FlexRadio and Apple OSx

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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I know this question has been asked several times before, but an update from the FlexRadio management would be helpful.

The Windows operating systems are under increasing attack worldwide.

We know OSx is not totally immune but its a whole lot more secure and it works reliably most of the time.

I know more and more people in the U.K. are abandoning Microsoft and loving the move to Apple.

I would be very happy to pay FlexRadio for an OSx version of SmartSDR, and I am sure I am not alone worldwide....

Flex management.

What is the possibility of this software becoming available from FlexRadio and roughly when??

Apple is not going to go away soon...

Thank you

G4BIM
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Peter Bentley

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Posted 1 year ago

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Ron W4RDM

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Peter,
 How about this https://www.dogparksoftware.com/dogparkSDR.html
Looks like they have a try before you buy.

73,
Ron W4RDM
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Steven G1XOW

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No thanks. I wouldn't switch to an Apple machine even if you gave me one.
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Peter Bentley

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That is very sad
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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There are many users of Dogpark for Apple. Reports have been good.
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Alex - KM5YT

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Amen to this reminder.  Apple now ASAP -- and LINUX soonest possible afterwards.  I - a retired systems and security admin. - recently went to Apple and while I appreciate (some aspects of) the (~openness and) configurability of Windoze, I use it less and less for daily chores.
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Ken Hansen

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Native support for Linux would require a near doubling of the Dev/test staff, as would natively supporting OS X. Natively supporting all three would require a near-tripling of the current dev/test team.
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Andrew Holman

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Not entirely true (from a financial level). Leveraging a language that would allow cross OS support would be good. There is also the opportunity to leverage open source and allow the community to build and maintain the software, make improvements, find security holes etc., all while not paying them a dime.  The doubling of staff would be mostly in trying to maintain a hardware and software engineering team.  I had thought about building a platform using Electron and NodeJS that would work on Linux, Mac and Windows and be a common interface, problem was I was too lazy to write the entire VITA-49 protocol in JS. :)
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Ken Hansen

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"Not entirely true" - correct, that's why I used words like 'nearly'

Of course, rewriting the code base into a new language/framework could mitigate the support effort on multiple platforms, but the initial rewrite would be a massive, massive effort.
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Jim Gilliam

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A better solution is the make the Flex a standalone that will work regardless of the OS.


Jim, K6QE

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Ken Hansen

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Check the website, 'M' stands for 'Maestro glued to the front'... of course, the Maestro is (I believe) running Windows on a built-in tablet....
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Not exactly. The front is all new on the M models.

May still be windows inside but hardware architecture appears completely different than the Maestro.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Ken Hansen

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Please define "completely" different.

Maestro:


Flex-6400M:


To be clear, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Flex simply bolting a maestro on the front of a radio, it's a very logical thing for them to do, but it isn't completely different - at least they used the same knobs, faceplate, and software, they may have replaced the tablet with an x86 motherboard and display panel.
(Edited)
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Don't forget the higher resolution screen and an HDMI output
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Ken Hansen

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HDMI output yes, but higher resolution? I've not see that specified anywhere, but I easily could have missed it.

Are you saying the M model displays are higher resolution than current model Maestros? A quick check of Flex's website shows Maestro at 8", 1280x800, and the M series radios have 8", 1920x1200 displays...
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Yep I do remember that being said and 1920x1200 is a higher resolution than 1280x800 you've verified on Flex's site confirms that.
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Ken Hansen

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"The Windows operating systems are under increasing attack worldwide."

Both OSes are under attack roughly in proportion to their end-user market share.

"We know OSx is not totally immune but its a whole lot more secure and it works reliably most of the time."

The way to avoid last week's ransomware attack, was to have a March 2017 Microsoft patch installed, the machines patched to that level were immune to the attack.

Windows is stable enough for literally millions of businesses around the world to rely on it 24x7.

OS X clearly has it's merits, but it's high cost of ownership has kept it's market share very low. Support of the OS X platform would require a near doubling of the development and testing teams Flex currently has supporting Windows. The iOS app demonstrates that a quality program can find commercial success independent of the Manufacturer.
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Mike va3mw

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I use a Mac and Windows all day, every day.  Neither is perfect, both have significant daily issues.  Both are under attack.  

