Thursday, December 31, 2009

Installing OSX on Lenovo S12 Netbook

I decided to get another netbook. My MacBook Pro 13" is great, and my MSI Wind / Advent 4211 is also great. But the Macbook is costly so I don't like taking it out of the house, and the Wind has a screen res thats too low for me ie I need bigger than 1024 x 600.

After a lot of looking , I settled on the Lenovo S12. Its a 12" screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800, same as the Macbook Pro. Doing some Googling suggested it has similar hardware to the S10 which takes OSX well. To confirm I removed the HD from my Wind (easy to do), connected to a USB adapter, and booted the S12.

For some reason on cold boot the BIOS does not pick up the external drive. So press Fn+F11 (which equals F12) on boot and at the boot select screen press Ctrl+Alt+Del to reboot. The USB should now be picked up, so press Fn+F11 and select the external drive.

All seemed OK, so after backing up the WinXp installation (in case I want to sell the S12) using the excellent Macrium disk imaging tool I took the plunge. I should note that right from the off I was not expecting the ethernet or mic to work. Likely ever.

I started with the MSiWindOSX86 base. Burn to DVD, place in DVD and use IDE / USB adapter.

Remove the battery! Don't know why but the installer fails if you don't.

Had to do the double boot noted above.

When the installer has started, and you see the 'welcome' screen go to the utilities menu and select Disk Utility. Click on your hard drive in the left hand window, then select 'erase'. Call your HD something.

Then quite Disk utility and you go back to the installer.

Select customise. I deselected 'additional fonts' and 'extensions > realtek R1000' since the S12 doesn't have Realtek ethernet, it has Broadcom 57x gigabit FastLink.

Let the installer finish, and then restart. Add your account details just like you would with a regular OSX install.

Right, lets start fixing stuff!

1. no Wifi - Broadcom card not picked up correctly: go here, look for Unzip and run:

sudo: ./

2. The screen color profile is wrong. Go to Save it to /library/colorsync/profiles/display. To use it, go to System Preferences / Display / Color and select 'huey D65 G2.5 A0.00'. Will make screen look 'brownish' - thats OK!

3. Install 10.5.8. Go to Apple to get the combo update. Run the update. It takes an AGE. For me it was stuck at 3 minutes for more like 30. Eventually it did complete.

At this point likely I made an error. I did a restart and the keyboard and mouse did not work, though as expected I'd lost the 1280 x 800 graphics and QE.

4. So I got out an Apple USB keyboard and USB mouse. I installed CyberGreg's MSi OSX86 Upgrade Pack v1.5 from

I deselected 'audio' 'network' and 'trackpad'. Another restart and that fixed the keyboard and mouse, and I now have Quartz Extreme.

5. Then I wanted to have 'about this mac' show correctly. Download 10.5.8_Thireus_Fixes_3.4 and run the package 'about this mac'.

6. OK, sound. Get the s10(e) drivers package and install 'AzaliaAudio', 'CHUD' and extract 'Audieee_1.0.1' to your Applications folder. Another restart, and then launch Audieee. It adds an item to your menu bar which you can use to control sound. By default sound is off, so select speakers or headphones.

At this point, this is whats working:
KB, trackpad
Quartz Extreme
UK keyboard layout
Sound out

Whats not working:
sound in / mic

ExpressCard slot
External video

update 1: had problems with the fan being on all the time. Installing AppleACPIPlatform.kext seems to have fixed it.

update 2: the ExpressCard slot works - I've got a eSATA adapter in there, backing up to eSATA HD. Not bootable, but thats not such a big problem.

update 3: sound stopped working, and for a while I wondered if sound was broken with a hardware fault. So I installed Ubuntu, and sound worked fine. I've now got sound out working again using VoodooHDA.kext and Audieee. The audieee page says to use the AppleAzaliaAudio.kext, but ignore that! The mic is also working but only the built in - I have a headphone / mic headset, and the audio in does not re-direct to it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Using wget to download bulk or batch or whole directories

I needed to download all the images in a directory. Seemed like wget was the right tool.

A bit of research gave me

    wget -r -l1 --no-parent -A.JPG ""

You can change the JPG to jpg or GIF or gif or png etc to suit.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Installing Snow Leopard 10.6.2 on MSI Wind / Advent 4211

I bought a copy of Snow Leopard to have a go installing on the Wind. Currently Leopard 10.5.8 works great, other than the built-in mike doesn't work, but I can live with that.

Basically I followed these instructions.

1 - restore the install DVD to a USB stick

which you need to do because the USB is writeable and we need to modify some files on it

2 - Run NetBookBootMaker against the USB stick

BE VERY CAREFUL! Running on a real Mac against your HD will kill OSX!

