Archive for January, 2003

Disable FTP Passive Mode in Mac OS X

Monday, January 27th, 2003

FTP servers behind a firewall have major problems with Passive Mode, often causing time outs.

In classic, open control panels, and Internet
Click on the Advanced Tab
Uncheck the Box for “Enable Passive Mode”

Replacing the Hard Drive in a 1st Generation iMac

Friday, January 24th, 2003

Make sure you are grounded during this entire process. The smallest static charge can sometimes destroy the RAM module. Make sure you have a clean work area and don’t loose any screws!

Step 1:
Roll the iMac on it’s top exposing the underbelly and remove the single screw that holds the plastic cover on.

Step 2:
Once the screw is removed, pull up and out on the plastic handle provided and the plastic cover will pop off. This exposes the CPU chassis and a set of four cables that must be disconnected for removal of the chassis.

Step 3:
Remove the 4 cables that are connected to the CPU chassis:

Cable 1 some sort of serial port cable
Cable 2 is underneath all the other cables, it is the power cable
Cable 3 is the monitor cable (note, this port is a Mac DB-15 monitor port and you are able to connect any Mac ready monitor directly to this port; however the iMac screen will obviously go dark)
Cable 4 is the audio cable for the speakers/CD-ROM

Step 4:
Make sure not to forget to remove the screw that holds the CD-ROM audio cable in place.

This puts the screw count at 2

Step 5:
Remove the two screws that hold the CPU chassis in place. Once you do this the chassis is free and all that is left to do is slide it out towards you.

This puts the screw count at 4

Step 6:
This part can get a little tricky. Slide out the CPU chassis away for the iMac but make sure to keep the 4 disconnected cables out of the way as not to pull them from their sockets. Once you have it out, flip it over to expose the entire top portion of the motherboard.

Step 7:
Now that you have the motherboard out, you have to disconnect everything that keeps the motherboard in place. This is a nice shot of what you should be looking at after the motherboard is out.

Step 8:
First thing to do once the motherboard is out is to remove the cage that covers the processor card. Be sure to remove the screw (circled in red) that holds the outer metal bracket in place as you will need to remove it shortly.

Step 9:
The iMac has several cables connected to the motherboard, and all of them will need to be disconnected for you to be able to remove the motherboard. From right to left, the cables are:

CD-ROM audio cable
Cable closest to the heat sync (processor card)
(Where the #2 is) Two cables here, one for the hard disk drive, and one for the CD-ROM drive
Power cable #1
Power cable #2
That makes a total of 6 cables that you will need to disconnect.

Step 10:
This picture shows you where the 5 screws are located that hold the motherboard in place. In order to remove the motherboard, you will need to remove these screws. They are Philips head screws and the metal is very soft so make sure not to strip the threads. DO NOT USE A POWER SCREWDRIVER when you end up putting the screws back in as they strip very easily.

Step 11:
At this point you will need to remove the processor card. To do this, remove the silver metal bracket that holds the heat sync in place, then remove the heat sync. The heat sync just sits on top of the processor so no pressure is required to remove it once the “holder bracket” has been removed.

Step 12:
Remove the outer metal bracket (don’t forget to remove that screw holding it in place! The outer metal bracket is held in place with tabs that line up with corresponding holes on the motherboard, and clips on the outer edge of the motherboard.

Step 13:
Removal of the Processor Daughter Card:
This is the heart and soul of your iMac so please be careful. Please make sure you are grounded. Grab the processor daughter card with both hands on the 4 edges of the card. Work the card out of it’s slots using a rocking motion. Once you have the card out, the motherboard is now ready for removal.

Step 14:
Getting the motherboard out of the iMac is a little difficult but once you have the side panel removed it is quite simple. Once the ribbon cables and motherboard screws have been removed use your Phillips head screwdriver to remove the two screws on the side holding the cover plate into place.

Step 15:
Once you have the screws removed (Phillips head screwdriver) the cover plate folds down and can be removed. This makes removing the motherboard easy, but remember that static can cause damage to your motherboard. Please make sure you are using a grounding strap or touch the metal chassis to discharge any static electricity you may have stored in your body.

Step 16:
The motherboard is secured in place via a socket connector located on the under side of the motherboard. The socket connector is located just to the right of the processor card, it will take a firm tug to get the motherboard out, so also pull up with your other hand located by the I/O ports.

In this picture, more force is exerted with the left hand as is is closest to the socket connector. Slight pressure is applied with the right hand to make sure the motherboard is removed evenly.

