18th November 2011

The Ultimate Audio Guide for Mac OS X 10.6

I thought if I was able to play .flac files in iTunes I got the maximum audio quality out of my iMac. If you are interested in how to achieve this, read this post.

Fluke

Later I found fluke which made life a bit easier, since the annoying import process was disposed. Next I found Hear from JoeSoft which replaced the awkward equalizer in iTunes.

Hear - Equalizer for Mac

It is pretty simple to install and offers a lot of settings to play with.

Hear Interface

I’m using Hear version 1.0.5(497) on Mac OS X 10.6.8. Not all of the features improved the subjectively received audio quality but some really helped. Next I found out that ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) went open source. Downloading Max 2 was easy, as well as converting the .flac files to .mp4 (container for alac encoded track).

Max 2 for Mac

The only thing you have to do is setting the default output of the converter to "Apple MPEG-4 Audio (Apple Lossless)" it pops up if you just select "Apple MPEG-4 Audio" as shown below.

Max 2 select format

In the list it should look like this.

Max2 output format

Don’t add any other formats here or every input file will be converted to all the formats shown in that list. Now that all files are encoded in alac I didn’t have to convert the files anymore for the iPhone thus not having all .flac files concurrent with their mp3 files in my iTunes library. Alac plays natively on most Apple devices. Ok the next step was to use the optical output from the iMac in order to improve the audio quality. It was quite easy to buy a Toslink cable with 3,5mm jack on one side and a standard Toslink jack on the other side. Beware of 2,5mm Toslink jacks since they are called "mini Toslink" as well. If you plug in the 3,5mm jack your system audio output in OS X switches automatically to digital out. But than I encountered a problem.

Mac OS X digital audio out no system volume

If you use the digital optical audio output of your iMac you cannot access the system output volume anymore with your keyboard shortcuts or apple remote. In order to fix this I had to install soundflower. There are a few steps to get it up and running.

At first restart your iMac after installing soundflower.

Next look into your menu bar for the sound flower icon and set the "Soundflower (2ch)"(for dolby surround select the "16ch") to "Built-in Output" as shown below. I set the buffer size to 2048 as well, don’t know if its important but bigger is better as usual.

soundflower menu settings

Next you go to your system’s preferences and open the audio settings.

system preferences audio settings

Select the "Soundflower (2ch)" as your default system wide audio output.

audio output system wide

Now go to your Audio Device preferences (Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup) and select the "Build-in-Output". Set the format to the maximum supported sampling rate("Format") of your audio device (in my case an audio converter with 96Hz) and select the maximum sample size like "2ch-24bit".

Now go to the "Soundflower (2ch)" device and set the sampling rate("Format") to the same frequency as before (96Hz in my case). The sample size is preset to "2ch-32bit" and can’t be changed which is ok.

It might sound weird to output a 32bit source to a 24bit output but its downscaled properly and just works this way. Just play a song in iTunes, cross your fingers and hopefully you’ll hear your music. Now you can use the volume shortcuts on your apple keyboard again and the apple remote can adjust the volume as well again.

The audio pipe in your system goes now as followed:

iTunes (or any other app with sound) > CoreAudio (driver for soundcard in your mac) > Hear (equalizer) > soundflower (enable system volume) > digital output (Toslink output on you iMac) > your external audio device

Worked for me.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 14 Comments

3rd March 2011

Improving vlc’s .mkv playback in Mac OS X

When loading big .mkv files(like 3-5Gb) into VLC with hd content and maybe even subtitle tracks you’ll notice slow loading times. You’ll although notice that OS X is building up a huge pagefile because it eats up your memory, requests virtual memory and thus starts paging to the hdd.

vlc

To speed up the movie loading times(movies with subtitle tracks) in VLC open up the Terminal.app:

sudo chmod -R 777 /usr/X11/var/cache/fontconfig

To avoid VLC eating up all your memory while playing big .mkv files:

  1. Open up VLC
  2. Go to "VLC" -> "Preferences"
  3. Show "All" preferences
  4. Go to "Input / Codecs" -> "Access modules" -> "MMap"
  5. Uncheck "Use file memory mapping"

This saved me from a lot of headache. By the way, its always a good thing to clear all kinds of caches (like the font cache) from time to time using tools like Onyx and repairing disk permissions with the disk utility. Worked for me.

posted in mac os x | 6 Comments

17th August 2010

HowTo disable spellchecking in SRWare Iron (Chromium) for OS X

If you like Chrome and use Snow Leopard it is quite hard to surf without sending all kinds of statistics to google. In Windows there has always been a proper alternative named Iron. Lately I found this blog post, telling that they have a stable version for MacOS now.

