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No Mac support?


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#1 jimsz

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:11 AM

I've been looking forward to purchasing this item to use my Meade telescope, only to now read there is no Mac support.

In this day of easily created web-based software, ported software, etc., Meade still insists on ignoring one of the more stable and secure OS's on the market.

I just saved myself hundreds of dollars as I refuse to purchase anything that I must jump through hoops in order to keep updated.

Bad policy Meade.

#2 KI6IWX

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 07:50 AM

I've been an Apple user ever since the Apple II+ ... that should date me...

Seems every hobby I'm into I'm forced to use software based on an ancient DOS platform (alot of these programs won't work with Vista either). So now when I need to program my Ham radios or (when I get it back) the My Sky, I have to bring them into work and do it here. In December I get to upgrade my PowerBook (which I do every three years), and I'll have the Intel chip - so I can run XP natively finally. I've had all kinds of connectivity problems with Virtual PC - seems to not want to recognise any of my devices plugged into the USB ports even though all the programs run fine.

These companies really do have to start waking up and smell the java - its so easy to write compatible software nowadays - especially with the Macs growing market share.

#3 jimsz

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 04:37 AM

You're fortunate you have access to computers that you can update something like the sky.

I'd buy a mySKY Explorer today is I could update it. However, I do not have access to any windows OS computer. My home, my place of employment and my extended family are all on the MacOS platform. Running a co-os system is not going to happen. If I want to fight windows exploits/viruses/spyware I would buy a Dell. I choose the MacOS because it has none of these problems.

By meade making the CHOICE to not support the computer with 1/3 of the home/educational laptop market (cNet) and 1/4 of home/educational desktop market (cNet) they are simply eliminating customers.

#4 gregphil

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 05:59 PM

So what is this 'Mac' thing you speak of.....  :)

#5 Garand

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 10:10 PM

4.7%

That's the Mac market share.  With the cost of writing software, it's financially detrimental for most companies to write for the Mac OS.  Even Apple knows this - why do you think they have moved to a PC compatible hardware format?

As for the virus/spyware problem, you have the same answer.  Small market, limited distribution - no one bothers to write for it, not even the hackers.

Apple may have the better OS (I have my doubts there) and a better machine (I believe that), but they lost the marketing war.

The dual OS works great.  I like my MacBook Pro with Vista.  I would never have bought Apple if I couldn't run the industry leading software - it's self defeating.

It's not that "Meade dosen't care".  Meade is a company that, as all companies do, looks for the profitable market.  Apple isn't on the list and I would doubt that they will make it anytime soon.  Try the dual OS.  You get the best of both worlds and all you lose is aggravation.  :)

#6 jimsz

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 08:27 AM

4.7%


well, actually it is not.

To make it pertinent to a discussion like this you have to remove the "business" portion of computer users as this is a recreational device.

Remove that portion from the stats (those which you quote are incorrect), the MacOS percentage is many times higher.

That's the Mac market share.  With the cost of writing software, it's financially detrimental for most companies to write for the Mac OS.  Even Apple knows this - why do you think they have moved to a PC compatible hardware format?


Sorry, again, I disagree. If Meade sat back and looked at what they are doing there are many ways to assemble code/software to work cross platform. Since the update is being handled via a net connection, they have many options available.

As for the virus/spyware problem, you have the same answer.  Small market, limited distribution - no one bothers to write for it, not even the hackers.


Except that the OS is more secure than the windows OS. It's not due to marketshare, it's actually a fact.

It's not that "Meade dosen't care".  Meade is a company that, as all companies do, looks for the profitable market.  Apple isn't on the list and I would doubt that they will make it anytime soon.  Try the dual OS.  You get the best of both worlds and all you lose is aggravation.  :)


As I stated, I will not jump through hoops to spend my money with any company. If i am going to spend $400 on an item it will work out of the box within my normal workflow. If I had a need for for an inferior OS such as Windows, I would be using it. My place of employment, my home systems and anywhere else I use computers are all 100% mac based. I certainly am not going to spent $400 on anything and then have to spend $200 additional to make the item work.

Meade is making poor decisions in not supporting Macs. The consumer will simply spend their money elsewhere.

