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Remote performance monitoring techniques Network
Earlier this year, Sysadmin Magazine plublished an article I wrote dealing with multi-platform performance monitoring. The article describes how to implement a bare-bones system for remotely monitoring system activity on groups of systems. I covered several Unix and Unix-like systems, including MacOS X (10.1 at the time, but would also apply to 10.2).

It's not specifically written for MacOS X users, but if you need to monitor a room full of MacOS X computers, and know the basics of terminal.app, sudo, and can install gnuplot, it might be of interest.

[Editor's note: I haven't tested any of the things Dale mentions in his article, but it's an interesting read and might be of use to those of you who manage Macs and/or other UNIX boxes for a living...]
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Avoid '-36 errors' when connecting to Win2K servers Network
For a while now, I have been getting a -36 error when trying to use Mac OS X 10.2.x's Connect to Server to connect to a Windows 2000 server SMB share. After a few weeks of frustration, I figured out what the problem was, or more accuratley, what I did wrong.

On Windows 2000, there are two services which at first glance do not seem to be related to file sharing, however, they are. Be sure to set Network DDE and Network DDE DSDM services to automatically start. If they are off, you will get the infamous -36 error commonly followed by a kernel dump.

I still think Apple has a bug for causing a UNIX core dump just because some expected services are not running on my W2K server.
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Set up DNS behind Airport Base Station with NAT Network
Yesterday I bought an airport base staion. Funny, I've no more wire in my room :) Before, I hosted a web server with dyndns on my mac, and could access to my machine with my own domain name. But since I setup my mac to access the Net over the airport base station I have not been able to "see" my site from outside my wireless network. After reading many comments spread around, I decide to install my own domain name server to resolve my domain whith local IP. We will use BIND to do it. Apple includes it by default on mac os x 10.2 clients.

[Editor's note: Setting up your own DNS can be complicated. As I believe it's beyond my skill set (and I can't risk losing access if I mess up!), I have not tested this hint myself, Please proceed with care if you decide to give it a shot...]
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Enabling WEP with passwords on a Linksys BEFW11S4 Network
I have a BEFW11S4 Linksys wireless router, and an iBook running 10.2.2. After spending many hours trying to get the WEP to work, I finally figured it out. Go to the router's IP number (192.168.1.1) in your browser and click the radio button "make WEP mandatory." Then go to the WEP settings, type in your password, and press 'Generate.' Copy the first code and then go to the System Preferences in OS X, select the Network pane and then click the Airport tab. Next click "Join a specific network," choose your access point's name then enter a "$" (without the quotes) and then enter your code right after that, without spaces or anything; eg: $3jflk3jfllkd8kdf (made up, obviously).

This does two things. It lets you connect using WEP, and makes it auto connect to the access point when a password is neccessary (rather than going to the pull down Airport menu and selecting the access point).

[Editor's note: I don't have a Linksys here to test this with...]
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Configuring a Linksys wireless bridge on a Mac Network
I recently purchased a Linksys Wireless Network Bridge (the WET11) in order to put a desktop G3 in a remote part of the house on the network without running wires. The WET11 has the advantage that it connects to your computer (or anything really) via a simple ethernet cable, and turns it into a wireless device capable of communicating with an Airport network (or any other 802.11b wireless network). There are no drivers to install and no compatibility problems.

However, there is a small snag. After playing with the WET11 for several hours, I could simply not get out to the Internet. I could see the DSL router, and all the other computers on the network, but no Internet. This really had me baffled, because the WET11 doesn't really do any filtering; it's supposed to just pass the information through. Hooking up a cable proved that the settings on the Mac weren't the issue, and I spent quite a long time on the phone with Linksys tech support to no avail.

Hooking the WET11 up to a PC worked like a charm. On the Mac, it was restriced to the LAN only. It just didn't make any sense. I finally, out of desperation more than anything else, tried changing my whole network addressing sheme, and lo and behold, now everything works fine. So, if you want to use the WET11, there are a couple of things you need to know.
  1. To set it up with a Mac, you simply hook it up with a cable and type it's address, which happens to be 192.168.1.225 into your browser.

  2. To do this, your own computer's IP address has to be in the same range, i.e. it has to be 192.168.1.(some number between 1 and 255). Go to System Preferences -> Network to set this.

  3. When you configure your network you cannot use 192.168.0.x I haven't tried any other ones, but 192.168.1.x works.
This last part was causing the problem in my setup. It doesn't make sense, it doesn't apply to PC's, but it seems to be a fact.