SRWare Iron for MacOS

You can install the same extensions as you would install in Chrome like Adblock. To disable spellchecking permanently you have to modify the
~/Library/Application Support/Chromium/Default/Preferences
Just add the following lines in the end of the file (but before the last closing parenthesis):
,
"spellcheck": {
"dictionary": "no-NB"
}

Just don’t forget the comma in the beginning. You can’t enter empty strings anymore and for future compatibility you should enter something valid, like the Norwegian accent "no-NB". As long as they don’t create a dictionary for this language it will work.

Another thing is to disable the translation bar since it is pretty annoying. Luckily you can do this via Iron’s preferences "Under the Hood".

SRWare Iron disable translate

Worked for me. And by the way … If you are annoyed by the mouse gesture extensions, especially on the 404 pages, just get xGestures. Yes it still works in Snow Leopard and it’s worth every penny since you can define mouse gestures for all your Apps throughout the whole system.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 69 Comments

17th August 2010

Smooth video playback in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

In Windows 7 I’m using Shark007’s codec pack along with the 64-bit components. Special codecs like nvidia purevideo, CoreAVC or the Cyberlink 264/AVC codec help you to get real smooth HD playback. Especially in 1080p movies the visual difference between two frames is so broad that you need to interpolate additional information between two frames by guessing the movement between the frames.

For Mac OS X is no such solution. Some players like MPlayer OSX Extended pretend to improve the visual quality, but i never really got the player working (crashes when trying to update). The VLC playback is stable and "consistently smooth" but not as smooth as I’m used from Windows 7 and the is no way to improve it by using different codecs or tweaking.

Then I found CoreCodec CorePlayer for OS X.

CoreCodec CorePlayer for OS X

There is hardly any information about this player in the web. I couldn’t even find a trial version for mac. So I just bought it and tried it. Well, the first try gave me no sound (AC3, DTS). After reading in the forums I found out that many people complain about this missing feature. I tried to write some apple script that starts CorePlayer and VLC (disable video stream) simultaneously, but most HD movies went out of sync after short time. I tried to compensate this with global keyboard shortcuts for VLC’s audio delay tweaking, but its no fun.

By accident I found a forum post about using Perian‘s AudioQueue as the AC3 audio pass through for CorePlayer.

Perian

I can say its up sync most times in HD movies. Just don’t do anything else in the background (at least on my i5).

CorePlayer settings

The playback is still not as smooth as in Windows 7 in extreme high motion scenes but its a lot better in slow and normal motion scenes. It plays my MKV h.264 AC3, DTS movies quite nicely and I’m using it as a VLC replacement on Snow Leopard now. Worked for me.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 4 Comments

6th March 2009

Qt4/C++ Development with Leopard

I got tired again of developing in Windows XP. Since my Vista destroyed itself within a micro second XP was my last hope. I thought it must be possible to code stuffs in Mac OS X Leopard too. I tried installing the old Eclipse 3.2.1 because of the one and only QtClipse Plug-in I knew from old times. I couldn’t find some Eclipse 3.2.1 binary with CDT included for Mac so I downloaded the platform release and installed CDT 3 via software-updates. So far so good. I tried installing QtClipse but without success. So I thought about using KDevelop but I didn’t want to go through all the hassle installing KDE and so on. Using XCode was not a good alternative after various reports about malfunctioning code completion (code sense).

Qt SDK

Suddenly I stumbled upon this article about Cmake, Qt4 and XCode on OSX. He pointed to the Qt SDK for Mac (430 Mb). Installed like charm and worked very smoothly without any further configuring or installing. Code completion in QtCreator is at its best. Since I like a few packages from libqxt I downloaded, extracted and installed it.

