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MacWindows News Archives

News from January 2005 through June 2005


 

 

 

 

Most recent news first.

June 2005

June 29

Microsoft updates Virtual PC for Tiger. June 29, 2005 -- Yesterday Microsoft released Virtual PC 7.0.2, a free update to the PC emulator aimed at compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The company said that the update fixes the three compatibility problems with when running in Tiger:

Microsoft also said that it was offering a $30 rebate for new purchases of Virtual PC 7 before September 30, 2005.

See our Tiger Reports page for previous reports and suggestions for Tiger compatibility problems.

TIP: Fix for "garbage printing" from LPR/LPD or IP. June 29, 2005 -- Yvan Rodrigues sent us a link to an article he wrote about a problem with Macs printing to non-AppleTalk printers.

I have put a lot of work into this problem. I support about a dozen Apple clients in a heterogeneous environment with a Windows 2000 server. I have written an article on the problem and have several solutions, including a print processor that I have written that installs on the server and transparently converts the binary to ASCII.

He describes the problem in his article:

When printing from a Macintosh to a printer using any AppleTalk method such as LPR/LPD, IPP, Rendezvous, USB, etc., certain files will result in many "garbage" pages being printed, each one usually having a line or several lines of random characters.

Rodrigues saw a description of the problem in our old archived pages, Windows NT Unsolved Mysteries. The problem report was called LPR (TCP/IP) Printing problem from Mac OS through an NT Queue, and dates from December of 1998. My how time flies...

TIP: fix for Cisco VPN "firewall mismatch" errors. June 29, 2005 -- An anonymous reader sent in a type about an error he fixed with the Cisco VPN client and Mac OS X 10.3 Panther:

I couldn’t use Cisco because I kept getting ‘firewall policy mismatch’ errors preventing connection with Cisco VPN Client 4.0.2 to a corporate network.

It turned out that this error is a fairly common error, according to a Cisco engineer. This occures with the Mac client and the VPN concentrator when the concentrator group is set to "Require Firewall" on the connecting host.

This function (“require firewall”) is available on the Windows VPN client software, but not the Mac client! The VPN concentrator setting (if you’re a network Admin, configuring your VPN concentrator) is located here:

Configuration/user management/groups <edit>
Client FW tab
Firewall setting

Ways Admins can fix this:
1. DO NOT require the VPN group to "Require Firewall"
2. Create a new group for your Mac users (this is the most popular answer)

I asked the Cisco engineer if he would recommend adding the function to the Mac client software; he (himself a Mac user) replied sympathetically that it was WAY down on their list of priorities; all we can do is hope for some future release.

Partial workaround startup problem with AD, OD and Tiger. June 29, 2005 -- Brad Anderson has the same startup problems we reported last week regarding clients using both Active directory and Tiger Server's Open Directory. He told us how he is dealing with it:

I too am having the same issue, I can not bind any Macs running Tiger to AD and OD. I’ve tried 3 separate Macs with clean installs and they all stop while trying to boot. One of them being my PowerBook! To fix the problem, I had to unhook the machine from the network, boot, (they will when not connected to the network) then log into the local administrator’s account and then delete the contents of the /Library/Preferences/DirectoryService folder, then restart. This allowed the machines to boot and use ONLY the local user accounts.

If you've seen this issue

See our Active Directory Support page for previously reported problems and workarounds reguarding Macs and Active Directory.

Tiger AD issue: reader unable to change domain password. June 29, 2005 -- Matt Sullivan reports a problem with an inability to change his Active Directory domain account password:

I'm running a new install of Tiger on my laptop which is bound to our Active Directory. I'm a domain admin and my credentials were not properly set. My account was not set up as an admin account. That's minor compared to my next issue. I seem to be unable to change my password for my domain account.

We have security policies which require us to periodically change our passwords. I am given the warning from the Kerberos Agent that I have so many days before my password expires. That is a nice new feature.

10.4.1 did not fix this problem. I let my domain password expire and was able to log on to my Mac with the old one. I am also unable to change my domain password using the Accounts system preference. This is consistently repeatable. I can change my domain password with the Kerberos utility, however the change is not recognized by my Mac for local log in. The only way I was able to change my AD bound local password was the command line.

If you've seen this issue

Thinkfree Office, MS-compatible suite, goes web and free. June 29, 2005 -- ThinkFree, Inc. announced yesterday that it was beta testing an online version of its ThinkFree Office for Windows (US $50), a Microsoft Office-compatible suite. The new online site, called ThinkFree Office Online, will be a free cross-platfrom service available to Windows 98/2000/XP, Mac OS X 10.3/10.4, Linux Fedora Core 3, Redhat Linux 9, and Haansoft Linux Workstation 2005. The service will enable users to edit any Word, Excel or PowerPoint file and will provide 30 MB of storage, with more available for purchase.





June 24

CodeWeavers will help developers port Win apps to Intel Macs. June 24, 2005 -- CodeWeavers Inc. announced on Wednesday that it will offer software porting products to help developers bring Windows applications to next year's Intel-based Macs. CodeWeavers CrossOver technology provides Windows-to-Linux porting software for developers and allows Linux/Intel users to run Windows applications natively on Linux. The company said that users of x86-based Macs who use CrossOver Office will be able to run a wide range of Windows software, including games, which generally don't run in emulators such as Virtual PC.

Earlier this week, we reported that Apple won't prevent Windows from running on its x86-based Macs.

Reader says iEmulator 1.7.6 is slow going. June 24, 2005 -- Kenneth Conrad D' Souzas sent in a report about iEmulator 1.7.6, an x86 emulator for Mac OS X.

I am absolutely baffled with what I saw on my iMacG5/1.8Ghz/2GB memory compared to what they say on their web site. It's as if they are exaggerating through the roof about it's performance...

Windows 2000 is so slow it's utterly unusable, and that's after allotting 1Gbyte of RAM to Windows 2000. I have written to them asking them to explain the disparity between their great comments/description on their site and what I see on my Mac.

You can find previous reports on iEmulator and other x86 emulators on our Virtual PC Alternatives page.

Reader verifies, clarifies fix for Tiger SMB printing. June 24, 2005 -- Chuck White verified a solution we posted earlier in the week regarding problems printing to SMB printers on Active Directory:

Your article today called One more workaround for Tiger/AD/SMB printing problem has finally solved my Tiger printing problem! I have a dual G5 running Tiger and I’ve been trying to print to a Xerox 8160 large format printer which is being shared on a workstation running Win XP Pro. I re-added the printer using the suggested smb://DOMAIN\User:Password@Servername/Printqueuename and the print job worked fine.

A couple of small clarifications on the instructions: My Mac doesn't have an Alt key, I held down the Option key when clicking the Add button and then also Option clicked the More Printers.... button on the next screen. The posted instructions omitted that next you need to pull down the top menu to Advanced, set the Device menu to Windows Printer via SAMBA, I set the Device Name: to 8160 and entered the Device URL: as instructed by your article and finally specify the Printer Model. This worked well and should eliminate my need to boot on a 10.3 partition.

Solution to smb.conf issue with SMB. June 24, 2005 -- Randy Syester responded to a report earlier in the week about altering the smb.conf file on the Windows server to get SMB file sharing to work with Tiger:

At the beginning of the smb.conf file, add an include line that points to a separate file. Not sure if you can do something like this for each file share, but we do it in the local section. Below is a snippet of something we do here. The changes in my_smb.conf aren't touched by the workgroup manager, and WM doesn't touch the include line.

top of the smb.conf file
[global]
include = /private/etc/my_smb.conf
/etc/my_smb.conf
[global]
restrict anonymous = 1
local master = no

Win 2003 Server SMB. June 24, 2005 -- Matthew Egan of Australia describes how he connects his Tiger Mac to a Windows 2003 Server via SMB:

When trying to connect to a Windows 2003 Server via a Mac running 10.4.1 using SMB - you might get the following error message: "The alias [SERVERNAME] could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found."

Connecting to a Macintosh share on the server works fine and printing to any print queues on the server works OK - it's just not able to connect to any shared folders via SMB.

If you have a look at your system log you will see the following error message:

Jun 22 14:42:39 PowerBook kernel[0]: smb_smb_negotiate: server configuration requires packet signing, which we don't support

Jun 22 14:42:39 PowerBook kernel[0]: smb_smb_negotiate: server configuration requires packet signing, which we don't support

The issue is that a Windows 2003 Server by default makes clients attempting to authenticate to them, use SMB packet and secure channel signing. Unfortunately Samba under 10.4 does not support this. You will need to turn off this feature on the Windows 2003 server. I had to restart the Windows Server for the digital signing setting to take affect.

You can find a Microsoft tech article on how to change this.

I search high and low on the net for any info like this and found nothing.





June 21

Apple won't prevent Win from running on Intel Macs. June 21, 2005 -- eWeek quoted an Apple executive say that Apple will not prevent Windows from running on it's upcoming Intel-based Mac hardware. Developers had been speculation on whether Apple would block Windows from running. The eWeek story also quotes the Apple spokesperson saying that the company would not sell Windows or provide support.

MacTech offers free samples of cross-platform and tech info. June 21, 2005 -- MacTech magazine is providing a free PDF file with 167 pages of technical information, including some cross-platform articles. The MacTech Sampler contains articles with such titles as Active Directory, Integrating Entourage and Mail with Exchange Server, Terminal.app Tricks, and articles on programming techniques.

MacTech Magazine covers topics for IT professionals, enterprise network administrators, Mac developers/programmers, and technically inclined users. It was founded in 1984 shortly after Apple launched the 128k Macintosh.

Problems with Win client access to Tiger Server via AD. June 21, 2005 -- Two readers report problems with Windows clients, Tiger Server, and Active Directory.

Win clients locked out of Tiger Server/AD

Gavin Walsh has workaround to a problem with Windows clients accessing Mac OS X 10.4 Server. Unfortunately, the workaround needs to be repeated often:

I have a Tiger Server with Windows and Mac clients authenticating their access to it via an Active Directory. Every time I use the Workgroup Manager to change permissions and save it, our Windows computers can no longer access the share points on the server. The work around for this is to comment out "auth methods = guest opendirectory" and restart windows file services. Users can then access their share points on the server.

This is a problem as every time you change a permission on the server via the Workgroup Manager you need to go back in to the smb.conf file and re-comment out the line as the server overwrites it when you save your changes from the workgroup manager and restart windows file services (users then get disconnected from the server).

Is there any way to keep the commented line in the smb.conf file?

If you know an answer

Startup problem with AD and Open Directory

Justin Andrews reports problems with clients using both Active directory and Tiger Server's Open Directory:

We're having startup problems with clients that are connected to both Microsoft Active Directory and Mac OS 10.4 Tiger Server Open Directory. If a client is configured to connect to both it has startup problems and won't startup (stays at blue screen with grey loading circle).

I configured 3 computers to connect to the Open Directory only, 3 computers to connect to the Active Directory, and 3 computers connected to both.

The 6 computers connected to only one directory worked and started up fine, the other 3 had random startup problems.

If you've seen this issue

Macs hang while searching Win 2003 Server SP1. June 21, 2005 -- Matthias Wengenroth reports that since upgrading Windows 2003 Server to Service Pack 1, the Macs lock up when searchin the server:

We have a Windows 2003 Server with 1TB HDD and all project files on it. Clients run Windows XP SP2, Mac OS 9 and OS X. All works fine using file and print services for Mac (provided by Win2003). Users can search the share and access the files.

Since updating Win 2003 Server to Service Pack 1, all of the Macs, but OS X and OS 9, crash or hang while searching a share with Sherlock or Spotlight.

Access of files is OK (Win and Mac). Searching the share with Win XP is also works.

Uninstalling SP1 solves the problem. But this is not a long time
solution.

If you've seen this issue

One more workaround for Tiger/AD/SMB printing problem. June 21, 2005 -- Dirk Maas found another workaround for the Mac OS X 10.4 Problems printing to SMB printers on Active Directory.

We have several Tiger 10.4.1 Macs in our SBS 2003 Windows 2000 Domain using Kyocera KM2030 and JetDirect attached HP LaserJet 6P.

Following the "SBSMacDoc" guidline helped a lot successfully joining the domain and accessing Exchange Server with Mail.

We too, have an "NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED" Error. I tried setting up Domain Printers manually (holding Alt before clicking on "Adding more printer") using the Authentication that works for SMB Shares:

smb://DOMAIN\User:Password@Servername/Printqueuename

The job now leave the clients and printers even wake from sleep, but still, they do not print.

I'm not sure, what did the trick. We installed Unix Printing Services on the Server and set up Windows Printing on the Mac Clients, which brings up the Authentication Box after choosing the PC. One then can access the list of installed Printers on that Box. This is still not AD Printing, but it is a workaround until Apple fixes the problem.

Mac Explorer upgraded for Tiger. June 21, 2005 -- Rage software has released a maintenance upgrade to its Windows-like tabbed file browser/manager, Macintosh Explorer 4.3.5(US $16, free upgrade). The update improves compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and includes bug fixes.

PDF2Office 2.0 updates conversion utility. June 21, 2005 -- Recosoft Corporation has released PDF2Office Personal v2.0 for Mac OS X ( US$59), a plugin for Microsoft Word X and Word 2004 that will open and convert PDF documents to editable Word files. The company says that the plugin recreates the formatting of the original PDF document, including columns, styles, placement of graphics, tables, and headers/footers.





June 16

Another Cisco VPN Client update for Tiger. June 16, 2005 -- Cisco has release it's second post-Tiger client, version 4.6.04. The update address these issues:

  • CSCeh90822 unity Mac dual proc panic in 10.4
  • CSCeh92574 unity Mac 10.4 AFP panics kernel
  • CSCeh93569 unity Mac will not quit or disconnect on 10.4 no traffic
  • CSCeh93719 unity Mac profile name rejects spaces
  • CSCeh95185 unity Mac help file not found
  • CSCeh96683 unity Mac 10.4 quit disconnect with no default domain name

There are still some problems:

  • Unresolved Issues

    CSCeh90939 unity Mac rekey failure with 10.4
  • CSCei00630 unity Mac switching networks prevents client connect 10.4
  • CSCei11378 unity Mac error 47: failed to load ipseclog.exe
  • CSCeh93891 unity Mac GUI many split tunnels will not pass traffic 10.4
  • User must have SmartNET login with Encryption entitlement to access software.

VPN Tracker 4.0.2. June 16, 2005 -- Equinux has released VPN Tracker 4.0.2, an update to the VPN client for Mac OS X. Among the improvements:

  • Improved keychain handling for XAUTH
  • Fixed and improved several Remote DNS issues
  • Allow certificate signing requests to have an unlimited validity in demo mode
  • Fixed several Smart VPN issues

e2Sync, Entourage syncer, updates for Tiger. June 16, 2005 -- e2Sync Tiger is now available for syncing Entourage contacts, events, and tasks with iCal, AddressBook and all iSync compatible mobile devices. The new version addresses compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.4 and provides syncing by category or by individual contacts.

Entourage Email Archive adds Tiger features. June 16, 2005 -- Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 2.2 (EEAX), a new version of the utility for archiving Entourage X emails and attachments. New features include:

  • Tiger compatibility
  • Searching from Spotlight
  • Fixed tab text file export under Tiger.

Reader: SMB fix for 10.4.1 works--almost. June 16, 2005 -- Amelia Lacenski tried the password workaround for Tiger's SMB problem but was only partially successful.

I am one of many who can no longer connect to a Windows server via Samba. I tried the Apple Knowledge Base fix at and read the advice of many MacWindows readers. I'm writing in response to Travis MacDonald's question: we have had some partial success getting to my school department's file server, but haven't successfully logged in yet.

Previously I connected to the server by getting onto the department's VPN and connecting to smb://share.server.domainname.edu, then supplying the username and password.

After "upgrading" to 10.4.1, I took the following steps:

  1. Set up the /etc/nsmb.conf file as in the knowledge base article
  2. Log on to the VPN as usual
  3. Connect to smb://server.domainname.edu/share via the Finder's Connect to Server window

This gets me as far as the SMB/CIFS File System Authentication dialog box, which is a big improvement over the infamous "Error code -36." The correct domain was already supplied in the Workgroup/Domain field. I then tried supplying the usual username and password, and the error returned is "Could not connect to the server because the name or password is not correct." I tried it several times to rule out typos, but it still insists that the username/pass are incorrect.

Hopefully someone who reads MacWindows knows the problem behind this new behavior.

If you are one of them





June 15

PC-Mac-Net 4.6 handles resource forks for Internet file sharing. June 15, 2005 -- Reports PC-Mac-Net FileShare v4.6 offers enhanced Internet file sharing

Lava Software has released PC-Mac-Net FileShare v4.6 (US $25, free upgrade), a new version of the cross-platform file sharing software that works with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux on local networks and the Internet. Amoung the new features include:

  • You can now transfer Mac resource forks to and from Windows and Linux
  • Faster and more reliable connections for Internet file sharing
  • An automatic firewall test
  • Now displays the amount of free disk space available for incoming files

CADs move toward Mac. June 15, 2005 -- Ten years ago, IMSI discontinued TurboCAD for the Mac. The company has now announced a return with a new version for Mac OS X. A Publish story describes why the company decided to reenter the Mac market.

Autodesk Inc., has released Autodesk DWF Toolkit, a software development kit that enables developers to create applications that read, write, view, print and query DWF files. For the first time, this version supports multiple operating including the Mac OS X and Linux.

The Tiger SMB problem under 10.4.1. June 15, 2005 -- We have several more reports on Tiger's problem accessing SMB servers, this time with version 10.4.1. Previously, readers offered workarounds, including one stating that the problem is related to password encryption.

John H Fallavollita reports that he can connect by using the NETBIOS name:

My SMB issue was resolved based on how I put the name in. If I fully qualified the DNS name it did NOT work. However if I use the NETBIOS name it works fine. For example SMB://server.domain.com/share wouldn't work but SMB://server/share works fine. This is after clearing the keychain (though I had nothing stored in the keychain.)

I've only tested this in 10.4.1.

Pedro Gelabert found the problem with Win 2003 Server:

Well, I have followed your site's workaround to get SMB mounting on Tiger. I have found that using 10.4.1, the drives I can connect are all in Windows 2000 servers. The drives I cannot connect are in Windows 2003 servers. The failure lies in the authentication of the password:

> spnego_parse_auth_response failed at 9
> Failed to parse auth response
> SPNEGO login failed: Unexpected information received
> session setup failed: SUCCESS - 0

Apparently a bug in Windows 2003 servers prevents the correct handling the request of spnego encrypted passwords, and defaults to kerberos. .

Use the command:
smbclient //shared/directory -W workgroup -U username -d4
The -d4 prints logs of the steps of the connection

In one case, I was able to mount on the terminal using smbclient to a Windows 2000 server shared drive, but not in the Finder. I am not sure if this drive is in a Windows 2003 server but with a flag of Windows 2000 server compatibility.

A co-worker in the Windows 2000 server workgroup can mount the same drives that I cannot mount. So this problem must be dependent on the version of the server (2003 vs 2000) and the encryption method.

Do I have to build kerberos and add this to my settings? I spent quite some time with AppleCare. They were very nice and tried to help, but it was way beyond their scope. They even pointed me to that samba.org web site and this problem.

I have unsucessfully tried
smb://WORKGROUP;USERID@server/share
smb://WORKGROUP@server/share
smb://server/share

What's weird is that some mount on terminal, but not on Finder, and vice-versa. Sometimes, one will mount one day, but not another day.





June 7

Apple Goes Intel
Jobs says OS X has been bi-platform from the start

By John Rizzo
June 7, 2005 -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs has put to rest years of speculation: Apple will put Intel processors inside Macs.

Addressing developers at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs said that Intel-based Macs running Tiger will appear within a year, and that the transition from Power PC to Pentium 4 would be complete within two years. He indicated that performance, particularly for PowerBooks, was a big factor.

Jobs also said that was that for every version of Mac OS X from version 1.0 to Tiger, Apple has had a working Intel-based version. (The fact that Apple was able to kept this secret since 2001 is almost as surprising.) Jobs said he ran all of his WWDC demos with Tiger compiled for a 3.6 GHz Pentium 4.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini referred to Apple as "the world's most innovative computer company," a statement that seemed to take Apple's rivalry with Microsoft and Dell.

MacIntels and emulators

A technology called Rosetta will run PowerPC apps on Intel-based Macs. Apple said that Rosetta won't be like Classic; users won't notice they are running Rosetta.

After the Jobs keynote, an Apple engineer told MacWindows that Rosetta is not an emulator, but is rather an "emulating dynamic translator." The difference is that Rosseta doesn't emulate a PowerPC processor, but translates only those parts need by PowerPC Mac software, and only when needed.

Intel-based Macs won't run Windows software natively, so Microsoft's Virtual PC will still be required for users who need to run Windows software on a Mac. But Apple's move to Intel could eventually help VPC users. Without the need to emulate an Intel processor, Virtual PC could theoretically be rewritten to run quite a bit faster than it does today, using the Mac's native Intel processor and graphics hardware.

Tiger on Dell?

The flip side to Windows on a MacIntel is the concept of running Tiger on a Dell or other PC. Presumably, Apple would want to prevent this to protect Mac hardware sales, but it was not known from attendees and Apple engineers how this would be accomplished.

One technical barrier could be the so-called Endian, or byte-order problem, which refers to the fact that Intel and Macs traditionally arrange bytes in opposite orders.

The Endian problem is also an issue for Mac software developers. To address the problem, Tiger is shipping with SQLite. Bertrand Serlet, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, said that use of SQLite solves the Endian problem.

Platform-independant Mac Apps

Developers will be able to create platform-independent software that will run on both Intel-based Macs and PowerPC Macs. (Apple is referring to platform-independence of Mac OS X applications as being "universal.") Developers of Cocoa applications will be easier to become universal than Carbon applications. Apple said that Cocoa apps will only require minor tweaks and a recompile.

Carbon applications will require more substantial changes to become Universal. The two biggest sets of Mac software, Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite, are made up entirely of Carbon applications. Both companies expressed support for Apple's decision, but Intel-based Macs could mean big changes for Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit. Does this mean that Mac BU will add native Exchange support to Entourage? Microsoft was not available for comment.

Developer reaction

Although the audience of 3500 developers at the WWDC keynote cheered Jobs when he came on stage, the initial announcement that Apple would abandon the PowerPC was met with silence.

Afterwards, the reaction was mixed. Many developers thought that the use of Intel processor would bring down the cost of Macs, and therefore sell more of their software.

Others were annoyed that Apple is requiring another major development transition only 4 years after Mac OS X was introduced.

"This will help Apple, but at great cost to developers, and little benefit to our customers," said one developer of cross-platform software who wished to remain anonymous.

"We won't know what's in it for developers for three years," said Mark Alldritt of Late Night software. "The worse part is that I'll be dragged kicking and screaming from Code Warrior."

Ports to Mac-Intel platform will require Apple's Xcode 2.1 and later; Metroworks code Warrior will no longer work.

Apple to release OS X 10.5 at Longhorn release. June 7, 2005 -- Apple announced yesterday that it would release Mac OS X 10.5, code named Leopard, at the end of 2006. Apple CEO Steve Jobs indicated that the release would coincide with the release of Microsoft's Longhorn, the long-awaited next generation of Windows.

Apple releases QuickTime 7 for Windows preview. June 7, 2005 -- At WWDC yesterday, Apple announced that is shipping preview releases of Quicktime 7 Player for Windows (free) and QuickTime 7 Pro for Windows (US $30). Apple will release final versions this summer. Like QuickTime Pro for Mac, the Windows version supports the H.264 high-quality video standard, as well as 24 channels of audio.





June 2

Microsoft will support new Office file formats on Mac OS X . June 2, 2005 -- Microsoft's Mac Business Unit said that it will support the new Office for Windows XML file formats in a future version of Office for Mac. Today, Microsoft announced that new Office XML Open Formats will be the default formats for Office 12.

A Microsoft spokesperson said "the Mac BU continues to partner closely with Windows Office to ensure seamless cross-platform compatibility. The Mac BU will support the new file formats and work to enable forward compatibility with future Office releases."

An eWeek report describes the new Office XML Open Format as requiring converters for the current .doc, .xls, and .ppt formats.

The Microsoft spokesperson described the new formats:

The Microsoft Office XML Open Format is based on an open standard with a
royalty-free license that is broadly accessible to any technology provider.
The Mac BU will provide Office for Mac users with the ability to take advantage of benefits of the new file format and container technology, which will include easier recovery of corrupted documents, improved security and smaller file sizes.

Apple acknowledged Tiger SMB problem while denying it. June 2, 2005 -- Garrett Kline points out that Apple posted a Knowledge Base article describing the problem of Mac OS X 10.4.x not being able to access SMB servers. The article is dated May 5, the same day that an Apple spokesperson told us that none of their customers had reported the problem.

The Apple article describes the -36 error and states that the cause of the problem is related to password encryption, as reported by MacWindows readers.

This error can occur if your Mac OS X 10.4 client is trying to connect to a Samba or Windows (SMB/CIFS) server that only supports plain text passwords...Unlike Mac OS X 10.3, the Mac OS X 10.4 SMB/CIFS client by default only supports encrypted passwords.

The article also explains how to set Mac OS X to use plain text passwords. The procedure involves shell commands in the Terminal application.

