If you have been attempting to follow the various guides posted on the Internet on how to set up the AirPort Express as a bridge using WDS and DD-WRT routers, you may be left wondering why your particular setup does not work even when all the settings are entered correctly.
However, these guides fail to realize that not all routers behave similarly when running DD-WRT. If your router has a Broadcom wireless chipset, then you're probably safe, since Airport Express als runs on Broadcom chip. However, if your router is Atheros-based, such as the D-Link DIR300, Airport Express would not be able to participate in the WDS network.
Assume you want to do some work on a remote Mac via 10.5's Screen Sharing, but you forgot to enable Screen Sharing before you left the remote Mac. You're now a good distance away, and apparently stuck. Fortunately, because the screen sharing system uses launchd to monitor its state, enabling and disabling is as simple as adding a file in the remote Mac's /Libary/Preferences folder. (Note that you'll need to be able to login to the remote Mac via ssh to run these commands on that Mac.)
$ cd /Library/Preferences
$ echo -n enabled > com.apple.ScreenSharing.launchd
To disable screen sharing:
$ cd /Library/Preferences
$ rm com.apple.ScreenSharing.launchd
If you have a Finder window open with the remote Mac selected in the Shared section, you'll even note the icon for Screen Sharing coming and going as you do this.
My work computer is behind a firewall that only allows connections to port 22. Even if it wasn't behind a firewall, since the documents may be sensitive, I would rather not transfer anything without encryption. I want to mount my user directory of my work computer to my laptop wherever I might be. This is relatively easy with .Mac and Back to My Mac in Leopard. If you don't have .Mac and Leopard, however, here is how to do it with one click without spending any money.
First make sure that the computer you want to reach has either a static IP address or has a domain name. If not, go to DynDNS (or similar service) and create a free account. Download DynDNS Updater to the computer you want to reach, and setup your domain name such as work.dyndns.org.
Next, fire up Terminal on your home computer or laptop from which you want to reach the work computer.
[robg adds: The remainder of this hint duplicates and combines information from some existing hints; in that way, it's something of a duplicate. However, I don't believe we've published a full walkthrough like this before. Keep reading for the detailed how-to...]
I recently bought a wireless IP camera (EcoLine by a company called Security-Center). Of course, all the software that came with it was Windows only. Nevertheless, I connected the camera over Ethernet with my Airport Extreme base station, did an address scan, and found out the IP address of the camera. I then pasted the IP address into Safari, and the camera's browser-based configuration client opened.
For full functionality, I would have needed ActiveX. Still, I was able to configure RTSP, HTTP, and dnydns.org settings using Safari. Then I opened QuickTime and opened the URL of my webcam:
Instead of live.sdp -- which is the default on my camera -- you can choose any other name, as long as you don't forget the .sdp suffix. This might be useful, especially if you have more than one camera. As expected, the live video of my driveway opened in a seperate QuickTime window, thanks to dyndns from anywhere.
This hint might also be useful for those who want to watch live streaming only supported by ActiveX, but who don't have access to a Windows computer.
I was trying to figure out a way to open a screen sharing connection to a particular server on my LAN from a Dock or desktop icon. Being able to do it by entering a vnc:// URI in Finder or Safari was okay, and the hidden Bonjour Browser was one step better. But when I accidentally dragged and dropped an entry from the Bonjour Browser to my desktop, guess what happened? It created an icon that I could double-click to open a screen sharing session!
This file is just a plist with a .vncloc extension that opens with Finder.app by default. It looks like this, if you want to create your own:
I use VNC to do remote support (or Screen Sharing under Leopard). If you do a lot of remote support, there are times when you leave computers idle while you deal with other things. You need the owner/user of the computer to leave it alone, so as not to undo what you are doing. For example, when restoring data from a remote backup.
Typically I will put up a Stickies note on the screen warning the user that I am still working. But what do you do if the computer must be logged-out in order to do your work?
The remedy is simple. First, log out on the remote machine. If the login window then displays a user name and blank password field, press Escape to get out of the password prompt (so that you are looking at the list of users). Then hit the down-arrow to highlight the first user, and press Option-Return to get to the Name and Password prompt. However, instead of entering the username, type "Still Working!" (or whatever you prefer), and you're reasonably safe from user intervention (at least from reasonable users).
Of course, if the remote Mac's login window comes up with the user name and password fields, you can just type "Working..." (or whatever you prefer) in the username field.
[robg adds: An older hint here stated that 10.4 users had to use Shift-Option-Retun to flip between the two login window styles; in 10.5, Option-Return appears to again work as it used to.]
