Sunday, August 31, 2008

MSI Wind / Advent 4211 Wireless issues solved

From previous blogs, I'd been having problems with the wireless not connecting to a WPA network. Unencrypted worked fine. Don't know about WEP since I don't run it.

It seemed to me it was possibly a wireless card problem, since running WPA involves the OS pushing code to the card, and I'd noticed that the card was 'unknown'. So after trying a few things, one day while browsing ebay I saw a genuine Apple Airport card, for the grand sum of £10. Bought it, fitted, and now I'm on WPA.

So my previous suggestion to get the Broadcom 1490 based card I would now revise to get a genuine Apple Airport, if you can. I'm sure that there are 3rd party ie non Apple branded cards that work OK with WPA.

Update: Found this link to some possible options on ebay

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Slowing down mp3s and other sound tracks

In a previous tip I showed how to slow down a movie.

This technique does not seem to work for mp3s.

For one purpose I needed to slow down a sound track about 10%. For this I used Audacity which works really nicely.

Open the file, and then from the Analyze menu select 'Change Tempo'. Put in a percentage. As a guide if you don't want the ear to 'hear' that things are slowed down / speeded up you cannot change more than about 10% or 12%, your mileage will vary.

Since Audacity can open various file types eg .wav .aif and even .mov, and then export to mp3 if you get the free LAME plugin, this technique works well for most sound sources.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

OSX Leopard - changing the Startup Image

There are 3 ways to change the image OSX starts up with.

1. Save your new image in the path /system/library, and then change the loginwindow prefs: (command may wrap)

sudo cp /path/to/picture/picture.jpg "/library/desktop pictures/picture.jpg"
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ \ DesktopPicture "/Library/Desktop Pictures/Aqua Blue.jpg"

2. Replace the startup screen image

cd /System/Library/CoreServices
sudo mv DefaultDesktop.jpg DefaultDesktop.jpg.old
sudo cp /Path/to/picture/you/want/to/use/image.jpg DefaultDesktop.jpg

3.There's a shareware application to do it for you - it also does the login window as well.

Download Visage from and register for

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OSX - Changing about this Mac picture

The MacVent (OSX on Advent 4211) still has small issues, but one thing that is easy to fix is the 'About this Mac' picture.

First I got a nice picture of the machine off the internet. Then I photoshop'ed in my actual screen. After that we have to make it into the correct format.

Make it the correct size which is 214 x 124. First I used 'Image size' and made the smaller dimenion so it would fit which turned out to be the height. So I made that 124, and then used 'Canvas Size' to expand the canvas to 214. In fact you may want to ensure a little transparency at the bottom else it'll overlap with the OS version information, so if I did this again I would use 214 x 120.

2. Make the image so it floats on a transparent layer

3. Then save as 'tiff' - don't worry about the color profile

4. The key bit is the Tiff options. Make sure you have 'save transparency' selected

6. Now save as 'MacOSX.tif' somewhere convenient, say your desktop.

7. We need to copy it to the correct place. Here the commands - may wrap

cd /system/library/coreservices/
sudo mv
MacOSX.tif MacOSX.tif.old
sudo cp ~/desktop/
MacOSX.tif MacOSX.tif

This copies the current one so we can get it back if we want, and the copies the one we just made into the correct place.

Log out and back in, and the go to 'About this Mac'

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summary of OSX on MSI Wind / Advent 4211 after a few days

Well so far so good. The ethernet is fixed, it runs my Dell 24" monitor at 1920x1200, the workaround for the graphics problem is found.

Only 2 issues remain: audio from the headphone socket, and it will not run WPA.

I have a few new items on the wishlist:

- to properly hibernate.

- turn off tap to click

- lid-down operation would be good. Maybe this requires wake on USB?

OSX ethernet problems on MSI Wind / Advent 4211

One of the final problems to be resolved in my mac-inating my MSI Wind / Advent 4211 was that although the Realtek ethernet adapter showed up in the Network control panel. its status was always 'Not Connected', even though the cable is known to be good.

After investigation it turns out that the issue is an auto-negotiation error. To fix I clicked on the ethernet adapter, selected 'advanced' and then the 'ethernet' tab. I changed 'automatically' to 'manual', and then went to the lowest common denominator which is 10baseT and half-duplex.

Click OK and the apply, and it connected and got an IP. From there I worked through the various ethernet combinations.

Friday, August 22, 2008

OSX screen resolution issue on MSI Wind / Advent 4211

My hackintosh conversion of the Advent 4211 is going nicely.

