[Cytometry] Replacement computer for FACScalibur?

D. Robert Sutherland rob.sutherland at utoronto.ca
Tue Feb 18 22:58:02 EST 2014

to be clear, as indicated in my earlier post, Mac OSX 10.5 can not be installed on a G4 (any model) AFAIK. 
OSX 10.5 requires a G5. The very base model G5 can take the same I/O card that was used in all the models I indicated earlier, but BD never supplied these to folks requiring a new Mac for their Caliburs, Scans etc. They only supplied higher models in the G5 range that used a different voltage on the PCI interface. This thereby required a new PCI I/O card, a new license for CQPro, new dongle and cost a lot of $$$$. 
Some of these issues have been aired out in the past on the email archive (https://lists.purdue.edu/pipermail/cytometry/2012-October/044266.html).
Grab the best second-hand G4 you can get your hands on, max out the RAM, install OSX Tiger (10.4.11) and beg borrow (or steal) a dongle for CQPro 5.2.1. 
Don't waste your time on OS9.2.2, although if this is critically important to you for whatever reason, Tiger is the last version of OSX that will allow OS9 applications to run in emulation. 

D. Robert Sutherland

On 2014-02-18, at 4:23 PM, FACShelp at ALT Service wrote:

> Hello to All,
> I have all the interface criteria sorted out if anyone wants to know what BDPAC and software revs work with mac computers connected to BD FACS instruments. 
> Most of the information given in this thread is accurate, but dated. For current, up to date info, feel free to contact me directly and I will provide the information you need for the interface you are using.
> The mass of variation makes it difficult to post all the information, but here are the basics;
> OS9.2.2 and FACStation 3.5.1 are the highest revs for OS9
>> Requires dongle model ERB=0683
> OSX 10.5 and FACstation 5.2.1 are the highest revs for OSX non-intel.
>> Requires dongle model ERB=1222
> OSX 10.5 and FACStation 6.0 are for Intel Mac's. This rev eliminates most older cytometers from the instrument configuration and uses a different dongle.
> Best regards,
> Tony Leger
> ALT Service
>> facshelp at altservice.com
> "Telford, William (NIH/NCI) [E]" <telfordw at mail.nih.gov> wrote:
>> Hi Colin...
>> Joanne is right, the silver G4s (733-867 MHz) are the "newest" and most
>> stable workstations for running MacOS 9.2.1 and CellQuest 3.4. However,
>> the somewhat older grey Mac G4s and even the green Mac G3s will work OK
>> too.  The main issues are age and quality - the newer computers are
>> both younger and better built, so they will last the longest.  But if
>> you have one of these older computers at your institution, it should
>> work fine.  We had a FACSCalibur running on a Mac G3 400 MHz with 128K
>> memory for a long time, and ran decently (if a bit slow).
>> The silver G4s are the last Macs to accept the older style BDPAC cards
>> - when BD went to MacOS 10 and the CellQuest/CellQuest Pro transition,
>> there were several adjustments to BDPAC card design to accommodate the
>> newer Mac peripheral slots.  So anything newer than a silver G4
>> probably won't accommodate your BDPAC card.
>> Fortunately, there are a lot of these computers on the used market.
>> Bill Telford
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Joanne Lannigan [mailto:jl7fj at virginia.edu] 
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:32 PM
>> To: Martin, Colin H.
>> Cc: cytometry at lists.purdue.edu
>> Subject: Re: [Cytometry] Replacement computer for FACScalibur?
>> Hi Colin:
>> If you can get your hands on the old PowerMac Silver G4s, you can run
>> either OS9 or X on those. We have three Caliburs running on these
>> running OSX. You will have to run CellquestPro however if you run OSX.
>> Perhaps someone on the list has an old CellquestPro dongle they can
>> send you. BD originally told us CellquestPro was not supported for the
>> OSX unless you bought a special interface board, but we have been
>> successfully running these without for more than 8 years. We were lucky
>> enough at one point to retrieve 18 of these G4s from institutional
>> surplus and have been working off of these as a supply for
>> replacementcomputers and parts. We still have plenty of people who just
>> want to do simple <4 color experiments and there is no need to tie up
>> our higher end instrumentation with these users. They cost virtually
>> nothing to maintain and IMHO still have the most robust fluidics
>> systems out there!
>> Check ebay, you might find some there.
>> Joanne
>> Joanne Lannigan, MS
>> Director, Flow Cytometry Core
>> University of Virginia 
>> School of Medicine
>> 1300 Jefferson Park Ave.
>> Jordan Hall, Rm 2011A
>> Charlottesville, VA 22908-0734
>> flowcytometry at virginia.edu
>> office: 434-924-0274
>> lab: 434-243-2711
>> On Feb 11, 2014, at 4:49 PM, Martin, Colin H. wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> I work at a university where our cytometer, a FACScalibur 4-color
>> model, is used primarily by undergraduates in laboratory classes. After
>> years of faithful service, the computer that runs our Calibur finally
>> died. It had been running OS 9. The prices that we have found for
>> buying a new computer to run the cytometer seem really high
>> ($6,000-8,000) especially since the university has many old, perfectly
>> functional computers capable of running OS 9 or OS X lying around.
>>> Has anyone had experience with replacing a computer for an older
>> model cytometer? Any good resources you can recommend, other than just
>> shelling out the $$$?
>>> Thanks!
>>> Colin Martin
>>> University of St. Thomas Biology
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