Category Archives: Mac

Jailbreak 2nd Gen iPod Touch with GreenPois0n

Spent a couple of hours today trying to jailbreak my iPod. After numerous attempts, I was on the point of giving up when I found this forum post with a solution: Run greenpois0n from the command line, rather than from the GUI.

While the forum post refers to RC5_2, I can confirm that it works with RC6 also. Here’s my method.

  1. Make sure that your iPod is connected to your computer.
  2. Shut down iTunes if it’s open.
  3. Turn off your iPod.
  4. Hold the power button and home button for 10 seconds.
  5. Release the power button, keep holding the home button for a further 10 seconds.
  6. Open Terminal.
  7. Change directory to the location of the greenpois0n app.
  8. Type open ./
  9. A new Terminal window will open and greenpois0n should now be able to jailbreak your iPod.
  10. Wait for your iPod to restart.
  11. Find the green Loader icon on your iPod and use it to install Cydia.

And that’s it – you’re good to go!

Disabling Ethernet Prevents Mac OS X From Waking

Problem: When MacBook lid is closed, fan continues to spin and MacBook becomes very hot.

Description: When in use the MacBook fan behaves as expected. On closing the lid to put the MacBook sleep, the fan continues to spin and the base of the machine becomes very hot.

Opening the lid displays a black screen. No mouse or login screen displayed. Fan continues to spin at what seems to be maximum RPM. Closing the lid again does not stop the fan from spinning.

Only available option is to hold the power button to shut down the system.

On pressing the power button to restart the system, the MacBook starts, displays grey start up screen for a second or two and then restarts automatically. MacBook then starts normally.

Once the user logins, the system works as normal again. Putting the system to sleep, causes the problem to reoccur.

Solution: The user deactivated the Ethernet interface within System Preferences -> Network. Reactivating the Ethernet interface and restarting the machine resolved the problem.

(Who’d have thought that disabling the Ethernet interface would prevent the system from sleeping? Certainly not me when I decided to do so.)

Slow-Mo Mac OS X Expose Shortcut Key

The Function Keys F3 – F9 in Mac OS X gives you access to the various Exposé “views”. For example, pressing F3 on my MacBook shows all open application windows. (Depending on your Mac, the function keys may be mapped differently. Check System Preferences – Exposé & Spaces for a full list.)

While trying to figure out a keyboard shortcut, I happened upon a neat little “feature” of Leopard. By holding down the Shift key while pressing a function key gives a nice little slo-mo version of the Exposé transition.

I know that’s not a great explanation, but give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.

The Quick Way to Connect to a Network Drive using Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

I’ve posted a few times about the problems I’ve had connecting to a network drive using Leopard. Previously I posted about how Leopard was able to connect to a network drive, but wouldn’t show the contents of the shared folder. After a lot of testing, and a bit of luck, I followed that up with a post on how I was able to browse the folders on my network drive. Now, I’ve found a way to connect to my network drive and browse the folders almost immediately. Although this method may sound a bit convoluted, there are just four steps. As I only have my MacBook to test with, I can’t guarantee that this will work for you, but I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t.

Step One

Connect to your network drive in the usual manner. Either use the Command-K shortcut, or from the Menu Bar use Go -> Connect to Server. In either case, you’ll be presented with a Connect to Server dialog box. The server address should be specified as:


Click the Connect button and wait for Finder to connect to your network drive. If you have more than one shared folder set up on the drive you’ll be prompted for the folder that you want to connect to. Once Leopard has connected to the shared folder a new Finder window should open.

