Neil and Iona Mac minis inside!
Be Serial
Last Updated - March 5th, 2007

There is a lot of orphaned info on setting up a Keyspan USB to Serial device for use with Java on a Mac. I found many of these red herrings when I upgraded my emotive robots Neil and Iona (picture shown left) to use Mac minis. This very short post is meant to explain exactly what is required as of March 5th, 2007 ... hopefully this will save others some time and hassle.

1.) Update OS 10.3 (Panther) or use OS 10.4 (Tiger)

These instructions apply to Mac OS 10.3.9 and OS 10.4. If Panther, make sure you have the most current software updates installed (10.3.9 or better). If you are not sure how to do this, its super easy as long as your computer is connected to the internet. Just click the apple menu (topmost leftmost menu item) and choose "Software Update". Afterwards choose the settings that relate to updating OS X and the security updates. When its finished reboot.

2.) Install or Update Keyspan USB to Serial Drivers

Visit the Keyspan website and download the most current driver. Unplug the device if it is plugged in and then install the driver (its super easy).

3.) Install RXTX

RXTX is a magical java library for serial IO that seems to pride itself on its awful documentation and ugly website. Luckily, for Panther and Tiger there is a one step installer! Basically, download the RXTX_Tiger Mac Installer, unarchive it, install it and reboot. I know it says "Tiger" and OS 10.3 is "Panther". No worries, this will work with either man eating kitty.

This sounds incredibly simple, and it is. You may be wondering why I even posted this if its so simple. For whatever reason this is the only post online that explains it this way. Most likely the other posts are just plain old.

I encourage you to check out other posts describing how to install and program Java IO using USB to Serial on a Mac since they have more details about the programming end. I plan to post something about my experience with this another day.