Author Topic: LTspice on Mac. Argh.  (Read 991 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline David Aurora

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: au
LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« on: March 18, 2020, 10:27:42 am »
In the past I've tried a couple times to install this and it always threw a hissy fit and failed install in one way or another (multiple versions of OSX/LTspice, different computers, a total shitfight every time). Once or twice I actually started following along with instructions found online about doing tricky things in terminal to get it working, but eventually it seemed legitimately faster to just build the damn circuit. File under "Why do nerds always want to do things in the least user friendly way possible?" (I could rant on this topic for 10 pages...)

Anyway...

Last week I decided to try it again and it worked like a charm. Used it for a few days without issue, was starting to like having some simulation software handy again.

Tonight I go to use it and it's a chore. Until tonight I was able to open a dialog box with some kind of directive wizard (something along the lines of saying "Help me edit"). It was so simple I can't even remember how, I either hit run and got it or I pressed S or something along those lines. Whatever it was, it would give me a window with operating point analysis, ac analysis, etc.

For love or money I can't get to that window anymore. If I click run i get a message saying "No analysis command found", if I right click and try to add commands i can't get that wizard type function, everything has to be done manually. Ive rebooted, reinstalled, nothing seems to bring it back. From what I can gather, in the Windows version you can just hit edit simulation in the toolbar, but the mac version has no toolbar.

Any ideas?
 

Offline Zero999

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14477
  • Country: gb
  • 0999
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 11:03:50 am »
I didn't realise there is a Mac version.

This sounds a big vague. Please post some screen shots.

The first place to check is the help file.
 

Offline imo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2650
  • Country: 00
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 11:04:27 am »
A text placed into your simulation .asc file could be a "Comment" or a "Spice Directive". When placed in as a Comment you will not get the analysis options while clicking on it, and, no analysis will be provided.
When placed in as a "Spice Directive" doublecheck a typo (ie missing ".").
« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 11:08:09 am by imo »
 

Offline David Aurora

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2020, 12:00:31 pm »
I didn't realise there is a Mac version.

This sounds a big vague. Please post some screen shots.

The first place to check is the help file.

Help file says it should work the way it did a few days ago  :-DD

Screen shots seem kind of pointless as I can’t bring up the screen in question anymore
 

Offline David Aurora

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2020, 12:01:11 pm »
A text placed into your simulation .asc file could be a "Comment" or a "Spice Directive". When placed in as a Comment you will not get the analysis options while clicking on it, and, no analysis will be provided.
When placed in as a "Spice Directive" doublecheck a typo (ie missing ".").

This is not the issue I’m having.
 

Offline David Aurora

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 12:01:54 pm »
I suspect anyone using Windows won’t get what I mean here because the layout is different
 

Online bd139

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 16063
  • Country: gb
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2020, 12:11:19 pm »
The Mac version is quite frankly fucking horrible to use. I mean the windows version isn't perfect by any means but the Mac version is just dire.
 
The following users thanked this post: Someone, qu1j0t3

Offline David Aurora

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 12:21:09 pm »
The Mac version is quite frankly fucking horrible to use. I mean the windows version isn't perfect by any means but the Mac version is just dire.

Yep, it's pretty awful. Not awful enough to make me boot up an awful alternate OS, just awful enough to make me give up on using it. I'm not sure why they bothered porting it when it's this bad, seems pointless
 
The following users thanked this post: bd139

Offline Zero999

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14477
  • Country: gb
  • 0999
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2020, 01:12:08 pm »
I didn't realise there is a Mac version.

This sounds a big vague. Please post some screen shots.

The first place to check is the help file.

Help file says it should work the way it did a few days ago  :-DD

Screen shots seem kind of pointless as I can’t bring up the screen in question anymore
How about a screen shot of the help file then? Your description is far too vague to know what you're trying to do.

The Mac version is quite frankly fucking horrible to use. I mean the windows version isn't perfect by any means but the Mac version is just dire.

