Archive for ‘Apple’ Category

Mac OSX DHCP debuging

datePosted on 13:08, December 15th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Once in a while you might want to dig deep into OSX’s dhcp client and find out what dhcp packet the server sent it. A quick command to spit out this info:
# ipconfig getpacket en0
This produces the following output:

op = BOOTREPLY
htype = 1
dp_flags = 0
hlen = 6
hops = 0
xid = 1956115059
secs = 0
ciaddr = 0.0.0.0
yiaddr = 192.168.4.10
siaddr = 192.168.4.1
giaddr = 0.0.0.0
chaddr = 0:3:93:7a:d7:5c
sname = dhcp.mycompany.net
file =
options:
Options count is 10
dhcp_message_type (uint8): ACK 0x5
server_identifier (ip): 192.168.4.1
lease_time (uint32): 0x164a
subnet_mask (ip): 255.255.255.0
router (ip_mult): {192.168.4.1}
domain_name_server (ip_mult): {192.168.4.1}
domain_name (string): mycompany.net
end (none):

USB-to-Serial console for Mac (OSX)

datePosted on 12:28, December 15th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Here are some notes for those of us working with Macs, who also have to deal with networking gear that usually have a serial console for local control. I recently purchased a IOGEAR USB 1.1 to Serial Converter Cable that uses the PL2303 chipset (pretty much any brand of these usb to serial converters use this chip). I was hoping that this dongle would allow me to access our network switches serial interface (which you kinda need when the switch has gone berserk). So after looking around the net I found that there is a opensource driver out there for it and that it performs better than the driver provided by Prolific (the company that manufactures the chip). So once everything was installed I hooked up the serial cable and realized that I needed a serial console program.

This turned out to be quite a pain since almost all of these programs for the mac are old and/or not free. Well, that was until I found out that our good friend screen can do this just fine:

screen /dev/tty.PL2303-0000101D 9600
where /dev/tty.PL2303-0000101D is the device for the dongle (easy to find….just do a ls -l /dev/tty.* and pick the one with PL2303 in the name). The baudrate is 9600 in case you haven’t guessed it already.

This will open up a new screen session in your xterm/terminal and from there you can control your serial device. Once you’re done you need to issue the command Ctrl-a Ctrl-\ to get out of screen and back to your shell prompt.

OSX Escher Screen Saver

datePosted on 16:51, November 25th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou


This is one of those gotta haves. Beautifully done and Free. Grab it here.

Get the full path displayed in finder

datePosted on 23:15, November 14th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Here is a quick way to enable full path display in the finder windows under Leopard. You can turn this on by issuing the following two commands in a terminal window:defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
killall Finder

You can also undo this effect by issuing the following two commands in a terminal window:defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool NO
killall Finder

Avid is going to miss NAB2008

datePosted on 22:53, November 14th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

It’s official, Avid will not have a exhibit booth during NAB2008. According to the Press Release

Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that it will introduce a major shift in its approach to serving industry professionals in the digital content creation, management, and distribution industries. Based on extensive market research, Avid plans to announce a series of customer-focused initiatives in 2008 – all of which will be designed to make it easier for customers, prospects and the media to interact with the company. The company said it would reveal the full details of its 2008 plan to the public in February, which will set the stage for a blitz of new user-community initiatives, technical support programs, highly-personalized events, and innovative product announcements throughout the year. The company also announced that it will not have an exhibition booth at the 2008 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention, but plans to be in Las Vegas next April to meet with customers.

Wow…now, why would Avid do this? I think that Apple and Sony might just have Avid cornered. Apple’s pounding them in the high end editing market and Sony’s bringing up the rear with Vegas. I guess some companies never learn, proprietary never pays….any one remember SGI…they used to have monster booths at NAB and would only talk to you if you had hollywood written all over your face…..Now they are next to non existent. It’s time for me to listen to my favourite Queen song….”Another one Bites the Dust”.

More aka.iPhone and Quartz Composer Experiments…..

datePosted on 16:55, November 11th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

So now that I have a basic OSC receiver for aka.iPhone’s XY controller, I’ve been going through Apple’s Demo Compositions — under /Developer/Examples/Quartz Composer/Compositions — and adding my portion of the OSC receiver to them. Here is the latest one, akaRemote-Caterpillar, which is a adaptation of “Caterpillar.qtz” under /Developer/Examples/Quartz Composer/Compositions/Interactive. Again I need to remind you to read the first Article to get started and that these QC compositions are for Leopard/QC3.0 only and require a jailbroken Ipod Touch or iPhone.

aka.iPhone and Quartz Composer Experiments…..

datePosted on 15:05, November 11th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou


I assume you know what aka.iPhone is and what it does. If you don’t please see this article over at Create Digital Motion. I’ve got aka.iPhone 2.1 installed on my ipod touch and while I enjoyed playing around with the accompanying MAX/MSP patch — via the free runtime — I wanted to see if I could get it working with Quartz Composer.