I really enjoy how I have to cold power cycle my NEW Mac everyday to get it to boot.  Every Day!

Pick your poison.
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KC9NRN

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I love it when people post about how "immune" OSX is, when OSX got hit a few years back Apple denied it was possible or that it even happened and they ate that one big time. No OS, not even one that's embedded is immune.

Ken nailed it, market share, why go after OSX when it has such low market share, it has always had very low market share compared to Windows and the half wits that write viruses and the script kiddies that copy insert name of virus or code to create havoc have little interest in OSX.

People talk as if Windows is inherently vulnerable, of course it is when people ignore best practices and patch rarely or run free junk anti-virus (not all free ones are junk) or none at all and God only knows how many ad infused ad based games they install or software they got from a friend etc etc etc.

Apple is a closed system, they gain more stability simply because script kiddies and the like want to hit as many computers as possible, OSX isn't worth the effort to most of them. Yes it's more difficult to hit OSX, being a closed system helps.

Windows is only as stable as the person who built the computer, it's only as stable as the software installed and it's only as stable as a person uses it. 99.9% of the time I get called for a Windows issue (not counting Millennium and in some cases Vista) the issue related directly to the user using the computer or felt that rebooting was for wussies because "up time".

The response from the user "I didn't do anything, it just happened" and they never seem to pick up on the fact most times we can figure out what they did to crash their computer and this is Windows or OSX.

People who complain the most about Windows issues should probably look in the mirror for their real problem. This will not win me any popularity points but it's a cold hard fact.


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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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MacOS is far from being a closed system. It is closed in the sense that you can only run MacOS on Apple labeled hardware with the TPM module but the system is POSIX compliant and runs a kernel based on open source. Apple also makes XCode available for free so you can write code for MacOS without even paying any money. 
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KC9NRN

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My comment should have been clearer, by closed I meant nobody can build a Mac but Apple. Apple used to allow clones, much like back in the day when clones of IBM computers gave Microsoft the advantage, sadly Apple dropped it, there were some great companies making good machines up until then.

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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It’s like Flex with SmartSDR. In some respects this closed system is better. When you don’t control the ecosystem you end up losing quality control very easily.
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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G4BIM:  90% of the world rejects your premise.

As of April 2017 there are more desktops still using Win XP than are using OS X.

https://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0
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Peter Bentley

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90% of the world rejects your premise

Well Bob Craig, that is a pretty dumb unintelligent comment....

For a Company that apparently has only 10 per cent of the world market, 250 billion IN THE BANK is not a bad effort, what are they doing wrong ???

Best wishes
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Ken Hansen

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Ignoring the business market and selling over-priced hardware manufactured in modern-day sweat shops.

They are making a fortune off the backs of musicians and game designers thru the iTunes Store - not computer sales. Oh, and cellphones.
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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Peter...

Ken says it all about the source of Apple's success.

If you'll actually READ the link I posted, that 90% of the world is using WINDOWS variants ALL of which run SmartSDR.

And it was awfully nice of you to go personal.

I rejected your premise. I didn't attack YOU.
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Peter Bentley

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Oh and by the way Bob and Ken, since you are good at quoting statistics.

Tell me how many people worldwide have given up on Microsoft and bought Apple iPads and Applemacs and Apple laptops and then rejected them and gone back to Windows ???

Now that really would be interesting.

Quality and reliability always commands a premium.

Just look at FlexRadio...!!!
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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My XYL, for one.
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Ken Hansen

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Peter, you've put forth a request for SmartSDR on a totally new platform, and I simply put forth actual reasons why such a decision may not go your preferred direction.

If SmartSDR was originally released on OS X, it would have been a limiting factor, and a large number of potential customers would likely balk and needing to buy a different computer to support their new radio. Since it was instead released on Windows, there are a number of potential buyers that balk, but that is a much smaller number of potential buyers.

If you would notice, I never once argued against Apple Technology, I pointed out the high cost of their computers and the source of their quarter billion dollars in the bank (iTunes), you have chosen to start ad hominum attacks against people citing facts.

