Tuesday, 29 November 2011

HP Colour Laserjet 5550 Fuser Jam - stuck to rollers

We've had this problem on and off for a couple of years. Basically I'll come to the printer and it'll be jammed in the top compartment in the fuser unit, sometimes slightly concertina'd, but always with messed up black toner melted on the back of the paper.

Once we took the paper out, the printer would try printing the same print again and jam again! After a while the fuser unit gets more and more clogged with melted toner.

To get out of this loop, I disconnected the network cable (so no more jobs would be accepted) and kept pressing the stop button to cancel the jobs in memory.

To get the 'gunk' off the rollers I went into the 'diagnose' option, and did a paper path thing. This prints off a small bit of text, but is good for getting the toner off the rollers. After a few of these there was no more residue left on the rollers.

Normal print jobs after this worked fine. After a lot of a trials I finally worked out that the print jobs that jam in the fuser unit tend to be mainly black. I tested this theory by printing out a pure black sheet in Photoshop. Blocked it.

It looks as though if the first portion of the print job is very black, the front end of the paper sticks to the rollers and misses the point where it is meant to continue on the paper path and instead, continues to go around the roller.

I've done a few searches to see if anyone else has had the same problems, but alas they have not. My only thoughts are that the fuser unit is not getting hot enough (or too hot) and making the toner stick to it?

I've found one setting for the fuser to switch it from "fast" to "normal" for warmup? This hasn't helped though. I shall update this when I find more information. If anyone has the same trouble I'd be happy to hear it.

Updating firmware on Sony XDCAM Ex1

Just thought I'd write this down incase I needed it for future reference.

So basically, the Sony EX1's can at present only read 16GB and smaller cards. But, if we update the firmware they should be able to read up to 36GB (or bigger maybe).

So here is how we did it:

  1. Find the firmware
    1. We found it here on sony's website
  2. Unzip it all
  3. Connect the camera using the 'secret' USB plug
  4. On't computer it asks you about a new network interface (which is the camera)
    1. Click "Open Network Preferences"
    2. Click on "Apply" which confirms you want to add the interface to the list of network interfaces
    3. PMW-EX1 network interface for updating the firmware on EX1 Cameras
    4. It might ask you for Administrator username and password
  5. Run the VersionUpTool
  6. VersionUpTool for updating firmware on Sony's XDCAM EX1
    1. Accept the agreement and keep on clicking
    2. It did prompt to say that the Camera had to be running off the mains (not battery)
  7. It took about 30 mins

Friday, 25 November 2011

Blogger autosave feature crashes in IE 8

I've noticed that with the version of Internet Explorer 8 we have installed, Blogger consistently crashes when importing images.

It took a lot of time (20 mins) but finally worked out that it was the "Autosave" feature in the newer editors which crashes it. I had to go to the settings and tick the "Use Old Editor" tick box. Of course this might be phased out any time soon.


So, we've now moved over to a different proxy server system called Bloxx and the error has slightly changed.

Upon making a new post and putting in an image it managed to autosave (which is where it was crashing before). On clicking "Publish Now" the tab crashes as before, but reloads the editing page with the picture gone. 

Also on clicking the "Preview" button it comes up with an error message and crashes the preview tab. 
ie error when inserting a picture in a new post on Blogger (BlogSpot)

I've found if you click on "save now" (even though it has autosaved) then it will let you click the "Publish Now" button and publish it. 

So, to conclude, this has 'sort of' fixed the problem. I think is a sufficient work-around. At least now they only have to click one other button. 

Illustrator Can't Locate the Startup Proiles

A tutor was having trouble on her machine. Whenever she loaded up illustrator it would come up with this error message:

Can't locate the Startup Profiles. Please try after installing illustrator again.
Illustrator will now attempt to create a default document

I noticed that it also happened on any networked login, but not local logins.

Her machine was a little different then the typical set up. I had enabled "Force Local Home" on the active directory accounts.

After a bit of investigation I eventually ruled it down to NHR. I had just installed it on all machines (see how I fixed NHR) including hers (even though it didn't actually need it). I found that the directories inside - ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe were symbolic links and the "Force Local Home" option didn't work with this very well (I don't know why though).

Anyway, as the NHR thing fixes the problems she was having with her networked home, I've just unticked the "Force Local Home" on Active Directory accounts.

I also had this problem with another machine and to fix it I removed NHR from the com.apple.loginwindow.plist file:

sudo defaults delete com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook
sudo defaults delete com.apple.loginwindow LogoutHook

It basically means it doesn't load at login or logout.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Making Symbolic links on Mac OS X through command line

So, I keep having to refer back to this, so instead of looking through old posts which mention it, I thought I'd make a post dedicated to Symbolic links.

