Archive for ‘July, 2007’

iPhone keyboard done better on Nokia N800….

datePosted on 21:23, July 30th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Well they said it can’t be done. They said the secret of the apple sauce was only known to Steve. Looks like Gustavo Sverzut Barbieri has it figured out. 1340 lines of code and you’ve got the Apple’s Ubercool keyboard on the N800…..gotta love open platforms.

Immediate delete for USB drives under OSX

datePosted on 23:18, July 28th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Okay so how many times have you “deleted” a file on a USB drive under OSX only to find out later that the storage is still tied up in .Trashes directory. Well there is a easy way to fix this. Open terminal, cd to your USB drives root directory (mounted under /Volumes) and issue the following:
rm -rf .Trashes
touch .Trashes

This creates a file called .Trashes on your USB drive (don’t worry the file size is zero). The side effect of this is that if you delete files off the USB stick, OSX will delete them immediately (since it can not create a .Trashes directory).

Find your Mac’s Serial number from CLI

datePosted on 17:15, July 28th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Okay couple of quick ways to find the serial number of your mac.
ioreg -l|grep IOPlatformSerialNumber|awk '{print $4}'|cut -d \" -f 2
ioreg -l | awk '/IOPlatformSerialNumber/ {print $4}' | sed 's/\"//g'
Very useful when you’re logged into your Mac remotely and call apple helpdesk with a issue.

Install OSX on a external disk without rebooting

datePosted on 17:03, July 28th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Normally if you wanted to install OSX on a external drive, you’d probably reboot, insert the DVD and boot off the DVD. Well turns out you really don’t have to do that. You can actually attach a external drive to your machine while it’s running OSX, insert the DVD and install OSX to the attached external device. Here is how:

  • Assuming your machine is running some sort of OSX, insert the OSX install DVD into the drive.
  • Now attach the external device to your machine (ie: firewire drive).
  • Now using finder navigate to “/System/Installation/Packages/” Folder and run “OS Install.pkg” (it might be “OS Install.mpkg”) by double clicking it.
  • Go through the installation process and choose the external drive as your installation destination.
  • DONE….

Couple of quick shell tips

datePosted on 14:54, July 28th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Okay these are bash goodies, so they’ll work in any environment. If you’re in a situation where you’re switching between two different directory paths over and over again, here is a quick tip
cd -
Another little annoyance that I’ve gotten around is when you want to edit a system file and you type in the command (ie: vi /etc/this/is/a/really/long/path/config.cfg), only to realize that you forgot to sudo. This used to mean that I would quit vi, curse, recall the command, insert a sudo infront of the vi command and try again….well here is the quicker way.
sudo !!
This will (re)sudo your last command. And if that’s not enough you can actually narrow the sudo down to the last command that started with a certain string.
sudo !apache
Which will look in the history file and (re)sudo the first command that contains the string “apache”.

Quickway to check your DNS settings under OSX

datePosted on 22:58, July 27th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

This is another CLI command, so get your terminal ready. This gives you a quickway to check the DNS settings on OSX. Now one way is to just cat /etc/resolv.conf , but what if you wanted to see what the system is actually using (not just what it was configured for). Well scutil comes to rescue and gives us an interface to the “dynamic store” data maintained by configd. Here is the command:

scutil --dns
The output will list all four resolver your system is configured for. scutil is another one of those deep OSX commands, so I suggest you have a look at the manual for it (man scutil) or get on google and search for more details (Tech Zendo has a detailed article on how to perform actions during fast user switching, AFP548 also has a great article on how to setup NIC failover).

OSX Directory Services from Command-line

datePosted on 19:42, July 27th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

New day, new command. dscl is the command in question. It gives you access to Mac OSX’s Directory Services Command Line interface. Very powerful stuff for those of us who like the command line and hate to do the same task a million times. A useful example is the ability to grant Administrator privileges to a user from command line. Normally you would have to pull up System Preferences/Accounts/Click User and check the “Allow user to administrate this computer” box. Well not anymore….Here is how:

  • First you probably want to check who is an admin on the machine in question:
    • dscl . read /Groups/admin GroupMembership
  • Next you might want to add a user (we call him uberuser here) to the admin list:
    • dscl . append /Groups/admin GroupMembership uberuser
  • And maybe you want to revoke the admin privileges for user uberguber:
    • dscl . delete /Groups/admin GroupMembership uberguber
  • To see all the Directory information for user www:
    • dscl . -read /Users/www
  • To see all the Directory information about group admin:
    • dscl . -read /Groups/admin

There are probably a ton more things you can do with dscl, but that’s beyond the scope of this article (and my knowledge)… man dscl and have fun reading.

