Thoughts from Dan Miser RSS 2.0
# Thursday, 09 May 2013
Using VMware Fusion 5 to run Windows 8 Pro 64-bit in a bootcamp partition from the Mac has been amazing. One bit of trouble recently popped up for me, though, when we moved offices to a new location. My VMWare networking uses Bridged mode, and everything works perfectly at home. But at the office, I was getting nothing but the warning that I had no internet.

I called VMware support, and they did a laudable job in getting back to me over the phone and trying to help, but in the end, the recommended solution was either to run under Bridged mode with the Firewall disabled, or use NAT. I figured out after the call that the reason disabling the Firewall made things work is that it would then not use the option to Block connections. So my search started to figure out how to change the network type from Public to Private.

The final answer was rather simple. Launch explorer, select Network on the left, and then click the yellow bar that says to Enable sharing. Doing that marked the network as Private. I seem to recall being offered the choice to turn sharing on or not the first time I hit it at the new location, so I probably said Don't Share, which resulted in the network being marked as Public, which meant the Firewall rules pertaining to Public were applied, and why I couldn't access anything.
Thursday, 09 May 2013 19:11:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Macintosh
# Monday, 26 November 2012
I wanted to breathe some new life into my Bootcamp running Windows 7 32-bit on my MacBook Pro. I figured the easiest way to do this was to move the entire bootcamp partition over to a brand new Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 128 SATA_6_0_gb Solid State Drive MZ-7PD128BW. It looks like the best option to get a second hard drive in a MacBook is the MCE Optibay.

Unfortunately, it's not as easy as just throwing the second drive in, moving the partition over and being done. For starters, the Bootcamp Assistant does a little bit more than simply add a Windows partition for you, so creating your own partition didn't seem to work. Bootcamp Assistant did create a parition for me on my second drive, but I then had a partition on both drives named "BOOTCAMP". I then decided the machine was ready for Windows 8 64 bit, but unfortunately, I was greeted with a black screen and blinking cursor when trying to boot off the external USB drive to finish off the Windows install.

After all of that pain (and various utilities to clean up the bad things I did in the last paragraph, like: /sbin/fsck -fy), and some failed attempts to use VMWare Fusion to restore the prior BOOTCAMP partition, I found this thread in macrumors.com. I'm reposting a portion of the brilliant post be richlee111 that finally got things working. Granted, it was a lot of opening and closing of the MacBook, and I had to deal with a stripped screw on one occasion, but everything worked beautifully thanks to his advice:

So if you want to run 2 HDDs from your Macbook, with one being for boot camp, the steps below worked for me: 

- Take out the MCE optibay and put back the superdrive into its original location. 

- Install the drive that you want to install boot camp into the original HDD drive bay. 

- Stick the original OSX install disk into the superdrive and first install Mac OSX onto it. 
Realize that you are only doing this to run the boot camp install and will be wiping it out later.

- After you have installed OSX, go through the initial setup and be at the desktop. Run the 
boot camp assistant and go through with the install and have it create a partition for boot camp.
At this point, it doesn't really matter how big/small the patition is for Windows. You can adjust
and resize the partition during the Windows install process for choosing the location and partition.

- Go through finishing the boot camp assistant in OSX, stick your Windows install CD into the drive 
and boot into it. This time it should work. 

- Once you have completed the Windows installation and you are at the Windows desktop, stick the 
Mac OSX cd back into the drive and run the setup.exe. This will install all the drivers that will 
make it recognize all the Mac hardware, etc.

- Finally, take out the CD drive, swap back in the optibay, put your boot camp HDD in there, and 
put back the HDD with your Mac OS. 