Step 17:
Pull the motherboard up and out. Be very careful handling the motherboard. You want to try not to bend or warp as this may cause component damage. If you do not think you are able to do this part, please contact a technician immediately. Set the motherboard to the side on a non static surface. Be careful of the modem as it is attached to the underside of the motherboard via a very small port and comes loose easily.

Step 18:
When you put the motherboard back in, you will need to line up the motherboard with the socket inside the chassis. Make sure to get all the pins lined up correctly as not to bend them.

Step 19:
In this step, you will remove the CD-ROM drive. It is very flimsy, so please take special care with it. PowerBook 1400/3400/G3 owners might recognize the CD-ROM module; looks very much like a PowerBook CD-ROM module.

Place your thumbs on either side of the CD-ROM drive using your index fingers as anchors. Push backwards and pull up to remove the drive. The CD-ROM drive has connectors going into it as well and they need to be disconnected for removal.

Step 20:
With your thumbs, push in and pull up to remove the CD-ROM module. There are guides on either side that hold the CD-ROM module in place so when you put it back in, they should line up.

Step 21:
This is the metal bracket that holds the CD-ROM module in place. It needs to be removed and set to the side so you can get the hard drive out. The CD-ROM module has a notch on the back that sits in this bracket holding it in place.

Step 22:
Remove the 2 screws on either side of the chassis. Again, remember that the metal is very soft and it does not take much to strip the screws. Getting at the screws towards the back of the drive are very difficult to get at as they do not line up perfectly with the open holes on the chassis so use caution.

Step 23:
There are two screws on with side of the chassis that hold the drive in place. Remove all 4 before you try to remove the hard drive.

Step 24:
Using your screw driver, lift the hard drive out of the chassis.

Step 25:
Congratulations! You have successfully removed your hard disk drive!

What is SQL?

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003

SQL (pronounced “ess-que-el”) stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is used to communicate with a database. According to ANSI (American National Standards Institute), it is the standard language for relational database management systems. SQL statements are used to perform tasks such as update data on a database, or retrieve data from a database. Some common relational database management systems that use SQL are: Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, Access, Ingres, etc. Although most database systems use SQL, most of them also have their own additional proprietary extensions that are usually only used on their system. However, the standard SQL commands such as “Select”, “Insert”, “Update”, “Delete”, “Create”, and “Drop” can be used to accomplish almost everything that one needs to do with a database. This tutorial will provide you with the instruction on the basics of each of these commands as well as allow you to put them to practice using the SQL Interpreter.

What is ODBC?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2003

Many misconceptions about ODBC exist in the computing world. To the end user, it is an icon in the Microsoft® Windows® Control Panel. To the application programmer, it is a library containing data access routines. To many others, it is the answer to all database access problems ever imagined.

First and foremost, ODBC is a specification for a database API. This API is independent of any one DBMS or operating system; although this manual uses C, the ODBC API is language-independent. The ODBC API is based on the CLI specifications from X/Open and ISO/IEC. ODBC 3.x fully implements both of these specifications—earlier versions of ODBC were based on preliminary versions of these specifications but did not fully implement them—and adds features commonly needed by developers of screen-based database applications, such as scrollable cursors.

The functions in the ODBC API are implemented by developers of DBMS-specific drivers. Applications call the functions in these drivers to access data in a DBMS-independent manner. A Driver Manager manages communication between applications and drivers.

Although Microsoft provides a Driver Manager for computers running Microsoft Windows NT® Server/Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation/Windows 2000 Professional, and Microsoft Windows® 95/98, has written several ODBC drivers, and calls ODBC functions from some of its applications, anybody can write ODBC applications and drivers. In fact, the vast majority of ODBC applications and drivers available for computers running Windows NT Server/Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT Workstation/Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows 95/98 are produced by companies other than Microsoft. Furthermore, ODBC drivers and applications exist on the Macintosh® and a variety of UNIX platforms.

To help application and driver developers, Microsoft offers an ODBC Software Development Kit (SDK) for computers running Windows NT Server/Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT Workstation/Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows 95/98 that provides the Driver Manager, installer DLL, test tools, and sample applications. Microsoft has teamed with Visigenic Software to port these SDKs to the Macintosh and a variety of UNIX platforms.

It is important to understand that ODBC is designed to expose database capabilities, not supplement them. Thus, application writers should not expect that using ODBC will suddenly transform a simple database into a fully featured relational database engine. Nor are driver writers expected to implement functionality not found in the underlying database. An exception to this is that developers who write drivers that directly access file data (such as data in an Xbase file) are required to write a database engine that supports at least minimal SQL functionality. Another exception is that the ODBC component of the Microsoft® Data Access Components (MDAC) SDK provides a cursor library that simulates scrollable cursors for drivers that implement a certain level of functionality.