Well here are my two (akaRemote, akaRemote-Particle) attempts at QC compositions that work really well with the XY controller of aka.iPhone. The XY Controller surface is the only thing I’ve been able to get working with QC, since  Masayuki Akamatsu (the author of aka.iPhone) tends to use the same basic “/event” OSC message with a custom number of arguments. The limitations is actually in QC in that you can only have one OSC receiver on a UDP port at a time. Further a OSC receiver can not receive the same message with different arguments (int, float, float array). The author does mention that his protocol might change without notice, so hopefully he’ll read this post and change the messages to cascading/two level OSC messages to signify which button’s are activated and also to get more diversity in the base message string (ie: /event/Pad/buttonB1 message of type boolean which would signify a toggle button on the Pad screen being fired). I don’t pretend to be an OSC god, but I think it makes the protocol more readable/adaptable, which might not be the authors intent.
I decided that for my own use the XY controller was the most useful to reverse engineer (and also the easiest). The OSC command is “/event a b c“, where “a” is the trigger, “b” is the x-coordinate and “c” is the y-coordinate. X and Y coordinates are between (0,0) at the bottom left of the ipod touch screen and (1,1) at the top right.
Now here is how you get it all going:
  1. Get Masayuki Akamatsu’s aka.iPhone loaded into your ipod touch and/or iphone (I’m not going to tell you how to do this…..lets just say that if you have jailbroken your device you can just sftp his application to /Application on your device).
  2. Download akaRemote and akaRemote-Particle files and unzip them somewhere on your mac (I’m assuming you have OSX 10.5 and Quartz Composer 3.0, as they are required).
  3. Start with akaRemote by double clicking on its icon to load it into Quartz Composer, goto Preferences/Viewer and click the + to add a new Preset for the viewer. Call it 1:1 (or something) and give it width and height of 1 and make sure aspect ratio is selected.
  4. Now go to the bottom left side of the viewer and select 1:1 from the pull down. This guarantees that the coordinate system translation I use (0 to 1 from device is translated to -1 to 1 on the screen) works. Now resize the window to whatever size you want (not too small).
  5. The QC OSC listener is configured for aka.Iphone’s default port (5600) so you don’t have to change anything. Load up akaRemote application on your device and change the Host Address to the IP address of the machine running QC.
  6. Now if you switch to the XY tab on the device you should be able to see a dot move around the screen when you touch the surface (the video cube in the middle also rotates).
  7. Optionally if you like to see a nicer example I’ve put together akaRemote-Particle, a Particle system viz using one of Apples demos (“table particle.qtz“) as a base.
  8. The idea here is the same, except that your touch on the XY surface produces particle systems in the viewer (make sure you have the 1:1 thing set at the bottom left of the viewer screen).


Leopard: More cat fleas…..smelly cat

datePosted on 11:52, November 2nd, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Have a look at the picture above…..This is fresh from my Macbook this morning (when it woke up from sleep mode). Notice anything strange…..let me help you, have a look at the Aiport icon in the menu bar and the actual Airport device setting in Network preferences. Yep, Icon in menu bar says Airport is turned off, the device setting shows it’s on and associated/working. Apple FIX THIS WILL YA…….Oh btw, if you want a temporary fix for this just flick the “show Airport status in menu bar” check box off and on again and the menubar icon will be fixed.

Stripes be gone…..

datePosted on 22:26, November 1st, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

If you like to get rid of the stripes in the list view of the new Leopard Finder, open a Terminal Window and type in the following two commands:defaults write com.apple.finder FXListViewStripes -bool FALSE
killall Finder

If you want the fancy stripes back at some point later, type the following two commands in Terminal:defaults write com.apple.finder FXListViewStripes -bool TRUE
killall Finder
more to come soon…..

Another day….another Leopard headache….

datePosted on 21:40, October 31st, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Okay as much as I like OSX and apple I have to admit, Leopard is not quite ready for consumption. Not unless you’re willing to do a “Erase Install”. After the weekend fun session of “Archive installing” 5 machines, I have found another bug/feature/headache. Here is how it happens:

  • You’ve got Tiger (10.4) setup with multiple network locations (work, home, wireless, etc.)
  • You do a archive install and get 10.5 installed on this machine
  • All your profile/homedirectory/apps get transfered over, including your network location configurations.
Well, not quite. It might seem like everything is transfered, until you start wondering about WINS Servers and Windows WORKGROUP/Domain settings. You see under Tiger these two were stored under directory utility, but under Leopard they’ve tried to pack everything under Advanced  Network settings (Preferences/Network/Advanced…). The problem is that if you’ve had your Network locations transfered from tiger, the advanced WINS panel will NOT let you enter/add new WINS servers or change the WORKGROUP field. You can try and change them, but as soon as you press OK  followed by Apply on the next screen, the fields reset to blank. 
Try it and you’ll see if you go back the field wil be blank. The only way to fix this is to create “New” Locations and re-set them up, then you can fill in the WINS and WORKGROUP entries and they’ll stick. Apple are you listening, not only are the Network panels a mess — just compare the 3 different widgets used under Network settings……must be some new Leopard crack they’re sniffing……consistency people — but the network configuration screens refuse to take into effect the changes you put in if you’ve done a “Upgrade” or “Archive” install. This only wasted three hours today, I’m sure someone in Cupertino is having a good laugh.

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