Fix for Cisco VPN and Tiger 10.4.1. June 2, 2005 -- Laurent Taupin of France offers a fix for the Citrix VPN problem with Mac OS X 10.4:

I had the same problem after an upgrade to 10.4.1 from MacOS 10.3.9.

After a call to Cisco support, a workaround is available with this command (in this case, PIX firewall is tunnel terminating):

vpngroup <group_name> default-domain <domain_name>

With this command, all it's okay.

If you've tried this fix

iEmulator 1.7.6 accesses Mac files from Windows. June 2, 2005 -- iEmulator has released version 1.7.6 (US $24, free upgrade) of its PC emulator for Mac OS X as a free upgrade. The new version allows users to access Mac OS X volumes, folders, and files from Windows.

See our Alternative PC Emulators page for our previous reports on non-Microsoft PC emulators for Mac OS X.

Readers verify that VPC 5 works with Tiger. June 2, 2005 -- Two readers verified last week's report that Virtual PC 5 will run in Mac OS X 10.4, despite it having serious incompatibilities with Panther.

Vince Cammarata:

Virtual PC 5.04 indeed does work on Tiger. After having to boot into OS 9 for the few times I needed to convert some embedded Kaleidagraph files in Word docs, I find that I no longer need an OS 9 boot volume. Tiger runs VPC just fine. I wonder what got "fixed?"

Rob Rohan:

Yes, VPC 5.0.4 works well in Tiger. I run XP, 98 and Debian on it and it works surprisingly well. I've also just got VPC7 which works too (aside from the non Virtual Switch, which is a pain).

If you've tried to run Virtual PC 5.0.4 in Tiger





May 2005

May 26

Lismore releases Tiger update for Guest PC. May 26, 2005 -- Lismore Software Systems has released Guest PC 1.4 (US $70, free upgrade), a new version of the x86 emulator for Mac OS X that adds compatibility with Apple's Tiger operating system. In addition to the ability to run Windows, the new version enhances the Setup Assistant with help in installing Linux and Unix. Guest PC 1.4 also includes localizations for German, French and Italian.

Lismore said that version 1.4 also includes some bug fixes, including networking and printing in Tiger, handing of DVD images, and Ethernet card and video output problem in Linux.

For more on Guest PC and other alternatives to Virtual PC, see our Alternative PC Emulators page.

what you think of the new version.

Tiger SMB workaround verified; another is offered. May 26, 2005 -- We've had further verification that turning off encrypted passwords allows SMB volumes to mount in Mac OS X 10.4.1 as well as in 10.4.0. We've also had reports that not using a domain controller also works around the problem.

Mark Barton verified the password encryption workaround:

I had problems logging onto the SMB server at work with 10.4. 10.4.1 didn't fix it but the following recipe from MacOSXHints did:

Briefly, cd to /etc, then using sudo and your favorite text editor create a file nsmb.conf with the following two lines in:

[default]
minauth=none

This causes Samba to use plain text passwords.

Bob Nicol agrees:

On 10.4.1 I still have problems connecting to Unisys MCP servers. Creating a file /etc/ nsmb.conf containing:

[default]
minauth=none

detours the problem.

John Ajao offers another workaround regarding the domain controller which is probably related to the encrypted passwords issue:

Just a quick note, the drive mapping (SMB/CIFS filesharing) works between Mac clients running OS 10.4.1 and any resource on a windows server 2000/2003 (Not Domain Controllers) in an AD domain but does not connect to resource on Domain Controller. Example, if you have file sharing on a AD Domain
Controller you will not be able to connect to it form OS 10.4.1 with the error (could not connect to the server because the name or password is not correct) but if it is a share on a Windows server it should work.

So the work around for this till there is a fix is not to have your shares on a sdomain controller.

Peter Scordamaglia had a comment that relates the two approaches in Mac OS X 10.4.1:

I cannot use my Recent Servers links (from CONNECT TO SERVER) if they contain the domain or a password (e.g. smb://domain;user:password@computer/share) but it does work fine if they contain only the userid or nothing at all (e.g. smb://user@computer/ share or smb://computer/share).

Brad Price discovered some interesting clues to the problem in the packet traffic:

No change from 10.4.0. We still cannot connect via SMB in 10.4.1 to our Windows 2003 Server. Panther 10.3.9 connects fine. I was so hopeful when I read "improvements to SMB filesharing" as one of the main features of the 10.4.1 update!

In examining the packet traffic I notice that when negotiating the SMB protocol, Panther uses "Dialect=Samba" where Tiger replaces this with "Dialect=LANMAN2.1" (no change to the seven other dialects.) The other difference I notice is Panther uses "CaseSensitivePasswordLength=24 (0x18)" whereas Tiger uses "CaseSensitivePasswordLength=80 (0x50)".

Unfortunately these don't mean anything to me as I'm not a network analyst. Anyone?

Meanwhile, other readers are reporting that the 10.4.1 solved the problem. For Matt Widener, the update did the trick:

I have a Buffalo Terastation NAS box that I could logon to with SMB on 10.3.8 that became inaccessible on 10.4.0. I'm happy to report that I can login again via SMB since I applied the 10.4.1 update.





May 23

MacWindows Tiger page now up. May 23, 2005 -- We've consolidated most of our previous Mac OS X reports on a new Tiger Reports page.

ShareWay IP adds AFP-over-AppleTalk for Tiger. May 23, 2005 -- OpenDoor mentions that its ShareWay IP software is the only solution that restores AFP-over-AppleTalk access for Tiger. (Tiger only supports AFP over IP, and dropped AppleTalk.) ShareWay IP allows Macs running Tiger to access Macs running System 7 and 8. It also allows Tiger to access Windows NT Server Services for Mac, which runs AppleTalk.

Readers verify password encryption tip for Tiger SMB. May 23, 2005 -- Several readers verified a previous suggestion that encrypted passwords were causing Tiger's SMB problems. Matt Harrigan:

Ronald Jore's tip on encrypted SMB passwords was very helpful. I had just got done telling everyone how happy I was that everything in Tiger "just worked," when I came across the issue of having to integrate the Mac with a Windows/Linux environment. I thought I was going to toss the mac through the window.

Glenn Lebumfacil gives some more detail:

Just wanted to let you know that I was able to get 10.4.1 to talk to a Samba v2 server that was giving me the exact same errors that have been listed in so many web sites. It was a little bit confusing because I didn't even have Active Directory turned on in my Directory Access Utility. Anyways, I was able to finally connect to my Samba server by adding the following to my smb.conf:

encrypt passwords = yes

This is an old fix from back in my Linux days when Win2k started forcing encryption of passwords. Apparently, the Finder SMB access is now being forced to encrypted mode. Found the info on macosx.com.

Reader says Tiger fixes VPC 5. May 23, 2005 -- With Mac OS X 10.4 causing incompatibilies with so much third-party software, it is surprising to hear a reader (identified as "Red Shift") say that Tiger actually fixes the old Virtual PC 5.0.4:

On my 2 G4s (an iMac and eMac) I had given up with VPC 5.04. It had worked under 10.2 Jaguar but under 10.3 Panther it was clearly broken beyond redemption: ultra-slow with frequent crashes.

However once I had installed 10.4 Tiger on a whim I decided to give it another go. To my surprise apart from an initial moan that the Virtual Switch kernel extension could not be loaded (and therefore Virtual Switch networking was unavailable), it has run flawlessly. Windows 2000 Pro is booting in under 90 seconds on a G4 1.25GHz. I am really impressed!

If you've tried to run Virtual PC 5.0.4 in Tiger

We've previously reported that the Virtual Switch networking feature of VPC 6 and 7 does not work under Tiger.

Readers on Cisco VPN and Tiger 10.4.1. May 23, 2005 -- Last week we reported that the new Cisco virtual private network client worked with Mac OS 10.4.1 for some, and did not for others. Today, an anonymous reader can connect, but not disconnects:

I've installed 4.6.3 (0160) on both 10.4 and 10.4.1 and it still has issues (no previous VPN installs). It installs ok and appears to connect BUT a) it will not disconnect (( have to force quit) and b) when it appears to be connect I can't connect to my host; it just times out after a period of time.

Lee Calamaio has a different sort of problem with printing:

It also appears that if you do get Citrix Client on the Mac [Tiger] working (version 7.0.XXX) the printing system hangs up and completely locks up the Citrix session. No workaround yet that I’ve found except save my work and access from my Powerbook G4 running 10.3.9.





May 18

Tiger patch aimed at AD, SMB, VPN and other compatibility issues; readers say problems persist. May 18, 2005 -- Less than a month after shipping Tiger, Apple has released the first patch, the Mac OS X 10.4.1 Update. Apple says that among a long list of bug fixes, the update deals with problems regarding SMB/CIFS filesharing, logon to Active Directory and LDAP servers, as well as incompatibilities with third-party software and hardware. Some developers of virtual private network clients are saying that Apple's patch will work with new updates to their own software. Some MacWindows readers, however, are saying that the new update does not solve their problems with Tiger in these areas. (See stories below.)

Apple said that AFP file sharing and using DHCP in wireless networks were also improved.

Reader says 10.4.1 doesn't fix SMB problem. May 18, 2005 -- Travis MacDonald reports that Mac OS X 10.4.1 does not fix the problem mounting SMB volumes in Tiger:

Just inquiring if anyone you are in contact with has had any luck with the just released 10.4.1 in regards to the SMB issues?

I did the 10.4.1 update in the past half hour and am still unable to connect to several boxes. I had such high hopes when I saw 10.4.1 listed SMB and network fixes as one of its first point.

If you've tried SMB access with the 10.4.1 update please

Readers say 10.4.1 update does not fix AD problems; one offers a fix. May 18, 2005 -- Several readers report that the Tiger update 10.4.1 does not fix the problem with login into Active Directory, despite Apple claim to the contrary. Several reader report that new version made matters worse:

Santino Rizzo:

The 10.4.1 update has not resolved my problems. AD users cannot login when not attached to the network. In fact Apple has made the problems worse. In 10.4, I could at least open a login shell or su to my AD account in Terminal from a local account. Now that no longer works.

Sean Lynch also thought 10.4.1 made matters worse, but has a suggestion to fix it:

I get the same "unknown error" during stage 5 of the Bind with Active Directory 1.5.1. The correct computer object is created in our mixed-mode AD with a PDC and multiple BDCs.

I did a fresh load of 10.4.0 on a G3-400MHz and the bind worked OK. A new iMac G5 10.4.0 and 10.4.1 has the problem
Now I've GOT IT!

1. Trash all files in the /Library/Preferences/DirectoryService (then restart).

2. Config SMB to have your domain name (not FQDN) in the workgroup section (PRINTCORP in my case). I also added this to my WINS server.

This is the only combo I tried, maybe just trashing the files would do it. (The G3 Mac still had Workgroup and a blank for WINS.)

Don Wolff:

I can confirm that creating Mobile User Accounts in Tiger does not correctly cache the users password and will not allow login when disconnected from the AD domain.

This is a huge bummer, and would love to find a fix for it. Apple is saying that the just-released 10.4.1 update is supposed to fix issues with the Active Directory plugin. Does it help in your situation? Not at all. Upgraded first thing this AM and tried to connect with the new install, no go.

Funny thing about all of this, I contact Apple support after my testing and the guy on the phone sounded completely unaware of the issue at all. I suggested that he go and take a look at their discussion boards.

Cisco updates VPN client for Tiger; still no go for dual processors. May 18, 2005 -- Cisco has released a version 4.6.03 (.0160) of it's Mac OS X virtual private network client, which the company says is at least compatible with Tiger on single-processor Macs, but not on dual-processor Macs. The new version will run on dual-processor Macs with Mac OS X 10.2.x and 10.3.x. On dual-processor Macs with Tiger, the new client can cause a kernel panic. Users with a password can download the new version at the Cisco web site.

Howard Moftich said the Cisco VPN client 4.6.03 worked:

Cisco released a Tiger-compatible VPN client, version 4.6.03. I've already installed and tested it, and it seems to work fine. Also, they decided to put everything in either /opt or /etc/opt.

Tony Sze said it worked with the new Apple patch:

I'm using Cisco Systems VPN client 4.6.03 (0160) and Mac OS X 10.4.1. After reinstalling the VPN client on Tiger, I can now connect to the network successfully.

Alexander Kohr, however, said that the new version didn't work on either 10.4.0 or 10.4.1:

Just thought i would update you with the information that the update for tiger of the Cisco VPN for 10.4 software is not working for any of 4 tiger systems that we have tested it with. However it works just fine in 10.3.

Two were tested with just 10.4.0 and three of the systems were tested with 10.4.1. It seems to be some kind of DNS issue. It claims it can't resolve the host names under 10.4.1 however if you put in the machines numerical IP address, that doesn't work either.

Tiger 10.4.1 and VPN Tracker patch fix problem. May 18, 2005 -- Equinux has announced that the combination of Apple's Mac OS X 10.4.1 and a new VPN Tracker 4.0.1 patch released yesterday make the two completely compatible.

Equinux said that a problem with the Tiger kernel produced slow performance over virtual private network connections, a claim echoed by other VPN client developers. With Tiger 10.4.1, the company said the speed of VPN Tracker 4.0.1 in Tiger 10.4.1 is faster than in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. The new version also fixes other bugs as well.

Broken Entourage rules in Tiger; a fix. May 18, 2005 -- Theo Nicolakis verified our prevous report (below) that Entourage's rules are lost when running Entourage:

Can’t tell you why, but yes, my Rules are working only sporadically in Entourage.

DL Byron, who first reported the problem, fixed it:

I got those to work again, by installing the Entourage Spam update. I'm not sure what that did at all, if it was permissions or what. It's still slow.





May 16

Entourage in Tiger: readers verify Spotlight tip for spinning beach ball. May 16, 2005 -- Readers have verified that Spotlight is the cause of the eternally spinning beach ball with Entourage in Tiger. Not all readers are having the problem, but many are reporting that setting Spotlight to ignore Entourage fixes the problem.

Success with beach ball, but broken rules

DL Byron had success, but reports another problem:

Telling Spotlight to not index Entourage helped, but the rules in Entourage no longer work, which is just absolutely terrible.

If you've seen this problem,

Reports of success with Spotlight tip

Kenneth J. Gorelick describes how it's done:

I went to the System Prefs/spotlight, then to privacy, and added my Entourage users (it wouldn't just let me lock out the database). Since then it reads mail just like it used to!

Bill Vader:

I put my Microsoft User Date folder in the Privacy area in the Spotlight preference pane and I immediately noticed Entourage started running much better. Before I had done that, I had the previously mentioned spinning beach balls every minute or two while using Entourage.

Martin Kelly found an improvement with Tiger after the fix:

I followed Joe’s advice and excluded the folder from the spotlight search parameters and found it resolved the spinning ball problem. Strangely, I have found an big improvement in Entourage's search times since loading Tiger.

Greg Pinelo also saw an improvement:

The Spotlight/Entourage fix seems to have helped a lot for me. A lot less drive activity, better response from Entourage.

Pastor Steve Bauer:

Just wanted to thank you for your tip about adding the Microsoft database to the spotlight private folders. My slowdown instantly stopped.

Ed Bascom:

I upgraded to Tiger on 5/9 and the Selvaggi solution to the Spotlight/Entourage problem seems to work.

I use my Mac (G4) in a corporate environment (MS Office) and the only issue I still have is the hot sync function no longer works with Entourage -> Palm. I have not tried re-installing the Palm software yet. (Love the Widgets.)

Steven Pipes:

Joe Selvaggi’s solution seems to have worked for me. I found that it occurred whenever Entourage was updating information from the Exchange server.

Guido van Nispen

I've done exactly as described and suggested by Joe Selvaggi and indeed the beach ball of death is gone!

Reports of failure of the Spotlight tip

Philip Hack

I've tried the fix of not having Spotlight index the mail database but it doesn't seem to help. Entourage does not finish downloading messages. I don't get the beach ball, it just stops trying.

Readers who are not seeing the problem

Jeremy Matthews:

I've had no problems among our test Macs with Tiger and Entourage (v 11.1.1/2004 with all updates).

However, I did a "clean install" instead of upgrading our machines; personal policy. Originally, the Macs we "upgraded" from 10.3 to 10.4 experienced some odd problems, especially with Office 2004 and v. X.

Myron Jones

I use Entourage everyday. I did an Archive and Install of Mac OS X. I've not had any difficulty with Entourage. I did notice sluggish behavior of my entire system on Day 1 (during the initial indexing), but after letting my PowerBook G4 sit overnight everything was fine on Day 2. My database is about 1.3 GB.

I know however MS apps can be problematic at times. I have all the latest updates installed. Early versions of Entourage gave me more problems than this version has.

David Lockwood:

No issues with Entourage (Office 2004) and Tiger. I have 45,000 archived emails and haven't had one spinning ball issue or notice a slow down.

Michael Holve:

No problem here, running the latest of Entourage on two machines.

Entourage and Mail in Tiger issue: inconsistent syncing. May 16, 2005 -- Greg DeMichillie reports another Tiger-caused Entourage problem that also affects Mail:

I'm seeing inconsistent syncing of Mail with Exchange now that I've updated to Tiger. Several times now I've seen Mail connect, sync and show nothing new in my Exchange inbox when I know there is new mail because I've seen it with Outlook.  I can make Mail find the messages by firing up Entourage and touching the message in question, then the next time Mail syncs it will mysteriously find the mail.

If you've seen this problem,

Microsoft to release Longhorn Beta this summer. May 16, 2005 -- PC Magazine reports that Microsoft is getting ready to release the first beta version of it's Longhorn operating system this summer, and is now releasing details. The story describes some of the new features, including this comment: "In some ways, Longhorn will resemble the file system effects already in the Macintosh OS X."





May 12

Group Logic releases Tiger-compatible EZ-IP. May 12, 2005 -- Group Logic has released ExtremeZ-IP 4.0.4, a free upgrade that provides Mac OS X 10.4 compatibility. ExtremeZ-IP is AFP 3.1 file server software for Windows 2003/2000 servers and Windows XP workstations.

The company said that the uprade also includes performance enhancements and support for gigabit networking.

PC-Mac-Net FileShare 4.5 doubles performance. May 12, 2005 -- Lava Software has shipped PC-Mac-Net FileShare 4.5 (free upgrade), cross-platform encrypted file transfer software for Mac, Windows, and Linux. PC-Mac-Net FileShare works on local networks and the Internet.

Lava Software said that the new version doubles file transfer speeds over previous versions. It also includes new features, such as:

The company offers a free Lite Edition, which has a 3-user limit and a 10mb file size limit.

Tiger SMB mounting problem linked to password Encryption? May 12, 2005 -- Ronald Jore believes that the Tiger's problems with mounting SMB volumes is caused by an inability to sendunencrypted passwords:

I do have the SMB-mounting problem as well, and it goes away when I reconfigure the server to use encrypted passwords.

So it seems that SMB smb client in Tiger is unable to send unencrypted passwords for SMB authentication.

I could not find much information on the software involved but as I understand it mount_smbfs uses NSMB, for which password encryption seems to be a compile-time option.

I have filed a bug (#4108992) with Apple at the 5th of May which is still marked as open.

P.S.: I noticed another bug. Try dragging a text selection into an open mail.app message window: doesn't work. I've logged this one on the 6th (#4110490) and it has been marked "Duplicate" which I take to mean that they know about it.

Workaround for Tiger SMB printing problem. May 12, 2005 -- A reader who wishes to be anonymous has discovered a workaround to the problem of SMB printing with Mac OS X 10.4:

Tiger clients "clean installed" (ie not upgraded from an already configured 10.3 client) are not able to print on a Windows printer if:
  • Users are on one domain
  • Printer belong to another domain

You can declare the printer OK, but ...when you try to print to a printer connected to Windows, you get the following error message:

Connection Failed with error
Nt_Status_Logon_Failure
Samba unable to connect to host

I have found out that this issue is specific to a printer you create in 10.4. It does not happen for printer created first in 10.3.x if you selected to upgrade over your existing system.

It looks like there might be a problem with the way 10.4 is building the smb:// access string to your printer when following the screen flow process.

Creating a printer in advance more (holding Alt before clicking on "Adding more printer") and typing in the smb:// string yourself does the trick.

If you've tried these suggestions

Win can't access Mac printers under Tiger. May 12, 2005 -- Dr. Ronald Weiss is seeing the problem that is oposite to the one above, in that Windows PC's can no longer access Macs after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.4:

I used to be able to share my Mac printer with the Windows machines onmy peer-to-peer network. Since installing Tiger, all I get when trying to print to the Mac printer (Brother MFC-6800) from a Windows box is something like "Unable to print...a portion of the file is locked by another process.". I can see and share files on the MAC from Windows computers on the network. When I try and "re-install" the shared printer on the Windows machine it does not help. I can print from the MAC on the Brother MFC-6800. Just can't share the Mac printer as I used to.

Mac Explorer 4.3.1 adds OS X 1.4 support. May 12 -- Rage Software has released Macintosh Explorer 4.3.1 (US $16), a Tiger-compatiblility update for the software that provides a Windows-Explorer like file manager for Mac OS 9 and OS X. The new version also adds performance gains fixes bugs.





May 5

Spotlight cripples Entourage in Tiger: a fix is offered. May 5, 2005 -- Several readers verified the problem of Entourage in Tiger getting stuck in "spinning beach ball" mode, which we reported on Tuesday.

Joe Selvaggi blames it on Spotlight and has a suggestion:

I am experiencing the spinning ball problem in Entourage since upgrading to Tiger. There a corresponding sound (like frantic memory/ disk swapping activity) coming from my PowerBook.

Apparently it's Spotlight trying to index the Entourage Mail DB. Tell Spotlight to ignore the Microsoft User Data folder (Users > Documents > Microsoft User Data) should do the trick, or at least it appears to work.

John Orwin also sees the problem:

I upgraded to Tiger 5/1, and have found that Entourage locks up: spinning ball. Requires force quit. This appears to be random.

Mark Allen: I'm getting the same annoying beach-ball spins in Entourage.

Daniel Golding: Having very slow, spinning beach ball issues with Entourage and Tiger.

Sean Spicer: Entourage unstable using WebDAV under Tiger...beachballin' it.

If you've tried Selvaggi's suggestion

A VPN client that works in Tiger. May 5, 2005 -- Rob Dandrea says that Gracion's DigiTunnel, a PPTP virtual private network client, works with Mac OS X 10.4:

I have been using the DigiTunnel VPN client with Tiger all weekend long with out any problems. Just thought I'd pass this info along to give others an alternative solution.

VPN Tracker 4 adds support for Cisco PIX, VPN. May 5, 2005 -- Equinux has released VPN Tracker 4 (US $89 Personal Edition, $179 Pro), a new version of it's virtual private network client for Mac OS X. VPN Tracker 4 adds support for Cisco PIX and Cisco VPN Concentrator, offering an alternative to Cisco's client. (It does not support the older model 5000 concentrator.) VPN Tracker is now compatible with over 250 major commercial firewalls/gateways.

The company says that the new version is compatible with Mac OS X Tiger, but runs 25 percent slower than it does in Mac OS X 10.3. The reason according to Equinux:

The issue is in the Tiger kernel itself and Equinux is not able to fix it; however, we are working closely with Apple to deliver a fix soon.

Other new features include:

Citrix problems with Tiger. May 5, 2005 -- Rick Nooner had a problem installing the Citrix client, but found a fix:

It looks like the Citrix ICA client version 7.00.402 for OS X will not install on Tiger. I used this same client successfully on Panther for the past few months. This client is used to connect to the Citrix MetaFrame environment.

Turns out that the installer for the OS X Citrix installer throws up an error message making it look like the installation fails.

Actually the error can be ignored since the installation really succeeds. The client works fine.

Victor Mora has less luck, saying "Citrix Client does not work."

Groupcal incompatible with Tiger. May 5, 2005 -- Snerdware says that it's Groupcal is incompatible with Mac OS X 10.4. It will install successfully, but will not launch.

Groupcal enables you to work with a Microsoft Exchange calendar from Apple's iCal. It can synchronize events and tasks, schedule people and resources for meetings, and respond to meeting requests, among other things.

(Thanks to Douglas Bergere.)

PGP Desktop Beta available for Tiger. May 5, 2005 -- PGP has issued PGP Desktop 9.0 beta (prerelease) that is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.

(Thanks to Patrick Best.)

More reports of SMB problems in Tiger; suggestions for client and server. May 5, 2005 -- We've had many reports of SMB problems in Mac OS X 10.4. We have three categories of reports today:

Chris Millet connected to SMB after he cleared Keychain:

I too am having problems connecting to machines running Windows Server 2003 and Active Directory. There's nothing special about our setup. I didn't have any problems up to OS X 10.3.x.

I believe I have a fix... Fortunately it's very simple. Once I cleared my Keychain of any references to the shares I was having problems connecting to, I was suddenly able to connect again. I found the fix on Apple's support boards.

Gilles Pelletier can access SMB from Terminal:

I can't connect anymore from the desktop (using the Connect to Server option) to a Windows server. However, I found that I can connect from the Terminal using the smbclient command. In a nutshell, the command is:
smbclient //server/drive -W workgroup -U username. More info on the man page.

