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MicroStation in MAC OS

Hi everyone,

Does anybody knows if MicroStation works in MAC OS?

Thanks

Bill Prassas

22 Replies

  • Microstation is Windows only, the last version for MAC OS was Microstation SE (1997).

    Best,

    Reimo

  • Hi Bill-

    There is no Mac-native version of MicroStation.  But you can run MicroStation on a Mac by running Windows on a Mac; this can be done with Boot Camp or with a virtualization solution such as VMWare Fusion or Parallels. 

    I actually talked about running MicroStation on a Mac in my blog.  If you want more info than that, feel free to contact me. 

    HTH,

    Jeff

     

  • Bill,

     

    I run MicroStation in Bootcamp and also have both Fusion and Parallels. Fusion has display issues with Microstation line styles (1-7) . Parallels has come a long way and I now prefer it over Fusion but Bootcamp will give you the best performance. If I'm mainly going to working in MicroStation all day I will use Bootcamp with XP.   The iMac  actually make for an excellent PC.

    My recommendation are.

    1) First thing I do is dump the apple mouse and get a good 2 button corded mouse with scroll wheel.  I love Apples stuff but their mice don't work well with MicroStation.  Especially if you use a 2 button cord for snapping.

    2) If your working with large files or 3D rendering bootcamp is the way to go.  I prefer XP because it has a smaller footprint.

    3) For smaller files or quick reviewing I use Parallels.

    4) Set up a VM machine and install MS on it.  DON'T use the bootcamp patition from Parallels, if you do you take a huge hit on start-up times both in Parallels and Bootcamp.

    5) Select server may report 2 licenses being use.   Bentley is aware their software falsely reports the number of licenses being used on some VM's.

    Cheers,

    DavidG

     

  • In reply to Roy Gallier:

    I was running MicroStation in Parallels until I "upgraded" to Windows 7.  Now I'm in authentication hell.  4 calls to MicroSoft sending me in a giant circle and repeating the same process over and over and over.  After 40 minutes on the last call I finally get through do someone with a brain AND the power to make a decision.  Then of course AT&T drops my call right in the middle of Bob from India giving me a new load key.  Never heard back from good old Bob even though I gave out my name, email and phone number and explanation of the problem a dozen times in the previous hour.  I just love Windows.

  • In reply to DavidG:

    David,

    I'm considering running Microstation on one of our Macs. All these comments on using Macs have been really helpful.

    Have you heard more from Bentley if they've solved the license reporting issue?

    I have no experience running Windows on a Mac so just wondering why you would have Bootcamp, Parallels and Fusion? Why not stick to one?

    Thanks,

    Mary

    Mary M

  • In reply to Marym:

    Mary,

    I don't use Fusion anymore.  MicroStation proved to work better with Parallels.

    Large files and 3d work better under Bootcamp.

    parallels offer the advantage of accessing other OSX apps.

    For me if I'll be working all day in MS I use bootcamp.   If I need a quick plot or edit I use bootcamp.   I also have a few other windows program I use mainly in parallels.

    Bentley has not notified me lately of any licensing issues

    Regards,

    DavidG

  • In reply to DavidG:

    I think that with the way things are going for Apple, and the fact that Autodesk has now been OSX enabled for a while, Bentley ought to look into re-porting to the Mac, as well.

    My gut feeling is that there is some undisclosed agreement with Microsoft that is stopping it, which would be a shame. MS is the only program that I need Windows for and I found Parallels to be too damn slow even for just faffing around so now I am Bootcamping but it is frustrating to have to boot into Windows for just the one program :-}

  • In reply to stonelli:

    Hi,

    There are a lot of tools in the Windows platform.  Bentley has taken advantage of some of these tools for a long time.  I know that they've been talking about rewriting some of them, but no schedule has been offered.  I don't see Microstation going to the Mac until Bentley is less dependent on the Microsoft/Windows built-in tools.

    --Robert

  • In reply to RobertArnold:

    Hmm, I doubt that similar tools/functionality wouldn't be available in the OSX platform.

    Anyway, surely would be nice not to need Windows for only one program...

