Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Apple Mac OSX and the QuickTime MPEG-2 addon

Like many people I've bought the QuickTime MPEG-2 addon. But when I installed it on my new Mac Mini (which replaces the old Mac), although it seems to install OK, when you try to open an MPEG2 file in quicktime or the very excellent MPEG StreamClip, its obvious that the plug-in hasn't taken.

The answer turned out to be to return to the Apple Store and re-download the installer.

Would've been nice if Apple has notified me that a new version is available!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Apple Mac OSX, Elgato EyeTV and Quicktime Streaming Server

Now that I've got the new Mac Mini, an Elgato Diversity seemed a good addition. The v2.x EyeTV software has a 'WiFi' feature, which is actually the software doing a simultaneous transcode to MPEG4 in .mov format. You can then go to a web page and access your recordings. Its intended for wireless iPods such as the iPod Touch.

The problem is that it doesn't stream. I have a partial solution, which is to use the free Apple Darwin Quicktime Streaming Server, which you can get from Apple. Install it and configure, and then you can stream.

If you want to get to your streams you'll need to do a couple of things:

1 - Open you firewall to TCP and UDP on 554 in order that RTSP works from the Internet

2 - You need to export from EyeTV as either .mp4 or .3gp.

Make sure you select 'options' and on the 'streaming' tab click the box to enable streaming. The h.264 option gives you better quality at lower bit rate. The documentation suggests you can make a .mov stream, but I was unable to make this work

If you know what your broadband's upstream capacity is, make sure you stay below it. Anything below about 400 kbps should be safe.

What I need to do next is to find a way to auto-generate a web page to link to the stream files

Monday, January 28, 2008

Saving Quicktime Streamed Movies

When you view a streamed quicktime movie, you get a .qtch file, which with current version of quicktime (v7.4) you cannot open.

What you can do is find the base URL, and use eg wget to download the .m4v or the .mov.

When the movie is open press apple-I

It shows a window with source data. Note the url. Using wget fetch the movie

$ wget

OSX does not have wget by default, so follow these instructions to get it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Apple Mac OSX - locate command fails

On my new MacMini I needed to use the 'locate' command but I got

'locate: `/var/db/locate.database': No such file or directory'.

To fix this is to manually run the weekly CRON job:

$ sudo periodic weekly

or, you can run

$ sudo /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb

and then locate should work OK.

Update: On a Leopard machine you will get a warning if you run the latter command:

>>> Executing updatedb as root. This WILL reveal all filenames
>>> on your machine to all login users, which is a security risk."

If you are the sole user of the machine, this will be OK. If you are not, consider your options. On OSX pre-Leopard you don't get this warning of course.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nokia N73 - downloading photos into iPhoto

Nokia have some rather handy software to download photos from your N series phone diectly into iPhoto. I use this with my N73

The menu icon is a bit boring though.

Update - version 1.2.1 now available

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Apple Mac OSX - Customizing the Menu Bar Icons

In Apple Mac OSX you can customize the menu bar icons.

Navigate to /system/library/core services/menu extras/ for example, and then ctrl-click or right click, and select 'show package contents'.

In the new window that opens, go into contents/resources. You find lots of tif files that you can customize: If in doubt backup the existing ones first of course .

Update: In 10.5 Leopard the icons are stored as PDFs, so this method won't work. I'm looking for a new way.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nokia N73 and Google Maps Mobile gets Cell and GPS support

Discovered from here that there is a new version of Google Maps Mobile for the Nokia S60 series of phones in SIS form ie native application instead of the previous Java J2ME.

The new version also has Bluetooth GPS support. Magic!

On your phone, go to and follow the instructions.

Pressing '0' or selecting options>mylocation will use the data from which Cell you're in, and calculate your position. You can switch the display between map and satellite view. Its surprisingly accurate.

Pressing '2' switches between map and satellite view.

To turn on GPS support you have to switch to it. Options>Tools>Use GPS.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Apple Mac OSX Leopard 10.5 Vodafone 3G Bluetooth Nokia N73

Apple Mac OSX Leopard 10.5 has some new wizard items for connecting to the internet using your bluetooth phone.

My N73 is already a great companion to my Nokia N800.

From the bluetooth menu (if bluetooth is not in the menu, go to System Preferences, click bluetooth and select 'show bluetooth status in the menu bar') select 'setup bluetooth device' and then select 'mobile phone'.

Originally with 10.4 on my Powerbook I had to manually select a modem script. This is not required with 10.5. The wizard selected Nokia phone for me.

When you get to the bit that asks about name and password and apn, enter:

apn: internet
username: web
password: web

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Apple Mac OSX, Commandline Eject

A previous nugget detailed an issue I have wih SMB and AFP mounts in Leopard not showing on the desktop, and how to get to them usng symlinks through /Volumes.

So if you cannot see them n the desktop, how to gracefully unmount / eject them.

