A little known capability of Mac OS X disk image system allows remote mounting of most disk images directly from "http://" URLs. However, this feature is not available in Disk Copy, so one must resort to the Terminal for mounting remote disk images. There are several reasons why one may want to mount a disk image remotely. Firstly, it allows selective downloads of just the interesting files from a disk image. This can be a real time-saver if you are on a modem trying to download just a few files from a huge disk image. Secondly, it avoids cluttering the hard drive with disk image files.
To mount a disk image remotely, enter the following command in Terminal:
% hdiutil mount "http://url.com/diskimage.dmg"
% hdiutil mount "http://a1568.g.akamai.net/7/1568/ 1388/061-0008.20020604/download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/ Apple_Software_Updates/Mac_OS_X/downloads/061-0008.20020604/ MacOSXUpdateCombo.10.1.5.dmg.bin"
NOTE: Shown on multiple lines for narrower reading; type on one line with no additional spaces in order to use the command. That command will mount the disk image containing the 45 MB large combo update to 10.1.5. Useful if you only need to retrieve a file or two using Pacifier. The feature is documented in the manual page for hdid, the command line program that is used by hdiutil to do the actual mounting.
[Editor's note: I had no idea this was possible ... and as the tip author points out in the comments, there is a GUI for it. Simply select a ".dmg" file in any Cocoa application, then do Services -> Disk Copy -> Mount Image, and the remote .dmg file will mount -- very very cool!]
MacStumbler is a tool for discovery of wireless networks. As far as I know, it's the first such tool on the Mac; if anyone knows of others, please post below. The hold up has been the non-documentation on how to talk to the AirPort card inside a Mac. The author of MacStumbler has reverse engineered some of the code in order to allow interfacing with AirPort cards.
Personally, I have begun using MacStumbler so that I know where all the wireless networks are around my campus ... so I know which classes I can be online in ... to look up course material, really!
Check the link and give feedback so that we can finally catch up to the other platforms in wireless scanning capabilities.
[Editor's note: This article has been in the submission queue for a while; I was debating the merits of posting it, given the potential for abuse. However, it also has great potential benefits for helping secure your wireless networks. For example, if you wish to prevent your network from being seen by MacStumbler (or anyone using other Windows or UNIX-based stumblers), you'll need to go to the Airport Admin Utility and enable the checkbox that reads "Create a closed network". With this box checked, your network will be invisible to MacStumbler (and, I believe, the other stumblers, but I haven't tested those).]
My company deals in part with WebDAV, the technology used to mount iDisk volumes. Although iDisk seems to work fine, I run into problems when attempting to mount our document repository. Using the 'Connect to Server' dialog I enter:
I'm prompted for my username and password, and then nothing happens. If I start a terminal session, I can see the webdav volume in my /Volumes folder, and can mv, cp, etc., and generally interract with it with no problems. However, the disk does not appear on the desktop or in any Finder windows. It's worth noting that very rarely, the volume does just mount and displays properly
On a whim, I did a force-restart of the Finder, after which the volume was visible and fully usable in Aqua.
I'm curious as to others' experience with WebDAV, as I know one of the other (few) Mac guys here has run into similar problems.
I recently needed to print to our HP Laserjet 4050 which is set up as a networked printer connected by parallel port to a Windows NT 4.0 PC. The smbutil utility included in OS 10.1.x doesn't support print very well, apparently, and I was never able to successfully print with it. The complete Samba package does allow printing to Windows NT 4.0 machines, so I decided to try that. It's actually pretty easy to do. I've only done this with postscript files to a PostScript printer.
One of the nice things about having access to SSH is that you can port-forward a connection through an SSH tunnel and know that your connection is reasonably secure compared to an open data stream. Following the tips given on afp548.com, I was able to easily get Timbuktu to run through the SSH tunnel and connect to my home OS X machine by doing the following in Terminal:
ssh [servername or IP] -l username -L 10660:127.0.0.1:407
Authenticate the SSH connection and once you are in, switch over to Timbuktu and enter the following in the connection name:
You should immediately be connected to your remote Timbuktu host as if you were connecting through standard TB2 ports.
You can do a lot more with this handy trick; read through the rest of the article and get a feel for what can be done.
If you frequently move your laptop between networks, as I do, you will notice that when your IP address changes, server processes get upset. Darwin (and thus MacOSX) includes a way of detecting and fixing this situation.
I've composed a hint and sample files and posted them on my website. The hint is specific to SambaX, but the explanation should help you do this for any server process.
The company I work for uses a Novell network, which was fine when I was using Mac OS 9, but I recently got upgraded to a G4 800 running OS X. There isn't any Novell client for X (yet?). There is a "Novell Native File Access" product, but that's more money and the company's already spent a bundle on my hardware and software. So ... cheap fast fix time! I've got an old Pentium 120 in my office.
After getting our IT guy's go-ahead, I installed WarFTP (free) on it. I set myself up as a user and pointed the server at the mapped Novell network drive. On my Mac, I used RbrowserLite (free) logged in, and saw all the files I needed ... very cool.
A couple of drawbacks:
Resource forks will be bopped, if transferred to the server (I believe Native File Access allows resource forks).
The PC has to be on, logged into the network, and running WarFTP.
Other than that, it's mighty fine.
[Editor's note: A creative solution to a fairly large hole in OS X's networking abilities. If anyone has news or info on a solution that doesn't require a separate PC, please post what you know! We run Novell at work, and I'd love to get to it from my OS X box...]
The network diagnostic utility nmap compiles perfectly on OS X 10.1.4.
[Editor's note: If you have fink installed, you can simply do a "sudo fink install nmap" to get it up and running. nmap is a very powerful tool for finding open ports on your network, amongst other features. Of course, as with some of the other tools covered on macosxhints, it could be put to use in a malicious manner. Use it wisely to help secure your own network.]
For those who like statistics - and I suppose I'm one of them - here are some tips for viewing network traffic, both realtime and afterwards.
netmonitor is a small app that gives nice graphs, it can be adjusted to be displayed only in the menubar (no dock icon) and is a great little tool.
darkstat is a background deamon that gathers stats 24/7. Use it to view bandwidth per minute, hour, day or month and per host/protocol using a web-interface. Simple and effective.
ntop (also here) is a great app like 'top', but for networks. It's the app darkstat is a spin-off from, and it gives you a load of stats you can throw a stick at - also using a nice web-interface. Downside: it uses 75% of CPU resources here; I'm looking into it.
Use tcpflow if you want to see the data that goes in and out of your Mac in plain text. Great to cheat with flash games that submit scores to unknown hosts ;)
[Editor's note: I haven't tested any of these network monitoring apps.]
I've been looking for some time for a way to network our Epson SP 870 colour photo inkjet under OS X. It's been a nightmare - but three months on, I've finally got it working!
We have 18 Macs connected over an Airport Network in our office, all running OS X. Epson's drivers don't support networked printing over TCP/IP, and Apple told me that USB sharing was not available in classic. But it seems it is!
Read the rest of the article for our workaround solution...