I telecommute four days a week and need to get to various servers at work over a VPN connection. I don't like routing all my traffic through the VPN connection, because I do a lot of internet work as part of my job. I don't want to pull all that through the company connection and down a VPN pipe, so I have my VPN connection set to only route traffic through the VPN that goes to my company's resources.
The problem is this: when I am on site, I can browse the various Windows workgroups and shares without a problem and connect easily (thank you, Leopard!). But when I VPN in, I lose this ability. I can access shares by typing in their IP addresses, and this works fine for those servers that have static IPs. However, some of the servers (developer boxes, etc.) will have IPs that roll over every week, making this method impossible.
This has been a major annoyance of mine for quite some time, and I have looked extensively for some way to make it work, but haven't been able to discover anything. Then, one day, on a whim, I decided to do a traceroute on the IP address of one of the servers over the VPN connection. In the output, I saw "mycompany.com" appended to one of the jumps in the route. The thought then struck me, "what if I connected using smb://server.mycompany.com?" It worked beautifully. My life is now complete.
I suspect that the network wise among you will say something like "well, duh," but the fact is, I searched OS X hints and every other place I could think of for a simple tip like this and couldn't find it anywhere. So I thought this might be useful to someone else as well. Enjoy!
I was a little puzzled the other day when, in the Finder's Network file sharing window, I saw a machine named 'MAC001B23CF43,' sharing in the Windows format. I knew I didn't have any machines named like that on my network. The name was pretty straightforward, but hardly elegant like 'SuperMac' or 'MarioMac' or whatnot, like the Apple side of its filesharing was setup.
I checked the computer's name and it had a number of non-standard characters in it and a few spaces. So, Samba (the mechanism behind Leopard's file sharing for Windows) was confused by the name for the Mac for Windows File Sharing and named itself 'MAC#########,' where # is the Ethernet address of the Mac.
So I renamed the computer to something without spaces or high ASCII characters, and now the Mac has a reasonable, human-friendly name.
Yesterday, the hard drive in my 12" PowerBook G4 (purchased in April, 2004) died a horrible, painful death. After doing some testing on the machine (it typically doesn't hold any critical data, so it's an ideal test platform), it failed to reboot. Long story short, the hard drive was dead. Really dead -- Disk Utility told me "This drive has reported a fatal hardware error to Disk Utility. If the drive has not failed completely, back up as much data as you can and then replace it with a working drive." Thankfully, it then mounted in a partially-usable state, and I was able to retrieve the one bit of non-backed up data on the drive (my wife's Palm Pilot contacts, which contained updates she hadn't yet synched back to the Pilot).
After installing a new drive and reinstalling 10.5.2, I set about copying key files and programs back to the machine. However, my AirPort performance was glacially slow: time estimates to copy 70MB of data were in excess of 45 minutes! Some Google searching told me that I was not alone. Apparently this is a pretty big issue for many people on 10.5.2, but it's not universal -- our MacBook Pro, for instance, sees no such slowdowns.
I haven't marked this hint as 10.5 only (as the solution can be implemented on 10.4, too), but it does seem that the problem is limited to those running 10.5.2, and using AirPort on either Intel or PowerPC machines. Read on for the solution...
In OS X 10.5, Apple added the ability to share individual folders to the Sharing preference panel. However, one needs to be aware of permission problems when attempting to share a particular folder. To illustrate this problem, I will use an example:
Create folder ABC in ~/Documents
Press Command-I and check the Shared Folder checkbox
Click on the Enable button to enable file sharing
Go to the Sharing panel in System Preferences and click on the File Sharing item
Click on the Options button and enable SMB sharing by checking the Share Files and Folders using SMB checkbox (there is no need to enable SMB sharing of accounts, as we will see later)
By this step, you would expect to see folder ABC under your computer's name in Network Neighbourhood in Windows, but it's not there. In fact, you can't even access the share by mapping \computernameABC! However, if you move folder ABC to ~/Public and share it again by unchecking and then checking the Shared Folder checkbox, then ABC will become visible.
This behaviour can be explained by the fact that ~/Documents has the permission rwx------, which means other users can't even browse the contents of that folder. On the other hand, ~/Public has the permission rwxr-xr-x, which allows browsing of the folder content by any user. So in order to successfully share a folder, not only do you have to make sure it's accessible to other users, you also have to make sure its parent folder can be browsed by other users.
Another interesting thing to note is that SMB sharing for a user account is independent of individual folder sharing. Enabling it will share the home folder of the enabled account as it did in Tiger, but it's not necessary for sharing individual folders (so you no longer have to store your password in a less secure way when you enable SMB sharing).