Bobby Gaza can also access from Terminal:

Samba is broken in Tiger also (i.e., connect to server smb://yadda). While cmdline smbclient works, mount_smbfs (connect to server) does not work. I've tried mounting Windows servers (2000) and Samba servers (2.2 - 3.0) all with the dreaded error code 36.

Martin Burns reports some details of the log:

So, Tiger won't act as an SMB client to SAMBA or real Win XP shares. I was getting error code -36 (the I/O error) whenever I tried to connect. I could see the workgroup in the network browser (although now that seems to have gone too). Ethereal suggested that there was no SMB or NetBIOS traffic at all.

Eventually I dive into console logs and found this:

skye:/Library/Logs/Console/501 root# tail console.log
mount_smbfs: session setup phase failed: syserr = Authentication error
mount_smbfs: session setup phase failed: syserr = Socket is not connectedmount_smbfs: could not login to server COLONSAY: syserr = Socket is not connected
Also from before the workgroup disappeared, was getting a lot of:
May 2 23:12:24 skye automount[220]: Cannot mount URL 'smb://MARTIN;abc-TEGGB123456' for /Network/Martin/abc-Teggb1235456 (UI not allowed).
which is me trying to mount a share on my work XP lappie (details obfuscated for not getting fired reasons).

Dallas Hockley:

I can confirm that mounting an SMB share from Tiger seems to have gone kaput vs. 10.3.x. I continually and consistently get the following error:
The Finder cannot complete the operation because some data in "smb:// foo.company.internal.corp" could not be read or written. (Error code -36).

Robert Froom had an interesting experience:

I installed Tiger on a dual 1.8 G5 and I am not able to connect to the office Linux server. It presents an authentication screen. I type in the password without effect. After many many tries I have gotten through to another screen which claims that some of the data is unreadable.

Total waste of time. No help from Apple. Help line claimed that it must be a problem with the server and suggested that I reformat my hard drive. Great, even I know that reformatting is the LAST THING TO TRY.

Dana Pero tried and AppleScript, without success:

I used to be able to connect to Windows servers and workstations either via the GUI interface "connect to server" or through an AppleScript I wrote. Neither works now with Tiger. I get two different error messages - either an error code -36 or could not connect to the server because the name or password is incorrect. The errors seem to vary based upon the machine I'm trying to connect to.

Funny thing is I've been able to connect to one server - one that I know is very old and probably hasn't been updated in quite awhile...

Santino Rizzo is one reader who is NOT having a problem with accessing SMB servers:

While there seems to big major problems with Directory Services, I have absolutely no problems connecting to SMB servers on W2K and W2K3, in fact I would say file transfer speeds are much faster, though I have not done any real benchmarks yet. I've done nothing special to the servers other than the usual encryption modification in Group Policy.

Windows clients connection to Macs

Mike Goggin:

I've had problems with using SMB in Tiger since I upgraded the other day. I can connect to SMB shares on Windows boxes but that those same Windows machines can't connect to my Tiger box and access the shares on my Mac. I've also not had a problem with shared SMB printers (connecting to a shared printer on a Windows box).

I was able to restore SMB functionality on my network to 100 percent. I reverted to using the default Tiger smb.conf template. Once I verified that the template worked, I tailored it to suit my needs on my network. Below is my smb.conf that works:

=========
; Template configuration file for smbd.
=========
; For the format of this file and comprehensive descriptions of all the
; configuration option, please refer to the man page for smb.conf(5).
;
; The following configuration should suit most systems for basic usage and
; initial testing. It gives all clients access to their home directories and
; allows access to all printers specified in /etc/printcap. It also provides
; a public share point for generally exporting stuff.
;
; Some things to check out:
;
; 1: Make sure that the user specified in "guest account" exists. Typically
; this will be a user that cannot log in and has minimal privileges.
; Often the "nobody" account doesn't work (very system dependent).
;
; 2: You should consider the "security =" option. See a full description
; in the main documentation and the smb.conf(5) manual page
;
; 3: Look at the "hosts allow" option, unless you want everyone on the Internet
; to be able to access the shares you export here.
;
; 4: If you want to support printers, add/uncomment the relevant entries.
;
[global]
guest account = unknown
encrypt passwords = yes
auth methods = guest opendirectory
passdb backend = opendirectorysam guest
printer admin = @admin, @staff
server string = Mac OS X
unix charset = UTF-8-MAC
display charset = UTF-8-MAC
dos charset = 437
use spnego = yes
client ntlmv2 auth = no
os level = 8
defer sharing violations = no
vfs objects = darwin_acls
brlm = yes
[homes]
comment = User Home Directories
browseable = no
read only = no
;[public]
; path = /tmp
; public = yes
; only guest = yes
; writable = yes
; printable = no
[printers]
path = /tmp
printable = yes
[root]
path = /
browseable = yes
writeable = yes
valid users = @admin
Samba printing problem with Tiger

Jay Gibb:

With Panther, I had my EPSON Stylus C84 mounted via Samba. The printer is plugged into a Windows 2000 machine (via USB) and shared normally. It was working fine with Panther with the smb://username:password@group/server/sharename syntax. Immediately after upgrading to Tiger it stopped working.





May 3

Developers verify Tiger incompatibilities. May 3, 2005 -- Reports of incompatibilities with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and cross-platform network software continue to pour in. Readers are verifying yesterday's reports, as are vendors. Another developer, Equinux, is saying that there is a bug in Tiger's kernel. (An eWeek report has additional info.)

Readers have also sent in new reports of Tiger problems, including incompatibility with other products and those with standard file sharing.

Steven Palm gives a technical description of some of the changes in the Tiger kernel:

[Tiger] requires rewriting any kernel extensions and related bits so that they conform to the new standard KPI interfaces, but the upshot is that this sort of thing need not happen again because now we have a supported set of API's to write against. Apple is now free to make any backend changes they'd like to the kernel as long as their published KPI API set still functions the same way. This is a huge step.

John Siracusa covers this quite well in his review, section 4.

Most of these manufacturers are advising customers not to upgrade to Tiger until the problems are worked out.

Microsoft verifies VPC 7 Virtual Switch bug;
Readers say VPC 6 also affected.
May 3, 2005 -- Microsoft verified yesterday's report of Virtual PC 7's Virtual Switch option not working in Tiger. A spokesperson said that it would be fixed in a free patch from Microsoft in 2-to-3 months.

Thanks to all of the readers who wrote in to verify the problem. Two readers also reported that the problem occurs in Virtual PC 6 as well.

Phil Ershler:

I have noticed the same issue with Virtual Switch in VPC 6 and Tiger. Shared Networking seems to work OK.

Douglas Stroud:

I upgraded to Tiger over the weekend and all went pretty well. However, with VPC 6 I am having the same problem as mentioned in the article with the Virtual Switch being broken.

VPN Vendors verify Tiger incompatibles;
several more clients added to the broken list.
May 3, 2005 -- VPN software seems to be affected across the board. We have these reports added to yesterday's.

Check Point incompatibility confirmed

Check Point verified yesterday's reader reports that it's VPN-1 SecureClient is incompatible with Tiger. Check Point expects to have a fix this month.

Equinux VPN Track is incompatible

Mark Dadgar notes that Equinux is telling customers that VPN Tracker is incompatible with Tiger, with the same slow performance as other VPN clients:

FYI, the Equinux VPN Tracker client (which is exceptional, BTW) broke as well. Same symptoms as IPSecuritas and the others. Did this thing get any QA before it went out the door?

Like Thursby and Lobomoto, Equinux says that Apple will need to fix a kernel bug before it can complete the update of its product.

Reader reports problem with OpenVPN

Steven Palm reports:

I use the OpenVPN software for establishing a VPN to my workplace, and the tun/tap device drivers are of course broken by Tiger, so I am trying to rework them on my own, even though the author probably will have a fix done before I do. :-) It's a fun exercise.

Problem with built-in VPN client

Ed Coye says Tiger's built-in VPN client won't work with the Cisco PIX:

The built in VPN will not work with Cisco PIX. Not only can't you use the Cisco client, you can't use the built in Apple client anymore to reach a Cisco PIX.

Prosoft Client incompatible with Tiger. May 3, 2005 -- Michael Campbell in Australia reports about the Prosoft NetWare client for Mac OS X:

Just to let you know that 10.4 is NOT compatible with Prosoft's client for OS X, apparently they are working on an update but as yet there is nothing on their beta site.

Mac OS X 10.4 Server halts on reboot after configuring directory services. May 3, 2005 -- Greg Priglmeier is having problems rebooting Tiger Server and Active Directory and Open Directory:

After performing several clean installs and upgrades of 10.4 Server on machines that are bound to AD and OD, I have found that the servers will fail to reboot and will hang.

Users can't log into the machine with local accounts.

We are using Apple's built-in tools. This seems very consistent to me. If I remove the /Library/DirectoryService folder I can reboot OK.

Problems with Tiger SMB file sharing. May 3, 2005 -- Several readers reported problems connecting using the SMB file sharing protocol:

Tim Koss's Windows clients are having problems access Tiger Server:

I just installed Tiger on my file server in my mixed environment office. The network access on my Windows machines went from excellent in 10.3.x to BRUTAL in Tiger.

Brad Price says SMB mounting is broken in Tiger:

We have Windows Server 2003 with Active Directory here and departments share space on the LAN. We wrote a little AppleScript to mount the server volume using essentially the Finder "Connect to Server" functionality, with smb://server.domain/share. Clients must authenticate at mount time with their AD username and password.

This was working fine in Panther through 10.3.9, but in Tiger it's broken. I have no idea where to begin. We're not doing anything complicated like AD binding or really ANYTHING on the Mac side of things.

I wonder if Apple changed something with the way SMB authenticates? Perhaps something to do with adding NTLM2 support?

Robert Kuhling, Jr., reported a problem connecting to a printer attached to a Unix machine:

After installing Tiger update to Panther, printing broke to an HP8400 (Network connection)

Entourage almost unusable due to spinning "beach ball."

If you've seen any Tiger problems with SMB or Entourage

Tiger can't connect to old AFP server. May 3, 2005 -- Doug McNutt reports that Tiger will not connect to older Macintosh machines running OS 7. He sent us a link to a description at MacFixIt forums. McNutt also sent us a description of his situation:

The mount_afp tool fails when directed to an OS 7.5 server. It worked OK from 10.2.1 thru 10.3.9. I am told there were problems with 10.0 and 10.1.

The returned error is -1070 which is cryptic but Finder says it's an incompatible AppleTalk device and cannot be mounted. It does see the SE/30 as a server though.

I want my money back!

4 gigibytes of operating system and you can't even maintain compatibility for 10 years? I can still run Excel 4 macros with Excel 2001. Fortunately I can easily go back to Panther. I have to have my SE/30 with it's real serial ports.

It turns out that the reason is that Mac OS X 10.4 no longer supports AFP over AppleTalk. (AFP over IP is still supported.)





May 2

Tiger breaks numerous network apps; developers blame kernel bug. May 2, 2005 -- Today's news focuses on numerous reports we've received of various types of networking software that no longer work under Mac OS X 10.4, Tiger, which began shipping last Friday. We haven't heard of this much networking software breaking since Mac OS X 10.1, which was a major rewrite of the kernel and much of the BSD-based core.

Two developers, Thursby Software and Lobotomo Software, blame at least part of the problem on a bug in Tiger's kernel.

Last week we reported that Cisco announced that it's VPN client is incompatible with Tiger, and that Group Logic told users that it is hoping to release a Tiger-compatible version of ExtremeZ-IP in a few weeks. (ExtremeZ-IP runs on Windows, however, and is not as affected as Mac software.)

If you've seen other cross-platform incompatibilities with Tiger

Reader reports VPC 7 Virtual Switch broken with Tiger. May 2, 2005 -- A reader named Pete reports that the Virtual Switch networking option in Virtual PC 7 does not work after upgrading Mac OS X to version 10.4 (Tiger).

In Virtual PC, Virtual Switch networking, a virtual machine running Windows can have it'ss own network connection that is separate from the Mac's. The other VPC networking option is Shared Networking, in which the virtual machine shares the Mac's Internet connection.

If you've tried Virtual Switch networking with Tiger

Tiger not compatible with ADmitMac and DAVE. May 2, 2005 -- Thursby Software announced that its current versions of ADmitMac and DAVE are NOT compatible with Tiger. Thursby described the changes in networking:

The vastness of Apple's enhancements to critical parts of the system (both the kernel dealing with network transports and the file system) are requiring a major effort to obtain compatibility.

Thursby reports that when upgrading to Tiger when ADmitMac is installed, the Mac can fail to boot. Thursby provides a workaround at its web site.

Thursby said that part of the problem is a bug that Apple has acknowledged, and that Tiger compatible versions of ADmitMac 3.0, due on August 8, and DAVE 6.0, due in late August, were dependent on Apple's bug fix.

Lobotomo Software, makers of the IPSecuretas VPN client, also says that there is a bug in the Tiger kernel. (See the story directly below.)

The ADmitMac and DAVE upgrades will be free to customers who purchased the products on or after April 1, 2005. Thursby will notify registered customers when the new releases are available.

Cisco is not alone: Tiger breaks other VPN clients. May 2, 2005 -- Last week, we reported that Cisco said its VPN client is incompatible with Tiger. Apani (formerly Netlock) and Lobotomo Software have since followed suit, and readers also reporting incompatibles with the Check Point VPN client.

IPSecuritas

Lobotomo Software is reporting problems with its IPSecuritas VPN client at a user discussion forum. Lobotomo Software seems to agree with Thursby that there is a bug in the Mac OS X 10.4 that Apple needs to fix:

a. Tunnel establishes normal, but throughput is very bad, packet round-trip times (ping) between 500 and 1000 ms (on connections with approximately 50 ms before). This seems to be a bug in the MacOS kernel.

b. DNS replacement does not work anymore - the settings are ignored.

c. In one case, the tunnel could not be established at all.

We are working on problems b. and c., while only Apple can resolve a. At the moment we don't recommend to update to Tiger if you rely on VPN connectivity.

Lee Unks reported to MacWindows that he is seeing the first two of these problems:

Since upgrading to Tiger, IPSecuritas is extremely sluggish 40 ms pings have now turned into 1000 ms. Also, the DNS Replace function is broke as well.

Apani (Netlock) Network Contivity Client

Mark Alexander reports that the Apani support page reports an incompatibility with Tiger:

I am a customer of Apani/Nortel Contivity VPN Client for Nortel Networks. I found the following statement on the Apani Website in regards to Tiger Support:
The currently released version of the Contivity VPN Client, v3.1.1, will not support the use of Mac OS 10.4. There are changes at the kernel level that cause the Contivity VPN Client to no longer work.

We will be releasing a version of the Contivity VPN Client to add support for Mac OS 10.4. All customers with current maintenance contracts will be notified via email as soon as the release is available.

Dave Scott in Singapore received an email message from Apani:

Confirmation from Apani that their VPN client won't work either , which is a bummer since I use it for "working from home"Apani, at the moment does not have support for the Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4). We will be adding support for this in a later version, but we do not currently have an estimated release date. We will add your e-mail address on our "Feature Request" and will be the first to know once it becomes available.

A reader in Japan describes the symptoms:

I am a Mac user in Japan and I found the crash of Apani Contivity VPN Client post OS X upgrade from 10.3.9 to 10.4 Tiger. In contrast to your case, my Safari works well with Apani client with 10.3.9, however, Tiger completely denied start up to my VPN. Safari says "page http://... can not be opened".

This reader also sent a not to Apani, and received the same message as Dave Scott.

VPN-1 SecureClient from Check Point

Nordine Vandezande reports that Tiger has the same bug with the Check Point VPN SecureClient found in Mac OS X 10.3.9. The fix that we reported for 10.3.9 doesn't work for Tiger, however:

I would just like to report that I have the same problem with VPN-1 SecuRemote on Tiger as already mentioned for 10.3.9.

Unfortunately the fix which seems to work for 10.3.9 does not work for Tiger.

Marcel Lammerse discovered the same thing:

I upgraded to OS X 10.4 (Tiger) today and found that the SecuRemote client no longer starts up. I've followed the steps in Michael's workaround, but couldn't get it to work.

Morten Hersson of Norway also has the problem:

I bought the OS X 10.4 this morning and rushed home to try it all out. I experienced the problems with 10.3.9 so I wasn't too surprised when after doing a fresh install of Tiger that the Secureclient would have a few issues. I expected that it would go through the install like on 10.3.9 and then maybe not work, but it won't go through the install at all. It just quits and gives you no error message, and tells you to try install again.

I don't know what happens if you just do a OS X update.

I think it´s the latest from Check Point, SecureClient_B558000178_1.pkg

Richard Little:

Tiger also broke the Checkpoint Secure Client.

Guillaume Fiastre:

I installed Tiger. I had uninstalled Secureclient first. After upgrading to Tiger, I'm totally unable to reinstall Secureclient: installation stops with an error. That's bad...

PGP Desktop incompatible with Tiger. May 2, 2005 -- PGP Corporation alerted us that it's PGP Desktop products are incompatible with Tiger at this time.

From John Dasher, director of product management at PGP Corporation:

I wanted to send an important note regarding PGP Desktop and Apple Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) operating system compatibility.

PGP Desktop 8.x (including PGP Disk) on Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is incompatible and unsupported.

PGP Desktop 9.0 is fully compatible and supported on Mac OS X 10.3.8 and 10.3.9.

PGP Desktop 9.0 is currently unsupported on Tiger. Although early compatibility testing has proven successful, PGP Corporation was unable to complete final Tiger certification of PGP Desktop 9.0 due to Tiger's recent release. Final testing with the shipping version of Tiger is underway, and PGP Corporation intends to fully support Mac OS X 10.4 in the near future.

Active Directory/Open Directory problems with Tiger. May 2, 2005 -- Santino Rizzo reported Tiger problems with Active Directory and Open Directory:

I'd like to know if anyone using the AD plug-in can reproduce my problems with Tiger.

1. Mobile AD accounts cannot login when disconnected from the network. Major problem for laptop users. Account info is there in NetInfo, and you can do a Terminal login to that account, but no login from Login Window.

2. Open Directory printing does not properly authenticate resulting in NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED. Printer setups using OD though AD work beautifully, but is completely useless if you can't actually print.

If you've tried seen these problems with Tiger





April 2005

April 28

Tiger doesn't support Cisco VPN Client. April 28, 2005 -- eWeek reports that Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) will not support the Cisco virtual private network client. The story quotes a Cisco product line manager as saying that Cisco has been working with Apple on the incompatibility, but were unable to resolve it. eWeek reports that Cisco will fix the problem in May. Apple will release Tiger tomorrow.

If Tiger breaks other VPN clients

Problem with Safari 1.3 and Nortel Contivity VPN Client. April 28, 2005 -- David Toub reports that Safari 1.3, which comes with the Mac OS X 10.3.9 Update, is incompatible with the Nortel Contivity VPN Client:

Using Nortel's Contivity VPN Client v 3.1.1, Safari 1.3 now crashes on login. The VPN connection is established, but I have to restart Safari each time I login now. This was NEVER the case with Safari 1.2. This is reproducible 100 percent of the time. I also installed the latest Java update posted yesterday by Apple, yet Safari still crashes when logging in through the VPN.

If you seen a Safari 1.3 with this or another VPN client

During the past couple of weeks, we've reported problems with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and the CheckPoint VPN client, as well as a workaround.

EZ-IP 4.0.4 to add Tiger compatibility. April 28, 2005 -- Group Logic has announced that it will issue ExtremeZ-IP 4.0.4 in mid May to address compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

Microsoft introduces 64-bit Windows. April 28, 2005 -- Earlier this week, Microsoft released Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, a new 64-bit version of the operating system for PCs with 64-bit processors. The 32-bit version is still available.

Today, Microsoft will host a webcast about Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and the required hardware. The webcast is set for 10:00 am, pacific standard time.

Earlier reports are mixed. ExtremeTech reports that many hardware manufacturers have not written 64-bit drivers for the new version of XP.

A review at CNET didn't recommend x64 Edition for most users:

Microsoft's first venture into 64-bit OSs is not for the faint of heart; only early adopters and those running 64-bit software should give Windows XP Professional x64 a try.

A PC Magazine review was more positive.

If you've seen any effect that XP x64 has on Mac compatibility

Terra Soft Releases 64-bit Yellow Dog Linux for Mac. April 28, 2005 -- On the heals of Apple's 64-bit Tiger and Microsoft's Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Terra Soft Solutions has release a 64-bit version of Yellow Dog Linux v4.0.90 for Macs. The operating system supports both 64-bit and 32-bit code.

Links to Microsoft VPC advice on modems. April 28, 2005 -- We found a Microsoft Knowledge Base article called Basic Modem Setup for Virtual PC that may be useful to readers. The article applies to Virtual PC for Mac 5.0 through VPC 7.x. Another article called How to Install a 56 Kbps Modem on a Windows-Based Virtual Machine applies to versions 5.0-to-6.1.

Reader report: MS HyperTerminal doesn't work in VPC 7 over modem. April 28, 2005 -- Gary Leask reports that Microsoft told him that Virtual PC 7 for Mac OS X will not support HyperTerminal over a modem connection:

I am using Virtual PC with Windows XP Professional on an Apple PowerBook G4 running MacOS 10.3.

The Microsoft-supplied HyperTerminal WILL NOT access the Mac's internal modem. Heaps of e-mails and $35 to Microsoft resulted in them refunding the $35 and advising that the problem was Apple's. Other software that requires a direct modem connection (not Internet) such as some business banking software (not Internet banking) will not work either.

With respect to the Internet connections, I have found that by connecting to the Internet from the Mac side before starting VPC, Internet Explorer will use the connection without fuss. This is true for the internal modem and a CDMA broadband connection.

Novell gets closer to SMB by hiring Samba co-author. April 28, 2005 -- eWeek reports that Novell has hired Jeremy Allison, coauthor of the Samba SMB file server. The story says that Allison will work on file serving technology.





April 25

Fix for OS X 10.3.9/CheckPoint Client is a success. April 25, 2005 -- Over a dozen MacWindows readers reported that the fix we posted last week does correct the Mac OS X 10.3.9 bug with the CheckPoint VPN SecureClient.

Most readers reported unconditional success with the fix. Ward Rosin of Calgary, Alberta, notes one caveat:

Michael White's fix for SC on 10.3.9 works like a champ! Thanks for posting this!

I noticed that if you exit SecureClient after applying the fix then attempt to restart it, it will fail as before (requiring a reboot to get going).

This shouldn't be too much of a big deal for most folks who probably leave it running all the time.

Scott Smith notes that Apple's Java fix did not work:

The fix worked very well and thanks. I was about to rollback and feeling nervous about it.

I also applied the Java fix Apple released, but that failed to fix SecureClient.

Peter da Silva recommends a slight modification to the fix:

Oh, god, please don't use csh/tcsh for scripting. It's a fine CLI, I use it by preference to Bash, but it's godawful for scripting.

#!/bin/tcsh
cd /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin
while (1)
../SR_Service
end

Try this:

#!/bin/sh
cd /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin
while true
do ./SR_Service
done

I realize that the problems of csh as a scripting language don't show up here, but they are extremely serious. I'd rather program in Visual Basic than trust csh. The basic problem is that csh does not parse the script, it just runs commands. There's some really nasty problems that can show up with complex quoting and "here documents."

Thanks to everyone who wrote in to report success with the fix.

TIP: Workaround for OS X 10.3.9 and AD login problem. April 25, 2005 -- Fabien Hory reports a problem with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and Active Directory, and a fix that he discovered:

After installing 10.3.9 on three Power Mac G5s already bound in our AD, I was unable to log on one of the three machine with an AD user. After validating the user and password, the login window was stuck on screen with the "Opening..." Text and nothing else happened.

To solve the problem, I had to log with the local admin user and clear all the caches features with the "Onyx" tool.

If you've seen this problem or tried the fix

Review of GuestPC 1.2 at PDAntic.com. April 25, 2005 -- Steve Sande has a review of GuestPC 1.2 at his web site, complete with screenshots. He gave us a summary:

I found it to be perfectly adequate for those times where you need a Windows machine but don't want to shell out the dollars or desk space for one. It's not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but if a person is going to use GuestPC for one application only and is patient, it's a worthwhile purchase. Although I was unable to perform any benchmarking since I returned Virtual PC to the store, Guest PC doesn't seem all that much slower on an iMac G5 1.8 GHz. Guest PC isn't a perfect application &endash; I had numerous lockups and crashes due to incompatibilities with Virex 7.5.

You can find our previous reports on GuestPC 1.2 on our Virtual PC Alternatives page.

More Bluetooth syncing with VPC 7. April 25, 2005 -- Responding to last week's report about successful use of Bluetooth in Virtual PC 7, Loren Olson did not have the same luck with his add-on Bluetooth adapter:

While I suppose there is a possibility this will work if you have a built in Bluetooth, it certainly will not work with a D-Link Bluetooth adapter. I have a D-link Bluetooth adapter which while seen by the Mac itself, never ever appears in Virtual PC.

Fax modem problem with VPC 7. April 25, 2005 --Brett Kahl is another reader with a problem with using a fax modem with Virtual PC 7:

I read your comments on regards installing the modem drivers to work on COM1. I tried the same and can not get the thing to dial out.

