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I have the chance to pick up a GretagMacbeth i1 Eye Display 2 for around 50 euros. I'm wondering if I can calibrate my MacBook Pro monitor and my external monitor (a Dell 1703FP) using the i1 calibrator.

I understand it's quite old hardware, so it might not run on Mountain Lion. Can I run it in Windows XP VM and use the generate ICC profile?

My goal is to get the colors on my MacBook Pro as close as possible to the Dell.

  • I can't check from my phone easily, but I think you're up against a 64 bit issue with the older devices. I had two, more recent, that didn't work as a result. – John Cavan Dec 9 '13 at 23:28
  • i1 Match v3.6.3 claimed x64 support for the iO as well as Intel Mac support. Being a Windows guy I still use v3.6.2 in Windows 7-64 without any problems. – Michael C Dec 10 '13 at 3:37
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Okay, so I did a bit of research, and as I suspected, the software that comes with the device is actually PowerPC code, which works under emulation on Intel-based Macs up until OS X Lion, but then support was dropped. This article explains — but also notes that you can apparently register the device at http://www.xrite.com/ and then download newer software which will work.

So, you could do that.

Even if the software didn't work, you'd still have options. First, as you guess, the ICC profile is cross-platform and you can generate in Windows and use it in OS X.

Second, if you're comfortable around slightly awkward software, you can use ArgyllCMS on OS X. This is free open source software which will do everything the included software can as well or better. In fact, better is likely, as these devices are often sold in various models at different price points but actually equivalent hardware — the differences are all in software, with features held back from the cheaper versions.

But that said, €50 isn't that good of a deal for this, because, trust me, this is old and slow. I actually have the exact same model sitting in my e-waste bin right now. It's very slow to operate (like, let-it-run-overnight slow) and is klunky, inelegant hardware with lots of little pieces to lose. And, it's possible that the color filters have degraded and aren't so accurate anymore — depending on who you ask this is either a huge problem or not one at all.

My recommendation is to buy a ColorHug, for about €70. It's going to be a lot faster and a better experience. This won't work in OS X either, but it comes with a CD which will (non-destructively) boot into Linux on your Mac so you can generate the ICC profile.

(Disclaimer: the creator of the ColorHug and I happen to work for the same company, but this is a side project of his.)

  • Thank you for the expansive answer. If I would get the ColorHug, would I be able to achieve my goal of getting the colors of the MBP and the Dell as close as possible? – Saaru Lindestøkke Dec 10 '13 at 17:37
  • Yes. Or the GretagMacbeth for that matter. (I haven't used the newer model you've updated the question to so I don't know how it compares.) – mattdm Dec 10 '13 at 17:49
  • Ok, thank you. Sorry for changing the model after your answer, but the seller didn't provide the correct information at first. – Saaru Lindestøkke Dec 10 '13 at 17:50
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I use the same device with the latest Windows version of Eye-One Match 3 (ver. 3.6.2 released about 4 years ago) in a Windows 7 64-bit environment without any issues at all. At least in a Windows environment, just be sure to install the device drivers before the application.

Eye-One Match 3 ver. 3.6.3 was released in 2009 and required Mac OS X 10.4 or higher and also supported MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard). As far as I know that was the last version released for any platform.

Here's the link for that version. Be sure and read the notes at the bottom.

  • Never worked for me on Mountain Lion, ended up buying the Spyder4 – John Cavan Dec 10 '13 at 3:44
  • I had to figure out the correct order to install the drivers and different modules of the software first and that was a little confusing. It's been so long but I think I found some help in that regard in an on line discussion board. Once I got that straight I've installed it on several other machines without a hitch. The last thing you want to do is plug it in before the drivers and software are correctly installed. In Windows 7 I had to roll back the entire OS to the restore point I created just before my first try at installing it. But once I did everything in the correct order it works. – Michael C Dec 10 '13 at 3:48
  • There were some issues with Snow Leopard prior to the 10.6.2 update. Those were reportedly resolved in 10.6.2 and 10.6.3. It was caused by a bug in ColorSync in the early Apple releases prior to 10.6.2. – Michael C Dec 10 '13 at 3:52
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    The big change in Mountain Lion was that 32 bit apps that required kernel extensions were DOA and it wouldn't surprise me if these were needed given the purpose. It's not really analogous to Windows in this respect. – John Cavan Dec 10 '13 at 4:00
  • Even when running Windows XP VM as the question suggests? – Michael C Dec 10 '13 at 13:51

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