How To: Deploy MS Office to Mac
One of the biggest pains in deploying MS Office to OS X in a business or education environment is making sure that the serial number deploys too.
To do this, you need to also deploy the following files:
Deploying these files will keep also keep the initial setup assistant from running upon first launch.
Deployment can be via any of your normal methods, Apple Remote Desktop being the “Apple Preferred Way,” of course.
Automatically Insert Signatures into Entourage
By default Entourage does not automatically insert signatures.
Here are directions on how to set it up to do so.
First, make sure that a signature is setup:
1.) Click on “Tools”
2.) Go to “Signatures”
3.) If none are present, click on “New” otherwise double click on “Default”
4.) Create signature
5.) Close and save signature.
To make it auto insert:
1.) Click the menu option “Entourage”
2.) Choose “Account Settings”
3.) Double click on the account (usually the bolded one)
4.) Click on the “Options” tab
5.) Under the heading “MESSAGE OPTIONS” change the option from None to Default
How To: Disable ._ Files and .DS_Store on Network Shares
In heterogeneous networks of Macs and Window users, few things tick off Windows users then the “droppings” Macs leave behind in the form of files with . or ._ in front of them. These files are known as resource forks on the Mac side and store all kinds of really nifty information that makes OS X interact with files quicker and more efficiently. Among their uses they store metadata about files such as keywords, file size, and preview information.
None the less for various reason Windows (and to a lesser extent, Linux) is not able to always ignore these files and automatically sorts them to the top of the file view list. These files tend to be confusing if one is not aware of what they are. Or worse yet cause problems in directories with thousands of files present.
If on a small network with only a few Macs there is a program that takes care of this automatically. For $13 BlueHarvest works just perfectly.
Of course there is a simple trick to disable .DS_Store files. In Terminal run the command:
defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true
If the network is Leopard only, then editing nsmb.conf is a good trick too. In /etc/nsmb.conf look for the following line: streams=no and change to streams=yes .
If the file does not exist, then it can be created via TextEdit or VI.
These files are only viewable under very certain circumstances but they can cause a lot of coworker friction, and worse yet even cause management to question the usability of OS X in the work place. These simple tricks will go a long ways to resolving those issues and making work much more friendly.
How To: Create and Import vcf VCards
VCards are simply virtual business cards used to exchange contact information. They are easily recognizable with the .vcf file extension. Vcards have rapidly become a universally excepted way of transferring contact information between devices. They can be sent to most phones such as Blackberries and iPhones, or to all the popular Email programs and multiple contact collection programs.
The first step in creating a VCard is actually the hardest. Below is an example of my own VCard:
As can be seen it shows all the important contact info that would be found in any contact program. In addition to Email addresses it includes my phone number and URL to my website.
Many programs such as Apple’s Address Book, or Microsoft Outlook will allow exporting a contact to a VCard file. They can also be edited with a text file as long as the conventions in structure are observed. The easiest method is to use an online generator. I prefer Wacomenance.co.uk but the one at Vicintl.com is more streamlined and compatible. Keep in mind that while MOST programs should read all the fields in a VCARD, some will drop fields such as second and third email addresses.
After creating a card the next step is to import it in to the preferred Contact Program.
- Click on File menu, then choose Import And Export.
- Click to select the Import a vCard file (*.vcf) check box, and then click Next.
- Select the vCard file, and then click Open.
- Open Entourage
- Click on Address Button
- Drag .VCF file to upper right hand window of Entourage
Apple Address Book:
- Simply Double Click on the .VCF Card
- Attach VCard in Email to self
- Click on VCard
- Click OK in “New Card for” Dialog Box
Keep in mind that VCards only really work well with one contact at a time. This is not the way to export or import a fully populated address book. Also, it’s best to be careful where the file goes as it could be used for malicious purposes. Only send the file out to people known to you.
How To: Clean “Your internet access is going to get suspended” Virus
I was recently sent a copy of the “Your internet access is going to get suspended” virus. Which is really annoying since my Bit Torrent and P2P use is limited to Magnatune and downloading ISOs of Linux/BSD systems.
So, seeing a lack of responses from the big companies on how to remove it, I sacrificed my one Windows machine to it in an attempt to figure out how to fix it. This is a down and dirty fix, but it worked.
Installing the Virus is easy, download the ZIP file, open it, then run the .EXE file inside.
The Virus installed a new winlogin.exe file. Unluckily this can’t just be removed. After pulling the network cable to keep the machine from reinfecting itself, boot into safe mode. At the command prompt, delete the Winlogin.exe file, along with krnlcab.sys, cabpck.dll, and k86.bin from the System folder.
At this point follow these directions to extract a new winlogin.exe from the original install CD. Remove tmp/msi_setup/* then reboot the computer and double check that the three files above are still gone, and the winlogin.exe has the new date.
Plugin the network cable and immediately do a software update. I found that SP3 had to be reinstalled, but it worked fine.
This is down and dirty, only worked on XP, and is potentially system breaking. If you are not confident in the directions above, wait for the Anti-Virus vendors to create an official fix.