I now have Sentinel running perfectly on my iMac although it wasn't all straightforward so thought I would post something here about it. First off, why use VirtualBox instead of Boot Camp or Parallels? Well, I like being able to window the Windows OS on my Macintosh desktop instead of just booting the Mac as a PC with Boot Camp. Parallels is the most-known way to do this and it is very good but it is a commercial program. VirtualBox allows you to run Windows XP, Vista, 7 as well as Linux all using a for-free and Open Source program. You can get VirtualBox at www.virtualbox.org/.
Once you have downloaded VirtualBox you will need a copy of Windows. You can simply run out and buy a Windows 7 install disk or, like I did, you can hunt around a bit. I found a place still selling OEM versions of Windows XP and it cost me all of $25. I knew XP was all I needed as the only thing I want to do in Windows is run simple programs like Sentinel or on my ham radio like Ham Radio Deluxe and Win-Test. So, anyway, once you get VirtualBox running and Windows installed as a "machine state" you are off and ready to install Sentinel.
Unfortunately you can't simply plug your HomePatrol into your Mac's USB port and have Windows in VirtualBox immediately see it as a drive. You need to tell VirtualBox that you do have a flash drive, Here is how to do that:
1) Attach your HomePatrol to your Mac via the usb cable WITHOUT VirtualBox running. The HP will mount as a disk on your Mac's desktop. It gets really scared because it is attached to a Mac so immediately EJECT (drag to Trash) the HP-disk icon. **BUT LEAVE IT PHYSICALLY CONNECTED TO YOUR MAC'S USB**.
2) Now we start up VirtualBox. On the first screen you will see the machine states that you have installed in the left column. Ordinarily you would click on your Windows state and just start up. But not yet. Highlight the name of the state (mine is called Windows XP of all things). Make sure that the machine state says powered off and is not running or on standby.
3) With the name of the machine highlighted go to Settings (either the cute gear-shaped icon or Settings... under the Machine Menu).
4) In Settings choose Ports. Make sure that both "Enable USB Controller" and "Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller" are checked. In the box (probably empty) that is titled USB Device Filters look to that box's right. If you squint you will realize the teeny-tiny second icon down is a usb plug with a green plus sign on it. Click on it.
5) The HP should appear (you did leave it connected to your Mac after you ejected it, right?) as "Uniden @merica Corq. HomePatrol-1 MSC(0001)" don't ask me why the misspellings. Check the box in front of it. Click on OK and close off.
6) Now when you start up Windows it should see the connected HomePatrol as a drive. From then on you just install and run Sentinel and off you go.
I did find that although VirtualBox runs Warcraft Online playably it is much slower at running Sentinel than is my Asus Vista laptop. But it is useable and it does work.
If you have any questions I'd be happy to (try) to answer them.
I've got Sentinel running on my MacBook using Parallels. Working great, no problems.
Now a real dream would be a iPad app for the HP-1. Using the camera connector, the standard USB cable would work and with this being simple ASCII data I would think it would be possible. The iPad 3G even has built in GPS, this could serve as the GPS feed for the HP-1. Even though I think this is possible, I think it's just a dream with the limited demand for the software developers.
There are ipad applications that show the locations of Cell towers on a map, what if we could see the tower locations for the system being monitored and maybe one day we could even see the locations mapped of the units monitoring. The technology currently exists, but money and politics In a post 9/11 world would prohibit this.
What would 9/11 have to do with? It isn't like you can't look up site locations in the FCC database with exact coordinates and even see them mapped out on the same website.... If they were THAT concerned the sites wouldn't be listed in the FCC database by location and the sites themselves would be camoflaged or hidden somehow.
I don't think you will see the units though, thats pushing things a bit....