#7 KI6IWX

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 11:50 AM

Which actually brings up the question I was thinking as I was wiping out my calibration - why should I have to do this at all? How come Meade cannot simply send the MySky out fully programmed for us? Then make it an option to do updates as they occur in the future. Leaving 50% of the functionality unprogrammed seems kind of strange to me - whats it save - a few seconds of manufacturing time?

#8 jimsz

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:52 AM

It does not come out of the box ready to use?

So if someone does not have a computer they can't use this at all?

#9 gregphil

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:38 PM

My Meade MySky (delivered about two weeks ago) works just fine "out of the box" and has not needed any sort of update yet.

#10 KI6IWX

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 04:13 PM

Do me a favor and go out tonight and try to locate a satellite with your MySky. Reply here if you can actually track the space station or some other man made object. That'll tell me whether my unit was messed up from the get-go, or you really do need to update your's for full functionality and you just don't know it yet...

#11 marty

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 04:59 AM

The MySky is a pretty boutique device that could have a lot of cross-over appeal to non-nerds, no offense.  But I'd be willing to bet that a good portion of those layfolks who'd buy a $400 toy like this are probably also Mac-owners.

As for the misinformed assertion that it is economically prohibitive to write a Mac version of the updater app, why is this even necessary?  I mean, why couldn't Meade just let me copy files to the SD card manually.  Isn't that an obvious advantage of using a removable solid state memory card?

Oh well.  I guess the nice thing about all of these missed opportunities on Meade's part is that we don't have to worry about the MySky getting less expensive or more popular any time soon.  So, we'll always have a cool, nichey toy to show off! 

#12 KI6IWX

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 01:30 PM

Yep - you got that right. Although I haven't seen any evidence of it, I sure hop that someone with a clue at Meade monitors their own Forums and make some changes. Not having cross platform compatability is simply dismal in this day of modern software programming, bordering on simple lazyness. Just about everyone I know uses a Mac at home, I'm just lucky enough to be able to wipe out my Unit at work!

#13 jimsz

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:54 AM

Just about everyone I know uses a Mac at home, I'm just lucky enough to be able to wipe out my Unit at work!


I could easily do that as well but refuse to jump through hoops when I have several computers at home, all Mac.

I'll happily spend my money on Meade products but want them to work where I spend my leisure hours.

#14 autostaretx

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 08:09 PM

Why doesn't/didn't Meade write AutostarUpdater for the Mac?

Probably because they were incompatible with the desired goals when the program was first developed.
And one primary goal was for RS232 serial connections to their Autostar-controlled telescopes.
Macs didn't have serial ports by 1999, but 99.5% of the Intel PCs and laptops being sold at that time
did, plus 100% of the telescopes Meade was trying to update.

But "updating" wasn't the ASU's only duty... it's also a drag-and-drop compatible, dual-pane windowed application for shuffling/editing/adding/selecting/deleting objects to be fetched from the web and sent/retrieved from the Autostars (and now the MySky). 
For writing such an app at that time, Meade chose (or their consulting software company chose) to use the well-documented, widely available, Microsoft windows development platforms. 
They were also trying to provide Autostar compatibility to the wide range of planetarium and scope control programs which knew how to speak (over serial lines) to the existing LX200 (and similar) product base.

Although Macs may have a presence in folks' observatories, at -that- time it was vanishingly tiny.
(far less than the 5% installed base).
So Meade got "locked in" to writing for Windows instead of the Mac.
Meade did not, and does not, have a large programming group (i think it used to be about 3 people,
and now may well be one or fewer (i.e. they hire consultants when needed)).  Given that dearth of resources, i doubt that you'll see a significant investment made in porting ASU to a Mac.  At the moment ASU is totally a Windows MFC package, and that presents quite a hurdle for migration, in terms of time, effort (expense) and (worse) continued support and rewrite whenever Apple decided to ditch an architecture.

have fun
-dick
p.s. Over the past 20 years, my wife and i have owned 5 or 6 Macintoshes and 5 PCs.  All of the PCs are still useful (except one HP laptop which finally self-destructed).  All but one of the Macintoshes were given away (and came back as useless) when architectures were discontinued  (i don't have an Intel Mac).
The at-home and at-work TCO (total cost of ownership) of a Mac is far higher than a PC ($100+ updates every year or two, plus original higher initial cost, plus forced obsolescence).  At work i support a couple of dozen Macs, 50+ Windows PCs and 30+ (plus a 1024-core three teraflop cluster) Intel and AMD Linux systems.
Each system (Windows/Mac/Linux (and others)) has its pluses and minuses.
None are "the best for all purposes"

#15 jimsz

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 04:23 AM

Saying Meade was locked in to writing for windows is disingenuous at best.