However, the graphics card does not always get picked up correctly and I get an incorrect resolution 800x600. The workaround is to delete the kext cache which you can do by using kexthelper to install any old kext and reboot(the system rebuilds the cache), or use scripts to do it on shutdown / startup.

Look for the files /etc/rc.shutdown.local and /etc/rc.reboot.local. If they exist then add the lines below. If not create them, and then make them executable:

sudo touch /etc/rc.shutdown.local
sudo touch /etc/rc.reboot.local
sudo chmod +x /etc/rc.shutdown.local
sudo chmod +x /etc/rc.reboot.local

the lines you need to add.
If the files already existed then add at the top of the file.

#!/bin/bash <----- if the files already exist then not required
rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions.mkext
rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/Caches/
rm -rf /System/Library/Caches/

After this you should get 1024x600 all the time

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Install OSX on MSI Wind / Advent 4211

You can find plenty of places that tell you how to do this. I found the best was

- Some talk about getting the Wind / 4211 to boot from the USB/DVD. I had no problem with this. Went into the BIOS by pressing the 'del' key and set the DVD drive to be the first boot device. I used a plain vanilla IDE drive with a USB adapter like this one from Maplin.

- I did have a problem with the first boot routine getting stuck. After selecting the region and then the keyboard it goes to the transfer data / settings "transfer from another mac" screen. I've got nothing to transfer so I select "I dont' want to transfer data at this time", but it gets stuck and after 2 minutes goes back to the select language screen. I solved it by booting into safe mode by holding down the shift key on boot. Then go into the terminal and type:

sudo touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

You should also create a user account and change the administrator password, which is blank at this point.

- The update to 1_Kalyway_UpdCombo10.5.3 seemed to fail. It got stuck at 96%. After 30 minutes I force quit the installer and moved onto the 2_Kalyway_10.5.3_kernel. This installed OK and on reboot I did the 'update -v' as instructed.

The supplied wireless is not supported, so I installed one I got from Ebay - click this link. You have to turn on the wireless by using the hotkey which is Fn+F11.
I find 10.5 to be fairly poor with WPA anyway, and the kalyway one is not exception! So if you don't get onto your AP at first go, be patient.

Opening the case is easy. Use a small cross-head screwdriver to undo the screw, then gently prize off the bottom case. I used a wooden lolly pop stick so as not to damage the case. The wireless card is held on with a screw so undo that, take off the aerial connectors and reverse to fit the new one. Some people have said that the standoff (the small sticking up thing) can interfere with the bottom of the wireless card. If you find this you either clip off the standoff or you can put some tape on top of it. I used the tape which held down the aerial wires so if I ever I need t take it back I can ;-)

The Fn+F11 hotkey also turns the Bluetooth on, but it seems to be a toggle with the wireless ie I don't seem to be able to have both on together. If this turns out to be a problem, I can use a Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter which is natively supported.

Update: Fn+F11 rotates through wifi on, bt on, both on. So just cycle round until you get what you need.

The camera turns on and off using Fn+F6 and is useable in Photo Booth so I guess thats OK.

The screen res and some other 3rd party KEXTS have intermittent results. For example when I boot only sometimes do I get 1024x600. When I do its great. Sometimes I get a cros through the battery, even though it has a battery.

Update: this is due to a kexts caching thing. Workaround being worked on.

Also I do not seem to be able to get the wired ethernet working. I'll try installing the KEXTs again.

So right now the only thing of note that doesn't work is the wired ethernet.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Uninstall CISCO VPN client OSX

If you have the joy of running the Cisco VPN client on your Mac, you will rejoice the day you can remove it. Actually that could be unfair.

Whatever. There is no uninstaller, so you need to use to following command from the terminal:

sudo /usr/local/bin/vpn_uninstall


You are prompted to remove all profiles and certificates.

If you answer yes, all binaries, startup scripts, certificates, profiles, and any directories that were created during the installation process are removed.

If you answer no, all binaries and startup scripts are removed, but certificates, profiles, and the vpnclient.ini file remain.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nokia Maps 'waiting for device' 'unable to read all information'

So you've read my adventures with Nokia Map Loader, well it turns out that v2 should be able to load maps from PC Suite when the phone is in PC Suite mode.

Well maybe. If you launch Map Loader and it just sits there saying “waiting for device” then you need to delete a directory on the SD card in the phone.

