Archive for October, 2007|Monthly archive page

Involuntary Reboot #2

It happened again! I simply opened my MacBook and I am getting exactly the same symptoms: when moved around with the trackpad the cursor bounces around on the screen.


Involuntary Reboot

This might be a little oldskool for some people.

Do you remember that when the old original Mac (128K/512K/Plus) read a floppy disk that there was not enough time to deal with all the interrupts for the mouse movement? And that the mouse would jump around the screen?

The same thing just happened on my MacBook Pro after a couple of failed tries to wake the Mac up from sleep.

The hardware must have been confused or so because ‘top’ did not show any process sucking up all CPU time. I tried to sleep/wake the MacBook, turn the Airport off and on but nothing helped. After a reboot it is fine again.

Leopard Firewall – Not to be trusted

Heise has a great article about serious flaws in Leopard’s firewall.

The Mac OS X Leopard firewall failed every test. It is not activated by default and, even when activated, it does not behave as expected. Network connections to non-authorised services can still be established and even under the most restrictive setting, “Block all incoming connections,” it allows access to system services from the internet.

Sounds pretty serious.

Back to my Mac’s Crazy Network Requirements

I gave Back to my Mac another try here at the airport. I discovered the following log entries in /var/log/system.log after enabling it in the .Mac preferences:

Oct 30 18:37:11 Leo mDNSResponder[16]:
  Adding registration domain
Oct 30 18:37:11 Leo mDNSResponder[16]:
  Setting up AutoTunnel address 1111:...:8888
Oct 30 18:37:14 Leo mDNSResponder[16]:
  Failed to obtain NAT port mapping from router
     external address internal port 4500
Oct 30 18:37:37 Leo mDNSResponder[16]:
  Removing registration domain

What does this tell us? Well, it seems that Back to my Mac requires that BOTH SIDES are either on public IP or behind a router that supports UPnP or Apple’s own NAT-PMP. This so that BtmM can make a port mapping to allow incoming IPsec traffic on port 4500.

This makes no sense to me. There are barely any public hotspots that have UPnP or NAT-PMP functionality. The changes that Back to my Mac will work for road warriors is therefore dramatically reduced.

I really wish Apple had designed Back to my Mac with more real-world scenarios in mind. I understand their reasoning but with a little more effort Back to my Mac can work much better.

All my Spaces issues solved!

I’ve resolved all my issues with Spaces. No more frustration about the following things:

  • Spaces does not work with Java applications – When you run something like JConsole (from the command line) or double click IntelliJ then there is no way to comand-tab to these applications from a different space. All you get is the application’s menu bar but none of it’s windows. This kind of ruins a workflow where you for example type code (IDEA!) in one space and look up documentation with Safari in another.
  • Spaces randomizes the window order – When you switch back and forth between applications that have multiple windows open on one space, the window order is randomized when you enter the space. Not always but frequent enough to make it extremely frustrating.
  • Spaces does not deal well with modal dialogs – When you are looking at a modal dialog of a specific application and you switch away from the space where that app was on then it is impossible to command-tab back to the application. Just like with Java apps you end up wth just the application’s menu bar.

Getting rid of these annoying bugs in this piece of untested foobar is easy. Just stop using Spaces! You wil feel instant relief and less pain in your fingers.

Note to shareware developers: If you thought your virtual screen software was rendered obsolete by Spaces, think again. Apple is incapable of releasing even the most basic version bug free. Please give us the next version of Virtue Desktops, VirtualDesktop Pro or Desktop Manager. Without the same mistakes that Apple made but with more Pro features please.

Leopard’s Spotlight on Crack

Spotlight on crack. This is the result of searching for ‘loading’ in the contents of files. The actual found list is much worse with files sorted in the wrong order all over the place.


Back to school. Lame.

Back to my Mac – Still not working

My iMac at home is on a public IP address. The MacBook that I am currently sitting behind is on a public ip address (very rare that hotels offer this btw) and I can still not get a BtmM connection between the two.

I’m just going to give up on this and hope Apple fixes this in a future 10.5.x release.

Another much-hyped feature bites the dust.

Update: Opening URLs in Terminal – Twice!

A kind reader pointed me to the new way of opening URLs in Control-Click on a URL and you get a popup menu with the option to open the URL.

Here it looks like this. I swear I did not Photoshop this!


And yes, both menu items work.

PS: I know that shift-command-click also works

Leopards also Kernel Panic

I just experienced my first Leopard kernel panic. I’m traveling with the Leopard and when I was checking in at the hotel (WOW THE VIEW OF THIS ROOM!) in I noticed that my bag was super hot. I took my Mac out .. it was still turned on, showing the oh so friendly multi-lingual kernel panic screen and COOKING .. it was STEAMING HOT and I actually burned my finger while holding the power button down to shut it off.

I guess some things never change. Sizzling Lame.

More Spaces Problems

I tried to import a certificate in the Keychain and it popped up a modal dialog. I did not know what to do so I alt-tabbed to iChat to ask someone. Then I alt-tabbed back to keychain. Result: an empty screen. It just showed the KeyChain menu bar but not any windows. I had to show all spaces and select a KeyChain window to go there.

It seems that this happens when the application you alt-tab to is on a different space and has a modal dialog open.

Apple, bugs like this are so incredibly embarrassing. Are we, the first Leopard buyers, doing your Q&A ???