Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Error with Distiller 9.x for OSX

Launching Distiller 9.x on OSX gives

Error in /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings/PDFX4 2008.joboptions:
/CheckCompliance out of range

Its a known problem stemming from Distiller not being able to process certain objects through PostScript. From

Note: Distiller processes PDF files using PostScript, which does not support live transparency or layers. Thus, Distiller cannot create PDF/X-4 files, which maintain live transparency and layers. As an alternative to Distiller, you can use the Acrobat 8.0 Preflight feature to convert a PDF file to PDF/X-4.

You would think they would suppress the error?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Acrobat Pro 9.0 not compatible with OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard

If you have Acrobat Pro 9.0 installed on OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard, you will not be able to use the Adobe PDF Virtual Printer. When you print to it, it'll look like its all working, but no PDF will be created, and in the logs you'll see

sandboxd[2545] DistillerIntf(2544) deny file-write-data /Users/ Support/Adobe/Acrobat/Distiller 9/Messages.log

There is no workaround. You need to update Acrobat to 9.1 and this will remove the virtual printer, replacing it with "save as Adobe PDF".

I found that this would crash on me with 9.1, so carry on updating to 9.3.1 (current).

Get your Acrobat updates from, but make sure you've got good broadband since getting from 9.0 to 9.3.1 takes 435Mb!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Problems charging an Android phone while in the car

You may have noticed that even though you have a car charger, while you use the phone in the car with GPS navigation running, that the battery steadily discharges, and then goes flat.

How can this be?

Well its because many car to USB chargers do not put out enough current, even though they say they do. Many put out the USB standard 500mA which is not enough to replenish the phone when you are running with the screen-on, 3G and GPS all at the same time.

You need to get a higher power charger.

So, how to tell what you've got?

Plug in your phone and then go to Settings -> About phone -> Status, look at the Battery status.
You'll see Charging (USB) if you're on a low power charger like USB from a computer,and Charging (AC) if you have high power / mains charger.

You'll also notice that trying to charge an N1 over USB power is very very slow... now you know why!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Processor type on MacBook Pro laptops

I was trying to find exactly which CPU I have in my mid-2009 MacBook Pro 13".

Doing some Googling, I find its an Intel P8700, specification is here.



Launch Date


Processor Number


# of Cores


# of Threads


Clock Speed

2.53 GHz

L2 Cache

3 MB

FSB Speed

1066 MHz

FSB Parity


Instruction Set




Supplemental SKU



45 nm


25 W

VID Voltage Range

1.00V - 1.25V

1ku Bulk Budgetary Price




Package Size

35mm x 35mm

Processing Die Size


# of Processing Die Transistors


Sockets Supported

BGA479, PGA478

Halogen Free Options Available


Intel® Turbo Boost Technology


Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology


Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x)


Intel® Trusted Execution Technology


Intel® 64


Idle States


Enhanced Intel® Speedstep Technology


Intel® Demand Based Switching


Execute Disable Bit


Monday, March 15, 2010

Using Amazon S3 Storage with a Mac OSX

Howto get started using Amazon S3 Storage with a Mac.

Go to and sign up

Soon an email will arrive

"Greetings from Amazon Web Services,
Thank you for creating an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account.
See the AWS web site,, to learn more about other web services and AWS.
You can manage your account online by visiting
You need Access Identifiers to make valid web service requests. Please visit the Access Identifiers section of your account to obtain your identifier and to learn more:

Amazon Web Services
This message was produced and distributed by Amazon Web Services LLC, 1200 12th Avenue South, Seattle, Washington 98144-2734"

You need these to access the S3 data service.

Next you need to sign into the AWS console

When you do, you'll get prompted to create an EC2 account

"It looks like you don't have an EC2 account. To use the Amazon EC2 Console you must first sign up for Amazon EC2. It's quick and free to sign up. (If you just signed up, it can take a few minutes for your account to become active. Click here to see your account activity.)"

It says its free, but you need to supply a credit card.

Then get an S3 client, eg S3Hub from Next you need to create a 'bucket' which is a top level folder.

Bucket names need to be unique across S3, so do not expect names like 'images' will be available.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Howto: Use NCSA authentication with Squid

A very simple way to control access to squid is to use the NCSA authentication module.

First ensure Squid is configured to use the NCSA module, for example put the following line in squid.conf

auth_param basic program /opt/squid/libexec/ncsa_auth /opt/squid/etc/squid_pwd

Then from the command prompt call htpasswd, to the password file, for the user

htpasswd /opt/squid/etc/squid_pwd user1

New password:
Re-type new password: Adding password for user user1
Then, you need to make sure that the password file is readable

# chmod o+r /etc/squid/passwd

Monday, March 1, 2010

How to: Sipgate and Sipdroid

How to get Sipdroid working with account.

There are various blog posts that say you need PBXes account, and I looked at that and it all seems tricky.

So I decided to try just configuring to not use PBXes.

First you need to get the SIP account and password details, like I mentioned in this post Don't forget these details are not the same as your Sipgate sign on credentials!

Use Market to install Sipdroid, and then launch.

First press the menu button and select 'settings', then 'SIP Account Settings'. Then with the credentials you got earlier, touch Authorization Username and put in the details. For its a 9 character string, 7 numbers, 1 letter, 1 number (left to right).

Then in the password field put your password - case sensitive!

Then press the back button. Next press 'Call Options' and decide your choices. Be aware (very aware!) that use of your mobile data plan might get expensive!

When you've set this, next is Preferred Call Type

And then you should be good to go!

You can see if you are logged in OK by checking for the green dot in the menu bar. Red is bad (ie its failed), orange means its trying to connect.

Update: With Android 2.3 ie Gingerbread, there is now a native SIP / VOIP client.