Archive for December, 2008

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Mac OSX Finder won’t transfer files via FTP

December 12, 2008

Okay, I’m having a strange problem with Mac OSX not transferring files.  I just set up my old computer with Windows Vista Ultimate (I say “old computer” but it’s not that old.  It’s definitely powerful enough for anything Vista can throw at it.).  I set up IIS with FTP on the Vista machine.  I created a regular user account named “ftpuser” and gave that user FULL CONTROL over the directory that I want to use for FTP transfers.  That means that I gave ftpuser full control not only on the FTP server, but also in the NTFS permissions on the directory.  I pushed the permissions down through all subdirectories and files, so I know this user now has full control over everything.

When I use Mac OSX, I go up to the menu bar and open the Go menu and click on Connect To Server.  I put the info in for my server and the directory that I am connecting to.  Mac OSX prompts me for the username and password to connect.  I put in the ftpuser username and password and Mac OSX mounts the remote drive just fine.  I can see all the files and everything.  But when I try to drag and drop files from the Mac to the remote FTP drive, I get an error message saying “The file such-and-such can’t be moved because the remote directory “whatever” can’t be modified.” or something to that effect.  Now this is frustrating because the user should have full control over everything!  Full control means I should be able to write files without any problems!

The strange part is this:  I can connect through the terminal using the same logon credentials and I can put files from the local Mac to the remote drive without any problems.  When I use 3rd party software like Panic’s Transmit 3, I can drag and drop the files without any problems.  So I know the problem lies with Mac OSX’s Finder and not with the FTP setup on the Windows box.  Does anyone else have this problem with Mac’s Finder moving files to a remote FTP drive?  It’s really frustrating.  It’s like Apple deliberately tries to make networking with Windows machines difficult and then blames Microsoft for being so proprietary!  Or maybe I’m just reading too much in to it…whatever.  I don’t really care for the reasoning behind it.  I just want to drag and drop my files between the drives without problems!

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What’s up with Hotmail and Firefox 3?

December 10, 2008

So, for the past couple of weeks, I can’t seem to get Hotmail’s sign-in page to load in Firefox 3.  It was working before this most recent Microsoft upgrade to the Hotmail service.  Now, it won’t even let me log in unless I’m using IE. And even in IE, it’s buggy as hell.  I usually have to refresh the page several times in IE before the sign-in page actually appears.

I’ve had to install the IE Tab add-on for Firefox in order to be able to view my Hotmail.

What did you do, Microsoft?  How can you have more money than God, but still hire inept web developers who can’t get your own web-based email service to work in your own web browser?!

For the record, I’m using Firefox 3.0.4 and IE 6.0 SP2 on Windows XP SP2.  This happens to me both at work and at home, so I can rule out the possibility of my office proxy/content filter.  And because this problem occurs on both browsers, I can safely rule out any of the few add-ons I have installed in Firefox.

Anyone else having similar problems with Hotmail not showing up?

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Microsoft Silverlight plugin error on EFi-X “Mac”

December 5, 2008

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you would know that I built my own Mac clone using an EFi-X chip.  The EFi-X chip fools retail versions of Mac OSX into installing on plain ol’ regular PC hardware.

I also have a subscription to NetFlix.  Now, in order to stream NetFlix “Watch It Now” movies, you need the Microsoft Silverlight plugin.  So I downloaded the disk image for the 2.0 Silverlight plugin for Macs and ran the package installer.  This is where it got a little odd.  I was greeted with an error message stating that “Silverlight 2 may not be installed on PowerPC.”  I don’t have a PowerPC Mac (obviously!).  I have an Intel Core 2 Duo running in my machine.  Now, the EFi-X chip isn’t perfect.  When you click on “About this Mac” in the Apple menu, the processor is listed as an unknown processor.  Even though the processor is unknown, why would Microsoft’s package installer not recognize this as an Intel-based Mac?  Every other app I’ve installed correctly identifies this as an Intel Mac.  What funky code is Microsoft using?  They must be using some kind of simple string search, like “if not ‘Core 2 Duo’ then exit with error_string” or something like that.

Well, long story short, I found a quick and easy way around this.  

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Amazon.com’s “Customers Vote” contest is pointless

December 4, 2008

Well, after three years of waiting, I was finally one of “the chosen ones”.  For those that don’t know, Amazon.com has run a contest for the past three holiday seasons.  It’s a customer voting-based contest in which Amazon places three items up for customers to vote on.  The item receiving the most votes will be sold to customers at a ridiculously low price.  The other two items are also sold at slightly less ridiculous prices.  Amazon only has a few hundred of these items available at these low prices.

The first year Amazon did this, it was a disaster.  They offered up a PlayStation 3, an Xbox 360, and a Wii for voting.  Well, Amazon didn’t realize that once the items went live for sale, the demand would be so great that it would crash their servers.  I remember trying desperately to get one of the items and I wasn’t even able to log on to Amazon’s site for about 45 minutes because of the traffic.

Amazon learned some lessons in the second year by removing the free-for-all approach and going with a “You’ve been chosen!” approach.  Customers vote on a series of three items.  Then, Amazon randomly selects customers for eligibility to purchase the item at the reduced price.  So instead of 10 million people around the U.S. all clamoring for 500 sale items, only about 10,000 or so are selected to participate.  The problem with this approach was made clear to me today.

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