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Layout Design Software - Reviews


quinntopia

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railsquid

Ah, the good old days of XT motherboards you could fry by putting the plugs from the transfomer in the wrong way round (always black-to-black!), MLM/RLL drive esoterica, dip switches, separate expansion cards for everything, etc. etc.

 

The last couple of PC build iterations have been amazingly simple, same goes for getting the OS (Linux) running with all the bells and whistles.

 

Only downside with Linux is when you do need some specific piece of software which is not available for it. And printing is still a PITA.

 

(I do have a work-supplied Macbook which mainly serves as a very expensive printer driver...)

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Martijn Meerts

I use Mac, Linux and Windows.. They all have their uses 😄

 

Latest PC I built (1.5 year ago or so, first time in like 20 years) was actually quite nice, just needed a little research on which components work well together, but after that it was really just plop stuff into their slots and it was done.

 

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chadbag
8 hours ago, chadbag said:

 

I assume the wife's laptop is a Mac from the context.  Why would you be confined to one monitor?  You should be able to plug all the sme monitors into it that you plug into your normal Windows computer.  You may need some adapter dongles depending on monitor and which Mac it is.

 

 

Just as an example:  My work issued Mac is a 2017 or so MacBook Pro 15".  I have two monitors attached:  a 40" Visio 4K TV monitor and a 32" 4K computer monitor from monoprice (their store brand).  So it runs a total of 3 screens -- the two mentioned plus the built in.

 

My personal Mac is not a laptop but has the same ports:  a 2017 or so 27" iMac and also has a Visio 40" 4K TV Monitor plugged in as well as an old Apple 30" Cinema Display from the 200x time frame -- that one required a Thunderbolt to minidisplay port dongle and then the special dual-channel cable that Apple made for that Monitor plugged into that.  The Visio required a Thunderbolt or USB-C to 4k HDMI adapter.

 

 

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chadbag
8 hours ago, Martijn Meerts said:

I use Mac, Linux and Windows.. They all have their uses 😄

 

Latest PC I built (1.5 year ago or so, first time in like 20 years) was actually quite nice, just needed a little research on which components work well together, but after that it was really just plop stuff into their slots and it was done.

 

 

 

I am tempted to build a PC (after we move).  Mainly for train software [various HW control programs etc, not things like layout software or JMRI], most of which is PC only, and some flight simulation gaming -- have not really done much flight simulation gaming in many many years.  Would also make it Hackintosh compatible but with the new Mac Studio machines, no need to be serious about a Hackintosh.

 

I am currently, slowly working to get a Raspberry Pi I bought last year up and running.  I found the SD card for the boot drive last weekend and installed the latest Raspbian on it.  Still need to get the monitor and keyboard/mouse on it and boot.  Goal is some home automation software to test some security cameras that should be made to work with Apple's HomeKit secure video through said software.  Testing it so I know if I should invest in these on the new house.  But I may also try to get JMRI running on it. I tried once to get JMRI running on a Mac but had trouble talking to my then NCE PowerCab through the USB add-on to the PowerCab despite everything being set up per instructions.  Then I gave up.  May try again.

 

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Martijn Meerts

I play some games once in a while, mainly Final Fantasy XIV online. That does have a Mac version, but it's just a pre-packaged wine port and runs pretty terrible. I used to run Windows on a 27" iMac through bootcamp. I found a new iMac too expensive, and they pretty much stopped supporting bootcamp anyway.

 

So right now I have a custom built PC which is more powerful than a new iMac at less than half the price. My old iMac went up to the hobby room, and I'll probably use that for the layout for now. I removed the bootcamp partition, and instead used Parallels to run some Windows only software like ESU's lokprogrammer software and OC32 config.

 

I'm somewhat tempted to get a new 24" iMac, but not any time soon really 🙂

 

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gavino200
7 hours ago, chadbag said:

 

I am tempted to build a PC (after we move).  Mainly for train software [various HW control programs etc, not things like layout software or JMRI], most of which is PC only, and some flight simulation gaming -- have not really done much flight simulation gaming in many many years.  Would also make it Hackintosh compatible but with the new Mac Studio machines, no need to be serious about a Hackintosh.

 

 

Great. I'm planning on building a super small form factor PC for my layout. First I need to work out exactly what I'm going to need to run on it and what the optimal specs need to be.

 

7 hours ago, chadbag said:

 

I am currently, slowly working to get a Raspberry Pi I bought last year up and running.  I found the SD card for the boot drive last weekend and installed the latest Raspbian on it.  Still need to get the monitor and keyboard/mouse on it and boot.  Goal is some home automation software to test some security cameras that should be made to work with Apple's HomeKit secure video through said software.  Testing it so I know if I should invest in these on the new house.  But I may also try to get JMRI running on it. I tried once to get JMRI running on a Mac but had trouble talking to my then NCE PowerCab through the USB add-on to the PowerCab despite everything being set up per instructions.  Then I gave up.  May try again.

 

 

Don't forget to post your progress in the RasPi thread!!

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9 hours ago, chadbag said:

I tried once to get JMRI running on a Mac but had trouble talking to my then NCE PowerCab through the USB add-on to the PowerCab despite everything being set up per instructions.

 

This is a RPi image from Steve Todd. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to get JMRI up on the RPi. You can go headless and VNC into it

It will run your Power Cab no problem

 

Inobu

 

 

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chadbag
8 minutes ago, inobu said:

 

This is a RPi image from Steve Todd. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to get JMRI up on the RPi. You can go headless and VNC into it

It will run your Power Cab no problem

 

 

I've moved on from the PowerCab -- that is what I first got as a DCC start...   But I'll get this image when I get to that point.  JMRI is not at the top of my TODO list.  Thanks for the link!

 

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9 minutes ago, chadbag said:

 

I've moved on from the PowerCab -- that is what I first got as a DCC start...   But I'll get this image when I get to that point.  JMRI is not at the top of my TODO list.  Thanks for the link!

 

Its a good to have and one of those, "Let me try this real quick"

 

Inobu

 

 

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chadbag
1 hour ago, inobu said:

Its a good to have and one of those, "Let me try this real quick"

 

Inobu

 

 


i still have it.  The idea is that it would be my traveling command station for setting up a table top railroad at friends or family. Just have never put it into practice. 
 

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Lol I have a nce handheld to play with some decoders wired to track for dcc.seemed to be the most flexible option to play with.

 

jeff

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