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Naked Dentrix: 2 Years Running

This is a followup post to “Going Naked with Dentrix” that I wrote in January of 2008.

So, here it is January of 2010.  What’s up?  How’s it going?

We’re still running Dentrix 11.  We’re still naked, and things have been great.

Cost of hardware upgrades: $1200

Cost of software support: $0

Value from being Naked:  priceless

Actual money saved: $2,200

So, we had a couple of machines that outright died.  Thus, the $1200 for hardware.  And as I declared in my Opinionated Hardware Buying Guide we got two Apple Mac Mini’s that we run Windows XP on using Boot Camp.   They are awesome, BTW.

I’ll skip the specs, but they are plenty powerful to run any version of any practice management system.   They use very little electricity (a scant 14W of power when idle).  They are practically silent, and are easy to mount just about anywhwere.

Anyway, I thought I would take a look and see what’s happened in DentrixLand since we’ve been gone:

  • eBackup – Got released.  Awesome.
  • G3 came and went.
  • Now we have G4 and 6…no, 7 Service Packs — I think Dentrix has really upped their development cycle.  Which is nice…
  • Knowledge Base — I haven’t used it.  Did it get released?
  • I asked for a development blog, but I don’t think that happened.
  • I asked for a Feature Voting System too.  They did it! It’s like a walk down memory lane looking at those requests.  So many familiar ones.  I voted!  Did you?
  • I asked for free downloads of the software for registered users.  I don’t know…did that happen?  If I’m going to pay $25 to have a disc mailed to me, it better have a darn good blu-ray movie on it.

Sadly, not everything is kittens and roses in NakedLand.   There are some issues cropping up and we may soon find ourselves standing at two roads diverging in the woods.   Will we be Robert Frost?  or will be that other guy.  Oh, wait a minute, there isn’t another guy.

Stay tuned.

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5 Responses

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  1. Wayne Remington says

    I’m getting tired of PCs and am thinking of going to Mac Minis for all my operatories. I still run Dentrix 11 on the PCs- I was never convinced that the G series from Dentrix was worthwhile.
    Do you have any idea if Image from Scan-X would work on the mac minis with Dentrix? I am currently using that image software and would love to continue its use.
    Do you use a Mac Mini as a server?

  2. admin says

    I’m replacing our PC’s with Mac Mini’s right now. I haven’t decided what to do about the server yet. I would like the server to have RAID 1 as a first line of defense, but the mac Mini’s only have 1 hard drive. The Server Edition has 2 hard drives, but I haven’t been able to confirm if it can run Bootcamp and Windows Server. If it could, I would switch the server as well.

    It may not seem like much, but one of the biggest benefits for our office was the reduction in noise and the better esthetics. The 2010 Mac Minis are even shorter than the older ones and don’t have a huge power supply to hang on the wall.

  3. solefald says

    I have been battling Dentrix G3 and G4 on a Mac mini running XP for over a year now. Mac mini itself is absolutely awesome… XP on the other hand is like a bag of dried up crap. I guess Dentrix and Gendex are partially to blame here too for their sub-par software….

    First of all, to get Gendex AccuCam Concept IV to work on XP you have to completely turn on off video hardware acceleration, which causes 2 warning messages to pop-up every time you right click on the desktop. Also, couple of times a week, like a clockwork, XP freezes on boot, so you have to reset PRAM, boot into OSX and then back to XP. Then we have a problem with Dentrix forgetting the path to the Data directory, so that has to be re-set once or twice per week also.

    I upgraded to Windows 7 Pro and after spending hours to install Dentrix G4, Gendex drivers and Dentrix Image i relized that Windows 7 does not see the intra-oral camera. At all. Google search turned up hundreds of posts from people complaining that Firewire video does not work in Win 7, so back to XP we went.

    What I am trying to say is that in a PC dominated Dental market, vendors get away with murder. Software is horrible and vendors do not care to make it any better. The only improvement i notice is packaging….

    Just try calling Dentrix support and ask about their new offering that will supposedly replace Dentrix Image. You will cry after they will explain the procedure of upgrading your existing image database to the new software, which involves 4 hours of training, a bunch of paperwork that needs to be signed, 1 hour per 1Gb of images conversion time (we have 45 gigs so far, so 45 hours to convert them) and after that having someone go and manually re-assigning EACH tooth on EACH image.

    I would *LOVE* to convince the Doctor to switch to something else, but after all the money already invested, it is simply non possible.

  4. Ben S. says

    Having different versions of windows with potentially different CPU types (32-bit vs 64) means you’re at the mercy of hardware vendors (Intraoral cams, XRay sensors, XRay scanners and the like).

    We had one intraoral camera that doesn’t work if it’s not plugged into a powered USB hub because it pull too much power from the USB port to run off the PC’s powersupply. $1,500, sure — no problem. What’s a powered USB hub in the face of a great intra oral camera? Well, for one, it’s kludgey and for another, it’s fugly.

    I’m very happy with our Mac Mini’s running Win7 and Dentrix G4 (except for the G4 part). Don’t let Dentrix support know that you’re using macs though. They hung up on us saying “our troubleshooting is done.” when one of our office staff leaked that we were using macs in our ops. D’oh! They said that we were running Windows in virtualization. Ha! Bootcamp is *not* virtualization. Parallels and VMWare are virtualization. Bootcamp means you’re running windows on the hardware with nothing in between. sheesh.

  5. baffoon says

    anybody has any luck running dentrix 11 with win 7pro?