Archive for June, 2006

Using a Canon ImageRunner with Mac OS X

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Canon Imagerunner C6800

http://www.ikon.com/products/Multi-Functional/Color/Canon_imageRUNNER_C6800.asp

Printer is set up for network printing however job code is needed in order for the printer to print job.

Here are the instructions for setting up a Mac to work with this networked printer.

Download and install the driver here:

http://www.usa.canon.com/html/download/impd1.html

Open Printer Setup Utility
Click Add Printer
Select IP Printer at the Top
Protoco LPD
—> IMPORTANT! Queue needs to be lowercase “print”
Name the printer anything. ImageRunner 6800
Printer Model > Canon > Canon iR C6800-D1
Click Add

Printing Instructions
Job code needs to be obtained prior to printing. Printer will not print without the job code. Candice can give you the 4 digit code. This code needs to be entered each time you print per application.
Hit Print
Select the printer
In the third pull down menu, choose “Fiery Job Notes”
Enter the job code in the Department ID field

Office 12 – A New Look

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Microsoft has released the beta version of Microsoft Office, version 12. This new version is packed with new features and of course, a new look for documents.

Office 12 no longer has drop down menus. This has been a hallmark of Microsoft Office since the first version. Nearly every other productivity suite has been built around drop down menus on every platform since the days before point-and-click. Microsoft has replaced drop down menus with a new concept that they are calling the ribbon. When you click on what were once drop down menus, the toolbars change to include only the features relevant to that option. By placing buttons and menus in the ribbon, Microsoft is able to include many new features without forcing users to have so many toolbars that their workspace is greatly reduced. The ribbon is not resizeable, so users of bigger monitors will likely approve of this feature than users of smaller monitors.

Other new features in Office 12 include the ability to save files into read-only PDFs, an Inspector that allows users to hide text or reveal text, the ability to remove the document creators name and contact information, a live preview feature that allows users to view the effect of changes before making them and tighter integration with OneNote.

There are also new features specific to components of Office 12. Word 12 includes a new zoom bar, which is meant to help zoom in and out of text rapidly as well as a new bar at the bottom of the screen that includes word count, page count and other information about the document. Conditional formatting in Excel 12 allows users to spruce up their spreadsheets with colors and effects based on formula outputs. PowerPoint 12 now gives a greater sense of control with more streamlined features. Outlook 12, unlike the rest of the Office suite, did not receive the ribbon. It did get the sleek new interface, a To-Do bar and color coded users, a feature useful in shared environments. Finally, Access was given a new interface to make it easier and faster to rapidly create databases.

Microsoft Office has given the world a standard for documents that has enabled sharing to a level that might not have otherwise been possible. With their latest version they are making their format for documents open source, or freely useable by other organizations, in order to enable people to share documents between applications more freely. With this innovation in the way that Microsoft goes about business, they are joining the packs of companies such as Novell, RedHat and Apple. While Microsoft has been criticized in the past for their fierce competition, this change will actually foster innovation in the field of word processing, spreadsheet creation and presentations. The new format will also allow users to make larger files and shrink existing files, as it splits each file into separate components stored in a .zip format. The new format will have an x at the end of the name of each extension for old formats. For example, Word files would be .docx and PowerPoint files would be .pptx.

There will be an initial learning curve for adopters of Microsoft Office 12, but the productivity enhancements will quickly offset this with the proper training and planning.

Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book Review

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Title: Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book, Author: Charles Edge Publisher: Paraglyph Press, distributed by O’Reilly Published: 2006 Price: $34.99 URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/1933097140/

Roger Smith, SVMUG, June 18, 2006.

Audience: Users and system administrators trying to get the most out of Mac networking with Tiger Server.

Content: The book is divided into 18 chapters, each focused on some aspect of server functionality.

My opinion: Very much task-oriented, this would get a lot of use next to the console of a Tiger server. It is setting next to my server and will stay there.

There is an embarrassment of riches these days when it comes to OS X Server books. Until 10.2 there was nothing except some material on the Apple Web site.

Then Schoun Regan came out with Mac OS X Server Essentials, the first good book on Mac servers (Peachpit Press, Apple Training Series). But with each new edition, Schoun’s book is more oriented towards the budding Apple Consultant who wants to understand the various components of OS X Server and then pass his or her Apple certification exam. Several sections of Mac OS X Server Essentials are titled “Understanding this” and “Understanding that”. It is thorough book, but not suitable as a reference. It is also physically very heavy.

In contrast, “Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book” is intended as a handy reference for whatever task is at hand. Most chapters have an introductory “In brief” section that is two or three pages long. It is assumed that you understand, for example, the basics of networking. The rest of each chapter is “Immediate Solutions”, checklists and screen shots of how to accomplish the task at hand. Even the planning and installation chapter has “Immediate Solutions” like Choosing your Network infrastructure, Creating a Maintenance Plan, etc. Each chapter ends with a page or two of “Tips from the Trenches”, real world experience of these previous solutions in practice. The author has been there and done that, in the real world. “Troubleshooting …” is also a frequent topic heading.

