LTSpice (MacOS version)

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jacomart

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Hi all, yesterday I used LTSpice for the first time in the MacOS version, I was struck by the difference compared to the one for Windows which is much more interactive and easy to use.  I'm baffled.  I also had continuous crashes in an attempt to update the library: it works for 10 minutes by downloading files and then quits unexpectedly.  Can someone give me suggestions other than switching to Windows?  (I'm using an iMac 2019 with 32GB of RAM, BigSur etc...)
Well, I wrote this message more to share my despair than to have a solution, which I think is unlikely, but if it exists you are welcome!

Cheers
J
 

12afael

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I have the same problem mac version is useless... this morning I had to do a simulation at home at my pc. I´m toying with the idea of have a rapsberry pi just to have ltspice at hand.
 

jacomart

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I am considering the idea to install Vmware fusion, which is free for personal use, which can runs some version of Windows, even if I’m annoyed about that the owner of the source code cannot compile the same features on the various OSes.
 

jacomart

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abbey road d enfer said:
I believe the LTspice group is able to provide more answers than here.

You're right, that's why I just joined the LTspice group on groups.io.
In the meantime, however, I am successfully testing a solution with a commercial version of Wine which seems to work well and which of course does not require the installation and ownership of a Windows license.

Cheers
J
 

jacomart

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abbey road d enfer said:
What is the issue with having a Windows PC?
Most technical softwares work best on PC.

Actually no particular problem. I am retired and in my home "office" I have a Mac that I mainly use for "music" rather than electronics, but my old Windows 10 laptop is in the basement and I am sometimes too lazy to go down the stairs.
My question was more philosophical than practical, namely: if your software has versions for different operating systems, why are the features and user interfaces so different and one version is so disadvantaged over the other? Maybe mine is some kind of engineer fussiness (either do things right or avoid doing them). But considering that in my work I have almost always used NI Multisim the question is probably related to the fact that I am becoming a grumpy old man!

Cheers
J
 

abbey road d enfer

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jacomart said:
My question was more philosophical than practical, namely: if your software has versions for different operating systems, why are the features and user interfaces so different and one version is so disadvantaged over the other?
That's a good question. I don't know of any software that was designed from the start as multi-platform. They always start on a particular platform and are later ported, when the programmer figures out some of the aspects are not actually that portable, and that the new platform may allow doing things differently. Now I understand that programmers are fed up having to adapt almost every year to the whims of Apple. Microsoft has shown good consistency since W7.
 

Bo Deadly

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jacomart said:
My question was more philosophical than practical, namely: if your software has versions for different operating systems, why are the features and user interfaces so different and one version is so disadvantaged over the other?
Because GUI libraries are usually tied to the OS. It's a lot easier to just use the widgets and drop-downs and buttons and builtin OS primitives for making GUIs than it is to make your own. Cross platform GUI libraries like QT and the ones browsers use didn't come along until long after LTSpice was crafted.
 

jacomart

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squarewave said:
Because GUI libraries are usually tied to the OS. It's a lot easier to just use the widgets and drop-downs and buttons and builtin OS primitives for making GUIs than it is to make your own. Cross platform GUI libraries like QT and the ones browsers use didn't come along until long after LTSpice was crafted.
I agree with this, but I still remain of the idea that, rather than providing a sloppy product, it would have been preferable that the only distributed version was for the Windows operating system
(however, companies like Adobe or Avid, and more, have been producing software for both Windows and Macos with decent user interfaces for many years.)

Cheers
J
 

abbey road d enfer

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jacomart said:
companies like Adobe or Avid, and more, have been producing software for both Windows and Macos with decent user interfaces for many years.)
For Adobe, it's vital, but Avid, I don't know. ProTools started on mac and came later to Windows, but there was a time where users didn't like it at all. It may have changed now...
 

jacomart

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squarewave said:
Because GUI libraries are usually tied to the OS. It's a lot easier to just use the widgets and drop-downs and buttons and builtin OS primitives for making GUIs than it is to make your own. Cross platform GUI libraries like QT and the ones browsers use didn't come along until long after LTSpice was crafted.

As far as I know the Qt / Mac libraries for MacOSX were released around 2001, LTSpice IV for MacOS dates back to 2013 while LTSpice XVII was released in 2016. I really think there was plenty of time to improve the user interface. Anyway, I repeat myself: if you don't want to make a good version for Mac, don't do it at all!
I am not writing here to make controversy with the members of this group nor to do so with the software developers but rather to express my disappointment with such a sloppy piece of software. Now that I have, I can put my shrewish side to sleep (Sorry for the late reply).

