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MacWindows News items from January 2003 through March 2003

Most recent news first.

March 2003

Windows Server 2003 set for release in a few weeks. March 31, 2003 -- CNET reports that Microsoft will be releasing Windows Server 2003 in April, and PC manufacturers will be offering it installed on new hardware. Microsoft will offer five versions of Windows Server 2003.

During the past few years, Microsoft has had several names for this successor to Windows 2000 Server, including Whistler (a code name), Windows 2002 Server, Windows .Net Server, and Windows .Net Server 2003. Windows Server 2003 will be the release name.

More reports of problems with Mac OS X 10.2.4 security update. March 31, 2003 -- A number of users have verified some of last week's reports about various problems with the the latest Mac OS X Security Update from March 24. Two readers, however, say that MS RDC is not affected.

10.2.4 problem with SMB file locking

Tony Swash also has the 10.2.4 problem with SMB file locking, which readers have attributed to the Security Update:

I too have had this problem. I couldn't connect to my Windows XP machine using my new 1.42 duel processor Mac running 10.2.4 until I actually typed the name of the PC into the Connect to Server dialogue box.

SMB problem with printers, Gimp-Print

Mark Morris

I am also having SMB problems following the latest security update. I had connected to a Win2K printer via SAMBA for months with no problems. Since installing the update, I can no longer connect to the printer. Checking my error log, I see an NT_Signon error. I have noticed others have posted a similar problem on other bulletin boards.

Benjamin Iseman indicates that the printer problems readers have with Security Update is specifically related to Gimp-Print. (See our Jaguar Reports page.) He also offers a workaround:

Previous to the 3/24/03 security update, I had been happily printing to a number of old (i.e., non-postscript), networked HP LJ 4 printers by sending jobs to a Windows NT 4 server via CUPS/GIMPprint/Ghostscript. (There is an excellent tutorial on this Gimp-Print method.)

I, along with several other people who are posting in various threads at http://discussions.info.apple.com, lost the ability to print using the method described above after applying the 3/24/03 Samba security update. When I attempted to check the Samba connection to the Windows server after applying the update, I got the following results:

% smbclient -L server1 -U biseman
added interface ip=192.168.0.49 bcast=192.168.0.255 nmask=255.255.255.0
added interface ip=192.168.0.56 bcast=192.168.0.255 nmask=255.255.255.0

Got a positive name query response from 192.168.0.2 ( 192.168.0.2 )

Password:
session setup failed: NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE

I got the same NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE when I use the server's administrator

userID and Pass so it wasn't a permissions issue.

Although very unsatisfying, the only solution to the problem that I found was to downgrade /usr/bin/smbclient and /usr/bin/smbspool to the pre-security update versions. Since Samba is open source, I have uploaded the older versions of /usr/bin/smbclient and /usr/bin/smbspool to my iDisk and they can be downloaded from here.

Obviously, using these files will most likely reintroduce the security bug that the update was designed to fix. Accordingly, proceed with caution.

The procedure I followed was to delete all of the samba printers on my machine via http://127.0.0.1:631/printers. I then logged in as root and made a copy of the newer SMB files and saved them to the root desktop.

Finally I replaced the SMB files mentioned above and restarted. When I added the printers via http://127.0.0.1:631/printers everything worked right away.

RDC seems to be okay

Two readers say unlike one report from last week, the Mac OS X Security Update is not affecting Microsoft Remote Desktop Client. Andrea Mariottini wrote:

No problems for me. My Win 2000 server has latest services packs and fixes. RDC is latest version.

Douglas Mclaughlin also find RDC okay:

I am able to connect to terminal servers via RDC using "names" in the connect window. I do not have to use the IP address (in fact I do not know the IP address) when I am in the office and even through the VPN via my DSL account at home. I am at home right now with my iBook and I am connected to our corporate Exchange server through a terminal server and I connected with the server's name. Michael must have some other kind of issue going on rather than the security update itself. My iBook is up-to-date via the Software Update System Preferences with Mac OS 10.2.4.

How to set up a PPTP Server on Mac OS X Server 10.2. March 31, 2003 -- Joel Rennich has an article describing how to set up a PPTP Server on Mac OS X Server 10.2 at his AFP548.com web site. (Thanks to Matthew McGraw for the tip.)

Suggestion for Software Update and IE with proxy servers. March 28, 2003 -- Jamie Loeb has a suggestion for people having problems with Mac OS X Software update and Internet Explorer getting through proxy servers, a problem recently reported on our Proxy Server Reports page. Loeb says:

The problem with Macs and ISA servers or even any Windows Proxy servers has a lot to do with the way Macs communicate with the proxy servers. Macs are not recognized as NAT clients on any MS proxy or ISA server. If the IT department goes into the ISA server and "opens" the Mac IP address to have full access through the ISA server than Software update works. Remember that with ISA servers the Proxies address in the network preferences must be set to port 8080 and not 80.

Some have said that if the Mac's IP address is opened to the ISA or Proxy server then in OS X the Mac's firewall should be enabled.

This will allow all programs- Software Update, Fetch and other like programs to fully work through the ISA server.

Printing from a Win 2000 machine via Airport Extreme USB. March 28, 2003 -- Rob Meredith sent a detailed report on how to print from Windows 2000 to a printer plugged in to an AirPort Extreme Base Station. We've posted it on our Cross-platform AirPort Report page.

More on SMB file locking in Mac OS X 10.2.4. March 28, 2003 -- Two readers wrote about the Mac OS X 10.2.4 problem with SMB file locking. John Duffy confirms the problem:

Our company develops a relational database that runs cross platform, and we've experienced the same problem. Just wanted to confirm that this is a problem in 10.2.4.

Debra Sawyers sees another problem, possible related, possibly not, with Mac OS X 10.2.4

I'm not sure if the problem we're having is related to the one mentioned on your site, but we'd been file sharing quite nicely with our PC server for quite a while. We have several levels of sharing, one with AppleShare works fine, the SMB share we have no longer connects when trying to access from 10.2.4 using Go -> Connect to server and pulling it from the list by IP we get an error = -36. However, if we connect by using the name of the computer it works fine.

so: error occurs for SMB://192.168.1.1

But not for SMB://tamaserver

Same machine. Correct IP. No explanation. This only occurred after the recent security updates

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Free Citrix seminar: take MetaFrame XP beyond application access. March 28, 2003 -- Citrix is offering free seminars called MetaFrame: Beyond Application Access about the Citrix MetaFrame XP Serve application server, which the company says can also be used to deliver content and services. The date and locations:

You can also call 1-800-437-7503.

MassTransit Version 4.1 adds SSL encryption. March 26, 2003 -- Group Logic has released MassTransit 4.1 (free upgrade from v4.0), a new version of the cross-platform file transfer and remote workflow software for Windows and Mac OS. The new version includes over 20 new features, including:

Group Logic Knowledge Base. March 26, 2003 -- Group Logic has added a Knowledge Base to its web site. It contains articles about Mass Transit, ExtremeZ-IP (the AFP-IP file server for Windows), and other products.

Solutions for Rendezvous and .local host name problem. March 26, 2003 -- Two readers responded to Monday's report on Mac OS X 10.2 being unable to resolve .local names that are handled by traditional (non-Rendezvous, non-Zeroconf) DNS. Monday's report was the latest in a long discussion, saying that turning off Rendezvous didn't work. Jason Prell updated a report he sent us last September with some additional information on turning of Rendezvous:

I have noticed that the mDNSResponder (Rendezvous) process is still running after unselecting it in Directory Access. You can avoid having the process running by removing (or moving and backing up) the startup item.

If you want to prevent Rendezvous from running on the system, move /System/Library/StartupItems/mDNSResponder directory to a backup location and restart the system. Just don't muck around with settings that depend on it, like the Rendezvous plug-in in Directory Access after removing the startup item.

Larry Paxton sent a solution that used the Terminal application:

I experienced the same problem of OS X Macs not being able to resolve .local addresses on my internal LAN. After scouring the net, I found this fix that worked:
  1. Open the Terminal Application
  2. Type the following (Must have root privilege or sudo account): sudo pico /etc/resolver/local
  3. You will see three lines in the file: nameserver ipaddress, port 5353, timeout 1
  4. On the nameserver line, replace the current IP address with the address of your local DNS server: for example nameserver 10.0.0.1
  5. On the port line, replace 5353 with 53.
  6. Save your changes and quit pico.

You should be able to resolve .local names properly.

TIP: Software Update and IE with proxy servers. March 26, 2003 -- Dan Foshee reports a problem with Mac OS X's Software Update getting through a proxy server, and that Authoxy from HR Softworks fixes the problem, as well as problems with Internet Explorer. He says:

We've long had a problem in OS 9 with the irritating "proxy box" that flashes up ALL the time in IE here; has something to do with the ISA server. Anyway, we'd also had a problem with using Software Update. Out of curiosity, I checked out Authoxy. Lo and behold, now Software Update worked flawlessly, and I no longer got the proxy box in Internet Explorer (Granted, my use of Internet Explorer for Mac OS X was rare b/c of its incessant crashing, and the proxy box doesn't show up in Camino or Safari or OmniWeb or...sorry, got carried away.) Per an Apple tech, using Authoxy is the best way to get past the proxy for Software Update.

On the down side, with Authoxy, using Internet Explorer 5 in Classic doesn't work past our intranet. However, it works flawlessly and speedily with any of the Mac OS X browsers.

Reader verifies SMB file locking issue in Mac OS X 10.2.4. March 26, 2003 -- Jørgen Straarup responded to Monday's report that file-locking on Windows 2000 SP3 servers doesn't work when Mac access them with SMB. He said "Yes, we have the same problems. We can't use our 10.2.4 server."

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Aladdin AES ActionPoint for cross-platform, enterprise system management. March 26, 2003 -- Aladdin Systems announced AES ActionPoint System, software to automate the management and control of multiplatform environments. Aladdin calls it a "platform-independent policy-based computing environment designed to align business objectives with IT infrastructure and resources."

Apple OS X "Panther" delays WWDC; Enterprise Track included. March 24, 2003 -- Apple has delayed its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) by one month so that it would coincide with the first developer preview release of "Panther," the next major release of Mac OS X. WWDC 2003 will now occur in June 23-27 at Moscone West in San Francisco, California. Apple did not provide details of the new version, but did say that the conference would include "a first-ever Enterprise IT Track," consisting of 27 sessions plus four feedback forums.

Suggestion for Win clients not working with LDAP-to-AD. March 24, 2003 -- Carib Mendez responded to Friday's report of a problem with Windows clients getting LDAPv3 authentication with Microsoft Active Directory through a Mac OS X Server:

I had the same problem. I then tried joining my Mac to the Domain via smbpasswd (smbpasswd -j Domain -r PDC) and setting up domain security for the SMB stuff. This allowed my Windows clients to connect to the server using domain password information. More info can be found in the O'Reilly book Using Samba on all Mac OS X clients.

Exchange 2000, auto-archiving, and Mac Outlook 2001. March 24, 2003 -- Jeff Daigle sent in a problem his group discovered, and the solution they found regarding Outlook 2001 for Mac:

At my institution we spent the better part of Friday troubleshooting a strange Outlook:Mac 2001 problem. Since we weren't able to find any documentation on this particular problem online, I decided that it'd be good to pass our experiences along to your site, which we all use frequently. Below is a description of the problem and of the solution by my colleague, Mike King.

Problem/Symptoms:

Since sometime Tuesday, if a user had a Mac and used Outlook 2001 they would be able to login to their email and then a short time later the computer/Outlook would hang. Shutting down OS 9 is the only way out unless you want to wait 5-30 minutes until the calendar does come up. There is no error message and it is not due to an account lockout.

The other symptom is that is the user tries to a view a calendar we can get the freeze/hang. It can be the user's calendar or another calendar, like one in a public folder.

We tried changing the date back on the workstation and that did not resolve the issue.

So it looks like something with the calendar on the Outlook 2001 client is causing the problem.

Solution:

On a Windows PC, login as the user and set up Outlook. Open Outlook. Right click on the calendar folder and choose properties. DO NOT ARCHIVE the calendar. Macs do not support this. For some reason, since the servers were shut down due to lack of power, this appears to have been set globally. On each Macintosh user this needs to be removed.

SMB file locking fails on Mac OS X 10.2.4 clients. March 24, 2003 -- Bill O'Connell reports that file-locking on Windows 2000 SP3 servers doesn't work when Mac access them with SMB:

The Mac SMB client does not lock files when it opens them read-write, and it ignores existing locks on files opened read-write by Windows clients. For example, an Excel document on a Windows 2000 server is opened by a Windows client. A Mac client (10.2.4) can open the same file read-write without any warning that the file is in use. The same problem occurs when the file is opened by the Mac client first. On the Windows 2000 server management console, under open files, the entry for the Mac SMB client shows 0 locks, while the entry for the Windows client shows 3 locks. If the file is opened on the Mac using AFP, the file is correctly locked and this problem does not occur.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Turning off Rendezvous doesn't help .local host name problem. March 24, 2003 -- Bill O'Connell also responded to an issue about Active Directory, saying that a previous suggestion of turning off Rendezvous doesn't fix the issue:

As others have noted, Mac OS X 10.2.4 does not resolve any .local host names that are handled by traditional (i.e., non-Rendezvous, non-Zeroconf) DNS. Unfortunately, turning off Rendezvous as described by Jason Prell in the September 27, 2002 Jaguar Reader Report does not resolve the problem. If you open a terminal session and use the tcpdump utility, you can see the Mac sending multicast DNS (i.e. Zeroconf) requests on UDP port 5353 when you try to resolve any name that ends in .local.

Workaround for IE and Proxy problem. March 21, 2003 -- Johan Kustermans responded to the recent report of a problem on our MS Proxy Reports page regarding a connection problem that occurs with Internet Explorer for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9, but works fine with Mac OS X Classic. We had one suggestion yesterday, and Kustermans sends another:

We have a similar problem with our Mac machines. OS 9.x with IE 5.x hangs or quits with password authentication enabled on MS ISA server 2000 without password authentication it works fine.(Same for OS X.) The Mac logs on, starts to load the web page, then IE hangs or quits. Windows PC's are working OK with this.

We found a workaround. It seems you need to uncheck integrated authentication in the ISA server and activate basic authentication for the Macs to work. It seems a bug in IE 5.x for Mac since it works with integrated checked with IE 5.0.

Workaround for Outlook address book problem. March 21, 2003 --Leigh Chambers has sent an update to a previous report about an Outlook problem where contacts and address books can't be accessed. (The problem is described on our Outlook for Exchange Server Reports page.) Chambers found the cause of the problem:

Just to confirm that our problem was caused by the accumulated address views on the various Exchange servers, as we suspected. The Macs now have working address books again. Here's hoping this is resolved with the to-be-released Exchange-compatible Entourage!

If you can comment on this, please let us know.

DAVE 4.02p1 fixes OS X problems. March 21, 2003 -- Thursby has released DAVE 4.02p1, a maintenance patch to its cross-platform SMB file and printer sharing program for Mac OS 9 /OS X. Included in the update are the following fixes for Mac OS X:

Macintosh Explorer 3.5 adds a dozen new features. March 21, 2003 -- Rage software has released Macintosh Explorer 3.5 (US $15) an update to its utility that brings Windows Explorer-like file browsing to Mac OS 9 and OS X. The new version offers over a dozen new features, including:

Problem with Mac OS X Server, Windows AD client. March 21, 2003 -- Christian Raymond can get Mac LDAPv3 authentication with Microsoft Active Directory through a Mac OS X Server, but not for Windows clients:

We have a AD domain with a few Mac clients. We try to use OS X server as a file server for both win and Mac clients, having them connecting with their AD username/password. here is what we have so far.

We use OS X server 10.2.4. After the initial setup, I ran Directory Access, and configure LDAPv3 with the standard Active Directory mappings, and edit the config to connect using a valid DN. to get the DN, I used ADSI edit on my windows server (available on the Server CD, in the support folder). My DN looked something like this :

DN=craymond,DN=Users,DC=dept,DC=company,DC=com

But, this is different for each AD schema. I then added the LDAPv3 to the authentication search path, on the main window of the Directory Access app. Now when I launched the Workgroup Manager, I selected the LDAPv3 in the At: popup, and unlocked it, and there it was, all my AD users and groups.

So now Macintosh clients can connect using AD username/password. But not the Windows clients. After reading a few comments, I launched Open Directory assistant to start the Password server. This got the Windows clients connecting with OS X server's username and password. But I still can't connect the Windows boxes with AD accounts. I could re-created users in the Netinfo database, but I don't want to do it for 200 or so users.

If you have a suggestion, please let us know.

Al Gore gets elected -- to Apple's BoD. March 20, 2003 -- Yesterday, Al Gore joined Apple's Board of Directors. Apple's press release quotes Gore:

"Steve and his team have done an incredible job in making Apple once again the very best in the world," said former Vice President Al Gore. "I have been particularly impressed with the new Mac OS X operating system and the company's commitment to the open source movement."

Thursby Software offers DAVE discount to DoubleTalk users. March 20, 2003 -- Thursby Software Systems today announced that owners of Connectix DoubleTalk users can purchase DAVE for US $99, $50 off of the usual price for the Mac-Windows file and print sharing software. The DoubleTalk-to-DAVE offer is only available directly from Thursby. Customers will need a proof of purchase for DoubleTalk. DoubleTalk runs only Mac OS 9, while DAVE runs on both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. DAVE also has feature not found in DoubleTalk, including the ability of Windows PCs to access Macs, NT Domain Login, more robust printer-sharing printers, and support of Windows shortcuts .LNK files.