Make sure you have 0.8.3RC4 since it fixes 10.6.2 to run on the Atom.

3 - Boot your Wind from the USB stick - press F11 on boot, or go into the BIOS and change the boot order.

4 - Install just like normal. Restart.

On the first run the trackpad didn't work properly - have a mouse ready

5 - Download the NetBookInstaller program and have ready to run, but don't run yet.

6 - Run the 10.6.2 combo updater. DO NOT RESTART!

7 - run the NetBookInstaller.
screenie here

8 - Restart, and you should be running 10.6.2!

Stuff thats not working:

Ethernet update: install the network kexts from 10.5.x
Quartz Extreme

Given that the only reason right now for doing this is to get find and sort by size back in the finder, I can't recommend it.

I'll keep looking for other methods.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Task Killer for Android

screenie from their site

Wondering why your Android is going slow? Takes 10 seconds to switch between screens and tasks? Battery going flat in now time? Maybe because the GPS is on?

Maybe you have too many things running, or something running you'd forgotten about, like the GSPS mapping / tracking App. Its not well known that switching between apps on the Android does not necessarily close them down, like it does on the iPhone.

Here's an App that shows you whats running and allows you to kill stuff you don;t need

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Batch Edit Itunes Metadata using setvideokindofselected

If you have say an Elgato box, and want to watch your recording on your iPod, you might want to use the Season feature of iTunes to collate all the episodes together.You can do apple-I which shows the metadata, but this only allows you to change a recording at a time.

Much much better would be a way to batch / bulk edit the metadata.

The very excellent Doug Adams has created an Apple script that does exactly that. Download
from , and place in your library, usually ~/library/itunes/scripts.

If this is your first script, you'll get an extra menu option in iTunes

First select the shows you want to batch edit, and then start the script

You get a dialog which you work through. The episode numbering sequential, Brilliant!

click done, and the script goes to work.

One thing to note is that iTunes re-writes the files back to source, which means it can take a very long time if you do a lot at once, and iTunes will appear to have crashed. Have faith, and if you can monitor the folder where the originals are: you'll see each file in turn change its modified time. Eventually the operation will complete.

To do Reaper Season 2 took 1.5 hours!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Howto Manage default printer settings in OSX

Managing default printer settings in OSX.

In Mac OS9 you could call up the printer and press a modifier key to save the new settings as the default. Not in OSX. YOu have to use the CUPS wed interface.

In a browser go to

and the CUPS interface loads:

These web pages allow you to monitor your printers and jobs as well as perform system administration tasks. Click on any of the tabs above or on the buttons below to perform a task.

If you are asked for a username and password, enter your login username and password or the "root" username and password.

Click "Manage Printers" and you get

Click "Set Printer Options" and change whatever you want. You might need to logout and back in, or restart to have these take effect.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Howto take Photographs of Fireworks

I can't claim to have a magic formula, all I know is what I like.

First, you need a tripod, since I find an exposure time of 3s to 5s is about right. The ones in the slide show above are 3s, in the one below they are 5s

You need to consider that you are painting the sensor with light, so after some trial and error, here's my suggested settings:

Image quality / type: raw if you can, then you can try to recover some blown highlights
ISO: 200
Shutter: 3 seconds to 5 seconds depending on choice
aperture: f/5.6
lens: for these I used a 12-24 on my D300
keep taking photos!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Apple Mac OSX and wget

A kind sole has compiled wget and made it available as a package for OSX.

I needed it to get some Quicktime movies, which you can read about here.

You can get it from here.

Thank you!

UPDATE: The link above is dead, someone else has compiled and made a package and installer.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Howto get Android Screen Shots

Howto get Android Screen Shots. If you don't want to root your phone, or don't know how, there is still a way to get screenshots of your Android device.

Basically you need to do two things: put your phone into USB Debug mode, and get the SDK from Google.

1 - Putting your phone into USB Debug mode:

Got to settings, or from the Home page press 'menu' and the 'settings' shortcut appears.

Then scroll down to Applications

Press 'Development'

And finally 'USB debugging'

And then connect your phone to the USB.

2 - Next get the SDK from Google The current release, as of November 2009 is r3. Download and install in usual manner. I use OSX so I got the OSX one.

Then when your phone is in USB debig mode, navigate to where you installed the SDK, and find the tool 'ddms'.

For me the path is /applications/android-sdk-mac-r3/tools/ddms.

Double click 'ddms' and the next thing is a terminal window opens, and a few seconds later the ddms application. It should launch and find the attached phone.

