h1

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!

h1

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?

h1

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.  

Read the rest of this entry »

h1

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

h1

UPS…bad…then good…then baaaaad

November 18, 2008

damaged-boxI have a long history with buying things over the Internet and having them shipped to me.  Because I like to build my own computers and I’m just a general gadget freak, usually the things I want are only available through online retailers because brick-and-mortar stores just don’t have the shelf space to carry much selection.

So, obviously, I’ve come into contact with UPS.  My first real dealings on a large scale with UPS were not good.  I would order several items from NewEgg and they’d be shipped in a few different packages.  I would have packages arrive that were damaged (luckily, just the exterior cardboard shipping box was damaged and not the contents!).  I would have “Sorry we missed you!” notices on my door even when I was INSIDE my apartment and never heard a single knock!  Sometimes, the lazy driver wouldn’t even bother to come to my door.  Because I lived in apartments, UPS can just drop packages off at the management desk and leave.  This is usually what would happen.  I’d go in to the manager’s office to pick up a package that FedEx left for me and the manager would tell me that I had another package there from UPS!  No notice on my door or anything!

Read the rest of this entry »

h1

Build your own Mac with EFi-X

November 17, 2008

efix_pc_thumb3v2_2Several months back, I saw a post on Engadget or Gizmodo (or probably both) about a device called EFi-X.  It’s a small device that plugs into a USB header on your motherboard and essentially turns your plain “beige box” PC into a Mac.  Now, obviously it doesn’t magically transform your case and hardware into a shiny aluminum cheese grater, but it does provide an EFI bootloader so that you can boot and install a plain, unhacked retail version of Mac OS X onto certain PC hardware.

Why should you care?  Well, if you’ve ever wanted the Mac experience but didn’t feel like paying the Mac tax to get super pretty hardware that you can’t modify, this is your chance.  For under $1000, you can build your own Mac, with components of your choosing and space to expand and choices in cases, lights, etc.  It brings the Mac OS to the PC modding community!

So, why am I writing about this?  Simple:  I just got an EFi-X chip and built my own “Mac”.  Read the rest of this entry »

h1

Lenovo IdeaPad S10…coolest thing EVER!

November 16, 2008

s10_2Okay, so I got a little extra money this Christmas due to moving to a new company and I decided to splurge on myself a little.  I used to have a laptop and it was very handy to have.  Every time my girlfriend and I went away on vacation, we could bring it along with us and use it to find nice local restaurants or places to visit.  But the laptop I had was a big Apple MacBook Pro with a 15 inch screen.  If you’ve ever held one of these aluminum beasts you know why it isn’t that practical for quick packing up and easy carrying.  It’s pushing 6 pounds if I remember correctly.

Anyway, I long ago got rid of it on eBay.  It was a great, powerful laptop, but just too much computer for my needs.  I really just wanted a light-weight device for quick emails and short-term web surfing.  My cell phone, while powerful, only has a 2.8 inch screen which doesn’t exactly lend itself to surfing the web.

Luckily, Asus saw the need for a simple, low-power, light-weight laptop and produced the Eee PC.  It took off like a bullet and every other company jumped on the bandwagon, including the Cadillac of laptop makers, Lenovo.  Read the rest of this entry »