Category Archives: MacBook Pro

Mac OS Upgrade Saga: Moving to Yosemite

I recently upgraded my Retina MacBook Pro to Mac OS X Yosemite and had several issues with the upgrade. The OS upgraded fine; the applications I normally use, however, had some issues. Not many, to be sure, but the ones I did have were very interesting in that they dealt entirely with communication. They also had something to do with previous upgrades causing issues with the latest upgrade.

Continue reading Mac OS Upgrade Saga: Moving to Yosemite

Mac OS Upgrade Saga: Adding ownCloud for cardDav & calDav

I have gone through many Mac OS upgrades with no issues. However, the upgrade to OS X Mavericks caused quite an issue. I lost the ability to use sync services to sync calendar and contact information with my iPhone. To gain this back, I would either have to use iCloud (not something I am willing to do) or put in my own iCloud-like service. There are several to choose from, including Baikal-Server, ownCloud, and even functionality that is part of my Synology device. I chose to go the route of ownCloud.

Continue reading Mac OS Upgrade Saga: Adding ownCloud for cardDav & calDav

Retina MacBook Pro with Extra Security

I recently upgraded my 2 generation old Mac Book Pro to a new Retina Mac Book Pro and inadvertently found a way to increase security of the device. I thought it was originally a bug, but after discussing with several Apple Technicians, what I did, while inadvertently is by design.  In essence, I added a secondary login screen to my Retina Mac Book Pro with each requiring a different set of credentials. But how did this happen and is it worth the extra layer of protection? Continue reading Retina MacBook Pro with Extra Security

Upgrade: MacOS X Lion and Tool Upgrades

I recently upgraded my MacBook Pro from Snow Leopard to Lion as well as a Mac Mini which I did using Apple Remote Desktop ($80 well spent in my mind but that is another story). The upgrades on both went quite smoothly and I am pleasantly impressed with the new look and feel as well as how the tools I use once more ‘just worked’. There were a few tools I upgraded but not much. I had to upgrade the following tools:

  • Tunnelblick to access my VPN, I had to go searching for the upgrade
  • Oxygen Cloud, received an email about the upgrade, but the tool itself did not auto-upgrade
  • Codeweavers Crossover Office, received an email about this upgrade
  • Little Snitch, I did not receive an email nor did I notice it was not running, but once it started it said it needed to download a new version.
  • Livescribe Desktop, just required me to start the application and the download was ready. Which required an Adobe AIR update.
  • Flipshare, just required me to plugin my Flip and all was upgraded.
  • IOmega Storage Manager for my IX2, I had to check for the upgrade
  • Apple Remote Desktop, required an update that showed up in the AppStore

Given the upgrade just occurred, this is pretty good, all but one of my tools that required an upgrade actually emailed me that there was an upgrade available. I find that very helpful. However, the fact that Little Snitch, which is very useful security software did not start to tell me there was a download, I find to be a particular failure. Granted, I did notice it was not available and manually restarted the program.

The other tools I use, just worked, as expected.

  • Twitter
  • Growl
  • Fusion
  • RDC
  • SnagIt
  • Camtasia
  • arSync
  • Skype
  • Trillian

There is also an update to MacOS X Lion’s version of CUPS so that printing works properly for my Epson R1800 shared printer as documented in the article MacBook Pro: Update on Integration: Printing.

So far it has been a relatively painless upgrade with great new features such as the launchpad. While I personally cannot make use of the gesture computing mechanisms everyday, they are very cool to use. I just wish they had more pictures of Lions for the background. The Snow Leopard pictures were pretty amazing.

As for the Mac Mini, I did that upgrade using Apple Remote Desktop and that also while slower due to lack of SSD, also upgraded without a hitch even over quite a distance. Download, upgrade, reboot, reconnect, viola, successful remote upgrade of a Mac Mini.

Hurray for Apple, the upgrade Just Works.

MacBook Pro: Update on Integration: Printing

I use a 90-95% virtualized environment and here is a brief update of how I integrated my Mac Book Pro into this environment. Specifically about printing. Some notes first:

Print Server: Windows 2008 R2 running as a VM (why windows, because I needed an AD server so this is a AD/Print Server combination)

Printer connected to a Belkin FL5009 USB over IP device

This configuration seems fairly straight forward, but since I use passwords and heightened security I had to setup MacOS to properly communicate to the remote windows print server using some form of security.

To do this I first went to the following URL:

Printing Issues: CUPS/FL5009 –

This solution spoke about connecting to CUPs directly to configure the print queue to use a proper password. I did this by connecting directly to http://localhost:631 using the ‘root’ user password. Once into CUPs click on the Administration tab and then add printer. You will need to specify the printer in the form of smb://username:password@Host/printerName.

This finally allowed me to print from my MacOS desktop to my print server running as a virtual machine. However, this lead to a different problem with printing. Because I was using the Gutenprint and not the Epson R1800 driver all the printouts were faded and for months I wondered why. I did not find a solution until I went to print some graphics and photos. The problem is that the Epson would rather you used their driver but their driver is not setup to work via a print server.

After many hours using Google I found one article that helped by explaining what is happening. The issue is that this particular Epson R1800 printer, requires direct control by its driver to work properly and its driver does not work when you have shared the printer. At least not on the remote host, it works fine local to the print server.  All this boils down to is that I either print hose high quality required jobs direct from the print server or look for a printer that does have the concept of sharing its print driver.

Another option that does work is to connect the printer to the MacOS system via a USB over IP device as well and I know that works, but does not help others much when my MacBook Pro is on the road with me.

UPDATE: MacOS X Lion supports the EPSON SP R1800 driver which prints things as expected, without faded output. Very nice update! In essence, their now exists a CUPs driver that speaks the proper Epson language for shared printers.

Moving from Windows 7 to Mac OS Snow Leopard (Updated)

Originally posted on March 26th. Updated for the Holiday Season!

I was in the market for a new Laptop, given that mine is at least 3 years old and starting to show its age with non-working USB ports, one blown power supply, and failing batteries. My requirements are slightly above the average:

Any laptop must be able to run the following at the same time within a hosted virtualization solution such as VMware Workstation or Fusion.