Recommend Cheap PC for Sentinel

battleflag

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I just bought the 436hp but I'm a Mac user. I assume there is no way to update the firmware/database without a PC so I'm looking at finding the cheapest laptop I can find and dedicating to the 436. Any tips on min specs on the laptop that would be needed for Sentinel to work well?
 

hvytrucker

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Anything with a Dual Core or higher with 4GB ram, 120GB hard drive would work... Go on craigslist or Facebook Marketplace and you should be able to find a desktop or laptop for $50-$100 that would work nicely!
 

battleflag

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Anything with a Dual Core or higher with 4GB ram, 120GB hard drive would work... Go on craigslist or Facebook Marketplace and you should be able to find a desktop or laptop for $50-$100 that would work nicely!
My first thought was to just program on the scanner but the programming on this is so different from what I'm used to.
 

belvdr

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Why not setup a virtual machine? That seems easiest. When you get a new Mac, you simply copy the VM files over and your Windows VM is just like it was.
 

KK4JUG

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Believe it or not, I bought a Walmart computer that I use almost exclusively for programming. I bought it online and cost $200 including shipping. The brand name is Motile but I think it's also available from other dealers under other names. Besides Sentinel, it has several RT Systems programs on it. It's 2.4 GHz, has a 14" screen and I brought it up to 16 GB of ram. Believe it or not, it came with almost no bloatware. I added Open Office and virus software. I'm not sure how long the battery lasts but I've run it for almost 7 hours without charging. It may be the best $200 I've spent in a long time. It's a really great machine, especially for the price and it works great for programming radios.

If
 

battleflag

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Believe it or not, I bought a Walmart computer that I use almost exclusively for programming. I bought it online and cost $200 including shipping. The brand name is Motile but I think it's also available from other dealers under other names. Besides Sentinel, it has several RT Systems programs on it. It's 2.4 GHz, has a 14" screen and I brought it up to 16 GB of ram. Believe it or not, it came with almost no bloatware. I added Open Office and virus software. I'm not sure how long the battery lasts but I've run it for almost 7 hours without charging. It may be the best $200 I've spent in a long time. It's a really great machine, especially for the price and it works great for programming radios.

If
Thanks, I'll check that out.
 

battleflag

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Why not setup a virtual machine? That seems easiest. When you get a new Mac, you simply copy the VM files over and your Windows VM is just like it was.
I thought of this. But I suffer the same phobia as most Mac users cringe at the thought of anything Windows touching my Mac. I was an ardent anti-Mac person but about 15 years ago I made the switch and now it's just the opposite.
 

hvytrucker

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Why not setup a virtual machine? That seems easiest. When you get a new Mac, you simply copy the VM files over and your Windows VM is just like it was.
I too use Mac 99.9% of the time and was gonna suggest that but I heard a few people having problems with the virtual com ports.
 

N4DJC

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I run Parallels 14 and Windows 10 on my MBP without any issues. I use Windows only for radio programming software. I bought the full version without all the bloatware. I’ve had not a single issue with any of the Uniden, Icom, Yaesu, or ProScan software after configuring it properly.
 

jaspence

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Walmart is coming out with a line of computers us9ing the Gateway label. Stay away from any low end computer that uses a 32GB emmc card for the hard drive. There is little space for programs, and after a couple of rounds of Windows updates, the emmc will not have any room left. The 64GB emmc are useable, but a 128GB SSD is the best choice.
 

KK4JUG

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32 GB isn't really much of a hard drive. My Samsung phone has a 64 GB card. The Walmart Motile computer came with a 256 GB drive and I added a second one. I also added a 128 GB SD card.
 

mc48

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I use the cheapest Lenovo that BJ's sold, ($150) 30GB SSD 2GB RAM Windows 10 64-bit. I use this laptop for programming with both Sentinels, FreeSCAN and use the Uniden Wave player. I also use it for programming Visonic security systems. Works great with no problems.
 

belvdr

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I thought of this. But I suffer the same phobia as most Mac users cringe at the thought of anything Windows touching my Mac. I was an ardent anti-Mac person but about 15 years ago I made the switch and now it's just the opposite.
It doesn’t touch your Mac. The entire machine is simply a set of files on your Mac.
You don’t need a license either. Win 10 is free as long as you can deal with its limitations, such as not changing screensavers or wallpapers.
 

n5ims

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Just be careful that you get a real Windows based machine and not one of those very limited look-alikes that are mostly designed for web browsing (e.g. a Chromebook) and may run dedicated applets, they won't run your typical Windows application like those used to program scanners. It may be difficult for the fairly low skilled sales folks to understand the difference so don't count on them for help. While not a guarantee, if the PC runs Windows 10 home or pro, you should be good (Note: Windows 10 - S Mode is NOT what you want since it must get its apps from the Microsoft app store so typical apps like Sentinel most likely won't work without some effort -> https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4020089/windows-10-in-s-mode-faq <-). If it runs Google Chrome it's probably not what you need. Best Chromebooks for 2020
 
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battleflag

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Just be careful that you get a real Windows based machine and not one of those very limited look-alikes that are mostly designed for web browsing (e.g. a Chromebook) and may run dedicated applets, they won't run your typical Windows application like those used to program scanners. It may be difficult for the fairly low skilled sales folks to understand the difference so don't count on them for help. While not a guarantee, if the PC runs Windows 10 home or pro, you should be good (Note: Windows 10 - S Mode is NOT what you want since it must get its apps from the Microsoft app store so typical apps like Sentinel most likely won't work without some effort -> https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4020089/windows-10-in-s-mode-faq <-). If it runs Google Chrome it's probably not what you need. Best Chromebooks for 2020
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Yeah, I run a Chromebook now for web browsing so I know that's not an option. I put together my own computers but my last builds were Windows 95 or 98 so it's been a while since I've used a PC. Love my Mac's.
 

DJ11DLN

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32 GB isn't really much of a hard drive. My Samsung phone has a 64 GB card. The Walmart Motile computer came with a 256 GB drive and I added a second one. I also added a 128 GB SD card.
There is no such thing as too much storage. But at times like this I recall my first computer, an old IBM Aptiva. The HDD was a whopping 2.1 GB, the OS was Windows 95. 40 minutes between lock-ups was a triumph.
 
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