PILBox on Mac OS X success


I recently got a PILBox and after some struggle managed to get it working together with Mac OS X!

ILPER 1.35.2 for Linux built without any problems on my office x86 Mac OS X laptop. Then I used FTDI VCP driver for Mac OS X and the strange device /dev/cu.usbserial-FTFWKSK7 (as the other plausible device names just hung when the device was opened).

With this setup, I started emulation in ilper and wrote the contents of my HP-41 to the simulated mass storage device, it just worked!

And this on native Mac OS X, I am so happy!!!

I have a feeling that it is a bit slower than a floppy drive? I have not measured, but I think the hardware is quicker, though maybe I am fooled by the floppy drive making entertaining sounds while the PILBox is just.. quiet.

Thank you Jean-Francois Garnier and Christophe Gottheimer!


Hi Hakan,

I am happy that is working. The PILBox is a fabulous peripheral for HP-41/71/75 computers !



I had this feeling of success, too! However, in my understanding you did it "the native way" where I used CrossOver (Wine) to run the Windows binaries. I will have a look at ILPer for Linux, just missed that before.

BTW, a while ago, I started to write an ILPer like Python program. The display device already works, but due to lack of time, the mass storage device is still missing. That would be a platform independent way of communicating with the PIL-Box, providing us the freedom of OS choice :-)


Tell me what I have to do to inspire you ;-)


Thanks for your offer! However, inspiration is not the problem, it's just a matter of time. I will soon get back to that project and will let you know if there is some progress.


I have a feeling that it is a bit slower than a floppy drive?

It is. There is a tunable FTDI setting (see JFG's documentation for Windows tuning). However the setting is not available for OS/X (or wasn't when I got my PILBox sometime ago). IIRC, Linux exploses that setting as well. I contacted FTDI and they sent me a custom driver with support for tuning that setting. After that, much faster.

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