Suggestion for IE Proxy problems in Mac OS X. March 20, 2003 -- David Schmitt sent us a suggested fix for a problem on our MS Proxy Reports page from earlier this week regarding Internet Explorer for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9, but works fine with Mac OS X Classic.

Charlie Karno's problems with proxies in IE sounds similar to the problems I had. My company uses an MS proxy server and requires MS-specific NTLM protocol to log in. I don't know the big details about NTLM except that it uses Windows domain server authentication (where you provide the domain, username, and password for the windows network). IE is the only Mac browser that supports this proxy.

With Mac OS X, I too had many 407 errors as well as instability. Basically it rendered my browser useless.

Desperate, I searched for a solution. Here's what I did:

I discovered "NTLM Authorization Proxy Server", or APS for short. Its a freeware proxy server that you run on your own machine that communicates with your corporate proxy server using the NTLM protocol. Its written in python, which is an object-oriented language. Mac OS X 10.2 comes with python built in. So all you have to do is download the APS program from the author's site http://apserver.sourceforge.net/ and edit the configuration file to include your domain and username. Then configure your network settings to use the APS as your proxy server. The

With APS running on my PowerBook, it now handles all the communication to my corporate proxy server. And now I can use many more Internet apps (Safari, Camaro, Windows Media Player, Real Player, Sherlock, etc.) that cannot work with an NTLM server.

The downside is that it isn't very fast for web browsing. File downloads seem to work just fine, but complicated web pages tend to stall. However, that beats unstable IE. Rumors are that IE 6 will fix this problem, but I'm not holding my breath.

TIP: Setting Up VPC with broadband ADSL. March 20, 2003 -- A reader who identified himself as Shooter sent this tip for getting Virtual PC to work with a broadband Internet connection.

After a desperate struggle with VPC when it didn't automatically detect my broadband, I found an answer. (I use Blueyonder from Telewest, but this will work for all ADSL connections too). Here is a step-by-step tutorial of how to configure it properly:

First, make sure VPC preferences are set to "Shared Networking" and "enable networking" is ticked. Now configure the Windows version you have to the following. I'm using Win 98 SE.

  1. Open Control Panels.
  2. Network
  3. TCP/IP PCI Ethernet DEC 21041 Based Adapter
  4. Properties
  5. IP Address (Obtain an IP address automatically should be ON)
  6. WINS Configuration (Use DHCP for WINS Resolution should be ON)
  7. Gateway (leave blank)
  8. Advanced (leave blank)
  9. NetBIOS (is de-highlighted on mine although 'I want to enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP' is still checked.)
  10. Bindings (Client for Microsoft Networks is ON)
  11. DNS Configuration (Disable DNS is ON)
  12. Apply and OK everything till all windows are gone, and you should be prompted by Windows or VPC to restart, then launch Internet Explorer when the desktop shows again after restart and test your connection by typing a simple web address such as www.google.com and should should be up and running!

I'm using VPC 5 and 6 and it works on 4 too. Mac OS 9.22 and OSX 10.1.5. Hope this works for you as it did me. Send me a thank you if it did!

Terra Soft ports Red Hat to Mac with Yellow Dog Linux 3.0. March 20, 2003 -- Yesterday, Terra Soft Solutions announced Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 (US $55), a major upgrade to its Linux operating system for Macs. The company said that Yellow Dog 3.0 is the first complete port of Red Hat's operating system to Macintosh hardware. (Red Hat is the most popular Linux for Intel-based PCs.) Terra Soft terms the installer graphical installer as "smart and friendly." (See this screen shot of the installer.) Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 includes the XFree86 4.3, GNOME 2.2, and KDE 3.1 graphical windowing systems, and Mac-On-Linux 0.9.68, which allows you to run Mac OS X 10.2 and classic Mac OS in Linux. Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 runs pre-G3 PowerPC hardware, as well as new Mac models, including eMac, the GeForce 4-based Power Macs, and the new 12" PowerBook.

Terra Soft is now shipping new Macintosh models with Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 preinstalled. Members of Terra Soft's YDL.Net Enhanced can download Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 now. Individual Linux packages will be available for pre-order on March 31 with an expected ship date of April 16.

A Better Finder Rename 5.4 released. March 19, 2003 --PublicSpace.net has released A Better Finder Rename 5.4 (US $15), an update to the Mac Finder contextual menu plugin for changing file names for multiple files, and for converting Mac file names to legal Windows file names. The new version includes improved numbered file lists and character replacement, minor interface improvements and bug fixes. The software is available for Mac OS 8/9 and Mac OS X.

More on the Outlook/Address problems. March 17, 2003 -- Leigh Chambers reports seeing Outlook problem where contacts and address books can't be accessed. (The problem is described on our Outlook for Exchange Server Reports page.

We look after the Macs on behalf of a large company and have recently suffered exactly the same problems as Tony Perialis. Unfortunately we do not have access to the Exchange Server, as this is managed by the internal IT team. We are assured that no changes have been made to this server, which is running NT4 and Exchange 5.5.

However, every Mac on the network is suddenly having the Global Address and Personal Address problems. From the Microsoft technote Tony posted, our problem would point to the first cause of too many address book views set up on the server, as the chances of dozens of Macs simultaneously running out of resources seems very unlikely.

IE proxy issue: okay in Classic, not in Mac OS X. March 17, 2003 -- Charlie Karno reports a problem proxy server issue that occurs with Internet Explorer for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9, but not with Mac OS X Classic:

We have a proxy server and I have always had problems connecting to the Internet. With Mac OS 9 and IE 5.0 I can connect and if I leave "pictures off" it works fine. With "pictures" on, I will get locked out of the server on sites with a substantial number of pictures. IE 5.2 usually just crashes.

In Mac OS X, IE 5.2 worked fine for a few days and then came up with a http error 407. I thought I was locked from the server; but wasn't. In frustration, I started IE 5.0 in Classic and it worked fine, pictures and all. No other browser works in either environment.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

NT share and file permissions. March 17, 2003 -- John Parnaby reports that an older MacWindows solution works with more recent software:

On our remaining NT4 servers, *some* Mac users could open a file on the SFM share, could Save As... but couldn't do a simple save over the existing file.

I remembered reading about this on MacWindows about the Temporary Items folder (at the root level of the volume) came up. Turns out this was the problem and it affects Microsoft Word 2001 as well as Photoshop (listed in your article ).

VPN Tracker 1.6, IPsec client for Mac OS X released. March 17, 2003 -- Equinux has released VPN Tracker 1.6 ($US 80), an update to its IPsec virtual private network client for Mac OS X 10.2 and later. Among the improvements:

TextSpresso 2.2 improves speed in Mac OS X. March 17, 2003 -- Today, Taylor Design released TextSpresso 2.2 (US $30, free upgrade), a new version of its text cleaner,a text cleaning utility with 95 filters for automatic text processing, including converting text files between Mac and PC formats. The new version offers performance improvements to filter "up to twice as fast on Mac OS X as they did with prior versions, according to Taylor. Version 2.2 also fixes several bugs.

Mac-on-Linux, upgrade to open source effort. March 17, 2003 -- Last week, Mac-on-Linux.net releases Mac-on-Linux 0.9.68, and open source solution for running Mac OS X natively on Macs running PowerPC Linux. The new version supports MacOS X 10.2.4, adds support for Mac OS X audio, and offers performance enhancements.

Integrating Mac OS X with Novell LDAP updated. March 14, 2003 -- MacOSXLabs.org has updated a paper on Integrating Mac OS X And Novell eDirectory, which describes using LDAP lookups within Mac OS X to authenticate to Novell NetWare. John Endahl describes the paper:

The new documentation uses LDAPv3 and secure SSL lookups. This allows Macintosh users to map their "Home" directory to a directory on a server rather than on an individual workstation.

The paper starts this way:

This document describes how you can use information stored in Novell's eDirectory to authenticate Macintosh users and provide file services and home directories for them on NetWare 6. To do so, you'll take advantage of the Mac OS X directory services architecture. This setup would be similar to a Windows PC setup with Novell's Client 32 including "roaming profile" support.

NFAP (Native File Access Pack) for Macintosh and UNIX need to be installed on your NetWare 6 Server, which is the default installation setting. This document also assumes that eDirectory 8.7 is installed and properly licensed for NetWare 6. The Mac OS X client is Mac OS X 10.2.2 or greater.

Suggestions for Outlook 2001 problem with Address Book menu. March 14, 2003 -- Several readers sent in suggestions for a recent reader problem about an Outlook 2001 pulldown menu that would not pull down. Tony Perialis, who reported the problem, told us that he thinks he found the answer to the problem in a Microsoft knowledge base article called Outlook for Macintosh May Lose Connectivity.

Peter Durkee suggested this:

Since the Personal Address Book and Contacts are considered services in Outlook, maybe they were somehow lost when the server was upgraded. Tony should go into Tools -> Services to see if they're still listed there along with the Exchange server.

For what it's worth, I'm using Outlook 2001 with Exchange 5.5 on a Windows 2000 server, and it works fine for me.

Kelvin Tsang had this suggestion:

We never have this problem. We have our Exchange 5.5 running on a Win 2000 server for 1.5 years and everything is fine. The difference I can see if we do a fresh install of Win 2000 and Exchange 5.5, not an upgrade from NT as Tony pointed out. That could be the culprit.

TIPS for Mac OS X Mail, SMB. March 14, 2003 -- Wayne Folta sent us a tip on Mac OS X Mail, the Internet Connect act, and a report of yet another issue with SMB:

I've spent quite a bit of time troubleshooting after my employer totally revamped our intranet. Some issues to save others time and effort:

1. One guy's email would receive but not send. Had two other MacOS X users working, so why him? Poking around with tcpdump showed that his Mail program was sending his Rendezvous hostname to the MS SMTP server, and the server was rejecting the name.

Turns out the guy was still on OS X 10.2 and that's what Mail did. Updated to 10.2.4 and it works.

2. Two guys tried mounting directories from an XP server using SMB. The directories mount, but appear empty. Further investigation reveals that permissions are not set properly on the XP side. The XP admin had to change a permission, then run something that took quite a while to run that updated all the files. (Sorry, I didn't have time to inquire exactly what he did.)

Another guy, it turned out, was not in the proper group and needed to be given access separately. It's puzzling why his mount request wasn't rejected, though. Instead, it appeared to mount but was empty.

3. The Internet Connection app runs pppd with a boatload of commands. You can run ps -axlww to see and copy the command, then modify it for your own use. (Either to put into a shell script, etc, or to customize the options.

If you can add anything, please let us know.

Utility enables Mac OS X to read Linux drives. March 14, 2003 -- Brian Bergstrand's Mac OS X Ext2 Filesystem (free) enables Mac OS X to read, write, and format Linux Ext2 formatted hard disks, floppies, and CD-ROM's from within Mac OS X.

Jaguar users can't access folders created on Win AFP shares. March 12, 2003 -- Apple Knowledge Base article 107481 describes a problem where users of Mac OS X 10.2.3 and 10.2.4 can't access folders they create on Windows AFP servers. Apple says the wrong permission get created, that of the Administrator user instead of the Administrators group. The article says that the solution is to change the permissions on the server, like this:

At the Windows 2000 Server, follow these steps:
  1. Choose Start > Programs > Administration Tools > Computer Management.
  2. Choose Shares from the Tree section of the Computer Management window.
  3. Double-click the Macintosh share to view the properties for the share.
  4. Click the Security tab in the Properties window for the share.
  5. Click the Advanced button to view the Access Control Settings for the share.
  6. Click the Owner tab in the Access Control Settings window for the share (Figure 1).
  7. Set the owner of the share to be the Administrators group, not the Administrator user.

The article also includes a screen shot of the Windows server.

XPlay 1.1 iPod tool for Win, improves performance, new features. March 12, 2003 -- Mediafour has released XPlay 1.1 ($30, free upgrade), a new version of its iPod software for Windows. XPlay is the only software that enables Windows users to access both the Windows and the Mac-formatted iPod from Windows. XPlay 1.1 includes the following improvements:

(For a list of new features, click here.)

NetOctopus 4.2 for cross-platform networks. March 12, 2003 -- Netopia has released NetOctopus 4.2, a new version of its cross-platform network asset management and remote software installation and configuration system. The version includes these improvements:

White paper explores cross-platform file sharing on Mac OS X. March 12, 2003 -- A white paper on Mac OS X cross-platform file sharing is available at the Network Appliance web site. The paper discusses Mac OS X NFS file sharing (Unix) and SMB/CIFS, as well as Thursby's DAVE. From the abstract:

Network Appliance and Ball State University undertook extensive integration and performance testing of OS X's native NFS, native CIFS, and DAVE--a third-party implementation of CIFS from Thursby Software Systems. Although, native NFS and CIFS were found to have file size limitations that might be significant in some environments, they are more than adequate for many common applications. Under the conditions tested, DAVE was found to offer the best performance, and may be the preferred file sharing choice for the most demanding environments.

(Thanks to George Colley for the tip.)

Reader Outlook 2001 problem with Address book drop down menu. March 12, 2003 -- Tony Perialis report this problem:

I'm having a problem with Outlook 2001 Mac and Exchange 5.5 on Win 2000 Server.

The menu will not "pull down" so that I can select Contacts, Personal Address book, or Global Address book basically the drop down menu has become static.

This started happening after the Exchange Server computer was upgraded to Win 2000 from NT. Never had this problem with NT. Nothing was done to Exchange Server software.

If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

Xtools 1.2, X11 desktop for Mac OS X. March 12, 2003 -- Tenon Intersystems is now shipping Xtools 1.2 (US $199, or $99 for academic and government) a free update to its X Window server for Mac OS X. Improvements include:

Sharing an Internet connection with wireless Windows. March 7, 2003 -- We found this article on in the Mac OS X Help system. We've had similar reports on our Cross-Platform AirPort page, but we'd thought we reproduce Apple's version:

Sharing your Internet connections with Windows and other wireless computers

When Internet Sharing Over AirPort (commonly referred to as a Software Base Station) is on, you can use an ASCII (quoted) or hexadecimal (hex-escaped) password to provide compatibility with Windows computers or other wireless clients that require an equivalent network password. For example, you can specify "apple" or "applecomputer" as an ASCII password, and $0102030405 or $010203...(26 hexadecimal digits) as a hexadecimal password.

For more information on the WEP encryption key or password you are using, see your network administrator.

To use a quoted or hex-escaped password for sharing your Internet connection:

Open System Preferences, click Sharing, and click the Internet tab. Select the "Share your Internet connection with AirPort-equipped computers" checkbox. Click AirPort Options and select the "Enable encryption (using WEP)" checkbox.

To find the equivalent network password, open the AirPort Admin Utility, select your base station, click Configure, and click Password.

Solutions Update: VectorFileConvertor, WMF-PDF converter for Jaguar. March 7, 2003 -- We've added Lindesay Electric's new VectorFileConvertor 1.01 (US $25) to our list of product on our File Solutions page. VectorFileConvertor is a conversion utility for Mac OS X 10.2 or later that converts Windows WMF graphics files into PDF format. It can also export to EPS format.

Mac OS X Server SMB file copy yields files with strange names. March 7, 2003 -- Apple Knowledge Base article 107325 describes a problem with Mac OS X Server and SMB file copies that results in the the resource fork getting split out. The article describes the symptoms, as did a reader:

I recently came across a weird problem moving files from a Win 2000 Server SP3 to a Mac OS X Server 10.2.4 on Xserve. I have a Win 2000 Server SP3 as a file server. When I log in to an XP or OS9/OSX box, I proceed to move files from the 2000 server to my new OS X server and it creates multiple files of the original.

Let's say I have a TIF file named "dinner with.tif." Two more files will appear after I transfer the original "dinner with.tif" file. One is called "DINNE~JA" and the other one as "DINNE~TJ" (this is looking at it on network neighborhood from a PC)

Looking at the transferred files sitting inside the Mac File Server (Mac OS X) I get the following file names:

dinner with.tif
dinner with.tif/AFP_Afpinfo/$DATA
dinner with.tif/AFP_Afpresource/$DATA

Weird thing is...when I move files from my WIN XP Pro machine to the OS X File Server I don't get multiple files.

Novell RConsoleJ for Mac OS X. March 7, 2003 -- John Endahl reports a port of Novell's RConsoleJ for Mac OS X:

Jeffrey Sessler of Scripps College has successfully ported Novell's RConJ utility for remote access to the console of a Novell server to Mac OS X. Those that frequent http://www.macosxlabs.org will recognize his name. At any rate, here is his post about the utility, and the link to the download.
For those of you out there who would rather administer your NetWare boxes from Apple's Mac OS X, I've managed to get Novell's Java-based remote server console "RConsoleJ" running on Mac OS X. I've only tested it on 10.2.2-10.2.4 but it should run on any version that supports Java 1.3.1.

I tested RConsoleJ OS X against my NetWare 6 and 5.1 servers with perfect results. You can download a Disk image w/ readme from the following URL. The package is about 5.5 MB.

For those of you interested in running ConsoleOne on Mac OS X... I have succeeded in getting it to run, load snapins, etc. but without the support of an underlying client it is not of much use. I'm going to take a look at the Linux/Unix versions to see if they are more client-independent.

Many thanks to Jeff for making this available to those of us in Novell shops!

Cross-platform problems with Now Up-to-Date on NetWare. March 7, 2003 -- Blake McCormick reports problems with Macs and Windows using Now Up-to-Date calendars stored on a Novell NetWare 5.1 Server. He has problems with fonts, with Macs crashing, and problems with PDF files. You can read his report on our NetWare Reports page.