So, to make a symbolic link it is simply:

ln -s /pathtoexistingfolder/ /pathtofolderyouwantsyboliclinkin/

Simple. Of course many occasions call for you to use the command line to check whether a folder is a symbolic link. To do this I use this command:

ls -l ~/Library/

If a folder in this list starts with an 'l' it means it is a symbolic link. I run this command to check whether the Caches folder is a symbolic link:

ls -l ~/Library/ | grep 'Caches'

What comes up if it is a symbolic link is:

lrwx------ 1 330986 wheel 19 Nov 21 11:37 Caches -> /tmp/330986/Caches/

Notice the "l" at the begining, and also the " -> " which then tells us where the symbolic link goes to.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Deploying Canon EOS 230M stuff on Mac OS X using Iceberg

So we have some lovely HD SL Cameras from Canon. Some sort of EOS model. Very nice. It comes with some software which you need to use these cameras with OS X. Unfortunately Canon neglected to use Apples standard package installer concept and made there own (or bought one it). So I've now got to find a way to put this software on all the machines.

There are two simple ways:

  1. would be to simply copy these applications to other computers.
  2. Would be to utilise the "Record" facility in the Application "Package Maker" which would hopefully record the files and scripts that the Canon install program performed. (Can't find a copy of Package Maker though!)
Having tried number 1. it looks like it's worked alright. So next is to make a pkg file which puts these apps in the Applications folder. I shall refer to a previous post here how I made a pkg file which installed "fix everything please" and sendlogon.

So, here's how I did it:

  1. I used a free Application called Iceberg
  2. Made a new project and created a nice little folder for the project
  3. Entered the standard details for the Settings
    1. I put Admin Authorisation so there would be some control
  4. Skipped through the other sections to get to the Files section
    1. I made /Applications the Default Destination
    2. In Applications I right clicked and selected "Add Files..."
    3. I selected the folder which was in my Applications folder on the computer (I'd installed it earlier)
    4. I noticed that it didn't show the folders inside the "Canon Utilities". I was just about to click the "Add files..." option again but I did see an option to "Expand All". I clicked it and what do you know, it updated the folder to have all the subfolders it should have had!
  5. Next I clicked "Build" and it was done.
Just doing testing at the moment...

Yep, works like a dream!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Why NHR didn't work! Finally

So, after many, many trials and tribulations I've finally worked out why NHR wasn't working. Simply because I tried to install it over itself. Basically the files were already there. Doh!

So to fix it in all the mac suites I basically have to:

  1. Get rid of the NHR files on't computers
    1. run the uninstall file
    2. run a small script to delete the /etc/hooks and /etc/login.hook and /etc/logout.hook
  2. Install the NHR.pkg file again (through task server)
So, as I'm running it all through the task server anyway, I'll try and line up the uninstall and install files sequentially, so that it works in the right order. It should do.


Monday, 14 November 2011

Getting NHR to work on 10.6 and later

After a lot of grumbles, it turns out that there is a great need here to have NHR working again, specifically to redirect the ~/Library/Caches folders of the Active Directory networked users.

I've stated on many previous occasions when it hasn't worked with:

So I've finally got around to looking into why NHR hasn't been working with OS X 10.6.6.

So I installed it on a nice little MacBook Pro. Doesn't work. First I thought I'd check it installed alright and in Console I saw no errors.

Next I checked permissions and found I couldn't look in the folder /etc/hooks. I also couldn't run the script login.hook without using 'sudo'.

I logged in under root, reset the permissions so that everyone could read and write:
sudo chmod 777 /etc/login.hook
sudo chmod 777 /etc/logout.hook
sudo chmod 777 /etc/hooks
sudo chmod 777 /etc/hooks/*

Still wouldn't work.

When I tried to run the login.hook and Llcleanbasic.hook files it came up with:
LoginHook: Executing /etc/hooks/LIcleanbasic.hook...
Usage: grep [OPTION]... PATTERN [FILE]...
Try `grep --help' for more information.
After looking in the Llcleanbasic.hook file I found the first line of script ran as follows:
Local=`dscl . -list /Users |grep -x $1`
Typing this in the terminal comes up with the same message, which persuades me that it is this which is throwing the whole script off. Basically this part of the script and an if statement below it, finds out if the user is listed in the local users list. It must have changed in the later versions of OS X.

I decided to not have this part of the script run as to me it doesn't matter if local users also have the script running as I'm only going to have it affect the Caches folder. As such, I commented it out as well as the if statement which ran after it. This is what it ended up looking like:

#Local=`dscl . -list /Users |grep -x $1`

#This script will re-direct several the Caches and Fonts folders from a user's network home location to the local machine to help with performance.

#if [[ "$1" == "$Local" ]]; then
#        exit 0

After doing this it ran perfectly!!!!

A couple of things left to do:

  1. Get the logout script to work
  2. try is running it with it's original permissions to see if that also helped.

So, I also had to change the logout script accordingly as well, commenting out the Local='dscl......... and the if statement below it. After this it all worked perfectly.

Also, a point to note is that when logged in as anyone other then root, when you add login and logout hooks it is important to understand user hooks, and all user hooks (not the correct terminology but hopefully describes what I want).