OK, you say. But check the directory. Its where the maps are. So the advice is delete the maps and download them all over. Grrrrr!

From Nokia forums, posted by Nokia person:

- People having problems with “waiting for device” or “Unable to read all information…”, you could try the following:

1. make sure you have maps 1.2 wk30 or later (or 2.0)
2. connect the device in mass storage mode, it will show up as a drive in windows
3. delete the folder E:\Private\20001f63 (including sub folders)
4. start maps on the device once, it will recreate the folder in a different location
5. connect the device in pc suite mode and start maploader

Yes, great. I'll connect in Mass Storage mode, thank you!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nikon D70 - reset file numbering

Now that I've got the Nikon D300 (and what a great camera) I'm selling the D70. I've found most of the accessories for it and the deal is done.

But the new owner is not going to want to continue the file numbering from me, they will want to start from zero.

To do this you go to the menu, go down and select the 'spanner' (setup menu) and in there is an option 'File No. Seq.'

You have three options:

- Off which is the default. File numbering is reset to 0001 when a new folder is created, a memory card is formatted or a new memory card is inserted in camera.

- On - file numbering continues from the last number used, even if a new folder is created, memory card formatted, or a new memory card inserted in camera.

If a photograph is taken when the current folder contains photograph numbered 9999, a new folder will be created automatically and file numbering will begin again from 0001.

- Reset - As for On, except file numbering is reset to 0001 with next photograph taken (a new folder will be created if current the folder already contains photographs).

So for most people the best option would be to change to 'On' anyway.

What I will do is to select 'reset' when I hand it over.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nokia Maps Part III - problems with mapping in France

Following my previous adventures with Nokia Maps involving some basic things like loading maps, and using the advertised bluetooth, I (eventually) got France downloaded to the 2Gb card in my N73, because we were getting the ferry to Calais and then driving to the Bayeux area. To the best of my knowledge Calais is in France.

So what happens to the hi-res maps of France north of Boulogne? They stop thahts what.

When we got off the ferry at Calais at the default zoom there was nothing, so we had to revert to 20th century navigation ie paper maps.

ut 30 minutes later I tried again, and this time all is working OK. After investigating it seems the Nokia France map is missing quite a lot of Northern France, and worse at certain zooms levels shows nothing.

Of course I know this whole thing is (mostly) free, but whats the point. And what if you paid the subscrition?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Picasaweb: unlisted does not mean private

There is a misconception that Google's photo service, Picasaweb, has a private option. There is an 'unlisted' option, but no 'private' option. There is a clear difference: the unlisted option required an Authkey to access to album, but if you have this then you get access with no further input required.

If you put the link to an unlisted album with its Authkey on a web site indexed by Google, then your unlisted album becomes findable and accessible.

This has happened quite a bit as you can see by using the search term "". You get back 40,000 hits in Safari, and 60,000 in Camino. Curious difference!

You can refine your search by adding, say, "London" (5 hits), or Bankgkok (4).

You can also add your own Picasaweb / Gmail ID to see if any of your own albums are findable.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gmail now has fulltime always use https option

As reported in the Register, consumer gmail now has an 'always use https'. You can choose to stay opportunistic if you want. The difference is that always on means if you try to load after (https) login you'll be re-directed to, while with opportunistic means after login you'll go plain http, although you can manually change to https.

Personally I don't see why wouldn't want to use fullltime TLS.

Read more here

To use the fulltime https, go into Settings and scroll to the bottom and select "
Always use https", save the changes and off you go.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Google Apps now have forced SSL / https

It seems Google Apps now have a force SSL / https option available. In order words you can enforce access over https. Hurraay!

I noticed in the control panel this morning a box that says

" Automatically enforce Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connections when your users access Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Sites."

The help page are here at


Friday, August 1, 2008

Automatic Text Generation

Well its a quiet day for bloggin...

Quite funny:

"Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy. Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye. He's got style, a groovy style, and a car that just won't stop. When the going gets tough, he's really rough, with a Hong Kong Phooey chop (Hi-Ya!). Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy. Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye. Hong Kong Phooey, he's fan-riffic!

Ten years ago a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem and no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-team.

Ulysses, Ulysses - Soaring through all the galaxies. In search of Earth, flying in to the night. Ulysses, Ulysses - Fighting evil and tyranny, with all his power, and with all of his might. Ulysses - no-one else can do the things you do. Ulysses - like a bolt of thunder from the blue. Ulysses - always fighting all the evil forces bringing peace and justice to all."