Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bluetooth Tethering an at&t BlackBerry 8700 to a Mac running Leopard

If you're like me and use a blackberry for work, you might be wondering if it's possible to use your blackberry's data connection as an emergency backup connection to the Internet. Yes, you can. The data transfer is slow, but it could provide you with web access in a pinch if there is no free Wi-Fi connection around.

Special thanks to Grant Goodale for his work in putting together these modem scripts in Leopard form and distributing them freely. If you find this script useful then please don't thank me, thank him. He has a paypal donation link on his page if you are feeling generous.

Here's how you set it up:

  • Download the modem script here
  • Extract the contents of the Zip file to Macintosh HD\Library\Modem Scripts

  • you will see other folders in there with a .ccl extension. This folder should sit right next to those other ones.

  • Now pair your blackberry to the Mac.

  • When asked if you want to share your phone's network connection make sure yes is highlighted and continue. You will be prompted for the model of your phone.

  • Choose Research in Motion from the list and then select your model number. This will also work for 8100 and 8800.

  • The phone number, User name and password fields should be filled out this way:

  • (Note: use the APN in the phone number field)

    # APN: wap.cingular
    # Password: CINGULAR1

    It can be helpful for making quick connections to your blackberry if you enable the checkbox next to "Show modem status in menu bar."

    If you have a BlackBerry 8700 from a different wireless carrier, then you might try some of these other carrier-specific settings.

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Epson Stylus Photo R280 printer now works with Airport Express (b/g)

    I just finished setting up my Epson Stylus Photo R280 printer on the USB port of an airport express. With third party inks or even with genuine Epson Inks, the ink level monitor does not work but printing and head alignment, etc. work just fine.

    for thoroughness I installed the latest Bonjour from Apple on my dell laptop running XP and installed the XP driver for my printer on that and I can print wirelessly from my dell laptop as well. Again, on the PC side the ink level monitor does not work but one can disable it by going into Printers, right-click on the printer, choose properties -> printing preferences-> Maintenance tab -> Speed & Progress -> and check "Disable EPSON Status Monitor 3"

    Epson just added this driver update on 6/11/08 so it's likely that some printers that didn't work with bonjour before will work now:

    Updated driver for Leopard and Epson Stylus Photo R280

    Uncovered: iPhone 2.0 has screenshot capability built-in

    I posted this on the AppleInsider forum today when I discovered it. I use another name when I post on other sites.

    Here's how you do it...

    Push and hold the home button and then tap the screen lock button once. The whole screen will flash and there will be an image waiting to upload when you dock your iphone. It won't have a thumbnail and will just look like an empty square but once you import it into iPhoto you will see that it's a screen capture image.

    If you want to press and hold the lock button and tap the home button second that works just as well.

    Sunday, July 6, 2008

    How to cheat in RoboKill

    If you haven't seen RoboKill yet, then you should immediately check it out. It's a flash-based game that blows the doors off every other flash-based game you've ever seen. Now, you will need a newer computer, preferably one with a core duo processor at 1.66 GHz or faster, because I've noticed that on a 1.2 GHz single-core processor, the game pokes along and is not much fun.

    With any good overhead view shoot-em-up game there has to be a quick and dirty way to get all the cool weapons and power-ups you need to blast anything that moves to smithereens. RoboKill is no exception. The more cash in this game, the better and I'm going to show you just how to get as much of it as you want without losing anything.

    You will first need to play the game up to level 4. You will need to make it this far in the game because the cheat is on this level.

    * At the very first room of level 4 where there is the Merchant, go upwards on the screen into the doorway immediately ahead
    * As soon as you enter this room, move to the left or the right so that you fall off the ledge

    When you re-spawn in the main room, you can do this again as many times as you want. You will notice that each time you enter that room with the 8 robots, more cash gets added to the piles. It may not look like it at first, but when you are ready to collect it you will see for yourself. You only have to kill off the 8 robots to go collect the piles of free cash.

    Now, here's the most important part.... If you want to keep getting more cash from this room, do not exit through the door. Fall off the ledge instead. You will keep your cash and you will be able to go back into the room again where there will be more robots and more cash just laying on the floor. DO NOT EXIT THROUGH THE DOOR.

    If you want the most cash possible, equip yourself with 4 cash sensors. My robot is currently at level 26 and has a combined total of 46% increased cash with all the sensors I have equipped. If I go into this room and fall off the ledge about 10 times when I go to collect the cash there's about $5000 just laying there on the floor. And I can do this in about 45 seconds.

