Author Topic: Davis is failing Mac users  (Read 1134 times)

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Offline stu-in-flag

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Davis is failing Mac users
« on: January 14, 2020, 09:34:13 PM »
I have had no luck with Davis on requesting help to update my Weatherlink IP. The repetitive response is, basically, go buy a PC.

I don't use PCs. I use Macs, or iPhones, or iPads. I haven't used PCs for years. Davis has abandoned the modern world on this one. I simply have no way to update their equipment. And, it would be cheaper to replace my Davis with someone else's weather station, than buy a PC just to do this. None of my other IoT devices make me use a PC.

Can't they pay some college student for a weekend to write an updater for iOS or MacOS?

Sheesh.

Rant complete.


Offline waiukuweather

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 10:49:20 PM »
I could try and create an app for them, or someone else could too,  if they told us what needs to be done etc (source code etc)

Offline galfert

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 12:26:35 AM »
You just need a firmware update. So you only need a PC but for a moment and you are done. Can't you borrow a neighbor or friend's PC? Have them come over with their laptop and share a beer. Surely everyone you know isn't using only Apple. You can even do it the other way around....you take the Weatherlink IP to them if they have a desktop PC, then perform the update and then take it back home. You don't need to bring your ISS.

I'm not making an excuse for Davis. I'm just saying that sometimes you need to be resourceful. I'm sure Davis will fix this. It's just that it will take time.

Another option is to install Windows in a VM on your Mac. You can do that for free. You don't need a Windows license because it will be something you don't use but for one firmware update.

Another thing to do is to buy a $25 used PC. These days you can often find a free computer if you know where to look. I'm sure right now there are a ton of obsolete and unsupported Windows 7 computers being disposed or sold as used as Microsoft has just terminated Windows 7 updates. But for you to do a simple firmware update this doesn't matter.

Look at your local recycling transfer station for free dumped PCs.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 12:35:56 AM by galfert »
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Offline waiukuweather

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 01:36:47 AM »
the virtual windows on a mac is good idea

Offline stu-in-flag

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 08:10:59 PM »
So, I thought I would look into adding Windows 10 to my MacBook Pro to be able to install the fix to the WeatherLinkIP. While there is a rumor you can do this for free, there are hidden costs.

Apparently, somehow, you can get a free license and download Windows 10 and install it. But, to do that you need 64-128 GB of free memory on your boot disk hard drive. My MacBook Pro came with 121GB in the solid state drive. On which, after cleaning out, I have 37GB. (So, I wasn't able to confirm that it is possible to install and use Windows for free)

Okay, so I could upgrade my boot disk, which I don't otherwise need to do. That's roughly $150-600. I could buy a decent, Mac/iOS interfacing station for that money.

So, that's not free. Still don't know anyone that has a personal Windows laptop. Most people just giggle when I ask.

Oh wait, my employer makes me use a PC. Which they lock so that no-one can use it for tasks like this because of all the security hazards with activities like this (when using windows).

I'm sorry, but Davis is missing the boat with a premiuim priced product that is unsupported.







Offline galfert

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 09:28:07 PM »
The 32 bit version of Windows 10 requires 16 GB of storage. The 64 bit version of Windows 10 requires 20 GB. The Davis software probably is 32 bit.

Also you don't need a license for Windows 10. You don't need any license. A Windows 10 fresh install will run unlicensed for 30 days and let you do anything.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 08:44:50 AM by galfert »
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Offline casacota

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 05:02:09 AM »
Davis should offer a WM for Mac to do the update...

Offline stu-in-flag

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 06:49:36 AM »
The 32 bit version of Windows 10 requires 16 GB of storage. The 64 bit version of Windows 10 requires 20 GB. The Davis software probably is 32 bit.

Also you don't need a icense for Windows 10. You don't need any license. A Windows 10 fresh install will run unlicensed for 30 days and let you do anything.

