Apple Leopard Update 10.5.4 Released

Apple Leopard Update 10.5.4 hit my Macbook pro at 11:53pm this evening.

Updates include fixes for Image support, ICal, Spaces, Expose, Safari and Airport Wireless

Several Security Issues are also addressed.

Grab the Apple Combo Update from Here.

Installing ies4osx on 10.5.3 stalls out at “preparing wine prefixes”

I’ve recently done a rebuild of my Macbook Pro and decided to give ies4osx another go – for those of you who have not yet tried it this is a project that allows you to run Internet Explorer on your OSX system through use of darwine.  It is a port of the ies4linux project.

Apparently there are some known issues that cause darwine to fail on the latest versions of leopard typically stalling out on the error “preparing wine prefixes”.  To correct this issue I did two things.

Made sure I was running the latest verison of darwine – as it turns out I was one behind – current version is 1.0-rc5.  When installing this I did recieve and error that an installation step failed “running postupgrade script for darwine” This does not appear to impact the install and darwine runs successfully.

Second, I upgraded the version of XQuartz on the system to version 2.2.2

Easy Web Based Access to Amazon S3 storage

By now many of you have at least heard about Amazon’s move into online storage. I’ve been a long time user of the Amazon S3 storage system and have enjoyed it’s inexpensive data storage costs and easy access. My only wishes were for a web based interface to my data and an enterprise backup solution backed by the service.

Finally one of my wishes is fullfilled in the Jets3t Online Cockpit application

The Jets3t Suite of tools is a java based frontend to the S3 service which was of little interest to me with tools like Jungledisk already on the scene. That is until I found the online cockpit application.

JetS3t Cockpit is not only one of the fastest applications for accessing my online storage it is also a cross platform web based java app that allows me to access my files from any java enabled system. I tried it out on my Macbook Pro tonight and was extremely impressed to find it even supported drag and drop along with features like gzip compressions and an additional layer of encryption.

For those of you not on the S3 train I reccomend you check out Amazon’s S3 service and then give JetS3t a try.

Mouse fails to work in VMware virtual Machine converted from Microsoft Virtual Server

Currently at our office we are testing alternate solutions for antivirus vendors. We felt the best way to do this would be to Download a fresh Windows Server virtual machine from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb738372.aspx

The download only took a small amount of time after which I utilized the free Vmware Converter from http://www.vmware.com/download/converter/ to convert the image to a format compatible with Vmware fusion on my mac. The conversion went flawlessly and when I started the server I checked for Microsoft’s equivalent of vmware tools. No trace of it was found in add remove programs so I proceeded to install Vmware tools on the server. Following a reboot I had lost my mouse cursor and all tracking. The closest I came to mouse was a right click menu in the lower right of the screen.

After a bit of research I came across the following article on Vmware’s knowledgebase.

Since the microsoft virtual addon’s were not installed I opted for the 2nd method which consisted of the following steps:

  1. Uninstall VMware Tools if they’ve already been installed.
  2. Run “regedit” and look for the following key: \SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96F-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

  3. Backup this key.
  4. Edit the value of the key and remove “msvmmouf“.
  5. Reboot the virtual machine.
  6. Install VMware Tools.

Once Complete mouse function was restored.

Apple Macbook Pro Logic Board Failure

About 3 days ago I began seeing random shutdowns during a game of Team Fortress 2 – It appeared to be heat related but to rule it out I reloaded all the software on the laptop. The problems returned.

I was a bit confused and during some web searches I came across a tool called SMCFanControl which allows direct control of the macbook fans through the SMC chip (which handles all the power related stuff on the mac).

The reccomendations I read said to launch SMC Fan control during an apple session – crank all the fans to the max then reboot into boot camp to keep things cool. I was surprised to see once I launched the tool that both my right and left fans were reading 0 RPM’s. I thought perhaps this is a leopard issue – maybe this tool does work properly with leopard but confirmation with another similar tool showed the same thing. Either I had experienced a huge coincidence and both of my fans died at once or I was seeing the dreaded logic board failure.

Since my macbook pro is no longer under warraty I pulled it apart and observed that indeed the fans weren’t moving. They twitched a bit on boot but then nothing. To test the fans I rigged the 5v current off of my usb port into the red and black connectors on the fan and it spun right up. AARRGH – a new logic board needed – and the best price I can find is $900.

I have been planning a system upgrade for this coming January or Februrary anyhow so investing $900 in a system that is only worth that makes no sense. Luckily the system still function so for the moment I’m operating with an ice pack under it. Still looking for a motherboard replacemet or a motherboard repair shop experienced with these issues. Failing all else I have a plan to solder the fans into the 5v power of one of my usb ports which will keep them running at full blast. May make the fans die sooner but at least I’ll be able to keep using the system a bit longer although that may rule out unpowered devices on that port.

If I go that route I’ll update with a how to here. Wish me Luck!

UPDATE ON THE LOGIC BOARD:

A funny thing happened – after about 3 weeks of running my laptop on frozen juice canisters and other odd methods of cooling (not a great idea but I make my living on my laptop so can’t go without it) my fans kicked in again.  They ran great for about 2 weeks and then the left fan physically failed . . . . it’s currently running on the right fan and I have to be a bit careful about heat but it’s otherwise operational.  I’m currently trying to source the replacement fan but it’s not a huge rush as I plan to order one of the new macbook pro’s shortly.

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