If you can shed some light

Microsoft Delivers Windows Server R2 Beta 2. April 25, 2005 -- eWeek's Microsoft Watch reports that Microsoft has released the second beta Windows Server 2003 R2 update to beta testers. The story says that is based on Service Pack 1, incorporating the feature packs release in the past year, adding some minor features.

Security Flaw in Win 2000. April 25, 2005 -- eWeek reports that Microsoft has acknowledged potentially dangerous security hole in Windows 2000 that includes the server version. There is no patch available at this time.





April 25

Fix for OS X 10.3.9/CheckPoint Client is a success. April 25, 2005 -- Over a dozen MacWindows readers reported that the fix we posted last week does correct the Mac OS X 10.3.9 bug with the CheckPoint VPN SecureClient.

Most readers reported unconditional success with the fix. Ward Rosin of Calgary, Alberta, notes one caveat:

Michael White's fix for SC on 10.3.9 works like a champ! Thanks for posting this!

I noticed that if you exit SecureClient after applying the fix then attempt to restart it, it will fail as before (requiring a reboot to get going).

This shouldn't be too much of a big deal for most folks who probably leave it running all the time.

Scott Smith notes that Apple's Java fix did not work:

The fix worked very well and thanks. I was about to rollback and feeling nervous about it.

I also applied the Java fix Apple released, but that failed to fix SecureClient.

Peter da Silva recommends a slight modification to the fix:

Oh, god, please don't use csh/tcsh for scripting. It's a fine CLI, I use it by preference to Bash, but it's godawful for scripting.

#!/bin/tcsh
cd /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin
while (1)
../SR_Service
end

Try this:

#!/bin/sh
cd /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin
while true
do ./SR_Service
done

I realize that the problems of csh as a scripting language don't show up here, but they are extremely serious. I'd rather program in Visual Basic than trust csh. The basic problem is that csh does not parse the script, it just runs commands. There's some really nasty problems that can show up with complex quoting and "here documents."

Thanks to everyone who wrote in to report success with the fix.

TIP: Workaround for OS X 10.3.9 and AD login problem. April 25, 2005 -- Fabien Hory reports a problem with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and Active Directory, and a fix that he discovered:

After installing 10.3.9 on three Power Mac G5s already bound in our AD, I was unable to log on one of the three machine with an AD user. After validating the user and password, the login window was stuck on screen with the "Opening..." Text and nothing else happened.

To solve the problem, I had to log with the local admin user and clear all the caches features with the "Onyx" tool.

If you've seen this problem or tried the fix

Review of GuestPC 1.2 at PDAntic.com. April 25, 2005 -- Steve Sande has a review of GuestPC 1.2 at his web site, complete with screenshots. He gave us a summary:

I found it to be perfectly adequate for those times where you need a Windows machine but don't want to shell out the dollars or desk space for one. It's not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but if a person is going to use GuestPC for one application only and is patient, it's a worthwhile purchase. Although I was unable to perform any benchmarking since I returned Virtual PC to the store, Guest PC doesn't seem all that much slower on an iMac G5 1.8 GHz. Guest PC isn't a perfect application &endash; I had numerous lockups and crashes due to incompatibilities with Virex 7.5.

You can find our previous reports on GuestPC 1.2 on our Virtual PC Alternatives page.

More Bluetooth syncing with VPC 7. April 25, 2005 -- Responding to last week's report about successful use of Bluetooth in Virtual PC 7, Loren Olson did not have the same luck with his add-on Bluetooth adapter:

While I suppose there is a possibility this will work if you have a built in Bluetooth, it certainly will not work with a D-Link Bluetooth adapter. I have a D-link Bluetooth adapter which while seen by the Mac itself, never ever appears in Virtual PC.

Fax modem problem with VPC 7. April 25, 2005 --Brett Kahl is another reader with a problem with using a fax modem with Virtual PC 7:

I read your comments on regards installing the modem drivers to work on COM1. I tried the same and can not get the thing to dial out.

If you can shed some light

Microsoft Delivers Windows Server R2 Beta 2. April 25, 2005 -- eWeek's Microsoft Watch reports that Microsoft has released the second beta Windows Server 2003 R2 update to beta testers. The story says that is based on Service Pack 1, incorporating the feature packs release in the past year, adding some minor features.

Security Flaw in Win 2000. April 25, 2005 -- eWeek reports that Microsoft has acknowledged potentially dangerous security hole in Windows 2000 that includes the server version. There is no patch available at this time.





April 21

Mac OS X 10.3.9 update fixes AD binding problem. April 21, 2005 -- Justyn Phillips from Australia reports that the Mac OS X 10.3.9 does not have the Active Directory problem with binding that appeared after a recent update:

The 10.3.9 update works well.

Just got a new G5 Dual 2.0 with 10.3.7 installed as standard: it would NOT bind to domain. Plugin version 1.0.6.

I reinstalled OS X from the Panther Boxed Set (10.3.2), and bound fine. Brought up to 10.3.9 and was able to unbind and rebind successfully: plugin version 1.0.7.

If you've seen the 10.3.9 update fix this problem

Fix for OS X 10.3.9 bug with CheckPoint Secure Client. April 21, 2005 -- A number of readers responded to our report earlier this week of a problem with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and the CheckPoint VPN Client. The problem appears to be widespread.

Michael White forwarded a fix you can perform in Terminal:

The following is a procedure that can be accomplished completely via the terminal app.

Open Terminal and use the following steps

1. sudo bash (admin password)

2. pico wdog.sh

3. Add the following to file

#!/bin/tcsh
cd /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin
while (1)
./SR_Service
end

4. Press "control" and "x", yes to save and press return

5. mv ~/wdog.sh /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin

6. chmod 755 /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin/wdog.sh

7. chown 0:0 /opt/CPsrsc-50/bin/wdog.sh

8. pico /System/Library/StartupItems/SecureClient/SecureClient

9. Change the following line $SRDIR/bin/SR_Watchdog &> $SRDIR/log/ScBootlog.txt & to

#$SRDIR/bin/SR_Watchdog &> $SRDIR/log/ScBootlog.txt &

10. After that line add

$SRDIR/bin/SR_Service &> $SRDIR/log/ScBootlog.txt &

11. Press "control" and "x", yes to save and press return

12. Exit Terminal

13. Reboot.

If you've tried this solution

Manfred Vorderwülbecke had to reinstall 10.3.8:

I had the same problem and I had to reinstall 10.3.8. On checkpoint.com I didn't find any information.

No Problems before from 10.3.4. up to 10.3.8 with all security-updates etc.

Gamal Khaldi in Belgium:

I have the same problem. The only thing so far that helped was to rollback to 10.3.8.

Phillip Molaro describes the symptoms:

Having the same issue. When I reboot, Checkpoint says it can't start and the machine needs to be rebooted. Rebooting does nothing. Please let me know if you know of a solution.

John Erik Johnsen of Norway:

After updating to Mac OS 10.3.9, SecureClient stopped working. Uninstalling SecureClient and installing newest version does not help.

Mark Anthony Fojas:

I hope that Apple and Checkpoint work to resolve this because it IS a showstopper for many places.

Thanks these readers to all of the other readers who wrote in.

Other Mac OS X 10.3.9 problems, apps not launching. April 21, 2005 -- Jeannie Allen reports that problems with the Mac OS X 10.3.9 update is not limited to the CheckPoint VPC client:

Our company provides industry standard software to television and film makers around the world, and I had an influx of calls yesterday from people who upgraded to 10.3.9 and the programs would no longer launch.

There is a discussion thread on Apples web site on this but for the most part I have found that if people reinstall the security update and reboot, all is well.

TIP: Palm syncing with Virtual PC, use Bluetooth. April 21, 2005 -- Andreas Merkel gets around Palm syncing problems with Virtual PC 7 by using Bluetooth instead of USB:

I had also the sync problem with Virtual PC 7 and my Palm device.

I'm using Mac OS X 10.3.9 with a Palm Tungsten T3 and Win XP on Virtual PC 7 (latest update).

It was not possible to sync over USB. But VPC 7 offers the possibility to set com1 to Bluetooth-PDA-Sync. It is also necessary to reduce the transfer-speed within Hotsync and palm to a lower level. I used 19200.

Now the syncing works fine. I think this is a good solution for all persons with Bluetooth Palms.

If you've tried this solution

Mark/Space ships OS X syncs with T-Mobile Sidekick. April 21, 2005 --Mark/Space is now shipping The Missing Sync for hiptop (US $30), software for syncing contacts, calendar events and to-dos between the T-Mobile Sidekick handhelds and Mac OS X's Address Book and iCal applications. Missing Sync for hiptop using OS X's iSync.





April 19

Mac OS X 10.3.9 problem with VPN Checkpoint SecureClient. April 19, 2005 -- Richard Dupuy reports that upgrading to Mac OS X 10.3.9 caused the Checkpoint VPN Client to stop working:

After having upgraded my Mac with OS 10.3.9 my VPN Client from Checkpoint "VPN-1" does not launch anymore. A reinstallation of the software doesn't help. Has anyone an idea our a workaround with a third party solution ?

If you've seen this problem or know of a solution

Readers says Guest PC 1.2 adds speed boost. April 19, 2005 -- Brad Freeman of Edsbyn, Sweden, sent in a good review of Guest PC 1.2 from Lismore Systems:

GuestPC 1.2 is noticeably faster now on my Power Mac G5 SP 1.8 w/1GB RAM!

Installation of Windows 2000 previously took 4 hours but now was down to only 1 hour. OS loads faster and seems to be quite stable. With earlier versions,processor usage in the earlier version was 95-100 percent while Win 2000 was sitting idle, but now with version 1.2 there is minimal processing during idle.

Support is outstanding and company listens to and fixes problems as they are discovered. Interface is clean and simple to use.

I fully recommend this product as a stable and economical alternative to VPC!

For previous reports on Guest PC and other emulators, see our VPC Alternatives page.

Reader verifies AD-Firewall error. April 19, 2005 -- Mike Tuller reports having seen a Firewall problem with Active Directory, OS X that we reported laste week:

I have seen this error, but only a couple of times. I have had issues with the AD plugin though. Most every time I try to bind, it comes back that the username and password is incorrect. I don't change anything, and after a few tries, the system will finally bind. A network admin and I looked at this with Etherpeek, and it seems that the AD plugin is asking for a lot of LDAP entities that are not in the AD directory. I've just dealt with it for now, and am hoping that with 10.4 this will be cleaned up.

In short, the error that was described on MacWindows is just one of many problems with the AD plugin.

Another report of Mac OS X 10.3.8 problem binding to AD. April 19, 2005 -- Michael Balogach is another reader who began seeing problems binding to Active Directory after an upgrade:

I updated from 10.3.7 to 10.3.8 and now I can not keep the binding. I have no problems binding the Mac to the AD (Windows 2003 Server with SP1), but if I log off and try to log back on It does it shake. I can login as root and re-bind with no problems but it does not keep it. I also tried leaving the Mac logon for hours and then before I would log off I would open the network home folder. Then I logged off and then logged back on with no problems.

If you've seen the 10.3.9 update fix this problem

Meshbox releases cross-platform icon sets for developers. April 19, 2005 -- Meshbox Design has released Valerian (US $99), a set of 80 royalty-free icons for cross-platform application developers for use in Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Each icon comes in a variety of file formats and in sizes of 8, 16, 24 and 32 pixels.





April 15

Apple promises cross-platform improvements in Tiger this month. April 15, 2005 -- Apple announced that it will ship Mac OS X 10.4 (US $129) and Mac OS X Server 10.4 (US $499 for 10 clients, $999 unlimited) at the end of the month with new cross-platform features. Apple would not comment when we inquired for more details. Among the new cross-platform features Apple has announced for the client version:

Tiger Server includes support for Access Control Lists (ACLs), a more flexible method of handling permissions than the native Unix permissions. Apple says the ACLs used on Mac OS X Server 10.4 are compatible with the native file permissions of Windows 2003 and Windows XP. Additionally, all user-based services in Tiger Server support service access control lists (SACLs).

Apple will ship Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X Server 10.4 on April 29.

Microsoft to release VPC upgrade for Tiger. April 15, 2005 -- A Microsoft spokeperson has informated us that Microsoft is working with Apple to determine potential issues with running Virtual PC 7.0.1 in Mac OS X 10.4. Microsoft plans to release a free VPC update within the next two-to-three months to address any issues with Tiger.

Suggestions for Win XP SP2 printer sharing. April 15, 2005 -- Tom Newhouse verified a reader solution to Mac OS X 10.3.6 unable to access Win XP Service Pack 2 printers.

We were seeing the NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED. This was driving me NUTS! The first solution work on the second try.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Slow Windows Client Access to Panther Server. April 15, 2005 -- Steve Dockery responded to the suggestions readers gave earlier this week to his problem of slow Windows client access to Mac OS X 10.3 Server:

I tried the suggestions people gave about Ethernet connections, but that wasn't the problem. It doesn't matter if the speed and duplex is manually set on both ends.

However, I don't understand WHY it works, but I do have a solution.

What we were doing was accessing the Xserve via a shortcut we put into Network Places. This works for our Windows 2000 Server, and I would expect it to work for the Xserve. However, it doesn't seem to work properly for the Xserve.

But there is another way to access it that DOES work. If you browse directly to it by going to "Entire network" in the Network Places window, it acts normally. Once you get to the Xserve, you can right-click on the volume you want, and select "Map Network Drive" which will put that volume into your "My Computer" window, associating it with a drive letter. Then, you can access it from there at normal speed.

Why does this work, but not the other way? No idea yet, but there must be some technical difference in how the two methods work that the Win2K Server doesn't care about, but which bolluxes up the Xserve. It may yet turn out to be AD related. If I solve it, I'll send an update.

Meanwhile, many thanks to everyone for their suggestions!

e2Sync update for Tiger, Entourage conduit for iSync. April 15, 2005 -- e2Sync, Inc. has released e2Sync Personal v1.3.4, a new Tiger update for the Mac OS X software for syncing Entourage Contacts, Tasks and Calendar with iSync. Fixes in this new version include:

Entourage Email Archive X 2.1 is released. April 15, 2005 -- Softhing has released Entourage Email Archive X 2.1 (free update), software for Mac OS X for archiving Microsoft Entourage email. The new version includes the following improvements:

Print It! 2.1 works with Virtual PC. April 15, 2005 -- MacEase has released PrintIt! 2.1 (US $30, free upgrade), Mac OS X printing utility that enables users to print any object on screen, even if not normally printable. The new version now works with Virtual PC in Mac OS X, and can be used as a workaround for printing problems, according to the developer. Print It! is invoked with hotkeys that can be changed. Other new features include:

A Better Finder Rename for renaming Mac files to Win. April 15, 2005 -- PUBLICSPACE.NET has released A Better Finder Rename 6.9 (US $20), a new version of the Finder enhancement for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. A Better Finder Rename 6.9 now allows you to convert Mac files names to legal Windows NTFS file names, as well as into account limitations of the SMB Windows file sharing service.

A Better Finder Rename is a contextual menu plugin for the Finder which allows you to quickly rename multiple files.





April 11

TIP: Changing fragment setting on Cisco VPN fixes Outlook 2001 problem. April 11, 2005 -- Don Anderson passed along this tip he discovered about the Cisco virtual private network and Outlook 2001:

One of the users I support switched from Windows to Mac a few months ago. Since she is on Exchange and must use the calendaring feature, I installed Outlook 2001 on her Mac. Outlook 2001 connected flawlessly on our LAN but hardly ever connected via DSL. Cable modem was better but still not reliable.

Recently I got this problem on the agenda for a weekly network analysis coaching session which is led by an outside expert. While pinging the Exchange server over a test DSL link we have and varying the MTU, we found that when packets were fragmented by the VPN server, some fragments arrived out of order and were being thrown away.

One of our Network Engineers changed the Fragment setting on our Cisco VPN 3000 Concentrator from "Do not fragment prior to IPsec encapsulation, fragment prior to interface transmission." to "Fragment prior to IPsec encapsulation with Path MTU Discovery (ICMP)". This fixed the problem with Outlook 2001, which now connects reliably to the Exchange server via the VPN client on the user's PowerBook from home and from remote locations as they travel.

Suggestions for slow speed for Win clients on Xserve. April 11, 2005 -- A number of readers responded to last week's report of a reader with slow Windows client access to Panther Server. Two readers suggest Ethernet as the source, while two others say that Active Directory could be the problem.

Alan Sill points to the old problem of mismatched Ethernet duplex settings, which we've been reporting about since the days of Windows NT Server:

Windows clients notoriously do not negotiate network link duplex settings reliably. Depending on your network setup and router, you can find that rather than negotiating to 100 Mbits/sec, full duplex, you can find failure on one side or the other for the auto negotiation, resulting in a 100-half duplex connection. (Note that if either side fails on this negotiation, the link defaults to half duplex.) This can cause the kind of slowdown that you mention.

Note that you have to set one of precisely two conditions: either (1) BOTH sides have to be set to auto negotiate the duplex setting and speed, and succeed, or (2) BOTH sides have to be hard-set to 100-full.

It does not work to leave one side at auto negotiate and leave the other hard-set -- despite the hard-setting, you will get a 100-half duplex connection.

We saw such slow performance until we hard-set both sides of the Windows client computer links to 100-full, after which we saw normal speeds. Note that for some reason, the auto negotiation (if set on both sides) works much more reliably with Apple machines.

Scott Turner also suggests Ethernet:

Apple has articles in the KB about problems with Ethernet handshake causing these issues.

I've been battling it on and off for 2 years now. Power cycling hubs sometimes works, other times I'll flip the Ethernet handshake settings on the Intel Ethernet chip's driver settings and get the speed back up.

Right now my Tablet PC 2005 via Intel 802.11b/g mini-PCI card to an Airport Extreme via 100-base-TX to a Dual 2 2 GHz G5 is unusable. But if I jack the Tablet into the same hub as the G5 it zooms.

Sumeet points to Active Directory:

I think your problem may be due to a couple of reasons:

1. Your AD is too large for lookupd to handle. You may want to look at

/var/log/SystemLog for lookupd errors.

2. Use another form of Auth instead of AD. LDAP comes to mind, but you need to reconfigure some AD stuff. NIS of you want to install SFU 3.5, which is free

3. The best thing you can do is create local accounts if at all possible. Using nis to create the tree and then moving it to a local file will work, but it's tedious since the /etc/passwd file is entirely ignored until you do some nib tricks.

Ben Harper also thinks the problem is in Active Directory:

We have an Xserve running an architecture firm full of Windows users, and the speed is awesome. The Xserve is setup to be the PDC and manages permissions and user information internally I think perhaps your problem is binding it to an active directory server, and obtaining the information between the AD Server and the Xserve is causing the problem. Working on the connectivity between the two would probably be the place to start. If there is a Samba AD debug mode, I would turn it on; from my experience that reveals what the problem actually is.

Firewall problem with Active Directory, OS X. April 11, 2005 -- David Wood reports a problem with a Mac accessing Active Diretory after a firewall went up:

Attempting bind a PowerBook with OS 10.3.8 to a Windows Server 2003. I was able to bind the notebook before the administrator installed a firewall on the Win 2003 server. Now the active directory binding setup hangs on step 5 of 5. After sometime a message stating, "An unknown error occurred."

Earlier today I sat with the server administrator to try and sort out if there was an issue with my connection rights. What we saw was baffling.

The Mac is connecting to and communicating with the server. A computer object is also being created in the directory. The issue appears to be somewhere after computer object creation on server and binding confirmation on the Mac. Are there firewall issues or ports required open that we may not be aware of?

If you've seen this problem

Windows SMB invisible files problem and workaround. April 11, 2005 --Derek Tom describes a problem with Windows 2000 Services for Mac that we've described before, one where files and folders become invisibile. He also has a workaround.

We recently discovered a bug with Windows 2000 Server's 'Services for Macintosh' (SFM) that causes some files and folders to disappear - actually, to become invisible (Mac file invisible flag enabled). In our case, the files/folders are only visible when on an Mac OS X machine, doing a Find File (command-f) and searching on the server for just invisible items (Visibility > invisible items). From the search results listing we can then copy the files to the local Mac OS X machine. Actually, in one case the copied files are visible in the Finder on the local machine but in another case the copied files are not, but are "seen" using Terminal and the command-line interface. In our case, the files are not visible on the Windows server in Explorer but Backup Exec does seem to backup the files even if they are not visible.

The problem is mentioned at the Mac Night Owl Message Board, Windows 2000 Mac Support Forum.

I believe the steps mentioned here should provide a temporary fix (although I have not tried them yet): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q147909/

I figure Mac file utilities such as XRay, FileShaper, and A Better Finder Attributes will help to set the invisible flag back correctly.

Our server is running the latest version of Windows 2000 Server (SP4 with latest patches). Web forum link above suggested that the problem also exists with Windows Server 2003 too.

We never had this problem for years when running Windows NT Server 4.x.

Has anyone else encountered this or have a permanent fix? I would appreciate if some of you can try searching on your Windows server-based Mac volumes for invisible files and report back if you also have the problem. The search process can take very long and you can ignore the normal invisible files such as .DS_Store, Thumbs.db, .._<filename>, .Trashes, Icon, and ~WRLxxxx.tmp, of course. Sort search results on Size and Kind to try and find any improperly invisible files/folders. We have two Windows 2000 servers with SFM and both had a dozen or so folders and files that were invisible (one of them was an important job folder).

Am investigating a more permanent solution and am considering the following:

1. Apple Xserve

2. Windows Server 2003 with ExtremeZ-IP

Apple's solution seems to be a lot more expensive, especially when you add in hardware RAID (SATA and not even 10-15K rpm U320 SCSI HDDs!), a tape backup solution, and AppleCare Premium Service and Support.

If you'd like to comment

Microsoft releases Win Server 2003 SP1. April 11, 2005 -- Microsoft has released Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. A PC World story says the update adds performance and security.

If you've seen the new Service Pack fix any existing problems with Mac clients, or cause new problems

XVT updates cross-platform development package for web. April 11, 2005 -- Providence Software Solutions has released XVT 5.6, the latest version of the cross-platform development tool for building graphical applications for Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix and Linux. The applications created with XVT can also be deployed over the web:

The result is a client/server application where the server executes business functionality and the client renders the presentation layer. The new application is launched from a regular browser that automatically downloads a small thin client. XVT Web applications maintain the look, feel and performance of the native platform



April 8

Fix for VPC 7/AutoCAD printing issue with TrueType. April 8, 2005 -- Bill Earl responded to a report earlier this week about problems with Virtual PC 7 and AutoCAD regarding mouse drivers and TrueType fonts:

I have experienced both of Jeffrey Hoyer's problems using AutoCAD with VPC,and believe I have a solution for the TrueType printing problem.

I had the same problem about two years ago and asked for help on an Autodesk forum. The thread is at here.

TrueType fonts print properly when both the printer setup and page setup are set to landscape. I created a new PC3 file for this printer setting. Previously, I wasn't aware of the landscape setting in the printer driver.

Reader says Guest PC 1.2 is faster. April 8, 2005 -- Mark Bellon reports that the recently released Guest PC 1.2 is significantly faster than with previous versions:

I was one of the early adopters of Guest PC. In my original report I documented its problems with networking and that it was quite slow. Version 1.0.1 dramatically improved stability and fixed all of the networking problems but did little performance wise.

The latest version, 1.2, running on my dual 2 GHz G5 is VERY noticeably faster.

I did a Windows XP Pro install from scratch and timed it. It ran more than twice as fast as did the earlier version. I so no problems in version 1.2 in my testing.

If you've used GPC 1.2

TIP: location of Citrix Preference File. April 8, 2005 -- Michael Wilmar pointed to the fact that although some of our readers said deleting the Citrix preference file in Mac OS X solves a problem with using the Citrix Client over a virtual private network, we did not say where the file is located. Wilmar told us that the Citrix preference file is called CitrixID and is located here: (homefolder)~/Library/Preferences/Citrix ICA Client/

Wilmar said "We found the Citrix preference folder, deleted the CitrixID inside, rebooted, and it worked fine."

TIP: Setting user privileges for XP roaming profiles with OS X Server 10.3 April 8, 2005 -- Eric Kelly passing along a tip on how to get around a problem with Windows clients accessing Mac OS X Server:

We're using a new install of OS X Server 10.3.8 as a PDC for some XP client machines to log in using roaming profiles, located on the Xserve. I have mostly been able to get this to work, but ran into a problem:

When a user tries to run QuickBooks from the XP client machine, they get the following message, "User Access Rights Problem."

Your user account for Windows was created with Restricted access to system resources. This will prevent QuickBooks from operating properly. Please contact your system administrator and ask him or her to grant you Standard user rights."

After poking around a bit longer, I discovered that I can add users to predefined groups (e.g., Power Users) via Computer Management/System Tools/Local Users and Groups/Groups, by adding just adding the user as "domain\username". Problem gone!

Slow Windows client access to Panther Server. April 8, 2005 -- Steve Dockery's Windows clients are seeing very poor Mac OS X Server performance:

Mac clients can access our Xserve at full speed, whether logging on using AFP or SMB, but Windows clients (Win XP and Win2K) get such pathetically slow performance that they can't really use it. It takes up to 20 seconds for any folder on the server to open, even if it has only one or two items in it.

