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.