November 2007

Leopard to Leopard iChat video iChat does not work: Communication Error [partially solved]

It seems Parallels desktop is one of the culprits in ichat’s video woes; it messes up with its NAT networking somehow. After turning off parallels desktop, my friends and I were able to video chat. The terrible quality can now be blamed on comcast, though setting the quicktime streaming to 500k in System Preferences > Quicktime > Advanced seems to help. My friends and I have still not been able to get screen sharing to work using any combination of settings.

Original Post
This one’s a biggie.
My friend and I used to video chat every day. She ran Tiger and so did I. When I upgraded to Leopard we could still chat, and I could use the neat photobooth effects. But then she upgraded to Leopard, and now we can’t video or ichat anymore. We keep getting the same error: “There was a communication error during your chat.” It says that my friend did not respond.
I get the same error when trying to video chat with another friend running Leopard. We’re both running the newest hardware and the newest software and ‘the most sophisticated OS on the planet’. This was one of the most touted features of Leopard, but instead of improving existing functionality it totally breaks it.
I’ve read that it has to do with Apple’s custom NAT/SIP address translations. I’ve tried opening up recommended ports on my router, disabling my firewall, and playing with quicktime streaming settings to no avail. Tiger iChat worked before I did any of this, and so I don’t think that’s the problem.
I bitch about it here, and encourage you to too:
Apple Discussions: Communication Error – audio and/or video
I’m getting really sick of those smug “I’m a mac I’m a PC” ads. They’re not fair, and as you can see by the recent posts on this blog, Leopard has its own share of very large problems!

Free HP Photosmart 4280 that comes with iMac incompatible with Leopard [solved]

I think it’s funny that the free printer I got with my iMac is initially incompatible it. You’d think Apple would test the compatibility before they sold it to you? The HP software CD that comes with the computer crashes in Leopard and so you can’t scan or use any of the HP software meant for the printer.
This must have been a BLOCKER bug for HP because they released beta drivers pretty quickly on Nov. 20:

Those printer drivers work decently with Leopard.

I bitch about it here, and so do lots of other people: Apple Discussions: HP C4280 Incompatible with Leopard? This one’s actually HP’s fault for not providing working drivers sooner, though some of the blame goes to Apple for not selling me a compatible product.
HP ready for leopard ad
One thing that pisses me off about HP is their false advertising. If you search for ‘hp scanjet 4370 leopard’ in google one of the top documents is a ‘WE’RE READY FOR LEOPARD” ad for HP. Both the Photosmart 4280 and the Scanjet 4370 are listed as being compatible with OS X. While the Photosmart 4280 has a Leopard compatible driver update, the Scanjet still does not. This page lists drivers released on 13 Nov 2007 with an ‘Obtain Software’ link: but if you click on it, it used to give you a 404, but now it says “Important: Support for this scanner is in development and will be available by web download in the near future. Scanning: With the introduction of Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard) there are some problems with the install and use of your current scanner software. As these problems are addressed they will be posted to the web for your convenience. Please refer back to this web site for new updated Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard) compatible software soon.” So instead of providing easy access to leopard drivers, you get an ad saying READY FOR LEOPARD. Ready for leopard my ass.

Aluminum iMac Bootcamp ships with the wrong graphics drivers [solved]

