Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Had a better week Mac wise

Defiantly had a better week last week and got a few long standing issues resolved.

Firstly I have a Mustek A3 USB Scanner that had been stuck on an old Mac G3 B&W. I Finally found a blog which guided the way to get the SANE drivers and files needed to get it up an running. Ok so the blog references a previous ( now defunct ) blog but thats was all I needed. See PJ Holdens blog. The scanner works OK on 150 dpi but scrubs on higher resolutions. Integrated into Photoshop CS as File -> Import -> SANE. Sorted.

Secondly Creating Disk Images on OSX for use as bundled backup files. Found the Application DropDMG at $20. Neatly packaged, command line options and quite configurable.

Also found the code hackable BuildDMG.pl perl module over at this location. It needed a bit of work, mostly to swap out /Developer/Tools/CpMac and replace it with /bin/cp that preserves special Mac file attributes from OSX 10.4 onwards. Find this bit in the perl an change to the following ...

# copy the files onto the dmg
# use /bin/cp rather than /Developer/Tools/CpMac Only works on OSx > 10.4.x and beyond
print "Copying files to $dest...\n";
print "> /bin/cp -R $files \"$dest\"\n" if $debug;
$output = `/bin/cp -R $files \"$dest\"`;
$err = $?;

Put the perl in /Applications/BuildDMG/BuildDMG.pl then you can create a script+crontab to build the images on demand and drop them on your backup drive. A kind of TimeCapsule if you like :-) Have not yet managed to figure out how to drive it for directories with spaces in the name yet.

Thirdly since installing Leopard I have been suffering panic on wake-up. Let the system drift off to deep sleep then 1 time in 4 it will system panic on wake up. Looks like a USB or IO stack and It's all documented on the support boards here but not really made much progress. The solution is not green, but sometimes you have to give something away to get what you want. In this case I wanted "no panics" so installed Folding_At_home and donated a CPU. The distributed science application has a small memory footprint and is niced down so gets out the way when you need the horsepower.

And finally found a really good Mac based uk Tivo file extractor. The Java based TySuite has gui & command line & web interfaces and will pull as MP2 ready for conversion to MP4/AVI. Not quite as convienet as TivoTool but is better on Leopard and can pull Mode 0 recorded files at 720 * 576.



Lost a bet on Superbowl Sunday

Was chatting with a colleague on Saturday about the upcoming game and he outrageously went for "Giants by 2".

Never, no way not in your wildest dreams ...

So now I own him some beers, but thanks to the Internet I have located a local FL store that stocks the delightful Newcastle Brown Ale so all the remains is to get the beer vouchers sent over with directions to the store.

Cheers - Go Giants