Kim's Adventures into Geekspace

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Sunday, July 19 2015

DivX no more

I was just prompted a DivX update. I have no idea if I have ever seen a movie that demanded the plugin, but I faithfully let it run. After running, I noticed some strange outgoing connection attempts (using Little Snitch) to something related to backup. I got curious and found that the installer had an “optional install tab” that I had not noticed. When the installer finished a program called Zipcloud started and I knew something was fishy: I quit it, deleted the program - and found and threw out two entries in ~/Library/LaunchAgents, that would have it running again and again.

Not with me, DivX. I also ditched all DivX-stuff at the same go: Your plugin is not valuable enough for me to let you mess up my computer.

Thursday, July 9 2015

How to use older scanners in Mac OS X 10.10

I have been using Vuescan from for a long time, and am a happy camper. My old Canoscan 8600f works perfectly with this, but sometimes I want to use other programs for the scanner, like Paperless from Mariner Software to scan my receipts. It uses the native drivers, though, and the driver for Canon Canoscan 8600f has not been updated since Mac OS X 10.7.

I have tried to install different versions of the Canon drivers, but so far I had not had any luck. Today I found the solution, though: Jan Egil's Twain fixer It works out of the box, probably after installing the old scanner driver. Now, the scanner pops up, when I add it in System Preferences->Printers and Scanners, and it now works perfectly for scanning my stack of receipts! - Thanks Jan Egil!

Saturday, October 18 2014, PHP and Yosemite

After upgrading to Mac OS X Yosemite, the connection to my Postgres-DB from PHP failed again. Funny that Apple puts Postgres on their OS X Server, but don’t compile PHP (on their normal edition) so you can use it.

The help was like last time:

Using this guide:

I found this:

curl -s | bash -s 5.4

but decided to go for php 5.5 (I could probably have gone 5.6 by now, but I was at 5.5 before and I didn’t want to break a thing that just works), so I change it to :

curl -s | bash -s 5.5

And my site was up running again in less than 5 minutes!

There was a warning that 5.5.17 which I got, had not been tested with Yosemite, but it seems to work for me.

Tuesday, October 22 2013, PHP and Mavericks

Update 10 November 2013: after updating Mavericks from GM to build 13A603, everything broke again. After recompiling like specified below nothing was working and there may have been a missing path somewhere in the php.ini-file. While tracking the error down, I stumbled over a new version of PHP with a one-line install on I decided on 5.5 while I was at it.:

easy PHP 5.5-installation

Just running the installation command, a curl, the postgres-connection was working again, even from a non-standard postgres-installation. Thumbs up.


I updated a few of my computers to Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Everything went fine, or so I thought until my wife complained about a missing blog. I happen to run this blog on Dotclear using a Dotclear is of course using php and Apache.

Soon it was clear that the good folks at Apple have dropped support for Postgres in their php-configuration, so what to do. But I found this rather helpful page:

It was not perfect though, as a few steps were a bit shorthanded: installing autoconf from brew for instance, but that was fairly easy after a bit of googling, so I won’t repeat those steps here. See here, if you like.

I think that Rupey gets it very right for the rest, that is if you have Postgres installed by hand, i.e. that it is comfortably sitting in /usr/local/pgsql/ or similar. Given that I had used the app-version - much simpler to install and run - I had to point the configuration to the right directory. So when doing this

cd ext/pdo_pgsql



I ended up with this error:

checking for pg_config... not found

configure: error: Cannot find libpq-fe.h. Please specify correct PostgreSQL installation path

To point out the right installation path I just had to do this:

./configure --with-pdo-pgsql=/Applications/

before doing the rest:


sudo make install

and finally adding to /etc/php.ini (and changing the time zone) and doing a sudo httpd -k graceful to make php work with Postgres again. Sorry for the downtime, btw.

Sunday, August 25 2013

Gmail in turmoil

A user had a Macbook Air 1st generation that was extremely slow. Two people had already had a look and had even installed a fan control app, as they thought the Mac was breaking down and needed a physical check of the fans.

