GHL and Mac... Fear not.

Discussion in 'GHL Advanced Technology' started by d2mini, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    For Mac users looking to use GHL products, there has been some concern that the programming software is PC based.
    Most concerns have been alleviated with the cloud, www.MyGHL.com, but sometimes you still need to use GHL Control Center on the PC.

    There's 3 options for Mac users.

    1. Run an emulation software like Parallels.
    2. Format your mac with Bootcamp and install Windows.
    3. Purchase a PC and Windows.

    I prefer to do most programming with the Control Center software and I've run all three options.

    The emulation software is "ok". But I found it to run slow and be buggy. It got me by, but it was a bit of a pain at times. Its not cheap either. You have to purchase the emulation software and Windows. This was my least favorite option.

    Bootcamp on my Mac was great. It ran smooth, fast, no problems. The downside was needing to reboot when you want to run windows. Then reboot again to get back to Mac Land. Bootcamp is free/included with your mac, but you will have to purchase a copy of Windows. You also lose a sizable chunk of your hard drive space to the new partition.

    My favorite option is #3. It sounds expensive at first but it's actually not. We're so used to Apple prices, we forget how cheap PC's are. I picked up a NextBook Flexx 10 which is a tablet that runs full Windows 10. It was around $140 at the time and came with Windows.
    So for $140 I got a fully functioning PC and it can run next to my mac. You can shop ebay for used ones. The exact same one is up there now for $60. Your Mac remains completely untainted. This is by far the most hassle free option and less expensive than Option #1.

    So if you want to run the best, most reliable controller, doser, etc on the market but are afraid because it's not specifically Mac-based, no worries. You have a few options to choose from and it's not scary at all. Pretty simple, actually. ;)

    Are you a Mac and GHL user? Please add your experience!
     
    MaddyP, OceansX, Mike_J and 3 others like this.
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  2. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor

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    Dennis I use emulation and bootcamp option. No big issues just minor windows problems. I use myGHL to turn off pieces when I am doing maintenance. Tap on a button and turn off pumps.
     
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  3. chema

    chema Member

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    Parallels allows you to use both operating systems at the same time for less than half the price you paid for the NextBook. It is by far my favorite solution when I want to run Windows programs. I do not need to use the Control Center very often. Most of the times I use the buttons in the Profilux.
     
  4. Jerel

    Jerel Active Member

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    I've been using Bootcamp on one of my older MacBook Pro's, but i am on the hunt(Good deal) for a Microsoft Surface Pro to control my GHL system.
     
  5. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Definitely correct me if I'm wrong and I'll correct my initial post.
    Parallels is $80 and then you need to purchase Windows, no?
    It's been a while since I used that setup.
    For me it ran REALLY slow in comparison to bootcamp or a real pc.
     
  6. chema

    chema Member

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    The last offer for Parallels I got was 49.99 € (more or less the same amount in dollars) and I have multiple copies of several Windows versions in the different computers of my kids, so no need to buy an additional one. When I switched from Bootcamp to Parallels I did not notice it was any slower. I'm not promoting that emulation program but my point is that running both operating systems in the same computer (I use an old MacBook Pro) is cheaper and more convenient that using two computers.
     
  7. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Ah ok well in that same vein someone could have an old pc laying around or get one used like I mentioned in my OP. ;)

    But in the interest of being fair to everyone, if looking at retail prices for everything, picking up a little pc tablet is less expensive than buying parallels and windows.
    They're all good options and much of it will just depend on your situation and personal preference.
    I just wanted to give everyone a fair breakdown of three different options available and toss in my personal experience with each of them.
     
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  8. dricc

    dricc Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Thank you for taking the time to post. I have a mac and was contemplating getting a profilux 4.
     
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  9. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm considering getting a Profilux, but I'm a Mac user. What exactly will I need windows for? Is it for using the controller, or just programming it? Are there features I won't have access to in the cloud?

    (And GHL, if you're listening, please show us Mac users some love! LOL)
     
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  10. NCreefguy

    NCreefguy Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I've been using VMware Fusion on my Mac. One click and I'm in Windows without any problems.
    I'm still going to order a GHL controller but I'm not as worried now being able to switch over to windows and back so easily.
     
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  11. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor

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    You need window to use the GCC software for programing using the computer. I use VMware fusion which is running with a bootcamp partition on my MacBook pro. An hey I didn't even buy windows just using the download trial of Windows.:) The only time I have had to boot my Mac into Windows at all was for firmware updates. As the VM software was constantly switch USB ports. Always best to do firmware straight from USB connection.

     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  12. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    As stated above, the pc software (GHL Control Center) is just for programming.
    Once that's done, you never need to open it again unless you want to make changes, update firmware, or add another piece of equipment.
    It's probably been months since I last connected to my Profilux with the PC.
    You can access features directly on the profilux, check parameters directly on the profilux or online, and some things can be changed online.
    GCC is just much easier/faster.
     
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  13. Reefer525XL

    Reefer525XL Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I find it funny they are using a Mac and iPhone and possible an iPad in this promotional image! :D

    profiluxdosingpumps2_5.jpg
     
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  14. Reefer525XL

    Reefer525XL Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    @d2mini Im planning on purchasing the GHL 2.1 doser, can it be programed from the phone app or does it need to be connected to the computer? Im also a Mac user so no windows computers in this household :)
     
  15. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    You need to connect via the pc software just once to get the doser registered with MyGHL.
    Once you're linked up, you can do all the doser programming online. That's exactly how I've done mine.
    I was just calibrating my pumps last night using safari on my ipad. :)
     
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  16. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor

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    Depending how crazy you get with a doser 2.1 you can do most of your programing with the phone app. Its so easy to connect to the doser thru wifi and adjust the dosing of the pump without firing up the computer at all.
    The computer is used to join your own wifi network if you wish ( you can connect to the dosers own wifi hot spot it you want.)
    To update the firmware this is done with a USB cable.
    To setup AWC and ATO functions thru drop down box setup.
    While you can change dosing amounts using the computer the phone app does this so easily it is just dead simple to do it with the phone app.

    Oh everyone uses that image of the iphone iMac and iPad. There is some neat stuff coming down the road but it will be a while before we see it. GHL spends a lot of time on testing out new software and beta testing before we the end user see it.
     
    EmdeReef likes this.
  17. Mistahbrock

    Mistahbrock Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Hello Everybody :)

    I am using a Mac Mini with OS X 10.13 High Sierra

    Using the free Virtual box from oracle systems, I am able to run GHL control center from within OS X
    it's easy and fast, almost as fast as it would be running the GCC natively.

    Best regards, Brock
     
    Nowell likes this.
  18. bgoldb

    bgoldb Member

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    You still need to install a version of windows within the virtual machine so it really is no different than any other emulation software other than the price.
     
  19. cgaubuchon

    cgaubuchon Active Member

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    Yes but it's a point to be made that you can actually run the emulation on a mac at no cost using this method.

    1. Download VirtualBox (free emulation software)
    2. Download a developers image from Microsoft from their developer portal (free, expires every 30 days but not a huge problem)
    3. Connect to your GHL (setup should be identical as long as VirtualBox installed correctly)

    Still not ideal but with no additional cost and easy setup, it's not all bad.
     
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  20. minus9

    minus9 Active Member

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    I may have to give this a shot? I need to update the firmware on my doser so I can use the new app and my son's laptop is in the shop, go figure. I have this really long rant on why I hate pc's and windows, but I'll spare everyone.
    D2mini, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
     
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