Compass on a mac

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Compass on a mac

Postby gindling » Mar 3, 2013 7:06 pm

3. Windows Emulation. With this option, a special program running on the Mac Simulates the Windows operating system environment. Since it is simulating Windows, you don't actually need a copy of Windows to make it run. Also the most widely used version is free. On the down side, the software will run considerably slower, although computers are so fast these days, that you probably won't notice a difference with most program. The biggest down side is compatibility. Because the emulator has to match every single standard Windows subroutine exactly right, there is a high risk that you will encounter compatibility problems. Here is a link to the most popular emulator, which is called"Wine."

Wine Bottler


This is from the Compass website. Has anyone used this and experienced any of the compatibility problems it talks about? Ive always used Compass on my PC laptop but now have a Mac and have recently downloaded Inkscape onto it and am looking for a lineplot software to use.
Ive looked through all the archives and It looks like my choices are Therion, Survex, Tunnel, for Mac "as is" or Compass or Walls using a Bootcamp, Parallels, or wine bottler program. Compass I've used and understand, Walls looks just as good but the tutorial that I found was more confusing than my 7th grade Japanese language class. Maybe if there was a short survey to look at from start to finish. I'm a bit more computer code language deficient than most on this site it seems, I guess I'm just used to the premade tables like I see on the Compass program. Oh, and all my data is on Compass already. ( I guess Im also wondering what the difference is between Walls and Compass?)
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Re: Compass on a mac

Postby driggs » Mar 4, 2013 11:52 am

Using a translation layer, such as WINE as suggested above, will make you pull your hair out. I tried several years ago using CrossoverOffice, a commercial WINE version. Both Compass and Walls will run with about 90% of their features working correctly, but will occasionally hang or fail to render lineplots correctly. Additionally, if you share data with Windows users, you may encounter problems with the text file line endings, causing more headache.

Unfortunately, our best option on a Mac is to use an emulation layer instead: run Windows inside OS X. I recommend the free and cross-platform VirtualBox, though you can't go wrong with VMWare or Parallels either. You will need a way to install Windows, such as a Windows XP disc image, to install onto the virtual machine. Both Compass and Walls run exactly as they do on Windows, because they are running on Windows, safely inside your Mac.

Discussed previously on CaveChat:


To my knowledge, the Mac options for cave survey software have not changed since those previous discussions. However, someday we'll have CaveWhere ...
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Re: Compass on a mac

Postby Marlatt » Mar 4, 2013 12:10 pm

For what it is worth, I've been using Compass on my Mac, via Wine, for a couple years. It isn't quite as smooth as running it directly on a PC, but it seems to be fully functional - no crashes, no line termination issues, etc. I commonly share my survey files back and forth between my PC (HP laptop) and my Mac (MacPro) - no issues.

I like the Compass format and interface, and didn't really want to move to another program, and so I was pretty motivated to make this work. I'd run Compass under a Windoze emulator back in the old (OS 8.6) days, but I didn't want to go that direction. Wine installed easily and, other than needing to tweak the path prefs, Compass fired up and ran without a hitch. It does take a long time to start, but once it is going, I have no complaints. (It may be that the Wine libraries, etc., may have improved over the years. I did try this several years ago and ran into a lot of problems. I dropped it at that point and just worked on a PC - but when I finally came around to trying it again, it ran without any problems.)

Personally, I'm not sure why you'd use an emulator. If you're going to spring for a copy of Windows, why not simply partition your drive and dual-boot?

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Re: Compass on a mac

Postby gindling » Mar 4, 2013 12:30 pm

Thanks Driggs, thats what I thought, I didn't want to go through all the trouble downloading that just to find its crap. I was just trying the cheapest way first since I no longer have the CDs that I used to download Windows onto my Toshiba. Its off to Parallels or similar for me it looks like. I Usually just use the computer for lineplots and hand draft but the next cave I am working on is much longer and would probably end up many of feets long or more by the end of it. I saw the paper original of Iron Hoop Cave a few years back and it was near 9'.

Now to get my tablet working and start figuring out Inkscape. Thanks again.
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