./configure -no-db
make
make install

Additionally I had to copy

libqxt-0.4/src/gui/qxtwindowsystem.h

from the downloaded source package to

/usr/local/Qxt/include/Qxt/QxtGui

but that’s almost it. The qxt.prf was not deployed into the correct folder, so I had to move it manually to /usr/local/Qt4.5/mkspecs/features/mac. After that I added these 2 lines to my .pro file:

CONFIG += qxt
QXT += core gui

And that’s it. Qt Development in Mac OS is pretty easy and comfortable now. Worked for me.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 20 Comments

4th March 2009

Flex SDK with Actionscript 3 using webservices

Coming back to coding Actionscript after a while I noticed that you got to fix more and more bugs over the years of Flash development. Yes there were many limitations with AS1.0 and AS2.0 using Macromedia Flash, MX and CS, but the recent movements in Adobe’s labs make me wonder where they want to go. For example using their mx.rpc packages with flex and AS3.0 gives me a lot of headache. Gladly I stumbled upon the “YAAB – Yet Another Actionscript Blog” and found this article about Remoting with BlazeDS from plain vanilla Actionscript 3 class. He summed up all the workarounds and problems you get when trying to work with Remoting from AS3.0.

Remoting with AS3.0 - BlazeDS - Flex SDK - Axis2

At first I tried using Axis2 for remoting. But the recent versions of Axis2 Service Archive Wizard – Eclipse Plug-in and Axis2 Code Generator Wizard – Eclipse Plug-in are buggy at times when you want to achieve very simple tasks. To generate a services.xml and .wsdl file seems to work but stuffing em into some .aar package with the Archive Plug-in results a faulty Service Archive. So there was almost no possibility to change the session scope of the werbservice or access and register remote classes. Switching to BlazeDS gave some advantages. Now I didn’t have to build some .aar package because it just interprets my .class and .jar files. All I had to do now was looking for the right AMFChannel and now I was able to transfer complex Objects in both ways. I just wish I had found the YAAB blog entry a few days earlier.

posted in linux, mac os x, reviews, windows | 35 Comments

1st July 2008

Mac OS x86 10.5.2 on AMD SSE2 the challenge

On of my HDD’s crashed and my old 10.4.6 install was on that drive. Of course I do create backups of all my data regularly and nothing was lost but time. So I thought I could try Leopard on this occasion. Kalyway 10.5.2 for AMD didn’t boot at all. Next on my list was Leo4Allv3. It booted and installed like charm. But there were still some issues after the installation was done.

I had to fix the graphics driver problems for my old 6600GT. In my case it would be best to install the system without any special nvidia drivers. Because later on I used the Zephyroth NVidia Universal Installer from Zephyroth Utilities. To be on the safe side I repaired the kext permissions right after and rebooted. Worked from scratch with perfect resolution and QE/CI.

Next I had to disable Spotlight because the indexing drove me mad and maybe crashed the system by accessing my windows drives.

Adium 1.2.5 gave me that weird error message for my icq account that my client was "too old". Tried a few other versions including the beta 1.3b5. In the end I gave up and went for Proteus. It looks cleaner but not as sexy as Adium.

Next issue came with installing Skype. Since I’m using Growl I got these nasty notifications when somebody came online or sent a chat message. So I disabled Growl for Skype. System Preferences – Growl – Applications: remove marker in the Skype checkbox.

FrontRow had a few issues with Divx and Xvid movies but it was easy to fix with 2 Quicktime Components. Xvid Component Binary and the Divx Codec. After one reboot everything was working smoothly.

As I remembered from 10.4.6 the little arrows on the alias icons weren’t that sexy. It was quite easy to remove the alias icon arrows.

Last task was to make a little Automater script for hiding and showing hidden files and folders in the finder.

The only bug that is still persistent is caused by my USB Bluetooth dongle. After pairing a device I had to reboot or replug the Bluetooth dongle because it gets deactivated right after pairing. I although had a few issues with Salling Clicker 3.5. I couldn’t connect from my SE K800i because the security blocked the access randomly. So the easiest way around was to "Browse Device …" and connect while browsing. When you connected Salling Clicker you can close the browse window. I’ve read a lot about USB Bluetooth dongle problems in 10.5.2 but somehow I couldn’t find a decent fix, just these workarounds.

As I’m writing this blog entry I’m using Qumana 3.0 and surprisingly I didn’t have any crashes yet from that application. Update: It just crashed as usual on the damn slow spell check.