    One more thing, make sure that the last thing you do before you quit the game is fall off a ledge and get teleported back to the main lobby area. If you don't do this your game may not be saved properly when you close your browser or if you switch to another level you might not have your cash that you just made. For some reason going to the merchant after making some cash will not save your transactions all the time.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008

    Solution: How to stop the Dymo LabelWriter registration reminder (updated to version

    I use my LabelWriter on a lot of different computers, and I have clients who share their LabelWriter on a network with multiple computers. Installing the software is no issue, however my clients and myself are getting tired of being nagged to register our LabelWriters every single day. There is currently no option to simply "don't remind me again to register" which seems like it should be an obvious addition. There is only an option to "register later", but by later they mean tomorrow. It seemed like the only option to get rid of this nag screen was to proceed with registration. Until I got so fed up with it that I decided to find out how to override this reminder. This should work with any LabelWriter printer.

    If you want to never see this screen again without registering, do the following:

    Open %localappdata%\DYMO\DLS8\DataTracking and edit Settings.xml. change this:



    Then save and exit.  Start up DLS 8.5 and it should not nag you any more.

     I welcome your feedback.

    Monday, June 30, 2008

    I fixed my Powerbook optical drive

    For over two years I have been unable to use my optical drive in my powerbook. At first, it would not read certain discs and I noticed that after my hard drive died, it would not read any.

    First of all, I was too cheap to buy applecare for my PowerBook G4 12" with DVI back shortly after they were released in October of 2003. It came loaded with Jaguar and was eligible for a free upgrade to Panther, if that gives you any idea how old this thing is.

    So when my hard drive died in May of 2005, I replaced it myself. I'm an A+ certified technician and it really wasn't that hard for me to do. I had my ice cube tray for the different screws and a purloined copy of an official Apple take-apart guide for the laptop so I was pretty prepared.

    Apparently, when I was putting the computer back together in 2005 I misplaced a screw that was supposed to hold down the right side of the metal frame. It happens to be positioned just over the slot for the optical drive.

    Guess where the screw went...

    So, three years later I took apart the whole computer down to the metal bottom and opened up the optical drive hoping to find that the lens was simply dusty. Attached to the magnet on the laser head was the screw that I noticed was missing as I took apart the PowerBook.

    I put it all back together, cleaning as I went, dusting, putting on new thermal paste and replacing all the tape with new kapton tape. I powered it up with the fully charged battery and inserted a DVD. It began playing right away with no noticeable delay.


    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Can Netflix Instant-watch run on Mac with Crossover?

    I set out to answer this question today, and my short answer is No. Netflix minimum system requirements are:

    Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher, or Windows Vista
    Internet Explorer version 6 or higher
    Windows Media Player version 11 (DRM version 5145) or later
    An active broadband connection to the Internet
    1.0 GHz processor
    512 MB RAM
    3 GB free hard disk drive space

    With Crossover, applications are installed into "bottles". Think of a bottle as a shell for the application which emulates the folders and hookups that would be found in each windows operating system. There's a bottle for 98, 2000, XP and Vista. Running IE6 inside an XP bottle makes it think it's running on Windows XP.

    I was able to successfully install IE6 into an XP bottle, although I was warned before beginning that I would encounter errors. The installation went perfectly but certain web pages were not viewable in IE6 or produced strange errors. IE6 did work just fine in a Win98 bottle.

    Now for the next part - Windows Media Player 11. I had to download this installer from FileHippo and its installation did not complete. So without that peice of the puzzle, I'm afraid Mac users like myself will not yet be able to enjoy our Instant Watch on our Macs without Parallels or VMware.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    Solution: SSONSVR.EXE process is not running

    This is for anyone who, like me, was pulling their hair out because Citrix broke all of our configuration scripts when they updated V90 class firmware with PN 10.1

    I wrote a script, which, among other things, enables Single Sign-on otherwise known as Passthrough Authentication. For Citrix Program Neighborhood. This was working fine all the way up to version 10.0.5x

    Something changed in 10.1 so that the normal procedure of simply dropping in a couple .ini files into the default user's ICA Client folder no longer works.

    Here's what you have to do now...

    Either log into the winterm as Administrator and manually enable "Pass-Through Authentication" and "Use Local Credentials to Log on" checkboxes. (note, unless it tells you that you will have to log off for the settings to take effect then you haven't done it right.)