  • In reply to Roy Gallier:

    Roy, I get a "community not found error."  Is that from a private area?

    --Robert

  • In reply to kimba62:

    This past summer my desktop, running Windows XP, crashed. One or both of the memory chips failed (total memory 512MB), apparently during a critical operation while shutting down or updating the OS, resulting in a corrupted OS. (Overheating due to clogged ventilation ports may have caused the chip failure). Even with a new memory chip (1GB), the computer will not boot into Windows. While searching for a way to create a bootable CD or DVD to try and salvage data and repair the OS, I came across Ubuntu and Puppy Linux. With the new memory in place I was able to boot into Ubuntu and Puppy Linux via CD.  Ubuntu recognized but would not read or write my thumb drive.  Puppy had no problem and I was able to copy files from the hard drive to a thumb drive and transfer those files to a new laptop. My intention is to try to repair the XP installation. Failing that, I may just wipe the drive and install Ubuntu, Linux Mint or, Puppy (or maybe multi-boot). This experience has gotten me to thinking. MicroStation used to support both Windows and Apple/Mac (thru MS/SE) and there have been numerous requests to support Apple or Linux or Unix, etc.

    My thought is this: Why support any OS? Puppy only takes up about 100MB of ram - not much for the entire OS - and a heck of a lot less than plain vanilla MicroStation all by itself. Why not check out Linux and develop a tailored minimal OS (Bentley Linux?, Bentley OS?) and support only that - (as long as the OS is capable of running open source or commercial office software - software types that users are likely to be using in addition to CADD). Most of the Linux flavors will run quite well on a variety of hardware platforms besides the ones that typically run Windows. This way Bentley products could get away from dependencies on someone elses software (OS), including not having to wait for bug fixes in an external vendor's OS or develop work-rounds for those bugs while waiting for a fix so that the Bentley applications can function properly. This would make MicroStation and its applications available to Windows users, Mac users, Sun Sparcstation users, etc, without having to support, validate, certify, etc. MicroStation's use on any of their respective operating systems. It seems to me that this could significantly broaden the prospective customer base for Bentley products with comparatively minimal effort.


    Installation of the "Bentley OS" and Bentley products on a dedicated machine should yield the highest possible performance for any machine that meets the minimum hardware requirements. But Linux flavors can also run inside of Windows (with a performance penalty) using virtual machine software. This could give access to drivers for hardware that may not exist (yet?) for Unix/Linux.

    I wonder if there might be available linux software along the lines of Wine (which provides an environment that some Windows software can be installed and/or run) that is specifically designed to provide an environment for installation and use of non-Linux device and hardware drivers.

    In effect this would, in fact, be porting to Linux instead of Windows, but in the long haul it would probably be more beneficial than maintaining an "affair" with Windows.

  • In reply to Larry Whitt:

    Hi,

    I do engineering, drafting, Mstn customization & vba programming, IT, and interaction with clients.  My oversized desk is already too crowded and I definitely don't want a second computer on my desk.  The one computer I have is running Microstation, email, our contact/project management software, and Microsoft Office constantly.  It'd be hard to do that on a stand-alone operating system.

    Good idea, but I don't think it'd work for everyone.

    --Robert

  • In reply to stonelli:

    stonelli
    Autodesk has now been OSX enabled for a while

    AutoCAD was available for the original Macintosh computers for a few years, then AutoDesk dropped it. With that record, how would you forecast AutoDesk's ongoing support for the OSX platform?

    stonelli
    Bentley ought to look into re-porting to the Mac

    Companies develop products as a result of customer demand, not because a competitor has done something similar.

    stonelli
    My feeling is that there is some undisclosed agreement with Microsoft

    The conspiracy theory of software development! I don't think that's the case at all. What is true is that MicroStation V8 depends on many Windows features that are not available on other operating systems.

    stonelli
    I doubt that similar functionality wouldn't be available in the OSX platform

    If all operating systems were the same then wouldn't life be easier? Well, yes, but then there would be no difference between operating systems.

    There is functionality in Windows that doesn't exist in OSX and Linux. Equally, there is functionality in OSX and Linux that doesn't exist in Windows. That makes it hard for a large product like MicroStation to be portable easily between operating systems.

