Well, I finally broke down and went for a USB to serial adapter, because I was getting tired of creating computer rooms hazards by running console cables into the back of servers with serial ports. And I have had to do this quite a bit lately. My primary mobile desktop is an old MacBook (early 2008) running Mavericks.

I bought an Ativa adapter from Office Depot. The key to getting it work, is to make sure you use the correct driver. The Ativa adapter was easy. I downloaded the driver from http://nozap.me/driver/osxpl2303/index.html/. I downloaded NoZAP-Pl2303-10.9-installer.dmg, since I am running Mavericks. I mounted the DMG, and the ran the package in the mounted DMG.

Then, I downloaded and installed minicom from: http://pbxbook.com/other/mac-tty.html#minicom.

The next issue is finding the correct device file. My first guess at a newly created tty file in /dev did not work. Next time, I looked a little closer and found a file called usbserial. Too obvious.

I launched the minicom setup:

/opt/minicom/current/bin/minicom -s

Then, configure and save the configuration as outlined in http://jim-zimmerman.com/?p=916, except use /dev/usbserial for the serial device file. Permissions and Terminal settings were fine. I didn’t have to change them from the defaults.

Now, I can use my laptop to access my Cisco equipment.