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DTSA and OSX

With the recent popularity of Apple OSX, there have been many questions regarding running DTSA on OSX. It can be done but there are many caveats. First, DTSA does not run on natively on OSX operating system. DTSA was designed for the previous generations of Apple operating systems. The last of this generation was called OS9. OS9 is a fundamentally different operating system from OSX. All is not lost. On Macs running with older processors (Motorola G4 and G5) there is an OS9 emulation enviroment that runs as an application within OSX. The emulation environment performs a trick in which OS9 is run as a task within OSX. The OS9 application (such as DTSA) then runs within the OS9 emulation environment side-by-side with OSX applications. It should be noted that it is not possible to emulate OS9 from within OSX when running on the Intel CoreDuo processors found in the latest Macs. According to Apple, OSX on an Intel chip can not run OS9 applications and they have no plans to ever support it. Second, while it is possible to run DTSA in the OS9 emulation enviroment in OSX on a G4 or G5 processor, in my experience with a Mac Mini it runs very slowly - at times almost unusably slowly. Two particular problems are selecting ROIs and displaying KLM lines. Your mileage may differ.

Given these caveats - if you have a G4 or G5 based Mac running OSX - you can run DTSA. The following is an outline of how I installed DTSA on a Mac Mini.

  1. Ensure that the OS9 emulation environment is installed on the Mac. Some Macs come with the compatibility enviroment installed by default but most more recent Macs don't. On the Mac Mini with which I'm working, the emulation environment came on a CD labeled Mac OS 9 Install Disc . Insert the disc and follow the instructions. I can't recall the details but it took me about 5 minutes in total to install the OS9 enviroment.
  2. When OS9 is installed on your system you will find in the root directory of your Macintosh HD a directory called System Folder with a 9 on the folder icon. You will also find a directory called Applications (Mac OS9). You will install DTSA into this folder.
  3. Download DTSA from the NIST web site
  4. Expand the file using Stuffit Expander or an equivalent into a directory within the Applications (Mac OS9) folder. When you expand the install file it will reconstruct the correct directory structure.
  5. Create a link to the DTSA application by dragging the icon to the desktop while holding the + keys.
  6. Double-click the DTSA icon. The OS9 emulation enviroment will start up automatically and the main DTSA screen will display. If you get an error it it likely that you copied the application, not a link, to the desktop.

We currently have no plans to update DTSA to run natively on OSX.

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Last Updated March 7, 2006

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