28. April, 2009

USB printer in Airport Express not showing

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 23:04

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A brother printer hooked up to my AirPort Express base station was not recognized by the AirPort – so it seemed.  The respective dialog in the AirPort Utility said: “USB Printer: None”.

AirPort printer dialog

I spent quite some time trying to find out what the problem was. It turned out that the dialog simply didn’t tell the truth. The “AirPort” dialog (left most in the menu) did indeed list the printer correctly:

AirPort overview dialog

After I found that bug setting up the printer both in OS X and Windows XP was a breeze. In OS X you go to System Preferences -> Printer / Fax -> + sign -> choose “Default” in the top connection-type menu. OS X will then try to locate the printer with Bonjour and populate the add-dialog with proper values. For Windows you need to install Bonjour from the CD that came with your AirPort Express base station.

30. December, 2008

Wake-On-LAN, WOL, with Apple iPhone Remote

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 13:46

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With Apple Remote for iPhone and iPod Touch you control iTunes on a remote computer.

What I only recently found out is that Apple Remote acts as a Wake-On-LAN (WOL) client. At least it does that in my environment. My Mac Mini wakes up from sleep when I start Apple Remote on the iPod Touch and have it try to connect to iTunes on the Mac Mini.

I find this a little odd because none of the articles I found (App Store and mention this feature. Of course I’m happy about it nonetheless.

23. December, 2008

Mac – Windows networking issues

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 15:01

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My small home network consists of a Windows XP PC, a MacBook with OS X Leopard, and a Mac Mini with OS X Leopard. Several networking issues kept bugging me:

  1. the XP PC sees the Mac Mini in the network neighborhood but can’t access its shares, mapping those shares only works if the Mac Mini is addressed by its name instead of its name
  2. the XP PC doesn’t see the MacBook at all, neither by name nor by IP
  3. both Macs can list the PCs shares, but connecting to them results in the errors “no direct map for 32 bit server error (0xc0000205)” and “broken pipe” in the OS X console
  4. both Macs cannot connect to the PC using its name, but only by using <name>.local

The first issue was solved by updating the Mac Mini (and the MacBook for that matter) to the latest Leopard version 10.5.6. However, this didn’t help with any of the other issues.

Issue number 3 was solved with the help of a article. In the XP registry I needed to add the IRPStackSize parameter to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters and set its value to 18 (decimal) according to this Microsoft KB article:

Issue number 2 was related to a fu… up “WINS” configuration on the MacBook. When I checked whether the workgroup name in the WINS tab in System Preferences -> Network -> Advanced was set correctly it was empty. So, I tried to enter the same name as on the PC and on the Mac Mini, but the change would never get persisted i.e. remembered. I did as adviced in and now the MacBook appears correctly in the XP network neighborhood. However, its shares still could not be accessed. So, I checked System Preferences -> Firewall and realized that I had checked ‘Allow only essential services’ instead of ‘Set access for specific services and applications’. Issue 2 solved.

At this point I discovered the great article ‘Explanation of Leopard NetBIOS (Windows Sharing) Wackyness With Solutions’. It’s got extensive explanations and good tips.

And…while reading it, time passed…more time passed…and all of a sudden my XP system showed up in the Finder with its real name i.e. there was no need to address it with <name>.local. Issue 4 solved.

14. September, 2008

Connecting to the Internet with Bluetooth mobile phone on Leopard

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 16:40

This blog now resides at It will be discontinued here…

Here’s another OS X Tiger to Leopard upgrade issue…

From time to time while on the road (in the train rather…) I connect to the Internet through my Nokia mobile phone hooked up to the MacBook via Bluetooth. This stopped working with Leopard. The phone icon in the menu bar showed “Connecting” for a few seconds and switched to “Disconnecting” immediately afterwards. The Console listed as error: MPPE required, but MS-CHAP[v2] auth not performed.

A Google search directed me to a Mac OS X Hints article that explains that you needed to change CCPEnabled from 1 to 0 in /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/preferences.plist – and restart the system, that’s important.

aclocal-1.4… missing/automake-1.4… missing

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 16:28

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In contrast to the problem described in my previous post this one was directly related to the OS X 10.4 (Tiger) to 10.5 (Leopard) upgrade.

After the upgrade I tried to install a software packet through MacPort’s port command. The pile of error and warning messages left me puzzled at first:

checking for working aclocal-1.4... missing
checking for working automake-1.4... missing
some more

Then I found out that XCode is not automatically updated during the 10.4 -> 10.5 installation. Hence, I needed to uninstall the old XCode and install XCode 3 from the Leopard DVD.

iPod touch not showing in iTunes on OS X

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 10:11

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After an upgrade to OS X 10.5 Leopard and iTunes 8 my iPod touch stopped showing in iTunes on my MacBook. I doubt, however, that the missing iPod has anything to do with Leopard or iTunes 8 because it worked flawlessly with Leopard/iTunes 8 on my Mac mini.