After looking for 30 minutes, I finally found the links to the 32-bit version. Clearly, they don't really want you to find it. Since I have to travel this week and next for work, maybe by the end of next week I can find the time to do the recommended back-up, partitioning, download, and install.

Then, I can learn how to use windows on my Mac.

Get some form of virus protection on the machine.

Download the installer.

Install the upgrades.

Uninstall windows.

Unpartition my hard drive.

Wait, where was I?


Offline vreihen

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 07:18:25 AM »
Wait, where was I?

Looking for an empty box to pack your logger in for shipping to Davis for them to apply the update?????  :lol:
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Offline stu-in-flag

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 09:04:09 AM »
Wait, where was I?

Looking for an empty box to pack your logger in for shipping to Davis for them to apply the update?????  :lol:

First, wouldn’t need to get an RM# over the phone?  And, can I send both of mine back in the same box, or do I need two? Or two RM#s? Can I send them by regular mail or do they need to go Fed-ex? How much will that cost me?

So many questions. So much to do?

Again, apologies. But the hidden costs are mounting.


Offline waiukuweather

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 01:22:57 PM »
the virus worry thing with windows is over the top I think
even if you did, its only going to be in that virtual machine

Offline galfert

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 02:56:37 PM »
I agree that virus protection worry is unnecessary but it sounds like an attempt is going to be made to keep this Windows 10 install going for the long run. If that is the case then you will be needing a bigger hard drive, and you'd best install the 64 bit version of Windows 10 as that is what most people use now. But if you are just going to flash the firmware and be done then just install the 32 bit version (its is smaller) and then wipe that Windows 10 install to free up valuable space on that 120 GB drive (which is on the low side for today so you'll want to regain space.)
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Offline stu-in-flag

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 06:31:28 PM »
Here is another idea:

Another option I have just heard about is WINE. I have not tested it, but I have heard form a customer that he used t to update his on his MAC.
https://www.howtogeek.com/263211/how-to-run-windows-programs-on-a-mac-with-wine/


Unfortunately, I'm running Catalina, and couldn't get any of the free apps to work. Wine is not reported to be compatible with it.

Might work for someone else
 


Offline stu-in-flag

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 07:02:09 PM »
One of the pay to use "WINE" apps, CrossOver-Mac from Codeweavers, allows a full trial version for 14 days. They report compatibility for OS X Catalina. I ran it and the WLIP update for one of my stations. It seems to be working. Might get the other one tomorrow.

https://www.codeweavers.com/products/crossover-mac/download-now

It was pretty straight-forward, but you have to grant permission because it isn't coming from the App store.


Offline DaveOnFidalgo

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2020, 02:12:00 PM »
I'm sorry, but I have to agree that Davis is failing its Mac customers.  In fact, by all appearances, Davis Instruments is starting to look like a company in serious decline. 

My first hint of this was about a year ago.  I got an email from them indicating they were unable to renew my Weatherlink Network account.  I knew it was because of the expiration date on my CC.  No problem, I thought, I'll just go in and update that.  But, as it turned out, that is not possible.  Instead, I needed to call them and give my CC info to some stranger on the phone.  Huge red flag!  Needless to say, that ended my Weatherlink Network subscription which wasn't that useful anyway.

Now, I have been a DOS/Windows user since 1982.  Also since about 2010, I have worked my way up thru iPod Touch, iPads, iPhones and most recently the Apple Watch.  I love the way all this stuff works together.  I have also grown weary of all the Windows and Office-365 mickymouse which I don't need to go into here.  So I have been researching and making preparations to migrate totally from Windows to a MacOS environment.

I decided to begin with a base model Mac Mini to use as my VP2 station server.  It would give me the opportunity to learn the OS while I wait for the new iMacs to be released and replace my main desktop.  I contacted Davis about acquiring the Mac version of the Weatherlink software for the VP2 data logger.  She told me I could download it.  So far,  so good.  Then she added, "unfortunately, we do not have software compatible with Catalina."  I would need to find third party software.

