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Make PIL-Box ILPer program run on OS X

Posted by Juergen Keller on 2 Sept 2012, 4:24 p.m.

The PIL-Box is one of my favorite HP-41 gadgets, and my MacBook is my favorite computer, especially since it features the incredible Retina display. So it was only natural to try to make those things work together. Amazingly, I succeeded. Here is what I did.

  1. First, I installed CrossOver on my MacBook. This is the commercial variant of Wine. If you don't want to spend some money, try Wine; it should work, too.
  2. Then, I've downloaded and installed the OS X drivers for the FTDI chip used in the PIL-Box.
  3. Next, I've opened the C: drive of my CrossOver bottle in Finder, using the bottle configuration dialog. I created a new folder in the 'Program Files' directory and copied ILPer.exe to this location.
  4. As ILPer requires the MFC42.DLL, I tried to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 6 Runtime Libraries in CrossOver. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Therefore, I've downloaded the MFC42.DLL from the Internet and copied it into the bottle's C:\Windows\System32 directory, using the same procedure as for ILPer.exe.
  5. Finally, I had to make the serial (USB) interface known to CrossOver. This is a little more complicated than the previous steps, as you have to execute some Terminal commands, as described in this article in the CrossOver Support Library. On my system, the serial device is named /dev/cu.usbserial-FTE19YSZ, and my default CrossOver bottle is 'winxp'. So the following commands worked for me:
    cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/CrossOver/Bottles/winxp/dosdevices
    ln -s /dev/cu.usbserial-FTE19YSZ com4

I'm very happy that my MacBook now speaks HP-IL, and hopefully, this description helps others to do the same.


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