Endy's Blogomat

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Uwatec Smart Computers and OSX Snow Leopard

Last weekend we had urgent demand to get the dive profile data out of an Uwatec Smart Pro computer. The Smart Series uses IRDA to transfer files. It wasn’t as easy as I initially thought…

First Problem: The Software

That was an easy one – JTrak is running on Linux, Windows and OSX.

Second Problem: IRDA

Apart from the new macbook all new mobile macs have a recieve only Infrared interface for the Apple remote but no full IRDA interface.
I was not able not find any reliable information which USB irda device works on OSX Snow Leopard (Intel).
While reading the changelog of Jtrak I discovered a note that the MOS7780 chip is support under Snow Leopard.
After some more googling I dicovered that this chip is used in the Longshine LCS-8141-A USB Infrared Dongle.

This dongle is available at KM Elektronik here in Germany and works flawless on OSX without the need to install any drivers. JTrak immediately discovered the Smart Pro and I was finally able to import the data.

Interessanter Podcast zu OpenBSC

Ich höre seit einiger Zeit mehr oder weniger regelmässig Tim Privtloves CRE Podcasts. Er schafft es immer wieder sowohl interessante Themen wie auch Gesprächspartner zu finden und es macht einfach Spass zu zu hören und einen kurzen Einblick in diverse Themen und Projekte zu bekommen die man bisher nicht umbedingt so auf dem Zettel hatte. Der aktuelle Podcast mit Harald Welte befasst sich mit dem OpenBSC Project – wir bauen uns ein GSM Netzwerk – hörenswert!

Google Earth 5.0 Updater Agent annoyance [Update3]

I just found the new version 5.0 of Google Earth – since I’m a diver I’m special interested in the new underwater content and undersea maps. When I started the newest Google Earth version after moving it into my application folder I was asked wether to install the Google Update Agent or Quit.


I do not like to have the update agent running in background on my PC. The only app I use is Google Earth – I do not use any plugins and do not let google read my emails through gmail. In order to get rid of the Update Agent you need to confirm to install the Updater and block the communication with little snitch 😉

[Update3:] you do not need little snitch – if you want to ensure that the Update Agent does not install additional packages or frameworks you can also cut your internet connection. Although I cannot confirm that such things might happen – I just wanted to get sure. (My inital post might have been a little missleading according to this thread on heise.de)


The updater is located here afterwards: Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle


Now execute two commands from your home directory – the first will remove the current Update agent, the second will prevent that it gets reinstalled next time you launch google earth:

sudo Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app/Contents/Resources/install.py --nuke

sudo rm /Applications/Google Earth.app/Contents/Frameworks/KeystoneRegistration.framework/Resources/Keystone.tbz 

As you can see the directory is gone:


[Update1:] direct link to Google Earth Client:http://dl.google.com/earth/client/current/GoogleEarthMac.dmg

[Update2:] Had to temporary delete this post as the Updater was reinstalled after relaunch of google earth. I finally managed to find a way to prevent this by deleting the bzip file that is unpacked on restart if Updater is not installed  (second command above).

How to use Time Machine with a network share

There are quite a lot of useful information out there how to use a network share as destination for time machine. However I would like to add my own howto which also includes encryption oft the image.

I use this setup for a while now at home and at work. At work we use a x86 solaris box with samba and ZFS (at home i use linux and samba on ext3). If a user connects to a share a snapshot is automatically taken – if something goes wrong with a backup we can rollback. This works absolute flawless. So we have a network based backup for time machine with encryption.

Enter the following on the command-line (start Terminal):

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
  • Now mount the image share via finder
  • Next open a terminal and enter the directory you mounted the share (e.g. /Volumes/image
  • Now open Time Machine Preferences and select the network share
  • issue a ls -la until you see a file with the endening sparsebundle and copy the name.
  • open time machine Preferences and under change disk select none.
  • ensure that in the mount directory no sparebundel exists any more and delete the file .<your mac address> – you need to execute a chmod +w in order to delete that file
  • now open disk utility from the Utility folder under Applications
  • select New image now paste the sparsebundle filename – remove .tmp inside the filename
  • set the properties to this values:


  • Encryption: select encryption – you need to provide a password and check the Store password in keychain box!
  • Create the image on your desktop – don’t worry it won’t be that big since it is growable 🙂
  • unmount the new create sparsebundle
  • Encryption: open Keychain Access under Login locate the key for the sparsebundle and copy it into the System Key chain
  • Now copy this file to your image share
  • open Time Machine Preferences and klick change disk
  • again select the image share
  • enjoy

New iPhone 3G Clock Radio

Today I received my christmas present replacement – an iHome iP99 Radio Clock. On Christmas Eve I got a Logitech Pure-Fi Anytime. I managed to crash it while trying it out without reading the manual. After removing the backup battery the device was working again. It was very easy to configure and sound quality was ok. I spend some minutes playing around with it, programmed my favorite radio stations, set the alarm and was quite happy. A little later I decided to place it on my bed stand and remove my ancient radio clock. As it was much quieter in the sleeping room I realized that the power supply was buzzing in an absolute annoying way. I move it to the room right next to the sleeping room but I was still able to hear the buzzing. Looks like you wont need the alarm function as you may not even fall asleep with this device close to your bed. I tried to replace it but all other devices in the electronics store had the same issue – buzzing power supplies. I decided to just return it and get the cash back. Finding an alternative wasn’t to easy. Finally I found the iHome iP99 and decided to give it a try. This device is a little bit more expensive but worth the difference. Sound is OK, you can dim the LCD and buttons and it has quite intuitive ipod like controls. It also has a nice sleep mode – the music slowly fades out. Last but not least its power supply does not buzz!


nice keyboard

While surfing on ebay a few days ago I found a nice keyboard for final cut / final cut express editing and I got it for a cheap price – Yesterday I finally received it. It really looks very professional and i found out that it’s actually a modified Cherry Keyboard. Looks like my workspace is getting more and more complete 😉

FrOScon 2008

Waiting for the guys in the traffic jam and looking forward to hear what Tannebaum has to say 🙂


Samsung CLX-2160N Network Scan on OSX

Since my HP Lasejet 4MP is a little bit outdated and Toner is almost empty I considered buying a new Laser printer.  I came up with the follwing wish list:

  • Laser Printer
  • Color
  • Scanner
  • Standalone Copier
  • Network Interface (printing and scanning)
  • OSX support
Comparing prices I decided to buy a Samsung CLX-2160N.
The device works well as standalone Color-Copier and network printer on OSX after I installed the driver from Samsungs website. I can’t compare the drivers with the windows version but I read that there are some differences and the windows drivers are more flexible in terms of print setting.


Nevertheless I still think that the level of print support under OSX is sufficient for my use case. One thing that is not provided by Samsung is support for Scan to Network. This feature is only available on windows. You can however scan to USB Stick – which works well. Searching various Mac forums I was not able to find a way to get network scan to work with OSX – until yesterday.


I found this interesting website. They provide a small perl script for scan to network supporting various MFP printers and they support the CLX-2160N. You just run the perl script including some parameters form a terminal window. Afterwards you can select your workstation in the printer menu and select the resolution. I only managed to get JPGs out, the TIFF and PDF settings have no effect. Although you don’t have the full resolution and flexibility the TWAIN driver using the USB port offers, for me it is sufficient for most use cases.

/Users/nd/downloads/dell1600n-net-scan.pl --clx2160n --format jpeg --listen
You simply start the script using the above command where is the IP of my printer.

280North brings Keynote to the web

280 sildes is an amazing webapp which enables you to create keynote like presentations in your browser. Looks like it is even more slick under the hood as those guys introduced a new “language” Objective J. Read more here.

Nvidia’s Tegra platform

I just found some details and videos on Nvidias Tegra platform for upcoming smartphones and MID devices. It really looks very promising. They claim to display 720p and even 1080p HD video using a build in HDMI output and in addition they run Quake 3 with 45 fps. Despite the fact it runs currently on windows mobile the UI also looks amazing. Let’s hope that devices keep what the marketing figures (130 hours music/ 30 hours HD playback) try to tell us and that devices will hit the market soon.