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Author Topic: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010  (Read 140122 times)

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Offline FXC

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I recently upgraded my mill with larger steppers and I'd be able to run it faster if only Mach3 would keep up sending the signals. Sure, I could upgrade the XP machine that is currently attached to the mill but why not use my main computer which is new and shiny and beautifully works under Windows 7 64-bit? I bought a parallel PCI card and a long parallel cable, only to run into the lack of 64-bit support of Mach3. There's no way to get it working (if there is, please post here) under Windows 7 x64.

Unnecessary details aside, why ArtSoft, is it so hard to make a 64 bit driver? We're in 2010 and these systems have been around for quite a while now. Why not keep up with the times?
Mach3 is a mess.
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 09:42:42 AM »
Well the driver is 32bit and we are thinking about making a 64Bit driver ... We thought he P Port would have been gone by now LOL...

Talked to Art and he is going to setup a 64 bit system to test with..

Thanks
Brian
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Offline FXC

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 05:18:28 PM »
You're right... the P port is pretty much gone in most newer computers. Still, even if it involves buying a PCI card to have one, the parallel interface represents the cheapest and simplest solution for a software based CNC controller. And isn't cost the main reason for which MACH exists in the first place? Small machines are getting more and more common and affordable for even the average hobbyist and MACH should be ready for this - an OS agnostic, no fuss install, without the "making it actually work" stage. A user interface overhaul should also be a priority, but that's beyond the scope of this thread.

I don't want to question ArtSoft's programming skills by any means, however if 64 bit systems and their specific quirks are not an area of expertise, then I believe a little outsourcing would be in order. And if that's the only reason for which I'm in the situation described in the OP, I'd be happy to provide some assistance.
Mach3 is a mess.
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 09:22:41 PM »
This may sound like heresy(sp?) , but I would not mind paying something for a  64 bit upgrade, new version, plugin...how ever you want to do it.

There is nothing scarier then thinking that the solution you have invested(time and money) in is having a hard time keeping up w the newer operating systems.
My computer does double duty(business apps and Mach 3).  I currently do not have my newest computer at my desk, because Mach will not go 64bit.
I don't have the space to have 2 computers.

I hope we see a 64 bit soon.
Mach 3 is a great product.
Everything that Artsoft has done is greatly appreciated.

Offline ger21

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 09:26:21 PM »

Unnecessary details aside, why ArtSoft, is it so hard to make a 64 bit driver?

Maybe because only one person's been able to do what Mach3 does with the 32bit version, and it took him a few years for that one. Forget about the outsourcing, because no one else knows how to do it. :-)
Gerry

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Offline FXC

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 09:37:09 PM »
If I wouldn't fear being called an ignorant, I'd suggest taking the source code and recompiling it for x64.
Mach3 is a mess.
Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 11:22:27 AM »
Have the EMC people figured out 64-bit?

If so, you could probably figure out how to do Mach3 looking at their code given the origins lo' those many years ago.

I'm more in the camp of wanting to be done with parallel.  I want Smoothstepper or something to just work with no compromises relative to the parallel port.  Backlash comp and all the rest.  It's not clear how good a shape the Mach community would be in if a wand was waved and suddenly no parallel ports existed.

Cheers,

BW
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Offline FXC

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 01:09:15 PM »
The parallel port IS already gone. You'd have a hard time finding a new computer with a P port these days. Still, an adapter can be purchased for $10 or less (compare that to ~$150 SmoothStepper and the like). It will be a very long time before anything could ever beat the simplicity (and thus cost) of the parallel port.
Mach3 is a mess.

Offline ger21

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010, 05:20:34 PM »
If I wouldn't fear being called an ignorant, I'd suggest taking the source code and recompiling it for x64.

I believe it's far more complicated than that. :-) If it was that easy, it would already be done.

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Still, an adapter can be purchased for $10 or less
If you mean a USB to parallel adapter, they won't work. You need to get a PCI parallel port card.

Or, you can buy one of the hundreds of $100 or less PC's on Ebay that will run Mach3 perfectly fine. The one I use was $20.

Gerry

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Offline FXC

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Re: Will MACH3 ever support 64-bit systems? Officially? FYI, it's 2010
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2010, 05:58:03 PM »
I believe it's far more complicated than that. :-) If it was that easy, it would already be done.
I have no idea what exactly this "driver" is and how much work it does compared to the "main" MACH. Either way, I wouldn't be %100 sure that anyone actually tried because, according to an insider:
Talked to Art and he is going to setup a 64 bit system to test with..
so... you be the judge.

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If you mean a USB to parallel adapter, they won't work. You need to get a PCI parallel port card.
Sure, I was talking about PCI cards. I bought a new one for an all-inclusive $9, which BTW is so cheap that it could be bundled with the software or offered as an option. Buy 100 from the far east and you end up with $5 a pop.

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Or, you can buy one of the hundreds of $100 or less PCs on eBay that will run Mach3 perfectly fine. The one I use was $20.
Besides the fact that a $100 PC is kinda slow and simply can't swallow the code as fast as the machine could go, the whole idea misses the point I'm trying to make. No matter how cheap or free, whatever, having an extra PC around is far from convenient, economical or efficient for that matter. A hobbyist buying a small machine should be able to simply attach it to his PC and enjoy the ease of plug-n-play (or plug-n-cut). Such hobbyist is unlikely to have a dedicated workshop or even a garage where space is not an issue. High cost professional equipment will always come with dedicated control units, and if there were only a single market left for MACH, it would be the hobbyist and small machines in general. A decent mill can be put together (or bought) for $1000 or much less... and an extra $150 for some USB solution is unwelcome and unnecessary.
Mach3 is a mess.