Gravity Music….

datePosted on 16:00, July 25th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

This is gotta be one of the coolest generative music projects. Make sure your browser has a working version of Java. Have fun and please don’t complain when you find out you’ve waisted your entire day at this site…….

Samsung: First LCD display to use DisplayPort Interface

datePosted on 12:45, July 25th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

So we’ve been waiting for this for a while now. In Digital Cinema applications display technology throughput has always been a problem. Pumping ~10Gb/s of data to a screen is an issue, be it a projector and/or monitor. There have been a number of “hacks” to get these types of setups working (Dual or Quad DVI/HDMI ports). The problem usually is the seam. It is very hard to sync four DVI output chips properly and even harder to display the pixel information back on the screen (inside the projector/monitor).

DisplayPort technology is one attempt to solve this problem:

The DisplayPort connector supports 1 to 4 data pairs in a Main Link that also carries audio and clock signals, each with a transfer rate of 1.62 or 2.7 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). The Video signal path supports 6 to 16 bit per color channel. A bi-directional auxiliary channel runs at a constant 1 megabit per second, and serves as Main Link management and device control using VESA EDID and VESA MCCS standards.”

As you can see from the Wikipedia Quote above, DisplayPort (in it’s quad configuration) can support upto 10.8 Gb/s of information….perfect for DCinema Applications. Samsung has just released a Press Release outlining their 30′ LCD monitor that uses DisplayPort technology:

“Seoul, Korea – July 25, 2007: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world’s largest provider of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels, announced today that it has developed the world’s first LCD panel using the next-generation video interface – “DisplayPort.” Sanctioned by VESA (the Video Electronics Standards Association), DisplayPort will serve as a replacement for DVI, LVDS and eventually VGA.

For Samsung’s new 30-inch LCD, the DisplayPort interface transmits graphics data at a total data rate of 10.8Gbps. This speed enables 2560×1600 resolution without any color smear. By using a transmission speed more than double that of today’s interfaces, Samsung’s new LCD only requires a single DisplayPort interface, instead of the two DVI (Digital Visual Interface) ports now used.

In a joint undertaking with Genesis Microchip Inc. (Santa Clara, California), Samsung developed its 30” panel using a new four-lane, 2.7Gbps/lane interface chip. The interface technology processes 2560×1600 pixels of graphics data at up to 10 bits of color depth or 1.07 billion colors, a feat that would normally require at least three DVI or four LVDS interface chips.

“We are pleased to be the first LCD manufacturer in the world to create a panel with a DisplayPort interface,” said Brian Berkeley, vice president, Samsung LCD Business, who is leading the company’s DisplayPort development efforts. “We have received many inquiries from computer integrators interested in DisplayPort-based LCD panels, which prompted an acceleration of our R&D for this first DisplayPort LCD panel.” Samsung was the only LCD panel maker participating in the original DisplayPort working (standards) group formed in 2004.

Samsung’s new 30” LCD also offers the company’s proprietary Super Patterned Vertical Alignment (S-PVA) liquid crystal technology for 180° viewing angle, and 300nits brightness.

Mass production of the 30-inch panel is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2008.

Display size 30”
Resolution WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixels)
Response time 6ms
Viewing angle 180°/180°
Contrast ratio 1000:1
Mode S-PVA
Brightness 300 nits
Colors 16,777,000
Color saturation 100%
Interface DisplayPort

It’s just too bad that we can’t buy this NOW :-)

Format Wars…

datePosted on 21:45, July 24th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

There is a great article over on talking about Format Wars. So you want to know what would have happened if BeOS didn’t cost $400 million….Well maybe “it would make BeOS the operating system of choice for Apple Macs. It would also prevent Steve Jobs from returning to that company. In turn, this would put an end to all that silly iPod business and make MiniDisc the dominant force in portable music.”

Gotta love what if’s :-)