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Mac OS support for controller clients?


David Solesvik
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Hi all.

With this forum thread, I guess I wanted to open up a small discussion to discuss the support of controller clients such as Euroscope, and I guess CRC, for Mac OS. I saw a reddit post today about somebody asking if it is possible to control using a Mac computer. I myself have used a Mac computer for years before switching over to a handy windows gaming laptop, but when I did use my Mac, I installed Bootcamp on it, which is basically just installing the Windows OS on the Mac computer. Whilst this wasn't the best solution, it did the job - I was able to control without too many performance issues and limitations. However, I heard rumours that bootcamp isn't supported anymore and either way, the reddit post made me think - why doesn't VATSIM put a lot of focus into facilitating support for Mac users to be able to control on the network? This isn't me complaining or bringing suggestions, this is just me being curious about the topic, and wondering if there will ever be a possibility for Mac OS users to be able to control on the network from a Mac computer, perhaps if Euroscope or CRC, or even vatSys will ever have Mac OS support.

Thanks guys, looking forward to hearing your views.

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic FIR Chief (ZQO1) | Deputy Director of VATSIM Spain (ACCSP2)

[email protected] | dsolesvik#0739

1341101

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2 hours ago, David Solesvik said:

why doesn't VATSIM put a lot of focus into facilitating support for Mac users to be able to control on the network?

I've been using Macs since 1984, and used to love them. But since Steve Jobs left us, the company has been going to the dogs. They deliberately build in redundancy to their products to the extent that you need to upgrade software and often hardware too, to keep using the tools you use. For example, I have a 2011 iMac running OSX 10.6.8 and it's now useless for surfing the internet. The "i" in "iMac" just doesn't work any more. The only reason I still use it is because of the legacy software I have and need to use on a daily basis because that software simply won't work on later versions of the OS and it would cost me thousands to upgrade these applications. Also their graphics capabilities simply don't match up against the boards available for Windows machines.

I also have a cruddy little Windows 7 machine, with an OS older than OSX 10.6.8 and it has zero issues with any website. This policy of Apple's means that software manufacturers struggle to maintain their Apple versions and VATSIM is, I believe, wise to avoid that human-resource-hogging system.

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Alistair Thomson

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Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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12 hours ago, David Solesvik said:

Hi all.

With this forum thread, I guess I wanted to open up a small discussion to discuss the support of controller clients such as Euroscope, and I guess CRC, for Mac OS. I saw a reddit post today about somebody asking if it is possible to control using a Mac computer. I myself have used a Mac computer for years before switching over to a handy windows gaming laptop, but when I did use my Mac, I installed Bootcamp on it, which is basically just installing the Windows OS on the Mac computer. Whilst this wasn't the best solution, it did the job - I was able to control without too many performance issues and limitations. However, I heard rumours that bootcamp isn't supported anymore and either way, the reddit post made me think - why doesn't VATSIM put a lot of focus into facilitating support for Mac users to be able to control on the network? This isn't me complaining or bringing suggestions, this is just me being curious about the topic, and wondering if there will ever be a possibility for Mac OS users to be able to control on the network from a Mac computer, perhaps if Euroscope or CRC, or even vatSys will ever have Mac OS support.

Thanks guys, looking forward to hearing your views.

 

The reason why Bootcamp won't work anymore, is because Apple is moving away from x86-based CPUs (read: moving away from Intel). They are building their own CPUs and are using those in their Macs. This year's models (when they come out) are supposed to be the last batch that will come with Intel CPUs. Additionally, those will be the last to have Bootcamp available for it, as Windows requires an x86-based CPU, and while it does have support for ARM CPUs, not all drivers would be available for those Macs.

For alternatives, there are a couple if you still have a Mac with an x86-based CPU:

  1. Bootcamp, as you already mentioned.
  2. run a VM. Parallels, VMWare Fusion, Virtualbox, etc., will also work for you. But again, you're basically installing Windows, so if you're going to do that, why not just go full stop and install Windows. The downside to this and #1, is that it requires a license for Windows.
  3. Use a Container. Crossover or WINE will work; in fact, that's what I do on my mid-2011 MBA. I can confirm that VRC works on CrossOver (I haven't seen if Euroscope is on the list), and I know that both work in WINE.

With moving to Apple Silicon, a lot of that changes. To give developers time to rebuild their apps for Silicon, Apple released Rosetta 2 to allow them to work. Through this, you could still use Crossover. I've heard some places say that Wine would still work, but I can't confirm. I'll be finding out later this year when new Macs come out. 

This is just to get some semblance of being able to run any controller clients. The harder part is because of the languages used to code the clients. Most were able to get away with C or C++, but newer clients have moved to environments only supported by Windows. Making a client for the Mac would either require something that can be translated for compatibility (again, that would be if it were still on the came CPU architecture, which it will no longer be), or rewritten from scratch. There have been a number of conversations about that over the years, with valid reasons why it hasn't been done.

The best I can suggest is to keep an eye on what Ross is doing, and see what comes up from there. Besides that, we have the alternatives above for connecting with a Mac, that have been tested and known to work.

BL.

 

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Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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3 hours ago, Brad Littlejohn said:

keep an eye on what Ross is doing, and see what comes up from there

CRC will be Windows only. It is a .NET 5 WPF application. It probably wouldn't take much to convert it to a .NET 6 MAUI application, which will be cross-platform, but that's just the UI. The stumbling blocks will be the current lack of a cross-platform version of the AFV library usable from .NET apps, and possibly OpenGL support on some hardware. I definitely won't be spending any time worrying about getting CRC to work on Macs or Linux since I have zero experience with Mac development and my Linux experience is all server-side. Maybe I can partner with someone on those bits when the time comes. (.NET 6 MAUI is not widely available yet.)

Edited by Ross Carlson

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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5 hours ago, Ross Carlson said:

CRC will be Windows only. It is a .NET 5 WPF application. It probably wouldn't take much to convert it to a .NET 6 MAUI application, which will be cross-platform, but that's just the UI. The stumbling blocks will be the current lack of a cross-platform version of the AFV library usable from .NET apps, and possibly OpenGL support on some hardware. I definitely won't be spending any time worrying about getting CRC to work on Macs or Linux since I have zero experience with Mac development and my Linux experience is all server-side. Maybe I can partner with someone on those bits when the time comes. (.NET 6 MAUI is not widely available yet.)

Understood. Thanks for the response, I appreciate it.

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic FIR Chief (ZQO1) | Deputy Director of VATSIM Spain (ACCSP2)

[email protected] | dsolesvik#0739

1341101

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