Once You Go Mac…

Once You Go Mac…

I’ve been a Apple person every since I used my first one in 1996. I’ve had quite a few different Macs through the years from a IIcx, to a 230 laptop, an original Mac Mini, a few MacBooks, and now a new Mac Mini. Why do I like Macs? Well, I’ve spent my whole career in the IT industry. Back in the Windows95 days and prior I spent most of my days fixing these beasts and just got sick on Micro$oft. The last thing I wanted to do when I came home from work was to fix another PC. So we went Mac in the Meadows household.

Fast forward to 2017. I started using Windows 10 and found it to work quite well. Using a Mac and PC side by side the only real difference is the amount of software available for the Mac, and even that has become a close race. Since I got back into ham radio in 2015 I’ve been using PCs because there was more software available for Windows. Yet, when I wasn’t using the PC for ham radio I went back to my trusty MacBook. I really wanted to just use one platform and had to decide – PC or Mac? It came down to software for ham radio. There is a great resource for all things Mac ham radio on the web – MacHamRadio.com. It gives links to all Mac ham radio software available and links to the new releases.

Enter MacLoggerDX. This is what tipped the scales to me going Mac in the shack. It does almost everything I want in a logging/control program. The only thing it is lacking is full control features like are in Win4k3 but with the PX3 panadapter and a few macros I am able to do everything I want with MacLoggerDX. All the other software I use – Fldigi, Elecraft, WSJT-X, and JT-Bridge all have Mac versions. The SKCC logger and Skimmer did not have Mac versions but by using Crossover I am able to run them on the Mac Mini.

The only thing I can not run on the Mac is the RT-Systems programming software for my VHF/UHF radios. I have adapted and overcome by installing Virtual Box. With this software I can run full blown Windows 10 on the Mac. I can also share files between the Mac and Windows as well as USB ports. With Virtual Box I can do anything I need to do on a PC without leaving my Mac.

What it came down to is I wanted a stable machine I feel comfortable with. That was the Mac. I have not found anything I can do on a PC that I cannot do on the Mac (albeit I may have to use a virtual Windows machine) and it connects up to my radios nicely. Add iCloud and all my files are available on my Mac Mini, MacBook and iPhone.

If you are considering using a Mac for your ham radio shack don’t let the naysayers dissuade you. There is great software available for Mac ham radio. If you have a Mac give it a try, I promise you – Once you go Mac, you won’t go back!

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