Other tidbits of trivia and lessons learned during this process:
  • To get the iSight camera working with Windows 8 inside VMWare Fusion, select the Virtual Machines | USB & Bluetooth | Connect Apple FaceTime HD Camera menu item.
  • Creating a dmg backup of your Bootcamp partition is not recommended. There is no way that I found to restore the dmg to the new partition (yes, I tried the dd command, but it did not end well).
  • This is a good resource page to show how to deal with updating drivers (if you need it), what to do about Retina macs, and even a hint to deal with a freezing problem in Windows 8 if it affects you.
  • Installing IIS in Windows 8

The end result is incredible. It is lightning fast, and my first impressions of Windows 8 are extremely positive.
Monday, 26 November 2012 16:59:26 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Macintosh
# Wednesday, 29 February 2012
The iPhone app that I'm writing uses ServiceStack to communicate with an existing ASP.NET MVC app that I've had in production for a long time. The way I have things set up is that I'm doing my iPhone development on MonoTouch on the Mac side, and I use VMWare Fusion to run Windows as a guest OS. This blog will highlight a few of the tips that I found to be handy.

  1. Getting IIS Express to work from an external server (even the Mac OS host) is theoretically possible. I found articles lying around the net saying it could work, but it never worked for me. I ended up going back to Cassini (WebDev.WebServer40.exe) and using tcpTrace to listen externally on port 8080 and forwarding to my local port (e.g. 1234).
  2. In order to get VMWare Fusion using NAT to talk to my Windows OS on a consistent IP address, I added this section at the bottom of /Library/Preferences/VMware Fusion/vmnet8/dhcpd.conf (replacing the MAC address of the Macintosh and the IP address from the Windows machine)

    
    host winguest {
    	hardware ethernet xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx;
    	fixed-address 172.16.123.123;
    }
    
  3. In order to get external devices (e.g. my iPhone connected to the same wireless network) to see in to the Windows OS, I set up port forwarding to route requests coming in to the Mac on port 80 to point to port 8080 on the Windows machine. I did this by modifying this section in /Library/Preferences/VMware Fusion/vmnet8/nat.conf:

    
    [incomingtcp]
    80 = 172.16.123.123:8080
    

After all of that, I can communicate from my iPhone through my Mac into the VMWare-hosted Windows machine to get at the data.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 00:37:46 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
iPhone | Macintosh
# Friday, 28 October 2011
I've read enough horror stories about upgrading Snow Leopard to Lion causing corruption of the Windows 7 partition, and I didn't want to be yet another casualty. So I took the time to research how best to backup in order to prepare myself in case something went wrong.

I started by cloning the Mac OSX partition to an external USB drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. This was drop dead simple, and worked well. There's a complete writeup of this here.

I couldn't get the Mac Disk Utility to clone the bootcamp partition. It would error out with an "Invalid Argument" message. I found a version of WinClone 2.3.2, but that also gave me errors. I finally got it to work by unchecking all of the options in the Preferences window, thanks to comments in this article. I also made sure the USB partition that I was backing up to was set to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). After that, it was a painless clone process.

The actual Lion upgrade went smooth. I didn't lose anything, and everything just worked. One quick note is that you might want to save a backup of the Lion installer if you have multiple Macs that you'll be upgrading. Details on how to do that can be found here.

Off to install MonoTouch for iOS!!

Friday, 28 October 2011 17:21:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Macintosh
# Sunday, 09 January 2011
Here's a short one today, because I know I'll need this again in the future. If you have a MacBook Pro, and you're running Windows via Bootcamp, use this key combination to do a screen grab:
SHIFT + FN + F11

The Apple support article listing a bunch of key mappings can be found here.

Sunday, 09 January 2011 05:17:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1] -
Macintosh
# Friday, 10 July 2009
I posted about my iPhone experience in April, 2008. I just picked up a 3gs, and I have to say that I am incredibly pleased. Just about every complaint that I had in that original article has been addressed. In addition, the speed increase really is significant. It really is that noticeable. Add in the cool camera upgrades (better pixels, video, and cool touch to focus), and this is absolutely a winner.

The current complaints deal with lack of MMS and tethering, but that's hardly Apple's fault. (Nice workaround for tethering posted here.) The experience ordering business phones through AT&T sucked as bad as anything I've ever dealt with, so it's not shocking they don't care about their users enough to enable simple features such as these.