One way is to use a commandline:

umount /Volumes/SMB_Mount

You should not use this to unmount an actual device eg USB drive!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Apple Mac OSX, looking for hash # on UK keyboard

I needed to use some modifier keys for accents and the like, and was having difficulty finding them. In the end I put together this list

º alt 0
ª alt 9
• alt 8
¶ alt 7
§ alt 6
∞ alt 5
¢ alt 4
# alt 3
€ alt 2
¡ alt 1
œ alt q
∑ alt w
´alt e
® alt r
†alt t
¥ alt y
¨alt u
^alt i
ø alt o
π alt p
“ alt [
‘ alt ]
å alt a
ß alt s
∂ alt d
ƒ alt f
© alt g
˙ alt h
∆ alt j
˚ alt k
¬ alt l
… alt …
æ alt '
« alt \

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nokia N800 - Cannot browse from Apple Mac OSX via Bluetooth

Even after you pair your Nokia N800 and your Mac by bluetooth, you cannot browse the N800 from your Mac. You can, however, send files by Bluetooth.

When you send a file OSX---> N800 you'll get a warning

"File type not accepted. The target device claims it will not accept a file of the type you are trying to send".

It is safe to click "send anyway".

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Apple Mac OSX, Leopard, SMB / AFP Mounts not showing up on he desktop

Well the good news is I have brand new MacBookPro. It came with Leopard.

But for some reason the SMB and AFP mounts I need do not show up on the desktop.

They are in /volumes but /volumes is invisible, so thats not much use!

One workaround is to use a symlink so you can get to it from your home folder

For my home server I created a folder at my root level and then created symlinks to the shares on the server:

$ mkdir server
$ cd server
$ ln -s /volumes/server_docs

and this creates a symlink to the remote location from my home folder.

This assumes you mounted them first eg from the finder using apple - k

Update: another nugget shows how to eject / unmount items from /Volumes ie when you cannot see them on the desktop.

Update: Turns out this is a change of behvaiour from 10.4 to 10.5. Now you go to finder>preferences and select 'connected servers' from the 'show these items on the desktop' list.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Apple Mac OSX, Compare Files and Folders

There are plenty of paid-for utilities on Apple Mac OSX which compare files and folders.

What many people do not know is that Apple give you an excellent tool for free, part of Dev Tools.

Install Dev Tools, or download it, and look for /Developer/Applications/Utilities File Merge.

Not only can you put files into the two windows, you can put in folders as well.

Click 'compare', a new window opens and after a few minutes you'll get a listing.

Items in grey means that folder/file is identical, items in black means there is a difference.

To see how the files/folders differ click an item and you get message at the bottom of the window.

- “added to right” - the file/folder is only in the folder on the right
- "added to left" - the file/folder is only in the folder on the left

To make it easier to see what is different you can use the Exclude boxes in the upper right.

Apple Mac OSX, keyboard shortcut to lock screen

A common question from switchers to OSX from another operating system, is how they lock the screen with a keyboard shortcut.

There is no built in method, but there is a free addon that does it for you: LockTight which you can get here

Update: I accidently deleted the startup item to make LockTight available on start. I discovered that you can replace it by navigating to:

~/Library/PreferencePanes/LockTight then right click or CTRL click, select 'show package contents' then go to Contents/Resources and look for 'SleepTightAgent'.

If you place this in StartUp items it will be available from startup.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Apple Mac OSX - Eject Menu Bar Item

My friend, the proud (switcher) owner of a new Mac, launched iTunes and said 'where's the eject button for the CD drive'?

Well there isn't one on most Macs. There is on recent Apple keyboards, and on the top right of laptop keyboards.

But, if you have, say, a Mac Mini that doesn't come with a keyboard ie you've reused an old one, ejecting disks may be tricky.

There is another way.

You can add an eject menu item.

Go to the desktop, find your harddrive icon, double click, then find and double click 'System', then 'Library', then 'CoreServices' and then 'Menu Extras'. Inside you will find an item called

This puts an eject icon in the menu bar.

An alternative is to use some freeware called Ejector which shows all volumes as ejectable.

Nokia N800 - Root access

The Nokia N800 being linux based has a root account, but since there are no externally accessible services the fact everyone shares th same root password by default is not an immediate problem. If, though, you want to use, say, SSH then you need to change the root password.

First off, you need to become root:

Enable the repository Eko One from
bora | user

and then install 'becomeroot'.

From X-Term type 'becomeroot'.

The change the root password. By default its 'rootme' for ALL Nokia tablets.


then type the new password

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Nokia N800 USB Host mode

There's an interesting thread on Internettablettalk about running the Nokia N800 in USB Host Mode.

For a newbie like me, what you need is a USB female to male adapter. If you have access to UK based Maplins their A80AH does the job. Their online catalog says they are EOL, but if you call the assistant can do a search on which stores actually have them.

I've not tried a (USB) keyboard yet, but my (Kingston) 2Gb thumb drive works OK.

To enable host mode you'll need to become root, and then run

$ echo host> /sys/devices/platform/musb_hdrc/mode

plug something in with fingers crossed.

I got the 'USB device not Supported' message, but don't worry. File Manager opened and off I went.

To go back to normal operation:

$ echo otg > /sys/devices/platform/musb_hdrc/mode

UPDATE: USB keyboard works fine

Mac OSX - preventing .DS_Store files on Network Volumes


defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

in terminal, and restart