This is instructions to use the ClampFit from the pClamp suite for ion channel analysis on the Mac.  The system this write-up is based on is OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard), pClamp 10, and uses Winebottler 1.1.44.

By way of introduction, Wine is the general open-source solution for running Windows-based software on UNIX-like systems (for example, Linux and OSX) by providing a compatibility layer underneath the application.  Specific implementations for different platforms and applications exist; e.g., CrossOver, Darwine, and Bordeaux.  This is advantageous to running pClamp in Bootcamp as you can simultaneously run your OSX software; it is better than running pClamp in Parallels Desktop as it does not require booting up a separate operating system for a single application — not to mention the high combined cost of both the WinOS and Parallels.

As mentioned above, a number of Wine-related apps are available for OSX, some of which are known to be incompatible with pClamp (e.g., CorssOver 8 and 9).  Winebottler worked marvelously for me and I’d like to share the procedure.  You will need your pClamp installer (it should be named pClamp-10_0_0_79.exe)

(i) Download and launch the .dmg

(ii) Drag both Wine and Winebottler to applications (optional).

(iii) Run Winebottler, and select “Create Custom Prefixes” (ion channels isn’t exactly a household name ;) )

(iv) Select a file (A), decide if you want Wine to be encapsulated (B), check silent install (C), and Install (D).  This will launch first a prompt for the location/name to store the result, then the pClamp installer.

(v)  Pick a “destination folder” – this does not matter.

(vi) You will see a pair of device driver errors.  Ignore them.  pClamp suite of software uses a security dongle for verification and the dongle is not supported in Wine.  This does not affect ClampFit.

(vii)  In the dialog box, select ClampFit.exe as what should be running in the application.

At this point you should have an app at the location you specified in step (iv).  Treat this as any native OSX app – just double click it, and ClampFit should launch:

Congratulations!  Now you get to analyse your traces in OSX instead of having to boot up a Windows partition.  If you have trouble locating your data files, head all the way up to the desktop first, then go back down into the Users folder.

Comments and feedback are welcome.