MacWorld recently published a list of things they would most like to see in Leopard, and one of the first ones listed was the ability to automatically change a variety of settings according to network location. Several months ago, there was a posting here about a script called locationchanger, and since then, I have significantly expanded upon the original script, so I thought I'd share the fruits of my labors.
locationchanger (20KB download link, MacOSXHints mirror) is designed to automatically reconfigure many programs and resources according to IP address, wireless network ID, or dial-up connections. Currently it's capable of automatically modifying the following:
host file settings
Mail server and account
Location setting in Network Preferences
Additionally, if growl is found, it notifies you of the new IP address, location name, and the hardware device of the new connection. Comments welcome!
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, but I know that location management is a topic of interest, so here it is. Please read the entire Read Me file before proceeding, as there are important notes in there. There's also a simple uninstall script, in case you change your mind.]
Mac OS X is great in how it allows you to skin a cat in a multiple of ways. Something that frustrated me, though, is the Finder's Sidebar window. You can drag almost anything into it, and those items act like aliases. But what about mounted server shares? Nope. It will not let you drag a share into the Sidebar. So we are forced to use the 'Connect to Server' window. With Automator we can get around these annoyances.
Set the desktop background to a flat color on the client. This may be obvious, but you get much better image compression with less complex images.
Set the client's depth to the same depth as the viewer. Use thousands instead of millions (if you want color). When I had the client (G4 677 TiPB) set to millions and the viewer to thousands, the session was not much slower than if the viewer was also in millions. I think this is because the client has to convert from millions to thousands, dither, and only then, send the bits. Putting both the client and viewer to thousands gave me a decent speed boost, since the client had no extra work to do.
If you have a pretty beefy client, you might not notice the increase as much as I did...
Every so often, the AirPort connection on my Intel Mac mini would drop off for no apparent reason. Searching on the web reveals that I am not alone. This problem seems to affect the Intel Mac mini, MacBook, and MacBook Pro. While I am optimistic Apple will fix this problem eventually, I couldn't wait. So I wrote an AppleScript to test the network periodically and restart it when necessary.
[robg adds: I haven't noticed this issue on my Intel Macs, but I have read of others having the issue. I have mirrored the script (but not the runnable version linked on the blog) on macosxhints, in case the first becomes unavailable.]
Mac OS X, when connecting via SMB, will leave ._ files on Windows shares. This can sometimes cause problems for others accessing these files, automated programs, etc.
I have created a script called DotUnderscore.vbs to handle this problem. This script will monitor and delete files based on a string within the file name (e.g. ._). To use this script, I recommend creating a Scheduled Task on Windows to start it up at system startup, so it will continually run.
Here are some examples on the command line that you would pass to the script:
cscript.exe DotUnderscore.vbs C:Temp ._
That would delete all files that had ._ within their filename from the directory C:Temp. Note that directories containing spaces must have quotation marks around them, e.g.:
cscript.exe DotUnderscore.vbs "C:Documents and Settingsusername" ._
As always, test on a test directory before you put it into production. This script may or may not work with certain non-standard symbol or alphanumeric characters in the folder name.
[robg adds: Just to state the obvious, this is a script that resides and runs on the Windows server, not the Mac. Thesefourprevioushints deal with the same topic.]
This is something I've wanted to set up for some time, having Googled and read through an old thread on the macosxhints forums, I decided it was time for a proper how-to on configuring a secure L2TP VPN under Mac OS X 10.4 client.
If you're interested in this, read on for the details...
Here's a little blurb from an article I found on the internet regarding OS performance tuning, written by the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. Note that this only really helps on data transfers on gigabit ethernet networks, though it might help latency on 100 megabit networks.
Mac OS X has a single sysctl parameter, kern.ipc.maxsockbuf, to set the maximum combined buffer size for both sides of a TCP (or other) socket. In general, it can be set to at least twice the BDP. E.g:
sysctl -w kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=8000000
The default send and receive buffer sizes can be set using the following sysctl variables:
I've been appreciative of the work folks have put into creating scripts to change a computer's Location based on, most often, detected SSIDs, but I've had the opposite problem: I wanted a manual change of the Location from the Apple Menu to trigger other events. Solutions such as Location X exist, but I'm cheap. Besides, I knew it had to be doable.
After a bit of poking around, I hit on the following solution, which only works in 10.4.
This question keeps popping up from time to time, and I originally posted these instructions on the Apple Discussions in June, 2005. Hope it helps. The following instructions will help you to extend the range of a Linksys WRT54G using an AirPort Express Base Station (AX). With minor modifications, these instructions should also work for an AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBS).
In order to add an AX to your existing Linksys WRT54G wireless network you should first take the following precautions:
Disable or remove all firewalls on the computer on which you will be configuring the network. You should be able to re-establish your previous computer configuration after the network is set-up.
You must be running at least Version 4.1 of the AirPort Software. Make sure all of you system software is up-to-date by running Software Update found in your Apple Menu. Repair Permissions both before and after updating your software.
Perform a Factory Default Reset of the AX.
Immediately before performing the configuration process, Restart the computer on which you will be performing the configuration. Ideally, you will also shut down any other devices connected to the wireless network, but you probably will be able to configure the network without doing so.
Each step of the configuration process must be closely followed. Skip no steps, and perform no shortcuts.