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions


  • In reply to Jon Summers:

    Jon, where there is a will...

    Obviously, if the customer base does not request it, they will not do it.

    All I am saying is that, as a Mac convert (yes call me foolish, I don't mind paying more for my beautiful hardware) I wish I could forego having to install Windows for just the one program.

    Cheers,

    Stefano

  • In reply to stonelli:

    RobertArnold

    Hi,
    I do engineering, drafting, Mstn customization & vba programming, IT, and interaction with clients. My oversized desk is already too crowded and I definitely don't want a second computer on my desk. The one computer I have is running Microstation, email, our contact/project management software, and Microsoft Office constantly. It'd be hard to do that on a stand-alone operating system.

    Good idea, but I don't think it'd work for everyone.
    --Robert



    Running "Bentley OS" and Bentley products stand-alone was only suggested as a way to optimize performance for those who do practically nothing else, not for those who frequently need to do other things, as many do.   Also, the OS, though it may be somewhat stripped down should still be capable of running other applications.  Most Microsoft Office products (and many other Windows programs) have open source and/or commercial counterparts for Linux operating systems that can open and edit the files created by those Windows programs.  If Windows is installed on the computer, many Windows-based programs will run under Linux using open source or commercial Windows emulation. Some don't even need Windows to be installed an run in the emulator.  And as I previously mentioned, Linux OSs can run inside Windows if necessary which may (I'm guessing here) give access to some Windows functionality or assets.  Also, unless you are dealing with very large files (documents, spreadsheets, databases, etc.), emulation shouldn't generate quite as much of a performance hit as to do so with MicroStation in an emulator or with the "Bentley OS" running inside Windows.

    Jon Summers

    There is functionality in Windows that doesn't exist in OSX and Linux. Equally, there is functionality in OSX and Linux that doesn't exist in Windows. That makes it hard for a large product like MicroStation to be portable easily between operating systems.


    I know little to nothing about programming, but just because a particular functionality isn't in Linux or isn't in Windows, does that actually mean it can't be there? Couldn't a "Bentley OS" be "tweaked" to include whatever functionality that Bentley products might specifically need? That is one of the reasons for the suggestion - so that Bentley products don't have to depend on or wait for a commercial OS to provide needed or desired functionality, or wait for them to fix their bugs for that matter.  There's been more than one version of MicroStation that has malfunctioned or been limited on one level or another because of a bug or limitation in Windows.

    Jon Summers

    Companies develop products as a result of customer demand, not because a competitor has done something similar.


    While true, what about the acquisition of new customers?  To be able to be free of dependence on an external OS would have to generate a wider pool of new customers - especially in smaller operations where a company just couldn't afford to replace the Macs or other non-Windows machines, let alone software on top of that. For them, Bentley products are not a viable option. OS independence or "Bentley OS" could open up that market, small though it may be.  The Linux community, though small does seem to be growing.  It might be smart to jump ahead of the curve instead of waiting for someone else to be first and then have to play catch-up.  And by that, I don't mean trying to support Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or any of the other flavors.   Create a Bentley OS and have complete control over the environment in which the products will run - just don't make it so proprietary that only Bentley products will run in it.

    This might also be a good way to reduce the overhead of ProjectWise. The "Bentley OS" and ProjectWise could be integrated.

    Here's another thought:  Does anyone know of a Boot-loader/ Memory Manager that would allow two operating systems to boot up into separate memory spaces?  Something like that might be able to give complete access to both Windows and something else without having to reboot to use each OS and without having to run one inside the other.  Each "Desktop" could be swapped in and out of memory as needed, hopefully with the ability to utilize a clipboard and linking between the two and so on.

    Just food for thought.



  • In reply to Larry Whitt:

    Larry, just give it time, with devices becoming smaller and internet connection becoming common you will find many application will be delivered via. the "cloud". Software developers, probably including Bentley, will provide, as a service, the application hosted from their servers. There will probably also be "cloud" service providers able to run your application no matter what O.S. it requires and deliver it remotely it to any device. This is already being used in the workplace, on the LAN, for CAD a well as other applications.