Yep, it's pretty awful. Not awful enough to make me boot up an awful alternate OS, just awful enough to make me give up on using it. I'm not sure why they bothered porting it when it's this bad, seems pointless
Have you tried the Windows version under WINE?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 01:13:54 pm by Zero999 »
 
The following users thanked this post: Someone

Online Someone

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2496
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 11:03:41 pm »
The Mac version is quite frankly fucking horrible to use. I mean the windows version isn't perfect by any means but the Mac version is just dire.

Yep, it's pretty awful. Not awful enough to make me boot up an awful alternate OS, just awful enough to make me give up on using it. I'm not sure why they bothered porting it when it's this bad, seems pointless
Have you tried the Windows version under WINE?
Wineskin was an easy way to get most windows apps running on OS X, even the latest ltspice installs and runs just fine.... but wineskin/wine hasn't kept up support for recent OS X releases (64bit transition) and needs some time to catch up.
 

Offline David Aurora

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2020, 11:14:52 pm »
Nevermind, PEBCAK error  |O

I finally found where the mystery entrance to that dialog is- a right click drop down menu from the text box in the spice directive window. Could have sworn there was a more obvious way like a button because I'm far too stupid to have found it there on my own when I was playing around with it last week, but I must be imagining it  :-DD

As you were
 

Offline SilverSolder

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2787
  • Country: 00
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2020, 11:54:27 am »

Today's user interface designers just aren't happy if any function is accessed through anything more intuitive than a masonic handshake...
 
The following users thanked this post: David Aurora, Someone, Ian.M, tooki

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5348
  • Country: ch
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2020, 01:34:07 pm »
Yep. Whatever happened to discoverability?!?
 
The following users thanked this post: SilverSolder

Offline ADJohnson

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: gb
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2020, 07:05:01 am »
Yep. Whatever happened to discoverability?!?

Apple.
 

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5348
  • Country: ch
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2020, 10:24:12 pm »
Yep. Whatever happened to discoverability?!?

Apple.
I don't think that's correct. Microsoft is the one that drove the current "flat" theme that everyone then followed. (It was born in Windows Phone and then rolled out in Windows 8.) IIRC, Apple actually was the last of the major vendors to Embrace the Flat™. I know MS was first, and I think Android was second (and had always been flatter, hadn't it??).


As for Apple, it was really Jony Ive.

Scott Forstall (who was the one who had pushed Apple's skeuomorphic designs) was apparently a divisive person within Apple, but while he was in charge of software, it was highly usable. When Forstall left and Ive took over, he applied his ultra-minimalist ethos to the UI, and IMHO it's been detrimental to usability.
 

Offline Bassman59

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1581
  • Country: us
  • Yes, I do this for a living
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2020, 06:37:41 pm »
As for Apple, it was really Jony Ive.

Form over function for him, every single time.

Anyway, regarding the topic of LTSpice on Mac: that LT/Analog had to publish a list of Mac OS X Shortcuts (pdf) pretty much says it all.

Also, the program has a built-in update feature which has never worked.
 
The following users thanked this post: qu1j0t3

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5348
  • Country: ch
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2020, 09:48:41 am »
As for Apple, it was really Jony Ive.

Form over function for him, every single time.
Yep. Back when he was alive, Jobs was able to rein in Ive. (Yes, Jobs absolutely cared about form, but he really did understand usability, and pushed back when Ive went too far. Even so, there were numerous cases where form won out, but rarely on the software side, where Ive historically was not in charge.)

I mean, I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing Ive, since I really do respect his work and think he’s made an immeasurable contribution towards giving us the sleek, precision-made doodads we have today. (I think that without him (and Jobs, for giving him the corporate platform to actually implement it), we’d still be contenting ourselves with electronics built to 1990s tolerances, not the literally Swiss watch level tolerances now common among midrange electronics and up.)

Anyway, regarding the topic of LTSpice on Mac: that LT/Analog had to publish a list of Mac OS X Shortcuts (pdf) pretty much says it all.
Huh? What does that say to you?  :-//

It’s perfectly normal for software companies to publish lists of shortcuts. They’re found in almost any app’s manual and/or help files. Back in the days of printed manuals, programs would commonly include a printed card with the shortcuts. And that despite the fact that, other than pure modifiers, all the shortcuts are shown in the menus.