The problem was related to Mail, and when checking the Console, nothing showed up, i.e. no log files were showing at all. Running Yasu from Jim Mitchell resolved the first permission related issue that would also have been resolved using Disk Utility.

The second problem was due to a mail that the user tried to send from her Gmail account using Mail on Mac OS X 10.5.8. The mail only consisted of a file, but it was that apparently was 170 MB. Gmail refused to acknowledge it and gave this error (in Danish): Billede 1.png

Basically, because of the size of the mail, Gmail decided not to save the draft as it was way too big, and Mail didn't understand the error message correctly and thought it was because Gmail was offline and hence it tried to save the mail to drafts to be synchronized at the next possibility, probably resulting in another similar error leaving more and more files in the drafts folder each of 170 MB.

The problem was then, that if you tried to delete the draft, it would run into the same problem and move the deleted mail - to drafts, so in total about a 100 mails were generated this way, one each time the process would stop and the mail again was saved wrongly and using far too much of the capacity of the machine, the network and the Macbook Air became slower and slower.

The fix was as follows:

1) Turning off "Keep drafts on the Server" and "Keep Trash on the Server"

2) Patiently manually deleting the offending mail from the file system - files would keep appearing for another 15 minutes or so…

3) Rebuilding the mailboxes (Menu Mailboxes->Rebuild)

4) Turning  "Keep drafts on the Server" and "Keep Trash on the Server" on again.

I don't know if this problem persists in later versions of Mail, I have never seen the behavior before, but it definitely didn't look nice in 10.5.8.

Tuesday, August 13 2013


The wife of a friend of mine had a problem. Sending emails from her iPad would change the sender from something like "wife<>" to something like: "wife<>". This was of course frustrating like hell, as responses to her emails were sent to her husband, even though the recipients saw her name in the email applications. She had no problems with sending correctly from her Mac or iPhone. They had already checked the SMTP-address - repeatedly - so it was a mystery.

To fix this, I checked the SMTP-server list, i.e. Outgoing mail servers. There were a number of servers listed, as the iPad had belonged to the husband, but the correct SMTP-server of the "" was present. Also present was a Gmail-SMTP-entry, with the husbands login credentials.

The culprit was that there was no password for the login credentials for the correct SMTP-server, so we set that, and removed the gmail-entries. This resolved the issue. The last part was not necessary, but just to be sure the problem will not come again.

My analysis is that the original SMTP-server somehow was unavailable and that Mail on the iPad had (wrongly) asked for the correct password instead of recognizing the offline situation. Handling this error, the wife had somehow deleted the password. Doing this is too easy, Apple! Then the failover for Mail was of course to take the next SMTP-server on the list, and here Gmail does something very strange. It leaves the name of the sender "Wife" but changes the email-address to be the one of the account sending it, so becomes wife<>. Not smart either.

The fix worked, btw.

Sunday, August 4 2013

Finder not working on a non-English Mac

During the summer, I had the pleasure to troubleshoot a Mac running Mac OS X 10.8.4 using Danish as the login language. On it, the Finder would persistently not open. Everything else was working fine, including accessing the file menu from all other apps.

We tried the usual steps: running Yasu from i.e. cleaning caches, running permission reset and other easy maintenance, deleting the preference files and restarting Finder and the computer:

rm ~/Library/Preferences/
rm ~/Library/Preferences/

Nothing seemed to work. Then I found a mention in the log files about a missing seemingly unrelated file and got an idea: what if we change language to English.

This turned out to work. The Finder works flawlessly with English, but does not start using Danish.

The user must have tried to optimize the Mac and had been using one or the other language clean-up tools that deletes all languages from the computer, which means that Danish should no longer be present, but somehow the clean up procedure had been faulty and even though the file had been deleted, the entry of Danish had not been removed from the list of available languages, Consequently, it was halting at startup of the Finder as it was trying to access the Danish da.lproj-file that was missing. As English worked and as the user was happy with that until the next Finder update comes along, and as we both were busy, we left it with that.

