Archive for ‘OSX’ Category

Disk for Iphone….Turn your IPhone (IpodTouch) into a portable HD.

datePosted on 13:48, February 13th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

MacFUSE project has grown a lot since we last covered it here and here. MacFuse 2.0 is here and it’s looking really nice. MacFUSE is the mac implementation of FUSE (File-system in USEr space) filesystem originally developed for Linux. For those of you who’ve not heard of this gem before, MacFUSE allows you to extend Mac OS X’s native file handling capabilities via 3rd-party file systems. Pretty much anything that has some order to it can be turned (viewed as) into a filesystem (ie: sshfs, youtubefs). As a user, installing the MacFUSE software package will let you use any 3rd-party file system written atop MacFUSE.

Disk for iPhone is a MacFUSE based filesystem that allows you to read and write files on your iPhone. It uses the MobileDevice API (like iTunes) to access the filesystem of the iPhone over USB. You need to install MacFuse base system on your machine first and then grab Disk for iPhone module.

Would you like your PC over IP?

datePosted on 13:13, February 10th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Imagine if you could hide your 16 Core, Quad GPU, Nitro burning gaming PC in the closet in the basement. What if you could build the next University lab where all the highpowered CAD workstations where humming away in the machine room and you could actually “teach” in a quite classroom/lab. Fill in the rest of the scenarios yourself. The next wave in thin client computing is here and it’s name is Teradici. They don’t really make a end user product (they just make the custom compression chipsets), but companies like Leadtek have end user products on the market now.

Integration of Teradici‘s PCoIP remote enterprise desktop technology in Leadtek‘s WinFast VP200 enables delivery of a high-definition graphic and multimedia experience across standard IP networks, unmatched by any thin client on the market today. For $800 per link, $400 on each side of the link, Teradici provides a PC-over-IP host card, to be embedded into the host unit (most likely a workstation), and a desktop portal, a device slightly bigger than a hardcover book, equipped with a Teradici processor chip, 4 USB ports, and an HD audio output, and dual DVI outputs. The desktop portal and the host unit are linked via LAN, WAN, or a wireless network, allowing the user to communicate with the back-end PC.

The WinFast VP 200 system includes a WinFast VP200H host PCI Express card and a WinFast VP200P desktop portal. The Host Card allows you to centralize your computing in a data center as an add-in solution to your existing Workstation, Rack Mount, or Blade Server to secure all data and computers; On the desktop, a stateless device called a Portal connects over a standard enterprise IP network to the Host Card, eliminating heat, noise, and clutter at the end user’s desk for a comfortable working environment.


I have to admit I have not touched DSS in a while, but the instructions below are generic enough that you should be able to alter it for your Darwin Streaming Server. For the purpose of this exercise I assume your Axis camera is setup for mpeg4 video and aac audio. I also further assume that you have a reachable IP address on the camera and know how to login to the web interface. First thing we want to do is make sure you have the uptodate firmware. As of this writing the newest firmware is 4.40.1. So make sure you have atleast that version as well.

1) We need to login and change the RTSP daemon’s timeout value. If we don’t do this the server will stop sending packets out after 60 seconds (default). To do this you open your browser and type the following command in the browsers Address field:

This will bring up a screen (like above) that will let you edit the file. Find the timeout value (should be 60 by default) and change it to 0 (zero basically means no timeout). Save the file by pressing the “Save file” button.

2) Now power cycle the camera just to make sure the new value is loaded.
3) Once the camera is functional again go to the web interface and make sure you can use LiveView to watch the video and audio.
4) On your Streaming server (QTSS or DSS) setup a relay. I’m including three pictures below from my Quicktime Streaming Server running on OSX Server 10.5.

On the above screen you want to add a Relay by clicking the small + sign on the bottom left. This will enable the streaming server to login to your camera and grab a copy of the stream. The screenshot below shows you how you set it up.

So on the relay screen you give your relay a meaningful name, change the relay type to “Request Incomign Stream” and fill in the rest of the information. The Source IP is the IP address of your camera. The Path is basically what I have there (just copy it). User Name and Password are from the Axis camera interface (you should know this already).

