It Done Broke.

Gamma Correction

There’s a posting on TUAW about how to set your display’s gamma in OSX Leopard to match Snow Leopard’s.  It describes in detail how to go about doing it without actually telling you what you’re messing with.   It’s a concept that isn’t Mac-specific, though.

When I was working at an animation studio back in the late 90s, I was introduced to the avuncular Charles Poynton who has made a career out of sitting on panels, making recommendations to technical boards and writing books on video, color and especially gamma.  I took a course from Charles along with some colleagues because we needed to implement color correction and set a mutual standard across our studios around the world.  So knowing what it was we were trying to achieve was somewhat key.  We had digital ink and paint and compositing people on SGIs, color artists on Macs, a renegade CGI team that switched from Maya to 3D Studio Max and then editors on Macs in Avid but did their viewing through expensive Sony Evergreen reference monitors.  Finally, an art director who looked at the work on all of these systems and wondered why everything looked different.  The majority of people don’t need to ever concern themselves with this stuff and should probably just move on.

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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.

Shared Thomson PC Server

If you have a BT wireless router/modem you might have noticed a strange PC server called Thomson sharing on your network.  Apparently, the router is running an undocumented version of Samba and sharing out the USB port as a network drive.  I can’t find any actual documentation to verify this.

Apparently, this router was, as of firmware version 6.2.6B vulnerable to hijacking via a cross-site scripting attack (which NoScript would ostensibly prevent).  *sigh*

Twitter: crankietech

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