Our Xserve is running Mac OS X Server 10.3.8 with all the latest updates. It's bound to an Active Directory server.

I need to solve this ASAP, because it's making my claims of cross-platform compatibility for the XServe and Mac OS X Server look bogus.

If you've seen this problem





April 6

Guest PC 1.2 Update claims speed boost for G5's. April 6, 2005 -- Lismore Software Systems has released Guest PC 1.2 (US $70, free upgrade) an update to its x86 PC emulator for Mac OS X 10.3. Lismore claims that the new version doubles the performance on Macs with G5 processors and increases stability and compatibility for all Macs. Other improvements include:

If you've tried the upgrade

For previous reader comments regarding Guest PC, see our Alternatives to Virtual PC page.

VPC 7 with AutoCAD: problems with mouse drivers and TrueType. April 6, 2005 -- Jeffrey Hoyer described two problems with Virtual PC 7 that make it tough for working with AutoCAD:

I have talked to Microsoft about two bugs in Virtual PC that affect AutoCAD.

The first is that Virtual PC uses the Mac mouse and no longer is able to use Windows-based mouse drivers. The effect of this is that in AutoCAD on VPC 7, both the normal arrow and the AutoCAD cursor show up simultaneously on the screen. This has some bad properties at times, but is not a difficult thing to work with.

The main problem is that any TrueType fonts used in a drawing will not rotate when plotted to landscape format. When printed, the TrueType fonts run vertically while the SHX fonts print normally. The Microsoft techs did not have a fix for this at the time and said they would tackle that problem in time.

For us, it makes it impossible to work on AutoCAD in VPC 7, as our CAD standards have several TrueType fonts in them. The speed of the program on a Dual 2 GHz G5 machine are just tolerable and considerably slower that VPC 6 on a fast G4 machine.

For previous reports of using AutoCAD in Virtual PC, see our AutoCAD and Virtual PC Reports pages.

Installing Samba 3.0.13 with AD on OS 10.3.8. April 6, 2005 -- Ryan Michael Kepke Gerdes has posted an article explaining how to compile, configure, and install Samba with Active Directory support on Mac OS X 10.3.8. He describes it:

This should be useful for administrators that want to use a Mac for a Windows file-server within their AD. The method outlined above takes a traditional UNIX approach, and doesn't use any of the Samba support tools shipped by Apple (no plugins or GUI's). I feel that this greatly simplifies things, and allows for more flexibility in choosing when, and what, to upgrade. At my workplace we've been doing things this way since Samba 3.0.6, and it has proved quite solid.

Missing Sync for Windows Mobile to sync to Entourage. April 6, 2005 -- Mark/Space has announced a June ship date for The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile (US $40 download), a replacement for The Missing Sync for Pocket PC, software for syncing Mac OS X with Pocket PCs and Windows Mobile Smartphones. New features include:

Mark/Space also says that cross-platform compatibility is improved:

The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile now employs Microsoft's Pocket Outlook Object Model (POOM) to manipulate information on the handheld in the same way that Windows ActiveSync does. Advantages to using this method are increased sync performance and the ability to sync a Windows Mobile device between a Windows PC and a Mac.

Entourage Email Archive X 2.0 adds FileMaker features. April 6, 2005 -- Softhing is now shipping Entourage Email Archive X 2.0 (EEAX), Mac OS X software for for archiving email and attachments in Microsoft Entourage. A major new feature is the ability to use the new Email DB 3.0 FileMaker Pro template to manage attachments. The Email DB template is available inside EEA X 2.0 bundle for both FileMaker Pro 6 and 7. The new version also has some interface changes and optimizations.





March 2005

March 29

Update on SheepShaver Mac emulator for Windows. March 29, 2005 -- Gwenole Beauchesne, one of the codevelopers the SheepShaver Mac emulator for PCs, reacted to our statement that PearPC was the first PowerPC emulator for Windows:

It has been a long time since I have not written to you about Macintosh emulators I were codeveloping with Christian Bauer.

First, and most importantly, SheepShaver was definitely the first Power Mac emulator available to x86. According to my changelogs, the first public release was around November, 2003. Since this date, it evolved to include a portable but slower JIT engine with AltiVec emulation support. Recently, I ported it to Windows on popular demand, though I am not a Windows developer.

I usually place snapshots and precompiled binaries here.

Sources are still available in Christian's CVS repository.

Here are some benchmarks:

The latest announcement at LinuxEmu is available here.

Second, I have just revived the Windows port of Basilisk II which brings it up-to-date with current CVS sources. This does include runtime depth and resolution switching and fixes to the JIT compiler. However, I don't intend to do much work on the Windows port as I don't develop there.

Apple Security Update fixes Samba issues with OS X Server, Win client. March 29, 2005 -- Steve Maser reports that the recent Apple Security Update 2005-003 for Mac OS X updated Samba (SMB file sharing) and solved a problem he was having with VirusScan on Windows clients:

Many months ago I ran into an issue with VirusScan 8.0i not able to go through Internet Explorer to connect to my Mac OS X Server. It's reproducible and has to do with a bug in the VirusScan "scriptproxy.dll" file.

This was against Samba 3.0.5, which is part of OS X 10.3.8. I got confirmation from users on the Samba mailing list that they were seeing this with VirusScan 8.0i as well.

Apple released a security update that (finally) bumped Samba up to 3.0.10. This specific problem is now gone.

Updating Samba should also apply to people running Samba services on Linux.

Jason Dunn reports that another Samba problem was fixed:

Security Update 2005-003 seems to have fixed the Samba issue with Windows search. I have tested it successfully on two server machines and plan to update the remainder of my servers soon.

If you've seen the Security Update 2005-003 fix these or other SMB problems

10.3.8, Security Update 003 and AD Binding. March 29, 2005 -- Last week, a reader reported that Apple 2005-003 Update caused an Active Directory binding problem. Eric Sanders also reports some trouble:

My recent troubles joining a Mac to AD are very similar, but I cannot say which OS X update (or Windows update) seemed to bring about the troubles joining to AD. I have found that using the Kerberos client and getting a ticket in the proper realm seems to be enough for the binding process to complete. My suspicion is the realm in not being defined during the joining since the default realm is blank in the Kerberos tool. The first join attempt to AD failed, next use the Kerberos client to get a ticket from the AD domain, finally join to the AD with success.

Jason Broccardo does not see a problem:

Bound to Active Directory (Windows 2003 Server) with Directory Access plug-in (set to prefer a particular server). Mac bound using an account that is a Domain Admin in the AD Domain.

Successfully updated to machines to Mac OS X 10.3.8 and applied the 2005-003 update without breaking the AD bind. Did not have to rebind Mac.

More on AD Logon Compatibility. March 29, 2005 -- Al Pawlowski wrote in with some Active Directory issues:

I also have a machine (MD 1.3 GHz G4) that brings up an "Enable Workgroup Management" screen when a local user logs on -- always. What the heck is this screen and its function? It does not seem to do anything and I have seen no mention of it previous to Mark Berger's note.

In addition, this same machine will always go to Single User mode when a AD account person (non-local of course) tries to logon and, even though there are home folders on the machine for every account that has tried to logon (local or AD), clicking on "Users" in the System Preferences pane brings up nothing. This happened about the time I upgraded to 10.3 and I have not been able to find a way to get the normal "Users" panel to open since. I figure I will have to reinstall at some point, but the machine is in use for local users and that can not be done until summer semester (I work at a University too).

By the way, a big problem I have is that there does not seem to be any way to specify an account's fully qualified name when logging in. OS X seems to always authenticate a local userID first followed by the first one it finds when going to the AD controllers. This is a pain for me because I have the same first part userID for my local account and two different AD domains. Sure wish OS X could tell the difference between xyz and xyz@bbb.com (or bbb\xyz like in Windows).

If you've seen these behaviors

Entourage losing calendar entries. March 29, 2005 -- Anthony DiPiano is seeing the disappearing calendar problem with Entourage:

I have a client using Entourage 2004 with Exchange and twice in the last 4 months, he's lost calendar entries. The first time it happened, I noticed that some entries were in the calendar. I think some of them were from when he was using Entourage X. Really strange. I haven't been to his site to evaluate the latest loss of entries, but expect that it will be similar to the last time.

Our Entourage Reports page lists a couple of suggestions to deal with the problem. If you've tried these

Microsoft ships .PST Import Tool for Microsoft Entourage 2004. March 29, 2005 -- Microsoft has posted the .PST Import Tool for Entourage 2004 as a free download. The PST Import Tool helps users more migrate data from Outlook 2001 for Mac to Entourage 2004. Microsoft first announced the tool in January.

More on Citrix printing problems. March 29, 2005 -- Dan Freeman responded to last week's report of a workaround printing problems with the Citrix 7.00.402 Mac OS X client:

We have definitely seen this problem and had to use the server printer setups as a workaround for poor client printing performance.

Client driven printing was mentioned as a commonly known issue for all Citrix clients in a formal Citrix training class.

Re: Can't save Excel files on Windows Server 2003 with Mac OS X. March 29, 2005 -- Brian Steigauf is another reader reporting problems saving Excel to SMB shares. Several readers have pointed to Virux as the cause. Steigauf thinks the problem is in OS X SMB:

We have an issue with Mac OS X and Samba that is preventing files (specifically Microsoft Excel files) from being saved on a share. We have two different servers with different versions of Samba that we can reproduce the issue. Server A is running Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS release 3 kernel 2.4.21 using Samba 3.0.9-1. Server B is Red Hat 7.3 kernel 2.4.20 with Samba 2.2.7. Clients are variants of Mac OS 10.3, but in our testing the clients were both 10.3.8.

The issue can be reproduced consistently by performing the following:

User A opens an Excel file titled "testdocument.xls" on the server. User A can work fine, save multiple times, even close the file and reopen it. User A closes the file and quits Excel, but stays logged onto the server. User B opens "testdocument.xls" and starts to work on it. When User B goes to save the file, they get the following error after a pause, "Save not complete. File rename failed. Retry?" User B has the choice of Cancel or Retry. Pressing Retry puts them in a loop that the file cannot be saved. Clicking Cancel give you another message, "Your changes could not be saved to 'testdocument.xls', but were saved to a temporary document named 'the temp name of the file (an alphanumeric string).' Close the existing document, then open the temporary document and save it under a new name." The only option is OK. Clicking OK writes a file to the share with the temporary alphanumeric name and deletes the original "testdocument.xls."

The problem can be traced back to the ._testdocument.xls that is created with the testdocument.xls when it is copied with SMB. If a smbstatus is performed on the server to show which files are locked, .._testdocument.xls shows it is locked by User A, even though the parent file is closed. If User A logs off the server, then User B can will not have the problem, because the lock on ._testdocument.xls is released.

We really believe it is an issue with OS X SMB client because we have reproduced the issue on Linux with Samba, Windows 2000, and EVEN OS X Server (if you connect through SMB).





March 25

Workaround for printing problem with Citrix 7.00.402. March 25, 2005 -- Paul Rinkes verified a previous report of a printing problem with the recent Citrix Mac OS X Client 7.00.402, and suggests a workaround:

We're experiencing the same problem here--it's just not possible to print beyond page 1 of any document in Citrix.

The only workaround we're finding is setting up drivers on the Metaframe server to print directly to the printers, and avoiding the Citrix-sends-to-Mac-to-print paradigm.

That works flawlessly. Too bad I have to map 55 printers in Citrix.

If you've seen this problem or used this workaround

Solution for problem with Win Server permissions. March 25, 2005 -- Rob Smith reports:

I have just migrated our data to a Windows 2003 Server and also have moved from SFM to ExtremeZ-IP. I have found that the permissions problem is resolved in ExtremeZ-IP by clicking on the Settings button, then selecting the Security Settings Tab, and un-ticking "Allow Mac Clients to Change Folder Permissions."

Apple 2005-003 Update causes AD binding problem. March 25, 2005 -- John Skinner reports that Apple Security Update 2005-003 for Mac OS X has caused problems with binding to Active Directory. He also offers a workaround:

I've been using Apple Active Directory plug-in for Directory Services to "bind" a Mac to an Active Directory (AD) computer account ever since 10.3 came out.

It has worked like a charm! Users with an AD user account (in a specified AD group) could log on to a Mac that they never had before, and would have a local account created for them with administrative rights on the Mac! They could connect to network file shares without authenticating for each connection.

Now after the latest 003 update, trying to bind a Mac to an AD computer account stopped working!

It gave me an error at the last stage of the bind saying that the user account didn't have sufficient privileges (referring to the AD user account I supplied) to joint the Mac to the AD computer account.

So, I called up a network administrator to help me troubleshoot it, and here is what we found out.

When you create the computer account in AD, just like always, it inherits the permissions of the OU it was created in. The admin group I am a member of has full permissions on this OU, so the group was added to the computer account with full permissions.

Before the Apple Security Update 2005-003:

The Apple AD plug-in would be fine with this and realize that the AD user account supplied during the bind was in an AD group that had sufficient permission to join the Mac to the AD computer account.

After the Apple Security Update 2005-003:

The Apple AD plug-in will not check to see if the AD user account supplied during the bind is a member of an AD group with sufficient permissions to join a Mac to the AD computer account.

THE FIX:

The way we were able to get around this was to give my AD user account full permissions for the AD computer account I was trying to bind the Mac to.

If you've seen this problem or used this workaround

VPC 6 and Garmin handheld. March 25, 2005 -- Stuart Cheshire verified a previous suggetion for getting Virtual PC 6 to sync with a USB Garmin handheld: boot the Mac into Mac OS 9. (Of course, you need a fairly old Mac to be able to boot into Mac OS 9.) Cheshire reports:

I just bought a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS.

1. Serial connections with any Keyspan USB-to-serial device (I have several) all fail after 1-to-2 MB. Not good for a device with 115 MB of storage!

2. The tiny IOGEAR GUC 232A USB-to-serial adapter, run as a native Windows USB device using its Windows driver within Virtual PC 6.1.1, worked first time.

3. However, transferring 115 MB of map data using serial takes *hours*. Next step, native USB. I tried many times, but like your other readers, I could not get this to work. Following the advice on you Web page I booted into OS 9.2.2 and ran VPC 6.1.1 there instead and... it worked perfectly first time. A 100 MB map transfer that would have taken overnight using serial, completed in just ten minutes! Thanks. Without your Web site, it would have never occurred to me to try OS 9.

Gracion updates Digitunnel VPN client. March 25, 2005 -- Gracion Software has released DigiTunnel 1.4.1 (free update for 1.3 owners), a virtual private network client for Mac OS X. The new version fixes a handful of bugs.

e2Sync (iSync for Entourage) now in French and German. March 25, 2005 -- e2Sycn is now shipping French and German localizations of e2Sync PE (US $39), a utility for adding iSync support for Microsoft Entourage contacts, calendar, and tasks.

CDFinder 4.3.2, bug fix update for disk cataloger. March 25, 2005 -- West-Forest-Systems has released CDFinder 4.3.2 (US $30, free upgrade),a disk cataloging tool for Mac OS 9 - Mac OS X. CDFinder can work together with CDWinder for Windows as a cross-platform, network solution to catalog disks and CD-ROMs on a Macintosh and a PC. Among the improvements, the upgrade fixes general bugs, fixes some problems with AppleScript, and can now find duplicates.





March 23

Suggestions for last week's Macs/AD problem reports. March 23, 2005 -- We've received several reader suggestions and commens to last week's Active Directory problem reports. To help clarify which suggestions go with with which problem, we'll break out the reader comments by topic.

Regarding the issue of an "Enable Workgroup Managment" dialog at login:

John Sanders: 

I've seen that too. If you un-check the top box and check the lower one (remember this), the box won't appear again (unless you hold down the option key on login). It shouldn't effect your ability to administer the machine.

Jason Meyer:

Users with Admin accounts have the option not to have managed prefs pushed down to the machine if they so choose. Call it a "feature."

Regarding the problem where the Mac won't sleep with Panther AD plugin when an Active Directory user is logged in.

John Sanders: 

I haven't seen this, but I would recommend against using Sleep in general use. I've found it causes too much confusion and can mess with some programs (kiosk ones especially). I recommend using the startup and shutdown scheduling instead.

Jason Meyer:

I can see this as a good thing. If the Mac went to sleep it closes its network connection. When woken up it would have to be logged in again to get a new Kerberos ticket.

And on the problem of Macs bound to AD lose user accounts.

Jamie Pruden has a suggestion:

I've been seeing this recently at our school. The only common thread I've found is that the user has recently (within 2 weeks) changed passwords on their AD account (we require password changes every 120 days.)

I've been able to fix the problem 100 percent of the time by:

  1. Log in as local administrator.
  2. Unbind machine from AD.
  3. Restart machine.
  4. Log in as local administrator
  5. Rebind machine to AD.
  6. Log out.
  7. Have user log in with their AD credentials.
  8. When presented with the dialog to create a mobile account, do so.

The machine comes back up with all of the user's files intact.

Now if I could just get the machine to update the user's login password with the AD password after AD password changes, I'd die happy...

Henrik Boes:

Just wanted to confirm the issue Steve DeMott reported and that you posted on 3/18. 

I ran into this with (of all things) our president's Pismo PowerBook, running OS X 10.3.3 or 10.3.5 at the time. (The machine has since been updated to 10.3.8).

NetInfo Manager completely lost track of the account, although the user folder itself was still present, necessitating the recreation of the account and then transferring the data back.

I emailed Apple about this and did not hear anything back. As near as I can tell, this is somehow triggered by repeatedly accessing the AD-integrated account using cached credentials, i.e., when you are not on the network that contains your domain controller. (We ran into this when the prez was out of the office on business.) 

I'm hoping the 10.3.8 update, which, as I recall, included some AD-related fixes, will address this issue. I'm interested in seeing what other folks have ascertained.

For previous reports of problems and solutions with Macs and Active Directory, see our Active Directory Reports page.

Apple WWDC 2005 to include session on AD. March 23, 2005 --At its Worldwide Developers Conference 2005 in June, Apple will include a session called Active Directory Integration as part of the Enterprise IT track. The description:

Learn tips and techniques for implementing and integrating with Active Directory. IT experts who've done the hard work show you how you can make Active Directory integration on Mac OS X a reality.

Guest PC vs. iEmulator comparison: Guest PC wins on features. March 23, 2005 -- Dave Barnhart sent us a report comparing the latest versions of Guest PC to iEmulator, to alternative x86 emulators for Mac OS X. Generally, he found that the more expensive Guest PC had more features:

I have been using Guest PC 1.0.1 for a couple of weeks. I also recently installed iEmulator 1.7.5. Both are running on a 15", 1.5 GHz PowerBook with 1G RAM. Some observations:

1. iEmulator seems a little faster, but I've made no attempt to quantify that observation.

2. Guest PC can read from the CDROM drive. iEmulator requires that you make an image of the CD and then 'mount' the image. This is a pain when a half dozen CD-based applications must be installed.

3. iEmulator requires you to run the 'Add Printer' routine to install a printer to the Windows installation. With Guest PC, the printer is preinstalled and maps to whatever printer you have as the default in OS-X.

4. I like the fact that Guest PC puts 'Toggle Full Screen Mode' in its menu. Switching to/from full screen mode in iEmulator requires a multi-keypress combination. It's in the iEmulator documentation, but it's one more thing I have to remember.

5. I like Guest PC's status indicators at the bottom of the window that represent the HD activity light and processor light. Adjacent to that is a little menu allowing you to invoke obscure but occasionally necessary keystrokes (Alt-Ctl-Del, PrintScreen, etc).

6. iEmulator's process for installing Windows 98 assumes that the Win 98 CD is bootable. Some Win 98 CDs, such as mine, are not bootable. The iEmulator Support people have a workaround however.

I have the following applications running (but not all at once) under Windows 98SE in Guest PC:

  • Personal Web Server 4.0
  • SQL Server 7.0 Desktop Edition
  • ColdFusion Server 4.5
  • ColdFusion Studio 4.5
  • MS-Word 97
  • MS-Excel 97
  • MS-Access 97
  • MS-Project 98
  • MSIE 5.5

ColdFusion Studio and MS-Word run too slow to be useful. I use MS-Project quite a bit and its performance seems quite acceptable. I use MSIE on a daily basis, and it is slow but livable.

I run my PowerBook 'dual-head' simultaneously using the built-in LCD and a second external monitor. I typically run Guest PC on the external monitor and all the OS X apps on the built-in LCD screen.

For our previous reports on alternatives to Virtual PC, see our Alternative PC Emulators page.





March 18

iEmulator 1.7.5 adds performance increases, features. March 18, 2005 -- Yesterday, iEmulator release iEmulator 1.7.5, a free update to the PC emulator for Mac OS X Panther. Improvements include:

If you've tried the new version

A note on QUME PC emulator for Mac. March 18, 2005 --Bryce Steiner likes QEMU, the open source PC emulator engine for upon which iEmulator is based. It is available to run on a number of operating systems. Steiner says "It runs on Linux, Mac, Windows and can emulate an X86, PPC, ARM and others. Emulating a PPC cannot boot an OS X disc yet."

Reader has Active Directory problems. March 18, 2005 --Marc Berger reports two problems he's having with Active Directory:

I work at a Junior College and have become the primary Mac guy in a dominating Windows world...I've got two Active Directory issues:

1) If a user is designated as a local administrator of a Mac workstation (either by being in a group specified in the Active Directory plugin or by being in the managed by tab) then they get a dialog box after logging in and before the finder appears that says "Enable Workgroup management?" You must click "continue" if you want your Active Directory home directory to show up. This seems like an annoying step to take every time an administrator user logs in.

2) If using the Panther AD plugin, the Mac will not go to sleep when an Active Directory user is logged in. The Mac will sleep at the login window or when a local user is logged in.

If you've seen either of these problems

Macs bound to AD lose user accounts. March 18, 2005 -- Steve DeMott reports of another Active Directory problem with Macs:

Here's one we have seen 4 times in the month we have been testing binding our (mostly) Mac workplace to Active Directory (Exchange Server):

The user is unable to login using his/her credentials, though they worked even moments ago. This has so far been after a user logout or restart. The user's home directory is still there, but the owner is set to "unknown". In 1 case we were able to change the owner to the proper user. In the other 3 cases we had 2 scenarios:

[1] the user appears in the owner list, but selecting it (even from root account) causes an error and reverts back to "unknown"

[2] the user is not in the list and the directory must be backed up and then deleted so that the user account can be recreated.

Has anyone else seen this? This is particularly concerning as our parent company is requiring us to bind all Macs to AD to implement new security measures.

If you've seen this problems





March 14

Questions remain about CherryOS code source. March 14, 2005 -- A story from Wired News reports that the developers of CherryOS, a new Mac G4 emulator for Windows, may be improperly using code from an open-source emulator, PearPC. Maui X-Stream denies it, and states on its web site that "CherryOS uses a unique architecture in its approach to G4 emulation."

If Maui X-Stream is using PearPC code, it would have to release the source code for free, as stipulated under the GNU public license. Otherwise, the PearPC developers could sue for damages.

Whether or not it is true that CherryOS contains some PearPC code, it does appear that CherryOS goes beyond PearPC to some degree. CherryOS has a longer feature list, including support of G4 AltiVec emulation. PearPC does not have AltiVec support, according to its web site. CherryOS also seems to have more integration features with Windows then PearPC.

If you've tried CherryOS

(See our Mac Emulation page for our previous coverage of CherryOS.)

More on problem saving Word to shared SMB folder. March 14, 2005 --Several more people wrote to reported problems saving Word files to an SMB server.

Dan Szczepaniak:

Our iMac's (USB 2.0) with Office 2004 can not save Word files on our Windows 2000 server. (But my Power Mac G4 Mirror Bay Doors can save Word files to the SMB server.) I have found that if you connect to the server via the IP address, Word can save files, but when opening a folder, there is a delay before you see the contents of the folder. I contacted Microsoft Tech Support about a month ago and they say there is a problem with the SMB protocol and are working with Apple to fix it. Microsoft Tech Support says it's because Word uses a work file. Excel and PowerPoint save files without a problem.

Rault Kehlor:

I've seen this problem too, but with all file types, not just Word files. We have a Windows 2003 server that we access with Windows 2000 and our Macs (OS X 10.3.8) via SMB. (The server is running Services for Macintosh, but it STILL doesn't allow long file names, so we prefer to connect via SMB.)

Sometimes we can't save a new version of an existing file; other times, we delete a file first, then try to save a new version with the same name, and it still won't let us save it -- we get the message "the file is in use." We've seen this with Word files, Excel files, Peak files, QuickTime movies, etc.

Revisiting the problem of saving Excel files via SMB. March 14, 2005 --We've had many reports of problems with Excel to SMB shares, and many reports that Virex seems to cause the problem. However, Tyler McNamee has an Excel problem without Virex:

We are experiencing a similar issue trying to save Excel files from OS X to a Windows 2003 Share. We do not have Virex, we have disabled digitally signed communications (as suggested elsewhere and in fact necessary to get the machines talking without Microsoft UAM). Most of the time things save fine (Word, etc.), and often the Excel files save fine but about two-to-three times a day when saving, an error message pops up saying that the file could not be saved and it has been saved under a temporary filename.

Interestingly, and I'm not sure if this is relevant, but even with all files closed, the resource (._) haven't been released by the Windows server (I saw this by looking under Computer Management --> Shared Folders --> Open Files). Could this be an issue?

