After weeks of happily using my Motorola v710 phone and a DLink DBT-120 Bluetooth USB to wirelessly connect my G4 PowerBook to the internet, it stopped working. Everything described here happened while running Tiger. I was presented with a dialog box with the following disconcerting message:
The selected communication device does not exist.
Please verify your settings and try again.
At this point, I took a look at system.log using Console, and found the following error being reported:
Jul 25 09:33:44 hostname pppd:
Device '/dev/cu.Bluetooth-Modem' does not exist
Sure enough, no such entry exists under /dev. After repeatedly rediscoving the phone and fiddling with my connection configurations, I continued to get the same message. Apple Support was happy to talk about Tiger, but informed me that Bluetooth network connections are not supported (grumble, grumble). Fortunately, I have a second machine which I had also set up to use my Bluetooth phone for a network connection (though it has an Apple internal Bluetooth module instead of the USB style on my Powerbook). I took a look at the Bluetooth entries under /dev on my still working machine using ls -l /dev/*Blue*. I then created identical entries on my Powerbook using these commands:
sudo mknod /dev/tty.Bluetooth-PDA-Sync c 9 2
sudo mknod /dev/cu.Bluetooth-PDA-Sync c 9 3
sudo mknod /dev/tty.Bluetooth-Modem c 9 4
sudo mknod /dev/cu.Bluetooth-Modem c 9 5
sudo chmod a+rw /dev/*Blue*
Now all seems fine. I have no idea what could have caused this problem, nor do I know the proper way to recreate the /dev entries expected by Tiger. Additional insight into possible causes of this problem or the appropriateness of the solution would be appreciated...
I found that my Mini becomes unstable and sometimes freezes if I leave my SMB shares mounted for days at a time. So, I combined several scripts found on this site into a new script that unmouns all volumes when the computer's been idle for a while.
I found (with some help from the AppleCare guys) a way to use my mobile phone to send and receive faxes over Bluetooth. The purpose is to add the Bluetooth modem port to the faxes list.
Here are the steps:
In System Preferences, go to Print & Fax
Open the Printer Browser (click "+" in the Printing tab)
Option-click on "More Printers"
Select "Advanced" in the popup list
Select "Bluetooth-modem" from the "Device" popup that appears
Select "Other" from the "Printer Model" menu
In the "Choose file" dialog go to System>Library -> Frameworks -> ApplicationServices.framework -> Frameworks -> PrintCore.framework -> Resources -> English.lproj -> Fax.ppd. Note that you can replace English.lproj with the language of your choice.
Finally, click Add
Now in your fax list, you have a brand new Bluetooth modem fax. I tested this in 10.4.1 and .2, and it works seamlessly with my Motorola V3 (both sending and receiving) and my Siemens SX1 (tried only sending).
Using Apple Remote Desktop, send the following UNIX Command to as many machines as you like to add an app to the dock. I suggest sending the command as the user whose dock you are modifying while that user is not logged in. Please note that the path to that app must be identical on every machine to which you send the command.
I personally don't want Bonjour (Zeroconf, mDNSResponder, Rendezvous) running all the time, because I rarely use it and because it gives away information such as your username, what services you're running, computer name (mainly bad if you leave it like "Bob Dole's Computer"), and more, depending on what you're running. From a security perspective, you're making it easy for an attacker to enumerate services and usernames without even having to do active scanning a lot of the time. Not only that, but I know many system admins who don't like "chatty" machines, which Macs can be if this is left on.
However, Apple has never given a good way to disable this until desired. In 10.3, I had to move the mDNSResponder StartupItem, and in 10.4, it's a similar situation. You can disable it once by running (shown on two lines, but should be pastable):
However, Bonjour will then relaunch on next startup. According to launchctl's man page, I should be able to put that command (or something like it) in ~/.launchd.conf or /etc/launchd to tell it not to load mDNSResponder when it starts up. However, I tried various combinations of that (with sudo and without, and with the launchctl command and without), and it didn't seem to work.
