Hams on Mac

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by M7AUV, Feb 22, 2019.

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  1. M7AUV

    M7AUV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi guys,

    I was in the process of setting up a new win7 laptop just for ham activities, however.. every time I boot it I just want to turn it off.
    I have abandoned the Microsoft world a long time ago, I had Win7 laptop somewhere gathering dust so I thought I'd use it but ugh, it annoys me. It really does.. everything seems sluggish (and it's not a bad machine, it's just.. windows), the interface is irritating, I have to click too many times and.. I just can't stand the feel of it anymore, really.
    I would love to stick to Mac and I've found this: https://www.machamradio.com/

    Here's the question for you: is it worth giving it a shot? Is it a valid alternative or is it 'just about ok' kind of situation? Any experience/recommendation?

    I'd need some decent rig control software, dx cluster client, logbook, something for digimodes, echolink, .. the usual stuff really.
    A ham radio deluxe alternative would be good..
    Voacap is available for Mac, but I use it on the website anyway so that's not an issue.

    Thanks a lot in advance and 73s

    Annalisa / M7AUV
  2. K3VPJ

    K3VPJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello and in response to your question don't give up with windows just yet. I use my Mac with Windows 7 loaded with the use of Mac "Bootcamp" software after partitioning the hard drive on the Mac and it works just fine-in essence you get the best of both worlds. You may want to check that option out. I have all the radio related software like HR Delux and it works just fine. Finding the right drivers for certain programs could be a potential problem but there are work arounds.

  3. ZL1ON

    ZL1ON Subscriber QRZ Page

    On the other hand, I use Macs without Bootcamp and have done so for many years. While there isn't the depth of Mac software that exists for Windows, what is available is more than sufficient for most needs. Frankly, installing Windows on a Mac isn't creating much Microsoft separation.

    If you look carefully, at the top of this forums first page is link to the Mac-only forum where your questions can be more accurately responded to.
  4. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm still very happy to have switched to Macs about 6 years ago. I keep Win10 running under a virtual machine on my Mac Mini for only a few things that have no good Mac equivalent yet, like antenna modeling software and LTSpice circuit simulation.

    Here is the Mac OS forum:

  5. M7AUV

    M7AUV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi guys thank you very much for all your kind responses :) I'll check the other forum as well, much appreciated!

    Best 73s,
    Annalisa / M7AUV
  6. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just be mindful that if you use a program for virtualizing Windows (e.g., VMWare's Fusion, Parallels, etc.), it's going to eat up a considerable amount of total RAM from your Mac so if your Mac has 4GB (or less) RAM it's pretty much a lost cause; even with 8GB, you're going to notice a performance hit but it's certainly do-able with that much memory.

    ...but, you have the benefit of not having to restart your computer every time you want to change operating systems (as you would with Bootcamp.)
    N0TZU likes this.
  7. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are precious few OS X programs for amateur radio, the only one I use regularly is MacDoppler. I grew weary of fighting it, so I created a Windows 10 virtual machine with its own SSD, graphics card and USB on a Linux beige box I picked up at a hamfest.

    I have far more uses for the Linux part, so that is why I just didn't dedicate all the hardware to a computer to just radio.

    Never will be a fan of Windows, but it sometimes is the only choice.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
    WD0BCT and N0TZU like this.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, and I were going to be doing a lot of work requiring Windows only programs it would make sense to get a Windows computer for that (and display, and backup, and desk space, and...) But for casual use the Windows in a VM approach works really well for me. Its also nice because Windows runs in a window, I can easily copy-paste things between the machines with a click, and backup occurs seamlessly because it’s just another program to OSX.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  9. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Also remember, there will be a learning curve when you switch to Mac. If you aren't up for it, you may regret it very quickly. If at all possible, I would try to find a place to play around with it before buying one. A decently powered Mac generally isn't going to come cheap and DEFINITELY do not skimp out on memory because you most certainly will need to boot a Windows virtual machine at some point.
    N0TZU likes this.
  10. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

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