I design a lot of electronics, so naturally I build a lot of PCB’s over the course of a year. For the past 5 years or so, I’ve been a heavy Eagle CAD user, but as time has gone on, I’ve outgrown the ‘free’ or ‘hobby’ versions of the software, and they want real money that I simply can’t afford to spend on a hobby, so I’ve got to find new software.
Chris Gammell from The Amp Hour Podcast has been a big advocate of KiCad, and is doing a lot of work with hit on his new Contextual Electronics course, and he’s convinced me to give it a whirl. I’ve been playing with it for a while now on Windows (inside of a Virtual Machine, as I’m a MAC user) and it is definately capable. So the next step for me, and a requirement for me to take it seriously long-term is OSX support.
For whatever reason, there’s no readily-downloadable binary for OSX. I would think that for a project with the momentum that KiCad has, that this triviality would be long since removed, but yet it’s still a royal pain in the ass to get the software installed on OSX. You either have to search the web for somebody elses (generally out of date) pre-compiled binary package, or you’ve got to compile from source using macports, or use some other package manager. Let me say – this SUCKS. I’ve wasted the entire day today trying to get the damn thing to install using macports – and I’m DONE. It fails, I really dont have time to pick the thing apart line by line, so I’m calling it a FAIL. There’s a homebrew (a package manager) package that I’ve been told I should try, so I’m giving that a whirl now…. Check my twitter feed for status updates on this. My message to KiCad – you have an awesome package, but it’s time you nail down a process to keep OSX binary distributions available… your audience doesn’t want to compile from source.
#update – I’ve spent like 8 hours on this. I’m done. #fail. I’ll install a Linux VM and run it there.
Please, KiCad, create some binaries for OSX.