Tuesday, March 19 2013

Who made up this stuff?

Running Flash on your computer has always been a nuisance, but with the recent update of the Adobe Flash Player Manager, Adobe has made another attempt of making themselves look stupid. Now it does not only check if there is an update - and interrupt you if there is one, forcing you to quit your browser(s) while doing the update - bad enough - it now also interrupts you, just to tell that it has not found any updates!


Who at Adobe is so pompous to think that the whole world thinks that Flash is so important, that we need to spend time pushing the "done" button every time it has run and not found any updates? If just 10% of my applications behaved like that, I would have nothing else to do!

Adobe, you are becoming irrelevant.

Saturday, June 9 2012

Troubleshooting a Mac OS X 10.7 install of Epson AL-C2000 Color Laserjet

I got an Epson Acculaser C2000 from a friend some time ago, and with 10.5 or 10.6 I could not make it print in color, so I basically had given it up.

Now I tried again and after a long fight with the awful user interface on the printer, I managed to set an IP-address that I could get to. I later found out that there is a new EpsonNet tool that can do that too, so if you hate the stupid Epson menu on the printer, do download that.

Next problem was installing the thing. For hours and several attempts using IPP and even bonjour, I had almost given up. Then I tried the silly solution to choose LPD - Line Printer Deamon instead - and badam! - it works with both colors and text, even with fonts not residing on the printer.

Strange that you specifically have access to changing the setup of IPP in the Epson software and no hint that it even talks to LPD, but given the stupid user interface, who would not guess that it would work ;-)

Sunday, April 8 2012

Programs that will not download or update from the Mac App Store.

I had two apps that I could not update from the App Store for a long time. I got the message: "Produktets distributionsarkiv kunne ikke bekræftes. Det kan være beskadiget, eller blev ikke signeret." or in English: "The product distribution file could not be verified. It may be damaged or was not signed."

The programs were not that important for my daily stuff, so I left it for some time. I wrote the respective companies, and they replied that I should just wait, as the problem would go away. But it didn't and one day I had enough. First I tried to delete the problematic apps, but to no avail, the problem persisted. Then I turned to google for an answer. The best I found was from the 1Password-makers, and is found here:

I didn't like their solution though, as it was a bit too hard for my liking, so I had a look myself. After trying to update the one app, this text was in the Console:

08/04/12 15.54.44,678 App Store: FRPurchaseManager: Preflight operation for 463633845 failed with error: Error Code=0 "Produktets distributionsarkiv kunne ikke bekræftes. Det kan være beskadiget, eller blev ikke signeret." UserInfo=0x7ff80c90a9f0 {NSLocalizedFailureReason=Cannot create PKProduct from "file://localhost/var/folders/1x/3vp012k96g1fpj127wg231nh0000gn/C/" Error Domain=NSURLErrorDomain Code=-1100 "Den ønskede URL findes ikke på denne server." UserInfo=0x7ff80c90b320 {NSUnderlyingError=0x7ff80c90b660 "Den ønskede URL findes ikke på denne server.", NSErrorFailingURLStringKey=file:///var/folders/1x/3vp012k96g1fpj127wg231nh0000gn/C/, NSErrorFailingURLKey=file:///var/folders/1x/3vp012k96g1fpj127wg231nh0000gn/C/, NSLocalizedDescription=Den ønskede URL findes ikke på denne server.}, NSLocalizedDescription=Produktets distributionsarkiv kunne ikke bekræftes. Det kan være beskadiget, eller blev ikke signeret., NSUnderlyingError=0x7ff80c90c560 "Den ønskede URL findes ikke på denne server."}

The problem, we can see - I have made a line in bold, is at the /var/folder/ somewhere. you can go there with the Terminal or using cmd-shift-G in the Finder. The Agilebits support suggest to delete the 1x-folder from the /var/folder, but it contains a lot of other stuff, so I decided do dig into the folders below. I ended up at the folder:


This contained two files:

flyingIcon and preflight.pfpkg

Deleting these - even when having the Mac App Store open, made it possible to download the problematic app. - I then did the same procedure for the second app, and it worked flawlessly.

