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BMW Coding and Programming
Discuss coding options and features on your BMW here.

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  #1  
Old 09-16-2012, 08:24 PM
ksqrd ksqrd is offline
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Coding using a MacBook Air

I have an F10 on order that is now about 10 days away that I definitely want to code. Only problem is my laptop is a 2011 MAcBook Air, with flash memory and therefore limited storage, as well as no Ethernet port. No flaming, please, as it's a great laptop for everything I need (until this rather unconventional use). I am a technophile so not afraid of the learning curve.

I'm wondering if others have coded using this setup. I realize I need to use Parallels or VMWare and then install XP, but I also wonder if I can install the files on an external (eg, USB) drive and also whether the Apple USB to ENet cable works for this. I'm a little wary, as by the time I buy the virtualization software, XP, USB/ENet cable and Coding cable, I will have spent a bunch. Before I consider that, I'd love to hear some feedback.

Otherwise if someone can point me to a coding solution in the Miami area, that would also be welcome so I can assess my options. Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2012, 01:44 AM
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wdimagineer wdimagineer is offline
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Yes. It works totally fine. I was using my MacBook Air and the Apple USB Ethernet adapter. I've since upgraded to a Retina MacBook Pro and have also coded using both the USB and Thunderbolt Ethernet adapters.

I don't have the driver file handy, but I found the USB Ethernet drivers for Windows by Googling.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2012, 04:53 AM
ksqrd ksqrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdimagineer View Post
Yes. It works totally fine. I was using my MacBook Air and the Apple USB Ethernet adapter. I've since upgraded to a Retina MacBook Pro and have also coded using both the USB and Thunderbolt Ethernet adapters.

I don't have the driver file handy, but I found the USB Ethernet drivers for Windows by Googling.
Thanks! Could I install the files needed (many GBs needed, I understand) on an external drive? My solid state drive is mostly full.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:27 AM
blair780 blair780 is offline
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Originally Posted by wdimagineer View Post
Yes. It works totally fine. I was using my MacBook Air and the Apple USB Ethernet adapter. I've since upgraded to a Retina MacBook Pro and have also coded using both the USB and Thunderbolt Ethernet adapters.

I don't have the driver file handy, but I found the USB Ethernet drivers for Windows by Googling.
I'm running VMware on my MacBook but have been unable to get Windows in VM to connect to the car via ethernet cable. I DO have a green network connection on the Mac side but on the Windows side its showing yellow (limited or no connectivity). I've confirmed a bridged connection with VM but obviously there is something else wrong.
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2012, 10:48 AM
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wdimagineer wdimagineer is offline
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Yes. Just put the VM on the external storage. Everything will work just fine. VMware and Parallels are great for that. I have lots of VM's on USB sticks that we give to employees for testing, etc.
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2012, 10:56 AM
ksqrd ksqrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdimagineer View Post
Yes. Just put the VM on the external storage. Everything will work just fine. VMware and Parallels are great for that. I have lots of VM's on USB sticks that we give to employees for testing, etc.
Thanks for the prompt and very helpful responses.
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2013, 06:08 AM
April1 April1 is offline
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Seeing limited connectivity between windows and car through ENET cable is very normal.

It takes about 50-60 seconds to show limited connectivity. You can note down this set IP address on your windows and set that as static on your windows. That would establish instant connection between windows and car and would not show limited connectivity. Note: even the limited connectivity is acceptable if you do not want to set an static ip on your windows for this connection.

Last edited by April1; 01-07-2013 at 07:06 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2013, 04:32 PM
spadae2 spadae2 is offline
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I used my MacBook Pro running VMFusion - Win Pro 7. Data on Mac HD, E-Sys installed on C drive. Works without issue.
Make sure you change the network adapter to Ethernet and set to DHCP.
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Last edited by spadae2; 03-02-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-03-2013, 08:51 AM
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Merlosso Merlosso is offline
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I'm using a mid-2012 11" MacBook Air for coding E and F Series cars and it's awesome. I installed Windows 7 Pro using Bootcamp though; I prefer to boot directly into Windows rather than using a VM. For ethernet I'm using the Thunderbolt to ethernet adapter.

The small size is great for use in a car, the screen resolution is plenty for coding, the backlit keys are great in low-light areas, the solid aluminum chassis is as sturdy as can be, it's very light, and most importantly, this thing is FAST.
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2013, 12:43 PM
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Yobyot Yobyot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksqrd View Post
I have an F10 on order that is now about 10 days away that I definitely want to code. Only problem is my laptop is a 2011 MAcBook Air, with flash memory and therefore limited storage, as well as no Ethernet port. No flaming, please, as it's a great laptop for everything I need (until this rather unconventional use). I am a technophile so not afraid of the learning curve.

I'm wondering if others have coded using this setup. I realize I need to use Parallels or VMWare and then install XP, but I also wonder if I can install the files on an external (eg, USB) drive and also whether the Apple USB to ENet cable works for this. I'm a little wary, as by the time I buy the virtualization software, XP, USB/ENet cable and Coding cable, I will have spent a bunch. Before I consider that, I'd love to hear some feedback.

Otherwise if someone can point me to a coding solution in the Miami area, that would also be welcome so I can assess my options. Thanks in advance!
I use a mid-July 2011 MBA with a 256GB SSD and 4GB RAM. I code via a Parallels 8 VM in which I installed Windows 7.