Now I just need to find an iPhone app to follow the Tour de France. Allez!

Friday, 10 July 2009 03:39:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Macintosh
# Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Ages ago, I wrote about my search for a file sharing application. I eventually went with BeInSync, and used it quite a bit over the past 18 months or so. However, they haven't updated it recently, and there are problems when editing Excel spreadsheets inside the shared folder (I told BeInSync about this problem, they fixed it, and then broke it in the last release). All in all, it was just showing it's age.

Armed with a new set of fairly light requirements (Mac/Windows support, permissions, auto-sync that doesn't fail), I evaluated the space again and came out with a very positive experience of DropBox. It works very well between Mac and Windows, has an awesome web interface, and hasn't exhibited any lags or slowness. In addition, it has the ability to revert to previous versions of documents, which is a nice feature that all developers have come to appreciate.

I'd like to see a couple features in the near future (native iPhone app with support for iWork documents, ability to set your own private key), but this thing was dead simple to install and use, and has worked brilliantly for the past month with a small group of people.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009 19:45:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Macintosh
# Monday, 14 April 2008

At the risk of having my Apple fanboy status revoked, I have to say that I find the iPhone lacking. It seems that Apple has released a half-finished product upon the masses, and the masses have spoken in hypnotized unison that they think Apple can do no wrong. Oh, sure, I was seduced at first. Visual voicemail is pretty cool. The flicking and gesturing for the UI is even wicked hot. In short, the attention to detail on the things that are implemented are first-class.

So why the negative finding? Sure, most, if not all, of these things are fairly well-known, but they do impact my day to day life.

  • I have a Motorola S9 headset that doesn't work with the iPhone. Sure, phone calls can come through, but not music. Requiring an AD2P Bluetooth adapter is just plain stupid, given that the iPhone is supposed to be the pinnacle of form and function. Sorry, no. It gets a miserable failing grade.
  • How is it that a device manufactured in 2007/2008 could come without cut/copy/paste?
  • No speed-dial. I might be safe in saying that every phone on this planet, with the possible exception of 1950s rotary dial phones, has the capability to speed dial by pressing one button. Not so for the iPhone!
  • Ok, maybe speed-dialing is so 1999, and we don't need it because the iPhone is a full-fledged multimedia experience. Fine theory, but the reality is you can't even do voice dialing! Let me take my Bluetooth headset (but not my Motorola S9!!), and - wait, I can't actually do anything with it. I need
    to take my iPhone out of my pocket, press like 4 things, and THEN I can start a conversation. I wonder if that will comply with all of those laws requiring hands-free cell phone use popping up all over the nation.
  • The fact that I need to buy extra accessories to get my iPhone to work. The headphone jack was recessed for that full-flush feeling. My existing mini-RCA jack doesn't let me keep continuous playback, my Griffin FM transmitter turns my phone off, and my headphone Y-splitter isn't deep enough. At least my USB charger works.
  • The World Clock doesn't allow you to add cities. It wouldn't be a big deal to add the exact city you want if we could actually access the underlying OS files.
  • I'd like a much better user experience to sort, filter, and search my contacts. Using the Categories I've already assigned would be a good start. Maybe I'm just missing something here.
  • No ToDo list, nor integration to any GTD system, or any system for that matter. Which brings us to...
  • The Missing SDK. It's late. I don't know what to expect here, and I think Apple prefers it that way. I'll leave out the glaringly obvious fact that the SDK should have been released on Day 1. Oops. I guess I won't. :-)

I'll be working hard over the next couple of weeks to try to remedy the list above, and if I make any significant progress, I'll be sure to post here. Feel free to comment if you have any suggestions.

