This week, Linear Technology announced Mac OS X support for its LTSpice circuit-simulation software. LTspice, which now runs on OS X 10.7 and later, lets you simulate designs before committing to hardware and is available at no cost.
The fact that Linear ported LTSpice to the Mac came as a bit of a surprise to me, because I rarely run into an engineer who uses a Mac, at least for test and measurement. Sure, engineers have been using LabVIEW for the Mac, by National Instruments, since 1986. LabVIEW was originally developed for the Mac because DOS didn’t have sufficient graphics support at the time. NI also supports hardware for data-acquisition and instrument control on the Mac.
I was unaware that test engineers used the Mac for anything but LabVIEW, so the LTspice announcement was a wake-up call. If you're a Mac user, tell us how to use it. Are there other engineering applications available for the Mac that you use?
As long as we're on the topic of non-Windows operating systems for test applications, do you use Linux for test and measurement? Linux is certainly popular for embedded applications, but what about for instrument control? I remember several years ago a pair of articles called "Get Those Boards Talking Under Linux," parts one and two, but that was quite some time ago.
All non-windows users with test applications, please speak up.