By 1999 USB was already the upcoming standard RS232 ports were on their way out and for many cpu's were an "order item".

Given that Meade still uses an antiquated port connection even today shows a terrible lack of understanding and ability to write contemporary software.

There is no reason the mysky or autostar can't be updated by dropping a downloaded text file via a card reader.

Meade is simply telling a large number of customers their business does not matter. i bought an ETX-125 as a precursor to a larger purchase of an LX-90 or LX-200. While I greatly enjoy the quality of the ETX I've decided I will not be buying any more scopes from Meade because of their myopic view on customer service.

In the last 20 years I have had a dozen different Macs, I still have 8 of them at home or the office and all still work with little maintenance. There is no comparison between the usability life of a Mac or PC.

While my lack of purchasing an LX200 or a MySky probably does not matter to Meade, that decision has and will continue to affect others as the Mac platform is increasing everyday and others are also not buying Meade.

#16 Garand

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:01 PM

So I suppose you will buy Celestron?  No, it looks like they don't support Mac.  Vixen?  I see no Mac support there either.  Orion or Astro Physics?  No, none I see there either. 

It's not just Meade, it's most of the computer world.  If you can't get over the Mac problem I really don't know what to suggest - as I said before, I have a Mac with Vista loaded which gives me both worlds.  While Mac is showing some growth, most of it is due to the Intel processors which gives it the capability to run mainstream software.

Apple created the market share they live in.  They have a targeted audience which excludes the majority of computer users, and that trickles down to excluding much of the software.  In my business we use Timberline Estimating and Chief Architect, neither of which are available for the Mac.  These are not small companies, but they have no market for Mac systems. 

If you really believe that there is a market for telescope users to use Macs, write the software and market it.  If the market is there, you could do very well.

#17 Mark Sibole

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:52 PM

RS232 is pretty much the standard in the astronomical community.
most if not all electric filter wheels run off of RS232 commands.
Most if not all telescopes use rs232 connections for their operation.
Do a google search for Celestron,Paramount ,Losmandy and many others and look at the specs.


Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#18 jimsz

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:33 AM

So I suppose you will buy Celestron?  No, it looks like they don't support Mac.  Vixen?  I see no Mac support there either.  Orion or Astro Physics?  No, none I see there either. 

It's not just Meade, it's most of the computer world. 


No, you're mistaken, it is not the computer world it is the telescope world and it will bite them i lost sales.

If you can't get over the Mac problem I really don't know what to suggest - as I said before, I have a Mac with Vista loaded which gives me both worlds.  While Mac is showing some growth, most of it is due to the Intel processors which gives it the capability to run mainstream software.


The Intel processor is not what is fueling Apple's growth as few people run PC software on a mac (boot camp, parallels are both clunky and beyond the average user). Quality products, an ipod/iphone trojan horse marketing mindset, better than average quality products and the debacle that is Microsoft os what is fueling their growth.

In my business we use Timberline Estimating and Chief Architect, neither of which are available for the Mac.  These are not small companies, but they have no market for Mac systems. 


Any my business is almost exclusively mac and windows is only now starting to be accepted, so what?

If you really believe that there is a market for telescope users to use Macs, write the software and market it.  If the market is there, you could do very well.


There is software available for the mac but my complaint is Meade's lack of mac support. In the age of cheap memory and removable memory cards there is little reason the MySky or autostar can't be updated smply by moving a .txt file to the card via a card reader.

Meade is short sighted and with their last financial record being what it was, should be finding ways to appeal to as many people as they can. A .txt file is not platform dependent.




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