Worked for me. Leave comments so I can add solutions and fixes.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 20 Comments

30th September 2007

My favorite Image Viewer for Mac OS X

In one of my earlier posts i was talking about my favorite image viewer for windows. So far i’ve been using PicturePopProCM 2 for viewing pictures instantly fullscreen out of the finder. But there were a few annoyances, like option click for accessing into the context menu plugin or the missing ability for RAW-file previews and by that it was even pretty slow on JPEGs. Recently i stumbled on a new project on my favorite os x freeware site.

Sequential 1.2.1

Sequential 1.2.1 (latest version to date) is fast, opens by simple double click in finder, displays all images in a folder “sequentially” 🙂 and has proper RAW-file support. An other cool feature is the quit by escape function just like FastStone’s MaxView in windows. I’m still missing some features, like a simple slideshow script and proper image rotation on RAW-Images. I’d although like an option for hiding the application icon in the dock when the software runs in background because somhow it doesn’t work that well with Dockless and Dock Dodger. But so far this is the best one. Worked for me.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 0 Comments

22nd May 2007

HowTo convert bin/cue to iso in Mac OS X

Since Parallels doesn’t like .bin/.cue images, i had to convert it into an .iso image. A few guides pointed out that simple renaming of the files might be enough, but that didn’t work at all. So i was searching for free-ware solutions and couldn’t find anything. Toast Titanium was the last chance.

You simply right click on the .bin file and open it with Toast. Next you click “Save As Disc Image”.

Finally you just rename the file extension from the default .toast to .iso.

After a minute Toast was ready and i was able to boot from the .iso image in Parallels. Worked for me.

posted in mac os x | 63 Comments

22nd May 2007

Parallels Desktop cannot be installed on this Computer

Got this error message when I tried to install Parallels Desktop Build 3188 on Mac OS X 10.4.8 .

Parallels Desktop cannot be installed on this Computer.
Make sure your system meets the requirements.

Found this easy guide: HowTo Install Parallels on AMD64.

Parallels Error Message

Worked for me.

posted in mac os x | 10 Comments

18th May 2007

Webkit the better Safari

I just came to Webkit. At first it looked like a new browser to me like Shiira or OmniWeb. But than somebody told me it is just the "thing" behind the scenes that drives lots of browsers on OS X.


So I downloaded the latest nightly build of Webkit and started using it.

  • CSS rendering looks much better now
  • got rid of the flickering in Safari when scrolling long pages very fast
  • can’t use Safari’s extensions anymore

Apart from that, the only difference is the golden symbol in the dock. It loads all of Safari’s settings, just because it loads Safari just with another rendering engine. In the Webkit blog they try to solve the confusions about Webkit really is 😀
So what to do now without Safariblock and without Saft ? Well, you can still use the userContent.css from floppymoose which kills most ads from your screen. Webkit although works with my earlier proposed mouse gestures for OS X. So far I’m quite happy with it.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 2 Comments

18th May 2007

Monitor Color Calibration for free using your DSLR

Color perception is subject to ambient light levels, and the ambient white point. (A red object looks black in blue light.) It is therefore not possible to achieve calibration that will be perceived evenly in different lighting conditions. The computer display and calibration target will have to be considered in controlled predefined lighting conditions. Controlled lighting conditions such as D65 help to suppress the effect of metameric colors which would further complicate the issue.(source)
You don’t need an expensive color calibration tool (spyder, eye-one, or similar tools) in order to detect the white point of your ambient light. You got all you need with your DSLR already.
So lets go through this guide to get a quite nice calibration for your monitor.

At first look for the light sources in at your working place:

  • Avoid these old yellow light bulbs for your room with the monitor and replace these with newer energy saving daylight bulbs.
  • Try to avoid mixed lights of different color temperatures. Close the curtains or sunblinds of your windows.
  • Brighten up the area behind your screen by placing a lamp behind it. This will ease your eyes and even improve the quality of your displayed images in terms of black level quality.

Step-by-Step Tutorial:

  • Place some neutral grey objects in the area behind your screen that you would see from the position where you are working. To make it simple: place some color chart on your wall or some medium grey coffee filter paper.
  • Photograph your workplace including the color chart or coffee filter at your wall using RAW format. Expose the picture to your calibration object (try to capture it with a good brightness).
  • Open your favorite RAW developer (CS2, CS3, C1, lightroom, …) and use the eye dropper tool for white balance detection on your coffee filter or color chart from your wall. Do it several times to average the color temperature. Next write down the color temperature.
  • Ok now lets look at your monitor. Look into the OSD (On Screen Display) and for some color temperature settings here there and set the closest value to your inspected value. Some screens may support this feature. For the next step you don’t have to play with your monitor but with your mouse and keyboard again in the software. We need to modify the settings of your monitor profile in your Operation System:

In OS X it is like this. Go to System Preferences > Displays > Color and choose “Calibrate…”, check that “Expert Mode”, click through to “Target White Point” and set your new color temperature here. If that looks too complicated for you, you can use the simple mode and choose what is next to your value out of D50 (5000 Kelvin), D65 (6500 Kelvin) or 9300 (Kelvin). If you think that your screen is too dark (happens with old monitors over time) you may adjust the gamma as well in the wizard, but only go for the monochrome gamma correction here.

In Windows (XP and Vista) you need tools like “Adobe Gamma”, you get this with installing Photoshop, it is in your System Preferences area. Just choose your white point here by inserting the Kelvin value that you inspected before as the “Adjusted Value” and if you were able to select a color temperature in your OSD before you need to set this as the white point of your “Hardware”. If you got some old screen you might adjust the gamma here as well, but not on the single colors, just do it for the monochrome setting.

Ok, now comes the hard work. Open some color calibration chart (for example this one) on your screen with your favorite image viewer.

  1. Take your camera and make a picture of your working place with the color chart displayed on your monitor and the background area around your monitor with the coffee filter oder the color chart on the wall.
  2. Open the picture in your RAW editor and look for the color chart that was displayed on your monitor. Aim with the eye dropper tool for the grey value in the color chart that is almost as bright as your wall behind the monitor. Write down the inspected color temperature.
  3. Now its time to work with your monitor. Open the OSD (On Screen Display) and go to the color settings. Switch from the “normal” setting to the “user preset” and start with all values at factory settings, mostly r:50 g: 50 b:50 . Change one or more values in order to achieve your target white balance. If you need it warmer just add a little red and reduce the blue. But try to keep the average of all 3 values at about the half of your scale. For example if my scale goes from 0…100 i want it like (R + G + B) / 3 = 50. Write these 3 values down and go back to Step 1. to look how close you came to your target value and do it all over again until you reached your target value.

Things that prevent your success:

  • Your target is not really neutral grey. (see picture below)
  • You go to close to your screen and get weird colored lines on your picture. (see picture below)
  • Your backlight is too weak and monitor too bright or vice versa. Just tune your monitor brightness. (see picture below)

Things that can go wrong

It took me like 5-6 tries to come close to my target values. I got daylight bulbs at my working place at a color temperature of 5450 Kelvin.

Now it is your turn. Good luck with this.

posted in mac os x, reviews, windows | 22 Comments

3rd February 2007

The Random OS X crashes …

I hate it when there starts a hidden process in the background, your hdd’s start spinning and rumbling and you don’t know whats happening. That doesn’t only happen in Linux (amarok http cache cleaner) or in Windows. This time it is Mac OS X and the funny thing is that one hidden process always crashed my system once or twice a day.

At first i thought i had to live with that problem. I looked into my /var/log/system.log and found this line:

cp: error processing extended attributes: Operation not permitted

Regarding this problem i found this neat guide for some completely different problem (last paragraph). In /usr/sbin/periodic you can find all the periodic hidden action that Mac OS X runs to maintain your system. Find the line with

cp /dev/null $tmp_output

and replace it with

> $tmp_output

Thats it, save and reboot. Funny thing is that Qumana crashed like 3 times while writing this post. I guess their spell check is still buggy.

Ok, the most wierd crash is on sudo periodic weekly .

I figured out that the command /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb crashes my system. The first fix was to disable it in the weekly.500 . I hope somebody can tell me why the database building for the locate command crashes on my system … My first guess is that i have too much hdd space to index and some cache is too small to hold the index while building.

So far i found these interesting articles:

Prevent locate’s update from updating certain folders

Make the locate command ignore certain directories

The last link worked. I made the locate-database-update ignore my /Volumes and now everything runs smooth.

posted in mac os x | 42 Comments

3rd February 2007

HowTo get Front Row 1.3 working on 10.4.8 AMD/Intel

After trying so many tutorials and installing so many tools i finally made it. Front Row 1.3 is running smoothly on my 10.4.8 AMD , and no illegal hacks were needed.

At first i tried this Front Row guide bei Andrew Escobar and ofcourse it was not working and ofcourse it crashed my system.

First get Front Row 1.3 from Apple’s update site and drag the FrontRowUpdate1.3.pkg from the .dmg on your Desktop.

Ok, for the next step there are 2 ways:

Download the Front Row Enabler 1.3.5 and just use it to patch the FrontRowUpdate1.3.pkg on your Desktop by clicking "Enable Installation". Never press the "Patch Mac OS X"-button !!! If you already pressed the evil button you have to look at Andrew Escobar’s website for further instructions on how to restore your /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BezelServices.framework and /System/Library/LoginPlugins/BezelServices.loginPlugin

The other way is to get the Pacifist 2.0.1 open the FrontRowUpdate1.3.pkg with it to install the 2 files manually.

Having this done we can proceed to the step where all my previously read tutorials failed.

At first i started with some kind of fake driver, like FrontRowPass.kext from Khadgar’s blog. This didn’t work at all for me.

Next i found this interesting guide for installing Front Row on the Mac Pro and just followed their "Case 2" by just manipulating the IOUSBFamily.kext .

The last step was to copy the Front Row.app from System > Library > CoreServices to my Applications folder and adding it as a Login Item in the Preferences Pane: Accounts (you can use the one in CoreServices as well). Restart and chose a way to start Front Row, for example by using such a little script named openfrontrow.app (you find it on several websites, just google for the name).

I got myself a copy of Wise Weasel’s Romeo Plugins 2.0 and used the Front Row Plugin for my Romeo. Now i can launch and control Front Row with my old Sony T610.

Worked for me.

posted in mac os x | 6 Comments

25th January 2007

FLAC and OGG support for iTunes – import and play

Well, i wanted to import my .ogg and .flac into iTunes but … you know the story. After 2 days of trying to compile amarok with kde3 and making it run natively with quartz-wm, i gave up.

The next day i found this nice blog post about adding ogg and flac support to iTunes.

Just get xiphQT (0.1.5) and install it ( open the XiphQT-full.mpkg ). Next get the flac import component for iTunes (its the flac_import_0.5b1_p0.1.dmg ) and drag the FLACImport.component into /Library/QuickTime . Last get the set-OggS tool (its the set-OggS-0.1.dmg ) and place the “Set OggS.app” in your dock or somewhere else where you can easily drop files to. Quit iTunes and restart it.

Now, what do you have to do for importing .flac into iTunes …

At first drop the .flac files on the “Set OggS” application (on the icon, not into the window).

Next just drag the .flac files into your iTunes. It takes a while to import and the playback will stop during that import period. Starting the playback of a .flac file although takes a while.

But after all, the .ogg and .flac files are in the library and you can play em as easy as all the other content. Just needs some more work on importing stuffs. Worked for me.

posted in mac os x | 18 Comments

21st January 2007

http-tunnel via ssh for Windows XP and Mac OS X

I’ve been using the bitvise Tunnelier for quite some time now in Windows XP and it is a real pleasure to use this easy tool.

For Mac OS X i couln’t find a tool like that until i came to the SSH Tunnel Manager . It is even easier to use than the windows tool and does a great job on tunneling your network traffic through firewalls. So you can have secure access to your non-ssl email accounts or just secure your traffic in a big company network. Ofcourse you still need some server outside your network with some ssh shell running.

posted in mac os x, windows | 5 Comments

21st January 2007

Safari Adblock without losing performance

Ok, i guess everybody noticed that importing adserver lists from websites like yoyo brings down most input managers for Safari. Even the userContent.css from floppymoose is slowing down the tab creation process in Safari.

After testing a lot with diffrent solutions i made up this final one:

Get the host list for macs from yoyo and edit your /etc/hosts.

Get Saft and delete all the URL match Patterns (and uncheck "Block Ad/Banners"). So you have the nice Fullscreen function for your Safari and more advanced controls about many other things in the browser. You can bind the Fullscreen shortcut to cocoasuite what i use for my global mous egestures in Mac OS X.