Next you want to setup the destination of your relay. Here is the tricky part (easy, but tricky). Depending on how you setup your destination, the Streaming server will either Reflect or Relay the stream. We want to reflect the stream so we click the + sign on the bottom right and fill it in like the image below.

On this screen it is important that the destination be This will basically tell the server to Relay the output of the Axis camera to itself, effectively reflecting it. Destination type is announced UDP. This will automatically create the SDP file for us. Mount point is simply the name of the SDP file which will describe the stream specifics to our quicktime player (It’s justa text file, see further down). This file will be created automatically on your server under /Library/QuickTimeStreaming/Movies/ which is the default media directory for quicktime streaming server (yours might defer). Username and password are the id and password of a active user on your streaming server that can write to the media directory (/Library/QuickTimeStreaming/Movies/).

So once all this is done, you can use a workstation to launch quicktime and point it at the following URL:rtsp://IP-Address-of-streaming-server:554/axis.sdp
Note that axis.sdp is the name of the file I chose. You might have a different filename specified when you filled in the relay destination fields on the streaming server.

If everything goes right, you should see the output of the Axis camera in quicktime, being streamed (reflected) through your QTSS/DSS server.

UPDATE: Please note that the whole reflecting game will NOT work if youŕe behind a Firewall and/or a NAT (including home routers). If anyone knows of a trick to do this please let us know…..

How to turn Spotlight OFF (and ON Again)….Leopard Solution

datePosted on 20:01, January 14th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

A number of people mentioned that the previous tip on how to turn spotlight on/off does not work with Leopard. Now that I’ve had a bit of time, I’ve confirmed this and found a way around it (it’s even easier in Leopard). Here are the details specifically for OSX 10.5+ (Leopard).

  • To turn off Spotlight service temporarily
  • % sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

  • To turn off Spotlight service permanently (no worries, you can turn it on again)
  • % sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

  • To turn on Spotlight service temporarily
  • % sudo launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

  • To turn on Spotlight service permanently
  • % sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

Have fun….

Energize your Mac’s Safari browser….

datePosted on 18:48, January 11th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

If you’ve been wanting some of the newer features of the “other” browsers in Safari, Glims might just be the right thing for you. Glims is a Safari plugin (OSX only) that gives you a lot of new features:

  • Adds thumbnails to search results
  • Adds thumbnails to search results
  • Adds search engines to the default Google search tab
  • Adds full-screen browsing capability
  • Adds Favicons to tab labels
  • Adds keyword search from address bar
  • Undo “Close Tab” (cmd-z)
  • Re-opens last session when Safari starts
  • Auto-Closes download window
  • Focus last selected tab
  • Always open links in a new tab
  • Type-ahead support (auto cmd-f)
  • Sets the focus on the search field when opening a new window
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on search results
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on search results
  • Adds a “Max Window Size” menu item to resize the Safari window
  • Forms autocomplete always on
  • Dated download folders

The plugin is still in beta stage, but very usable. 

Apple pulls out of Mac World 2010 and beyond…..

datePosted on 22:30, December 16th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Yep, you heard right……First they pulled out of NAB (last year) and now Mac World. Why you ask?….well in their own words:

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

I don’t know, but I personally feel that it was atleast partially due to these very shows that Apple is enjoying the popularity it is now. For me, there were two times each year that I would clog up the net — along with millions of other — and watch the keynotes…..Mac World and WWDC. I wonder how long until they’ll turn WWDC into a virtual conference run entirely from Infinite Loop……

µTorrent (uTorrent), now available for OSX…..

datePosted on 12:47, November 27th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Finally. Now all of us macheads can have a (very) tiny bittorrent client too. Yes, I’m talking about the public beta of µTorrent (uTorrent) which was just opened today. Head over here and grab your copy. Sadly it’s 10.5 Intel only….