On iOS (where of course there is no menu bar) when using a hardware keyboard, holding down the ⌘ (command) key summons a list of an app’s shortcuts.

(Disclaimer: in a former life, I worked as a technical writer/translator at a software company. So I have probably spent far more time looking at software documentation than normal people. :P )

Also, the program has a built-in update feature which has never worked.
That’s very irritating. Did it never work, or did it just never work on macOS 10.12? I speculate because countless apps used the open-source Sparkle framework for auto updating, and it’s great, except that the default code signing on 10.12 apparently castrates Sparkle. :( So I wonder if they used Sparkle and that’s why it’s not working.

Of course, they could just release on the Mac App Store and let it handle updates.

(This reminds me that it bugs me that the Arduino IDE doesn’t have an auto-updater at all. It just nags you that an update is available, but you have to download and install it manually from the website. It’s super fun on my work computer where I don’t have admin rights and thus can’t update it...)

I kinda wish more apps would follow the model used by Chrome and Firefox, where the installed app ultimately only acts as a launcher, running a (signed) executable actually stored in the user data, so that it can be updated automatically without admin rights. I know it’s wasteful with storage, but in the end I think it’s a great compromise.

<tangent>
Another elegant solution (albeit one that’s not really relevant for or compatible with modern multi-user OSes where normal users do not have admin rights) is what Microsoft did for Office 98 on the Mac: drag and drop install even thought it needs support files outside of the application folder. What they did was to make the core apps (i.e. Word/Excel/Powerpoint) capable of launching even if support files were missing, and then simply installing or repairing the support files if needed. So it gave the user the benefit of a simple drag-and-drop installation, while also allowing them to use a more complex install with shared support files for all users, including things like fonts that had to go in the System folder. I can’t emphasize enough how important the “repair” part was, since it was common in those days for support files to get borked. I forget if they kept this system around in Office 2001, but for sure it was gone in Office v.X, the concurrent version for Mac OS X.

Nowadays, of course, the apps are essentially self-contained, since that’s an absolute requirement on the iOS and Mac App Stores.</tangent>
 

Online Someone

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2496
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2020, 10:13:48 pm »
Anyway, regarding the topic of LTSpice on Mac: that LT/Analog had to publish a list of Mac OS X Shortcuts (pdf) pretty much says it all.
Huh? What does that say to you?  :-//

It’s perfectly normal for software companies to publish lists of shortcuts. They’re found in almost any app’s manual and/or help files. Back in the days of printed manuals, programs would commonly include a printed card with the shortcuts. And that despite the fact that, other than pure modifiers, all the shortcuts are shown in the menus.
As I recall (not going to install OSX LTspice again just to check) there was no easy way to find the shortcuts for the most basic of commands, not even a "help" document. The toolbar had just a couple of buttons and the multilayer context menu is awful:

Given the windows version has a toolbar and is much more usable, people rightly question why the OSX version offers such a different UI as the only choice. Its nothing about OSX as a platform as they clearly aren't following any guidelines, but the bizarre choices of the LTspice developer(s?)
 

Offline David Aurora

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: au
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2020, 12:01:20 am »
...
Also, the program has a built-in update feature which has never worked.

Which is precisely what stopped me even being able to try the program the first 20 or so times I downloaded it over the years  |O
 

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5348
  • Country: ch
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2020, 12:13:36 pm »
As I recall (not going to install OSX LTspice again just to check) there was no easy way to find the shortcuts for the most basic of commands, not even a "help" document. The toolbar had just a couple of buttons and the multilayer context menu is awful:
[video]
Eww, gross.  :wtf:

Given the windows version has a toolbar and is much more usable, people rightly question why the OSX version offers such a different UI as the only choice. Its nothing about OSX as a platform as they clearly aren't following any guidelines, but the bizarre choices of the LTspice developer(s?)
That is truly bizarre indeed.

