It Done Broke.

Google Software Update

Google Software Update, which vexes system purists everywhere since it’s installed silently when you install certain Google products, is set by default to autonomously execute on a daily basis.  In Mac OSX, there’s no control panel or preference pane with which to change this annoying behaviour unlike in Windows.

However, I just found this page tucked away which describes how to set the update frequency for OSX (Windows users look here).  You have to get into Terminal and:

$ defaults write checkInterval <frequency>

…where <frequency> is in seconds.  Setting it to 0 (zero) disables it completely.

If you want to manually run an update check, you need to look in either

  • /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/
  • ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/

for a file called ‘CheckForUpdatesNow.command’ and run that.  Convenient, huh?

If I get the time, I might hack together a Pref Pane for this.

Safari 4 Beta

Well, looks like I can retire WebKit for a little while.  The Safari developers have released a beta of version 4.  I had a bit of trouble starting it at first (Mac OSX 10.5.6).  It was the Glims plugin which was crashing it.  I removed it from /Library/Application Support and Safari started up nicely.

Update: Turns out Google Gears doesn’t work in this Safari 4 beta.

Update 2: The Glims developers have release a new version which doesn’t crash Safari, but is missing a chunk of functionality.

Update 3: Safari, even in the development WebKit nightlies exhibited an irritating “bug” with the WordPress 2.7 administrative interface.  It would cause a modal overlay dialog to hang.  The dialog appears when editing a post with the visual editor (e.g. add a link, upload images, etc.).  This is still quite present in 4 beta.

Update 4: (June 11, 2009) The bug mentioned in Update 3 with the modal dialog has been fixed in Safari 4.

USB Timing Out

I was having problems transferring files from one external USB drive to another. They were both attached via a powered USB hub. I tried running TechTool Pro on the drive I suspected with having a problem but it kept hanging.

The system.log showed this whenever it happened:

AppleUSBEHCI[0x6dfc000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfa, timing out! 

I finally switched cables and removed it from the hub and plugged it directly into the computer. Seems to work fine now…but I should check it with the old cable again…

OSX Leopard Folder Actions

I have a little Folder Action set up on a “dropbox” type folder that automatically adds a given file (usually MP3s) to my iTunes library.  I created a dumb-as-bricks Automator workflow and saved it as a plug-in of type Folder Action.  Worked flawlessly in 10.4.

With OSX 10.5, for some reason it runs the action but doesn’t actually execute it properly.  I found this little article which provides a workaround but doesn’t actually fix anything.  You have to edit the AppleScript file from something like this:

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
    tell application "Macintosh HD:Users:MyUserName:Library:Workflows:Applications:Folder Actions:<em>Name Of My Workflow</em>.app"
      open added_items
    end tell
end adding folder items to

to this:

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
    tell application "Finder"
open added_items using alias "Macintosh HD:Users:MyUserName:Library:Workflows:Applications:Folder Actions:<em>Name Of My Workflow</em>.app"
    end tell
end adding folder items to

…essentially getting Finder to do what you’ve already done.

Twitter: crankietech

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