If you use the 192.168.1.x address range, and if you don't have any other devices at 192.168.1.225, then the WET11 should work right out of the box. You don't even need to set it up, unless you want to enable WEP. WEP, BTW, is not secure, do a web search before you trust any data to it.
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Easily access remote files on encrypted disk images Network
I store important passwords and financial information in a text file in an encrypted disk image (created using Disk Copy) on my main computer. I often need to access this file from my laptop via an Airport network or LAN. Previously, to do this I had to (1) log into my main computer using "Connect to Server" to mount my main hard disk on my laptop, (2) locate the encrypted disk image and double click to mount it on my laptop, and (3) open the text file to read the information.

I just discovered a much easier solution which demonstrates the amazing integration of AFP, Disk Copy, and the Keychain under Jaguar (the only place I tested this):

Follow the steps (1) to (3) above (you only need to do this once), and place an alias to the text file on your laptop. The next time you want to access your file on the encrypted disk image (even if the main computer's disk is not mounted), simply double-click on the alias. Mac OS X will automatically mount the main computer's hard disk, decrypt the disk image and mount it, and then open the text file with the TextEdit app! Amazing. This only works if you have the login password for your main computer and the password for the encrypted disk image in your laptop's Keychain.
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AirPorts, NETGEAR wireless routers, and encryption Network
I recently bought a NETGEAR MR314 wireless router to make my life easier. The wireless features and the four port switch made it ideal for me. Of course, I wish to protect my wireless LAN, so I set it to do 128bit WEP using a password and a generated key. The browser-based administration of the NETGEAR makes this possible quite easily even on my Mac (no, I do not work for them, just the truth).

Much to my surprise, the Airport card refused to login to the access point when I used my set password; instead I had to use the 128bit hex key from the page of the administration Tool on the Netgear router. In the Apple Airport dialog box, you do not select "Password" from the drop down, you select "128bit-hex" and after doing that, it works flawlessly.

Took me some time to find this one, but after finding it, I must say, that I am most pleased with the product; it is definitely worth the money, at least for me.
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Samba networking over a dialup connection Network
After fighting with Rendezvous for the last month and getting a ton of Error -50's and Error -36's, I finally figured out how to properly configure the Mac to use Samba to work with a dialup connection.

[Editor's note: I haven't tested this one myself, as I have no dialup to test with...]
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Download files directly to a Samba share Network
I use an iMac with very limited room on the hard drive. What I have ended up doing is building a Samba server out of one of my old linux machines for additional storage. What I was doing until I found the following trick was to download files to my hard drive and then move the files over to the server, as I was unable to choose the Samba share in the "where to download" choices.

What I did was make an alias to my Samba share and put it on my desktop. When I want to download to the Samba share, I can choose to download to the alias I created on my desktop and it will logon to the Samba server and download directly to the Samba share. Maybe with future upgrades this won't be necessary, but until then, this is the only way I have found to download directly to the Samba share.

[Editor's note: I can't verify this one myself, as at the moment, I can't seem to get Windows2000 to recognize my password from my Mac, so no Samba share to connect to!]
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Setting up recursive permissions on shared folders Network
I was reading about some of the problems with 10.2.2 and the 'security' of having all copied files set to read only permissions for files copied over to another machine. I found a bit about setting permissions on a directory so that they would hold its parents permissions when copied into the directory.

I created a folder called 'shares' and created folders within that for each of the designers on my team to dump files that we need to go back and forth with. In SharePoints, I made the 'shares' a sharepoint, and then added a group with all of the designers. I set the permissions for the folders to myself as the owner and the group is the one created above. This allowed me to delete files within the subdirectories when I didn't need them any longer.

Then in the terminal, I cd'd over to the directory and did a "ls -l" and got:
 drwxrwx--x
as the listing for the folder ... all seemed well. I then ran:
 % chown g+s 'dirname'
At least all of the files that are dragged into it take on the permissions from the directory above, but folders that are created inside by a shared user don't. Any files that are put in by the shared user into a folder they create I need to run thru batchmod and reset, then I can delete it. But files that are dragged into the main directory can be deleted no problem.

I am sure there is lots more that can be worked with this, I have just been trying to find a way to be able to share files a lot easier. We don't use the 'public' folders since they are on the boot drives and we set the systems up for better access with all of the graphic and video files that we use.

[Editor's note: I have not tested this myself...]
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