One of the things I learned about the Mac community early on (a characteristic perhaps weakened these days, following a decade of high numbers of switchers from Windows, and a decade of not having Jobs around) is that Mac users are picky about UI quality, often rejecting (like a failed organ transplant) naive ports of apps for other platforms that do not adequately adapt to the Mac UI conventions.

(Famously, after introducing Word 6 to the Mac by abandoning the old Mac Word codebase and simply doing a straight port of the Windows version, Mac users rejected it so strongly that Microsoft had to offer downgrades to Word 5. They learned their lesson, and when Office 98 came out, they’d really made it look and work like a proper Mac app, while nonetheless being immediately usable by anyone familiar with Word for Windows or a Word 6.)

This was clearly not made with even the slightest nod to Mac UI conventions. I haven’t looked at the Windows version either, but from your description, they’re nothing alike. Hiding everything inside a right-click menu (can’t really call it a contextual menu if it’s really just the main menus) is something that was common in some UNIX GUIs, so perhaps this Mac version is actually a minimal build of an existing Unix version of LTspice. Since macOS is a UNIX under the hood, it’s generally trivial to port over UNIX apps, provided one doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about UI consistency.
 

Online bd139

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 16063
  • Country: gb
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2020, 12:20:12 pm »
To be fair to LTspice, the UI conventions for windows, which are extremely well defined, were violated terribly as well. It's a proper clunky pile of crap. But it's the best clunky pile of crap we have for the money so we have to live with it.

The issue is really that no one with the required level of experience at designing user interfaces was involved in the project.

Still it beats my early days with SPICE which were on SunOS 4, with manual schematic capture (do it on paper then input it) then do manual plots.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 12:21:57 pm by bd139 »
 

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5348
  • Country: ch
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2020, 12:49:00 pm »
To be fair to LTspice, the UI conventions for windows, which are extremely well defined, were violated terribly as well. It's a proper clunky pile of crap. But it's the best clunky pile of crap we have for the money so we have to live with it.
Well, compared to Apple’s human interface guidelines for classic Mac OS and early versions of Mac OS X, the Windows guidelines are adequate at best, definitely not “extremely well defined”. But at least they have guidelines. What sucks on Windows is that developers don’t feel any responsibility to adhere to them, so they just ignore them and to their own thing, reducing UI consistency between apps. In contrast, Mac software tends to follow the conventions a lot more faithfully, which is really what makes Macs easier to use: most apps, no matter who wrote them, behave consistently enough that you can just sit down and use them.

The issue is really that no one with the required level of experience at designing user interfaces was involved in the project.
Classic “let the developers design the UI” problems. Since programmers by definition do not represent the computer skills of the 99%, they tend to make radically different assumptions, and end up designing UIs that don’t make sense to non-programmers.

Even worse, UI-wise, is software designed by engineers (especially, though not exclusively, engineers of things other than software), because they’re not only not programmers or UI designers, they tend to be very, very, well... math-nerd-like. So you end up with tools that are utterly unusable to non-experts, with the certain aloofness a lot of us nerdy types have, completely oblivious to the unapproachability of their software designs. I expect that LTspice (or spice in general) was born this way.
 
The following users thanked this post: bd139

Offline GlennSprigg

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 909
  • Country: au
  • Medically retired Tech. Old School / re-learning !
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2020, 12:50:39 pm »
Here's some equivalents for a Mac, including 'MacSpice'.
https://formac.informer.com/circuit-wizard
I just use Circuit Wizard for Windows, as my 'current' brain can't handle more complex software!!  :D
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline SilverSolder

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2787
  • Country: 00
Re: LTspice on Mac. Argh.
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2020, 07:44:57 pm »
To be fair to LTspice, the UI conventions for windows, which are extremely well defined, were violated terribly as well. It's a proper clunky pile of crap. But it's the best clunky pile of crap we have for the money so we have to live with it.

The issue is really that no one with the required level of experience at designing user interfaces was involved in the project.

Still it beats my early days with SPICE which were on SunOS 4, with manual schematic capture (do it on paper then input it) then do manual plots.

Once you get used to LTSpice, it is extremely fast to work with.  But you do have to learn a number of masonic handshakes to get to that point.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf