Category Archives: Mac

Once more: How to really install Oracle Java on Mac OS X

After upgrading to Mac OS X 10.9 “Mavericks” you may notice that the upgrade also removed any versions of Java you may have had installed. If you’re just using Java Applets in the browser, you can simply go to the Java Download Page, install the offered version of the JRE and be done with it.
If, however, you also need to run local Java apps like for example Eclipse, you’ll get prompted to install Apple’s version of Java. If you do that, this will not only break the browser plugin but also install a version of Java that’s quite outdated and not well maintained by Apple.

The better solution is to download Oracle’s JDK (yup, the complete thing) and make OS X work happily with that. To do this, head over to Oracle’s Java SE download page, click the big button labeled “Java Download” and on the next page accept the License Agreement and select the jdk-7uXX-macosx-x64.dmg for download.
Install by double-clicking on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instruction. Afterwards open a terminal window and issue

sudo ln -s /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_XX.jdk /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/

(That’s quite a long line above, so make sure to scroll to the right and select everything. Also make sure to replace the ‘XX’ in the version number with the correct version of the JDK you downloaded)

That’s it. From now on Mac OS X 10.9 (and 10.8, for that matter) will work happily with Oracle’s Java and no longer prompt for installing the Apple version.

Apple Maps: Close, But Still No Cigar

Even with Apple’s Maps updated I still wouldn’t trust them for navigation. But to be fair: it also took Google Maps three years to fix that particular error.

The Day The Routers Died

Can’t believe I missed that.

I especially like the part about “those who stay silent”.

Connect a Mac to a Minolta 2490MF

This isn’t a very common problem but since the solution is simple, it may come in handy. Konica-Minolta is one of the rare companies that doesn’t provide Mac drivers for at least some of their printers. Luckily enough not all of their printers are manufactured by Konica-Minolta either. So to print on a MagiColor 2490MF simply install the printer drivers for the Xerox 6115MFP. Works great via both, USB and network connection.

What I Really Hate About Windows

I don’t run Windows regularly. I use Mac OS X. I use Ubuntu. I use Solaris. But when I need to run Windows it will never, ever fail to remind me why I don’t run Windows. It’s as simple as that. If updates are available, Mac OS X will inform me. Ubuntu will inform me. And if I told it to do so, Solaris will inform me. But all of these systems will never fucking ever *reboot* my machine just because they *thought* it’d be necessary. And even if they did have a function like that, they’d sure as hell be intelligent enough to find out that there are tasks running and stop or at least postpone the reboot. Oh well, after all it’s Windows I’m ranting about here ;)
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ZFS on the Mac: The power to forge

Dustin Sallings writes:

Then today, I read this:

The ZFS project has been discontinued. The mailing list and repository will also be removed shortly.

That made me very sad, so I decided to do something about it.

And so he did: ZFS/Mac archive on Github
There’s even an installer for Snow Leopard in pkg format.
But please keep in mind his warning before trying it out:

You still need to kind of know what you’re doing to make use of it.

VLC media player 1.0.0 – Goldeneye

The best video player for Linux, Mac and Windows finally made it to version 1.0.0 ;) Go grab it here.

You’ll get:

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Safari 4 Privacy Issues

As C. Harwick found out, Safari 4 leaves a messy trail of what it did. Or, to be more precise, of what you did while using Safari 4.

Those of you who’ve been trying out the new Safari 4 beta – at least on the Mac, though I imagine you could find similar data trails on the Windows version too – have no doubt been impressed at its shiny new features. But if you’re a stickler for disk space like I am, or a stickler for privacy (or, heaven help you, both), Safari’s poor housekeeping is quite alarming.


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Cyberduck 3.2 released

crow_224My favorite (S)FTP client for the Mac, Cyberduck, is available in a new version. Release 3.2 features some bug fixes and a bunch of new gimmicks features:

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Time for a new Mac?

I really love my Macs. Well, mostly. But lately, it’s more like a love-hate relationship. My Macbook will only wake up from sleep on the second or third keystroke. While I’m typing, it sometimes freezes for a while and when it comes back, it will echo the first character I typed before it went into “lala-mode” for eternity (makes editing scripts in


real fun, btw.).
And then, there’s the Macbook Pro.