Select the device, and from Device menu select 'screenshot'.

A window opens that is a faithful replica of what the Android currently shows

Click 'copy' and then you can paste this into another application.

On OSX Preview does the job. Simply go to file>new from clipboard, or press Apple-N

and you're done. When you want to capture a new screenshot, click 'refresh' and the capture will update.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Howto enable disk mode on iPod Touch 2G and iPhone

Howto enable disk mode on iPod Touch 2G.

Short answer: as of iPod Touch software 2.2.1 there is no built in way to do it. I guess this is because the OS on the Touch is a cut down version of OSX, while on regular iPods its not.

I've found two third party methods of having disk mode on your Touch (and iPhone as well): Phoneview $19.95

screenshot from

and Touchcopy at $24.99

screenshot from

Update: There's another application that make you iTouch / iPhone show as a disk: iphone explorer from Seems to work OK, and its free!

You can get even better value by installing Good Reader from, currently $.99.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Maximum Size Apple Partition Map

Got a super Seagent FreeAgent Pro eSata / Firewire / USB hard drive. Comes a funky module to switch from eSata / USB to dual Firewire 400.

Anyway, it also comes formatted NTFS, which is no good, so I reformatted as HFS+ Extended / Journalled.

So I fired up Disk Utility, and reformatted the drive. Well it failed. Weird. Here's the log:

2009-10-27 19:39:47 +0000: Preparing to erase : “Untitled”
2009-10-27 19:39:47 +0000: Partition Scheme: Master Boot Record
2009-10-27 19:39:47 +0000: 1 volume will be created
2009-10-27 19:39:47 +0000: Name : “Untitled”
2009-10-27 19:39:47 +0000: Size : 698.6 GB
2009-10-27 19:39:47 +0000: Filesystem : Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

2009-10-27 19:39:47 +0000: Creating partition map.
2009-10-27 19:39:49 +0000: Formatting disk3s1 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with name Untitled.
2009-10-27 19:39:50 +0000: Disk Erase failed with the error:

File system formatter failed.
2009-10-27 19:39:51 +0000: Erase complete.
2009-10-27 19:39:51 +0000:
2009-10-27 19:39:51 +0000: Disk Utility failed during an unspecified action with the error:

File system formatter failed.
2009-10-27 19:39:51 +0000: Erase complete.
2009-10-27 19:39:51 +0000:
2009-10-27 19:39:52 +0000: Erase complete.
2009-10-27 19:39:52 +0000:

After a bit of Googling, seems that the new 750Gb drive is too big to be formatted as Apple Partition Map. My slightly older 640Gb is OK with Apple Partition Map:

The answer is to format as GUID. In Disk Utility, click on Partition and then select one partition:

Click Options, and select GUID:

after the format, you can see the difference:

The curious thing is that Apple Partition Map supports bigger partition sizes, I think.

PS The drive is GREAT!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bulk change Type and Creator codes

I having a sort out, and that means getting rid of some old kit. One item in particular, a PowerMac 7300, which run 0S 9.2.2.

It was hanging around because of some old Artmatic vesion 1.2 files. The first problem was that the Type and Creator codes had gotten lost at some point. The second problem was that I had 181 of them to fix. The third problem was that the current version of Artmatic doesn't open these old files.

First I asked the UI folks if they had a version of Artmatic that can open 1.2 files and save them as the current format. They do, Artmatic 2.5.

Next I needed to bulk change all the type and reator codes, so that Artmatic would recongise them. I found Typeator from. First I used Artmatic 2.5 to save a reference file, and then you can drag and drop files onto Typeator. It pops a dialog box saying choose "a master file" and then it changes all the files. Magic!

I used Jing and did a screencast file to show you.

Next stage, how to convert those old files

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pandora on Android

If you like your Internet radio, then you'll probably like Pandora, now available for the Android.

The download is hard to find, but I got it here:

You'll need to "Apps Installer" (get it from the Market), or use a file manager to install it.

Of course you IP needs to be a US IP because Pandora have licencing agreements they have to meet, so if you don't have a US IP then it won't connect.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Manually deleting Chrome .crx Extensions

If you've downloaded a .CRX and installed it, and then thought, that was a bad idea, you'll notice that neither Chrome nor Chromium have an extensions manager. So you'll need to delete them manually.

The extensions are held in the folder

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Turn off multi-touch OSX MacBookPro

The new MacBookPro (recent MacBooks as well ?) laptops come with multi-touch, but for some apps like Safari and Preview it drives me MAD! I accidentally zoom.

I've found a way to turn it off!