Lismore Blue Label PowerEmulator 1.7.2 fixes eMacs bugs. March 7, 2003 -- Yesterday, Lismore Software released and Components Update 1.7.2, and upgrade for its Blue Label PowerEmulator (US $35, free upgrade), a PC emulator for Mac OS 8.6-9.x. (BLPE does not run on Mac OS X or in Classic mode.) The update includes these fixes:

Lismore recommends the update for all users.

PPP Connection via Windows NT callback. March 7, 2003 -- Mitch Sink confirms a older problem we reported from 2001 getting Windows NT to call back a Mac to establish a PPP connection, and provides some links:

I have the same problem. I think callback might be possible using a modem connect script, but its over my head. Maybe this information will help someone else figure out a solution.

There is a little information on modem connect scripts here and Apple documentation in this PDF.

If you've come up with an answer, please let us know.

Microsoft releases RDC 1.0.1. March 6, 2003 -- Microsoft has posted Remote Desktop Client 1.0.1, the Mac OS X client for running Windows applications on Windows PCs running Terminal Services or Remote Desktop Services over a network. (We've previously reporte that Mac OS X 10.2.3 fixed a bug that crashed RDC on dual-processor Macs.)

Let us know what you think.

Cisco 3000 VPN Client v3.7.3a for Mac OS X released. March 6, 2003 -- Cisco has released version 3.7.3a of it's Mac OS X client for the Cisco 3000 VPN system. Fergus Hammond has tried it and has had good results:

We've been using this client for the last ten days and it has proved to be very stable. It's a major improvement over older versions of the Cisco 3000 client for OS X, particularly on computers that have multiple network interfaces (such as PowerBooks). Speaking of PowerBooks, the new client also handles coming out sleep much better. It is compatible with OS X 10.2.x.

VPC 6.0 Virtual Switch conflicts with AirPort Extreme. March 6, 2003 -- Raj Shah describes a problem with Virtual PC 6.0 and Apple's new AirPort Extreme wireless cards, which have been reported at the Connectix forums. Shah reports:

Connectix VPC 6.0 has a problem with the new AirPort Extreme cards. As you're aware, there are two network emulation modes for VPC - Shared Networking where the Windows instance essentially uses NAT and the Mac's Network connection, and Virtual Switch where the Windows instance is capable of contacting a DHCP server and getting an IP address.

Under VPC 6.0 with an Airport Extreme card installed, there is no way to configure Virtual Switch. VPC does not believe there is a valid Ethernet device installed on the machine. My 12" PowerBook has both built in Ethernet and an Airport Extreme, along side a Bluetooth device and a modem, and no device is configurable.

This doesn't mean you can't get network from the machine - Shared Networking still works, but there are performance implications. Connectix is aware of the problem, but has no ETA on a fix.

Font problems with Virtual PC 6. March 6, 2003 -- Mark Hoffmann reports a problem with displaying fonts in Windows 2000 on Virtual PC 6:

The following is a description of strange behavior noticed since installing VPC 6 on Jaguar, v 10.2.4. I used to run Win 2000 Pro with zero problems on VPC 5, which I later upgraded to VPC 6 (6.0.1). Emulation does indeed run much faster and overall the program seems to hog less processor time that VPC 5, so I'm a satisfied customer. BUT certain Windows fonts have mysteriously stopped appearing ever since upgrading to VPC 6. They come up blank in font lists (i.e. no character data, hence no font, even though the font file is there and is not empty), as if the Windows TrueType rasterizer couldn't make sense of the data. I have downloaded some of these fonts again (they are all standard MS fonts).

This does not cause any crashes, just garbles email messages and documents that use the affected fonts. A notable example is the American Airlines Timetable software, in which the flight lists are now invisible given that the font it uses is affected by this malady.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know .

SSL Authentication for Mac browsers on Novell networks. March 6, 2003 -- Sandy Bizjak told us about Novell Technical Information Document 2965091, which describes a patch that enables Mac web browsers to use SSL authentication on Novell networks. Bizjak reports:

The patch is Proxy.nlm v3.71e and a minor change to Sys:Etc\Proxy\Proxy.cfg.

I've just installed it on BorderManager 3.7 SP2 (on NetWare 6 SP2) and tested it with Internet Explorer 5.2.2 (on Mac OS X 10.2.4).

It worked OK, only problem is an IE warning about an untrusted certificate (now if only I knew how to tell IE for Mac to trust my Certificate Authority which is used to create certificates for BM).

(We've added this to our NetWare and Macintosh Issues report page.)

Workaround for Mac OS X and Win 2k Server and Omnis datafile. March 6, 2003 -- David Blaymires a long report about a problem with Mac OS X and the Omnis 7 database running a Windows 2000 Server SP3. He describes the problem and a workaround he came up with, which you can read on our Jaguar Reports page.

Aladdin brings StuffIt X technology to Windows. March 6, 2003 -- Aladdin Systems has released StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 for Windows ($40, upgrades $15 ), a new version of its cross-platform compression utility. Among the new features:

CDFinder 4.0.3 maintenance upgrade released. March 6, 2003 -- Norbert M. Doerner released CDFinder 4.0.3 (US $25, free upgrade), a new version of a disk cataloging tool for the Mac OS 8.6 - 10.2.4. CDFinder can work together with CDWinder 1.7 for Windows as a cross-platform, network solution to catalog disks and CD-ROMs on a Macintosh and a PC. CDFinder 4.0.3 fixes some bugs, improves importing from Disk Recall, and adds a new Kind column to the main window.

Webcast course about Workgroup Manager. March 6, 2003 -- Apple and the Mac OS X Labs Project are hosting a live webcast about Workgroup Manger, with presenter John DeTroye of Apple Computer. It will be held Tuesday, March 18 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am Pacific.

Mac OS X Finder locking with SMB drives is a known problem. March 4, 2003 -- Dozens of readers, as well as Apple, have verified the problem we reported last week of the Mac OS X Finder locking when an SMB volume goes off line after a server volume is mounted. (One reader describes the problem as a "VERY extensive after the lock up, at times over 15 minutes." Apple posted Knowledge Base article 107407 five weeks ago acknowledging the bug, but offered no real fix. (Thanks to Garrett Kline for the tip.)

We've posted a sampling of the volume of e-mail we've received on the issue on our Jaguar Reports page, where we've arranged the reports into four categories:

It appears that Thursby Software's DAVE does not have this problem. We asked Thursby Systems' Randy Phillips about it. Phillips responded:

With DAVE, if the connection is broken, DAVE will try to reconnect. If that is not successful, DAVE will simply relinquish the Finder. This could take several seconds, but it will not crash the OS.

Reader verifies QuickTime for Win 98 freezes in VPC 6, offers tip. March 4, 2003 -- Jonathan Chapman has verified a previous report that QuickTime for Windows causes Windows 98 to freeze in Virtual PC running on Mac OS X 10.2.x:

I too observed the reported behavior on a PowerBook G4 running Virtual PC 6.0 under Mac OS X 10.2.4; any use of QuickTime on Windows 98 (and Windows 95) was freezing Virtual PC 6. I fixed the problem by setting QuickTime (in the virtual environment) to use the "GDI Mode" for its video display. This can be done from the "Video Settings" section of the QuickTime control panel.

We've had many previous reports of Windows 98 freezing or crashing with Virtual PC 6. If you've tried this fix, please let us know your results.

VPN Tracker 1.5.3, IPsec client for Mac OS X released. March 4, 2003 -- Equinux has released VPN Tracker 1.5.3, an update to its IPsec virtual private network client for Mac OS X. Improvements include:

Equinux also announced a beta version of VPN Tracker 1.6. It will present the standard Mac OS X authorization dialog, and will allow you to specify multiple remote networks in one connection.

Cross-platform database fax plug-ins. March 4, 2003 -- Soft Solutions has announced two new cross-platform fax plug-ins for 4-Sight FAX 5. FaxPack for 4th Dimension and 4SightTalk for Omnis database let Mac OS X and Windows users fax from these two databases. FaxPack for 4th Dimension allows a 4D programmer to automate the creation and sending of faxes through 4-Sight FAX 5 servers from any 4D application. The 4SightTalk for Omnis provides Omnis developers with Omnis client connectivity to 4-Sight FAX v5 servers.

Solutions update: free file sharing method based on FTP in Java. March 4, 2003 -- AnomicFTPD is a new cross-platform file sharing application that implements FTP in Java for Windows and Macs. It's also free. The server includes its own firewall that can blocking access attempts from unwanted clients identified by their IP numbers.

February 2003

Free Apple Seminar for Mac OS X in mixed networks. February 28, 2003 -- Apple is hosting free seminars around the country to teach how integrate Mac OS X into cross-platform networks, aimed at education. A description:

The morning session entitled a Multi-Platform Approach to Directory Services Implementation will showcase how easily Mac OS X can be integrated into a variety of directory service architectures. In this highly interactive workshop, you will see demonstrations on how Unix-based Mac OS X integrates with major directory service infrastructures, including: Active Directory, iPlanet, eDirectory, and Open LDAP v3.

Finder hangs when mounted SMB volumes are not available. February 28, 2003 --Andrea Mariottini reports this problem that locks up Mac OS X:

I found this problem on MacOS X 10.2.4: if I mount an SMB volume, then shutdown the PC hosting that volume, I'm not able to unmount the volume from the Mac: the maleficent wheel appears and there's nothing I can do. Even shutdown is not possible, nor launch Terminal or other applications or restart the Finder.

If you've seen this problem, pleas let us know.

Clarification on VPC 6, Win 98, and QuickTime. February 28, 2003 -- Several readers wrote to ask for clarification to Gilles Combe's February 24 report about solving the Windows 98 crashing problem in Virtual PC 6 by removing QuickTime. They asked, was he removing QuickTime from Windows or Mac OS X. The answer is, from Windows 98, but using the Mac OS X Finder. Combe's response:

I had to remove QuickTime from Windows 98 with Mac OS X, using a new disk mount feature in VPC 6. I didn't succeed in removing QuickTime inside Windows because it froze each time. So I stopped the Virtual PC, double-clicked on the disk image, and it appeared on my desktop. I searched for every trace of QuickTime (3 folders, some files whose name began with QuickTime and some "qt" files (those who seemed to be from Apple). The most important files are the ones that launch at the start (in the task bar). I also removed the uninstaller from WISE, which didn't worked.

Then I restarted. And everything went fine!

The question that I ask myself is why QuickTime is in fault here. It did work in the past (in VPC 5).

In fact, I also removed Win Media Player, which uninstalled quickly and fine.

VPC 5.04 hangs at Save All and Quit, or Shutdown the Virtual PC. February 28, 2003 -- Brian Aljian reports a problem with Virtual PC 5, as well as a workaround:

I'm having a similar problem as discussed on your web site. I have Virtual PC 5.04 running Windows 2000 (128 MB RAM allocated). When I save and quit VPC hangs for a minute. Sometimes it frees itself after the minute, but sometimes it hangs forever.

I was running in full screen mode and this caused severe frustration because I couldn't switch to anything else to end the task.

A workaround for me was to switch backed to windowed mode. Now if it does hang I can still use the system until VPC finally quits, or I can force-quit VPC.

V-Connect, a secure Internet file transfer service. February 28, 2003 -- Vertex Network Solutions Inc. introduced of V-Connect, a secure subscription service for file transfer using the Internet. Specifically designed for the graphic arts and digital media marketplace, V-Connect transfers files of any size or format can be sent, with e-mail notification at the same time. V-Connect can be accessed from a web browser or using Vertex's file transfer client application for both the Macintosh and Windows.  

Apple releases iDisk Utility for Windows XP. February 26, 2003 -- Apple has posted iDisk Utility for Windows XP (free download), a Win XP version of the Mac utility that enables any user to easily access upload or download files from an iDisk Public folder. It also gives a .Mac account holder complete access to his/her iDisk while sitting at a Windows XP machine.

Mac OS X Server 10.2.4 fixes some cross-platform issues. February 26, 2003 -- Apple released Mac OS X Server 10.2.4, which has a number of bug fixes and improvements, including fixes for AFP, SMB and NFS file services, and Open Directory, as well as cross-platform problems with Microsoft Word. Some of the improvements in the upgrade (which requires Mac OS X Server 10.2.3) include the following cross-platform issues:

If you find this upgrade to the Server software solves any of the cross-platform problems listed on our Mac OS X Server Reports page, please let us know.

More on Win PCs crashing when Macs open Word on OS X Server. February 25, 2003 -- Andrea Mariottini has a theory about our previous report of Windows machines crashing when Macs open a Word file on Mac OS X Server:

As I mentioned in the past it seems Mac OS X doesn't have the same mechanism of file locking for AFP and SMB, so a file locked by an AFP session is free for a SMB session and vice-versa. This could cause problems.

Our above report on Mac OS X Server 10.2.4 makes reference to improving abilieties with Word files, which might indicate that this problem is fixed. If you can verify this, please let us know.

Mac OS X 10.2.4 fixes Word X/Win2K bug; another bug remains. February 26, 2003 -- Dave Dalton adds to previous reports of Mac OS X 10.2.4 fixing problems with Word and Windows Servers.

As far as I can tell, updating to Mac OS X 10.2.4 seems to have eliminated this bug where you cannot save a file back to a Windows 2000 server. Hopefully other readers of MacWindows will have successful results. This is a description of the problem from MacWindows:
To edit from, and then saving to, a MS Word file on a Win2K server results in an error indicating that you have to save the file with a different name, and that there is not enough space to complete the operation. "

Dalton finds that the 10.2.4 update doesn't fix another problem:

This update did NOT resolve the bug with Mac OS 10.2.x and Eudora 5.2 when users have their folders located on a SNAP server. Eudora reports I/O errors when it tries to write to the History file , and Nicknames file. The Eudora Settings file can be changed. Very strange but looks like some kind of permissions issue. The same Eudora folder when located on a Win2K server behaves fine. The folks at Eudora have not been very responsive. They probably cannot replicate the client server environment necessary to reproduce the problem.

However, Mark Wellard reports that he still has a problem with Word:

The update to 10.2.4 did not solve the AFP sharing and Word problem on my new 867 MHz G4.

(For previous reports on the recent Mac OS X 10.2.4 release and its affect on cross-platform bugs, see the MacWindows Jaguar Reports page.)

Deleting prefs fixes problem with Citrix ICA Client for Mac OS X. February 26, 2003 -- Klaus Thibault reports that deleting preference files fixes the connection problem for Citrix ICA Client for Mac OS X:

I´ve got the same symptoms using Mac OS X 10.2.4 and Citrix Client 6.30.314. Reinstalling the Citrix client did not solve the problem. Finally, I deleted the Citrix preferences -- now it works.

If you've tried this fix, please let us know how it worked for you.

Report of VPC 6 Win 98 crashing Mac OS X. February 26, 2003 -- Dorian Mattar reports that Windows 98 in Virtual PC 6 crashes Mac OS X:

I am running, OS X 10.2.3. My dual 1 GHz Power Mac G4 crashes even on wake up if VPC is running with Windows 98.

I called Apple and asked them to explain how an OS with "Protected Memory" can be brought down by Virtual PC. They did not have an answer other than saying that VPC 6 might not be compatible.

On our VPC 6 Reports page we've had reports of Windows 98 crashing as well.

Reader problems with Mac-to-Pocket PC syncing. February 26, 2003 -- Roger Baerwolf having trouble with PocketMac, the software that enables Macs to sync to Pocket PC handhelds:

I have version 2.0 of Pocket Mac, as do a lot of other people you can find in the newsgroups on the PocketMac web site. I have not been able to get it to work satisfactorily. While I can sync, it is extremely slow and duplicates entries every time you sync.

ActiveSync [under Virtual PC] is not really a possibility since my company uses Entourage.

The use of ActiveSycn under Virtual PC refers to a recent reader report.

Disconnected net drives on real PCs. February 26, 2003 -- Last month, we had some reports of Virtual PC 5 disconnecting from network drives. A couple of readers reported seeing this with real PCs. Dan Warne also sees this:

In reference to your report of disconnected network drives, I have seen this too, on my Windows 2000 machine at work (real PC).

It mainly seems to happen when I leave the machine on overnight, so I can only assume that the network disconnects network clients overnight for some reason. It's a bit hard for me to find out since we are a very large company with a huge computer network -- not easy to know the right person to ask.

ODBC Router updated to support Jaguar. February 26, 2003 -- August Software has released what it called a "major update" to ODBC Router (starts at US $99), its cross-platform software for enabling Macs, Windows, and Linux to access Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) network-based databases. August Software didn't mention a version number, but said then new release adds "full support for the new ODBC features built-in to Mac OS X 10.2 and FileMaker Pro." There were also performance improvements, enhanced network database browsers, and "special support for applications that pass images as SQL query-parameters."

File renaming utility adds text insertion. February 26, 2003 -- PublicSpace.net is shipping A Better Finder Rename 5.3 (US $15), a Mac Finder contextual menu item that lets you rename groups of files, including the removal of characters that are illegal on Intel-based PCs. The new version ads a feature that lets you insert text into the file name based on to a number of criteria. You can now choose to change the extension, or the name before the dot, or the entire file name.