In the interim, I found that you can either rename /usr/bin/mDNSResponder to .back or whatever, or move the .plist I listed above -- when I renamed it .back, it still launched, so I ended up just moving it up one directory, so it can be easily put back. If anyone finds out the official launchd way of stoppping this from loading at startup, I would be interested in hearing it. In the meantime, it can still be temporarily re-enabled by just using this command:
The changes induced with Tiger seem to be causing great pain to many in regards to sshd and changing the default port. A hint is already on file for doing this in 10.3, which even so, seems to have caused a bit of a stir. To note -- I'm not endorsing security through obscurity, but this is still a useful exercise and one that can reduce the number of people probing the standard ssh port.
In 10.4, the mechanism for launching sshd changed from using xinetd to launchd. This dramatically changed how sshd is launched, what ports are listened to, etc. Logically, you would think you could just edit /etc/sshd_config and be done with it. Sorry, but it's not that easy. sshd_config is read on launch of sshd, but launchd launches sshd when the appropriate port is "tickled." Here's the deal. launchd has an "on-demand" mode, where services that need to be launched upon being "tickled" on a particular port are launched. In /System/Library/LaunchDaemons is a file called ssh.plist which defines the on-demand configuration for sshd.
This KnowledgeBase article explains how to prevent OS X from creating new .DS_Store files when opening folders on remote volumes mounted using SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, and WebDAV. The creation of .DS_Store files (and more so, ._AppleDouble files which are not covered in this hint) is frequently the source of complaints against Mac users, who often leave a trail of these files scattered throughout the filesystem when "visiting" a Windows computer. Even with this hint in place, the .DS_Store files will continue to be created on local volumes (which is a good thing).
To prevent the creation of these files, open the Terminal and type:
It may be necessary to log out and back in, or even to restart the computer (which is what the article states), for the change to take effect.
Note: Most of the settings controlled by data in .DS_Store files are "cosmetic" in nature -- for example, Finder window position, view style, icon position, etc. However, .DS_Store files in OS X also store Finder "comments" so in this sense, disabling .DS_Store files may result in loss of data.
[robg adds: In my previous day-job, I know a feature like this would have been highly welcomed by our sys admins. I used some of the previous hints here to try to erase my trails, but this is a much nicer solution!]
Using Apple Remote Desktop, send the following UNIX Command to as many machines as you like to log them in. I suggest sending the command as the user you are logging in as. Note that this will only work if the machine is currently at the login screen.
osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to keystroke "LOGIN_NAME"'; \
osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to keystroke tab'; \
osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to delay 0.5'; \
osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to keystroke "PASSWORDHERE"'; \
osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to delay 0.5'; \
osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to keystroke return'
Replace LOGIN_NAME and PASSWORD with the proper values, of course...
[robg adds: I broke the above command by adding backslashes to split the lines; it should work when copied and pasted, but ... I haven't tested this one, lacking both Apple Remote Desktop and more than one machine here in the temporary Boston HQ of macosxhints...]
My setup is pretty simple: iBook with Airport Extreme, which connects to an Airport Express, which in turns connects to a router, cable modem, and then out to the internet. Now, the signal with iStumbler is around 40 and noise is 10. Most of the time, I get a seamless connection to the internet and the rest of the network, but on occasion, I have these awful spates where I'm reconnecting to the Airport Express every five minutes. It makes the internet almost totally unusable and, as a smaller annoyance, it fills up my system logs with rubbish.
After shoveling through plenty of hints and being thwarted each time by my system, I learned it wasn't related to my DNS, routing, internet connection, network connection or the phase of the moon. So I felt risky. I disabled 'Use Interference Robustness' in my Airport menu item. And hey, guess what? I'm flying on the internet again...
The Bonjour Preference Pane provides a user interface for using the wide-area aspects of Bonjour. The customer releases of Mac OS X Tiger and Bonjour for Windows include full wide-area Bonjour functionality for developers to utilize in their applications, but no user interface. The Bonjour Preference Pane allows you to set system-wide defaults that will cause standard unmodified Bonjour applications to browse for and/or register network services in wide-area Bonjour domains, rather than only on the local link.
I haven't had a chance to test this yet because I need to configure dynamic DNS on my server. I hope that the Wide-Area Bonjour includes service discovery, because then I won't have to jump through so many hoops to keep all of my macs on the same local link. Be sure to also check out Setting up a Bonjour Name Server for a description on setting up a server to support wide-area Bonjour.
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one either, but it seems quite cool. Note that you will not be able to browse iTunes shares nor use iChat's Bonjour chats in wide-area mode.]