You need to download an application called 'multiclutch'. Install (it runs as a PrefPane) and then add keyboard short cuts for chosen applications:

By choosing a key combination that is not in use, multiclutch will get the gesture before the OS, and so will stop working for the gestures you want.

In this example setup for Safari and Preview, restart them, and job done!

And, this doesn't break other multi-touch gesture like rotation:

Ahhhhh bliss!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Netbook Summary - screen size and chipset

My Advent /Wind runs OSX great, but the screen is just that bit small... it could do with another inch and some more pixels. Came across this page which the author has summarised a good few netbooks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chrome and Chromium on OSX - where to download

Its not clear to what what the mission differences are, but as you know there are two Chrome / Chromium browsers, ummm... Chrome and Chromium.

Its hard to find the Chromium download page, since if you go to you get redirected to and at first glance there is no 'download' button.

Its nearly as hard to find Chrome for OSX. After some Googling I found this page so click 'accept' and download.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Re-running first run Chrome on OSX

If you want to have Chrome on OSX re-do its first time run, maybe to re-initialise everything, this is how

  1. Quit Chrome
  2. Quit Firefox
  3. Delete the ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/First Run* file.
  4. Restart Chrome.

If Firefox is running when you do this, it'll crash.

It doesn't import Firefox passwords.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pretending to be be an iPhone on OSX

Its well known that you can spoof or if you prefer, to willfully change, your browser's User Agent to pretend to be a different browser. All those internet banking web sites like you to use IE7 but you prefer Opera 10, or Firefox or Safari? Simple change your User Agent and you've got a fighting chance.

Here's how to pretend to be an iPhone. Why would I do this? Well its rather fast when the web site doesn't send all the undisplayable stuff down to you.

Also you can test the new html 5 gmail interface.

In Firefox you can download a plugin and after a restart iPhone is one of the defaults.

In Camino you can download the User Agent plugin which you have to manually place in

~/library/application support/camino/preferencepanes

Restart Camino and you get an extra tab in the preferences window

Add the following text and you are good to go. For some reason I was not able to 'add to presets'.

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543 Safari/419.3

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Proxy .pac file with Camino

If you use Camino, and apart from it still using QuickDraw its really OK, and you're on a corporate network, you might to use a .pac file to get to a proxy server.

It requires the manual creation of a text file, and adding the correct parameters:

Open TextEdit or TextWrangler or your choice of text editor, and save a file called 'user.js' in the location

~/library/Application Support/Camino

you can copy and paste the contents:

user_pref("network.proxy.type", 2);
user_pref("network.proxy.autoconfig_url", "");
user_pref("camino.use_system_proxy_settings", false);

(Replace with the URL supplied by your system administrator.)

Restart Camino and off you go

Saturday, September 26, 2009

CyberGuard / SnapGear - restoring http access

If you've got locked out of your CyberGuard / SnapGear firewall, as long as you still have SSH access you can regain access without doing a factory reset.

From the command prompt type "enableweb"

/> enableweb
The web interface has been enabled on ALL interfaces, for HTTP and HTTPS.
Please ensure you review the administration access control options.

As it says, this will re-enable access on ALL interfaces, including Internet, so you need to review the choices, FAST!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Google Sync on iPhone - only one instance allowed

Google Sync for Apps to iPhone, Blackberry, Android etc is very cool and useful, but has a limitation on the iPhone that you can only have one Active Sync connection.

If you try to create a second one you get the error message

"Account Already Exists
Only one Exchange Active Sync account can be configured"


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Synology Diskstation - share music to iTunes

My Synology DS-109+ is a great device. Fast and with a great feature set.

One of those features is the ability to publish music to your local network.

To do so, first enable the service - its off by default. Find the iTunes link on the left, and click.

Tick the box "Enable iTunes service to allow all iTunes clients in the same network subnet to browse and play music in the "music" shared folder" and give your Diskstation a name.

The playlist feature is cool, of course

Sunday, September 20, 2009

OSX - bulk convert to PDF

OSX has a convert utility that you can use to bulk convert documents in PDF. IN essence if the OS support viewing and printing them, you can convert them.

To convert a single file you can use

/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/convert -f path/to/source.file -o destination.pdf

If you want to convert in bulk you can use AppleScript.

Open Script Editor from /Applications/AppleScript, then in a new script copy and paste

on open input_documents
repeat with this_document in input_documents
set this_document_path to POSIX path of this_document
--display dialog this_document_path
do shell script "/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/convert -f " & quoted form of this_document_path & " -o " & quoted form of this_document_path & ".pdf"
end repeat
end open

then from File Menu select Save As. In File Format select Application. Give it a name, and then you can drag and drop your files onto it, and hey presto converted to PDF.