April 2008

Leopard still crawls with several icons on your desktop [solved]

I’m surprised that this is still an issue. This is just a reminder that you will drastically slow down your machine if you have a lot of icons on your desktop. I’m running a 2.4 GHZ machine with 4 GB of RAM installed, and applications like Safari 3.1 and Firefox beta 5 would still beachball on almost no CPU load. (I use the wonderful tool MenuMeters to constantly monitor my CPU usage.) This is the latest operating system and some of the newest hardware, and yet it still sometimes feels slower than my old G5.

I had to remind myself that Apple still hasn’t fixed this bug yet, in fact they might have only made it worse with quick look (though I love quick look otherwise). Anyway, drag all of your icons except your hard drive to your documents folder, or at least a new folder on the desktop, and everything will become zippy again.

You’d think with plenty of CPU cycles to spare and memory to use that WindowServer would behave better. I think in the era of multi-core, multithreaded computing, applications that halt the entire system (beachballing) is the number one problem. OS X is rock solid in terms of crashing, but I think it should have better halting management, I guess you would call it.

iMac EFI Firmware Update does not update Boot ROM version [solved]

Software Update showed me the iMac EFI Firmware Update version 1.3 ready to install, so I would check it and download and install the update. The instructions said that System Profiler would say I had a Boot ROM Version of IM71.007A.B03, but it kept saying I still had IM71.007A.B00. I tried rebooting, running software update again, installing again, rebooting, but nothing changed.

Well, it turns out for some reason this installer just puts ‘iMac EFI Firmware Update.app’ in your Utilities folder and you have to manually run it yourself. This is different than every other update I’ve run from apple and there was no indication that this was a manual firmware update. Thanks to khorton and mirgilwin1 on version tracker for the heads up.

Autocomplete in Firefox’s address bar [solved]

The new ‘awesomebar’ in Firefox 3 beta 5 has been driving me nuts, to the point that I couldn’t use the browser, until I found this option:
browser.urlbar.autoFill
Now it’s truly awesome, and behaves like Safari and I.E. would (guesses the rest of the address as you type, and so you don’t have to hit the down arrow to choose a site).
Here’s how to turn this feature on:
type about:config in the address bar and hit enter
Click on the ‘ok, I’ll be careful’ button
Search for browser.urlbar.autoFill in the filter list
Double click on false to change the boolean to true

That’s it, now when you start typing in the address bar it autocompletes, you don’t even need to restart the browser.
This works in Firefox 2 through Firefox 3 beta 5, but works great with Firefox b5’s new awesomebar.
One tip – I didn’t think this was working at first because I would type di and hit enter and it would go to di.com (di.fm) instead of going to digg.com like I wanted.
The solution was to type in digg.com and hit enter to have autocomplete memorize it, (maybe you have to re-register the autocompletes) and then d-i-enter would go to digg.com.
Brilliant – I was typing ‘f’ to go to facebook, but the first autocomplete value was http://en-us.start2.mozilla.com/firefox?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official because of the keyword ‘firefox’. I just typed ‘facebook.com’ and enter a couple times, and now facebook.com is the default site for ‘f’. Awesome!

Aluminum iMac display waking on its own [unsolved]

Anyone else having this problem? In the last month or so my display will wake on its own. It’s kinda creepy at night. I’m not running any remote control software.
This hasn’t happened since my vine server break in several months ago, but I uninstalled vine.

SIP Firewall breaks VPN [unsolved]

While clicking “Disable SPI Firewall” in my netgear router fixed iChat, it broke my work VPN. I’m not sure if this is because I’m using static IPs or parallels or what. But I actually had to enable SPI Firewall to get my connection to my work VPN working again. Oh well, so much for iChat.

Mark all as read – Windows Mobile Messaging [solved]

This is such a microsoft way of doing things. Sure there’s a way to do it, but we’re just going to provide the source code in this SDK, and it’s up to you to compile it.
Anyway, here is a link to an installer that gives you a menu option to mark all messages as read in windows mobile. It also allows you to delete all:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=260761
It says it’s for Windows Mobile 2005 but I had no problem running it in Windows Mobile 6. By the way, xda-developers.com kicks ass.
Thank god. I have 6 email accounts on my phone, some of which subscribe to mailing lists, and it was a pain in the ass to select them all with the stylus and mark them as read. Worse yet, if you selected a read email, first you had to mark it unread, and then mark them all read.

Slide to Unlock with Windows Mobile [solved]

This is my new favorite program for my T-mobile Wing:

Yes, it’s an iphone ripoff, but whatever. Not only does it prevent my phone from calling my friends 18 times in 2 minutes when it’s in my pocket, it has an amazing settings screen, it displays full screen pictures of my friends when they call, it can shut the screen off when I call someone (no more dialing with my cheek by accident!), and it can handle sequenced, randomized, animated wallpapers.
Thank you so much A_C!

iChat completely broken with Netgear router [solved]

Recently (a couple weeks ago) an Apple software update made my iChat completely stop working. When I would sign on, no buddies would appear, and eventually it would flicker on and off repeatedly until AIM kicked me off with a too many sign on attempts error.
This thread solved it for me:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=246789
The solution was to log into my router’s setup page, click on WAN Setup, and click “Disable SPI Firewall”. Voila, that worked.

Other settings I tried that may work for you:
In WAN settings on the netgear page, uncheck “Respond to Ping on Internet Port” (mine was unchanged)
In UPnP on the netgear page some pages recommend turning UPnP on, but mine is off (try both). I will experiment later with whether this will affect audio/video conferences.
Delete the file ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iChat.plist (this will make you re-setup your account)
Delete the file ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iChat.AIM.plist