Suggestions for problems connecting to Citrix server with Mac ICA client. February 24, 2003 -- We've received several more suggestions for working the problem of being unable to connect to a Citrix Server. Roy Long feels it's a configuration problem:

We use Citrix quite extensively at our site (which is 95% OS X on the desktop). I have seen this problem that Brad Stewart mentions a few times. The main reason we have problems like that is due to installations of new software rewriting the PATH variable on the Citrix boxes. If you go to Properties from the My Computer on the server (right-click) you can see what the PATH variable is set to. If this starts with anything other than %SYSTEM% or similar (i.e. has something like M:\Applications\winword\) then we just take this front portion of the PATH variable and paste it onto the end of the line -- ensuring that all the relevant semicolons separate each particular directory path...

Long goes on with examples and further recommendations, which you can read on our Citrix Reports page. He also says this:

After trying the release version of Citrix Client I had problems with full screen mode and other stuff -- I went back to the Preview Release and use that all the time still.

Tomas Fischer offers another suggestion:

I don't know that this is the answer, but I have seen this before.

To connect and authenticate to to Citrix without Microsoft Terminal Server License is possible only using Windows 2000 or Windows XP. If the OS is anything else it require Terminal License on the Terminal server. However, the first time connection is made, a temporary license is issued which will last for 90 days. After that all connections from the client will be denied unless the OS is reinstalled.

Tony Tingen is another user confirming the problem:

I have the same problem connecting to our Citrix server at work as previously described. The splash screen says I am connected, but never goes away. The problem comes and goes with no apparent rhyme or reason, so I never know when or if I'll be able to connect. I am also unable to print to a local home network printer when connected. The local printer does not show up in the "print" menu of the client. When I go to add a printer it does show a local network printer, but if I try to open it, the program refuses saying the printer does not exist. It won't let me create a new local network printer.

If these suggestions work for you, please let us know.

Citrix/NFuse over Web/OS X client. February 24, 2003 -- Rich Frueh reports that suggestions for problems with Citrix ICA Client 6.30 and NFuse Server aren't working for him:

This is not working for me as well, and it appears for a different reason than other people are having. Instead of just the Network Protocol/Transport Driver problem, we're also getting an error where the server address is being replaced with
Address=;10;STA01;AAC<blah><blah><blah>

And of course the client barfs on that address. <sigh> Like others, I've spent a bunch of time with the Citrix knowledge base and gotten no where. Citrix still doesn't admit that the .asp files are incorrect, and definitely don't mention this problem.

VPC 6 freezing with Win 98--a QuickTime conflict? February 24, 2003 -- Gilles Combe says he has found the culprit behind the problem of Windows 98 freezing or crashing in Virtual PC 6:

I had the same problems, and I solved it by uninstalling QuickTime! In fact, when I launched any component of QuickTime, Windows froze. After I uninstalled it, everything was fine.

If you can confirm or refute this, please let us know.

Suggestion for better VPC performance. February 24, 2003 --PC Magazine calls enditall2 "A true killer app" because is kills unnecessary processes running in Windows. (The free utility was written by PC Magazine Contributing Technical Editor Neil Rubenking. So what? Georg Feil suggests using it on Virtual PC for Mac to improve performance of the emulator. If you've tried this, please let us know what you think.

VPN Tracker 1.5.2 released, IPsec for Mac OS X. February 24, 2003 -- Equinux has posted an update to it's VPN Tracker, an IPsec virtual private network client for Mac OS X. It first released version 1.5.1 a few days ago, but has since replaced this with version 1.5.2 due to a bug. The new version includes the following fixes and improvements over VPN Tracker 1.5:

Mounting a UDF Volume in Mac OS X. February 24, 2003 -- Brian Barnsley can't mount a CD in Mac OS X that was created in Windows. The CD is formatted in UDF, the format used for DVDs. His problem:

I'm trying to hunt down a way to mount a Windows CD in Mac OS X. The CD was created in Roxio's Easy CD Creator for Windows. Evidently, Roxio/Adaptec uses UDF version 1.5 for their CD formats. Mac OS X supports an earlier version of UDF (ver 1.2 I think). Roxio makes available an extension for OS 9 that lets you mount UDF 1.5 disks. Also, Thomas Templemann's Joliet Volume Access works, but only in OS 9. These don't work in the OS X/Classic environment though.

Are you aware of any fixes for OS X to mount these disks?

If you have a suggestion, please let us know.

Database text "transcoding" for Mac and Windows. February 24, 2003 -- 24U Software is shipping 24U Transcoding Table Utility, a support file for 24U Transcoding Plug-In for FileMaker Pro. The Utility can translate text between text encodings for multiply platforms in databases.

Address Office updated, free cross-platform PIM. February 24, 2003 -- Centromedia is offering a new version of the free Address Office 3.9 for Macintosh and Windows. Address Office is an address book and personal information manager that stores addresses, phone numbers, URLs, AIM, ICQ and Email addresses. Address Office is integrated with the Internet, allowing you to connect with Web pages and send Email using your favorite Email and browser software. It's available in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Microsoft says future is bright for VPC Mac. February 21, 2003 -- Microsoft's purchase of Virtual PC from Connectix (see yesterday's story) may have been driven by the Virtual Server product still in beta, but Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MBU) is glad to add Virtual PC to its product line.

Microsoft MBU's Tim McDonough, director of marketing and business development told MacWindows that there will be future new versions Virtual PC for Mac.

"Virtual PC is the perfect product to be part of Microsoft in the Macintosh Business Unit,"said McDonough. "Who would be better to guarantee a long term future for the product?"

Microsoft's plan is to not change anything about how Virtual PC is sold for the time being. Microsoft will retain the Virtual PC product name with the same pricing. Microsoft will continue to offer OS Packs, special versions of Windows prepackaged for Virtual PC. It will continue to offer Virtual PC bundled with Windows 98, 2000 Professional, XP Home, XP Professional and PC-DOS. "We'll look at the bundles and make decisions based on what customers want" said McDonough.

Virtual Server Customer Preview Program

Virtual Server will allow you to run multiple versions of Windows servers on one host PC. Microsoft is looking at it as a way to help transition users of NT 4 Server to Windows Server 2003. Connectix says that 100 users are currently beta testing Virtual Server, but Microsoft is planning a wider Customer Preview Program on April 15. (You can apply to join at a Connectix page.) Connectix also has a transition FAQ document with some information on Virtual Server and Virtual PC.

The transition period

McDonough said that it would take between three to six months to completely transfer the Virtual PC operations from Connectix to Microsoft. During this time, if a maintenance release of Virtual PC 6 were needed, it would be done by either Connectix or Microsoft, depending on how far the transition had moved along. McDonough said that it will take from 3 to 6 months for developers, product support, packaging, and other groups to migrate Microsoft. "Each one will transition to Microsoft at its own schedule."

An Associated Press story quoted Connectix vice president for Macintosh products Kurt Schmucker as saying that 30 out of 100 of Connectix employees would move to Microsoft. McDonough said that "These are people that were core to producing and shipping the product. We got everybody we need." The ex-Connectix employees will work in Microsoft's Silicon Valley office in Mountain View, which produces the Mac versions of Entourage, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, and the upcoming MSN for Mac OS X.

Connectix has set up a web page for fielding questions about the Microsoft acquisition during the transition period.

The Future of Connectix

We asked a Connectix representative what the company without VPC. "The bottom line is that we don't know what the future will bring after the six month transition period."

This is is not the first time that Connectix has sold off a major asset to a larger corporation. Connectix sold QuickCam to Logitech, and, after some legal maneuvering, sold Virtual Game Station (a Playstation emulator) to Sony.

"The founders of Connectix are entrepreneurs--one possibility is that they could very well reinvent the company in a new direction, and this is being actively discussed," said the Connectix rep. "Then again, another possibility is that the company goes away in late 2003. Today, we just don't know yet."

Using Virtual PC and ActiveSync for Pocket PC. February 21, 2003 -- Bruce Miller sent us an analysis of using the Windows program ActiveSync on Virtual PC for Mac to sync the handheld devices with Macs. He also makes come comparisons to PocketMac 2.0, a Mac OS X-native application for syncing to Pocket PCs.

With the dramatic fall in Pocket PC prices recently, that platform's features are becoming more attractive to Mac users, yet the specter of syncing and installing Windows-only software using the Mac platform makes only for the brave (or foolish) to venture into. Activesync already has a reputation, justly earned, as one of Window's crankiest applications, frustrating even veterans of the platform.

PocketMac shareware and soon-to-be released MissingSync for Pocket PC provide some integration of the Pocket PC for Mac, yet only a full Windows OS environment offers all the features of the wide array of software applications for the Pocket PC, including MP3 players, MPEG video and WMP movies, WiFi net access and other goodies the Palm platform yet features in mature offerings.

The obvious answer seems to be to use Virtual PC to run Activesync and Outlook natively in a Windows OS environment, yet getting useable or consistent USB connections to trigger the Activesync process can be elusive at best.

I have found, through trial and error, a process for getting VPC and Activesync to be totally reliable, allowing for daily Activesyncing and installation of a very large number of applications on my iPaq 3955 that matches what any native Windows user could achieve.

It is extremely simple, and is based on compensating for VPC's inherent slowness and what often appears to be frozen and unresponsive/failed actions. The key is to use several freeware utilities to monitor and display what is actually occurring in the background, following a very specific sequence of USB plugging/unplugging to "trigger" VPC's Window's OS to respond and activate Activesync and how to prepare the saved state to see the USB connection consistently.

Details and discussion are in Connectix' forum.

If you have an opinion on PocketMac vs. Virtual PC, we'd like to hear it.

Another reader with Citrix problem OS X problem. February 21, 2003 -- Brad Stewart is having the same symptoms with being unable to connect with the Citrix ICA Client for Mac OS X. The splash screen says he is connected, but it never goes away, and the Windows screen never appears:

I have been having this problem, too. I have been connecting to Citrix server at work from home for months, but when I tried to set up two different OS 10.2 machines at work on the LAN, I had the "connected to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx" message on the splash screen that never goes away, as described by Brad Lachel The Citrix server log shows that it was unable to authenticate. I thought maybe it had something to do with our Active Directory rollout, but my home machine connected just fine. However, this morning my home machine failed to authenticate and I can't get around it. Perhaps it's an Active Directory issue after all.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Microsoft Buys Virtual PC. MS will rollout new Virtual Server. February 20, 2003 -- Microsoft Corporation announced late yesterday that it had purchased the entire Virtual PC product line from Connectix. (See the Microsoft press release.)The purchase for an undisclosed sum includes Virtual PC for Mac, Virtual PC for Windows, and a not-yet-released server product called Virtual Server. A Connectix representative would not comment, but a Microsoft representative told us that it would continue to offer Virtual PC for Mac OS X and that there was no plan to change pricing at this time. Microsoft said that during an unspecified transition period, Connectix will continue to sell and support Virtual PC through its current channels.

Microsoft seems most interested in the Virtual Server, which the company will offer as a preview release on April 15, and would be finished before the end of this year. Microsoft said Virtual Server will help its server customers migrate from Windows NT 4.0 Server to new server platforms, such as the upcoming Windows Server 2003. Using Virtual Server, NT users could run legacy server software on new server platforms. Microsoft also said Virtual Server would let users run "multiple Windows NT 4.0 servers and their applications onto a single Windows Server system."

Microsoft said there were 1 million users of Virtual PC for Macintosh, which will go to the company's Microsoft Business Unit, which now produces Office for Mac and Internet Explorer for Mac. The MBU division will take over development of VPC for Mac from Connectix.

The future of Connectix Corporation, however, is unclear. Contrary to some reports on the Web, Microsoft is no acquiring Connectix, but is only buying the Virtual PC product line. However, without Virtual PC, there isn't much left for a Connectix product line, other than a handful of aging Mac OS 9 utilities. Virtual PC for the Mac is the company's main revenue source, according to a CNET report. A number of Connectix employees are joining Microsoft, including Kurt Schmucker, vice president of Mac products.

More on VPC 6 with Windows 98 crashing. February 20, 2003 -- David Bivans confirms yesterday's reports that Virtual PC 6 running Windows 98 crashes on Macs:

We use VPC 6 on 5 G4s, all with Win 98 to generate tax returns and other Win software. Since upgrading to VPC 6 about 50 percent of the time upon shutdown of the win 98, the whole G4 freezes!

Snap server and disappearing files. February 20, 2003 -- Tony Pires is another user reporting the problem of server-based files disappearing when the name is changed with Jaguar clients. Like one other user, his problem occurs with Snap Server, not a Windows server:

I have seen the same exact problem where, one moment the file is there and the next, it is gone! Only by unmounting and remounting the drive will it return. I have had an OS X and OS 9 machine side by side and one will show the file (OS 9) while the other (OS X) will not. Strange.

Making Mac OS X Server 10.2 into a LDAP-based PDC. -- February 20, 2003 -- afp548.com has updated it's web page describing how to use Mac OS X Server as a primary domain controller in an LDAP network. Joel Rennich writes:

Just a note to let you know that we have massively updated our OS X as a PDC article. It now covers the latest version of Samba combined with Open Directory.

Apple updates X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta to v0.2.1. February 20, 2003 -- Apple has posted X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta v0.2.1, a new prerelease version of the X Window System for running X11-based applications in Mac OS X.

Tutorial on installing X11 and OpenOffice on Mac OS X. February 20, 2003 -- O'Reilly's Mac devcenter has a tutorial called "X11 and OpenOffice on Mac OS X" that instructs how to install X11 and OpenOffice on Mac OS X.

Mac OS X 10.2.4 update: SMB and AFP fixes promised; Word problem fixed. February 19, 2003 -- Apple released a Mac OS X 10.2.4 update at its web site and through Mac OS X's Software Update feature. Although it promised improvements for SMB and AFP file sharing, readers are reporting that some of the problems reported on our Jaguar Reports page have not be fixed. However, other readers report that the 10.2.4 update does fix problems with Word X that we've reported.

Here is what Apple says is related to AFP and SMB:

Jarl Sobel says that the SMB file corruption problem is still present in Mac OS X 10.2.4:

I just downloaded 10.2.4, and the problem with SMB corruption still persists.

Apple claims that the Mac OS X 10.2.4 Update "Improves results when copying large files (4 GB or larger) to a Windows file sharing (SMB) server", so it seem to address only a part of the problem.

I've experienced problems with files less than 300 kb in size. Also, I experience no difference depending on if a directory is in icon view or in list view, as posted by Lawrence You, on Dec 20th. My machine is a 1.25 GHz dual G4.

However, three readers report that problems with Word X have been fixed. Arthur Visser:

My Microsoft Word (v.X) no longer crashes when saving a file on our Win2K file server over an AFP connection, after I updated OS X 10.2.3 to 10.2.4 (Software Update).

The workaround of using a SMB connection to the Windows server is no longer needed.

Daniel Foshee:

The OS X problem of not being able to save Word or Excel files on AFP shares of a Win2K (it would report a corruption problem, and wouldn't save, though Office 2001 in OS 9.x had no problems) have disappeared with the 10.2.4 update on our G4 setups.

Jack Stoller:

Regarding the following issue when editing MS Word docs on an AFP file server that first appeared in 10.2.3:

"There is an unrecoverable disk error on file Word Work File D_9. The disk you're working on had a media problem that prevents Word from using it. Try the following: - Try formatting another disk. - Save the document to another disk."

It appears this issue is resolved in 10.2.4.

Please let us know whether 10.2.4 fixes or doesn't fix any of the Jaguar file sharing problems.

Win machines crash when Macs open Word X on OS X Server. February 19, 2003 -- Per Thörnblad reports a problem with Mac OS X Server where Windows clients can crash when sharing a Word X file with Mac users:

We have a Mac OS X Server 10.2 and mixed clients, Mac OS X 10.2.3, Win2K and Windows 98 SE. On the Mac OS-machines we use Microsoft Word X ,10.1.3, and on the Wintel machines we use Word 2000. If one of the Mac-users opens a Word document from the server and then one of the Wintel-users tries to open the same document, Word 2000 on the Wintel-machine crashes after a delay of some 30-60 sec.

If the same operation is done by two Wintel users the number two user gets a message that the document is already opened by user xx and that the document will be opened in write protected mode, then the document opens OK.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

More on Virtual PC 5.x kernel panics, and a suggested fix. February 19, 2003 -- We've had more reports of crashes and kernel panics with Virtual PC 5.0.4 running in Mac OS X. Robert de Bie offered a fix:

I had the same problem before. I solved the problem by rebuilding the disk via the VPC menu.

If you've tried this fix, please let us know.

Several other readers reported having problems. Michael Cowdroy says Windows 98 crashes the Mac OS X freezes:

I'm running a G4 dual 1 GHz MDD and I've had Virtual PC 5.04 crash running Windows 98 and Mac OS X (10.2.3) after I save all and Quit. After VPC quits the Mac freezes. The only way to restore is to Shut down by continually pressing the Start Up Button. This has happened twice in about 3 weeks.

Kevin Spencer is having kernel panics:

I've lately experienced kernel panics while using Virtual PC 5.0.4 running with Virtual Switch active Windows 2000 and Windows XP. When I turn off the Virtual Switch, things are OK except that VPC becomes useless to me--I cannot authenticate my PC environment to the domain or use VPN software installed there. Recently, when I last experienced this, Classic was running, but so were a few other Mac OS X applications. Classic wasn't running during the earlier panics, but a few other applications were.

This is a recent development. Before things started to go awry, I installed the Netlock Contivity VPN client for Mac OS X, which uses a kernel extension, as well as a demo of Extensis Suitcase 10. I found the Netlock client to have stability issues and it caused kernel panics when applications were in full screen mode and had network access.