Is that really true?  If so, I find it unbelievable.  What are your experiences here?  Is she just saying this because they have not tested it with Catalina?

If this is true, then yes, Davis is definitely failing Mac users.  And, I'm sorry, but I find no appeal in jury-rigging Windows into a Mac computer when my goal is to free myself of Windows altogether.
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Offline vreihen

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2020, 04:07:06 PM »
Then she added, "unfortunately, we do not have software compatible with Catalina."  I would need to find third party software.

Is that really true?  If so, I find it unbelievable.  What are your experiences here?  Is she just saying this because they have not tested it with Catalina?

The Catalina upgrade dropped support for ALL 32-bit macOS apps.

I am *still* scrounging all over the Internet looking for 64-bit versions of the obscure Mac software that I have collected over the years, and some of the developers are long out of business.

The fact that Davis told you it won't work instead of telling you when they would have a proper 64-bit re-compile ready for release speaks volumes about their ongoing support for macOS in the future.....
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Offline DaveOnFidalgo

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2020, 04:58:00 PM »
That was definitely the subtext.  It won't work and we won't do anything about it.
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Offline Aardvark

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2020, 09:35:56 PM »
I agree that virus protection worry is unnecessary but it sounds like an attempt is going to be made to keep this Windows 10 install going for the long run. If that is the case then you will be needing a bigger hard drive, and you'd best install the 64 bit version of Windows 10 as that is what most people use now. But if you are just going to flash the firmware and be done then just install the 32 bit version (its is smaller) and then wipe that Windows 10 install to free up valuable space on that 120 GB drive (which is on the low side for today so you'll want to regain space.)
  Virus protection for a mac is necessary.  The fable was that there were no malware for the mac.  While that was floating around, the little hackers got busy and developed stuff that does crud up the mac, while saying "no virus."   I would recommend something with a small footprint.  I use Norton 360 and it works fine, small resource and so forth.  But not to use it is like going down in the redlight district with no protection and then trying to explain to the doctor you got that shanker from a toilet seat.
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Offline galfert

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2020, 10:21:27 PM »
Nobody said anything about no virus protection on a Mac. The discussion about virus protection came up regarding the temporary Windows installation for the purpose of flashing a firmware and then being done with that Windows installation and reverting back to using with the Mac. Therefore the recommendation to not worry about virus protections was because of the single on time purpose of flashing the firmware, that virus protection was not necessary on that temporary Windows install, same reason why a valid Windows license is also not needed as it will only live for a matter of hours at most.
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Offline davidg_nz

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2020, 10:40:47 PM »
The fact that Davis told you it won't work instead of telling you when they would have a proper 64-bit re-compile ready for release speaks volumes about their ongoing support for macOS in the future.....

About the same as their ongoing support for Windows in the future I think. They appear to be in the process of abandoning WeatherLink for PC and Mac - the future as far as they're concerned is weatherlink.com. I suspect if Microsoft stupidly did the same and intentionally broke all 32bit apps then you'd quickly find the Windows version in the same situation.

The good news I guess, if there is any, is the Mac version turns out to be a Java app. Digging through the jar file it seems they even compiled it on a PC (and were using Visual SourceSafe - ugh). Makes me wonder why they didn't replace the old native windows app with this.

I can get it to start without any modifications on windows easy enough:

If you hit yes you get to pick where to put the station and then the app crashes with the following error:
Quote
open (C:\Users\david\Desktop\WLink\test);
station opened
Serialio.SerialPortLocal: version 8.6
Copyright (c) 1996,2001 Serialio.com, All Rights Reserved.
os.name="Windows 10"  os.arch="x86"
osName=Windows 10 osArch=x86
Platform not supported, check VM properties os.name & os.arch

So they're using an off-the-shelf serial port library which doesn't support Windows 10. The "libjspMacOSX.jnilib" file you can see in my screenshot is the MacOS X support library for this serial port library. This will be a 32bit native binary so this is where the problem is on Mac. If they've still got a Java developer and a mac to test with they might get away with just buying a newer version of the SerialIO library and copying the updated class files into the jar file.

