Archive for the ‘mac’ Category

Sharing a Printer from Mavericks to Windows

January 14, 2015

Every few years I have to figure out a new way to share a Mac’s printer with Windows PCs. The printer is connected to a Mac with USB and shared using System Preferences>Sharing>Printer Sharing.

Apple provides Bonjour Print Services for Windows as a free download. It starts a service that discovers printers using the Zeroconf protocol, of which Apple’s implementation is called Bonjour (formerly Rendezvous before they lost a trademark dispute). It works great on Windows XP. But on Windows 7, Apple’s Bonjour service (as of version 2.0.2, which hasn’t been updated in years) is flaky, spewing tons of error messages to the event log and frequently losing the connection to the printer. I had to give up on it (and that’s without a Windows firewall getting involved).

When the Mac with the printer was running Snow Leopard (10.6), I could add the printer on Windows 7 using Control Panel>Hardware and Sound>Devices and Printers>Add a printer>Add a local printer>Create a new port>LPR Port and then entering the hostname or IP address of the Mac and the CUPS printer queue name (which the lpq command in Terminal shows). Snow Leopard shares the printer using the Unix LPD (also called LPR) protocol, among others.

When I upgraded the Mac to Mavericks (10.9), I found that it wasn’t listening on the LPD port. After a lot of research, I discovered that support for LPD printer sharing is included in Mavericks but disabled by default. Here is how to enable it.

Open a Terminal window.

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.cups.cups-lpd.plist

Type your password. Your Mac should now be listening on the LPD port. If you have its firewall enabled in System Preferences, you might need to open the LPD printer port (TCP port 515) in the firewall. Now printing to it from Windows should work.

The load -w option forces the service to be enabled. If you want to more clearly mark it as enabled, you can:

sudo bash

Edit /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.cups.cups-lpd.plist using a text editor like vi or nano.

Under the Disabled key, change the “true” to “false”, then save the file and exit the editor.

All of this probably applies to Yosemite (10.10) too, but I haven’t tested that, or Windows 8 or Vista.


Solving Snow Leopard Crashes on a 24″ iMac

February 3, 2011

My 24″ iMac (early 2008, Core2 Duo 2.8GHz) came with MacOS 10.5 Leopard and worked great with it. When 10.6 Snow Leopard came out, I upgraded to it, and thereafter the iMac started crashing 1-3 times a week. The screen would turn black, or gray, or striped. It wasn’t totally dead, which would suggest a power supply failure. It wasn’t a kernel panic (with the multi-lingual “You need to restart your computer” message), which would suggest bad RAM. But it was hung and couldn’t be reached over the network. To recover, I had to hold down the power switch to force a shutdown, then turn it back on.

It happened sometimes while the machine was idling, other times while I was in the middle of doing something. This persisted through the 10.6.4 update, at which point I decided MacOS updates weren’t going to fix it.

I tried a clean install of Snow Leopard, but that didn’t fix it. I replaced the RAM with a different brand, but that didn’t fix it. I had the main logic board replaced under AppleCare, but that didn’t fix it. After some searching of the web, I found the solution. It confirmed my hunch that the video chip was overheating. The video chip (GPU) in mine is an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro. Apparently Snow Leopard drives the GPU harder than Leopard does, but runs the iMac’s fans at the same barely-audible speeds. The problem is more likely to occur on iMacs that are left on all the time, as mine is.

The solution is to install a third-party fan control program to force the fans to run faster and keep the inside of the Mac cooler. I installed iMac Fan Control. The iMac’s fans are now audible, but not too objectionable, and it hasn’t crashed in the two months or so since I installed iMac Fan Control. The temperatures are significantly lower than before. Here is a picture of my iMac Fan Control System Preferences panel.

Update: A year after installing iMac Fan Control, the iMac hasn’t crashed even once from the video chip problem. It’s currently running MacOS 10.6.7 plus the Snow Leopard Font Update.

Making DVD File Systems

December 30, 2010

If you have a VIDEO_TS folder, which is the files to make a video DVD, and you’re using a Mac, how can you create a playable DVD? There are a couple of free programs I like for this.

Both iDVD and DVD Studio Pro, among other programs, can create video DVD title set files (VIDEO_TS folders), but those need to be burned to DVD in a special format (called UDF 1.02). To make a playable video DVD, you can burn a VIDEO_TS folder to DVD using the program LiquidCD. Or you can create an ISO image file with the program AquaISO. Later you can burn the ISO file to a DVD using LiquidCD, Disk Utility, SimplyBurns, or other programs (including a bunch on Windows).

Why would you want to save a VIDEO_TS folder or ISO file on a hard drive instead of burning a DVD directly from iDVD or DVD Studio Pro? Several reasons. It’s a convenient way to burn multiple copies. It’s a way to keep an archive copy in a compact format. You might need to copy or send it to other people so they can burn it to DVD. You might need to make changes to the files before burning them to DVD, using a program such as MyDVDEdit (such as to work around iDVD bugs in handling 16:9 videos). You might have created the VIDEO_TS folder using some other software or gotten it from someone else. You might want more control over the burning process, such as burning at a lower speed for higher quality (DVD Studio Pro doesn’t let you control the burning speed).