    OR - here's the missing peice of the puzzle that can be added to any existing script. Import the following .reg file:


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




    "Name"="Citrix Single Sign On"
    "ProviderPath"="C:\\Program Files\\Citrix\\ICA Client\\pnsson.dll"


    Once you add these registry changes, log off and back on and SSONSVR.EXE will be running and you will again be able to use Single Sign on in Citrix 10.1 (which is installed in V90LE firmware ver. 4.05).

    The way I found this was dumping the registry file (win9x version) before and after getting this passthrough authentication working. Then I used WinDiff to see what changed. These changes are the only ones necessary to get it working without having to go in there and check the boxes by hand.

    This discovery came at the last possible moment for me because the IT director at my company just ordered 16 V90LE winterms to be delivered straight from the factory to different offices around the country, and I had written a configuration script that completely configures these little guys to be full-fledged workstations. It already worked perfectly for version 4.03, and I found out late in the game that version 4.05 broke the script. By then it was too late to get the 4.03 firmware from Wyse so I could just flash them back to 4.03. At least now I have the 4.05 version of my script working and a way to flash these winterms back to 4.05 using USB. The boss is happy. Thanks to the guys who put together the USB flashing package! Combined with my script, it's enabled our company to save time and money and ditch Wyse Device Manager altogether.

    Monday, May 5, 2008

    idea: email fax confirmation

    Instead of wasting a sheet of paper and having to stand by the fax machine while transmission takes place, it would be nice to be able to go back to the cubicle and receive an email notification from the fax machine when your job has finished sending. (Including a thumbnail image of each page would be nice touch.)

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    One good reason webapps are better

    When the Iphone came out last year people whined and moaned because there was no third-party native application support or capability on the iPhone. Now that there is, I realize why Apple chose to push developers to go the webapp route for applications instead of using a native application.

    At first you might believe that it was about application security and keeping the device virus-free since it is running an almost full version of safari.

    But it's actually about connectivity! Because webapps are inherently connected to the Internet, they make it easier for developers to design information-rich applications that not only present a current view of things, but they also enable file storage and processing-intensive database queries and formatting to occur on the server side. This leaves the processor free for the webapp interface to handle the presentation of that information. And what a beautiful presentation it is.

    Multi Core Madness

    So AMD just popped the seal on its 12 core shanghai chip. I'll believe it when I see it. While we wait, here's some interesting speculation about what the hell you can actually do with 12 cores.

    First of all, What good are 12 cores if you can't use them? Most software is not designed with multiple cores in mind. My assertion is that there should be a layer between the OS and the processor that divvies up the processing chores among all available cores and does it automatically or programmatically if the developer so chooses.

    Secondly, why stop at twelve and say "tada!" when there's a possibility that month your competitor is going to one-up you? If you showed me a chip with 128 cores then I'd be really impressed. Hell, even 64 cores would be impressive but I find twelve kinda weak, considering that AMD has just built a multi-chip bus that can process instructions not only across multiple cores on a single die, but multiple dies on a single chip. Maybe they are finding that too many cores cause a bottleneck in some other component, like the RAM. In that case I'd be right behind them in supporting the 12 core standard but then I want to see them doing something about that bottleneck so they can open it up, like pouring some R&D cash into better memory.

    With twelve cores (assuming each core on its own was capable of running an OS with several applications) you could designate each core to handle a different part of the computing tasks. Hell you could even give each application its own core. I seldom have more than 10 apps open at a time.

    I feel that operating systems as we know them should change fundamentally to accept this new paradigm of multiple cores. Yes I'm saying we should risk breaking backward compatibility for the sake of an impressive leap forward. Build a compatibility layer, or virtualize for backward compatibility if you have to but by all means, build new software based on new technology and don't look back! Carry over your old data but leave your applications behind. We all know that there's no way to move boldly forward if we are clutching our legacy applications. Rather than real progress, people would rather have slow progress as long as nothing stops working. That is the old way of thinking and will die along with those that think that way. You can build a new system and test it while you are still supporting an old system. You don't have to immediately drop what you're doing and cause downtime because certain critical apps won't work. If people are smart about it they can roll out new systems in parallel with old ones to make sure that they don't have any downtime if one system fails.

    First! 1st! ONE! 1!

    Anyone who regularly visits tech gadget blog sites will know that there's a constant presence of ignorant retards waiting in the wings to get their first comment fix on. I'd like to treat them like the dirty flies they are and lure them all onto a giant sheet of poisonous flypaper and watch them squirm their way to certain death.