So, when logged in NOT as root, if you use the command:
defaults write com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook /private/etc/login.hook 

it'll only give this user the hook. To do it system wide.
sudo defaults write com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook /private/etc/login.hook 

27" iMac fans on full

After moving an iMac, i switched it on to find that its fans were blowing full blast, making quite a noise.

I tried:

  • switching it off and back on
  • restarting it
  • reseting pram
  • switching off, leaving it a while and switching back on again
none of these worked. I came across this article in apple knowledge base. reseting smc worked a charm.

Basically switch off, unplug for 15 secs, plug back in. Done

Friday, 11 November 2011

Empty to Trash - This Item will be deleted immediately - fixed

I tutor was slightly annoyed because when he deleted a file on a Hard Drive it would come up with the question:
Are you sure you want to delete "blaa blaa"?
This item will be deleted immediately. You can't undo this action.
Yet on an identical Hard Drive in the same computer it simply deleted (moved) it to the trash.

I quickly had a look at it, and checked the difference between the drives and found no difference.

I did a quick search on the internet for this dialogue box and found this which looked interesting (lots of stuff about the trash)

In the end I worked out it was because the .Trashes file on the HD probably had the wrong permissions, which was probably set for the first user which used it. I simply deleted it:

rm -R /Volumes/Scratch\ Disk/.Trashes


Of course this would be set for the new user. One option would be to tick the "Ignore permissions on this volume".

Final Cut Pro Log and Transfer not recognising Sony XDCAM

After reimaging most of the Macs in the Department I forgot to install the Sony XDCAM plugin for Final Cut Pro. As a result when you plug the XDCAM in the Log and Transfer util in FCP doesn't show anything.
Log and Capture not showing anything when Sony XDCAM plugged in

I installed it on one mac and it worked great quite a while ago, but forgot to add the install file to the server for future reference.

I downloaded it again (Version 2.12) from some sony website (they have lots!!) and the camera didn't show up. I updated all the software and firmware and nothing changed.

Finally I searched for it again and kept coming across version 1.2. I installed this and it worked a treat.

My conclusion: that this version 2.12 doesn't work, or maybe irrelevent? Anyway, install version 1.2 and all should be good.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Photoshop CS 5 3D rotate opengl error

Had an error with a machine a student was using. The error happened when trying to 3D rotate the document. It read:

Could not complete your request because it only works with OpenGL enabled document windows.

Whilst being slightly helpful as to hinting at the problem, I do wish it would try and solve the problem itself. After doing a quick search on the internet I found a nice little Adobe Forum quickly explaining that you need to have an OpenGL compliant graphics card. This didn't help either because just about everyone does!!

So I found another forum saying that OpenGL has to be enabled in Photoshop, and as a default on Windows XP it is switched off (bad move).

I eventually worked out where the tick box was (which wasn't explained in the forum!!!)

  1. Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance...
  2. Click on Enable OpenGL Drawing.

Of course now I find out that another machine doesn't have a graphics card (it's onboard). Doh!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Adobe CS 5 Error 16 - uninstall and reinstall adobe product

Just came across this today on a staff machine. When they tried to use indesign it would crash almost immediately. I then logged in under a local account and tried to use any of the Adobe Creative Suite products, all of which showed this error straight away.

I rebooted, reseting the PRAM and running /sbin/fsck -yf. No changes were made to the operating system and Adobe CS 5 still came up with this error, so the problem wasn't here.

I read up on it and it looked like it has something to do with licensing. I finally logged in as Root and tried all the Adobe products, and IT WORKED!

After running this it worked on all local logins.

Coincidentally, when the staff member logged in and ran indesign, it crashed straight away (no error). After this the error 16 occurred on all logins!! So it was something with her account which much change something somewhere. I shall look into this!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Can't place images in Illustrator - blank box - OS X 10.6.6 Active Directory

I had this problem a few years ago, and it's recently popped up again. The problem is that when Active Directory Users (with home drives on Windows servers) try and place a picture within an Illustrator document, they just get a blank box with an X through it.

The way I found in fixing it previously was to install NHR (previously documented in my blog), which basically replaces the ~/Library/Caches folder with a symlink to a temporary folder on the local hard drive. It then deleted this when the networked user logged out.

The trouble I'm having now is that I can't get NHR to work with OS X 10.6.6. It simply doesn't want to run on login, maybe not even at all. The work around that I'm formulating is to simply make a little shell script which runs at login and does what NHR did.

I've now made a little Automator application which runs the terminal script:

mkdir /Users/Shared/temp
mkdir /Users/Shared/temp/Caches
rm -R ~/Library/Caches
ln -s /Users/Shared/temp/Caches ~/Library/

This has fixed the problem with the users who run the Automator Application, although when they login to a machine which doesn't have this "/Users/Shared/temp/Caches" folder they will encounter problems.

I shall make a new post describing how I made the startup script.