3.3. Installing macOS software

To install the software for the Tic on a computer running macOS, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Tic Software for macOS (7MB pkg).
  2. Double-click on the downloaded file to run it, and follow the instructions.

This Tic software consists of two programs:

  • The Pololu Tic Control Center (ticgui) is a graphical user interface (GUI) for configuring the Tic, viewing its status, and controlling it manually. You can run it by double-clicking on “Pololu Tic Stepper Motor Controller” in your “Applications” folder, or by opening a Terminal and typing ticgui.
  • The Pololu Tic Command-line Utility (ticcmd) is a command-line utility that can do most of what the GUI can do, and more. You can open a terminal and type ticcmd with no arguments to see a summary of its options.

The source code for the software is available.

Software installation troubleshooting for macOS

If you get the error “command not found” when you try to run ticcmd or ticgui, then you should try starting a new Terminal window. The installer for the Tic software adds a file named 99-pololu-tic in the /etc/paths.d directory to make sure the Tic software gets added to your PATH, but the change will not take effect until you open a new Terminal window.

If the Tic Control Center window is too big to fit on your screen properly, try setting the TICGUI_COMPACT environment variable to Y before running the software. You can do this by running the command TICGUI_COMPACT=Y ticgui in the Terminal. You could also add the line export TICGUI_COMPACT=Y to your ~/.profile file to make the change permanent.

USB troubleshooting for macOS

If the Tic software cannot connect to your Tic after you plug it into the computer via USB, the tips here can help you troubleshoot the Tic’s USB connection.

If you have connected any electronic devices to your Tic besides the USB cable, you should disconnect them.

You should look at the LEDs of the Tic. If the LEDs are off, then the Tic is probably not receiving power from the USB port. If the green LED is flashing very briefly once per second, then the Tic is receiving power from USB, but it is not receiving any data. These issues can be caused by using a broken USB port, using a broken USB cable, or by using a USB charging cable that does not have data wires. Using a different USB port and a different USB cable, both of which are known to work with other devices, is a good thing to try. Also, if you are connecting the Tic to your computer via a USB hub, try connecting it directly.

If the Tic’s green LED is on all the time or flashing slowly, but you can’t connect to it in the Tic software, then there might be something wrong with your computer. A good thing to try is to unplug the Tic from USB, reboot your computer, and then plug it in again.

Another thing to try is to run dmesg right after plugging in the Tic to see if there are any messages about it.

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