My system was connected by normal Ethernet and not using the VPN at the time of the crashes. I'll have to uninstall the VPN software to see if Virtual Switch kernel panics remain to make it my prime suspect. As a precaution, I switch off other apps such as Microsoft Entourage, Internet Explorer, and Safari beta before using VPC in hopes this avoids conflict. However, aside from the point that Virtual Switch is definitely the catalyst in the kernel panics with VPC, I haven't a pattern. I am definitely wary of applications that add kernel extensions like Netlock and Norton Utilities 7.

VPC 6/Win 98 freezing problem, suggestion for improving performance. February 19, 2003 -- Two readers report problems with Virtual PC 6 with Windows 98 crashing. G Feil reports the problem and has a suggestion for improving performance in Mac OS X:

My VPC 6.0.1 crashes running Windows 98 SE after a few hours, no matter what. This is on Mac OS X 10.2.3, iMac 333 MHz. I believe I've also had crashes under OS 9 also but I hardly ever run VPC there.

In terms of performance, a 333 MHz G3 is definitely underpowered for VPC 6 on OS X, but still usable for many apps. To boost performance I use two utilities you might want to mention to your readers:

1) ProcessWizard on the OS X side to boost the Unix "nice" level of VPC to the max.

2) PrcView on the Win 98 side to boost the priority of the Windows app, in my case KaZaA.

These two things make a difference of up to a factor of two in download speeds. PrcView can cause problems though because a high-priority app can starve Windows Explorer, etc., out of almost all CPU time, so bumping several Win 98 processes is sometimes needed--including PrcView itself so you can get back in!

Michael Bennett:

Since I changed from VPC 5 to VPC 6.01 on my dual 1 MHz G4, 512M, running OS X 10.2.3, I've had Windows 98 crashes occurring once/week.

If you're seeing crashing with VPC 6 and Windows 98, or have tried these methods for improving performance, please let us know.

4-Sight Fax 5.0.4r2, cross-platform API kit released. February 19, 2003 -- Soft Solutions has released 4-Sight FAX 5.0.4r2 (free upgrade), a new version of its network-based fax solution for Windows Mac OS X. Among the new features include the ability to sent faxes through an Internet connection.

The company also released a new cross-platform application program interface (API) that allows both the Macintosh and Windows developers to create custom fax clients and tools, and the beta release of an AppleScript Developer kit for Mac OS 8.6 and 9.  

PC-Mac-Net FileShare 2.2 released, cross-platform file transfer. February 13, 2003 -- Lava Software is now shipping PC-Mac-Net FileShare 2.2 (US $25), software for Windows and Mac OS 8.6/9 and Mac OS X that enables cross-platform file transfer over the Internet or a local network. New features include improved connection reliability and network performance and enhanced support for MacOS X with a more readable display font.

Lava Software is also offering two licenses for the price of one.

PC-Mac PasswordVault v1.1 adds new services. February 13, 2003 -- Lava Software also released PC-Mac Password Vault 1.1 (US $15), software that stores encrypted website access information, Internet banking data and software registration details for Windows and Mac.

HELIOS LanTest now available for Mac OS X. February 13, 2003 -- HELIOS Software GmbH has released HELIOS LanTest for Mac OS X 3.1 (a download), the first Mac OS X version of the benchmarking tool for AFP (Apple File Protocol) network file servers. This first Mac OS X version, which also runs in Mac OS 9, can be controlled by AppleScript.

Backup Exec 9.0 released with OS X agents. February 13, 2003 -- Veritas has released Backup Exec 9.0 for Windows containing Mac OS X agents. With this version, Veritas has dropped support for Classic agents has been dropped. Veritas offers a fully functional 30 day evaluation.

(Thanks to Mark Duling for this item.)

Workaround for connecting to Citrix 6.30 with the Mac OS X. February 13, 2003 -- Brad Lachel comments on a suggestion for a problem with the Citrix client for OS X:

I tried the suggestion of restarting, but that did not seem to work. I did find something, and I don't know if this fixed it or not. I recreated a new connection, and instead of saving it to the desktop, I saved it to the folder containing the Citrix Application. The connection now works fine. I tried moving the connection file to the desktop, and it still worked.

Updates to broken Net connections in Windows, VPC 5. February 13, 2003 -- Daniel Foshee sent an update to his report about broken network connections in Virtual PC 5. Other users have reported seeing the same problem in real Windows PCs. Here is Foshee's update:

This is an update to the problem I originally posted. I hesitate to call it either a solution or a workaround, though. In talking to the users, preparatory to re-creating the image, I noticed that they were leaving their Virtual PCs up and running 24/7; I had told them to leave their Macs on during the night so that they could do that OS X maintenance thing at 3-4 am.

My theory (at the time) was that there was some sort of timeout was going on while the VPC was on in the wee hours, and the Win2K server disconnected the VPCs after a period of inactivity. I advised the users to shut down the VPC every night and keep the Mac running. It's been a little over a week and so far no errors on any of the machines.

Bryan Walls is another user who see this on a real Windows PC:

I see this all the time on my Win 2000 system on a Wintel box. Sometimes it won't happen for days, sometimes I'll have 40 dialog boxes piled up. Having one or two over night seems common. Have figured out the cause.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

VPC 5.0.4 crashing. February 13, 2003 -- Miguel Rosado has the same problem of Virtual PC 5.0.4 crashing that we've previously reported, except in Mac OS 9 instead of OS X Classic:

I am running on a g4-450 upgraded computer, running OS 9.2.2. 352 RAM. I was able to use VPC 5.0.4 until recently, when I experienced the same problem as you reported. The launch of Windows gets to the desktop but right before it loads all of the icons, Windows freezes up and I lose control of the Macintosh. I end up having to Force Restart the computer.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Disappearing files on servers seen with SnapServer. February 13, 2003 -- Kate Fitch reports that she's seen a the Jaguar problem where Jaguar can't see files on servers when the file name has been changed, except she's seen the problem with SnapServer, and the name doesn't have to be changed:

Thought I'd report on a similar issue we are seeing with Mac OS 10.2.3 and a SnapServer. The Macs are connecting to the SnapServer (running the latest OS) using the latter's AppleShare emulation. Occasionally, when clicking on a file to open or preview it, the file "disappears." Unmounting, then remounting the volume seems to fix it. Because of this, I am keeping my Mac OS X test group small so I don't have to deal with unnecessary panicking!

I am wondering, perhaps the fact that Windows networking is also enabled has something to do with it? We have two PCs, both running Win 98 SE, that require this be turned on.

If you can add anything to this discussion, please let us know.

Microsoft to deliver Exchange client in Entourage X. February 11, 2003 -- Microsoft announced that this summer it will release a version of Entourage X that will include Exchange client functionality. The new version of Entourage will allow Mac OS X users to share calendar on networks of PCs and other Macs, as well as handle the email, address book, and tasks functions that it now has. Other features, according to Microsoft:

Additional updates include a directory service lookup feature allowing searching of global address lists, the ability to synchronize the Entourage X calendar and address book with the Exchange server for offline use, and improved text rendering in mail received from users of Outlook for Windows.

This first Mac OS X native Exchange client will be compatible with Exchange 2000 and later. Outlook 2001, which runs in Classic mode, will continue to be Microsoft's Exchange client for Mac OS 9. (Entourage for Mac OS 9 will not have Exchange client capabilies.) The new Entourage X solution will be available this summer in English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish and Swedish. Since January, Entourage X has been available as a standalone product ($99) as well as being a part of the Microsoft Office X bundle.

Suggestions for Mac OS X Citrix problems. February 10, 2003 -- Paul Crawford addresses two problems with the Citrix ICA client for Mac OS X. Responding to Friday's report of being unable to make a connection, Crawford has seen the problem and offers a workaround:

I have seen Brad Lachel's problem on occasion. But if I restart the client the client again, normally it will then connect.

Crawford also has a suggestion for accessing Citrix over virtual private network connections:

BTW I am normally directly connected to the network that the Citrix Server is on, but I have been able to overcome the problem that others have seen with a VPN connection by using SSH Tunnel Manager to reroute the IP traffic that Citrix sends and receives. It works beautifully. Sometimes again though I have seen the above problem but never more than once. Trying again always succeeds.

Another report of VPC 6 on older Macs: a Pismo. February 10, 2003 -- Tom Glover adds a report of running Virtual PC 6 on a Mac that is below Connectix' recommended hardware specifications.

I'm currently running VPC 6.0.1 on my PowerBook G3 (Pismo) 400 MHz with 640 MB RAM and Mac OS X 10.2.3. I had previously used VPC 5 but it was so painfully slow that I was actually getting ready to go back to using a real PC. I decided to give VPC 6 a try as a last resort. I've been pleasantly surprised. VPC 6 does run faster than 5 did, though still no speed demon on my machine. I've got 332 MB RAM allocated to WIN 2000 and I still notice the hard drive writing almost constantly, even when I'm not doing anything. While, VPC 6 is not all that speedy on my machine, it still is faster than VPC 5, by a long shot and is still worth using for me.

We have other reports of running Virtual PC on older Macs on our Virtual PC 6 Reports page.

Net connections dropping in VPC 5.0.4 occurs with real Win clients. February 10, 2003 -- Locatel Sabana Grande responded to our January 29 report of Virtual PC 5.0.4 with Windows 2000 dropping network connections. This reader sees one of the three error messages:

Regarding the error "Windows An error occurred while reconnecting F: to \\tysona\pdflables Microsoft Windows Network: The local devices name is already in use. This connection has not been restored"

I am having the same problem, but I am running a Windows 2000 Pro PC Pentium III, with a Windows 2000 server. PC vs PC, no Mac installed. It has nothing to do with OS X. I have not found the solution to this problem.

If you are seeing this, with either Virtual PC or real Windows client, please let us know.

Suggestions for Mac OS X Citrix problems. February 10, 2003 -- Paul Crawford addresses two problems with the Citrix ICA client for Mac OS X. Responding to Friday's report of being unable to make a connection, Crawford has seen the problem and offers a workaround:

I have seen Brad Lachel's problem on occasion. But if I restart the client the client again, normally it will then connect.

Crawford also has a suggestion for accessing Citrix over virtual private network connections:

BTW I am normally directly connected to the network that the Citrix Server is on, but I have been able to overcome the problem that others have seen with a VPN connection by using SSH Tunnel Manager to reroute the IP traffic that Citrix sends and receives. It works beautifully. Sometimes again though I have seen the above problem but never more than once. Trying again always succeeds.

Another report of VPC 6 on older Macs: a Pismo. February 10, 2003 -- Tom Glover adds a report of running Virtual PC 6 on a Mac that is below Connectix' recommended hardware specifications.

I'm currently running VPC 6.0.1 on my PowerBook G3 (Pismo) 400 MHz with 640 MB RAM and Mac OS X 10.2.3. I had previously used VPC 5 but it was so painfully slow that I was actually getting ready to go back to using a real PC. I decided to give VPC 6 a try as a last resort. I've been pleasantly surprised. VPC 6 does run faster than 5 did, though still no speed demon on my machine. I've got 332 MB RAM allocated to WIN 2000 and I still notice the hard drive writing almost constantly, even when I'm not doing anything. While, VPC 6 is not all that speedy on my machine, it still is faster than VPC 5, by a long shot and is still worth using for me.

We have other reports of running Virtual PC on older Macs on our Virtual PC 6 Reports page.

Net connections dropping in VPC 5.0.4 occurs with real Win clients. February 10, 2003 -- Locatel Sabana Grande responded to our January 29 report of Virtual PC 5.0.4 with Windows 2000 dropping network connections. This reader sees one of the three error messages:

Regarding the error "Windows An error occurred while reconnecting F: to \\tysona\pdflables Microsoft Windows Network: The local devices name is already in use. This connection has not been restored"

I am having the same problem, but I am running a Windows 2000 Pro PC Pentium III, with a Windows 2000 server. PC vs PC, no Mac installed. It has nothing to do with OS X. I have not found the solution to this problem.

If you are seeing this, with either Virtual PC or real Windows client, please let us know.

Fix for Win 2000 NTFS and files embedded with EPS. February 7, 2003 -- Patrick Marechal reports a solution to a problem reported on our Windows 2000 Reports page, in which files embedded with EPS graphics yield error message when a user opens and saves the file. Marechal says:

Adobe has an update 10.03 for Illustrator to fix this bug. It's described in the readme file.

A pair of reader Citrix problems. February 7, 2003 -- A couple of readers have written with problems that we couldn't help them with. Brad Lachel can't connect Citrix 6.30 with the Mac OS X client:

W are not using NFuse or Java. I have been unable to connect. I set my client up exactly the same way as with OS 9, the published Apps even show up. When I attempt to connect, the splash screen says I am connected, but it never goes away, and I never get a Windows screen. If I quit the Citrix Application, it asks me if I want to disconnect the current session.

Jason Chapin reports:

MacOS 9.x systems using the Mac ICA Client 6.20.142 which connect to a Citrix MetaFrame 1.8 server running on Windows 2000 Server report a minor annoyance - which is they have to press the num lock key every time they connect to use their keypad. I have not been able to find any information on how to get around this issue.

Correction on workaround for Cisco VPN 3.7.2. February 7, 2003 -- We've corrected a Unix command we presented in our February 5 item on a workaround for the Cisco VPN Client 3.7.2 dropping connections. The correct command is "sudo ifconfig en1 up mtu 1500" (our spell check erroneously capitalized a portion).(Thanks to Claude Wacker for pointing that out.)

Update on SMB problems in Mac OS X. February 7, 2003 -- A reliable source (who wishes to remain anonymous) sent us a correction regarding a news item from February 5 called "Theory on SMB problems in Mac OS X," in which the reader claimed that the SMB problems on the MacWindows Jaguar Reports page were due to a buggy version of samba

Just as an important FYI, this just doesn't make very much sense. Apple does not use Samba for their client, only for the server software. Most of the bug reports that I have seen are related to the client.

I prefer not to be quoted as your source, but feel like this is important for your readers to know before they go out and start hacking at Samba for no reason.

We've removed the original Feb. 5 post.

Non-Apple 802.11b cards connecting to AirPort Extreme Base Station. February 5, 2003 -- Apple Knowledge Base article 107427 warns that the new AirPort Extreme Base Station has a problem connecting to computers with 802.11b wireless cards from Cisco, Compaq, and the Farallon SkyLINE, as well as Epson wireless printers and Hewlett Packard WP100 print servers. The article says:

Some third-party 802.11b wireless cards do not connect to the base station when it is in Compatibility mode. The 802.11b Only mode allows you to work around the issue until you can update the affected card's drivers and/or firmware to join a the base station in Compatibility mode.

VPN Tracker 1.5 released. February 5, 2003 -- Equinux has released VPN Tracker 1.5 (US $80, free update for existing users), an IPsec virtual private network client for Mac OS X. Among the new features are:

If you've tried VPN Tracker 1.5, let us know what you think.

Update on Cisco VPN client and sleep. February 5, 2003 -- David Morgenstern sent an update to his report of last week on the Cisco VPN Client 3.7.2. He now has seen the sleep problem we've previously reported, and has a workaround:

Update: I discovered the previously reported sleep problem: networking isn't restored after waking, requiring a restart to bring things back to normal. This happened even if the Cisco client wasn't launched that day.

In fact, I found that it happened because the client wasn't launched after the restart. If I connect to the VPN and then disconnect, I can then sleep and wake with no problems. But until that's done, networking won't resume after sleep.

Workaround for Cisco VPN 3.7.2 and dropping connections. February 5, 2003 -- Two readers wrote with information about the Cisco VPN Client 3.7.2 and network connections dropping. Dr. Paul Fons has a workaround:

It turns out that installing the latest Cisco VPN Client 3.7.2 (GUI) under 10.2.3 (at least) causes a DHCP connection (either AirPort or Ethernet) to break upon waking from sleep. The apparent cause from perusing the logs is that the MTU (Ethernet packet length) has been set to an inappropriately long value.

The problem can be fixed temporarily by using ifconfig "sudo ifconfig en1 up mtu 1500" for an airport connection. This problem only fixes things until waking from sleep again or from a restart. A better solution is to downgrade to 3.7 (or so I am told -- I am in the process of downgrading now). I did not have this problem when I had 3.7 installed before.

Patrick Ford passes on some observations about AIM and Internet connections:

Regarding AIM connections dropping on the Cisco VPN Client: I have noticed that ports associated with Internet services are affected by the VPN. In my home network on Macs running pre X OSes, if I have the AppleTalk TCP setting set, I loose the connections and I will not be able access any of those systems until I disconnect the VPN. Turning TCP off permits AppleTalk to continue. After thinking about it, it made sense since all the FTP and HTTP protocols were going through the office network that I was connected to. Somewhere some how there may be a list of ports that can be opened of closed in the VPN. If that is the case, the port(s) associated with AIM could be changed.

Outlook-to-Address Book converter. February 5, 2003 -- Greg Torok of the Opportunity Council told us about his utility for converting Outlook data to vCard format:

I just wanted to let you know that I just posted a FileMaker tool for converting Outlook:Mac Contact Folders to vCards that can be dropped into Address Book.

We are going to be using this ourselves to switch from Outlook:Mac to Apple Mail and Address Book, and I am offering it as "donationware" for others to use.

The Opportunity Council is a private, nonprofit agency serving homeless and low-income families, children,seniors and people with disabilities.

QuickPopup 4.0 released, cross-platform messaging. February 5, 2003 -- Kanex Group Inc. has released QuickPopup 4.0 ($15), a new version of an instant messaging system for Mac OS and Windows, and with this version, Linux. Then new version includes these (and other) new features:

January 2003

MS on OS X client for Exchange. January 30, 2003 -- A Microsoft web page called the Software We Make, dated January 27, describes the company's position on a possible Exchange client for Mac OS X:

Business customers who run mixed networks of Macintosh and Windows-based computers have requested support for Exchange Server services on Mac OS X. We are currently evaluating the best way to support this request.