Brian Steigauf also suspects "dot-underscore" (._) files:

We've had the same problem, except with a Samba share on a Red Hat Linux server. We think we traced the problem to the ._ file that is created with every file on non HFS volumes. In this case, if somebody opened the a file and worked on it, then closed, and another person opens the file and tries to save, they get the error that the file cannot be saved. The file with the temp alphanumeric string is created. If I do a losf on the server I see the original person still has the ._ file opened even if Excel is closed. I can remove the ._ file on the server and then the person can save, but the ._ shows open unless the original person logs off. I wish there were a way to disable the creation of the ._ files by the client, I don't need resource fork metadata when I have a file with a .xls extension.

If you have a comment





March 11

CherryOS, G4 emulator for Windows, is back. March 11 2005 -- Maui X-Stream Inc. is now shipping CherryOS (US $50), a G4 (AltiVec) emulator for Windows XP that can run Mac OS X on a PC. CherryOS is possibly the most advanced Mac emulator for PCs. Some of its features include:

In October of last year, the company had announced that the emulator was shipping. Several days later, the web site was taken off line.

We have a list of Mac emulators for Windows on our Operating Systems Solutions page.

TIP: Using CAB files to install software on a Pocket PC. March 11 2005 -- Mark/Space passed along a tip about installing Pocket PC software from a Mac. Mark/Space is the creator of Missing Sync for Pocket PC, software for syncing Pocket PC handhelds with Macs without using Windows.

Most applications for Pocket PC devices come in a .EXE file, an installer that can only be executed on a Windows desktop or notebook.

However, there are applications available in .CAB (Cabinet) format, which can be installed to the Pocket PC from a Mac with The Missing Sync for Pocket PC. Using The Missing Sync's Install feature will ensure that the application is properly installed on the handheld and available in the Programs window.

Mark/Space sells some of the .CAB applications at its Online Store. It also has a list of other "Mac-friendly" Pocket PC applications at its website. For reader reports on Mac emulators for Windows, see our Mac Emulators for PCs Reports page.

Word can't be saved on shared SMB folder. March 11 2005 -- Kevin Myers reports having a previous reported problem were a Word file can't be saved to an SMB server, this time a Linux server.

I have just converted a small office from Windows 2000 workstations to Mac G5s. They're using a Linux server for SMB file sharing, based on RedHat 7 running Samba 2.2.7. The server has been running in this configuration for years without problems.

The G5s are running OfficeX and are exhibiting the exact symptoms as above - occasionally. It's not a disconnection problem. It's linked to the presence of what I assume is a lock file (named "._documentfilename") in the shared directory. It appears that once that is removed (at the server), the file can be saved again from the workstation.

If you've seen this problem





March 9

Keyboard Solutions update: Apple keyboards on Windows. March 9, 2005 -- We've updated the product listings on our Keyboard Solutions page with two pieces of Windows software that enhance the use of Mac keyboards on Windows PCs.

AppleK Pro (US $25) is a shareware USB kernel mode driver for Windows for using Mac keyboards on PCs. The AppleK Pro lets you use Mac-specific keys for Windows functions. It also lets you use standard Mac keyboard commands in Windows, including force quit (Command-Option-Esc), create screen shot (Command-Shift-3, 4), and switch between applications (Command-Tab).

SharpKeys 1.1 is a Registry hack for Windows to map keys to other functions, supporting up to 104 mappings, an extensive list of available keys, and a "Type Key" option for managing mappings. Supports Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.

Ted Gallardo tried both for his Apple keyboard on a Windows PC, with a specific purpose in mind:

I am using an Iogear USB/KVM switch utilizing an Apple 109-key professional keyboard running Win XP Pro. The keyboard works great, but I was looking a way to enable either the F14, F15 or F16 key to function as the PrintScreen key found on most PC keyboards. I have tried a regedit tweak that did not work.

With AppleK Pro, the problem was solved.

I came across another solution that was actually better for my needs from RandyRants.com: an app called SharpKeys 1.1. This app does not tie up your Apple Command/Microsoft Logo key as AppleK Pro does. SharpKeys allowed me to change one specific key on my Apple keyboard and it still allowed me to keep the functionality of Apple Command/Microsoft Logo key, further it is a free app whereas AppleK Pro is not. I was able to make the F14 key mimic the PrintScreen button for Win XP.

Access problems after removing hotfix Win XP SP2 885250. March 9, 2005 --Yvette from Australia tried the solution for the problem of Windows XP Service Pack 2 not connecting to Mac servers, which is to remove security update 885250. Unlike many other readers, Yvette had a problem after uninstalling the update:

We have an AppleShare IP 6.3 server running 6 Win XP machines and 8 Macs. We have removed MS update 885250, four of the Win XP desktop machines are now fixed and have no access problems, but 2 win XP laptops can only log in as guests. We have always had guest access turned off but now this is the only way the XP laptops can log on. Have tried creating new share folders, remade workgroups, upgraded IP from .0 to .2 etc. with no luck.

If you've seen this problem after removing security update 885250

Folder and File Dates change on the Server 2000 with Extreme Z-IP as well; some suggestions. March 9, 2005 -- Two readers responded to last week's report of a problem where here the dates of files and folders and an AFP (Apple File Protocol) server suddenly change. Last week's report was seen on Windows 2003 Server running Services for Macintosh.

John Shi has seen it with ExtremeZ-IP, and has a theory and a workaround:

We ran into the similar issue. However, the file and folder date got modified twice a year only during the Daylight Time Saving. Extreme Z-IP does not address this issue. I am not sure if Windows 2003 Server will have the same issue. I am pretty sure Mac 10.3 Panther server will not have this issue.

To address this issue, we have disabled the automatic daylight saving setting. We will do that manually. Also, we have all the Mac workstation and Windows 2000 file server pointed to the same NTP server. Well, we will see what happen next month when the Daylight Time Saving kicks in.

Santino Rizzo has a more general theory and a workaround:

I believe this happens when SFM has to re-create the macfile index which is synchronized with NTFS. Anytime you create, or re-create a Mac volume with files already in it, the dates for all the files will change to that day. The correct way to create or re-create Mac volumes is to create the volume first and then move the files into it. If re-creating or reindexing to fix a Mac volume, first disable the problematic Mac volume, rename the folder, create a new Mac share with the old folder name, and copy the files into it.

If you've tried either of these remedies

Word files on Win Server are read-only. March 9, 2005 -- Jerry Hart of Vancouver, Canada, has a problem where Windows users can only open Word files as read-only

I have a Mac PowerBook with OS X 10.3 with all the updates, using Word 2004 for Mac. At a clients I am connected to a Windows 2003 server.

When I work on Word files locally (on my Mac) and upload them to a shared area on the server where other (PC-using) team embers can access the files, there are no problems. However, when I open and edit files directly on the server, and save the changes, other users can only open the files read-only. I get no errors or warnings when I save the file, and I have no problems reopening the files.

Any workarounds for this? Due to progress with the project and issues with version control, we now need to access and edit the files directly on the server.

The problem sound similar to a problem that Virex causes with Excel files, so we asked Hart to disable Virex. It didn't have an effect:

Have disabled all the options in Virex (7.5), rebooted, and tried again, but with the same results - the Windows users can only open the file read only. There are no other Mac users here, so I cannot check to see whether they can open and edit the file, or if it is just me.

If you've seen this problem

Tip: Compacting VPC virtual drive files. March 9, 2005 -- Harold Merklinger sent us a procedure for compacting/defragmenting Virtual PC virtual drive files:

There's a risk-free method for compacting VPC hard drive files that has worked for me for years. I found it in a PC magazine so long ago that the photo copy I made of the relevant information is stored in my Orange PC User's Manual. The article was entitled "Replace your C: Drive in Win 95" but I did not record the author or even the magazine title. Doing it with a real PC is more complex than using VPC or even the old Orange PC. For Mac-based Windows users, here's the routine:

1. Create a new hard drive file meeting the specifications you need with respect to size, features such as expandability, and perhaps file system.

2. Designate the new drive file as your second (or whatever) hard drive and restart the Windows virtual machine.

3. Select the newly created drive file in My Computer (or whatever) and choose Format under the File menu. Select "Copy System Files" in the dialog box that appears and then click on the dialog box's "Start" button. One may also need to designate the file system to be used here. It depends upon version of PC, drive sizes, what was done in Step 1.

4. Click on the Windows Start menu and select "Run". In the space after "Open:" type (precisely):

xcopy c:\*.* /e /h /k /r /c d:

This assumes the new drive file is the "D drive." If it is not the D drive, set that second-last character in the string to the drive letter of the target drive. Spaces or lack thereof are important: space after "xcopy", after the second "*" and after each of the next letters except the drive letter "d". Note also that the first slash is a backslash, whereas the others are forward-slashes.

5. Upon clicking "OK" the machine will copy all files from the C drive to the new drive, file-by-file. The only file that will fail is the file used by Windows for virtual memory. And that does not matter as it will is re-created upon startup.

You should then have a compacted, defragmented, bootable drive file to then be designated as the new startup drive, or be archived, or whatever.

Note that the process is about as risk-free as is possible, as nothing was done to the original file except to read it. I have used this many times to get over drive-size limitations etc. And it has never failed to do what I expected. I have yet to try it with Windows XP, however.





March 4

Readers verify: hotfix Win XP SP2 885250 harms SMB client. March 4, 2005 -- Readers have verified Wednesday's report that the problem of Windows XP Service Pack 2 not connecting to Mac servers (OS X Server and AppleShare IP) is caused by security update 885250, which SP2 automatically downloads. Several readers report that uninstalling the update makes the problem disappear. One reader also offered an alternative to uninstalling.

Daniel McKeel:

Uninstalling hotfix KB885250 allowed me to connect to a Samba share on our ASIP 6.3 server from my Win XP SP2 machine. Reinstalling the hotfix reconstituted the problem.

Sammie Chan:

After applying the KB885250 critical patch (Vulnerability in Server Message Block) to all 70 Win 200 Pro computers at the office two weeks ago, they all stop being able to properly connect with an ASIP 6.3 server. As a test, I removed this critical patch from one Win2K Pro box and it regain the ability to connect, mount and use the ASIP 6.3 server. Looks like MS "fixed" something in SMB that legacy Windows systems (ASIP 6.x mimics Win 95 file sharing) depends upon.

Bernd Hois of Austria:

Deinstalling the hotfix 885250 solved our problems we suffered from. All Windows PCs that had SP2 and the hotfix installed couldn't connect to our Mac Os 9 file server.

Brett Pearce:

We have 5 XP machines and on every one of them, once KB885250 hot fix is removed then access to our AppleShare IP server is restored.

Chuck Hogye offers an alternative for accessing Mac OS X Server:

I can verify this is a problem and documented that it started around the same time the Microsoft Security Update MS05-011, 885250, was installed. Removing this update is very risky. A workaround is to delete the user from the Mac OS X server and re-enter the user with a different password. So far, this has worked. The login problem also extends to AppleShare IP 6 servers. Removing the user does not fix the problem on AppleShare IP. Since ASIP is no longer supported, I am not going to pursue it further.

OS X 10.3.7 started Win XP problem with OS X mapped drives; new workaround suggested. March 4, 2005 -- Jerry Natowitz responded to Wednesday's report of a drive mapping problem with Windows XP accessing Mac OS X Servers. He blames a new revision of Samba, the open-source SMB server in Mac OS X:

Samba 3.05, introduced in 10.3.7 I believe, introduced this problem.

Stephen Yoch reports having the problem, but the previously reported workaround doesn't always work for him. He offers another workaround:

I work for a hospital network and we are experiencing the exact same problem. Unfortunately, logging out and back in does not always fix the issue for us, though. We have managed to work around the problem by mapping to a different folder on the share.

For example, originally we mapped to the drive like this:

\\server_name\web

That worked until recently when some users noticed that they could not "save as..." from any windows program to the share. They received the error "Access Denied".

We changed the share to:

\\server_name\web\folder

And now they seem to be able to access everything correctly.

Strangely, all users could access the mapped drive through the windows file system explorer. Seems they only had problems when in a program and tried to select the mapped drive to save a file to.

Folder and file dates change on Server 2000 SFM. March 4, 2005 -- Daniel Foshee reports a problem with Windows Server 2003 and Services for Macintosh, where the dates of files and folders suddenly change:

We run OS X Panther 10.3.x (mostly .8) with a Server 2000 on which we store the whole gamut of formats: TIFF, JPEG, EPS, PSD, AI, INDD, MOV... with a dedicated space for them, called MacFIles. Due to the corruption and disappearing problems with SMB, we still use Services for Macintosh.

Every now and then--coinciding, I expect, with a share or volume restore of the server--all the files and folders in MacFiles change to the current date. Thus, while the file may have been created in 1998, last modified on November 20th, 2004, it will show up as today's date. This is true for ALL the files and folders in MacFiles.

Is this fixed in Server 2003? Does this happen with ExtremeZ-IP? This didn't happen with our old OS X Server (first version, served faithfully for four years straight without it EVER crashing; then the hard drive died).

If you've see this

Getting around problems mounting multiple volumes. March 4, 2005 -- A reader named Tim reports a file sharing problem and a potential fix:

Saw that someone had a problem mounting multiple volumes on a Mac, this issue will happen if all of the volumes have the same creation date, if you can find the setvoldate utility, you can easily change the dates on the volume, one you do that you will be able to mount multiple volumes.

Unfortunately, we've not been able to find a reference to setvoldate on the Internet.

If you know where we can get setvoldate





March 2

Win XP SP2 problem with Mac servers linked to security update. March 2, 2005 -- Two readers report that the problem of Windows XP Service Pack 2 not connecting to Mac servers (OS X Server and AppleShare IP) may be caused by a security update that SP2 downloads, and not by SP2 itself:

Jonas Amrén of Sweden:

This hotfix, 885250, which deals with vulnerabilities in SMB, may likely be the cause of the problem. I had a similar case where a Win XP/SP2 PC (Swedish) connects to a ASIP 6.3 Server (Int. English) recently.

It had been working okay (with SP2) for a couple of months, until the 14th of February, when this update was installed, automatically, exactly as Win XP SP2 is by default, supposed to do.

It took a little while to find it, but when we went through the log on which updates that had been installed recently,and we tracked what they where supposed to fix, we found this candidate, removed it, restarted and it worked!

In "Add/Remove Programs" in the Control Panel, you can see what has been installed recently, if you check the little box on top of the page, so you can see all "Hot fixes" .

There can you also remove them, if you want. A tricky thing seems to be that even if you remove the hotfix, manually hide it, and tell it not to install automatically again, when a new update appeared a week later, it installed it again. I haven't found a way round that yet, so for now, Automatic Updates is OFF.

Or go to Windows Update, and check installation history there.

By default SP2 has: Firewall-ON and Automatic Updates-ON

(Check here for more info on Windows security updates.)

Rob (no last name) saw the problem connecting not to Macs, but to Windows 98 machines:

We suddenly began having issues connecting to our Win 98 machines after the upgrade to Windows Service Pack 2. We ran some systematic upgrade tests, and it appears once one of the security patches gets downloaded and installed after installing SP2, the problems begin. For us, the computers that do not have the later critical security patches but run SP2 do not suffer from this problem. Those that have the automatic updates/installations turned on would see this problem as soon as the patch is made--which could occur overnight.

Win XP problem with Mac OS X mapped drives. March 2, 2005 -- Jason Dunn reports another type of problem with Windows XP clients accessing Mac OS X file servers, this time with mapped drives:

I have been researching a problem that has come about since December 2004. I have several Windows XP computers that connect to an OS 10.3 server. The Windows XP computers are connected to a domain that the OS 10.3 server is not a part of. I have tested this with Windows XP SP2 computers that are not a part of the domain as well with the same results. Here is the problem.

XP computers map a network drive on the OS 10.3 servers with no problem. If you open the Windows Search program, the Windows XP computers will get an "Access Denied" to the mapped drives. Currently, the best solution is to "Log Off" Windows and log back in. The drives reconnect and are accessible. I did not experience this issue with OS 10.3.6 but noticed this with OS 10.3.7. I had also upgraded to the Entropy PHP 5 during this time. I do not know of any changes on our network that would cause this.

If you've see this

Suggestion for Win XP and Mac Servers on AD. March 2, 2005 -- Chris Jasper has another suggestion for Windows XP clients on Mac OS X with Active Directory:

We had a lot of problems with logins and domain membership with SP1 before we installed Active Directory so we spent a lot of time looking for fixes for "missing" AD domain.

Try this: On the XP box go to the Run command and type gpedit.msc, open up Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options and set the policy called "Domain Member: Digitally encrypt or sign secure channel data (always)" to disabled.

This should remove any requirements for membership of a Windows 2000/2003 AD and allow the XP boxes to connect to the Mac Servers.

Solutions update: PS/2-to-USB adapter. March 2, 2005 --

We've added the Adesso PS/2 to USB adapter for Keyboard and Mouse to our list of products that connect PC input devices to Macs.

Trent Geerdes uses and recommends them: "These adapters work great to attach my Xserves to a PS/2 KVM."

XPlay 2.1 brings iPod Shuffle help to Windows users. March 2, 2005 -- Mediafour Corporation released XPlay 2.1, a new version of the iPod interface software for Windows. Version 2.1 adds support for the iPod Shuffle and adds support for all USB-connected iPods under Windows 98 SE and Me.

XPlay is currently the only way to get iPod compatibility with Windows 98 SE and Windows Me. (It also supports Windows 2000 and XP.) XPlay is also the only solution to enable Windows uses to connect with both Mac and PC iPods. And unlike iTunes, XPlay allows users to copy music from the iPod to the PC's hard .

Owners of XPlay 2.0 can download the upgrade for free.





February 2005

Feb 28

New MacWindows page: Alternative emulators for Mac OS X. February 28, 2004 -- We've collected our recent reports on alternatives to Microsoft Virtual PC and created an Alternative PC Emulators page. This new page contains reports on Lismore's Guest PC, iEmulator, and WinTel from OpenOSX.

Guest PC and Windows 98 quirks. February 28, 2004 -- Dave Barnhart notes some quirks and a workaround for the Guest PC x86 emulator, and reports of good support:

I have been experimenting with Guest PC on both my 1.8 GHz (single processor) G5 Power Mac and my 1.5 GHz 15-inch G4 PowerBook. The guest OS is Windows 98 SE. Other than speed (which was to be expected), I have noticed only three inconveniences:

1. When restarting Win 98, the reboot often hangs. Clicking Guest PC's Action->Restart command always seems to recover. The Win 98 'Safe Mode' menu appears, and selecting Normal Mode always gets things going again.

2. Win 98 can see files on the Mac via networking only when the Mac is connected to my network. When I unplug the Ethernet cable from the Mac, Win 98's Network Neighborhood is either empty or displays Win 98 only. Lismore Systems says:

Unfortunately Guest PC networking will not work with Ethernet cable unplugged. If you unplug the cable Mac OS X set Ethernet interface to inactive state and it is no way to make it work.

3. "Dual Session" CDs (installer CDs that contain installers for both Mac and Windows versions of an application) are invisible to Guest PC.

So far, Lismore support has been very responsive, even during the weekend.

Optimizing iEmulator performance. February 28, 2004 -- Andrew Sheridan has some advice for improving the performance of iEmulator:

It's worth noting that WinTel emulation speed can be changed by changing a variable. I got caught out with that when I thought it was really slow. Try experimenting with the "VGA Update" and "Emulated IPS" numbers. Not very user friendly, though, as it doesn't automatically determine what the value should be.

OpenOSX has a web page that discusses G5 optimization.

If you've tried this approach with iEmulator

Dissatisfied Wintel users. February 28, 2004 -- Two readers report of disappointing results with the WinTel x86 emulator for Mac OS X.

Eric Tyrer:

Wintel: Absolutely horrible. I never got it to work. I too wasted $20.

James Grubic:

I advise you to read the comments about Wintel on VersionTracker.

Other than letting those comments speak for themselves, I can say that we were extremely unsatisfied with our Wintel purchase when it came out. The company is not reachable, and the product does not work.

More on Win XP SP2 problem accessing OS X. February 28, 2004 -- Brian Smith is another reader who is experiencing Windows XP Service Pack 2's inability to connect to Mac servers. He notes that Mac OS X 10.3 did not solve the problem, as it did for other readers:

I have had the same problem connecting to a MacOS X 10.2 desktop at home and my AppleShareIP 6.3.3 server at work. It seems that SP2 really wants domain info. Even if I have both my 10.2 box and my SP2 (professional) box in the same Workgroup, it still doesn't work. I have had this problem ever since I installed SP2 months ago. Clean reinstalls of XP do not "cure" the problem. MS seems to have made a fundamental change in the authentication of SP2.

At work, we have a 10.3.8 machine. It has the same problem. A Windows 2000 box has no problem accessing it.

Another PS/2-to-USB adapter. February 28, 2004 -- We've updated more of our Keyboard Solutions page, which lists products for using input devices and monitors on both Macs and PCs. One of the products we've added is the Aten International PS/2 to USB Adapter, which lets you connect PS/2 keyboards and mice to the USB port of a Mac (or PCs running Windows, Linux, or Sun). The adapter provides two PS/2 ports for a mouse and keyboard.

More on AFP file server quirk. February 28, 2004 -- Dedrick Allen comments on the AFP server problem were a file will disappear when copied from an AFP file server to the local machine will disappear:

I have been doing some testing on this ExtremeZ-IP "copy a file and it disappears" issue. It does appear that this is NOT a problem with ExtremeZ-IP. It appears that its not really a problem. Word is locking the file on the server as it should so no one else can access it. However, what I did notice is this, on Mac OS X 10.3.x if you reproduce this problem and try to copy the file it looks to copy then disappears and does not report any type of error with a message or anything. I tried to copy the file under OS 9 and it DOES report that the file is currently open and can not be access at this time. As soon as I close the word file from the windows PC it copies fine. I think this is just a problem of OS X not actually displaying a message to the user that the file is currently locked exclusively by another user.

Group Logic told us that the problem occurs with all AFP file servers, and offered a workaround.

Another recommendation for Mac OS X native AutoCad Alternative. February 28, 2004 -- Gerry Graff is another reader who likes VectorWorks as a Mac OS X-native alternative to AutoCAD:

I am no power user, but having used CAD programs back to ClarisCad (which was a really sweet program) I find Vectorworks stable, intuitive, powerful, and the support from Nemetschek (the maker) wonderful.

FmPro Migrator 3.02 converts MS Access databases to FileMaker. February 28, 2004 -- .com Solutions Inc. has released FmPro Migrator 3.02 Enterprise Edition for MacOS X and Windows. The main new feature is drag-and-drop conversion of Microsoft Access 97, 2000, and 2003 database files to FileMaker 7. When you drag and drop an Access file to FmPro Migrator, the utility reads the metadata from the Access file and creates the required FileMaker 7 migration scripts. The scripts need to be run on Windows or in Virtual PC in order to use FileMaker 7 and Windows-only Access ODBC drivers. The new version also fixes several minor issues.





Feb 24

One more PC Emulator: OpenOSX WinTel. February 24, 2005 -- We've added WinTel from OpenOSX to our listings of PC Emulators for Mac on our Operating System Solutions page. WinTel is commercial package based on the open-source Bochs emulator. It runs Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP and Linux/Unix operating systems. OpenOSX offers it with DOS or with one of 10 Linux/Unix OS's preinstalled.

Loren Olson tried it out, with disappointing results:

I decided to waste some money on Monday and got a copy of Wintel 1.2.2. I started the install of Windows 98 around 2 pm on Monday; it finally finished, 20 hours later, at around 10 am on Tuesday. Brings new meaning to the word "slow."

The rest of it was so pitiful I won't bore you with it but, I know a few of your readers mentioned how slow iEmulator was during and after the install. They don't know what slow really is.

Wintel is about the worst emulator I have seen yet, bar none. I learned my lesson, as you get what you pay for (or don't if it doesn't cost anything).

If you've had any experience with WinTel (or Guest PC or iEmulator)

(Our emulator listings now also include Guest PC, which we had neglected to include. Thanks to Alex Kohr for alerting us to our omission.)

ExtremeZ-IP quirk attributed to all AFP servers. February 24, 2005 -- Group Logic Senior System Engineer Geordie Korper reports that a problem described earlier this week as an issue with ExtremeZ-IP is actually a problem with all AFP file servers. He also suggests a workaround:

Unfortunately the issue of an open file disappearing when you copy it, is a more general problem. When we tested this in our Quality Assurance lab the problem occurred with all AFP servers we tried, including Services for Macintosh on Windows 2000 and 2003, ExtremeZ-IP 4.0, as well as an Xserve running Mac OS 10.3.7 Server.

The steps to reproduce the problem are:

1. Open a Microsoft Word document on the server from a Windows computer

2. Connect to the same volume from a Mac using the Apple File Protocol

3. Try to copy the file to the desktop of the local Mac and it disappears

It is possible to work around the problem by opening the file in Microsoft Word at which point it will tell you it is already open. You can then do a Save As. Other applications have related issues and similar workarounds.