Next get SafariBlock v1.14 and delete all preset Filters. The special in SafariBlock is that you have a right-click on images, frames and flash movies to block em and set up filter rules for em. Works pretty well and the performance is still very good, as it would be without all these tools.

posted in mac os x | 4 Comments

21st January 2007

Monitor tearing gone in Mac OS X

Usually i’m used to this tearing effect in all other Operation Systems like Linux and Windows. It is possible to enable vertical synchronisation all over the desktop environment but that slows down the whole system and results synchronisation problems in video playback.

Monitor Tearing in Linux and Windows

But in Mac OS X i noticed today something wierd. The tearing effect was gone. Totally smooth movement of the windows and the video playback was correct too. I don’t know how they do it, but it works.

I’ll never get behind this apple magic i guess 😀

posted in mac os x, reviews | 2 Comments

20th January 2007

Mac OS X 10.4.8 – story continued

After dealing with my old 10.4.6 install with the “fake” 10.4.8 update which didn’t have the new 8.8.1 kernel I decided to make a complete new install.

Got the JaS.10.4.8.AMD.Intel.SSE2.SSE3 – DVD and gave it a try. Right after installation I got massive Kernel panics about the Geforce.kext family. Tried to use the old ones from the backup directory, but didn’t have much success.

After that I found the JaS.10.4.8.AMD.Intel.SSe2.SSe3.v1p ppf – patch for my ISO. This time they added Titan drivers instead of Natit. Applied it and burned that disc. First installation stuck on the language selection screen. On the second try i got massive usb driver error warnings but it worked. On the first reboot after the installation i got a black screen but I heard the harddrives were still rumbling, so it was again some graphics driver problem. Rebooted with “Graphics Mode”=”1280x1024x32@60” and it worked, BUT the image was upside-down. I dismounted my monitor and turned it upside-down 😀

After searching in a few forums and looking for help on macspeak network i decided to play with the boot options. I was able to get a 90 deg rotated display by starting with “Graphics Mode”=”1200x1920x32”. And as if I knew that its all my fault I just started with “Graphics Mode”=”1920×1200” (without bitdepth or refreshrate) and it worked like charm. CI (Core Image) and QE (Quartz Extreme) seem to work. I can play DVD’s and OpenGL stuff now.

The nforce4 SATA support still isn’t implemented. I tried some mods for the AppleVIAATA.kext but no success yet, just a few system crashes.

The only unsolved problem for me are these random crashes after like 30 mins usual working. Maybe its iTunes or Safari flash bug, no clue.

Update: the random system crashes are gone, but i still don’t know what caused em. The only crashing applications so far were Qumana and the apple’s Preview.

Next Update: you can easily make Qumana crash by just not assigning the blog post to a category. Well, if the glas is half filled, you could see it as a painful reminder and call it a “feature”.

posted in mac os x | 18 Comments

12th January 2007

Firefox Addon – Tab Effect – Speed Adjustment

Just downloaded this neat addon from mozillas addon site.

Firefox Addon - Tab Effect

The only problem was the slow cube rotation speed.

You can change the cube rotating speed in the content/javascript.js file of the addon.

Just change

TabEffect.xpcomObj.translateToNextTab(back, 24);

to

TabEffect.xpcomObj.translateToNextTab(back, 12);

and the speed is doubled.

You find the file in (for windows xp users):

Drive:\ Dockuments and Settings\ UserName\ Application Data\ Mozilla\ Firefox\ Profiles\ YourProfile.default\ extensions\ {0784CD66-62FE-4cef-ABF4-F8ED9B654ACC}\ content\ javascript.js

worked for me.

posted in linux, mac os x, windows | 12 Comments

11th January 2007

Track Hurricanes on your Desktop

On my search for a new desktop background I stumbled across these Earth-Desktop-Tools like EarthDesk 3.5 (Win and OSX payware), Desktop Earth 2.1 ( Win freeware), OSXplanet (OSX freeware).

EarthDesk 3.5

EarthDesk 3.5 looks like the screenshot above. If you don’t use Active Desktop in Windows it will just generate a resulting image (map + cloud layer) and update your recent wallpaper. I wonder how long it can draw my attention until it gets boring and will be replaced.

posted in mac os x, reviews, windows | 14 Comments

30th July 2006

Global Mouse Gestures for Windows XP and Mac OS X

Well, I always complained about the threading problems in Firefox (Windows XP). For example Firefox won’t let you use any mouse gestures (e.g. switch to next tab) while it is loading plugins or just web-content in the recent tab. I guess the plugins just have lower priority than the render engine. But you can still use the keyboard shortcuts to switch the tabs at all times.