We're done.
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Doug Hall

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Peter,

I'm one who has largely given up on Mac OS X. Or MacOS as they now call it. I started using it in 2001 with 10.0 and have purchased a dozen different Macs (desktops and laptops) for myself and my family since then. I have written Mac applications and used the Mac extensively for video editing and photo management. But in recent years Apple has made it clear (at least to me) that I am not an important customer to them. iOS is what Apple cares about, and they make a lot of money on it. Good for them. But I'm not buying anymore Apple computers.

If I owned Flex I would not invest in MacOS development because I don't think the investment would be recovered.

73,
Doug K4DSP
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KC9NRN

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Peter,

Apples' bank amount has much more to do with the mobile market than the PC market. Their current crop of Pro gear is anything but. When he said market share he meant OS market share. Apple long ago realized they would never catch Microsoft in OS share and Apple closing the clone market guaranteed that position would be permanent.

The answer of course was music and phones then tablets and they can thank Steve Jobs for that, how innovative has Apple been since Steve died, not very. Late to market with wireless charging, late to market with OLED, the list goes on. They have the gall to hold back because they know the masses will show up to buy because "Apple".

I look forward to when the results of their lack of real innovation starts to show. I think without somebody like Steve Jobs they will return to the lack luster company they once were. They can only "Bank" on the current crop of gear that is barely a true upgrade. The iPhone 10 should have been the iPhone 8 but Apple wants to keep on banking on people showing up, in this case I think they were sent a message, we'll see if they pick up on it.

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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Put it this way, if Flex introduced their product line on just OSx I for one would not have thought for a second to venture into Flexradio and it would be safe to say if FRS did that, they would not have sky rocketed to where they are today using the Window platform. I'm just so sick of the Apple people up there on their high pedestals telling us what we should use, cuz their solution is so much better. You have what you have and we are happy using what we have so lets just learn to live with it.
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KC9NRN

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Mike,

Very well said

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Ed Tyler

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The folks in the OSX/Mac world represent a significant market.  It is a bit insulting to listen to the Flex  Windows users hammer the Mac folks that are requesting software support that would allow them to fully explore the Flex-Radio capabilities.   I use OSX.  I have been a Mac user for over 30 years.  I am not interested in buying a new computer, I want to spend my money on Radios.  The problem can be solved by encouraging aftermarket developers to develop complete solutions and then marketing them thru Flex Radio.  There might even be an extra buck to be made thru that process.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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They already do this (have third party developers develop clients). This is how we have SmartSDR for iOS which is developed by Marcus, DL8MRE and the price of $50 is quite reasonable with a trial of the GUI so you can see how the experience is. The APIs are there and the rest is not too hard to figure out. The SmartSDR client can't simply be ported over because it is developed in C# and .NET. I tried WINEing it but that didn't work either. So if someone has the time and wants to make a client, they can.

That said, Windows is the dominant market and it makes sense to primarily develop for Windows. I have an iMac and Macbook pro and I wish I didn't have to use boot camp or parallels.
(Edited)
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Ken Hansen

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The folks in the OS X/Mac world represent about 8% of non-server users... iOS users account for a much, much larger proportion of users than OSX, and thus 3rd-party support found a market.

Adding a platform multiplies the development/testing/support effort, I'd find it doubtful the number of hams willing to pay hundreds of dollars for an OS X client would cover the expense, let alone find an 'extra buck' from the offering.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but the potential revenue wouldn't cover the associated costs, I suspect.
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KC9NRN

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Ed,

Apple OSX market share is around 8 to 10% , this is not a significant share and is only a tiny increase after decades. Asking a company to develop for such a small market makes zero sense. Mac users can run Windows, it runs very well on all Mac's no matter how much it's hated by Mac users.

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G8ZPX

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About 15 years ago when Apple was really pushing hard in to the European market, I attended a series of seminars. My takeaway quote was "we target the high end....basically customers with more money than sense". That was enough for me, never bought one never will, I don't want to be viewed as a gullible target.
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Ken Hansen

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DogParkSDR runs on OS X and it's $95.

