March 2007

VIA USB PCI card unreliable on OSX

Here's a frustrating one. I inherited a PC recently that had a USB 2.0 PCI card which I figured I'd try to get to work in my Mac. The card is based on the VIA VT6212 chipset and after some searching I found official drivers for the card (that only work with G4 Macs). Well, after rebooting the Mac the card seemed to work fine - it showed up in the system profiler and I could work with devices connected to it without any problems.


RubyOSA - don't forget the docs!

A really quick time for anyone on OSX.

RubyOSA is a great interface to the AppleScript APIs available to most applications. The only problem with it is that the APIs of many apps are undocumented, disappointingly especially for Apple's apps, so there's a handy little command that can generate these docs for you:

rdoc-osa --name (appname)


rdoc-osa --name iPhoto


New Commodore company signs own death warrant

The company Commodore, once known for calculators, then this really awesome home computer (C=64), then this even more awesome computer (Amiga), then for management incomptence which ultimately led to its demise in the early 90's, is finally back to market with... a stupid PC with a fancy paint job. Yep, that's right, after being known for innovation they're selling a Windows-based PC aimed at the games market. What a total waste of twenty years of good PR. Idiots. I don't expect them to last very long.


How to make Transmit update the SSH host key

Today I had a problem where my FTP client of choice, Panic Software's Transmit, where I changed the server software and any time thereafter SSH connections gave a "Permission Denied" error. As it turned out the problem wasn't permissions but rather the server's SSH identity changed and Transmit was getting confused. A little looking around didn't turn up anything obvious - there was no preferences option to force it to re-validate the identity, it just kept failing.


OSX 10.4.9 update a little funny

I just installed the OSX 10.4.9 update on our PowerMac G4/533 at home and had a little bit of weirdness. The first time the machine was rebooted after the install it took several minutes for it to actually start booting, leaving the screen white until it was ready - needless to say this was rather concerning, but I left it alone for a while and it finally kicked in a-ok. The Mac Pro at work had no problems, however.


Free enhancement to NTBackup

NTBackup is a free backup application that comes with Windows 2000 Pro and Windows XP Pro (and also runs on XP Home..) that is great for simple stuff. There are a few limitations to it though - you can't do multiple, concurrent backup jobs, you can't set it to delete old backups if the destination drive is getting full, and other bits. One step towards making NTBackup more useful is a free tool called Enhanced Windows Backup that works as a replacement GUI to fix some of the limitations.