In Mac OS X I had the problem that some browsers don’t support mouse gestures at all.

So I had to find some application for Global Mouse Gestures on both systems.

 

Lets start with Windows XP.

Strokeit - Global Mouse Gestures for Windows XP

StrokeIt (0.9.5) is some great Freeware tool that lets you define global and local (for individual window classes)  mouse gestures for all your needs. It even offers gesture feedbacks like line-drawings in individual colors. Since the global keyboard and mouse events have almost the highest priority in Windows XP it is much faster than any plugin for Firefox like Mouse Gestures 1.5.1 or All-in-One Gestures 0.17.4.

 

Now for Mac OS X ( PPC and Intel Mac).

CocoaSuite for Mac OS X (unibin)

CocoaSuite (universal binary), formerly know as CocoaGestures, was originally Freeware but the project was integrated into the new Payware CocoaSuite. You can still download the old CocoaGestures 1.2 from MacUpdate but I guess it only works on PPC. So CocoaSuite works only on for Cocoa apps and costs like “US$14.95” recently. It works pretty well and 30–day trial is OK for AppZapper if you know what I mean.

posted in mac os x, windows | 5 Comments

30th July 2006

Block Ads in Safari and OmniWeb

My first try was going to pimpmysafari.com and look for Adblock plugins. I decided to use SafariBlock and got the list of blocked URL’s from yoyo. But than I started Safari and everything was awesome laggy. I couldn’t even scroll the engadget site while it was loading. So I guess the filter list was too much for that little plugin.

Next I tried BFilter which was pretty fast but had no nice GUI for the filter lists and that’s a no-go in OS X 🙂

Finally I found this weblink describing how to modify the "etc/hosts" file in Mac OS X.

  1. So just go to yoyo and get the list in host file format (copy to clipboard).
  2. Open some Terminal.app and enter this command:
    sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/hosts
  3. Paste the filter list right under all the existing entries into the TextEdit window and save the changes.
  4. Relog or reboot and you are done !

Additionally I used the userContent.css from floppymouse and used it both with Safari and OmniWeb by just setting the "Style Sheet" option in both browsers preferences.

posted in mac os x | 3 Comments

29th July 2006

Flip4Mac installation bug solved

Well, I tried to install Flip4Mac in order to play Windows Media Videos in my browsers on Mac OS X and got this nice error message.

Flip4Mac WMV cannot be installed on this computer. QuickTime version 6.5.1 or later is required to run Flip4Mac WMV Player.

The solution to this problem is the following.

  1. Download Flip4Mac and copy the "Flip4Mac WMV.mpkg" to your desktop or somewhere else.
  2. "Show Package Contents" with right mouse button and open the /Contents/Info.plist with TextEdit
  3. Find "IFRequirementDicts" and delete the complete key tree like this . Save the changes (overwrite) and you are done.
  4. Now install Flip4Mac by just double-clicking the "Flip4Mac WMV.mpkg".

Worked for me.

posted in mac os x | 9 Comments

27th July 2006

ShapeShifter 2.4b1 finally universal binary

Finally ! Unsanity released the Beta 1 of its famous desktop theme modding software as universal binary. In this weblog post you can read the recent discussions and get the download link.

I had problems with themes like Mes, Muku and Pulsar (ShapeShifter crashed). But others had the same problems and Jason Harris promised to “release a 2.4b2 tomorrow that includes the fix”. So lets hope it will work. So far I’m using Metal Milk 1.0 . I’d prefer MaxThemes’s Milk 3.2 but somehow they don’t care that much for their stuff to update it with applications like iTunes.

update: Well, as Jason Harris promised the new 2.4b2 is out and fixed the crashes on Pulsar and co. But somehow I couldn’t find some active community about theme creation. MacThemes is a little silent as well in the last months. I hope the theme communities from the PC users will slowly come over to OS X and reanimate the Mac communities. I’ve tried now about 25 recent themes and found like 2-3 that were halfway useable and got wide application support.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 16 Comments