In the VM, I stripped out EVERYTHING I didn't need -- no Office, no nuthin'.

To avoid having to duplicate the very large data files in the VM, I used the mklink command (new in Windows 7) to map one directory to the other. (I don't recall which two directories are duplicated, but this saves a fortune in disk space.)

And, I since don't code all the time, I just off-load the whole VM to a backup (spinning) drive and re-load it before a coding session.

Some notes:
  • BE SURE to turn off the WiFi adapter in the MBA and use ONLY the USB Ethernet adapter or the Thunderbolt adapter (I use USB)
  • Make sure to tell Parallels to BRIDGE (not SHARED NETWORK) the wired Ethernet adapter. If you don't, you get nothing since the OBD II port will not see the virtual adapter
  • I prefer to run the Windows VM in full-screen mode to avoid being distracted. It's just superstition, but I'd hate to lose the focus on the VM, not be able to get it back and have Parallels suspend the VM during an FDL code.
  • For that very reason, I turn off all sleeping settings anywhere and everywhere I find them.
If you do all this, you essentially turn the MBA into a temporary dedicated Windows machine -- with advantages others don't have. You can easily have multiple versions of the machine. You can create a VM that contains the as-shipped version of your car for backup of not just the CAFD files -- but the whole stinkin' environment needed to restore every ECU. You can try different levels of data and E-Sys easily.

It's more work, but coding from a VM is better, both from a flexibility and reliability standpoint. I'd do it no other way.
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  #11  
Old 03-04-2013, 06:29 PM
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shawnsheridan shawnsheridan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yobyot View Post
I use a mid-July 2011 MBA with a 256GB SSD and 4GB RAM. I code via a Parallels 8 VM in which I installed Windows 7.

In the VM, I stripped out EVERYTHING I didn't need -- no Office, no nuthin'.

To avoid having to duplicate the very large data files in the VM, I used the mklink command (new in Windows 7) to map one directory to the other. (I don't recall which two directories are duplicated, but this saves a fortune in disk space.)

And, I since don't code all the time, I just off-load the whole VM to a backup (spinning) drive and re-load it before a coding session.

Some notes:
  • BE SURE to turn off the WiFi adapter in the MBA and use ONLY the USB Ethernet adapter or the Thunderbolt adapter (I use USB)
  • Make sure to tell Parallels to BRIDGE (not SHARED NETWORK) the wired Ethernet adapter. If you don't, you get nothing since the OBD II port will not see the virtual adapter
  • I prefer to run the Windows VM in full-screen mode to avoid being distracted. It's just superstition, but I'd hate to lose the focus on the VM, not be able to get it back and have Parallels suspend the VM during an FDL code.
  • For that very reason, I turn off all sleeping settings anywhere and everywhere I find them.
If you do all this, you essentially turn the MBA into a temporary dedicated Windows machine -- with advantages others don't have. You can easily have multiple versions of the machine. You can create a VM that contains the as-shipped version of your car for backup of not just the CAFD files -- but the whole stinkin' environment needed to restore every ECU. You can try different levels of data and E-Sys easily.

It's more work, but coding from a VM is better, both from a flexibility and reliability standpoint. I'd do it no other way.
FYI. Good thinking with mklink, but you are working off the original instructions which incorrectly had the files duplicated in both of these locations:

C:\ESysData\psdzdata\swe
C:\ESysData\SWE

This was a mistake. Nothing is needed in the C:\ESysData\SWE folder.

Also, for my money, if I was going to setup a VM, I would go with XP. There are "other" BMW Programs that simply will not run on anything but XP 32, but if you are only going to run E-Sys, then Win7 32 or even 64 will work fine.
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Last edited by shawnsheridan; 03-04-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:26 AM
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Yobyot Yobyot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnsheridan View Post
FYI. Good thinking with mklink, but you are working off the original instructions which incorrectly had the files duplicated in both of these locations:

C:\ESysData\psdzdata\swe
C:\ESysData\SWE

This was a mistake. Nothing is needed in the C:\ESysData\SWE folder.

Also, for my money, if I was going to setup a VM, I would go with XP. There are "other" BMW Programs that simply will not run on anything but XP 32, but if you are only going to run E-Sys, then Win7 32 or even 64 will work fine.
Good points -- I didn't know that the psdzdata\swe and swe duplicated directories were a mistake -- but you as you point out, no harm done in my VM since I used mklink.

I don't do anything more than coding on my BMW -- but what scares me is that there are BMW programs that still *require* Windows XP. Not to go off topic too much, but XP is ancient and totally insecure.

It scares me that BMW is doing things with control unit programming on an OS base that's archaic and dangerous.
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:47 PM
TRIPLE_O TRIPLE_O is offline
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Yobyot, why don't you just run ESYS directly from Windows 8?
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:11 PM
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Yobyot Yobyot is offline
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Originally Posted by TRIPLE_O View Post
Yobyot, why don't you just run ESYS directly from Windows 8?
I'm a security nut. Big Java apps -- which is what E-Sys is -- are weak in security by themselves. And they require you to keep Java installed on your real machine, which if you follow security news you know is the target of many exploits.

Plus, I am currently using a MacBook Air. I do have a new ThinkPad on order -- but that won't change the way I run E-Sys. I'll code from a virtual machine even when I run a PC.
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