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Macintosh Matlab Survival Toolkit


Matlab Release 11 (version 5.3) presents a challenge to Macintosh users, whose latest and evidently last version is the Release 10 "stabilized, industrial-strength" Matlab v5.2. The MathWorks has not released a "good-will" patch for the Macintosh. Our long-standing enjoyment of easy Matlab portability will become increasingly hampered as the MathWorks distances itself from Release 10. Fortunately, Release 10 is in good shape and Release 11 is not much of an upgrade, so the degradation will be slow, assuming the company doesn't do anything to deliberately hasten it.

The present document (** under construction **) makes recommendations for coping with the present situation.

Matlab License

The Matlab license, like those of other companies in a similar non-competitive position, is designed to make you or your employer pay as much as possible, as frequently as possible, in order for you to continue enjoying the benefits of the software. As such, their license restrictions run deep.

We do not yet know whether the Matlab license allows the porting of MathWorks m-files and p-files between the WinTel and the Macintosh systems. (Presumably, they would not want you to port their Macintosh or WinTel m-files to the more expensive Unix arena.) Specifically, may such files be ported from a valid and otherwise unused PC license to the Macintosh system? Or is such a reasonable act precluded by the catch-all intended-use doctrine mentioned in the license? You and your lawyer must decide.

Do not use any of the suggestions in this document to justify the pirating of software for which you do not have a proper license to use.

Importing Alien M-Files

Macintosh users who have access to an otherwise unused license for an alien (PC or Unix) version of Matlab or a Matlab toolbox should consider porting the newer/bigger/better/different m-files (as text) and p-files (as pure binary) to their Macintosh Matlab v5.2.

The m-file new-lines can be converted to the Macintosh form by using the fixnl() function, available from the Matlab Snack Bar.

The port will likely be successful for functions that do not rely on new built-in or Mex-file features.

Features Already In Macintosh Matlab 5.2

Some Release 11 features were already in the Macintosh Release 10, generally undocumented and sometimes not as well developed as in Release 11. They were said to be "experimental".

Features That Need To Be Addressed

The following can be ported from the WINTEL versions of Matlab or they can be implemented more-or-less as m-files.

Don't Bother