I’m pretty dumbfounded over some of the problems that my new Aluminum iMac has. It’s a beautiful machine, but straight out of the box, the printer that came with the computer doesn’t work with leopard and bootcamp installs the wrong drivers for the graphics card. iChat video simply doesn’t work with other leopard machines and parallels crashes often. I will chronicle most of the problems I’ve solved as I’ve updated my apps to be Leopard compatible. This post is about the bootcamp drivers for the Radeon.
Apple has already released two firmware updates for the Radeon graphics card for OS X. These address stability and crash issues inside OS X. According to the specs, the 20 inch 2.4 Ghz processor Aluminum iMac has a ATi Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics processor. In system profiler, it says ‘ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro’, chipset model ‘ATI,RadeonHD2600′. However after installing bootcamp and the leopard disc bootcamp drivers, windows says I have the “Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT’.
This is wrong! The video card is not an XT version and it is not a mobile laptop card. Out of the box, I get white noise and snow when *anything* animates (even a progress bar), symptomatic of the graphics card overheating or incompatible drivers. If you try and install the latest Catalyst driver, the installer fails. It also requires the Dot Net 2.0 framework, but still fails after you install it.
Well, I found a solution on the web here:
It turns out the first steps are correct (download the dot net framework and grab the latest catalyst software suite). Then you need to force install the driver by right clicking on your video card in device manager and choosing update driver. You choose don’t connect to windows update / don’t search / install from a specific location / have disk and then go to the catalyst install driver, ATI > Support > Windows XP > Driver, and choose the inf file. There, you force it to install a driver for ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro instead of the Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT. You ignore all the warnings and install and reboot and it works great! No more snow and half life 2 episode 2 runs great (though I had to disable the windows firewall to let me download it and it took a couple tries).

Triple Boot on an Intel iMac (OSX, Ubuntu, XP/Vista on Intel iMac) [solved]

Triple Booting (Mac OSX, Ubuntu 7.04, Windows Vista) on an Intel 24″ iMac (Core 2 Duo)

Boot Camp is all spiffy and whatnot, but for some reason, it only supports two OSes. If you’re like me, you’ve got to go a little bit further and install three. While all of the following is documented online in various places, I didn’t find one consolidated FAQ to explain the entire process. Plus, I wanted to remind myself how to do it incase it ever came up again. So this is the general process to install three OSes on an Intel iMac.

Things you’ll need:

  • An Intel iMac (other macs use a different type of boot loader/partition table, which I do not address)
  • A fast internet connection (to get the next two items)
  • Bootcamp (see below)
  • Ubuntu: (or whatever flavor of Unix you want to run)
  • A Windows Vista (XP) full install disk. (Apparently you need a SP2 version of XP.)
  • several hours of time (you’re installing two complete OSes, among other things)
  • if your iMac has a wireless keyboard and mouse, like mine, you’ll need a USB keyboard and mouse during the Ubuntu install later.


Back up -everything-. You never know what might happen. After all, you’re resizing your partition, messing with the boot record, and generally getting very intimate with your machine.

Download Bootcamp ( Install and run. Burn the Mac Drivers disk for Windows. This is really the only reason to get Bootcamp at all. You don’t need it for what follows.

In a terminal, run ‘diskutil’ to repartition your (Mac) drive. Something like the following:
diskutil resizevolume disk0s2 190G “Linux” Ubuntu 10G “MS-DOS FAT32” Windows 32G
My iMac has a 250 GB drive. Here I chose to resize it to 190GB and create a Linux-type partition of 10GB and a FAT32-type partition of 32GB. Do whatever you want size-wise. The basic idea here is that you’re re-sizing the existing partition (which was the full size of the hard drive) to something less and creating two new partitions, one for Ubuntu (Linux), the other for Windows. The command “diskutil list” is a good place to start and “diskutil resizevolume” will describe the syntax of that option.

This was the step that gave me the most trouble of the whole process. I ran diskutil several times and each time got some message about there not being enough space, though I had some 80GB free on the drive. After seeing something online, I shlepped my Parallels harddrive files (each 10-25GB) off to an external drive. After that and an Empty Trash, diskutil ran without a hitch. I don’t really understand whether macs actually do not get fragmented, but freeing up another 60GB of space (for a total of about 130GB) did the trick.

I choose to go with rEFIt ( instead of the Bootcamp loader. It looks good, is customizable (can change the icons and timeout, etc.) and handles three OSes well.

Install rEFIt. Very straight-forward, just run the package installed.

Put your Windows Vista (XP) disk in and reboot. Hold down “c” after the boot chime to boot from the CD/DVD drive.