Win XP SP problems with Mac OS servers may be fixed with 10.3. February 24, 2005 -- A number of reader responded to our report earlier this week of problems Windows XP's inability to connect to Mac OS X server after Service Pack 2 was installed. A pair of readers indicated that the problem may be fixed with Mac OS X Server 10.3. Another pair also report the problem with the old AppleShare IP server.

Glen Christensen saw the problem with AppleShare and fixed it with Mac OS X Server 10.3:

A client of mine experienced exactly the same symptoms as described by Nicholas Ley and Theresa Eking. They are using four Windows XP machines with SP2 and an AppleShare IP 6.3 server.

This setup had been working for 5 months without problems, until last week. The server is visible and pinball, but when logging on they get an error.

Eventually we installed Mac OS x server 10.3 and things have been working fine since. Since it had been working OK for a long time I suspect that perhaps it has something to do with a security of other type of Microsoft update.

Nathan Reilly has not had this problem with Mac OS X Server 10.3:

I've not had any issues (as yet) with XP SP2 connecting to 10.3 Servers. There are only 10 PCs, though.

Terry Ammons sees the problem with Mac OS X 10.2.8 Server:

I'm running OS X Server 10.2.8 on an Xserve. The Windows machines were running XP with service pack 1. The upgrade to Service Pack 2 is the only thing I can think of that changed.

I have seen many postings about this but have not seen any real answers. I have looked at all of the similar issues regarding earlier versions of the server OS but we were working just fine until December. The PC's can see the network servers but when I go to log on, it just tells me that the name and password is not correct. I have made the PC name fit the short name on the server. I don't know if server 10.3 fixes this but I don't really have a grand to invest in the upgrade yet since everything else was working fine.

A reader named Adroc sent us a link to an Apple discussion board;

I had the same problem with XP no longer connecting to AppleShare IP. I found on the Apple discussion boards that others were having this problem - there is something in the most recent XP update that is conflicting - if you remove a portion of the update - you will be able to connect again - not sure if this works for OS X servers

Brian Smith sees the problem with both OS X 10.2 and AppleShare IP:

I have had the same problem connecting to a MacOS X 10.2 desktop at home and my AppleShare IP 6.3.3 server at work. It seems that SP2 really wants domain info. Even if I have both my 10.2 box and my SP2 (professional) box in the same Workgroup, it still doesn't work. I have had this problem ever since I installed SP2 months ago. Clean reinstalls of XP do not "cure" the problem. MS seems to have made a fundamental change in the authentication of SP2.

Nathan Nelson has the problem with AppleShare IP, but the latest Mac clients can't connect either:

I am supporting a company with a number of PC clients connecting to an Apple server running OS 9, and AppleShare IP 6.3.3. Since SP2 has been installed on the PCs we've started to notice that one-by-one, the PCs can no longer connect to the file servers. The server is visible on the network but the PCs cannot connect to any of the share points. Windows 2000 also works fine. Interestingly, it would appear that MacOS 10.3.8 using SMB cannot connect to the old server either.

Michael Kuntscher suspects the Windows XP firewall:

Keep in mind that SP2 automatically enables Windows Firewall, which by default blocks File and Printer Sharing ports.

You'll need to specifically allow File and Printer Sharing traffic before your Macs will show up again:

Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall

If Windows Firewall is set to "On", make sure that "Don't allow exceptions" is unchecked, then click the Exceptions tab at the top. Check the File and Printer Sharing option.

Click OK and then the Macs should eventually show up again in most cases.

Ken Reichel:

We also can't connect after updating to SP2. I guess I'll just roll it back! (Sigh)

Another alternative to AutoCad on VPC. February 24, 2005 -- Greg Conyngham added to our previous report Mac OS X-native alternatives to AutoCAD on VPC:

I've found AutoCad on VPC unusable no matter how fast the Mac is but okay if you just need to check for translation compatibility or the occasional plot. For Architectural work, Graphisoft's ArchiCAD is exceptionally powerful and more fully featured. For general 3D work, industrial/product design AutoDesSys form-Z is excellent and highly respected. Both are multiplatform. Additional Mac CAD programs can be found on the Architosh web site in their Digital Practice Guide:

Mixed reveiws on OS X 10.3.8 update effects on AD. February 24, 2005 -- Henrik Ahlberg in Sweden did not have as good luck with the Mac OS X 10.3.8 update and Active Director as a reader earlier in the week:

We have exactly the opposite experience of 10.3.8 update. We have not been able to bind any clients with 10.3.7 or 10.3.8.

The only way it works here is to install 10.3.6 -> bind to AD -> update to 10.3.8. We have a Windows 2003 AD.

Allyn Martin found that the 10.3.8 improved a variety of network issues:

Here at our Company (4000+ employees, 80 are Macs). We have been Moving to the 2003 Win server for Data and have been having Move/Edit problems and incomplete AD syncing until we upgraded to 10.3.8.

Now we have "Better" performance to the 2003 Server and now are able to use Entourage 2004 for eMail, Calendaring, Delegation (still need OutlookPC to set that up) inside our Exchange Community.

Apple is definitely getting their end together. As well Microsoft seems to have decent development going on again.

I now am enjoying the PST Import tool beta. Works like a charm to get my old Outlook for Mac 2001 personal folders across in MBOX format. Now we can pull them off easily to make archives and place them right back in when needed.

Lets hope the positive movement keeps on going from here on out.

Mark/Space online store lists Mac-compatible Pocket PC apps. February 24, 2005 -- Mark/Space, maker of the Missing Sync line of software for syncing Macs to Pocket PC and Palm, is now selling third-party apps for the handheld platforms at the Mark/Space Online Store. The company says that the products it carries will work with Macs.

Save $50,000; build your own Apple I. February 24, 2005 -- Cross-platform enthusiasts can now add an Apple I to their menageries of incompatible platforms. A new book, Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage by Tom Owad, describes how to create a working replica of Apple's first PC fro $100 worth of parts. The publisher says a replica is the best you'll be able to get:

According to Wired Magazine, the Apple I is one of the hottest machines on the vintage computer market. There are now fewer than 50 systems still in circulation and collectors have paid as much as $50,000 for a computer originally priced at $666.66.

The Apple I, designed by Steve Wozniak, included 8k of RAM, an interface for a video, and, most notably, a keyboard. Woz describes it at woz.org:

It was the first [computer] to sit in front of you, about the size of a typewriter, with a keyboard. Every other cheap computer had an ugly commercial look with a plate full of switches and lights that made no sense.

Wozniak and Steve Jobs demonstrated their prototype as a motherboard mounted on plywood. This prototype is now on display in the lobby of 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA.





Feb 22

MacWindows Update: Using PC input devices on Mac. February 22, 2005 -- We've begun updating our Keyboard Solutions page, which lists products that enable you to use PC input devices on Macs, Apple displays on PCs, and which let you share a single keyboard and monitor with multiple PCs and Macs (KVM switches). Among the more interesting additions to the page:

We still have a way to go yet before the page is completely current, but it's a start. If you know of a product that belongs on this page

Mac OS X 10.3.8 update helps reader bind to AD. February 22, 2005 -- Trent Geerdes discovered that the Mac OS X 10.3.8 update helped him bind to Active Directory:

I was never able to bind machines to our AD domain before 10.3.8. All of a sudden I can bind clients out of the box with the 10.3.8 update.

If you've seen this, or have noticed other cross-platform effects of the 10.3.8 update

Win XP Service Pack 2 can't connect to Mac OS X. February 22, 2005 -- We have a few more reports of Windows XP users who upgraded to Service Pack 2 and lost the ability to connect to Mac OS X Server.

Nicholas Eley:

We have a number of clients who use Windows XP PCs to connect to Apple servers (a mixture of the old Mac OS 9 AppleShare 6.3.3 and the new Mac OS X 10.2.8/10.3 servers). Since SP2 has been installed on the PCs we've started to notice that one-by-one, the PCs can no longer connect to the file servers. The server is visible on the network but the PCs cannot connect to any of the share points.

Theresa Ewing:

I just upgraded my Windows machines with Service Pack 2 and now have the problem connecting into the our Apple network. I was wondering if there was a correction work around?

If you've seen this problem

Reader reports ExtremeZ-IP 4.0 quirk. February 22, 2005 -- Michael Curtis has good things to say about the new ExtremeZ-IP 4.0, the AFP server for Windows, but has seen one problem:

I have had version 4 for a couple of weeks and have been testing it. It is superb and very fast, but I have found one issue. If you have a file open via the server and then try and copy it to the local machine the file will quickly appear and then disappear and not copy.

I have reported this to Group Logic and they are working hard on it.

If you've used EZ-IP 4.0,

Guest PC emulator to support USB and copy/paste. February 22, 2005 -- Loren Olson reports that Lismore Systems will release another update of its Guest PC x86 emulator for Mac OS X by the end of March. According to Olson, Lismore will add support for USB and copy/paste between Mac and Windows environments. Drag and drop support is also in the works, but for a later update.

Last week we reported that Lismore had released Guest PC 1.0.1, and update that fixed several networking problems.

Suggestions for alternatives to AutoCAD on VPC. February 22, 2005 -- Several readers have sent in more suggestions for Mac OS X-native alternatives to using AutoCAD in Virtual PC. (Previous recommendations and reports can be found on our AutoCAD in Virtual PC page.)

Ralph Byrd has two to recommend:

I read your AutoCAD entry and by all means don't forget Ashlar Vellum's solutions and Ilexsoft's High Design. High Design to my mind is the best 2D drafting program I know. Not to mention that it is fantastically affordable. Ashlar Vellums products are much more than basic and can get pretty pricey.

Omar Sotomonte:

My girlfriend has been using AutoCAD on my Mac. In her words "it stinks." But when there is no other option, you must have a little patience and it slowly does everything you need.

Another option is to use VectorWorks, which is a native Mac OS X CAD app compatible with AutoCAD files.

your favorite Mac OS X-native AutoCAD alternative.

An anonymous reader sent in an analysis:

An Mac-native alternative to AutoCAD is probably not a bad plan, if AutoCAD compatibility is actually an issue, as AutoCAD is at the "shallow end" of the pond as far as CAD applications and there are many translator options. But that's a function of whether its 2D or 3D that is needed.

AutoCAD does translate particularly well to other CAD applications which are "higher" (and/or more convoluted) in the food chain.

Last time I checked, which as been awhile &endash; AutoCAD had around 25 percent of the CAD market share. But a lot of businesses with robust needs use other applications. Unigraphics (5 percent?), Pro/Engineer (20+ percent), SDRC Ideas (around 3-5 percent), SolidWorks (very roughly 10+ percent). These are numbers which are a few years old. But it isn't entirely utility - price points factor in, as well as maintenance costs (training, etc.). Hence, AutoCAD. The pay rate is the lowest for AutoCAD designers as well.

Aside: Pro/Engineer originally ran on Unix first & only, has a Linux implementation, there have been noises about porting a version to Mac OS X in the works for a few years, but I gather it was jettisoned in favor of a port to Linux.

So maybe what needs to be addressed is whether there is viability in limited use of emulators to run the Windows versions of various CAD application on a Mac adequately enough. Whether it was a learning environment, a career daily use situation in an intractable workplace, or occasional home use all factor into the path.





Feb 16

New ExtremeZ-IP 4.0 adds performance, cluster support, Kerberos. February 16, 2005 -- Yesterday, Group Logic began shipping ExtremeZ-IP File Server 4.0, a major new version of the AFP server for Windows PCs that supports Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 clients. (See also this press release.)

The company said that ExtremeZ-IP File Server 4.0 has a new internal architecture that features a new caching technique for tracking shared files that no longer requires the indexing of volumes at startup. Improvements include:

Prices range from $675-to-$3996 (unlimited use).

Group Logic also offers ExtremeZ-IP Print Server 4.0, which enables Mac OS and Windows clients to print to TCP/IP printers managed by Windows servers. The server allows users who operate Mac OS X and Windows print servers to completely remove AppleTalk from their networks.

First update to Guest PC emulator fixes networking problems. February 16, 2005 &endash;- Yesterday, Lismore Software Systems released Guest PC 1.0.1 (US $70, free update from 1.0), the first update to the new x86 emulator for Mac OS X 10.3 and later. New features:

The new version fixes bugs in networking and in other areas, including:

MacWindows reader Loren Olson reported that the Guest PC 1.0.1 update fixed the previously reported problem with DSL.

NameCleaner 2.5.2 for moving files,fixing filenames. February 16, 2005 &endash;- Sig Software released NameCleaner for Mac OS X 2.5.2 (US $35), a utility for moving files to Windows servers and automatically manipulating file names and types. It can move files to Windows servers while fixing filenames that use characters that are illegal on Windows. It can also add proper Windows filename extensions automatically. The new version adds support for extensions up to 8 characters, additional built-in extension mappings, and user interface improvements.

TIP for OS 9 Macs and Win 2003 Server. February 16, 2005 &endash;- An anonymous reader responded to our problem report called Getting any Mac to Work with Win 2003 File Server and provided a suggestion:

We just migrated our OS 9.1 Macs from a Windows 2000 file server to a Windows 2003 file server.

After we created a share for AppleTalk users (like we did on our 2000 server) we found that they had read-only permission even though the share and security (NTFS) permissions were set to full access.

We were rolling up our sleeves for a major operation but the solution turned out to be simple: A read-only check box was checked!

How to fix it:

  1. Right-click "My Computer"
  2. Choose "Manage"
  3. Choose Shared Folders -> Shares
  4. Right-Click the Macintosh share and choose properties.
  5. Uncheck the "This volume is read only" box.

Chiphopper ports x86 apps to IBM Linux platforms. February 16, 2005 &endash;- eWeek reports that IBM's Chiphopper program (formally known as the IBM eServer Application Server Advantage for Linux) will port software written for x86 hardware to its zSeries and Power architecture servers.


Feb 14

Microsoft KB article useful for AD queries in Mac OS X. February 14, 2005 -- Microsoft Knowledge Base article 238007, How to Configure the Address Book to Query Users Contained in Active Directory, describes using the Windows 2000 address book client to do Active Directory queries. Tony Euser found that some of the information in the article is useful for doing queries with the Mac OS X Address Book:

Open the Address Book.app and select Preferences. Select the LDAP tab and add a new entry. Give it friendly name, and enter the server name (ie. the full DNS name of the domain controller).

Leave the search base empty and use port 3268 (NOT 368) and turn on SSL. Set the scope to subtree and enter your domain credentials (e.g.. domain\username ), password and set the auth type to simple. Hit Save and you're done.

What just blew me away is that not only can I query for users, but for ANY object in AD! Mind you the template in Address Book is for users, so other domain object properties are not revealed

An AD suggestion on home directories. February 14, 2005 -- Jason Meyer passed along a tip for getting mapping a home directory in Active Directory:

After a bit a mucking around as to why my OS X client computer would map a home dir for one ActiveDirectory user and not others, I found that you need to make sure the computer account for the client can read all the attribute for the AD user. Just thought I would point this out if some one can't get it working correctly

Mac OS X 10.3.8 offers cross-platform improvements. February 14, 2005 -- Last week, Apple release Mac OS X 10.3.8, a free update to Mac OS X v10.3.x. Apple reports a long list of improvements, including several for cross platform interest. In particular:

If you've found an improvement or degradation of cross-platform behavior with the 10.3.8 update

Lismore to fix DSL issue with Guest PC. February 14, 2005 -- We continue to receive reports regarding the new Guest PC x86 emulator from Lismore Systems. Loren Olson has contacted Lismore about a problem with DSL Internet access from within Windows:

It appears that the use of DSL with Guest PC is a known problem and very likely will fixed and available very soon, according to an email from Lismore.

Patrick Ellis offered a general report of his experiences:

My experience with Guest PC has been a mixed bag of good and bad on an eMac 1.25 GHz with 1 GB of RAM. Installation and setup of Windows 2000 Professional took just over 2 hours to complete, 2 GB "partition" and 256 MB RAM assigned.

Overall speed is decent and more useable than I previously imagined - of course, I have yet to try anything more than basic "playing around" with the OS and Internet. One of the problems that I've encountered so far is with Microsoft's Windows update. Each time I try to update 2000 via their website, Guest PC freezes up about 1/3 of the way through. It is a hard freeze that locks out the entire machine with an endless spinning beach ball, forcing a powering off of the Mac - not a pleasant experience.

Another bug is the inability to change any parameters after installation. It seems that you are suppose to capable of changing a minimal number of settings such as memory but following the instructions doesn't work for me - I'm expected to create a "new PC". It is also an incredible memory hog. Using Activity Viewer, the amount of memory used by Guest PC continually grows even when it is sitting idle.

Overall, it is not bad, I suppose, for a first incarnation but there is plenty of room for improvement. My experience to date has been a mixed bag of "pleasure and pain".

Note: there are educational prices offered not only to institutions but to employees of educational institutions as well. This is what prompted me to purchase and try out in my work environment (post secondary college in Quebec).

Reproducing Entourage/Exchange Server disappearing data. February 14, 2005 -- Jon Gardner saw the problem of disappearing email with Entourage. He's working with Microsoft to find a fix, but he can't reproduce the problem:

Several months ago, my CIO experienced the "random disappearing email" bug in Entourage--he lost about 1 GB of archived emails (the email disappeared, the folders stayed). We have a Premier Support Contract with Microsoft, and I have an open incident with them, trying to replicate the problem. I created a test mailbox on our Exchange Server, and I've been running Entourage 2004 on my PowerBook, forwarding all my mail to the test mailbox, for several weeks, but I have been unable to replicate the problem thus far.

I am looking for any and all information from people who have experienced unexplainable data loss, especially in Entourage 2004. I'm not talking about the "unread only" option being checked in the "View" menu, or about emails that don't show up in Entourage but do show up in OWA or Outlook on Windows. I'm talking about the issues where Entourage randomly deletes--completely--data from the Exchange mailbox, typically either email or calendar data.

We're paying the money to have direct access to Microsoft programmers. If I can replicate the problem, I can get them to address it. If I can get in touch people, maybe we can figure out how to replicate the problem.

If you'd like to help Gardner work identify the problem for Microsoft,

Of course, if you know of a solution,





Feb 9

Exchange public folder problems. February 9, 2005 -- Josh Wisenbaker responded to Monday's report of Entourage problems accessing public folders on Exchange 2000:

The issues with public folders with Entourage are so much bugs as they are known limitations. MS has documented all of these in it's Working with Exchange white paper.

Some suggestions for running AutoCAD in VPC. February 9, 2005 -- Responding to Monday's reader report of not being able to run AutoCAD 14 in Virtual PC 6, Matt Ma suggests that Windows is the problem:

My understanding is that AutoCAD 14 does not run on Windows XP. So the problem may not be related to VPC.

Shahed Amanullah added some information to a reader report from January 10:

I use AutoCAD on Virtual PC (Win 98) regularly (17" 1.33 GHz PowerBook) and am quite pleased with the performance. When integrated into the company network, I can access all files and references as if I were a regular PC.

AutoCAD is a very specialized application, and while you can import/export DXF and DWG files with some Mac-native drafting programs, if you're doing anything complex (x-referencing, for example), you need the real thing. And my PC-using colleagues are stunned that AutoCAD works so well on my PowerBook.

I recommend using Win 98 rather than XP or NT (more processing power for AutoCAD and less for the OS) and upping your RAM as much as possible.

Amanullah didn't mention Windows 2000, but we recommend it as the fastest version of Windows to run in Virtual PC.

More Guest PC reader reports. February 9, 2005 -- Several more readers sent in reports about Lismore System's new Guest PC x86 emulator for Mac OS X.

Mark Bellon reported a long installation time for Windows XP and problems with networking,but has good things to say about other aspects:

I have been a Blue Label PowerEmulator (BLPE) user for quite some time and mourned it's death when moving to Mac OS X. I was excited about the possibility of an upgrade and ordered the Guest PC upgrade immediately. My configuration is MacOS X 10.3.7 running a dual 2 GHz G5 with 2 GB of RAM and 160 GB of disk (tons of free space). I have VPC 7.0.1 and it runs flawlessly.

I started a Windows XP PRO installation using a 4 GB disk image and 512 MB of RAM. The installation was slow but this was not unexpected. After 4+ hours the installation rebooted and switched to the emulated disk and here is where things went astray. Several times the installation popped-up asking for files that I've never seen it ask for before but eventually the installation finished. Everything runs well except networking - everything hangs and eventually times out.

I contacted Lismore describing the situation; they responded in a timely fashion and asked me to send my System Profiler output and haven't heard back from them for ~5 business days. In speaking with them they acknowledged that Guest PC is build around an updated version of the BLPE code but that many of the tunables in BLPE have been removed - made unnecessary by their automatic tuning.

From what testing I've done I can report that it is noticeably slower than VPC but under I get the networking running I really can't qualify this in detail. The program itself, Guest PC, runs well and has proven to be stable.

In the past the Lismore crew has been responsive and has come through with fixes so I'm hoping to hear from them "real soon now".

Loren Olson was not happy running Windows 98:

I bought a copy of Windows 98 SE to use with Guest PC. The install and all went fairly easy. However, that's where things came to a grinding halt. First there is not possibility of drag and drop from the Mac desktop or any Mac drive for that matter. Secondly, it does require that I download the HP G55 printer driver which under Windows 98 SE will probably take good long time. The only other method is download it from the Mac and copy it to CD, and then transfer to Windows 98 SE. The big reason for communications problems is I am running DSL, which apparently though it works, will never work at full speed under Guest PC and Windows 98 SE.

I might add it will not share any Mac devices unless I have a corresponding Windows 98 SE driver.

Scroll further down for more reader reports on Guest PC.





Feb 7

First reader report on Guest PC emulator. February 7, 2005 -- Robert Newman has had a positive experience with the new Guest PC x86 emulator for Mac OS X:

I just upgraded my Blue Label Emulator to Guest PC, and I think the new emulator is great. I am not a power user, just a person that occasionally needs to run a couple of Windows programs. My fastest Mac is a iBook 600 with 256 megs of ram. Guest PC runs Windows 95 and 98 very well, at least as fast as the original P133 that I ran it on originally. Printing to whatever Mac printer is seamless, as well as cable connection to the Internet.

If you've tried Guest PC,

More reports on iEmulator. February 7, 2005 -- We've had more reports on the iEmulator x86 emulator for Mac OS X. David Verne is happy with it:

I wanted to let you know about my experience with iEmulator. I purchased it on Monday, and installed it on my iMac (1.8 GHz G5, 1 GB of RAM). I then installed Windows 98 SE on it. Installation took a little over an hour, but it went smoothly. I've been using it since. It runs slower than my old PC (a Celeron 500 MHz), but it's very usable. So far I've used it to preview web pages using Internet Explorer, and that's worked great. At the price they're asking, it's worth every penny, especially since I can now sell my PC!

Ryan Peterson is not:

I am using iEmulator on a dual 2.5 GHz G5 and the program is really just unusable. The fact that they even sell it just doesn't seem right to me. It is just a GUI for the open-source QEMU emulator. I am attempting run Windows 2000 and have not been at all satisfied.

If you missed them, you can read our iEmulator reports from last week below.

AutoCAD 14 problems on VPC 6. February 7, 2005 -- S. Grant can't get AutoCAD to function in Virtual PC:

I haven't been able to use AutoCAD v 14 on Windows XP via Virtual PC 6 on my 1.2 MHz G4, Mac OX 10.3.3.

I can INSTALL AutoCAD v14 OK-- and AutoCAD will generate a NEW file OK. But if I go to OPEN an already existing AutoCAD file, or try to open a newly created AutoCAD file (via VPC), AutoCAD crashes and gives me the "FATAL ERROR: Heap error" message.

Now I thought Heap errors were related to RAM. But I am running a 1.2 MHz Power Mac G4, 1 Gig of RAM. I devoted 512 MB of ram to VPC and it still isn't opening EXISTING AutoCAD files.

I can launch AutoCAD v14 in VPC and get a new and blank AutoCAD file, but once I save a file and try to reopen the same file, AutoCAD crashes w/ that same HEAP error message.

I tried adjusting my settings to run programs under 2000 or Win 98 compatibility with no luck.

If you've seen this problem

Reader Entourage 2004 public folder problem with Exchange 2000. February 7, 2005 -- David White has some observation about problems with using Entourage with Exchange Server:

My company runs Exchange 2000. I support 140 Mac clients running Entourage 2004. We use Microsoft Exchange's Public Folders feature extensively...

In the full MAPI client Outlook 2001, Mac clients could both read and post in Public Folders and those folders were browsable. In Entourage X, Public Folders were inaccessible. In Entourage 2004 (E 2004), Public Folders can be seen.

In order to read posts in Entourage 2004, the user must subscribe to the folder as though it was a newsgroup...If normal permissions are set for the folder (posts are only editable by the owner) Exchange interprets a Mac client's attempt to read the post as an attempt to edit. An error is set in Entourage's error log that states:

Permission Error. Changes to the e-mail message "(subject of post)" could not be saved because you do not have the appropriate permission.

If permissions at the server are set so that clients can edit any post the error message does not get set. In addition to the error, the post disappears from the folder. The next post is now displayed, which prompts another error in the log. A few seconds later, the post that the client was reading reappears as unread, and the post being viewed disappears to be replaced by the next post in the folder.

And the capper to the convoluted sequence above is that Entourage 2004 clients can not post to Public Folders. There is no such function in Entourage 2004. The only mechanism allowed is to send the folder a message. Of course, the folder has to be mail enabled and maybe 20 of our hundreds of Public Folders are.