The page also contains a table comparing the various Mac and Windows versions of Microsoft Office. It also acknowledges that most users are cross-platform users, that "our research indicates that about 60 percent of our Office for Mac customers operate in a mixed Windows-Mac environment..."

(Thanks to Daniel Öhman for the tip.)

Reader confirms VPC 5 dropping net connections. January 30, 2003 -- Julius Lopez responded to yesterday's report of problems with Virtual PC 5.0.4 dropping network connections:

Having encountered similar problems with the same Mac OS/VPC version 5.0.4 and a custom app that requires a mapped drive, I too am finding error messages being generated when the apps SQL mapped drive gets dropped.

VPC problem with Win copy protection software prevents Birding software from running. January 30, 2003 -- Jim Groom discovered that a Virtual PC 5 and 6 won't run Thayer Birding software due to a copy protection file. The company, however, says it should work with VPC and Win XP. Groom's report:

Using Window's 98SE, Thayer Birding Software can not find the KeyLib32.dll file upon launch and reports an error to that effect. KeyLib32.dll, which appears to be part of the copy protection, is present in the Windows system, but apparently not where Thayer is looking. I have confirmed that it is in the same location on actual Windows PCs, where it does work.

I have discussed this with Thayer Tech Support, who says that it works with the native Windows 98SE. They also report that Mac users have had success using Virtual PC with XP, which I do not own so haven't tried.

Working with Thayer tech support, we found where the Thayer Software installed KeyLib32.dll in the native Windows environment, and found that it is in the same place on my copy with VPC. The only conclusion that we could come up with, therefore, is that it is related to Virtual PC in some way. KeyLib32.dll is part of the copy protection of the program. I looked up the properties of KeyLib32.dll and see the company that produces it is SoftwareKey.com. They do not, however, give any individual tech support for end users as far as I could see.

I have not had success with either VPC 5.X OR 6.X and have finally given up.

If you've had experience with SoftwareKey.com files in Virtual PC with Thayer Birding or other software, please let us know.

CNET posts review of Virtual PC 6. January 30, 2003 -- CNET has posted a review of Virtual PC 6 for Mac written by MacWindows' John Rizzo.

Further Cisco VPN Client observations. January 30, 2003 -- David Morgenstern, columnist for Ziff Davis Media's Storage Supersite, reports that the most recent Cisco virtual private network client works for Mac OS X works well, but drops an America Online Instant Messaging (AIM) connection:

Thanks for all the great information at MacWindows on VPNs. I installed Cisco's VPN Client Version 3.7.2 the other day. Despite an occasional moment of concern, the installation went smoothly and the program has a nice tabbed interface.

The client connected fine to the 3000-series concentrator. I'm running OS X 10.2.3 and haven't run into the reported sleep problem -- yet. (An aside: I wonder if folks used to AppleShare assume they will see the concentrator show up as a server in the Go/Connect to server... menu. Or see the network behind the concentrator? The client says it's connected and a check of its Tunnel Details tab shows the client and server addresses, an essential sign. Any ambiguity can be reduced by pinging a server address inside the network.)

One thing, I noticed that my AIM connection in iChat is disconnected after logging into the VPN. No idea.

We've added this report to others on our VPN Special Report page.

Reader report Basilisk for Mac OS X. January 30, 2003 -- Stewart Walker reports on Basilisk for Mac OS X, the 68k Mac emulator that was recently ported to Mac OS X from the PC version. It basically functions as an alternative to the Classic environment. Walker's report:

It took a while to get Basilisk setup on Mac OS X, but it runs very reliably. The full-screen video is great on my beige G3; on the other hand, the small screen video is slow, but sometimes useful.

I used a Centris 650 ROM, configured Basilisk to run as a Mac IIci, and have System 7.1 running an old compiler and a CAD program. The CAD program runs off a disk image I installed it onto - the old copy-protection didn't realize it wasn't a real disk.

Under system 7.5, the emulator can mount parts of the OS X file system which makes passing files back and forth easier. I did run into an issue where some text files weren't parsed correctly unless I copied them to the emulator's desktop or its virtual disks, possibly it is a carriage-return/linefeed substitution issue that comes from the UNIX heritage of the emulator.

With a bit more work, this would be a snazzy solution.

We've added this report to the previous reports of Basilisk II on our Mac Emulation for PCs page. If you've tried Basilisk for Mac OS X, or the relatively new Basilisk II JIT, please let us know what you think of it.

Apple and Linux cross-fertilization. January 30, 2003 -- In his eWeek column, Matthew Rothenberg speculates on the influence of the Macintosh and Linux worlds on each other.

Disappearing files w/name changes still in OS X 10.2.3. January 29, 2003 -- Jack Albright verifies that the problem of Windows 2000-based files disappearing from the Finder when their names are changed still occurs with Mac OS X 10.2.3:

We are also seeing the "disappearing files" problem with Windows 2000 Server and Mac OS X v 10.2.3.

Create file on Windows 2000 server from Mac.
Rename the file from Windows.
Go back to Mac and the file is gone.
Dismount and remount the volume from Mac and the file reappears.

Readers report that the problem began with Mac OS X 10.2.

Windows 2000 Server and Word X Errors. January 29, 2003 -- Mark Read is another reader reporting the problem of Word X problems with Apple File Protocol (AFP) file servers, over both AppleTalk and IP connections:

I can verify that this problem exists with both AFP on AppleTalk (Windows NT4 Server) and AFP on TCP/IP (Windows 2000 Server) connections from 10.2.3. Microsoft Word then quits (automatically).

We also had a previous report that said Microsoft is aware of the issue.

Bochs for Mac OS X 2.0.1 released: version for OS 9 "soon." January 29, 2003 -- Two weeks ago, Bochs for Mac OS X 2.0.1 was released, a bug-fix upgrade to the open source PC emulator.

The page also says that Mac OS 9 binaries will be available "soon." Previously, the only pre-OS X version was MacBochs, a Mac version from a different source, which, as we reported yesterday, is no longer available.

More on Macs and Garmin GPS handheld. January 29, 2003 -- Christopher Duckworth responds to yesterday's report about using Macs with the Garmin GPS handhelds by expanding on his report of January 24 about using Virtual PC, and why it might be better than using the native MacGPS Pro:

Bud Kuenzli is correct in stating that one can use Garmin GPS units with MacGPS Pro software [instead of Virtual PC]. In fact, James Associates, developers and sellers of MacGPS Pro offer not only software but hardware solutions (cables and adapters) to what is a frustrating problem for Macintosh owners who want to use Garmin GPS.

The MacGPS Pro is, however, an alternative to the Garmin-base software. That is, you cannot use Garmin MapSource products. As James Associates state: "MacGPS Pro cannot transfer Garmin's MapSource maps into Garmin receivers - only MapSource software has that ability."

I assume, though do not know for certain, that MacGPS Pro also cannot transfer Garmin GPS software updates to the handheld, which would be a real limitation.

If you want to use Garmin's maps and a Macintosh, you have to find a solution. I know that using Virtual PC does work on my computer and my Garmin, using my setup. Except for having to learn (or tolerate) the Windows interface, this solution is quite workable.

Let's hope that Garmin will see the light and offer a Macintosh version as well as begin using USB or FireWire in place of an antiquated serial connection.

Network connections dropping in Virtual PC 5.0.4. January 29, 2003 -- Daniel Foshee reports a problem with Virtual PC 5.0.4 dropping network connections in Mac OS X:

We're seeing a problem four users running Mac OS X 10.2.3 and Virtual PC 5.04 with Windows 2000. At least twice a day the users (who have mapped drives in Windows 2000) get errors about the connection being terminated. This mainly happens in custom apps that require a mapped drive, but also with Windows Explorer. The error messages:
DataWindow Error
Select error: ct_cmd_alloc(): user api layer: external error: The connection has been terminated.

Program Error
NAble.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program.
An error log is being created.

Windows
An error occurred while reconnecting F: to \\tysona\pdflables
Microsoft Windows Network: The local devices name is already in use. This connection has not been restored.

We have one user (also on a Mirror G4, same config) who's still on OS 9, with VPC 5.04, and she doesn't have this problem.

The network connections and the cables themselves check out fine, as does the Mac hardware. Since I'm unwilling to let the users have root user access or use Pseudo (per Connectix's Knowledge Base Article #4670), I can't use Shared Networking; the Virtual Switch is my only option. FWIW, the Macs use a static IP, while the VPC uses DHCP. This connection drop-off happens whether I use the Default or Built-in Ethernet setting in VPC's Preferences.

My best guess at this point is that either the server (also a Win 2000 box with Services for Macintosh) or the OS X clients are disconnecting due to inactivity. My NT guys are claiming it's the OS X and that I should get an XServe. I'd love to get one, but I'm not sure that would solve the problem; it seems to me that if multiple people are having the same problem, same errors, then it's server-based. Thing is, short of getting in the Terminal, I don't know where you would modify that in OS X, if you even could. For that matter, I'm not sure where you'd modify that on the server.

Problem occurs on three Mirror/Wind Tunnel 1 GHz G4s, 1 GB RAM and one DP 450 MHz Graphite G4.

If you've seen this problem or can help, please let us know.

Basilisk II, 68k Mac emulator, ported to Linux, Mac OS X. January 28, 2003 -- There are two additional versions of Basilisk II, the open source 68k Mac emulator for PCs. One is called Basilisk II JIT, which is an "an attempt to add a dynamically recompiling 680x0 CPU core to the original Basilisk II." Basilisk II JIT runs Mac OS 8.1 and earlier on Linux on x86 hardware. (The original Basilisk II runs on Windows.)

There is also a version of Basilisk II that runs on Mac OS X, making it a competitor to the Classic environment. Reader J. Slade described this version: "It does not have Ethernet support, but may set up a better way to run Legacy OS 7.55 to OS 8.1 software on the newer Macs. I still have not found a good solution for OS 6."

If you've tried either of these versions, please let us know what you think. (For previous reports on Basilisk II, see our Mac Emulators for PC page. David Scherer also contributed to this story.)

Wanted: the last version of MacBochs PC emulator. January 28, 2003 -- MacBochs is an old PC emulator that has been on our list of PC Emulators for Mac OS since 1998, but has not been updated. Recently, the developer lost his home page, and his last version. David Scherer reports:

MacBochs has not been updated in a while, but one of the sad things is that the last version that David made was lost when Xoom.com shut down their hosting services. I am considering making a call of some kind to see if anyone happens to have an archived copy of that last version or if someone can contact David for a copy. I did have a SMI image of MacBochs at one time but that has since been lost too. I am going to make another one soon.

If you think you have a copy of the last version, please let us know.

Using Garmin GPS devices with Macs. January 28, 2003 -- Responding to our January 24 report about using Virtual PC to connect a Mac and a Garmin GPS handheld device, Bud Kuenzli tells that there there already is native Mac software that does the job for at least some models:

It may be that his particular Garmin doesn't work with his Mac but many or most Garmins do. I've used the program MacGPS Pro for years with my Garmin 12xl. Currently the cables require a USB converter but the software is regularly updated, runs natively on OS X (or OS 9) and is great. It's my guess that Christopher's GPS, or another program he uses, requires Windows, but that is not true of all Garmin models by a long shot.

Problem and fix with RDC Client for Mac OS X. January 27, 2003 -- Rick Gutlon found that Microsoft's free Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) for Mac OS X would not connect to a Windows Terminal Server when he tried to add a port number to the IP address or domain (as in x.x.x.x:port). He contacted Microsoft, which acknowledged the problem as a limitation of the current version of RDC. Gutlon then located a shareware solution, Port Reflector (US $10) from Wickedly Simple Software that worked around the problem.

You can read Gutlon's full report on our Application Server Report page.

Citrix 6.30 problems with built-in PPTP. January 27, 2003 -- Robert Lefkowitz verified a report from last week about problems with the Citrix ICA clients for Mac OS X and OS 9:

I'm seeing this problem. 6.30 doesn't connect. 6.20 under Classic works fine.

TIP: Defining OS X firewall for Timbuktu for Win. January 27, 2003 -- A reader named Peter sent in this tip for using setting the Mac OS X built-in firewall to enable users of Timbuktu for Windows to access it:

Apple provides some predefined, non-editable firewall rules with Mac OS X 10.2.3. There is one set up for Netopia's Timbuktu that only opens TCP port 407. This allows another Mac using Timbuktu to make a connection, but if you are trying to connect from a Windows version of Timbuktu, the connection will be blocked.

You need to create new rules that open UDP 407 and TCP ports 1417, 1418, 1419, and 1420 to get full functions from a Windows Timbuktu connection.

(Netopia has confirmed this problem and will try to get Apple to fix it, but suggested end user messages to Apple might also be helpful.)

Gimp-Print 4.2.5 fixes bugs, improves printing. January 27, 2003 -- Gimp-Print 4.2.5 (free) is a new version of the set of printer drivers for Mac OS X 10.2 and later. Gimp-Print uses the CUPS printing system of Jaguar to print to dozens of PC printers. The new version fixes a number of bugs and improves printing with several models of Epson printers. (See our Jaguar Reports page for more on printing to PC printers with CUPS.) The Gimp-Print web page also describes some known problems.

Apple posts FAQ on X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta. January 27, 2003 -- Apple has posted an FAQ on X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta, which it released earlier this month during Macworld Expo in San Francisco. X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta is a version of the open source Unix windowing system from the XFree86 project, and enables users to run current X11 applications that have been recompiled, including OpenOffice.org 1.0 for Mac OS X. X11 can also be used as a cross-platform application-sharing system, allowing users to operate applications that are actually running on another host computer on a network. X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta is a free download.

We recently spoke to Apple about X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta. Apple verified that this public beta is the fastest implementation of X11 that runs on Mac OS X. Apple optimized X11 for Mac OS X, including ties to the Quartz graphic engine and making specific calls down to the hardware level. Apple also said that Pearl scripts and Java are functional in the Public beta. This may also be the easiest way to get X11 running on Mac OS X, as Apple said everything you need is contained in a single download.

Apple has been working with the open source community to get Mac OS X included in standard distributions, to enlarge the number of applications available to Mac OS X. The company sees education, the sciences, government, video, animation, modeling, and simulations as some of the fields that actively use X11 applications.

Apple also sees X11 as a stepping stone to getting Unix developers to port applications to native Cocoa applications. In fact, the developers of OpenOffice for Mac OS X told us they will be doing a Cocoa version of OpenOffice for Mac OS X next year.  

Workaround for Novell Bordermanager lockout--use VPC. January 27, 2003 --Bill Brothers found a workaround to the problem of Macs on NetWare networks being blocked from accessing the Internet with Novell Bordermanager on the network-- he uses Virtual PC to log into the Bordermanager. Then he can use Mac Internet software:

I can log in through the Novell Bordermanager using Virtual PC from Connectix VPC using Windows 2000 and Internet Explorer on the VPC and a shared IP address between my Mac and the VPC .

After logging in on the virtual machine I can use the Mac IE or Safari to surf the web, run Software Update, etc. and Apple's Mail, Sherlock or any app that needs the web. It's a little time consuming to boot the Mac, then the VPC, the VPC IE, get through Novell Bordermanager, and then start the Mac app like Safari to access the web.

If you don't need anything else with the VPC you can quit the Connectix app (save the VPC settings) and the Internet port will still be open. However, if there is a timeout on the Novell system and you don't access the web for awhile, you'll have to repeat the process by booting the VPC again. Unless having the VPC minimized causes you grief, leave it minimized. If a timeout occurs, going to any new web address using the VPC IE will force a new login through the Novell Bordermanager. Log in again, then just minimize it again and work with the Mac.

VPC 6 on sub-500 MHz Macs: More CPU than v 5. January 27, 2003 -- Bruce Miller is running Virtual PC 6 on a Mac that is below Connectix recommended 500 MHz, and found the version 6 takes up more CPU utilization than did Version 5:

I'm running VPC 6.0.1 in Mac OS X 10.2.3 with both 98SE and XP Home on a PowerBook G3 400 with 1 GB RAM just fine. I allocate 256 MB RAM to each virtual PC, turn off all unnecessary features (like sound) and for XP, turned off every single eye candy feature and run in Classic GUI. Also I'm a firm believer in keeping the drive images as small as possible, loaded only with few applications.

My 6.0.1 98SE runs slightly slower than in 5.0.4, seems to use more CPU: percentages, while my XP Home in 6.0.1 is the opposite, faster than in 5.0.4, definitely using less CPU percentages, dropping down to as low as 20 percent idle, never the case in VPC 5 where it seemed to use 50-60 percent when idle. I find XP adequate for IE surfing (dial-up speed using DSL), verifying burned image file CDs, etc. Windows 98SE works great both Hotsyncing Palm Windows apps and Activesyncing and app installations for my iPaq PPC.

If you've seen this on a pre-500 MHz Mac, please let us know.

VPC 6: Win 2000 vs. Win XP. January 27, 2003 --Robert McLachlan finds that Virtual PC 6 runs Windows 2000 faster than Windows XP:

I am running VPC 6 on a dual 867 MDD Mac. I find Win2K Pro pretty good, but find XP Pro okay for computation but the interface graphics are a little on the slow side and not quite as snappy as with Win2K Pro. Running benchmark software backs this up with XP pro CPU performance slightly faster but graphics slower. All in all the update is very worthwhile, especially the inclusion of the Start Menu application and the ability to open disc images. I feel Connectix really need to look at the graphics and try to improve the interface performance as this often gives the impression that VPC is slow.

