I have tried a total of 8 different programs between two computers and 3 operating systems. The ZWO forum has one or two people reporting similar issues. I heard reports from night skies network that their cameras are buggy too.
It sounded like the laptop you used had it's own problems. Dan, I am very inclined to say the problems are the computers. So far, the only real hardware problem I have read about with the ASI1600 is that some people's coolers don't work right. I think one of those cases might have been user error, the other seemed quite legitimate.
You are the only guy who has tried to use a Mac yet. In my personal experiences with a Mac, I seem to have a LOT of problems with the USB ports. My MBP is a little over a year old, from before they had full USB 3 ports. My bus seems to be USB 3 internally, but the ports only seem to support USB 2. They are quite quirky. I don't know if it's just that Apple does not care about USB and prefers everyone to use Thunderbolt with Apple-made decides or what, but I have really not been impressed with their USB capabilities.
The other laptop you used had power connectivity problems and sounded quite ancient and very slow. I don't really think we can all your experiences with such a laptop indicative of a camera issue...I think you experienced laptop issues again.
I think you could pick up a pretty nice laptop for about $200 if you really needed to. I do think that finding a more modern laptop that has true USB 3 support would change things for you, whether you buy or borrow. The ASI cameras are overwhelmingly coming as USB 3 native parts, and based on a number of things Sam has said, they really want you to use the camera with USB 3 computers using USB 3 cables and USB 3 hubs.