Monday, 14 April 2008 15:13:01 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [3] -
Macintosh
# Wednesday, 19 September 2007
This is a pretty nice summary about what to do to be able to share files between two mortal enemies.
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 23:00:09 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Macintosh
# Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Chalk this up to yet another "I should have read the man page first" incidents. I kept noticing that my PATH was not set properly in new Terminal sessions, even though I was 100% positive I set it correctly in my ~/.bash_login. It turns out that the man page clearly states that during login, ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_login, and ~/.profile are checked, in that order, and executes the first one that it finds. That prompted me to look around to find the ~/.bash_profile file that I had created when following directions to install an application several weeks ago. Merging the files together, everything went back to working as it should. Live and learn.
Tuesday, 28 August 2007 15:47:09 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [2] -
Macintosh
# Monday, 20 August 2007
After reading David Glassborow's blog on CoRD (a Macintosh application to access Remote Desktop sessions), I decided I needed to document how to use SSH and VNC on a Mac client to access a Windows server. The basic steps are: Create a connection to your server via SSH, Create a tunnel to use over the SSH connection, and use your VNC Viewer over the SSH tunnel.

SSH

I already have SSH set up on the Windows box, using SSH Secure Shell, so I'll just focus on how to get the Mac connected to it. The application I like best right now is Fugu, a freeware, open-source application from the University of Michigan. You need to create a tunnel in Fugu by selecting the SSH | New SSH Tunnel menu item. Once selected, you fill in:
  • The remote server's IP address in "Create Tunnel to" (e.g. 192.168.1.76)
  • The remote port number for the VNC Server (by default: 5900)
  • The local port number that you will use to detect when TCP/IP traffic should be forwarded to the remote server over this tunnel
  • The external IP address of your home PC in "Tunnel Host"
  • The Username that you will use to login to the Windows server
  • The default port for SSH communication, i.e. 22

Once you have all of this set up, and press Start Tunnel, you will have an SSH connection and tunnel running to the Windows box on the other end.

VNC

Now that SSH is setup, we need to connect VNC to the host machine. I'm using the RealVNC viewer for Mac OSX, and it seems to work alright. All you need to do is connect to 127.0.0.1:1 in your VNC Viewer. The 1 tells VNC viewer to run on port 5901, which was the port we wanted to forward to the host PC. I do get a warning message about needing to enable Protocol 3.3 option, so I'll look into setting that on the server since I'm running UltraVNC there. I've also noticed a very significant slow-down when running over SSH compared to running a direct VNC connection to the host PC.

Another option is to run the Java version of VNC Viewer from TightVNC. My limited testing showed that it was an acceptable alternative. Unfortunately, the VNC application on the Mac that everyone talks about, Chicken of the VNC, doesn't work in my setup. I get a rectangle encoding error when connecting to my remote host.

Copying files

One reason I chose to use Fugu is that you can also use it to copy files between the remote host and your local machine. File copying over SSH is done by using the standard SFTP and SCP applications, which Fugu supports. If you absolutely do not need file copying capabilities, then JellyFiSSH) seems to be the SSH application that people talk about a lot.

Another promising way to copy files is by using MacFusion. MacFusion lets you mount a virtual disk on your OSX system and interact with the volume like any other disk. You need to install MacFUSE first, in order to use MacFusion. In the future, I'd probably go with MacFusion and JellyFiSSH, but I was never able to get MacFusion to successfully mount the volume (Error message: "The folder "xyz" could not be opened because you do not have sufficient access privileges.". The credential information I entered was the same as for Fugu and other SSH connections that I have used in the past, so that doesn't make a lot of sense. The log files were less than helpful on the Mac and Windows side, too. On the Mac side, it simply reports "failed to detect remote user ID", and the Windows side didn't show anything in the Event Viewer, despite numerous setting changes in the Local Policy application).

Other Information

This is a good screen cast on how to set your Macintosh up as a VNC server, and walks you through several other general topics. JellyFiSSH and Chicken of the VNC are highlighted in this video.
Monday, 20 August 2007 22:25:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [3] -
Macintosh
# Tuesday, 19 June 2007

When connecting via Airport to an existing Linksys wireless router, and that router is using WEP, you will need to prefix the key with a dollar sign ($) when asked for the password. This makes the password be treated as a hex number and will get you connected.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007 21:28:37 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Macintosh
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