard disk... not sur win can do this in fact it can't.!


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Yes, Parallels, like VMWare Fusion, creates a virtual machine instance to install windows.

IIRC, OSx Boot Camp stopped supporting WinXP. I believe only Win7/8. You would need BC from an older version of OSx to get the WinXP support (hardware drivers, etc.).

I've used both Parallels and VMWare, both are adequate, I found Parallels to be better performance and little more intuitive, at least in the point releases I was comparing at the time. YMMV. Both will dun you for upgrades with major releases costing $$.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:14   #10
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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Both will dun you for upgrades with major releases costing $$.
We have used VMWare Fusion since version 1.0 (now at ver 6). We have voluntarily upgraded 3 times in 7yrs or so. We have only been "forced" to upgrade once (got a new computer whose OS wasn't supported by the older version of Fusion).

One upgrade cost $20 and the other two $30, so not that much money in the scheme of things.

Also, you are licensed to use it on all computers you own. So the cost of upgrades are less expensive for our two computers.

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Old 09-01-2014, 07:23   #11
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I'm running latest VMware fusion on mavericks. Much better then dual boot, your protected from BSofD taking out the machine.

I do find mavericks to be generally slower and VMware is also a little slower then mountain lion ( 8gb i5 quad core )

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Old 09-01-2014, 07:29   #12
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

The other advantage of a virtual machine is if you do get a virus or have other serious problems with Windows, you simply delete the Windows machine, restore your last snapshot or backup and you are good to go again in minutes.

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Old 09-01-2014, 09:25   #13
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

colemj, goboatingnow, and twistedtree
Can you each write what the setup is, what versions of Windows, and if you connect to pactor and ssb, what version of pactor, and if you have any trouble with usb connections to pactor etc.

Would like to know if Win8 works ok too.

Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:42   #14
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

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The other advantage of a virtual machine is if you do get a virus or have other serious problems with Windows, you simply delete the Windows machine, restore your last snapshot or backup and you are good to go again in minutes.

Mark
Good point! been there/done that!

Not only problems, but if you simply want to move/add a machine to your arsenal!
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:20   #15
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Re: SSB + Pactor 3 (or earlier) + MAC

I have a Windows 7 laptop and had trouble connecting the Pactor II modem via USB-Serial cable. It is looking like the cheap eBay USB-Serial cables don't work with the Pactor serial communication. It is interesting that the USB-Serial cable seems to work when using a telnet session (I can talk to the Pactor II modem); however, I kept getting weird modem communication errors with both Airmail and RMS Express. I confirmed this by dragging my old desktop computer, with a serial port, to the boat and was able to send/receive email and then failed when using the cheapo USB-Serial cable. I have a more expensive (FTDI based) USB-Serial cable on order, which folks on the internet claim works. From what I've seen, the low-cost USB-Serial cables don't work well.

Having said that - there might be USB port assignment and USB-Serial cable issues too, especially when running Windows on a Mac. I doubt the mac has a serial port.

As far as which version of Windows - I tried Windows 8 for about 2 months and went back to Windows 7. I did not like the "metro" interface. I'm now of the opinion that I'll keep using Windows 7 forever.

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