January 22nd, 2008
A Call for help:
It’s possible to add users from directory structure 1 (in this case an openLDAP implementation that’s sharing our University’s Novell eDirectory) into an OpenDirectory group (directory structure 2). I can do this on server 10.4 easily using the Workgroup Manager GUI. But doing it for hundreds of students every year is… well, I don’t have the time to do that, either in terms of deadlines or workload, quite frankly.
The information contains users grouped both by groups and containers, but it’s an old gripe that Workgroup Manager won’t show you anything but a flat list of users. There’s a group tab there, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. Also, I don’t have direct access to edit the data or create groups on 1, and the users are already correctly organised by container.
So, can anyone out there tell me if it’s possible? I don’t mind getting my hands dirty on the command line, and if Leopard is needed I had to order it this week anyway…
January 18th, 2008
Yes, you heard me right: forget the MacBookAir, the product that a lot of us have been hoping and dreaming for does exist. But it’s not made by Apple.
The ModBook, made by Axiotron, is a very nicely modded MacBook with integrated Wacom technology to make what looks like a fantastic product. As well as top quality glass and aluminium skinning, it boasts built-in GPS and more levels of pressure sensitivity than standard tablet PCs (the full 512), and still weighs the same as the macbook it was hacked from.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 16th, 2008
No, I’m not selling the iMac. No, not vista. Not XP, either. Windows CE
Yes, it’s new phone time, new contract time, and it looks like I’ll be able to have pretty much whatever I want. My friends are all going for the N95 8GB Nokia (we couldn’t afford the iPhone, even if it was offered on business tariff), but I’m just not getting on with the interface. Don’t get me wrong, the feature set is fantastic, and the camera with Carl Zeiss optics among the best I’ve seen on a phone. iSync integration with the macs is good. But I just don’t enjoy using it.
So I’m thinking of one of those HTC smart phones. In particular either the Tytn II (also known, I think, as the Vodaphone 1615 or the o2 XDA Stellar) or something similar without the largely pointless keyboard, assuming I can find one on tariff which isn’t processor crippled in comparison.
So, windows CE… does anyone know much about it? How difficult will it be to sync to the macs? How do people find the interface? Any comments welcome as always.
November 16th, 2007
Just a quick note to let everyone know I haven’t fallen down a manhole.
Out of interest, I’m writing this on an iPod touch in Apple’s Executive Briefing center
October 11th, 2007
If you’re administering a network of mac computers, you can’t underestimate the power of altering the default template.
The idea is simple: you can make sure that when new accounts are created, they already have the preferences set up exactly the way you need them. There are several scenarios where this technique can be used or where it presents an advantage:
Network Users - rather than time and hard drive consuming creation of users, customising the default profile will allow Mac OS X to create new accounts as soon as users are authenticated.
fast user churn - I administer some macbooks for a short citizen media course: the users share the macs extensively for a few months, at the end of which the machines need to be quickly prepared for new users. All I have to do is apply any patches, delete the old users, and make new user accounts. The new user accounts are already set-up with all the user preferences, guide documents and iTunes libraries ready to go.
the self-cleaning oven - Great for store demonstration machines or Kiosk-mode. You have computers that you think people are going to mess up. That’s fine, but you need a way to make sure the user account re-sets itself. Setting up a log-out script to delete the user’s files and recreate from the default template is a simple and powerful way of doing this.
Read the rest of this entry »
September 26th, 2007
I’ve got a lot of photos from last weekend’s wedding to sort through and prettify; I thought perhaps some of you guys would like a sneak preview:
September 7th, 2007
Hiding users from the log-in window used to be a bit of a pain pre-Tiger. But that’s thankfully no longer the case.
In the bad old days, you’d have to change a user’s UID, which is fiddly process involving NetInfo manager and chmod. When Tiger came along it seemed to become even fiddlier; you also had to set the default shell to /dev/null, which isn’t really useful for hidden admin accounts that you actually want to use locally.
However, there’s a dead easy way to do it just by editing a Preference file:
Read the rest of this entry »
August 21st, 2007
I don’t normally post personal stuff, but several people (mostly on facebook) have asked me what Laura looks like:
Things are complicated at the moment.
August 17th, 2007
Today is the 25th birthday of the Compact Disk.
At least, today is the 25th anniversary of the first CD pressed at a pressing plant, according to The Register: it was actually invented in 1979, with the specification finalised in June 1980.
1979 was the year I was born, and the CD has turned into a technology that has dominated my lifetime, spawning the DVD and revolutionising not only music, but computing, which feeds and clothes me.
I don’t know how much longer the CD will survive. MP3s, iTunes and the rest of its children are gradually taking over, and where one 74minutes or 600MB was a huge amount of storage compared to the hard drive in your computer, it’s now trivially small. But the optical disk will be with us for a while, and the CD legacy will go on for many more years.
August 9th, 2007
Sometimes the bredth and scope of the stupidity of the oversights of intelligent people can be staggering. I’m sure many of my friends will agree.
Today is the turn of Apple Software Update (ASU), a windows program that runs once a week to check for updates for quicktime, iTunes, Safari and the like.
As some of you will know, we suffer from an ongoing network issue here at work: every now and then we suffer a small amount of packet corruption. It doesn’t affect browsing the web, or email, or instant messenging much. But it frequently breaks large downloads over http: .iso images and large zipped or compressed files (such as update executables) tend to get corrupted and unopenable.
It’s a lucky thing, then, that ASU has a built-in checker to make sure that the files it downloads are the same files that they meant to download, right?
Wrong. ASU finds corrupted files fine, but then proceeds to deal with them in the worst possible way: after telling you that the file is corrupt (or more accurately, that it has an ‘invalid signature’), it gives you a chance to install the updates again. What it doesn’t do is re-download the update files; someone thought it would be a good idea to cache those. Admirable in other circumstances, all it means is that ASU continually fails verification tests on these files, and the updates are never installed. At least until newer versions are released or the downloaded files are flushed/deleted (not found out where they are yet).
Let me rephrase that: If something goes wrong when it’s downloading files, My update programs inhibits me installing updates.