Cheers
JM
 

Bo Deadly

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jacomart said:
As far as I know the Qt / Mac libraries for MacOSX were released around 2001, LTSpice IV for MacOS dates back to 2013 while LTSpice XVII was released in 2016. I really think there was plenty of time to improve the user interface. Anyway, I repeat myself: if you don't want to make a good version for Mac, don't do it at all!
I am not writing here to make controversy with the members of this group nor to do so with the software developers but rather to express my disappointment with such a sloppy piece of software. Now that I have, I can put my shrewish side to sleep (Sorry for the late reply).

Cheers
JM
I don't think anyone is arguing with you. Do something right or don't do it at all. I was just explaining that most software is tied to the OS because of native UIs. Cross platform GUI libs have only recently become practical to use. AD would have to completely rewrite the LTSpice UI to use whatever cross platform GUI lib. And LTSpice is a little more demanding graphically compared to some business intelligence app. It's hard to justify that expense if the software is free. Most engineering software runs on Windows so most engineers need a Windows machine anyway.
 

jacomart

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squarewave said:
I don't think anyone is arguing with you. Do something right or don't do it at all. I was just explaining that most software is tied to the OS because of native UIs. Cross platform GUI libs have only recently become practical to use. AD would have to completely rewrite the LTSpice UI to use whatever cross platform GUI lib. And LTSpice is a little more demanding graphically compared to some business intelligence app. It's hard to justify that expense if the software is free. Most engineering software runs on Windows so most engineers need a Windows machine anyway.

I don't think anyone is arguing with me, I just wanted to be clear that I am not fighting with anyone! :)

Cheers
JM
 

Dualflip

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jacomart said:
Anyway, I repeat myself: if you don't want to make a good version for Mac, don't do it at all!
I am not writing here to make controversy with the members of this group nor to do so with the software developers but rather to express my disappointment with such a sloppy piece of software.

You are expressing your disappointment and demanding things from a company giving out their software for free....  :eek:
 

jacomart

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Dualflip said:
You are expressing your disappointment and demanding things from a company giving out their software for free....  :eek:

I simply think that the fact that Ltspice is free does not justify that it must necessarily be of poor quality  ;)
 

abbey road d enfer

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jacomart said:
I simply think that the fact that Ltspice is free does not justify that it must necessarily be of poor quality  ;)
It just shows that porting software is not an easy task. Generally, one can expect taht a ported software is not as satisfactory as if it had been native. That's the case with many other programs, Samplitude, REW, Autocad, Logic Pro, ProTools...
If I wanted to use any Avid program, I would buy a Mac. Fortunately I am not tempted.
 

john12ax7

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Since it's free, and on a rarely used OS for simulation,  there is not a lot of incentive to fix it. They probably ported it,  found bugs,  and decided oh well there are more important matters to focus on.

It seems you are trying wine,  other options are do a windows virtual machine,  or dual boot. I've faced similar issues with Windows and Linux, dual boot made things easy.
 

Monte McGuire

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Back several years ago in the days of LTspice IV, MacOS was the premier platform for LTspice, and Mr. Engelhard, the force behind LTspice, used it as his preference. There were some clever optimizations done to exploit the OS  facilities and in general, it was "the" version with the Windows version being the afterthought. I guess it's just changed with the new LTspice XVII. It might have also had something to do with Analog digesting Linear - not up on the details, but the MacOS version was not always the laggard until recently.

FWIW, I use both. I have a fast i7 desktop with powerful fans that I can let cook indefinitely to try to brute force converge something, and I also use the MacOS version on a MacBook Pro laptop when I travel, I fully expect both versions to work well, and in general, they do work well. There are some features that are missing from MacOS, and things like the file structure have been hidden inside of the MacOS "bundle" mechanism for years (but still accessible if you open the bundle), but overall, it's not significantly hobbled - I get good work done on both versions all day long.

FWIW, I have VMware Fusion on this laptop, so I could run the Windows version, but I choose not to - there's really little reason. So sure, it might be frustrating now and then, but the only thing I lament (that I can work around) is the inability to have a "Plot Defs" file where I can define functions to do a Tian probe easier. But, you can just enter the huge Tian probe expression manually (cut and paste) and it works - I have not been shut out of any feature 100%.

I am grateful that there are both versions, and I use them both, these days more than 40 hours a week, so I find them to be essential tools. Sure, a few things could be nicer on MacOS, but that's what we have now...

FWIW, TI also offers TinaTI, which I also use, especially when I have to deal with an encrypted TI model, and they now have a new version of Pspice, which I have yet to try out. So, there are some options out there, and yet still, I use the MacOS LTspice XVII probably the most of all.
 
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