Step Two

Open Terminal from Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal. At the prompt, type the following command:

sudo smbclient -L NETWORK_DRIVE_NAME

The NETWORK_DRIVE_NAME refers to the the Windows name for your drive and is usually set using the configuration interface for the drive – this may be a web interface or an application, the exact details will depend on your specific drive. When you press Return, you’ll be prompted for your password. Type your password and press Return again. When you run this command, you should get a response like this:

Receiving SMB: Server stopped respondingsession request to NETWORK_DRIVE_NAME failed (Call returned zero bytes (EOF))Receiving SMB: Server stopped respondingsession request to *SMBSERVER failed (Call returned zero bytes (EOF))

Although the Samba Client returns with an error message, don’t worry, you’re still on track to be able to browse the drive contents.

Step Three

Restart the Finder. This is achieved by typing the following command in Terminal:

sudo killall Finder

Once this command has been entered, the Leopard Finder will restart. You’ll notice that your Desktop icons disappear, as will any open Finder Windows. Your Desktop icons should reappear almost immediately.

Step Four

Repeat Step Three:

sudo killall Finder

Open a Finder Window, and under the Shared section your network drive should be listed. Click the drive name, and then double-click the shared folder name. You should now be able to browse the contents of the drive.

Important Notes

  • I don’t know why, but the Finder has to be restarted twice for this work.
  • The Terminal commands must be run using sudo or as root (using su), even if you are logged in as an adminsitrator. If you are an administrator, you’ll be able to run the smbclient command and the killall command, but the process just won’t work.
  • I have no idea why this works, or how, I just know that it does work for me.
  • I’d recommend that you close all open programs while doing this, just in case. Using the killall command may have some strange effects on open programs, or lead to system instability.
  • Once again, I haven’t been able to test this on any other system other than my own, so your milage may vary.

Changing the Contrast on a MacBook

While I was playing around with the Keyboard Shortcuts for the previous post, I noticed that there’s a shortcut for adjusting the contrast on my MacBook. I’ve been looking for a way to do this for ages, and it turns out that it’s possible to do this with a shortcut, albeit, not a very obvious one:

To increase the contrast use: Ctrl-Alt-Command-. (that’s a full stop)
To decrease the contrast use: Ctrl-Alt-Command-, (and that’s a comma)

I’ve changed them to Ctrl-Alt-PgUp and Ctrl-Alt-PgDn on my Mac – it’s so much easier to remember.

Using Tab to Select Dialog Box Buttons in Mac OS X

One of the things that has annoyed me about Mac OS is the behaviour of the Tab key. When presented with a dialog box with multiple buttons, pressing the Tab key will not allow you to shift focus from one button to the next. Thankfully this default behaviour can be changed.


Dialog Box with Tab Key Disabled

Figure 1: Dialog box with Tab key disabled


In System Properties, open the Keyboard & Mouse settings and click on the Keyboard Settings section. At the bottom of the screen is an option for Full Keyboard Access.


System Properties - Keyboard & Mouse - Keyboard Shortcuts

Figure 2: System Properties – Keyboard & Mouse – Keyboard Shortcuts


In this section there is the option for using the Tab key to move focus between a) Text boxes and lists only, or b) All controls. Click the radio button for the second option, and the Tab key will now allow you to tab between all the available dialog box buttons. On a MacBook you can also use the following shortcut key to turn on/ off this behaviour: ^fn F7


Dialog Box with Tab Key Enabled

Figure 3: Dialog Box with Tab Key Enabled


Once this option has been enabled you should be able to use the Tab key to highlight any of the available buttons. One word of caution though: if you select a different button than the already highlighted default, then you must use the spacebar to “press” it. Using the Enter or Return keys will always “press” the default button.

Enabling Root in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

When troubleshooting your Mac, it helps if you can log in as a different user. Instead of creating a new user, you can enable Root. Here’s how:

  1. Open Finder,
  2. Browse to Applications -> Utilities,
  3. Open Directory Utility,
  4. Click the lock to make changes,
  5. Enter your password when prompted,
  6. From the Taskbar go to Edit -> Enable Root User,
  7. Enter a new password for Root,
  8. Confirm the password and click OK,
  9. Close Directory Utility, and log out of your Mac,
  10. At the login screen, click the picture for Other…,
  11. Type the username root, with the password you previously set.