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Fluke makes iTunes play FLACs


Fluke is a small Mac OS X utility that lets you listen to your FLAC files right within iTunes without needing to convert anything. Simply feed your FLAC’s into it and watch the magic happen!

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VLC 0.9.9a released

videolanclient_099aThe folks from some days ago released a new version of the best video player for the Mac (and other platforms, too): VLC 0.9.9a – where the “a” is a Mac only version. Besides improved RealMedia playback on the Mac, there are several other enhancements and fixes in this version.

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Using Zend Debugger with your custom built PHP – on an Intel Mac with Leopard

Maybe you’ve had your go at this problem already: Trying to make ZendDebugger work with a custom built PHP on a Mac. I’ve been hammering at this problem for some days now – just to find out that the problem is a trivial one. For some reason unknown to me Zend choose to build the as a 32 bit module. If, however, you compile and run software on an Intel-Mac using Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the software will automagically run in 64 bit mode. And that’s why and also the CLI version of PHP won’t run the ZendDebugger.

So, the easy solution would be to just create 32 bit executables when building Apache/PHP. Did I just say “easy”? How is one to build a 32 bit application in the Mac you might ask yourself. Well, again, that’s easy. You’d just have to pass “-arch i386” to gcc when compiling the app. But how to do that, now?

As luck has it, most Open Source applications by now know about the Mac platform. Thus, they handle it within their configure scripts. A commonly used compiler option that gets set on the Mac is “-no-cpp-precomp”. So basically all you have to do is:

  • get the archive of the app you want to build
  • untar
  • do a ‘grep -R “-no-cpp-precomp” *’
  • take note of all the files the above command finds
  • use the script below
  • configure and compile as usual

The script I mentioned above is quite short:

for FILE in $*; do
    sed -e “s/-no-cpp-precomp/-no-cpp-precomp -arch i386/g” $FILE > tmpfile
    mv tmpfile $FILE

I called mine “macify” and put it in /usr/local. The script will add the compile flag needed for generating 32 bit executables/libraries to the files you pass it one the command line. For PHP the command would be “macify configure”, for apache it would be “macify srclib/apr/configure srclib/apr/build/apr_hints.m4”.

By the way: you don’t have to do this for all apps and libraries you need in the process of building the final app. Since the gcc version used on Mac OS X will generate “universal” binaries and libraries, you just have to modify the final app like that while you can compile all supporting libraries without any modifications.

Would be nicer, though, if Zend could come up with a 64 bit version of the ZendDebugger.

New globalSAN iSCSI Initiator for Mac

As I just found out, Studio Network Solutions have released version of their globalSAN iSCSI initiator for OS X. I haven’t found a change log yet, but installed the new version anyway. So far no problems, Time Machine is backing up as smoothly as ever.

Mac and Solaris: Fix the “xterm-color” issue

Every time I connected to a Solaris machine from my Mac using ssh I ran into the dreaded “WARNING: terminal is not fully functional” problem. The reason is that the Mac sets its terminal type to “xterm-color” which isn’t known to Solaris. After fiddling with the termcap file with no success, I found the solution buried in the various tips on Phil’s site.
Just copy the xterm-color file provided by Phil (local copy) to the /usr/share/lib/terminfo/x/ directory. Done. Maybe you have to logout and login again to make it work, but that’s it.

iPhone: Admin’s Best Friend?

So there I was, playing with the currently “most wanted mobile phone on earth”. Game over now, the iPhone is back with Apple. Now, what did I take from playing with it? First, it’s addictive as hell. Totally. Once you’ve got your hands on it for more than five minutes, you really so want one. Second, without a good service plan, it’s only half the fun. With Internet access being so easy you’ll want to use it. Anytime, anywhere. Third, it’s not fit for hardcore admin use – yet. That’s because it lacks two features I absolutely need: Skype and an SSH terminal. Both of which may show up in time now that the SDK is available. Still, it makes me wonder that Apple built VPN capabilities into the phone but didn’t offer an SSH terminal. Sure, you could install one by jailbreaking the iPhone but I didn’t want to do that to an eval unit. This hurts even more since I found out that I could really use the onscreen keyboard – something I wasn’t really sure about before testing the iPhone.
So, for now it’s still the BlackBerry for me. But maybe, I will have another look in 60 days. If I weren’t an admin, I’d run not walk to get an iPhone.