Install Vista as you would normally, except be sure to choose the correct partition. If you followed my diskutil suggestion, it will be the fourth partition. Go by the size of the partitions. It’s the fourth because there were already two partitions on your original computer, the first being some 200 MB and containing the EFI (mac boot loader junk).

Insert the Mac Drivers disk that you created using Bootcamp. Run it and reboot. Now your mac keyboard and whatever else (iSight camera?) should work splendidly with Vista.

Have your way with your new Vista system (install updates, play games, admire Aero effects, whatever). You should be up and running with it now.

Eject the Mac Drivers disk and insert your Ubuntu disk. Reboot and hold down “c” again. You should boot into the Ubuntu Live CD system.

Install Ubuntu.

It’s possible that at some point the rEFIt loader gets hosed. Scary, yes, but nothing was lost for me. Just reboot into OSX (hold down “alt/option” at boot to get the Mac disc selector and choose your OSX disc) and re-install rEFIt. It’s very light-weight and easy to put back.

Reboot, choosing Mac OSX now. There is some little bug whereby Ubuntu won’t boot the first time. From the rEFIt menu, you select the Penguin (Ubuntu), it dims, and then the system hangs. Someone pointed out that this resolves itself after you boot into OSX and/or turn the computer off. I didn’t identify the issue because it indeed disappeared when I did those two things. So goof around in OSX (look, you haven’t hosed your original OSX system!), then reboot.

On this boot, select the Ubuntu drive from the rEFIt menu. (Once the Dim Penguin problem goes away, you will be able to boot into Ubuntu from then on.)

Ubuntu isn’t too bright about some of the iMac hardware, so this part’s a pain. Depending on your priorities, you’ll want to do the following in whatever order. This is where you’ll need that USB keyboard and mouse.

Ubuntu doesn’t install Bluetooth by default so plug in a USB keyboard and mouse (if you’re really dorky, or strapped, you might be able to do this with just a mouse). Initially, your wireless keyboard and mouse aren’t supported, so even though the system is up and running, you’ll be dead in the water. You will need to use the package manager to get “bluez-utils” installed and activated. [–terminal command to enable bluetooth and the edit to the config file to enable it at boot–]

The display will default to VESA 800×600 (which drives me batty). You want to run “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg” in a terminal and choose the right driver for your display. On my 24″ iMac, it’s Nvidia, so I chose “nv” ( This is key, as the VESA driver can’t display above 1024×800. Then just choose the display modes that your screen supports (I went back into OSX and wrote them down from the Display preferences, since no one seems to have this documented online). For my 24″ intel imac, they are as follows: 640×480, 800×500, 800×600, 960×600, 1024×640, 1024×768, 1280×800, 1280×960, 1344×840, 1344×1008, 1600x1000x 1600×1200, and 1920×1200

That’s pretty much it! You’re up and running with whichever OS you choose at the rEFIt menu at boot time.

Leopard Archive and Install Wipes Away Documents [unsolved]

I had a lot of problems installing Leopard, but worst of all, Archive and Install hosed most of my documents.
I got Leopard today from the uptodate program after being backordered a week. I put in the leopard install disk and hit reboot. First I got the starry background and then got a beachball that just spun and spun. Then I hard reboot and it loaded. I chose Archive and Install with preserve user and network settings. After the install process OS X said something like OS X Install unsuccessful. Could not migrate your old user directory. Click here to reboot. So I hit reboot and installed again, this time doing Upgrade. Well, instead of installing over my old installation, Leopard wiped away my user directory, leaving me a partial back up in the Previous Systems folder.
I found my pictures in the iPhoto Library via spotlight. Iphoto Library is a package and doesn’t automatically show up in the new version of iPhoto, but if you right click on your iPhoto Library and do show package contents the pictures are there.
My old mail could be imported from my old Library inside the old users folder.
But Leopard deleted my Desktop and Documents folders. They’re just gone. I would have lost scores, websites, journal entries, papers, videos, songs, and projects if I hadn’t backed up.
Back up before installing Leopard!!