COGE: Opensource mac VJ software…..

datePosted on 14:00, November 11th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

If you like Quartz Composer and are into VJ/Visual software, CoGe might just be for you. It’s got clip triggering, effects, mixing and playback modules. Check out the CoGe forums for more info…..For now here is a “Intro to CoGe 0.85b” and “What’s New in 0.93b release” videos:

Have Fun!!!

Energize your Apple TV based Media Centre machine with BOXEE….

datePosted on 13:35, November 11th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I was lucky enough to get a alpha Boxee account and I have to say…..It’s slick. If you haven’t tried it, head over to and sign up for a invite (Mac OS and Linux only for now). If you already have an account you might be interested in this tutorial video that shows you how to install boxee on your Apple TV box.

Before you leave please make sure that when you create the patchstick there are no external drives connected.

OSX: Time Machine backup to NAS

datePosted on 13:15, November 5th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Let me first state that this has been tried in my environment and it works. It might NOT work for you. Try it first and make sure your backups are clean and good. I have a OSX server (10.5.5 as of this writing) that needed to be backed up and am using a QNAP TS-409 PRO as my backup location. The QNAS has a AFP/SMB share called “Backup” where I keep all my backups. The server is configured with 2x80GB drives in raid-1 mode (mirror). Here is how I did it (again your milage may vary):

1) First we need to find out the MAC address of your server. I’m using one of the two ethernet ports on the server (en0) so I just open up a terminal window and type ifconfig en0 to get the MAC address. You’ll see something like this:saturn:~ mayromlo$ ifconfig en0
en0: flags=8863 mtu 1500
inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
ether 00:19:e3:e8:2f:02
media: autoselect (100baseTX ) status: active
supported media: autoselect 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 100baseTX 100baseTX 100baseTX 100baseTX 1000baseT 1000baseT 1000baseT
saturn:~ mayromlo$

The line we’re interested in is the one starting with ether (line 5). Take down that number without the colons (ie: 0019e3e82f02 in my case).

2) Mount the AFP share on to your server. Mine is called Backup.

3) In a terminal window change your current directory to the AFP share (eg: Backup) and create a empty file called .MACaddressnumber, where MACaddressnumber is the number we jotted down under 1). saturn:~ mayromlo$ cd /Volumes/Backup
saturn:Backup mayromlo$ touch .0019e3e82f02
This hidden file is needed for every machine you want to Time Machine into your NAS. I’m backing up also workstations so I’ve got a couple of these hidden files.

4) Next we need to create a reasonably sized Sparsebundle file. This is where the actual backup gets done. The Sparsebundle doesn’t take a lot of space initially and grows as more files need to be backed up. For example I created a 80GB Sparsebundle file that was only 8MB large in reality, but grew to 20GB when I did the first backup. We need to create the Sparsebundle file on the local OSX machine (eg: OSX server in my case). Again this is important, Create the sparsebundle on a local OSX machine  NOT the network share. So open up a terminal and type the following to create the initial file: hdiutil create -size 80g -ov -fs HFS+J -type SPARSEBUNDLE -volname "Backup of Saturn" Saturn_0019e3e82f02.sparsebundleSo in the above example we have

  • -size 80g which specifies 80GB for our sparsebundle size
  • -ov to overwrite if the file exists
  • -fs HFS+J for format of our bundle which is Journaled HFS+
  • -type SPARSEBUNDLE which is self explanatory
  • -volname should be set to “Backup of hostname” whatever your hostname is
  • and last is the actual sparsebundle filename which consists of Hostname_MACaddress.sparsebundle
Make sure you get the filename proper or else nothing will work. Now transfer the sparsebundle file to your AFP share (eg: Backup in my case).

5) On the server issue the following command to enable Time Machine for Networked drives:defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
6) On the server in Finder goto Preferences and make sure “Connected Servers” is checked under “Show these items on the Desktop“.

7) Open up the Time Machine Preference panel and select the AFP share as your disk. Enjoy and please remember YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BACKUP INTEGRITY, SO CHECK YOUR BACKUPS TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE GOOD.

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