Kmax 8 ReadMe

Welcome to Kmax 8


This distribution (version 8.x) of Kmax8 replaces all earlier versions of Kmax and KmaxNT.  This release has been tested on the Windows XP, Macintosh Operating System 10.4.4, and RedHat 7.x platforms.


If you have dowwnloaded the compressed archive from the web, you will need first to unZIP the distribution.  On the Mac, the zip file is usually uncompressed automatically as soon as it is downloaded.  On Windows use a compression facility like winzip.  On Linux, use any appropriate archive tool.

To install Kmax, just drag the Kmax folder to the desired location on your computer.  For example, “C:\Program Files”, on Windows or “/Applications” on Mac OSX).  If you are installing over an older copy of Kmax, be careful not to overwrite files in the Kmax Folder that were added or edited since the last installation.  After installation, be sure to refer to the GettingStarted.tlsh toolsheet for additional information on new features in this version of Kmax.


This version of Kmax requires a Java SDK in order to run.   If you are using Windows or Linux, make sure that you have a version 1.5.0_06 (or above) SDK installed (J2SE 5.0).  The full SDK is required (not just the VM).  To download and install the SDK, go to “” and download the proper version for your platform.  Make sure to read the installation instructions carefully. The JAVA SDK is already installed on Mac computers.  Check Software Updates on the Apple site to insure that you have the latest java version installed.  If you have the latest update, but still do not have the proper version,  you may have to upgrade by downloading the latest version from Apple’s website.  On windows and Linux, it is important that the system path variables be properly configured so that the ‘java’ and the ‘javac’ commands are in the execution path.

The java VM installation can be tested by executing ‘java -version’ from the command line.  If this command does not indicate that the runtime environment is 1.5.0 or above, the VM is not properly installed.  Check that the “SDK”/bin directory in in the execution path by executing ‘javac’ from the command line.  If this command does not list the javac command options, the SDK bin directory is not in the execution path.

For example, from a command line test the installation with:

#java -version

A correct installation should respond with something like:

java version “1.5.0_06”
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.5.0_06-93)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.5.0_06-55, mixed mode, sharing)

You can test the javac execution path with:

#javac -help

If you get: “javac: Command not found.”, then the SDK was not fully installed or the execution path is not correct.  Follow the instructions on the java website to properly configure the execution path.


Besides the main Kmax application, the Kmax distribution package includes many natively compiled code modules that Kmax uses to talk to hardware devices.  This native code is platform specific and often depends on libraries provided by the manufacturer of the hardware.  The availability of these modules depends on the quality of support from the manufacturer of the hardware device, and thus not all devices are supported on all platforms.  Please contact the hardware manufacturer or Sparrow Corporation ( to determine if your specific hardware is supported.


If you have a SCSI device that you plan to use with Kmax on Windows, you will need to use an ADAPTEC compatible SCSI interface host adapter and install  ASPI drivers from Adaptec.  To download and install the ASPI drivers, go to “” and follow the links to download the ASPI drivers for your platform.  Make sure that you read the installation instructions.


The current version of Kmax does not support running Kmax by double-clicking a Kmax toolsheet document, or by dragging a toolsheet to the Kmax applicatoin.  You have to start Kmax and then open the toolsheet from the Kmax ‘Open’ menu.

To run Kmax on the Mac, Just double-click the Kmax application icon.

On windows, you may be able to double-click the Kmax.jar file to start Kmax.  Sometimes this fails if the file mapping in your registry has been changed from what was setup when the JRE was installed.  To assist users with this problem, the files, Kmax_Win.bat and Kmax_XP.lnk provide convenient double-clickable mechanisms for starting Kmax.  ‘Kmax_Win.bat’ starts a command shell and then starts Kmax from the shell command.  ‘Kmax_XP.lnk’ uses a link to execute a command without the shell.  Both files may have to be edited for a particular installation location of the Kmax application folder.  If your JRE was installed in a non-standard location, you may need to edit the files and put in the path to the location of the JRE on your system.

To run Kmax from the Linux command line, cd into the Kmax directory (e.g. cd ~/Kmax) and execute the command ‘java -jar Kmax.jar’.  A shell script,, is included within the distribution directory to execute this command for you.  Yu may need to edit the file to insure that the file paths are correct for you installation.


The Kmax8 application is enabled with different features depending on the license issued by SPARROW.  The demonstration (DEMO) license is the default installation and requires no password.  A time-limited evaluation (EVAL) license will provide a fully enabled version of Kmax8 for the specified evaluation period.  A run-only (RUNO) license includes the ability to run toolsheets and save and replay data, but the features that create and edit toolsheets are not included.  The full (FULL) Kmax license provides the complete set of features, allowing the user to create, edit and run Kmax toolsheets.  The FULL license also lets the user save data with the toolsheet or as text in separate files.  With the FULL license, Kmax event files may be saved and replayed to do off-line data sorting and analysis.  A publish (PUBL) license provides all the features of the FULL license plus the ability to export Kmax toolsheets as runnable JAR files.  Runnable toolsheets are licensed under a free, run-only (RUNO) license.

When the Kmax8 application is started for the first time on a computer that does not have a current Kmax8 license, the Kmax8 License dialog is displayed prompting the user for a password.  If you just want to use Kmax in the demonstration mode, hit the OK or Cancel button and a DEMO license will be established on your machine. If you intend to use Kmax8 is a mode other than DEMO, you should write down the machine ID that is displayed in the dialog window.  You will need this number in order to request a license password from SPARROW.  Send an email to SPARROW Tech Support at <> and request a password for the appropriate license.  Please include the Machine ID and your registration information ( name of  reg. user, currentlicence version and serial number, institution, etc).  You may also call during normal operating hours with the Machine ID and your e-mail address and a Password will be e-mailed to you shortly.  When you receive a password for your license from SPARROW, just select the ‘About Kmax’ item from the ‘Help’ menu and click the License tab to return to the License input dialog.

If you are installing a Kmax upgrade with the same major version and already have a valid license on your computer, you will not need to request another Password since the license will still be valid..  If  you are moving the Kmax application to another computer or to another user account, you will need to run Kmax for the first time,  record your new machine ID, and request a new password from SPARROW as described above.


The Kmax8 user/reference manual is provided as a set of HTML files and may be read using any web browser.  Keep the Kmax Manual folder in the same folder as the Kmax application and bookmark the Kmax.html home page for easy access.


Make sure you register your Kmax8 application to receive technical support, future product upgrades and information by filling out the enclosed registration card.  For assistance with Kmax or any SPARROW product, contact SPARROW Technical Support via e-mail at


Check the SPARROW web site ( frequently and make sure that you are using the latest version of the Kmax software and the associated drivers and external components.  You can download upgrades whenever necessary.  Contact your local SPARROW distributor to get a temporary password for evaluation purposes.  Before installing an update, be sure to make a backup of the toolsheets and data that you have developed and want to retain.

You may want to share your Kmax8 documents and drivers with other Kmax8 users.  Visit our website to submit your files for sharing with others.