The root account should only be used when absolutely necessary, and when you know what you’re doing.

Adding Recent Item to the Leopard Dock

I came across this handy hint on Mac OS X Hints. It adds a “special folder” to your Dock that allows you to easily browse recent applications, documents, servers, volumes etc.

Open Terminal and type, (or paste), the following command:

defaults write persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'

After the command has completed, type “killall Dock” (no quotes) to restart the Dock. You’ll now have a new icon beside your Trash. Click the icon to open a stack showing your recent documents. Command-click, or right click to show options to display:

  • Recent Applications
  • Recent Documents
  • Recent Servers
  • Favourite Volumes, and
  • Favourite Items

Forcing Time Machine to Use a Network Drive

Update 18 December 2007:

I’ve discovered a better way to force Finder to browse the contents of a network drive. You can read more here.

By default, Time Machine will not allow you to back up to a network drive – even if you can get Leopard to recognise the drive.

However, there is a command that will allow you to use a network drive with Time Machine. Before running this command, mount your network drive. Open Terminal, and at the prompt type:

defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Open Time Machine Preferences, and you should now be able to view your network drive mounts.

My Network Drive Now Works with Mac OS X Leopard

Update 18th December 2007

I’ve found an easier way to force Finer to recognise the contents of a network drive. You can read more about it here.

I’ve written at some length about the problems that I’ve been having getting Leopard to connect to my Network Drive via SMB. The problem has been grating on my nerves over the last few days, and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get it to work.

I’ve tried quite a few things over the last few days to try to get it to work, all without success. Here’s just a sample:

Reinstalled Leopard from scratch

I erased my entire hard-drive and installed Leopard from scratch. I did this just in case there was a problem with the installers method of upgrading from Tiger to Leopard. In the end, I had the same problem: Leopard could see my network drive, but not the contents.

Installed Tiger, updated Tiger, then installed Leopard

Installed Tiger from scratch, once again erasing the hard-drive in the process. Updated Tiger using the Software Upgrade option from the Apple menu. Then upgraded to Leopard. I went through this rigmarole just in case there were parts of Tiger that were being carried over into Leopard and that weren’t being upgraded. Still no joy though.

Manually reverted to the old version of the smb.conf file

I located the smb.conf file in the /etc directory, renamed it, then proceeded to rename smb.conf.old to smb.conf. Restarted the computer. I did this just in case it was a configuration issue. No luck with this either.

Installed the latest version of Samba

I downloaded and installed the latest version of Samba from the web. In case there was an issue with the version shipping with Leopard, I thouht it might be a good idea to try this, but I still wasn’t able to get it to work. In fact I wasn’t even able to get Samba installed. It may work, but I just didn’t see it going anywhere.

Installed Sharity 3

Sharity is a program that brings the SMBFS file system to Unix. There’s a version available for Mac OS X, but while it looked promising, it just ended up hanging the OS.

Reformatted my network drive with the Mac OS Extended File System

Thinking that it may be a problem with the way that Mac OS views FAT file systems, I tried formatting the drive for use with Mac OS. I had no problem partitioning and formatting the drive when it was directly connected to my MacBook, but when I tried to connect to the drives built-in webserver it reported that there was no free space – the firmware in the drive just didn’t recognise the file system. So I had to reformat it back to FAT32 again.

Now that I’ve been through what didn’t work for me, I can explain what I did to get Leopard to recognise my network hard drive.

  • Connect to my Network Drive using Apple-K
  • Close the lid of my MacBook
  • Leave it sleep for several hours
  • Open the lid of my MacBook and login back in

Voilà! I can now browse my network drive, and add and delete files and folders, etc. I’ve moved my iTunes Music folder to the drive and it works perfectly.

There is one issue. The network drive does not appear under the Shared section of finder, nor under the Desktop folder in my profile, even though I can see the link to the folder on my Desktop.