I did exactly this using a newer copy of SerialIO I found somewhere on the internet (something that is no doubt forbidden by the SerialIO license agreement so I won't link to it). And here is the result:

A bit hacky but it seems to work ok. Not the best user interface (clearly just a clone of the windows version without asking "is this really the best user experience or could we do things differently now?") but still a bit nicer than the regular windows version.

Offline Brientim

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2020, 02:40:59 AM »
WRT WeatherLink IP firmware update on MAC, this was posted the Facebook Davis Weather User Group Apr 11.


A link to the Mac update, if you haven’t found it:
Davis Instruments WeatherLinkIP updater for the Mac

Here is the Mac updater.  http://toolbox.davisinstruments.com/downloads/Weather/firmware/MAC/WLIPUpdater115.zip

Best Regards,

Martin

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Offline DaveOnFidalgo

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2020, 01:45:31 PM »
Regarding the lack of Weatherlink software support for Mac Catalina by Davis, I have received additional confirmation from Davis.  Recall that I am in the process of migrating everything from Windows to MacOS.  Davis had recommended WeatherCat as an alternative.

First, I downloaded WeatherCat to the Mac, but I could not open it because "no station was connected."  I had hoped to be able explore it a bit before moving the station.  So, I took the VP2 off line and moved it from the Windows PC to the Mac.  That was Monday 5/11/20.

Yesterday, I got an almost panicky sounding email from Davis because they noticed the station was offline.  I reminded them of my situation, Mac Catalina, etc.  I asked if it was true that they are not supporting Mac Catalina and later, and asked if this would change in the near future.  He confirmed that they have no plans to support this or any future MacOS.  He added if this changes, he would let me know.  I'm not holding my breath.

Now, my experience with WeatherCat, so far, has not been stellar either:
  • What I have been able to see looks like something designed in the 90's.  Very web 1.0.
  • It opens with a dialog to choose a station; then the coms port field contains only one option, something-bluetooth-something for the VP2
  • The link to download a USB driver for the VP2 in the User Guide is broken
  • Their registration process for the user forum appears designed to keep people away.  My lack of patience for nonsense was sorely tested.  Never did get in
  • 24 hours after downloading, WeatherCat refuses to open; it's still there, 48.7 MB, but's DOA
  • Their tech support via an email link appears non responsive, perhaps even nonexistent

So here I am now, a weather station that's been running for 14 years is dead in the water.  I'll be spending the day searching for alternatives.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 01:50:12 PM by DaveOnFidalgo »
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Offline galfert

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2020, 02:07:46 PM »
My 2 cents....Back in the day when computers were expensive and everyone had just one computer I could understand wanting support for your chosen operating system. But today we have $200 and $300 computers or even less if you shop around for a used computer that would be more than adequate for a dedicated weather station. You also have less than $100 Raspberry Pi (after you get all the accessories) as an option. I understand wanting to move from PC to Mac or Mac to PC or PC to Linux or whatever for your everyday computer use. But today you are better off not limiting yourself to just one computer or to just one operating system. Change, adapt and become more versatile and you'll get a better experience.

 
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Offline Brientim

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2020, 02:12:10 PM »
Have you tried CumlusMX or Weather Display? Both can run on MacOS.

Offline galfert

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Re: Davis is failing Mac users
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2020, 02:20:45 PM »
None of my other IoT devices make me use a PC.

Many IoT devices may not make you use a PC, but many do make you use a smartphone! To some people with flip phones that is a serious concern. For every platform that a company has to maintain represents a considerable effort and costs associated. I'm sure Davis looked at this carefully before deciding to become focused on the PC platform.

Actually in some ways I think you could say that Davis has also abandoned the PC. WLfW is done being developed although still available and they no longer sell the IP logger and the WLL is the replacement and that uses a mobile app which is the way things are going.  Mobile and cloud is the new way.

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