I support this to the fullness:

Copyright-restriction-free Christmas songs from the Musikpiraten e.V.:


Create Booklet PDF service (Mac OS X)

I used this tool to print an A5 document as booklet with staples and four pages per sheet on Mac:


This worked for me from Word 2011 on Mac OS X Lion 10.7.1 and probably works for any other program as well as this is a universal PDF service (Create Booklet in the PDF menu button in every print dialog).


Mac OS X Lion Apple Mail: Search does not work

After switching to Lion and importing all my old mails (actually all users) from the time machine backup I found that all old mails were there, but Mail would not find any of the old mails when searching.

This cured the problem for me:
Foe each individual mailbox (Inbox, Sent, all your own mailboxes) do:
Menu (not context menu): Mailbox -> Restore (in german: Postfach -> Wiederherstellen)

Juniper SSL VPN SAM does not work on Mac OS X Lion (10.7)

The reoccurring pattern continues: With every individual new Mac OS X version Apple kills existing VPN solutions for Max OS. This is at least true for Cisco VPN and also for the Juniper SSL PVN.

For the Juniper SSL VPN on Mac OS X Lion (10.7) the symptom for me was that the host checker never was loaded and never came up. The browser would just sit there indefinitely.

To get the Juniper SSL VPN working on Lion I found this solution:


(replicated on this webpage:)


1) Download and install Pacifist from: http://www.charlessoft.com/Pacifist.dmg
2) Download and Mount JavaForMacOSX10.6Update5 from http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1360
3) Download and Mount JavaForMacOSX10.7 from http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1421
4) Launch Pacifist and select Open Package
5) Select the mounted JavaForMacOSX10.6Update5.pkg
6) Hit install, when it prompts always select "Replace"
7) After it is complete, select Open Package and select the JavaForMacOSX10.7.pkg
8) When it prompts select "Replace"
9) You can copy Safari 5.0.5 from SL or if you do not have access to a SL machine
10) Download and mount Safari 5.0.5 from http://appldnld.apple.com.edgesuite.net/content.info.apple.com/Safari5/041-0564.20110413.Fi9pb/Safari5.0.5SnowLeopard.dmg
11) In Pacifist select Open Package and select the Safari 5.0.5 pkg file
12) This time select Extract and place it onto your desktop
13) Go to the Safari5.0.5SnowLeopard folder on your desktop, inside of that you will see an Applications folder, open that and you will see Safari, you can rename this Safari, I named mine Safari 5.0.5 and copy it to your main Applications folder or whereever you want.
14) Launch this Safari and go to About and make sure it says 5.0.5
15) Try your Secure App Manager.

Essentially you need to install the 10.6 Java and the 10.7 Java and downgrade to Safari 5.0.5 (at least 5.1 does not work).

The above description worked for me. I got a couple of error messages saying that files cannot replace folders, but this seems to be harmless. Just continue with 'Replace'.


Converting Mac/LF encoding to Latin1/LF

I'll never really get the concept behind the surfaces and default surfaces and no surfaces with recode. Anyway, this is how to convert a file with Mac encoding and LF linefeeds into Latin1 encoding and LF linefeeds:
recode mac/..l1 myfile.txt

Or convert UTF-8 to Latin1:
recode utf-8/..l1 myfile.txt

Will we ever be able to get rid of the OS dependent behavior like 'Mac text files have CR lineendings' (which is even wrong since Mac OS X)?


Mac OS X Screen-Sharing: Cut-Copy-Paste

You can cut/copy/paste across to/from your screen sharing session. It just does not share the copy buffer automatically. Instead you need to transfer the copy buffer into either direction explicitly by selecting Edit -> Send copy buffer or Receive copy buffer (the actual english text might be different, you will figure it out). Doing so will not copy or paste anything in itself. You then need to paste on the target side.

For example to transfer from your host to your remote machine:

* copy on host machine
* Screen-Sharing: Edit->Send copy buffer
* paste on remote machine


Enabling Screen-Sharing on Mac OS X via ssh

Recently the Nvidia graphics card in my MacBook Pro died (the well known Nvidia hardware failure problem) and I wanted to control the (otherwise running fine) machine remotely but screen sharing was not enabled on the damaged machine. Some digging with Google brought up a very easy solution. You need ssh access to the machine for this of course.

# for <= Mac OS X 10.6.2 do:
sudo sh -c "/bin/echo -n enabled > /Library/Preferences/com.apple.ScreenSharing.launchd"
# for >= Mac OS X 10.6.3 do:
sudo sh -c "/bin/echo -n enabled > /private/etc/ScreenSharing.launchd"
# for Mac OS X Lion do: (use unload to disable)
cd /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
sudo launchctl load -w com.apple.screensharing.plist

This post contains all these hints:

I personally just tested the second variant for 10.6.8 so this is all I can confirm. The other variants were just taken from this post above to have it all in one place.

Set page margins with TextEdit

I did not find any way to set the page margins with TextEdit itself in an RTD (RTFD) document. But actually this is quite easy to do by editing the RTF file (or RTFD/TXT.rtf file) directly as ASCII (for example with emacs etc).

On the fifth line you will find this:


The margl and margr are for the left and right margin, respectively (1440 = 1.0 inch = 25.4 mm). I added margt and margb for the top and bottom margin in the example above to be 360 (= 0.25 inch). These two are usually not part of an RTF which you created with TextEdit.


I just stumbled across this very true summary about technical debt and how to deal with it:


In my experience technical debt always happens. One must always try to avoid it but it can never totally be avoided (for multiple reasons). The main point is: You (the one who writes and maintains the code) must deal with it in your daily normal work every day immediately and you must organize to pay it off without asking for permission or telling other people.

The sentence 'We never have enough time to pay off our technical debt' does not make sense and is wrong. Nobody will provide you with time to do this and nobody will schedule it for the future. You need to deal with it yourself. You need to factor any cleanup into the planning. Do not expect extra time to be given to you to clean up later.

The sentence 'This is so wrong, we should fix it. Let's add this to our defect database so it does not get lost.' usually means: 'I don't understand or care about technical debt so let's put this into a strange ever growing database and forget about it. It will never get done.

Defect databases most of the time help to create technical debt since they encourage people to file work items which really need to be done now for the future. They do not help to reduce technical debt. A 8x8cm piece of paper with the top issues on it you need to work on is better. You usually will not be able to deal with more debt than what fits on this piece of paper.

I always compare technical debt with a snow-pusher which has a flat pushing front. By pushing harder it can always get a bit further by pulling back and by ramming into the snow wall once more, but after some time it can only ever advance by a couple of centimeters per push. The only way is to get rid of the snow is to get rid of the snow. Pushing the snow forward for future processing is not going to work.


Brother MFC-7440N Toner empty end of life

Today I got the 'toner empty' messages from my Brother MFC-7440N printer. I printed 850 pages total and this is a TN-2110 which came with the printer. About 10 pages before I got the 'toner almost empty' (all in german so these messages might not be accurate) message.

The MFC-7440N would stop printing any pages. The last pages before this came out 100% fine so I wanted just to continue to print with this toner cartridge. A lot of googling lead me to several 'solutions' which did not work for me. I am not yet 100% sure what helped, but taking out the toner cartridge with the black case, shaking the toner, and putting yellowish paper tape across both holes on the left and the right of the black toner cartridge housing solved the problem.

After putting the toner back I could print a page normally and I no longer see the 'toner empty' nor the toner almost empty messages. The page count is still at 851.

I also found these hints: Open the front cover, then press the Back (german:Storno) button (the left bottom one of the four round black buttons), then press * 0 0, or * 1 0. But both did not work for me. (Do not press 1 or 2 as indicated in the display. This is for the drum.)


Gimp does not start on Mac OS X

I don't know what is going, but the high level symptom is 100% reproducible since my very first days on Max OS X: After not having used Gimp for about 1-2 months is will never ever start when I need it.

Today it even would not start when re-installing it. Not a big surprise since this was already the latest and greatest version.

What helped, however, was hard killing the X11 app: Twice.

After killing the X11 app it came back again and I killed that again. I assume the automatic starting of X11 by Gimp is broken or that some other X11 app leaves the X11 server in a state such that Gimp cannot deal with it.


Nokia mobile phone SMS backup/download

Today I wanted to download all sent and received SMSes from my Nokia 6021 phone via Bluetooth. This utility worked for me on Mac OS X: Phone Director 1.4.2 available here: http://www.macmedia.sk/download.htm.

You need to create a COM port with the Nokia PC Suite service as described in the Bluetooth README which comes with Phone Director. Then select this new com port in the preferences.

When you save the SMSes as text it will save it with CR line endings and UFT-8 encoding. To convert this to Latin1 and LF line endings (which I prefer) use this:

recode utf8/cr..latin1 SMS.txt

You can get recode from: http://recode.progiciels-bpi.ca/


Keychain Access crashes (Schlüsselbundverwaltung Absturz)

Today my Keychain Access (in german Schlüsselbundverwaltung crashed reproducibly on startup. The first symptom was actually that Safari did not remember some passwords. Starting keychain access resulted in 100% reproducible crashes.

I found part of the solution on this german page:


Enable 'Start in 32-bit mode' on the Keychain Access program. This made it possible to start the Keychain Access and also the First Aid. The First Aid would however still crash and neither print a concrete problem nor repair it. It would just print 'crashed unexpectedly' (or so, in german).

iTunes would also still crash with the same error message (the same traceback) as Keychain Access.

So I rolled back the ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain to a two weeks older version and this solved the problem. Apparently the keychain was corrupted. Now iTunes works again and I also can set Keychain Access back to 64 bit mode.

A bit frightening still.