Friday, November 13, 2009

iPhone Firmware 3.0 Syncing Coming Soon to Linux!

There is an really alpha stage communication stack that is buggily capable of syncing with the iPhone 3.0 firmware from a Linux machine! I'll be testing it out and writing more about it's usability (even if it is an alpha). For now, the relevant links are:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Installing the Canon EOS Utility using the Updater Tool on Mac OS X

This post is just link love to someone name Nav Jagpal:

This is a brilliant little hack to get the Canon EOS utilities without having the original installation media. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

respring your iPhone from the command line

You kill the SpringBoard process just like you would any other one, and it restarts the SpringBoard. Do this if you just installed a .deb package from the command line and want it to show up on your springboard.

killall SpringBoard

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It just works

Installing HP printers (and switching between them) was a pain in Tiger. In Leopard however, it just works; plug it in, and the printer is ready to print immediately. No hunting for driver downloads on the HP website, or hunting for install discs. And certainly no stupid bubbles in the corner of my screen, clicking through "Next...Next...Next" buttons to install drivers like Windows. Plug in. Print. Blog about it. I love this OS and its user experience.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chrom[ ium | e ] Follow-up: Dev Channel, Flash Support, and Release Date Prediction

I stand corrected; the "alpha" I referred to is now the Dev Channel, which is updated (about) once weekly. According to one Chrome developer from the comments of the last post, this build possibly gets some quality assurance before it is released through the channel. On Mac OS, you can download the DMG, and you can get the latest Dev Channel release by doing Chrome->About Chrome->Update, as seen here.

Personally, I think I prefer to stay on the bleeding edge with the latest nightly build, but you can possibly do this with the "Beta Channel" as well, so oh well, looks like me script is probably duplicated functionality. I'm still using it, and it looks like the nightlies are ahead of the Dev Channel at this point at least in one really noticeable regard: the flash plugin appears to be enabled by default on Chromium builds, while Chrome requires being called with the "--enable-plugins" command-line option, as in:
/Applications/Google\\ Chrome --enable-plugins

On either build, Flash movies don't quite work right in that clicking buttons play, pause, or any other button in the Flash embed is a matter of weird double-click voodoo that may or may not work. But youtube clips mostly autoplay and you watch them to completion, so as long as you don't need to reliably pause them, you'll be okay for now. I'm sure the devs will be fixing these Flash issues really soon. I wouldn't be surprised if we hear of Chrome as officially released for Mac OS and Linux within the next few months, maybe in time for the Windows 7 launch?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How to get Chromium / Chrome Nightly Builds on Mac OS X

Google Chrome has been out as a public release for quite some time for Windows, but hasn't been available as a release for the rest of us, that is, Linux and Mac users. You might have heard is blazing fast. Luckily, since Chrome is just Chromium with official Google branding tacked-on, its available in source-code form which you can check out and build. This is a tedious process however; the build takes hours to complete from scratch on my Macbook. The upside is that the process can be automated on your Mac with some scripts that run automatically to pull the latest revisions, and recompile and build Chromium.

Then there is the so called alpha "release", which is nothing more than the binaries from a snapshot of their main tree, and which is by now a really old revision which doesn't do many useful things. As I last recall, this revision couldn't correctly copy and paste, keep bookmarks, or do any other non web-browsing function. Clicking around the web worked; nothing else did. Did I mention it was blazing fast? You know how when you start Firefox, the icon jumps up and down 8-10 times in the Dock while it loads? Chromium doesn't have time to make a single jump. Pages load faster than on Firefox for sure, and I like the interface better than WebKit nightlies or Safari proper.

Then, today, I found the Chromium project buildbot. My little bit of reading up on buildbot during my final days on the NS3 project told me this was the trick. If you don't know, buildbot is a system which automatically builds / compiles software from source then runs unit tests, regression suites, etc. on the code base to make sure there have been no regressions. It's highly configurable and can do this over a farm of real or virtual machines with different processor architectures, operating systems, compiler versions, etc. It can be configured to make the binaries it builds for different platforms available via its web interface. This is precisely what the developers of Chromium have done. Have a look here for yourself to see the Mac OS X builds. The file in this directory "LATEST" is a plaintext file with one line which is the latest revision number that the buildbot has tested, and there is a corresponding folder. Whenever the bot builds another rev, this file is updated, and a new directory full of the bleeding edge binaries is added.

So I whipped up this little script for myself. It pulls down the latest zip of the build, unzips out the, and moves it to your Applications folder. YMMV, but it works for me and here it is. (UPDATED 11 Nov 2010, thanks to thbarnes from the comments; the update makes it more generic by replacing my home directory name with "~", and updating the chromium buildbot URL to what the project is using these days. Also, make a folder on your desktop called chromium_nightly for this to work)


cd ~/Desktop/chromium_nightly

echo "Downloading number of latest revision"

echo "Found latest revision number $REVNUM, starting download"

curl $BASEDIR/$REVNUM/ > $

echo "Unzipping..."
unzip $ 2>&1 > /dev/null
echo "Done."

echo "Moving to Applications directory..."
rm -rf /Applications/
mv chrome-mac/ /Applications/
echo "Done, update successful"
I hope you like using Chromium as much as I do.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Update: Easy way to get Apple TV boot.efi

Apparently, the file lives in the "firmware" DMGs that Apple offers for download. The most recent version at the time of writing is available from Apple here. You might find a more recent version listed at the bottom of the page on the AwkwardTV wiki, which also features a great collection of information about hacking with Linux on your Apple TV.

To get a copy of boot.efi (on a Mac)
Download the file, and mount it by double clicking; it should mount as /Volumes/OSBoot. On this mounted filesystem, navigate to System/Library/ and copy the boot.efi file you find here. That's all!

The previous post is still valid as a means of ssh-ing into you Apple TV, fun for tinkering anyway :-)

Enable ssh on Apple TV

It has been a long time , but I am going to try and post more frequently again. Lots of technologically cool things have happened since I last posted. Most recently, I helped a friend install OS X onto an external USB drive in a way that makes the USB drive bootable on an Apple TV!

I followed the directions here mostly:
There is a section where it mentions a boot.efi file, but no link or hint or info is given. So, this is how you get the boot.efi file.
Update: I posted a much easier way; This guide remains valid as a way to enable ssh.

The approach is to install an ssh daemon onto the Apple TV, and then copy the boot.efi file to your local machine. On a Mac:
  1. Get the atvusb-creator, and run it
  2. Make a USB stick or drive with that tool. For this, we only need the ssh daemon, so untick the other options:
  3. In the "Create Using->" drop down, choose your USB device which will be the vector for the ssh change.
  4. Click the "Create Using->" button. atvusb-creator will download the Apple TV firmware. Let it do its thing.
  5. When its done, eject the USB drive and plug it into a powered-down Apple TV, and then power up. You'll be greeted by Tux sitting on an Apple TV, followed by a kernel boot and some messages! It will install the patch, and then prompt you to yank the power on the Apple TV. Remove the flash when you do so, then power up the Apple TV.
  6. Navigate the Apple TV setup menu until you find the Network settings which specify the IP address of the Apple TV. Lets call this a.b.c.d
  7. From your Mac now, open a terminal.
  8. scpssh frontrow@a.b.c.d:/System/CoreServices/boot.efi .
  9. The password is frontrow
Congrats, you now have made a copy of the boot.efi from your Apple TV! Now use that file in your procedure as specified in the link above. are in to your Apple TV! Play around with the terminal and enjoy!