OSX 10.5.7 Update Issues

OSX 10.5.7 Update Issues

It’s comforting to know that when Apple screws up, they do it but good.

Not since the days of Tiger has a dot release from Apple done so much damage. On the surface, 10.5.7 is a very important update. A lists of fixes includes the usual round of security fixes, fixes for network performance, updates for Camera RAW support, among several other fixes. But, initially the Software Update version was throwing up errors “digital signature for the package is incorrect.” Apple rapidly fixed this but it underscores the importance of having good backups and a clean file system.

Afterwards, others started reporting BSOD or Blue Screens of Death after the update was done. Having originated on Windows, the BSOD is now available in Leopard, a nice, if unintended bonus from Apple.

Luckily this problem seems to be fairly easy to fix:

  • Wait for Hard drive access to stop
  • Hold Power button down until computer shuts off
  • Hold shift button down and power computer on to boot into safe mode
  • Use regular user name and password to login if asked
  • type reboot to reboot the computer
  • The next issue to commonly pop up is messed up display resolutions for non-Apple monitors. People are finding themselves stuck in 1920×1080! Resetting the PRAM (Hold down the Command, Option P and K keys while booting until it chimes three or four times) seems to fix for some.

    For some of us REALLY unluckily people, the update gets stuck part way. After letting it sit for an hour at 33% there was no choice but to reboot the computer. Upon booting back up, OS X is not able to fully boot up. In one machine I was able to fix by going into safe mode, then issuing the softwareupdate -l -a command to finish the download and install.

    On my Macbook, it was a full reinstall.

    How To: Disable ._ Files and .DS_Store on Network Shares

    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

    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:

    FN:Rick Hamell

    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.

    Microsoft Outlook:

    • 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.

    Microsoft Entourage:

    • 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

    Mozilla Thunderbird:

    • 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: Leopard File Sharing

    How To: Leopard File Sharing

    Setting up File Sharing in Leopard is incredibly easy to do, but has a couple of gotchas to watch out for.

    Step 1 is to open File Sharing under System Preferences. If you’ve setup printer sharing already then this looks familiar.

    Step 2, put a check in the box that says “File Sharing”. You will see a list of users who can be “shared” to. From a security standpoint you should have a second, non-admin user setup to share too but that could cause some confusion down the road. On the right side is a list of user permissions, the defaults work pretty well. But if you’re the paranoid type you may want to change “Everyone” to write only, or even “No Access.”

    At this point file sharing is good to go between multiple Mac’s only. The machine that you turned this on is going to be the “server”. Connect to it from another machine by going to finder, click on go, then “connect to server”. (Note the shortcut key of Apple-K btw.) simply type in the ip address of the “server” and hit connect. If you do not know the IP address, go into Network Settings under System Preferences to check it.

    It’s a good idea to hit the + sign to add the address to your favorites so that you remember it. A password/username box will come up, enter in the credentials of the user you setup in file sharing. This is why you might want to setup a second user just for file sharing, if you have the server locked down for Parental Controls for instance this is the same password to unlock that.

    Alas this will not allow Windows users to connect to your Leopard server yet. Go back to File Sharing and hit the “options” button in the lower right hand corner. By default Windows does not know about AFP or Apple File Sharing, so you need to click on SMB. Also take this opportunity to check the box that says “Account” is configured the same way as the previous screen. Simply uncheck the box next to the ones you don’t want to connect, which should be as many as possible.

    On the Windows machine click on start then run. Type in (from Network settings on the server) then hit enter. A box will come up with all the shares on the server you can connect too, including printers if that was enabled. Right click on the user folder that was setup earlier and choose “Map Network Drive”. Choose a drive letter, something like h or x works best. Put a check in the box that says “Reconnect at Logon” to have Windows automatically reconnect back to the server every time it’s rebooted. If you’ve got different users with passwords setup, you’ll need to type that user name and password in on the next box.

    After that, simply open up “My Computer” and you can drag and drop files to the server, or take them from there. On the server side, keep in mind that files will need to be put into /Users/username/Public folder for any other computer to access them.

    One thing to be aware of is that the IP address of the server may change due to DHCP on your router. If the connection fails for any reason, double check the IP address you’re entering. That’s all there is to it, reading through the direction above it looks hard, but it’s actually pretty simple.

    Please leave a comment if you have any questions about this.