Curiously, basic Microsoft OWA through any browser does allow posting to a Public Folder. Because of the lack of support, I'm forced to continue offering Outlook 2001 as the only officially "supported" client for Exchange through Macintosh.

If you've seen this problem





Feb 2

Lismore ships Guest PC, new x86 emulator for OS X. February 2, 2005 -- Lismore Software Systems has released a new PC emulator for Mac OS X 10.3, Guest PC (US $70). For a number of years Lismore sold BlueLabel Power Emulator (BLPE), an x86 emulator for Mac OS 9. BLPE never ran on Mac OS X or in the Classic environment. Lismore is offering a $35 upgrade to Guest PC for BLPE owners.

Lismore says that Guest PC supports every version of Windows from Windows 3.1 to Windows XP Professional. Guest PC comes with DOS preinstalled. Users need to install their own copy of Windows. The system comes with a Windows Setup Assistant to help users install Windows and setup modem, printer, and network connection.

Readers report that iEmulator is no speed demon. February 2, 2005 -- Several readers sent in reports about iEmulator, a low-cost x86 emulator that we first reported on last week. The developer recommends running Windows 98 or Windows 2000, but readers are reporting that iEmulator runs slowly in those operating systems.

Randy Kahle compared iEmulator to Virtual PC 6. He said that overall performance was slower than VPC 6, but that the graphics were faster:

I purchased a copy of iEmulator and installed it on a 17" PowerBook with 1 GHz processor and 1 GB RAM. Purchase, download, and installation were accomplished without a problem. The directions regarding Windows 2000 installation are clear and easy to follow. This requires making a master CD image instead of directly using the CD-ROM drive.

However, the Windows 2000 Professional installation took four hours, most of the time spent with a pegged CPU.

iEmulator running Windows 2000 is so slow it is unusable. Much slower than VPC 6 on the same computer. Having said that I do note that the graphics of iEmulator is snappy, probably faster than VPC 6. The speed of general, CPU and disk I/O based tasks are beyond painfully slow.

Dave Zimbelman tried it with Windows 98:

I've downloaded and installed iEmulator. Following the directions I was able to install Windows 98. It works OK but is very slow on my Quicksilver G4 933. VPC has nothing to worry about yet, but it's a start.

Mark McCormick:

Overall, I can report that it works, but is too slow to actually use. I installed it (and the Free DOS program that comes with the product), without any problems on a G5, 1.6 GHz Mac with 1.25 Gb RAM (running Mac OS X 10.3.5). Using DOS this way is reasonably fast, so if anyone has some old DOS programs they want to run on a Mac, they should have no problems, according to my experience.

I then installed Windows 2000, and while it took a long, long time, it did install without a hitch. But after that, it was just way too slow to use. It took forever just to open Windows Explorer, or any folder. Actually opening WordPad took about 2 minutes. I didn't attempt any other program, and have since uninstalled iEmulator.

Suggestion for Entourage Logon failure. February 2, 2005 -- Marc LaPlante sent us a suggestion for the Entourage logon failure problem that several readers have reported:

If the user have selected the Save Password option in the login window, the password will get entered in the password field. The problem is that when you change your password, Entourage has no way to know the change in your main PDC. So it will still log you on with your old password and generate the Invalid Login Password error message.

The trick is to update the password field with the new password.

If you've tried this fix,





January 2005

Jan 31

Can't save to Win Server: tweak Virex instead turning it off. January 31, 2005 -- Tim Moore in Australia responded to our recent report pointing to Virex as the cause of the problem of saving Excel files on Windows 2003 Server from Mac OS X. Moore says you don't have to completely turn off Virex in order to fix the problem:

I've also been having the problem outlined by your readers, with saving from Excel to a Windows server (in our case, Windows 2000).

Rather than turn Virex off altogether as some people have been suggesting, I've set the Virex Preferences to "Exclude specific disks, files, and folders" -- excluding specifically the /Volumes/ directory which is where all the Windows shares are mounted by OS X.

So far, it looks very promising.

Reader verifies RDC in VPC faster than native RDC. January 31, 2005 -- Laurie Davis verified last week's reader report that the Windows version of Remote Desktop Client runs faster than the Mac version:

I read with interest the report on RDC running faster within VPC as a Windows applet compared with the Mac version running natively under OS X. Having just installed VPC on my home Mac G5 dual 1.8 GHz, 2 GB RAM, I can confirm this is the case.

Connecting to my work IBM desktop 2.4 GHz PC feels very lively and I can use many of the apps such as MS Office 2003, remotely, with little apparent speed hit - for non-graphics intensive tasks.

Interestingly they seem more responsive then the same apps running within the VPC emulation on the Mac (non-remotely). I can also confirm that RDC running natively on the Mac does suffer from a sort of slight 'bounce' when a [remote] window refreshes. This is not apparent on the Windows version.

First iEmulator reports. January 31, 2005 -- A few readers sent in brief reports about iEmulator , a new PC emulator for Mac OS X, which we described last Friday.

Orville Robertson was able to download to download it, but could not install Windows:

Windows would not install because the QEMU app always crashed at some point during Windows installation on My G4 500 Dual and my PowerBook G4 12" Rev A.

This was with both Windows XP and Win 2000.

Several people had problems purchasing or downloading the software. One of these was Ed Law, who was pleased with the outcome:

After providing payment information, no link was provided to download the software. A follow-up e-mail confirmed the purchase but also gave no information on how to download the product.

I emailed iEmulator support and received a response within minutes that solved the download problem. Good support so far!

If you've tried iEmulator

Entourage Logon failure. January 31, 2005 -- Peter Ennis is experiencing Entourage logon failure, where Entourage keeps asking for a password. He said he tried the suggestion that another sent in, but did not have success.

I am getting this problem as well. It started right after I changed my network password using a Wintel machine. I have tried deleting the keychain, but to no avail!

If you've seen this problem





Jan 28

iEmulator, new PC emulator for Macs, now available. January 28, 2005 -- iEmulator 1.7 (US $24) is a new PC emulator for Mac OS X. (The first version was called 1.6, released last November.)

The product comes with a DOS operating system on a DOS boot floppy image and a DOS formatted hard disk image. iEmulator can run Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP; the developers recommend Windows 2000 as the fastest version of Windows. (Windows 2000 is also the fastest version of Windows to run in Microsoft's Virtual PC.) Like Virtual PC, iEmulator can have multiple virtual machines booted at the same time.

The developers say that iEmulator is not based on the open-source BOCHS emulation engine, but is based on the QEMU engine. iEmulator.com claims that it's emulator runs faster than BOCHS.

iEmulator.com says that the product comes with email support and "all future iEmulator updates at no charge."

Earlier this week we reported that Lismore Systems has announced a new PC emulator for Mac OS X called Guest PC.

(Thanks to Alex Cook for pointing us to iEmulator.com)

If you're running this application

Running multiple simultaneous RDC sessions. January 28, 2005 -- Several readers responded to Wednesday's report of a reader who could not run more than one instance of Microsoft's free Remote Desktop Client (RDC) at the same time.

James Schwacofer describes how he does it:

I run multiple instances of RDC on my PowerBook. The way to do this is to duplicate RDC in the Applications folder and when you need a second instance of RDC start up the duplicated copy of RDC. You can make copies and copies and have multiple instances all at your finger tips.

Phil Shepard says that he can do it with settings on Terminal Server, but isn't specific:

I just helped a business client configure a Windows 2003 Terminal Services Server and configured several Macs with OS X 10.3.7 and Microsoft RDC 1.0.3 to connect with it. If the Options in RDC are set properly and the TS is set up properly, then multiple Macs can connect at the same time and with very high speed. Before I tweaked the Options in RDC, the performance was much slower. Before I properly finalized the configuration of the TS, only 1 RDC could connect at a time.

Michael Pardee uses a free utility called RDC Launcher:

You can search the net for a free app called RDC Launcher that will allow you to run multiple RDC instances. Very handy.

I don't see the same RDC performance issues that Angelo sees. I manage over 400 Windows based servers (NT4, Windows 2000, Windows 2003) from a G4 PowerBook and I don't think it performs *that* bad. It is awful when you connect to a Windows XP box though.

On Wednesday, a reader reported that RDC runs faster in Virtual PC than the Mac version does in OS X.

(See also our previous RDC reports.)

Alternative to RDC, Linux rdesktop remote controller, runs in X11. January 28, 2005 -- A pair readers wrote to share their experience with the open-source rdesktop, a Unix remote control program for accessing Windows Terminal Server, which has been listed on our Operating System Solutions page. To run rdesktop on a Mac, you need to compile it yourself and run it in Apple's X11 for Mac OS X, an X Window windowing system.

Jason Magouirk describes the pros and cons of using it instead of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Client (RDC):

In regards to the article about RDC being faster under VPC than OS X, another solution is to use rdesktop, an open source RDP client commonly used on Linux. You have to compile it yourself, and it requires X Window, but it does have some nice features:

1. It's faster than RDC.
2. You can open multiple sessions.
3. It emulates a Windows 2000 RDP connection, so you don't have to buy any special client access licenses (which is why I no longer use MS RDP client).

OK, there are a few caveats:

1. I haven't seen a binary version anywhere, so you have to compile it yourself (so you'll also have to install OS X devtools), but the documentation is fairly easily to follow. I have done this compile myself, so it will work, and is pretty straightforward... But may be a bit over the heads of those who haven't done that sort of thing before.

2. You need X Windows installed, Apple's X11 works nicely.

3. Reduced functionality: no sound, no printer/drive mappings, and the right-click key combination doesn't work properly as it does under MS RDPC, there might be another way to address this, I just haven't taken the time to figure it out yet. It does work however, just not well).

Another worthwhile note is that this product is freely available, is constantly updated (unlike the MS RDP client), and is available on a wide variety of platforms.

Note for Linux box users: rdesktop is quite possibly already installed on your system, if so, just install X11 on your Mac and run rdesktop remotely on your Mac from the Linux box... Assuming both are part of the same network.

Mark Obsniuk describes his experience:

I was able to compile rdesktop. It runs fast. I did notice that the video wasn't being sent from my Hauppauge Encoder card as it does using MS RDC. Another problem is the full screen mode does not loose the menu bar in X11. I am sure there is a way to do it but I only spent 5 minutes downloading and installing the program.

We also have a number of other Terminal Server clients and other remote control solutions listed on our Operating Systems Solutions page.

Entourage: Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password. January 28, 2005 -- Peter Ennis reports seeing the Entourage logon problem that keeps asking for a password:

Like Chris Myers on November 22, 2004, I am getting this problem as well. It started right after I changed my network password using a Wintel machine. I have tried deleting the keychain, but to no avail.

If you've seen this problem





Jan 26

New Apple IT site includes AD integration info. January 26, 2005 -- TechChristian.com reports that Apple has launched a new set of web pages called IT Pro that includes information on Integrating Mac OS X and Active Directory and on security issues, among other topics.

RDC faster in VPC than in native OS X. January 26, 2005 -- Angelo Fonte has found that Microsoft's Remote Desktop Client (RDC) for Windows runs faster in Virtual PC than does the Mac RDC in OS X:

We use a mixed OS X and Windows environment, mainly using Windows Servers for SQL/Oracle and Windows 2003 TS (for business-centric Windows apps)...I noticed that the Mac RDC app for Windows TS appeared to be slower (and has an annoying visual refreshing roll-over) than the Windows RDC on our few Windows 2000 boxes.

I recently installed Virtual PC 7 with Windows 2000 and for kicks decided to install the latest Windows RDC app. I connected to our office Windows TS from home (Broadband/Airport) with my PowerBook G4 1.25 and was astonished by the extremely significant performance improvement. That's right, using the latest Windows RDC on Windows 2000/Virtual PC from home was faster than using the native Mac RDC for TS...

In addition to the Mac RDC being slower, it is further disabled by not allowing more than one RDC at a time, as you can on Windows.

Our previous reports regarding RDC and Citrix on our Application Server Reports page.

Reader modem problems with Virtual PC 7. January 26, 2005 -- A pair of readers report two different problems with modems from within Virtual PC 7.

Eugen Steiner:

I'm trying to connect Virtual PC 7 XP professional running on a 12" PowerBook to the internal modem.

The modem works from the Mac side and I have followed the manual's instructions to install a standard 56000 modem driver on the Virtual PC on COM1. Running diagnostics, it seems that the Virtual PC has some kind of contact with the internal modem. However, I cannot get the fax-application, nor other modem-dependent functions to work.

Michael Tulloch had another modem problem:

I must say that my experience contrasts markedly with the other users featured on the MacWindows Virtual PC 7 page. We had recently purchased two dual 1.8 GHz G5s, 768 MB of RAM and Virtual PC 7.0.1. Windows XP ran slowly with 512 MB allocated to Windows...We also tested VPC with Windows 2K, and that resulted in a reasonable, smooth and quick experience.

However, in both cases, we found that you couldn't control the modem accurately through VPC. Apparently the G5s built-in Microdash modem is not of the highest quality to begin with, and VPC's modem control was a little lacking. We had all kinds of problems using Z-modem to send and receive data.

Also, the Ethernet connection is wholly emulated in software, regardless of the hardware. Thus, you could be running a gigabit Ethernet card (as we were) and still only receive 10 Mb/sec.

If you've seen either of these modem problems

Citrix 7.00.402 client: bug fix and print problem. January 26, 2005 -- Steve Maser responded to a report about the recently released Mac ICA client version 7.00.402. He verifies that if fixes a copy/paste problem with Word and Excel, but he ran into printing problems:

I've been running it for two days and it's been stable, and I've been able to copy from Word 2004 and paste inside the Citrix window without a crash.

We've had this client for a week or so. It also fixes a bug where Citrix wasn't reading some files that had more than 32 characters in their name.

That said, we are unable to print with any of the 7.00 clients to our HP LaserJet 2xxx and 4xxx series printers. We either get that:

  • Page 1 prints, but then all subsequent pages are blank
  • Pages print, but are missing "objects" on the page.

No matter what driver seems to be installed on the Windows side of things -- these things happen in various shades of nonprinting. A couple of folks on the Citrix support forums are posting similar issues.

If you've seen this problem

Cross-platform PasswordVault 4.0 released. January 26, 2005 -- Lava Software has shipped PC-Mac PasswordVault 4.0 (US $20, free upgrade), a cross-platform password manager for Windows, Mac OS and Linux with 896-bit encryption. The software also provides secure password data backup, recovery and distribution. Among the improvements in version 4.0:

Lava Software also offers a free Lite Edition of PC-Mac PasswordVault v4.0.





Jan 24

Timbuktu 8 remote control to add security, "push installer." January 24, 2005 -- Netopia, Inc. has announced that in late February it will ship Timbuktu Pro 8.0, the next version of the remote control software, file transfer, and voice messaging software for Windows and Macintosh. New features will include:

Lismore announces new PC emulator for Mac. January 24, 2005 -- Lismore Systems has announced a new PC emulator for Mac, Guest PC. The company provided few details other than it will ship in February. Presumably, Guest PC will run in Mac OS X. The company's previous emulator product, Blue Label Power Emulator, only ran in Mac OS 9 and earlier; the company never ported it to Mac OS X.

ODBC Driver for Oracle. January 24, 2005 -- Actual Technologies has released ODBC Driver for Oracle 1.0 (US $30), a Mac OS X driver that enables ODBC-ready Mac applications to access data from Oracle databases.

Native OS X version of OpenOffice a still a long way off. January 24, 2005 -- eWeek reports that currently there are no plans to port the open source OpenOffice suite to the native Mac OS X Quartz/Aqua windowing system/user interface. The current version runs in Apple's X11 windowing system, a Unix standards.

New Apple Article: Configuring and Running X11 Apps. January 24, 2005 -- Configuring and Running X11 Applications on Mac OS X is a new article at Apple's developer web site. Apple's X11 enables Mac OS X users to run Unix graphical software in a Unix windowing environment.





Jan 14

Microsoft to beefs up Exchange Client in Entourage. January 14, 2005 -- At Macworld Expo, Microsoft announced that it will improve support of Exchange Server in Entourage in an update during the second half of this year. Microsoft described the upgrade:

Enterprise customers will benefit from improvements that allow viewing of multiple calendars and increased integration with the Global Address List (GAL). Enhancements also include better server and client synchronization and permissions, as well as improved public folder experience and mailbox quota management tools.

This eWeek story has more information about the improved Exchange support.

Microsoft posts beta of .PST import tool for Entourage. January 14, 2005 -- Microsoft has posted a .PST Import Tool for Entourage 2004 beta release for migrating data from Outlook 2001 for Mac to Entourage.

Utility enables iSync to work with Entourage. January 14, 2005 -- e2Sync released e2Sync Personal (US $39), Mac software that can sync all Entourage contacts, calendar, and tasks data to any iSync compatible device. It will also sync the calendar and tasks in mobile phones to Entourage.

Cross-platform enterprise vendors announce upgrades at Macworld. January 14, 2005 -- MacWindows' John Rizzo reports cross-platform connectivity product announcements at Macworld Expo in an eWeek article. The report describes Group Logic ExtremeZ-IP 4.0, Kerio MailServer, Stalker Software CommuniGate Pro 5.0, CryptoCard Crypto-Server (an authentication server, and Bakbone Software's NetVault system for backing up server storage.

Jobs teases Expo with glimpses of Tiger. January 14, 2005 -- Steve Jobs didn't have anything to say about cross-platform connectivity in his keynote speech in San Francisco on Monday. In fact, he didn't have much to say that was new about Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). In an eWeek story, MacWindows' John Rizzo summarizes what Jobs said about Tiger, and the more technical details available on the show floor.

VPN Tracker 3.5 adds support for NAT Traversal. January 14, 2005 -- equinux USA, Inc., released a new version of VPN Tracker 3.5, virtual private network client software for Mac OS X. The new version adds support for NAT Traversal and improved XAUTH capabilities.

Citrix releases Mac ICA client Version 7.00.402. January 14, 2005 -- Citrix has released Mac ICA client version 7.00.402. (Thanks to Edwin ten Dam of the UK for the Tip.)

Matt Richard has tried it and says it fixes a problem.

The new Citrix release, Version 7.00.402, appears to resolve the clipboard-related crash with the Citrix client and MS Office 2004, as reported at MacWindows.

I've been running it for two days and it's been stable, and I've been able to copy from Word 2004 and paste inside the Citrix window without a crash.





Jan. 10

Macworld Expo San Francisco. January 10, 2005 -- The buzz around this week's Macworld Expo centers around iPods (see this about the iPod phone), an Apple-branded office suites, and a low cost Mac, but what will Apple announce in terms of cross-platform improvements? On Tuesday, Steve Jobs is expected to reveal more of Tiger and announce a shipping date. This week, we will be at Moscone Center reporting the cross-platform news.

Group Logic to announce ExtremeZ-IP 4.0 this week. January 10, 2005 -- This week at Macworld Expo, Group Logic will announce ExtremeZ-IP 4.0, the latest version of it's AFP file and printer server for Windows, supporting Mac clients. The new version will be Tiger-ready and will add new features. Group Logic CEO, T. Reid Lewis will be at the Group Logic booth # 1249 on Tuesday, Jan. 11th to describe the new version.

Trouble-free SMB networking. January 10, 2005 -- Adam Ray forwarded a link to an article called Networking Windows (2000/XP/2003) with Mac OS X 10.3, which he says solves some SMB problems:

I found this great little article that I think will explain the SMB error problem and fix it properly. I experienced all of the same problems as you guys and this article worked for me when nothing else did. This is an excellent step-by-step guide that covered details that I didn't think of (ie: domain).

Five features for a better Mac client. January 10, 2005 -- An eWeek piece by John Rizzo describes five key improvements that Mac OS X needs in order to be a good enterprise citizen.

Oracle ships Database 10g for Mac OS X. January 10, 2005 -- eWeek reports that last month, Oracle Corp. began shipping Oracle Database 10g and Oracle JDeveloper 10g for the Mac OS X Server. eWeek reports:

Whether anybody cares is another matter, analysts said.

Oracle and Apple Computer Inc. executives first began hyping the Mac platform release a year ago, when Apple first announced its Xserve G5, with Oracle Vice President of Platform Technologies Mark Milani saying at the time that the new Xserve G5, coupled with Oracle Database 10g, would deliver a "compelling, cost-effective, scalable and reliable database solution."

Reader advice for AutoCAD compatibility on Mac OS X. January 10, 2005 -- Trevor Bendell offers some advice for Mac users who need compatibility. He uses a native Mac program rather than AutoCAD in Virtual PC:

I must admit that I haven't used AutoCad on a Mac with Virtual PC, but I have used AutoCad on an actual PC &endash; it's not the easiest of programs to use. An architect friend of mine mentioned the fact that to get the best out of AutoCad you really need to go on a course.

My experience of using other CAD programs is that there are better and more user friendly apps for those people requiring a AD app, be that Mac or PC machine users. It seems that AutoCad is used by so many companies because of the fact of the fear of compatibility issues &endash; "Everybody else uses AutoCad, so I'll have to."

I use MacDraft on a Mac; it's cheap (about US $300, I would guess) compared to AutoCad, and it does seem to have a certain amount of compatibility with other cad apps (it can import/export DWG & DXF files), although I will point out there are sometimes compatibility issues between different versions of AutoCad and different versions the PC's operating system.

If you want to use a Mac to produce CAD drawings or view drawings produced by PC users, then I would say that, if you can get away with it, use another cad app. The following are highly regarded by Mac and PC users: ArchiCad, VectorWorks, and I find MacDraft a good basic program.

Like other readers of your site I would recommend looking at the Architosh.com site.


Jan 3

The Virex-Excel connection. January 3, 2005 -- We have a few observations on last week's report pointing to Virex as the cause of the problem of saving Excel files on Windows 2003 Server from Mac OS X. Michael Burdett, who reported the fix, added a possible explanation:

Virex, seems to delay the delete to the temp file and the saving of the file causing problems when saving on the windows 2003 server.

Michael Cutts sent us an interesting observation regarding Virex and Excel that may (or may not) be related:

I run Microsoft Office 2001 in Classic, as well as Virex. After first installing Virex about a year ago, I noticed that all my Excel files opened the Virex scanning program when double-clicked.

I used the Get Info dialog in OS X to tell the OS to open all .XLS files with Excel, and things now work properly. So maybe extension and/or file type/creator codes are somehow involved in the issue you describe? Just an idea.

More on using AppleScript to workaround broken SMB aliases. January 3, 2005 -- Jeremy Matthews uses the AppleScript workaround for the problem of broken aliases to SMB shares. He offered some advice for using it:

We hit this problem so frequently it drove us nuts, then we started using the AppleScript to automatically connect to volumes (FTP, AFP, SMB, etc.)...

Now you DO have to authenticate the first time you launch the script (if not previously authenticated), but you can check the box on the login prompt to store the ID/Pass in the Keychain. You can store the ID and password in the script, but I recommend against storing passwords in this insecure manner...

This way we can create a startup item as well (System Preferences ->Accounts -> Startup Items), so users automatically connect to all network shares upon login. This saved us a ton of headaches. We also left a copy on the users' desktop in case shares drop out or the user accidentally ejects them.

Reader verifies workaround for OS X Printing to Win 2003 Server. January 3, 2005 -- Carey Tanner verified a workaround we reported for the problem of Mac OS X 10.3.6 unable to access Win XP Service Pack 2 printers:

I was having a problem accessing a printer on a Windows 2003 Server from my Mac OS X 10.3.6. I followed the suggestion at the MacWindows Win Server 2003 page.

The first option worked for me. I thought this was interesting since this suggestion worked for connecting to the Windows 2003 Server as well as Windows XP which the suggestion was originally made for.

Reader VPC problem printing to Epson. January 3, 2005 -- Curt Jacobs has a problem printing with Virtual PC 7.0.1:

I have an Epson 2200 that I am trying to get Virtual PC 7.0.1 to print to. When I print, VPC tells me that the print driver is newer than the driver in VPC.

The only Windows program I have installed in VPC is the Create-a-card program. I have also tried printing from Notepad. I tried updating the virtual printer driver to the 2200 driver, but no change.

I'm running Mac OS X 10.3.7 , VPC and Windows 2000 import with upgraded Additions in Windows 2000.

If you've seen this or a related problem

VPC 7.0.1 cable modem problem. January 3, 2005 -- Matt Ruben has a problem accessing the Internet via cable modem with Virtual PC 7.0.1 with Windows 2000 and Windows 98, but not with Windows XP:

I have Virtual Machines running Win XP (SP2), Win 2000 Pro (SP4 I believe) and Win 98 SE. I have a broadband cable modem, connected to my Mac running 10.3.7 via a router.

All VMs have connected fine to the Internet with this setup with VPC 6 VPC 7.0. Since updating to VPC 7.0.1, only the Win XP VM will connect to the Internet. I have changed no settings.

Switching to Virtual Switch networking instead of Shared Networking (as you suggested for DSL connections) does no good. It appears that the Win 2000 and Win 98 machines think TCP/IP isn't running, or that VPC is not doing DHCP for those VMs. Each VM reports a functioning connection to the network with the virtual Ethernet hardware.

I'm fine using Win XP to connect to the Internet.

If you've seen this problem


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