CHIRP and Optimizer Pro
I apologize to the CHIRP folks--when I said I got a virus it wasn't from them, but one of those buggers that comes uninvited from a download. The download "service" tries to do all kinds of things like insert ASK as your search engine. You can be VERY careful and avoid most of these, but the Optimizer Pro had no Opt-Out. Optimizer is a scam: they find things "wrong" with your computer then tell you you will suffer the fires of Hades if you don't pay them to fix the problem. Be Careful! It is VERY hard to get rid of this virus. (It took me about 5 hours. Call it a PUP if you want, but it is a virus. MALWARE helped a lot, but didn't finish the job. Watch for SearchProtect.)
Anyhow, CHIRP is quite good. I maintain about a dozen kinds of radios from a single spreadsheet, so CHIRP is just perfect for me. The only problem I had was installing the drivers for the programming cable.
I could not get the driver Prolific 126.96.36.199 to install over a newer driver 188.8.131.523. I was using the front USB on my DELL. See details below. I noticed the transmit light came on when I plugged in the USB and radio. This should not happen. I finally got 184.108.40.206 installed on a USB hub, and then everything went fine. Follow the instructions at dansplanet and miklor.com CAREFULLY. If the Xmit comes on when you attach the cable try another USB port or driver. At this point I don't know if the problem was the driver or USB port; I will report later if I figure it out.
Anyhow, thanks CHIRP--a labor of love.
Displays Firmware BFS297
a) You push the cable well into place (more force than you would think)
(The transmit light comes on. After a while it times out.)
b) Move to mode A
c) Switch to memory mode.
"Download from Radio"
An error has occured
Radio did not respond
I notice that when I push in the cable HARD, the transmit light comes on. No joy on the READ while TX nor after TX times out. I back the plug out a bit to turn off TX, and still no joy.
Cable (also from Amazon) marked "USB-02 Cable Programming" with mini-CD
Windows 7(64) Ultimate SP1 Dell T7400
Prolific USB Serial on correct COM3, driver 220.127.116.112, 9600 bd.
Same-same on HP Pavilion dv7 Notebook Win7(64) ultimate SP1
with power saving turned off on the port.