    The benefits are many:

    - The workstation needs very little power to display remote graphics

    - Network traffic is reduced to streaming graphics and commands.

    - The data never leaves the server room where it is secure.

    - A few servers will be able to serve dozens of workstations and perform load balancing to make the best use of hardware.

    It seems to me that computing is going full circle and returning to main-frames with dumb terminals (phones, tablets, projectors & anything else you can dream of).

  • In reply to Roy Gallier:

    Solidworks seems to be entertaining the idea of cloud based CAD. It has left customers scrambling to find other software they can use.

    How are you going to customise your Microstation if you don't even have the software!?

    As for native MS on OSX/POSIX, Bentley are going the opposite way. Instead of adopting multi-platform libraries they have adopted windows only ones (DirectX replacing OpenGL). No way in hell.

  • In reply to Roy Gallier:

    Roy Gallier

    The benefits [of cloud computing] are many:

    1. The workstation needs very little power to display remote graphics
    2. Network traffic is reduced to streaming graphics and commands
    3. The data never leaves the server room where it is secure
    4. A few servers will be able to serve dozens of workstations and perform load balancing to make the best use of hardware

    That reads unfortunately like somebody's marketing propaganda. Networked graphic workstations were first marketed twenty years ago, as low-cost terminals attached to a local server. Performance and financial payback failed to match expectations. As time can testify, they didn't survive.

    1 The workstation needs very little power to display remote graphics

    If using MicroStation (or any other similar application) were like watching TV, that might be true. But MicroStation is interactive.

    1. For how long are you prepared to wait for your cursor to move while a message from your mouse round-trips to the server and back?
    2. The graphics may be generated remotely, but it is nonetheless displayed locally. Presumably you still want to be able to turn levels on and off, rotate a view, and draw a line? Communication is a two-way street

    2 Network traffic is reduced to streaming graphics and commands

    1. In what manner is network traffic 'reduced'? MicroStation can work on a Windows PC stand-alone and generates no network traffic. A cloud application must, by definition, use a network. So what marketing genius calculated that going from no network traffic to 'streaming graphics and commands' is a reduction in anything?
    2. CAD graphics are not streamed like TV. MicroStation graphics are interactive: data must pass in both directions. If the cloud server you are using is based several thousand kilometres away, then the round-trip delay will make the application less interactive

    3 Data never leaves the server room where it is secure

    Really?

    1. Who says its secure, other than the cloud server provider? How do you measure security?
    2. Do you agree that your bank should store your personal & account details in a 'server room where it is secure'?
    3. If your data never leaves the server room, how can you ever use it? How does it get there in the first place? How could you verify that your data is valid?
    4. If data never leaves the cloud provider's server room, how do they back it up? I like my backed-up data to be stored in a physically separate location to the active data

    4.1 A few servers will be able to serve dozens of workstations

    That's OK then. Somebody obviously worked that out pretty carefully. Do you recall the prediction of Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM in 1943? "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

    There's no such thing as a free lunch.

    This cloud provider believes that they would have to service only a few dozen workstations. That doesn't seem like a sound financial proposition. What would the owners of those few dozen workstations have to pay in service fees for a secure, maintained, server? Just because the server is 'in the cloud' doesn't make it free of all the requirements of a ground-based server and its attendant IT staff.

    4.2 A few servers will perform load balancing to make the best use of hardware

    One server should be sufficient for dozens of workstations.

    Cloud computing makes sense only when there are thousands or millions of clients. If they have only a few dozen clients then it's financially unsound. If they really have thousands or millions of clients then they will also have hundreds of servers to service those clients.

    Hundreds of servers will require an army of attendees. No doubt some of them will be well-versed in load balancing, others in network management and yet others in data storage. People with those arcane capabilities don't come cheap.

    Off Topic: apologies

    I seem to have strayed far off the original topic of this thread.  Let's return to Mac OS.  If anyone wants to further the conversation about cloud computing, please start a new thread.

    Happy New Year!

    Jon Summers
    LA Solutions

    Regards, Jon Summers
    LA Solutions


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