Word X problems occur on Netatalk. January 27, 2003 -- Daniel Lautenschleger reports that the problem of errors when saving Word X files saved to Windows AFP servers also occurs on Netatalk servers (AFP for Linux and Unix):

I can confirm that the saving of Word X files to a Windows 2000 server and the "unrecoverable disk error" problem also occurs when the file is opened from a Netatalk volume.

CDFinder 4.0.2 fixes bugs. January 27, 2003 -- This weekend, Norbert Doerner released CDFinder 4.0.2 (US $25, free upgrade), an update to the 4.0 version that we reported last week. The new version 4.0.2 fixes some bugs in the 4.0 and 4.0.1 versions that had caused CDFinder to quit or crash. CDFinder is a disk cataloging tool for the Mac OS 8.6 - 10.2.4 that can work together with CDWinder 1.7 for Windows as a cross-platform, network solution to catalog disks and CD-ROMs on a Macintosh and a PC.

VPC 6 on older Macs. January 24, 2003 -- Several readers report using Virtual PC 6 on Macs slower than the Connectix recommended minimum for Mac OS X (500 MHz). Bob Brunk thought there was a speed improvement:

I have a 400 MHz Power Mac G4, 384 megs of RAM. For me, Windows 2000 ran unusably slow in VPC 5, but will actually run okay in VPC 6. Windows XP is okay, but definitely a resource hog. The IE browser runs well when I have no other apps running on my computer. Windows 98 moves pretty good, but always has, even in VPC 5.

Overall though, I noticed significant increase in speed in VPC 6. A big improvement as far as I'm concerned.

Peter Lindsay has an even older Mac (a Blue and White) right at 500 MHz, but found the speed increase to be marginal:

I am running VPC 6.0.1 on a Blue and White G3 upgraded to a 500 G4 with 1 GB of RAM. The performance of VPC 5 was just acceptable under OS 9 with Windows 98SE and unacceptable with Windows 2000 PRO. It was unusable under OS X 10.2.3

The upgrade to VPC 6.0.1 has made a marginal difference under OS X. I use VPC primarily to check web code in Internet Explorer on Windows and to access my companies VPN from home. The VPN is painfully slow, even with my DSL connection. This certainly has not improved from VPC 5 to 6.

For me, the single advantage of VPC is that I can run multiple copies of Windows with different versions of IE on each. There is no substitute for this function other than owning several PCs. Something that I am not inclined to do.

BC Kelly is using VPC 6 on a Power Mac Cube, mostly using an Internet file sharing program called WinMX. Performance is better, but he has one problem:

VPC 6 with Win 98 seems okay on my 450 MHz Cube. I have Mac OS X 10.2.3 with Gforce 32 meg video and 1 gig of RAM. Cranked the VPC memory to 512 meg, which appears to be the application's "max".

About all I use VPC for is to run WinMX, which seems fine, if not as good or even a little better, least compared to what it was in OS 9 (forget any comparison to OS X and VPC 5). Otherwise have nothing else to compare it to, so don't know what I may be missing. Oh yes, WMP video is still slow and choppy in VPC 6, even with 'networking' turned off. Had run fine in VPC 5 on OS 9, but seems to have a long ways to go to be "right" in OS X ( and again, forget it when using OS X with VPC 5, ugly). Also, use a Shared Folder to move the downloaded files from Win 98 over to a Mac Partition -- THAT part, the x-fer, is much smoother and faster now.

Have had one nagging problem which can't solve. Either Win 98 and /or WinMX freezes up after a period of time... What I'm doing is setting up WinMX to run on automatic, and then go to bed, work, whatever. Sometimes it'll run fine for 24 hrs or so, other times 12 hrs. I don't think it's made it much past 24 though. With OS 9 and VPC 5, it'd go for days and days without any hiccups.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

VPC 6 connects Garmin GPS handheld. January 24, 2003 -- Christopher Duckworth reports that he can use Virtual PC 6 to connect to a Garmin GPS handheld device, which works only with Windows. His device had a serial port, which he connected with a USB adapter:

I am using a dual 1 GHz G4 running 10.2.3 and VP 6.0.1 with Windows XP. I have a Garmin GPSMap 76S, and, as you may know, Garmin does not support Macintosh. I added an Iogear USB-to-serial adapter, with downloaded Iogear software, and everything works fine, including some very long (15+ minutes) downloads to the handheld. I downloaded the Iogear software to the Windows desktop, and plugged in the adapter with Windows running. The New Hardware Wizard came up; I followed the instructions (pointing the Wizard to the Iogear folder manually), and everything worked out fine.

(For previous reports on VPC 6, see our Virtual PC Reports page. )

Reader raves on the new Prosoft NetWare Client for Mac OS X. January 24, 2003 -- Michael Campbell has good things to say about Prosoft Engineering's new NetWare Client for Mac OS X 1.1.2, which we reported on January 8. (The new version allows users to make aliases of NetWare volumes and improves browsing of networks.) Campbell says:

I just purchased the latest client from Prosoft for X 1.1.2 and I must say that I am impressed, browsing now works, password expire now works which was an issue on the old client. We have a mixed NT and Novell 5.1 and when the login password expired Mac users would not get a warning, however with 1.1.2 when the password expires it informs you.

A brilliant client and well worth the price.

(See our NetWare and Mac Issues page for previous reports on Prosoft and other NetWare issues.)

Fourth World ships WebMerge 2.2. January 24, 2003 -- Fourth World yesterday released 4W WebMerge 2.2 ($79), an update to its Mac OS 8/9/X and Windows tool for generating static Web pages from databases or spreadsheets. New features include multicolumn page layouts, a new tag for including external files, enhanced support for JavaScript and CSS, and some new interface features.

IBM earns $1 billion from Linux. January 24, 2003 -- eWeek reports that IBM announced that in 2002, it earned over $1 billion in revenue selling Linux-based software and services.

New MacWindows Virtual VP 6 Report page. January 22, 2003 -- We've created a new MacWindows Virtual PC 6 Notes and Reports page, which contains our previously published reader reports as well our take on Connectix' latest PC emulator for Macintosh.

(We also have special report pages on Virtual PC 5, Virtual PC 4, and Virtual PC 3.)

VPC 6 printing problem with TurboTax. January 22, 2003 -- Daniel Dobbert reports a problem printing TurboTax for Windows with Virtual PC 6. He solution:

I can run TurboTax Windows 2002 on VPC 6. Problem is printing which is solved by using print to PDF file and then print that file.

Virtual PC 6.0 had a problem the prevented users from installing and running TurboTax for Windows. Version 6.0.1 fixed the problem.

TIP: Using a Apple USB keyboard on a PC, mapping keys. January 22, 2003 --Todd Miller is using an Apple Pro USB keyboard on a Windows machine, and found a way to remap the F13, F14, and F15 keys so that they act as the Windows Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Break functions. His method involves creating a text with registry information. You can read Miller's procedure on our Tips for Sharing Keyboards and Monitors.

Netopia Timbuktu Pro 6.0.3. January 22, 2003 -- Netopia released Timbuktu Pro 6.0.3 for Mac (US 95, free upgrade for users of v6.0.2), a maintenance upgrade the cross-platform remote-control, file exchange, and collaboration program. Changes in the new version include the following:

Thursby working on the Clients and Profits issue. January 22, 2003 -- Richard Heend reports back that he has been in communication with the Thursby Software regarding the problem with Clients and Profit, which we reported yesterday. "Thursby (and C and P) are aware of the problem and at least Thursby is working on a solution."

VPN Tracker 1.5 Preview Release 3 released. January 22, 2003 -- Equinux Software has released VPN Tracker 1.5 Preview Release 3, a beta version of the upcoming version 1.5 of the IPsec virtual private network client for Mac OS X. The new version fixes a number of problems, including a kernel panic that would occur with previous beta versions when configuring network interfaces.

This beta release will expire on February 5. Equinux said it expects to ship the final version 1.5 by that time. Version Tracker 1.5 Preview Release versions 1 and 2 expired yesterday. VPN Tracker 1.5 will be a free upgrade for all existing users of VPN Tracker.

Macs locked out of Internet by Novell Bordermanager. July 23, 2001 -- Marc-André Rioux reports having the problem described on our NetWare Reports page, where Novell Bordermanager is preventing Macs on NetWare networks from accessing the Internet. If you've seen this problem and know of a workaround, please let us know.

WebCast on OS X Server NetInstall, NetRestore. January 22, 2003 -- Tomorrow (Thursday, Jan 23rd) MacOSLabs.org is webcasting a presentation by Apple Computer's Eric Zelenka and Mike Bombich called NetInstall in Depth. The webcast will occur at 10:00 am - 11:30 am Pacific (1:00 - 2:30 pm Eastern). The webcast will cover two Mac OS X Server technologies, Network Install and NetRestore.

Thursby posts white paper on Goliath--Active Directory integration. January 21, 2003 -- Thursby Software has posted a white paper about it's upcoming Goliath, software that will provide Mac OS X integration with Microsoft's Active Directory without making changes to the Active Directory schema or the domain structure.

Thursby publicly demonstrated Goliath earlier this month at Macworld Expo San Francisco, where we got to see it. For our previous of coverage Goliath, see our DAVE Special Report page.

DAVE problem with Clients and Profits software. January 21, 2003 -- Richard Heend reports a problem with Thursby Software's DAVE file sharing software and Clients and Profits, a network-based, cross-platform agency management package for Mac and Windows clients:

We are a cross-platform ad agency, with about 10 PCs and 6 Macs. We recently migrated to a Windows 2000 Server to centralize our files and backup system. In order to give everyone access to all of the files of the server (with some secure/protected areas, of course), we opted against Services for Macintosh and went, instead, for the popular DAVE program.

Unfortunately, it appears our accounting/agency management software has "issues" with Dave. The software -- which uses a multi-user database stored on the server and client software on each workstation -- does not allow Mac users to login to the database if there are any PC users logged in to the software.

I have spoken with Clients and Profits and they say there is a "known issue" with DAVE and the "only option" is to install Services for Macintosh. (Unfortunately said issue not listed on their website or in their discussion forums and their customer service isn't very timely in their responses.)

If you've seen this problem, or know of a workaround, please let us know.

Correction to script for fixing Citrix NFuse and Error 51 problem. January 21, 2003 -- Tom Allen sent us a correction to the script he sent us yesterday, which offered a fix for the Error 51 problem with Citrix ICA Client 6.30 and NFuse Server. Turns out e-mail inserted a carriage return where it didn't belong:

One little thing; The long line in my script got split by the email process. The part that starts with the "sed" command should be all one line ending with "launch.ica". There should be a space on both sides of the ">" character.

We've posted Allen's corrected script on our Citrix special report page. If you've tried it, please let us know how it worked for you.

Suggestion for Word X and Win Server doesn't work. January 21, 2003 -- Daniel Foshee tried yesterday's suggestion of mounting the Windows server before launching Word to prevent the problem of errors with saving Word X files to a Windows 2000 Server. It didn't work:

I'm glad that works for Timothy, but it does not work for us. We have users running OS X 10.2.3, and they leave the workstations up 24/7. They have shares mounted all day, and only occasionally use Word X. However, after they fire up Word, they still experience the error. I've done a restart, let the shares boot up in OS X, and then start up Word, per Timothy's suggestion, but the error still pops up.

HELIOS posts faster IP print drivers for Mac OS X. January 21, 2003 -- HELIOS Software GmbH released the HELIOS TCP/IP Print Driver for Mac OS X to use with its EtherShare 3.1 file and print server software. (The IP driver was previously available for Mac OS 9.) The company says the HELIOS TCP/IP Print Driver enables Macs to print up to three times faster than via AppleTalk PAP or Apple Remote LPR. Then new driver is integrated with the Mac OS X Print Center and supports the Service Location Protocol (SLP) browsing of printers. It also automates PPD (PostScript Printer Description) installation from the HELIOS print spooler.

A Better Finder Rename 5.2 adds Win filename conversion. January 21, 2003 -- PUBLICSPACE.NET has released A Better Finder Rename 5.2 (US $15), an upgrade to its Mac Finder contextual menu plugin for changing file names for multiple files. The new version adds the ability to convert Macintosh file names to legal Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP file names. The software is available for Mac OS 8 and later as well as Mac OS X 10.0 and later.

CDFinder 4 reworks interface. January 21, 2003 -- Norbert Doerner has released CDFinder 4 (US $25), a new version of a disk cataloging tool for the Mac OS 8.6 - 10.2.4. CDFinder can work together with CDWinder 1.7 for Windows as a cross-platform, network solution to catalog disks and CD-ROMs on a Macintosh and a PC. CDFinder 4 adds a brand new user interface and fixes a few minor bugs.

VPC 6.0.1 fixes problems with G3 Macs. January 20, 2003 -- Connectix has released Virtual PC 6.0.1 for Mac, a free update to fix several problems. The fixes include:

MassTransit 4.1 adds OpenSSL-based file transfer. January 20, 2003 -- Group Logic released MassTransit 4.1, an upgrade to the cross-platform file transfer and remote workflow software. The new version adds OpenSSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology for the authentication of remote sites, including X.509 certificates. OpenSSL also provides several popular encryption algorithms, including RC4-128 and 3DES ("triple des"). These authentication and encryption features can be used with any of MassTransit's workflows, including automated server-to-server transfers and web-client-to-server transfers.

MassTransit 4.1 of also adds support for transferring multiple terabytes of information in a single file transfer session, and improved web file transfer workflows.

MassTransit 4.1 is a free upgrade for MassTransit 4.0 customers with an active support contract.

TIP: Script for Citrix NFuse and Error 51. January 20, 2003 -- Tom Allen sent us a script to deal with the Error 51 problem with Citrix ICA Client 6.30 and NFuse Server:

My wife's business just switched Citrix over to the web launching NFuse system and our OS X Citrix client now pops the dreaded Error 51 instead of connecting. The observation that changing "TransportDriver" to "NetworkProtocol" inspired me to write a little script to change the launch.asp file and kick off Citrix. So the connection procedure is to click on the browser link, wait for Citrix to fail, launch the script file and bingo! you're in. (This is working over a Cisco VPN connection via Airport and a Linksys router through a cable modem.)

Here's the script I call CitrixHack.command:

#!/bin/sh
sed s/TransportDriver/NetworkProtocol/ ~/Downloads/launch.asp > ~/Downloads/launch.ica
rm -f ~/Downloads/launch.asp
open ~/Downloads/launch.ica
exit

Notes:

1. My browser downloads to the Downloads folder in my home directory. If your browser downloads to a different place, change the path references in the script.
2. Name the script file with a .command suffix and give it execute permission. (chmod 755 CitrixHack.command)
3. You need to manually quit the terminal program at some point to clean up your screen.

If you've tried this, please let us know how it works for you.

Suggestions for W2K Server and Word Errors. January 20, 2003 -- Several readers wrote to offer information on the problem of errors with saving Word X files to a Windows 2000 Server.

Timothy Godby suggests that the problem can be avoided if you mount the Windows 2000 Server before launching Word. If you can verify or dispute the effectiveness of this suggestion, please let us know.

Igor Zagatsky reports that Microsoft has posted some information about the problem at a newsgroup:

Microsoft acknowledged the problem in the microsoft.public.mac.office.word newsgroup. They claim they are working on a fix with Apple.

Here is a portion of the post by Matt Centurión of the Macintosh Business Unit:

This issue has been found to affect Word X and Word 2001 (under Classic) who have upgraded their OS X to 10.2.3 and who connect via AFP to Windows servers running Windows Services for Macintosh.

Error messages include "Disk Full" or "Unrecoverable Disk Error" an attempted saves to network share.

We are currently working with Apple to resolve the issue. Workarounds include:

  1. Using "smb://" instead of "afp://" to connect to share. (It has been mentioned in this newsgroup that the use of the SMB protocol may corrupt files when accessed by other AFP clients as well. This has not been our experience but we suggest caution when implementing this solution if you have not used it before. Any issues with the SMB protocol use should be reported to Apple.)
  2. Not upgrading to OS X - 10.2.3 until more information is available

No other information is available at this time. I will post when there is, but I don't have a timeframe for any such updates

Mark Roberts is another MacWindows reader reporting that using SMB is a valid workaround:

What was described IS true. The workaround is to log into the Windows Server as a SMB server. e.g.: smb://servername

Frank Cellini responded to our January 14 report regarding the problem in Mac OS 9:

Regarding "Reader says Word and Win2K errors occur in OS 9 as well." This seems similar to a problem we had when saving to an AppleShare IP server. The solution there was that the client must have read write access to the server root volume. Word writes temp files to server root when saving files.

Citrix 6.30 and 6.20--problems over VPN. January 20, 2003 -- Laurence Banner is having opposite problems with running Citrix connections over VPNs with Mac OS X and Mac OS 9:

I've been trying to get Citrix ICA clients to work under OS X and 9.2.2 using two different VPN capabilities.

OS X built-in PPTP: Citrix 6.30 fails as has been described by others. After I set the default server to the correct address and change to TCP/IP, I can see the server and its applications but I cannot connect.

OS X with Contivity IPSEC VPN: Citrix works fine.

OS 9.2.2 with NTS TunnelBuilder PPTP: Citrix 6.20 works fine.

OS 9.2.2 with Contivity IPSEC VPN: Just as in OS X with PPTP, I can browse for servers and applications but I cannot connect.

