How to: Fix Kenwood Stereo MP3 file errors

I recently got a new (well, apparently from 2012,) Kenwood Stereo. The exact model number is the KDC-X498, but from my research most of the Kenwood stereos are pretty similar. It’s a pretty cool stereo as it has a USB port on it. I can plug in any phone with a USB cable and it’ll play music from it. It will also play MP3 files from a USB Drive.

Unfortunately there are a number of caveats to make this possible;
– The USB Drive is limited to 32GB in size
– The USB Drive must be formatted in Fat 32. Most are this way from the factory, so usually not a huge deal.
– Audio files must be in .mp3 format or .wav format. Some models will accept the .acc format also.
– Some stereos can only see a certain number of MP3s per a directory on the drive. Its roughly a thousand files, but on a 32GB drive that is easy to reach. If this happens, separate the files out into subdirectories. Or as I do, by Artist then Album.
– MP3s must be in 192k format. Not 320k VBR or some other format.

Despite all of this, my stereo (and several other models,) will suddenly display “NA File” while reading a USB drive full of MP3 files. After a lot of searching on the internet, most said to make sure that it’s in the right format. Well, I run a Mac, and spent several hours downgrading all my files to 192k yet still had the problem. After several more hours of searching and no answers at all, I finally figured out the problem.

The Kenwood Stereo’s firmware does not “skip” over the Macintosh’s .DS_Store files like every other operating system has been doing for years. Modern OSes see any file starting with a . (or period,) as a system file and ignores it, or processes it as appropriately. Not the Kenwood!

So to fix this, these can be disabled in the command line using these directions I wrote years ago.

Or, it’s easy to open up Terminal in OS X, and type ‘rm -rf ._*’ (without quotes.) This will delete all the .DS Store files and everything will magically work! Make sure you cd to the correct directory first , usually /Volumes/Crucial or something similar.

How To: Manually update OS X time from Command Line

How To: Manually update OS X time from Command Line

Sometimes OS X’s time and date gets out of sync with the real world, and using the option “Set date and time automatically:” doesn’t always work.

You can use this command in terminal to update it manually:

ntpdate -u

The server address can be any of the Apple Servers such as time.apple.com or the free Time Servers, pool.ntp.org.

This same command should work for most Unix/Linux Operating systems, as long as ntpdate is installed.

How To: Use Equation editor in Office 2008 (for Mac)

How To: Use Equation editor in Office 2008 (for Mac)

Equation Editor in Office 2008 should be installed by a default install of Office. If for some reason it is not, you’ll need to find your Office Disc and reinstall Office 2008 for Macintosh.

To check if Equation Editor is already installed, look in /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office. The Application, Equation Editor, should located there. But you don’t need to launch it from here or you’ll get error messages saying fonts are missing. Equation Editor is meant to be used inside of Word, and other Office applications.

To use Equation Editor, first step is to launch “Word” from your toolbar, or from Applications.

In Word, click on “Insert” in the menu bar, then at the bottom choose “Object.”

Choose “Equation Editor” from the list of Object Types.

Type in the required equation using the buttons at the top of the Equation Editor to get the Mathematical Operations needed.

Once you have your equation, click the red button in the upper left hand corner to close the Equation Editor. This will automatically insert the equation you just entered into the Word document at the cursor location.

Keep in mind this is for MS Office 2008 for Mac only. If you know how to do this in Office 2011 for Mac, please comment below!

How To: Tweak OS X “Spaces”

How To: Tweak OS X “Spaces”

Spaces is OSX’s cool virtual window program that allows “multiple” desktops to be setup. The thought is that it allows you to group programs together by task and thereby increasing your workflow productivity.

Apple has a great tutorial on how to really maximize it’s usefulness.

But some of us want to tweak it’s usability. For instance to disable the “teleport to another space feature” in terminal (as root)

defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool NO

killall Dock

To switch back:

defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool YES

killall Dock

To remove the animation between spaces:

defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-swoosh-animation-off -bool YES

killall Dock

Please comment and add any other tricks you have.

Updating /etc/hosts on OS X

Updating /etc/hosts on OS X

Sometimes you need to have a static IP address configured to a specific domain name on OS X. For instance, locally testing a web server is a great reason to do this. Doing so is fairly easy to setup, but does take a bit of command line work.

First, edit /etc/hosts with your favorite text editor.

the default looks something like this:

##
# Host Database
#
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
##
127.0.0.1 localhost
255.255.255.255 broadcasthost
::1 localhost

Edit the file, add in the IP address under the 255.255.255.255 address, then put in the hostname with spaces over under “localhost.”

Then you have to reload the hosts file.

OS X 10.4 type:

sudo niload -v -m hosts . < /etc/hosts

on OS X 10.5 and 10.6
lookupd -flushcache
dscacheutil -flushcache

Then simply ping the new domain name and check that is resolves to the correct IP address. (assuming the other computer is setup to respond correctly)