[App_rpt-users] AllStar on Mac (First Impressions)

George Zolla gazolla at san.rr.com
Mon Mar 19 00:33:29 EDT 2012


Background: I wanted to build an AllStar mini-node for my own use on a small, quiet test bed. I chose a Mac Mini. 


H/W: 2007 Mac Mini (OSX 10.6.9 Snow Leopard) with 2GB of RAM and 120GB HD connected to a DMK URI. No radio or connecting cable yet. 

Installation: AllStar was installed directly from an acid_centos.iso file into a Parallels Virtual Machine (VM) using 1 GB of RAM and 3.8 GB of hard disk space. Use of an .iso file for installation was fast and will work on the new computers (i.e. Mac Minis) that do not have CD drives.  The Parallels default configuration was 512 MB of RAM, but in that configuration there was some distorted audio and sometimes connection difficulties. Raising the virtual Virtual RAM to 1 GB improved things dramatically. Note: Installation of ACID did not work with VMware.

Advantages: Flexibility and size. The Mac Mini is small, lightweight and quiet. The Mini and the URI can easily fit on your desktop. A full Operating System on the computer that holds the AllStar server allows you to remotely administer that computer from another computer, an iPad or iPhone with remote software like the one I am using - LogMeIn. This gives you the flexibility to reboot or reconfigure your computer or just the AllStar server. 

Disadvantages: Cost and complexity. The cost of a used Intel Mac Mini with 2GB of RAM plus the cost of Parallels is obviously more than that of a free Pentium 4 with 512 MB of RAM. Installing Parallels using a Virtual Machine is pretty straightforward but if you haven’t done it before there are a few things to learn. Also, I am not sure how the radio URI /radio connection is going to work with the VM.

Conclusions: So far, for me, using a Mac Mini with Parallels VM is awesome! I am really happy with this setup. It is small, quiet and produces great audio from a WebTranceiver on my end to a WebTranceiver or RF on the other end (AllStar or Echolink node). 

George
K6GAZ
AllStar Node 28403
Echolink Node 674707
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