Question Anyone running Seiko/Oki CPmanager on a VM on a Mac?

JethroMc

New Member
This isn't exactly a RIP or color management question, but this was the closest topic I could find.

We have been trying to eliminate windows PCs in our shop in favor of Macs, and have whittled it down to one PC only, which runs CP Manager for our Colorpainter M-64s. All this is used for is running maintenance and calibration tasks on the printer.

Well, that PC died today, so I'm wondering whether I can just get rid of it and run the software on the Mac that runs our Caldera RIP software, since this is already connected to the printer. There is no native Mac version of CP Manager, but has anyone tried running it on a VM on a Mac? If so I would value your comments...
 
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WildWestDesigns

New Member
While I don't have direct experience with that exact setup, I have setup connections with devices and VMs and depending on how it is physically connected to the computer changes the degree of difficulty to setup it up in the VM. This is also dependent on which VM software that you use as well. Some are easier to setup with regard to this compared to others. However, I would be mindful of the specs of the host computer. You are essentially going to be running 2 computers on the same resources. Even if it is just for one task and only one task. This can be compounded if the computer in question has one of Apple's ARM chips in it versus Intel.

Technically speaking, even with this method (or especially using something like WINE (CrossOver for a commercial version of it on Mac)), I would still treat it as you are running a Windows device and all the implications of doing so. As such, to truly get rid of Windows, you would need to get rid of all software that you have that depends on it. The only difference is that it won't take up that additional floor space using this method compared to just having a Windows only computer.

As much as I like VMs (not totally a fan of WINE, but it does come in handy a time or two), if you are wanting something just wham bam and then done, I would just get a Windows box and go on about your business. If it only does this one thing and that's it, I would isolate it from the rest of the WAN/LAN. As much as you could anyway. Access to the printer does change that to a degree.
 

JethroMc

New Member
CP Manager has to be run on a PC.
While I don't have direct experience with that exact setup, I have setup connections with devices and VMs and depending on how it is physically connected to the computer changes the degree of difficulty to setup it up in the VM. This is also dependent on which VM software that you use as well. Some are easier to setup with regard to this compared to others. However, I would be mindful of the specs of the host computer. You are essentially going to be running 2 computers on the same resources. Even if it is just for one task and only one task. This can be compounded if the computer in question has one of Apple's ARM chips in it versus Intel.

Technically speaking, even with this method (or especially using something like WINE (CrossOver for a commercial version of it on Mac)), I would still treat it as you are running a Windows device and all the implications of doing so. As such, to truly get rid of Windows, you would need to get rid of all software that you have that depends on it. The only difference is that it won't take up that additional floor space using this method compared to just having a Windows only computer.

As much as I like VMs (not totally a fan of WINE, but it does come in handy a time or two), if you are wanting something just wham bam and then done, I would just get a Windows box and go on about your business. If it only does this one thing and that's it, I would isolate it from the rest of the WAN/LAN. As much as you could anyway. Access to the printer does change that to a degree.
What we've been doing is running a 3.2Ghz i7 Mac mini for the rip software, and the windows box for CP Manager side by side, through a USB & HDMI Switch, so we switch between the Mac and the PC using the same keyboard, mouse and monitor, and the same USB connection to the printer.

This has worked pretty smoothly. The printer does not seem to mind its USB connection coming through the switch, which would lead me to suppose that it also may not mind it coming from a virtual machine - but that is just surmise.

We have an existing VMware license, so we would want to start with that. All we would need is a windows installation. I guess the only way to be certain is to try it.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
What we've been doing is running a 3.2Ghz i7 Mac mini for the rip software, and the windows box for CP Manager side by side, through a USB & HDMI Switch, so we switch between the Mac and the PC using the same keyboard, mouse and monitor, and the same USB connection to the printer.

This has worked pretty smoothly. The printer does not seem to mind its USB connection coming through the switch, which would lead me to suppose that it also may not mind it coming from a virtual machine - but that is just surmise.

We have an existing VMware license, so we would want to start with that. All we would need is a windows installation. I guess the only way to be certain is to try it.
If its USB, that's one of the easiest connections. Just make sure the software is good for your version of Windows and I would be surprised if you have a hard time with regard to that.

Mac Mini though, is it an ARM one? That may cause some lag since it is having to go through Rosetta 2.0 (akin to WINE/CrossOver) or whatever it's called now. Do you have the 8 or 16 GB version?
 

JethroMc

New Member
If its USB, that's one of the easiest connections. Just make sure the software is good for your version of Windows and I would be surprised if you have a hard time with regard to that.

Mac Mini though, is it an ARM one? That may cause some lag since it is having to go through Rosetta 2.0 (akin to WINE/CrossOver) or whatever it's called now. Do you have the 8 or 16 GB version?
Its the Intel i7, 16 gig version
 

JethroMc

New Member
So I'm just giving this a try...

I have Windows 10 running on a VM on the Mac, and CP Manager installed, but I'm having trouble getting windows to communicate with the printer. The driver files that I downloaded from OKI don't seem to be complete. See screenshot attached.

Had anyone had experience installing drivers for a Colorpainter M-64s recently?
 

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JethroMc

New Member
Heres a little feedback should anyone be interested....

It works just fine to run CP Manager on a virtual Windows machine on a Mac.

The only caveat I've found so far is that the windows machine and the Mac don't seem to be able to share the same USB cable and both use it at the same time. This means that I have to shut down the windows VM before I can print. Not really an issue seeing as CP manager is only needed for nozzle mapping and some maintenance tasks and modifying profile settings etc.

There may be a way of setting up the VM so that the USB is shared more seamlessly, but this works for me for now.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
Heres a little feedback should anyone be interested....

It works just fine to run CP Manager on a virtual Windows machine on a Mac.

The only caveat I've found so far is that the windows machine and the Mac don't seem to be able to share the same USB cable and both use it at the same time. This means that I have to shut down the windows VM before I can print. Not really an issue seeing as CP manager is only needed for nozzle mapping and some maintenance tasks and modifying profile settings etc.

There may be a way of setting up the VM so that the USB is shared more seamlessly, but this works for me for now.
No, that is what is known as "usb passthrough". Will not be able to share the same USB, while a specific USB connection is done in such a manner. Until, as you already stated, shut down the VM.

Now, if there is a "dongle" (be it the printer itself, or a traditional USB dongle), more likely will need to use this method as that will be the only way for the VM to establish the connection. Why it is also necessary for the VM to have the drivers for the particular hardware dongle as well. This method does have some perks if you are using multiple monitors and have multiple paraphials as well (keyboard, mice specifically). And you pass both of those thru specifically to the VM, it makes it really feel like on two computers. One person can do work on the Mac side of things, while another person at the same time does work in the VM.

The only way not to get this effect would be if this connection wasn't specific to the Windows side of things. However, since the program in question is Windows only, I don't think there would be an means of getting around passing through the connection without really playing around with this and even then, I don't know how well it would work. Could try things with IP config etc and pass it through as some type of suedo network connection, but that doesn't always work (in fact, more often it doesn't work).
 
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