Applications that use ODBC are responsible for any cross-database functionality. For example, ODBC is not a heterogeneous join engine, nor is it a distributed transaction processor. However, because it is DBMS-independent, it can be used to build such cross-database tools.

Install and Configure Backup and Archiving System

Sunday, January 12th, 2003

For this, it is essential to break down the “backup” process into three distinct processes or services:

1. Scheduled Daily Office Documents backup
2. Scheduled Daily Project backups
3. Per-incident Project Archiving / Restoration

Process 1 would be run off of one of our servers (ASIP, MAIL< NOW< QCIP, etc.) and would run nightly using Retrospect with Remote client licensing, backup user documents (such as Emails, Letters, Bids, Memos, Photos, MP3’s, etc.) and Preferences (Application configurations, settings, Internet bookmarks, etc.). For this process, we could continue to use the 20GB Travan mechanism already owned by Artifact. Backup media is somewhat expensive for Travan systems and (as discussed) the relatively slow restoration speeds should not be a factor, since we’d only be backing up on average what would be about a GB per machine in the event of a local hard drive failure or accidental erasure of valuable data.

Process 2 is most affordably handled by installing hard drives in pairs on each content creation machine. These drives should have equal capacities, which enables a daily finder backup (or retrospect triggered) backup from the work drive the archive drive (both attached to the computer). Economically, is it best to use FireWire drives, which are affordable, portable and available in higher capacity configurations than SCSI drives. The one advantage SCSI offers over FireWire is higher performance (data throughput), but this should not be an issue, since we are currently working at expectable performance levels without Wide-SCSI hardware in place on our design computers (FireWire and internal ATA perform similarly in our environment).

To save money, we could choose to use one internal (ATA) mechanism and one external (FireWire) mechanism provided they had the same capacities. For reasons of flexibility, the dual FireWire configuration is still preferred. Additional reasons to choose this backup strategy (over scheduled backup to AIT, DLT or DDS-4) are:

• Retrospect does not handle the tracking of movable hard drive volumes very well
• There is too much data to effectively backup to one removable media in one night
2. DLT is too slow to restore in case of an emergency while in production,
3. DLT solutions are more expensive considering the size of Artifact.

Process 3 is best handled by using a separate server to run Retrospect to a removable media device such as AIT, DLT, or DDS-4. DDS-4 is recommended due to its relative price and performance. One requirement a MAC server needs to communicate with a DDS-4 mechanism is a PCI bus to accept a 68-pin Wide SCSI card.

The process would work as follows:

When a project wraps, all media from the project (regardless of on which machines the projects data resides) gets copied to an “archive” directory on the Archive Server (available via the Chooser or FTP). Once all of the media is enclosed in one location, the Artifact backup operator initiates a pre-configured backup script (configured by KKS). This script writes all data with the Archive folder to a DDS-4 backup tape and then deletes the original media after successful verification. The tape is then labeled and filed away along with a printed catalogue of its contents. Restoring would happen the same way (except in reverse) in the event that a Job/Project returns to Artifact.

Compacting Mail Databases n Outlook Express and Entourage

Thursday, January 9th, 2003

If Entourage or Outlook Express are behaving strangly or if you would like to reduce the size of the mail database, you should go through this process.

Close Entourage/Outlook Express. Open the program while holding down the ‘Option’ key.

In OE, you will see a dialogue box like the one in Pic 1. Click ‘Yes’ to rebuild.

In Entourage, you will see a dialogue box like in Pic 2. Keep the radio button selected to ‘Typical rebuild. ’Click ‘Rebuild’ [If the process is unsuccessful in fixing the problem, repeat the process and select ‘Advanced Rebuild.’]

The length of time it takes to finish will depend on the size of the mail database. When the process is finished, you will see a dialogue box that explains the process is finished and which files may be deleted. (See Pic. 3)

Norton Not Starting on Boot

Friday, January 3rd, 2003

If Norton will not fire following an installation:

Completeley uninstall ALL Symantec Products (Yes, this includes PCAnywhere and Live Update). Reboot

Upgrade Internet Explorer to the latest version. Reboot

Check for Klez.

Reinstall latest version of NAV available. Reboot

Run Live Update. Reboot.

Run NAV.

If it still doesn’t work,

Try uninstalling NAV and IE (at the same time) and reinstalling