For just a little more money you can buy a complete Windows 7 system and a KVM switch and run Flex's free SmartSDR - for example:

Core 2 Duo desktop, 4 Gig Ram, 160 Gig HD in an Ultra Small Form Factor Case $115

https://www.discountelectronics.com/d...

KVMs are around $25...
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Ed Tyler

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As I stated in my comment, I have owned Macs for over 30 years.  The statement that I made is not one of disparagement of Windows computers but, one suggesting that a proper strategy can deliver parity to the Mac users as a viable business venture.  Recycled Windows arguments are wonderful but the thought that Mac is dead simply ignores reality.  I run several ham related mailing lists that report the users computing environment,  In that user group of over 1000,  the split is about 30% Mac, 60% Windows and 10% other for computers.  Out of the total mail openings currently, the majority is on mobile devices, IPad/IPhones in the majority with the windows derived devices accounting for about 30%.
As the Mobile devices gain additional CPU power the argument is going to be Desktop, laptop or pad/phone. A good strategy would be to do as much development as possible in platform portable objects simplifying broad platform support.  
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Ken Hansen

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"As the Mobile devices gain additional CPU power the argument is going to be Desktop, laptop or pad/phone. "

Windows has binary executable compatibility on desktop/laptops AND tablet platforms. Apple does not - OS X on desktops/laptops is not compatible with iOS on tablets/phones.

Developing for Windows gets you desktop, laptop, and tablet support.

Developing for OS X gets you desktop/laptop only, and developing for iOS gets you tablet/phone only.

As noted, SmartSDR runs on Windows desktops, laptops, and tablets, DogPark runs on OS X desktops and laptops, and the SSDR iOS offering gives you tablet/iPhone support today, right now. Unfortunately, the three programs mentioned do not have 'feature parity', nor are they priced comparably (SSDR is free, iOS SSDR is $50, and DogPark is $200).
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Don Agro

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dogparkSDR is $95.00 not $200.00
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Ken Hansen

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Absolutely correct, my bad.

https://dogparksoftware.com/dogparkSD...
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Mike va3mw

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All

FlexRadio supports a perfectly amazing Mac Client developed by DogPark software out of Toronto.

Read about the 5.0 rating on eHam  http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/12515

You can order it here.  Today.  It supports SmartLink.  Away you go!
https://www.dogparksoftware.com/dogparkSDR.html

No more whining!  LOL

Mike
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Ken Hansen

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"No more whining! LOL" <-- nice try!
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John - WA7UAR

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And the excellent third party xDax and xCat for Mac means Mac users can run Dax remotely — which the PC folks can’t do... yet.
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Burch - K4QXX

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I use my MacBook pro and xDax and xCat all the time from the office to make FT8 contacts.  DogparkSDR is nice software and it gets updated all the time.
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Doug - W3UB

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Burch, Do you need to use a routing program like sound siphon to get the audio into WJST? Could you elaborate on the exact SW you have in use?
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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John - I've been running DAX and CAT remotely on PC for some time now, using VPN. 
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Burch - K4QXX

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Doug, I am using a program called loopback to route the audio to the xDax channels.  I am running Softether VPN software.  Initially I had the software running on my Windows computer that I use for my ham software.  I am now running softether on a Raspberry Pi.  DogparkSDR runs great remotely.  
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I am being selfish but it's my opinion that any diversion of resources to develop from SmartSDR for MAC OS means long waited features for SmartSDR and Maestro will be further delayed not months but years. This will outrage the whole community and not just some steadfast MAC users. There are other solutions for MAC users as mentioned, Dogpark, or pickup a cheap $100 PC to run SmartSDR on. I have a friend who runs SmartSDR on a cheap Kodi windows box.
SmartSDR is wonderful and obviously quite functional now. SmartLink was a huge goal achieved and proves the design concept of the radio server was indeed the right direction for Flex to take, but developers need to focus efforts and address the many features demanded by it's users. Features that will enhance the current base and attract those on the fence keeping Flexradio on top of the and leading the SDR market. Again, just my opinion.
(Edited)
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KC9NRN

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They can run Windows on their Mac easily since it is a PC built on the x86 platform and has been since 2006. It's even very easy to do.
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Rob Fissel