Monday, September 12 2011

How to install a Canon LBP-3000 on non-japanese Mac OS X 10.6.8

I had a task the other day, installing a Canon LBP3000 printer driver on a Mac using 10.6.8. This turned out to be difficult, as the driver on the European web site of Canon does not have a proper driver that will work at all, as the laser printer is a few years old - Shame on Canon! I found a driver on the site however: SP) and almost got everything going by using the guide on this page: After installing using the guide, I was able to print, but only pictures, no text. Realizing that this was a Japanese driver, I decided to try to change language into Japanese and then install again. This is quite easy in System Preferences Language and Text, so going from:

Dragging Japanese to the top:

Quitting System Preferences (cmd-Q) and starting them again gave System Preferences fully in Japanese, with this Printer icon with visible Japanese text:

Then I just did the installation like described on the aforementioned link and changed language back to Danish. Then the language of the driver became English (second language from the top), and text printed properly. The culprit is the bad driver from Canon Japan, but this workaround wasn't too difficult, so I decided just to make this small guide.

Thursday, March 10 2011

Snowing in Hadsten again


Tuesday, March 1 2011

AppleTV 2 incident/troubleshooting while moving an iTunes Library

I just had a curious incident involving my beloved AppleTV 2. I had run out of space for movies on my iMac and had hence bought an external harddrive and asked iTunes to move the Media-folder according to this:

It worked fine and took 4 hours. During that time my AppleTV 2 hung and I tried to reset it a few times holding down the menu and down-arrow keys on the remote control. The screen saver with pictures from my iMac kept on going and apart from the flickering lights there was no contact from the remote control to the Apple TV.
Even after finishing the moving of files on the iMac, the Apple TV 2 remained uncontrollable with the remote control. I was able to push a movie from the iMac using AirPlay and saw it without any problems, but even after several restarts - hard, taking out the electric cord, as the remote control didn't seem to get through: when trying to restart, the lights were flickering correctly, but nothing happened after that, either the screen saver kept on going or the main screen was totally static, e.g. no commands from the remote control had any effect.
Then I decided to restore the software and (luckily) I had a micro-USB-cable at hand so I hooked it up to my MBP and used iTunes to restore everything. It seemed to work well, but gave me this error at the end:


Leading me to this page:

That does not exist. I removed the /dk in the link and got to this page: While doing so, the AppleTV rebooted and asked for input as if it was brand new. Ignoring the message worked and now I am back on track! I never followed up on the error, as everything seems to work fine.
Summary: When moving a iTunes Library that is connected to an AppleTV 2, first of all turn off sharing before letting iTunes move the library. This would most likely have saved my evening.

Tuesday, November 9 2010

21 years ago, the GDR had to go.

Another year gone so fast. Incredible.


This photo was taken on the Bornholmer Straße Bridge in Berlin on November 9, 2009 at the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Bluetooth PAN connection missing / iPhone Tethering troubleshooting

Suddenly I couldn't get my iPhone tethering working (after a strange crash). To troubleshoot, I tried to delete the bluetooth connections on both my iPhone and my Macbook Pro, but even after several attempts it failed somehow. The iPhone could connect to the Mac - the internet tethering was flashing blue and the menu item on the Mac indicated that there was connection, but there was no Bluetooth PAN-connection to be seen in the System preferences. I even ran a Yasu to delete caches that could be corrupted.

A final try to delete the following preference files did it:


They may have been both from the users Library/Preferences, but could also be from the /Library/Preferences or /System/Library/Preferences. (I forgot.) I am not sure
After a reboot, the Bluetooth PAN showed up as magic in the System Preferences Network Preference Pane and I didn't even have to re-enable it.