Yes, they are the opposite way around on the two OS's.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Clarification on Netlock Multi-OS VPN Client. January 20, 2003 -- Netlock Technologies sent us a clarification about its recent release of Contivity VPN Client for MacOS X.

In order to get the upgrade, Nortel Contivity VPN Client customers need an active Multi-OS Client maintenance purchased by their organization. For questions about maintenance eligibility, please contact support@netlock.com. New purchases may be made online at www.netlock.com or by contacting sales@netlock.com.

Dan Blair
Netlock Technologies, Inc.

In our previous report on the subject, we had included a personal upgrade code from a reader, which was not valid for other users. We apologize if we caused any confusion.

Other vendors set to follow Apple on 802.11g. January 20, 2003 -- A PC Magazine article reports that several vendors are getting ready to follow Apple and ship 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking products. Apple was the first to announce use of the faster standard in its AirPort Extreme cards and Base Station.

Outlook2Mac moves Win e-mail, contacts, calendar to Mac. January 14, 2003 -- Little Machines' Outlook2Mac 1.0.4 (US $10) is a Windows utility that automatically converts e-mail messages, contact data, and calendar appointments from Outlook for Windows into file formats that Mac OS X applications can import. The Mac applications supported include Apple Mail, Address Book, iCal, Microsoft Entourage, Power Mail, and Mailsmith. (Entourage is not yet supported.) The included help system provides instructions on how to import data into each of these apps. Outlook2Mac can gather data from Outlook 97/98, 2000, and 2002 for Windows.

We took it for a spin and found that it worked as advertised, and well worth $10.

ConceptDraw offers free service to convert Visio files. January 14, 2003 -- CS Odessa Corp. is offering a free converter service to convert files between ConceptDraw and Microsoft Visio, a Windows-only diagramming application. The converter service Internet-based--Odessa's server converts the files and e-mails them back to you. You can convert MS Visio version 5.0 and higher files into the ConceptDraw version 1.x, and you can convert ConceptDraw files into Visio files.

We've added the ConceptDraw-Visio converter server to the list of file translation products on our File Integration Solutions page.

Reader says Word and Win2K errors occur in OS 9 as well. January 14, 2003 -- Responding to our reports of errors with saving Word X files to a Windows 2000 Server , Fil Magnoli says he's seen it with Mac OS 9:

The problems working with Word files on a Win2K server is not a new one. Similar errors can be repeated when working with OS 9.x and Office 2001 (Word application is the only one with the problem as far as I can tell). To edit from, and then saving to, a MS Word file on a Win2K server results in an error indicating that you have to save the file with a different name, and that there is not enough space to complete the operation. I've been able to repeat this problem using Office 2001 on a Win2K server, but not using OSX/Office X combination. Others have posted similar, if not identical, issues to Microsoft's site, but I have yet to see a fix, or even an acknowledgment from Microsoft on the issue. Others have noted that the problem doesn't seem to occur with OS 9.x and Office 98, or OS X and Office X, but that's hardly a fix for anyone with a large install base of Macs.

Luis Antezana has seen the problem with Windows NT Server:

Regarding your "error with saving Word X files to a Windows 2000 Server" report, I just had a user report the same error, except our servers are all Windows NT 4 (service pack 6a). She was using AFP to access the server. She claims the whole computer crashed, as it wouldn't let her click in any of the other visible programs. She had restarted by the time I got there so I couldn't verify any of this in person.

If you can verify either of these issues, please let us know.

Microsoft posts OS X and Microsoft Exchange Server info. January 14, 2003 -- Microsoft has a new web page with information of using Mac clients with Exchange Server. It compares four current options:

(Thanks to Guy Lapointe alerting us to this.)

OS X Server, Windows client. January 10, 2003 -- Mark LeBlanc told us how he is using his PC with a Mac OS X Server:

Found something that finally let my Windows machine join my Samba domain...When I would attempt to join the domain as root I would get user not found or invalid password. Went into Workgroup Manager/ Netinfo and changed the System Administrator/root account's User Password type from Basic to Password Server and whamo, success! Right after doing that I was able to join the Domain.

Solutions Update: 4-Sight Fax, cross-platform fax server. January 10, 2003 -- We've added 4-Sight Fax to our list of cross-platform networking products on our Network Solutions page. 4-Sight Fax is a cross-platform network faxing server/client system. The server runs on Mac OS 8.6-9.x (A Mac OS X server is due some time this quarter.) Clients include Windows, Mac OS X, Mac OS 8/9.Supports remote access from any Internet connection via TCP/IP. Can also forward faxes to e-mail.

Qt: cross-platform C++ programming framework. January 10, 2003 -- Trolltech's Qt is multiplatform C++ framework thay programmers can use to create one source that will run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix/Linux. (We found them at Macworld Expo, booth 4031.)

Nortel Multi-OS VPN client now supports OS X. January 9, 2003 -- Netlock Technologies has released Nortel Contivity VPN Client 2.1, which adds support for Mac OS X. There are also new features:

Nortel Contivity VPN Client is also available for Linux, Solaris and HP operating systems.

In order to get the upgrade, Nortel Contivity VPN Client customers need active maintenance purchased by their organization, and need to enter a Personal Upgrade Code at the web site.

(Thanks to Paul Timmins for the tip.)

Report from Macworld Expo, San Francisco

Apple releases X11 for Mac OS X: Unix GUI for OS X. January 9, 2003 -- Without fanfare (or mentioning at the keynote address), Apple X11 for Mac OS X Public Beta this week, the first X Window System graphical user environment Apple has released. The software allows you to run X11-based applications along side of Aqua applications. X11 for OS X is a free download based on the XFree86 project. Apple released the software as open source.

The Window manager is Quartz WM, which uses Mac OS X' native drawing environment, which helps performance. "It's 25 percent faster than other X11 environments on OS X" said Ed Perterlin, a developer on the OpenOffice for Mac OS X project.

Apple is NOT demonstrating X11 for Mac OS X at its booth this week, but attendees of Expo can see it at the BSDMall booth (3637).

OpenOffice for Mac OS X goes to final beta. January 9, 2003 -- Yesterday, OpenOffice.org released OpenOffice.org 1.0 for Mac OS X: X11 Final Beta, which it is demonstrating running in Apple's X11 for Mac OS X at Macworld Expo in the BSDMall booth. OpenOffice includes a word processor and spreadsheet that can open and save to Word and Excel formats. It also includes a presentation application. This version can print to any printer supported by the Print Center in Mac OS X 10.2.x. OpenOffice.org plans to ship the release version in April.

OpenOffice.org plans to do an OS X native version to run in Aqua. The OpenOffice team is looking for developers to volunteer to write code and test the software. Anyone interested can contact OpenOffice.org.

Netstore announced beta program for e-commerce port to OS X Server. January 9, 2003 -- Fishbone Communications announced the Beta Test Program for NetStores E-commerce Solution running on Mac OS X Server. Netstore is an E-commerce application service provider.

Pocket Mac . January 9, 2003 -- At the Microsoft booth, Information Appliance Associates was demonstrating Pocket Mac Pro 2.0 (US $70), software for syncing Pocket PC handheld devices with Macs. Version 2 added the ability to sync with Apple's iCal and Address Book applications. Attendees at Macworld Expo can order PocketMac for US $50.

Report from Macworld Expo, San Francisco

Jobs announces lots of surprises -- the cross-platform angle. January 8, 2003 -- Proving all analysts predictions wrong, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a slew of new and upgraded software and hardware products.

There are two new PowerBook models, the world's first 17-inch notebook ($3299, 6.8 pounds) and a 4.6 pound 12-inch PowerBook ($1799). The 17-inch model includes an 800 Mbps FireWire port. (FireWire 800 is an implementation of the recently approved IEEE 1394b standard.)

Jobs also introduced AirPort Extreme -- 54 Mb 802.11g wireless networking products, which are compatible with Mac or Windows running 802.11b (11 Mb) hardware. The new AirPort Extreme Base Station ($249) includes a port for sharing a USB printer among Mac OS X 10.2.3 users -- Windows users cannot print to it. It also supports IPsec/VPN passthrough. The AirPort Extreme Card (US $99)

Keynote (US $99) is a new presentation application that is now shipping. Keynote will import and export Microsoft PowerPoint files, Windows and Mac. It also exports in PDF and QuickTime movie (Apple gave a copy to every audience member of the keynote address.)

Safari is a beta version of a new web browser based on the Unix/Linux Konqueror browsing engine, which Apple says is faster than the open source Gecko used in Chimera.

Apple also announced Final Cut Express, and updates for iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD, and announced bundle of these and iTunes called iLife.

Goliath helping DAVE: Thursby demos Active Directory integration. January 8, 2003 -- At its Macworld Expo booth this week, Thursby Software is publicly demonstrating upcoming software that will integrate Mac OS X into Microsoft's Active Directory and older Windows domain controllers --without requiring alteration of the Active Directory schema or the domain structure. The product, code-named Goliath, will work with Thursby's DAVE 4 software. Goliath is set to go into beta testing in 2-to-3 weeks.

Goliath will include a plugin to Mac OS X's Directory Service that will appear in the OS X Directory Access utility. Macs will be able to log into Windows domains as if they were PC clients. Goliath will also allow Mac users to access their domain home folder from any PC on the network, a feature Thursby characterized as "roaming user profiles." Thursby said the administrator will not have to make a single change to the domain setup--configuration is completely on the Mac.

As part of the demonstration, Thursby logged out of Mac OS X. At the login screen, the user typed his Windows domain name and password, which was authenticated by the domain controller. Thursby said that Goliath uses "kerberized LDAP content" that does not send plain text passwords across the network. Goliath will also handle situations where passwords are set to expire, something that Apple's current solutions don't support. After logging into Mac OS X with domain authentication, the user's domain home folder appears.

Thursby said that it would have a white paper at it's web site shortly. We have a copy, which had this language:

When Configure for use with Active Directory, the [Directory Service] plug-in provides the following service:
  1. The Macintosh is actually joined to the domain, and a computer account is created.
  2. The Mac's computer account credentials are used for access to the Active Directory controller. A fully Kerberized LAP v3 connection is made to the controller, and all transactions are cryptographically signed to protect against spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks.
  3. The Macintosh can be configured to work with more than one domain. The domains can be completely unrelated to each other (no trust relationship is required.)

Prosoft updates NetWare Client. January 8, 2003 -- Prosoft Engineering has just released NetWare Client for Mac OS X 1.1.2, an update to its client for NetWare servers. The new version allows users to make aliases of NetWare volumes and improves browsing of networks.

Microsoft demo's MSN client for Mac OS X. January 8, 2003 -- For the first time, Microsoft is demonstrating a tech preview of its Mac OS X Client for MSN at Macworld Expo. The client is used to access Microsoft's MSN service, aimed at providing service and content to home users. The e-mail component uses code from Entourage X. Unlike AOL for Mac OS X, the Client for MSN puts everything in one window.

Microsoft also announced that Entourage is now available as a separate product (US $99). Entourage will continue to be part of Microsoft Office.

Now Up-to-Date and Contact adds cross-platform compatibility. January 8, 2003 -- Now Software released Now Up-to-Date and Contact 4.2.6 (US $120, free upgrade for 4.0 owners), an update to the group address book and calendar sharing application. The new version allows Mac users to transfer and open files created in the Windows version of the software.

Macworld Expo keynote today. January 7, 2003 -- We will be at Macworld Expo San Francisco today at Apple CEO Steve Job's keynote address. There aren't any major cross-platform announcements expected, but we will have a report tomorrow.

Virtual PC 6 conflict with Turbo Tax for Windows--patch is coming. January 7, 2003 -- With April 15 on the horizon, Connectix has described a software conflict between Virtual PC 6 and Turbo Tax for Windows. CTO, Connectix CTO Eric Traut posted this at the Connectix discussion forums:

The compatibility problem is due to a new copy protection mechanism employed by Intuit in their latest version of TurboTax.

We have already developed a workaround and are testing it both internally and with the help of several external beta testers. The fix will be released in the form of a free updater (6.0.1)...

We will be speaking with Connectix Executives later this week, and will have a report Friday.

Readers say Word X corruption w/Win Server doesn't occur with SMB. January 7, 2003 -- A pair of readers reported that the error with saving Word X files to a Windows 2000 Server only occurs with an AFP connection and not with an SMB connection. Jack Stoller writes:

As reported on your site, editing a Word document on the server can fail, but my experience shows it's limited to Apple Filing Protocol connections on Win2K servers. I've tried it on a server with SFM and another with MacServerIP 8. Word is unable to create its work file, and so gives an error message about disk problems, then crashes. If I try it on the same server using SMB, it does not fail. I noted that if I make changes to the document and save (but not close), Word creates and leaves a work file in the same folder. When I close the document, the work file is deleted. As far as I know, this is a 10.2.3 problem, but I don't edit Word docs on the server too often and I mostly work in SMB. (BTW, editing an Excel document does not fail.)

Paul Williams agrees:

As with your other correspondents, I've experienced these errors with temp files on the remote Win2K server volume, mounted via AFP. During a save, I get the same error message:
"There is an unrecoverable disk error on file Word Work File D_3. The disk you're working on had a media problem that prevents Word from using it. Try the following: - Try formatting another disk. - Save the document to another disk."

And Word quits. A file is deposited on the server... "Word Work File D_3". 

If I mount the same volume via SMB, I don't get any errors. I'll keep plugging away -if only to see if the Quark documents and PDFs are still corrupting with the 10.2.3 update.

If you've had success with SMB re: Word and OS X 10.2.3, please let us know.

Netlock Nortel VPN client almost ready. January 7, 2003 -- A reader wrote to Netlock asking about the company's upcoming Mac virtual private network client for Nortel systems. The reader received this reply:

Thanks for your interest. The OS X client is expected within the next couple of weeks. Please watch our website for announcements.

Kind Regards
Angela Schwartz, Netlock Sales

Netlock currently offers a Netlock VPN Client for Cisco.

MySQL announces OS X binary installer. January 7, 2003 -- MySQL AB announced that it will ship a MySQL binary installer in the .pkg format in February for Mac OS X 10.2. Currently, MySQL .pkg binaries are available from open source developer Marc Liyanage.

StuffIt Deluxe Mac 7 ships as French and German builds. January 7, 2003 -- Aladdin Systems released French and German versions of StuffIt Deluxe 7.0 (US $80), the cross-platform compression utility for Macintosh. (The English version shipped last September.) The French distributor is Apacabar. German Distributors include Macland, Macpower Opengate, and Softline AG.(StuffIt is also available for Windows, Linux, and Solaris.)

Jag 10.2.3 fixed MS RDC dual-processor problem. January 6, 2003 -- It appears that the recent Mac OS X 10.2.3 update fixed a problem with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection on dual-processor Macs. (For reports of the problem, see our Citrix report page.) Randall Quon tried RDC with 10.2.3 on a dual-processor Mac, and it worked with out crashing. He also forwarded this note from Microsoft's Microsoft's newsgroup (microsoft.public.mac.rdc):

Apple Computer released Mac OS X version 10.2.3 to the public yesterday. This new version of Mac OS X contains a fix for the issue that caused Mac RDC to be unstable on dual-processor Macs. With this update, Microsoft has amended the system requirements for Mac RDC to be as follows:

For Macintosh computers with a single processor, RDC requires Mac OS X version 10.1 or later.

For Macintosh computers with dual processors, RDC requires Mac OS X version 10.2.3 or later.

The update from Mac OS X 10.2 or later is available from Apple Computer.

Thank you all for your patience. If you continue to have difficulties with Mac RDC after updating to Mac OS X 10.2.3, please don't hesitate to post here.

Erik Schwiebert
Microsoft Corporation

Confirmation of Word X/10.2.3/Win2k-Server problem. January 6, 2003 -- Four readers have confirmed our December 28 report of errors saving files from Word X (Mac OS X 10.2.3) to a Windows 2000 Server. Martin Geithmann reports:

I can confirm the problem with saving files to a Win 2K server from a Dual Processor G4 867, and an 800 MHz iBook, both running Mac OS 10.2.3 and MS Office with the 10.1.2 update. The problem seems to occur only with documents created from templates, rather than with a new blank doc created from the normal template. I've seen confirmation on MS's public newsgroups as well, with the exact same error message.

Arthur Visser also attributes the problem to OS X 10.2.3:

I have exactly the same problem as described, since I upgraded OS X from 10.2.2 to 10.2.3 on my PowerBook G4 667 MHz. No solution (yet).

Nick Collingridge suggested a workaround:

It appears that the only workaround is to save to a local drive and then copy to the Win2K server if the file has to be on the server (for backup purposes etc). The file will then need to be moved back to a local drive before it is edited. The problem occurs whether it is a file being opened from the server or is a new file which is being saved to the server...

Franz-Juergen Haas sent a list of things he tried, which didn't work. You can read his message and the rest of Collingridge message on our Jaguar Special Report page.

Cisco VPN Client 3.7.2 conflict with AirPort seen on pre-Jaguar. January 6, 2003 --Michael Biven writes that he has seen conflict with Cisco VPN Client 3.7.2 and AirPort with a pre-Jagaur version of Mac OS X:

Just to let you know that even on OS 10.1.5 the Cisco 3.7.2 VPN client creates the AirPort problem. I have not upgraded to 10.2 yet and saw that some people are posting that the 10.2.3 upgrade created the conflict.

In previous reports, readers said they they first saw the problem with Mac OS X 10.2.3. If you've seen this problem on versions of Mac OS X earlier than 10.2.3, please let us know.


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