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VM/Bootcamp is a solution for Mac users, but not ideal. Plus, there's the added cost of a Windows licence. I know that Don's DPSDR software receives a lot of praise from users in this forum, but for me, it's just not my cup of tea. I think the menu structure and accessing functions is flat out difficult compared to SSDR (and SSDR for iOS for that matter). I've heard from two different people that they've contemplated using Marcus's framework and implementing his iOS app to a native macOS solution, which I would buy in a heart beat. 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I have to agree 100% with Rob. Also if you have a higher end radio like a 6700 it doesn't give you access to all of your slices. I also find it extremely difficult to use. So I boot camp my Mac. 
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KC9NRN

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Rob,

Calling VM/Bootcamp not ideal speaks for a few but clearly not all, I have no issues with the various options for using Windows and found it ideal enough to run whatever I need and my customers seem to feel the same way.

You bought a Mac, you're used to paying more anyway, the cost of a Windows license is less than the cost of another computer yes? The ability to run the radio in the native environment in my humble opinion far outweighs trying to get FlexRadio to start fresh on SDR for MacOS and if people don't like DogSpark then your option is clearly use Windows, it runs fine on a Mac, not sure how it's not ideal, it's been done for a decade.


(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I don't care so much about the cost. It's the tradeoffs:

If you run bootcamp you cannot run your favorite Mac software when playing radio
If you run parallels it consumes more resources than if you run a native app. 

That said, I do understand why the dev team hasn't released a Mac version. 
(Edited)
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KC9NRN

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Agreed, I preferred VM over Bootcamp myself when I used to own Mac's, I was talking to a person at work and she told me Mac's communicate better than PC's, I asked her how, she had no idea but that was her reason for buying them.

I asked a few others I know prefer Mac's just for perspective, both answered Mac's are better for graphics and video editing. I asked both of them how are they better and neither could give anything more than there aren't any apps for these things on Windows.... mind blown...

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I use a Mac because I want a unix-like desktop with things like python.
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Rob Fissel

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"not sure how it's not ideal, it's been done for a decade."
It's not ideal, at least for me. You're either using a VM solution, and splitting your resources between two different "machines" or you're in Bootcamp where you loose the Mac side. Not ideal. At all. Ideal would be a native solution, but I understand the reasons why Flex won't task their devs with building the SSDR platform from scratch for MacOS.

You bought a Mac, you're used to paying more anyway.
No need to be pithy. I'm so sick and tired hearing people talk about Mac users like we're the elitist Goldman Sachs executives of the computer-using world. 

FWIW I spend 90% of my time in front of a Windows box. It's kind of sad how many people have come out on this thread to beat up on Mac users. 
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Mike va3mw

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All...  time to take a deep breath!  LOL  

If you want a native Mac Client, Don's software is the way to go.  It works amazingly well and comes with awesome support (I know that Don is reading this).  

Not only that, he has a 5.0 rating on eHam.  No bootcamp, parallel's.  It just run's natively and works.  Don is also a good friend of mine and don't know anyone who works harder to delivery quality products.https://www.dogparksoftware.com/dogparkSDR.html

Mike 
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Burch - K4QXX

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Don's support is awesome.  When I email him a question, even on weekends, he gets back to me quickly.  You can try the software for free so if you have a Mac give it a try.  I looks different than SmartSDR but it works great.  
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Peter Bentley

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Oh dear, looks like I have opened a can of worms and exposed quite a few Dinosaurs....

No official comment from the Flex management.

Lucky I was'nt holding my breath !!!

G4BIM
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Mike va3mw

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Actually, there have been many Flex employee comments.   
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Peter Bentley

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We cannot work and plan with just comments Michael.

We need firm commitments or statements of intent from the decision makers.

Comments and assumptions are 'The Mother of all ****ups', is'nt that partly why the World is in such a mess today

But thank you anyway

Kind regards

G4BIM
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Mike va3mw

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Official Response
Hi Peter

Flex has always  been:

That pretty  much covers it.  You should now  be able to make any plans you made need to make.  If you follow the above, there are no assumptions or rumours.  :)

73,  Mike

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