I went through a lot of steps trying to reset/restore the iPod, resetting the USB adapters and so on. Although recommended in some articles I didn’t dare to uninstall/install iTunes, tough. I saved this as my last resort, for I had no desire to loose all my settings and I figured that it’d be quite difficult to get rid of all the preferences files on my system that are associated with iTunes. Turns out there’s a great article entitled “Removing ITunes for Mac OS X” at Apples’s support center.

And indeed, reinstalling iTunes 8 solved my problem.

5. August, 2008

Character encoding error from Eclipse while saving

Filed under: Apple & Mac,Software Development — frightanic @ 17:05

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What to do when the following error pops up in Eclipse while saving a file:

Save could not be Completed
Some characters cannot be mapped using “<your-encoding-here>” character encoding.
Either change the encoding or remove the characters which are not supported by the “
<your-encoding-here>” character encoding.

If you’re certain that the encoding is correct an you didn’t enter any weired characters, you should copy/paste the content of the file to an external editor and see if it tells you where those hidden, special characters are.

On Linux and Mac you may as well abuse the terminal for that for certain character set. Just paste the code to the shell and see if you find anything unusual.

6. June, 2008

Craftsman, know your tools

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 10:29

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By coincident I discovered a cool feature on my iPod Touch. When you double tap the home button, the basic music controls (forward, backward, volume, etc.) are displayed regardless of which application you’re currently running. This works even if the iPod is locked. Very handy…

MacRumors has a whole list of iPod Touch tips and tricks.

6. April, 2008

iPod Touch, cannot buy January upgrade

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 09:30

This blog now resides at It will be discontinued here…

Back in January 2008 Apple released a software upgrade for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. As a result, whenever you plugged your iPod into your computer and wanted to sync it, iTunes would first show a page with the option to download and install the new package. I would have done so right away if Apple gave it away for free – for the iPod Touch they charge you $20 while it’s free for the iPhone. Hence, I only installed the 1.1.4 firmware upgrade but without unlocking the new apps that come with it. The “commercial” page advertising to new apps, however, got on my nerves, so I clicked some “don’t bother me with that stuff anymore” button.

To get to the point, yesterday I changed my mind. I wanted that software upgrade. So, I went to and clicked on the “Have an iPod touch without the new software?” link in the iPod section. It took me to the above mentioned page in iTunes (the iTunes store to be precise). However, there was no “buy now” button anywhere to be found, only an “OK” button at the bottom of the screen that just took me back to the iTunes store home page when clicked on.

I tried resetting the iPod, searched the Internet long and hard for solutions to that problem, and – among lots of others – came along a thread at and that looked promising. However, nothing seemed to cure my problem until I stumbled upon a thread over at A user posted the direct link to the desired page in the iTunes store: I clicked the link, paid $20 in the iTunes store, and happily watched as the new apps got unlocked. Worked like a charm!

WARNING: just because this worked in my case doesn’t mean that it’ll work out for you! I’ve come along lots of threads where people complained that Apple double- and triple-charged them for the upgrade without installing the apps. Try at your own risk!

13. January, 2008

Throwing money down Apple’s maw

Filed under: Apple & Mac — frightanic @ 02:18

This blog now resides at It will be discontinued here…

With the purchase of my MacBook I was converted to a Mac fan, not a die-hard fan, but still… A lot of Apple technologies behave just the way I expect things to work. I also noticed that for the first time I didn’t hesitate to purchase licenses for extra software. I seem to be getting my money’s worth. I have a feeling that the folks writing pieces of independent software (independent from Apple I mean) for the OS X platform  work to higher standards than those coding for the Windows platform. Of course, this is highly subjective and I haven’t thoroughly thought about the possible reasons behind this, but I’ve had this impression more than once.

Often I felt the same way about Apple’s own software and services, too. So I bought iLife ’08 and signed up for a .Mac account and was more or less happy to pay for it, too. It seemed worth it.

Now I consider upgrading from QuickTime to QuickTime Pro. Why? I need to cut pieces of a short movie (.avi) I recently shot with my FujiFilm FinePix F31fd, a great camera by the way. So, together with all the photos the movie was loaded into iPhoto and I started experimenting what I could do with it. Not much, it turned out. The movie can be loaded into QuickTime, this is the default behavior, but that’s about it. The editing features are greyed out in QuickTime’s standard edition.

Before throwing more money down Apple’s maw I started looking for alternatives.  Movie Cutter seems very promising but it keeps crashing due some trial-key related issues. Also, SimpleMovieX seems to do a fine job. However, it is unable to save the .avi file it manipulates as .avi again. Hence, a no-go.

Buying something usually involves an emotional component. You want something, you buy it, and you’re happy that you got it. The emotional component here is, that I’m angry at Apple that, starting with version 7.2, they dropped QuickTime’s Windows 2000 support; even before Windows 2000 reached end-of-life. As a matter of fact iTunes met the same fate.  So, will I unleash my standard QuickTime by shelling out another $30 to Apple? We’ll see…

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