The major Chapters are: Planning, Directory Services, Windows Services (I did mention it is real-world based, right?) Sharing Files, Network Services, Printing, Web, Mail and Streaming Servers, etc. Subjects also get into the more advanced area like VPNs, WebObjects, MySQL, Java Server Pages and Collaboration.

The Little Black book isn’t tiny at 377 pages, but is a convenient 6 by 9 inch format and is printed on light weight paper. It has index tabs on the margin so you can quick locate the section, and then the 2 or 3 page solution to your problem. The book was actually designed to be used!

— Roger Smith Complete System & Network Administration Windows, Mac, Sun, Cisco Apple Authorized Business Agent Microsoft Registered Partner 408-736-7200

Indicating a Software Update Server in Mac OS X Tiger

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

It is possible to specify a server for the Software Update application or service to use in Mac OS X 10.4. Simply open a Terminal window and type the following commands (for these examples, we are using the 318server as our software update server):

defaults write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL “http://318server.three18.com:8088/”

This writes the pref only for the user that runs the command, and only affects the GUI Software Update tool.

defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL “http://318server.three18.com:8088/”

Writes the pref system-wide, so any user on that system who runs the GUI tool will get the specified server.

sudo defaults write com.apple.SoftwareUpdate CatalogURL “http://318server.three18.com:8088/”

Writes the pref for the root user, so the command line ‘softwareupdate’ tool will use the specified server. Especially handy if the system is managed by ARD, since the softwareupdate command is invoked using the root user.

Troubleshooting Mailflow issues using SMTP

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

How is your mail server? Is it up and running? Is it an open relay? Will it accept messages? Let’s find out!

First we’re going to use Network Utility to find the name of the mail server. To do this, open Network Utility, click on lookup and then type the domain name in the provided field. Select Mailbox Exchange as the type of lookup and then hit enter. You’ll then see the name or IP address of the server. Now you know the mail server, even if you only knew the domain before. So, go to the command line and type telnet followed by the name of the target server.

In this example we’re going to use mail.318.com. Using C: as the data that you type into the fields and S: as the response from the server. In this case, the server will respond with a banner telling you what kind of server it is provided that the SMTP engine is active on the target server (this can work even if you can’t ping the server).
> C: telnet mail.318.com 25.
> S: 220 mail.318.com ESMTP KMS

Now that we know the server is active let’s say hi, using our domain name (a common anti-spam requirement). We’ll do this by using the following command
> C: HELO charlesedgefacts.com
> S: 250 Hello charlesedgefacts.com
>
Now that we’ve shaken hands with the server and established that we are going to speak the mail server language, let’s tell it which of the email addresses that we’re going to send mail to the target server from using the MAIL FROM: command. This is very helpful when trying to troubleshoot mail flow issues, such as those that are caused by anti-spam engines.
> C: MAIL FROM:
> S: 250 Ok

Provided that you get a 250 ok then you will be good to send mail to the target server, so let’s tell it who we are sending a message to. This step is very helpful for verifying that an email address exists on the target server.
> C: RCPT TO:
> S: 250 Ok

Now that the target server has accepted the task of sending an email from you to the user you want to send an email to. To do this, we’re going to type out an email message in server speak, but first we’re going to tell it that this is what we want to do by typing DATA:
> C: DATA
> S: 354 End data with .

Once you receive the 354 code, you are good to type the text of your email. In this case, we’re going to start with a subject followed by the from and the to, all going into the message header that will be seen by the client computer. Next we’re going to hit the return key an extra time to indicate that we’re placing message body into the email. Then we’re going to type some text and finally to signify the end of the message, we’re going to leave a single line with a . in it.
> C: Subject: test message
> C: From: charles@charlesedgefacts.com
> C: To: kklein@318.com
> C:
> C: Hello,
> C: This is a test.
> C: Goodbye.
> C: .
> S: 250 Ok: queued as 12345

If the response is a 250 OK then you have sent the message. So you can type QUIT to exit the session you have with the server.
> C: QUIT
> S: 221 Bye

Now that we’ve sent an email, it’s good to explain that an open relay will allow anyone to send mail through your target server. In other words, in our above server speak, just swap out the charles@charlesedgefacts.com email address with one that you know for a fact that doesn’t exist. If your server will relay email from a random email address whose server you are not using then you will be able to verify that the server is an open relay and figure out why the server is getting blacklisted (if it’s a server getting blacklisted).

Anyway, I hope this helps everyone in troubleshooting mail flow issues, and gets everyone speaking mail-server speak a little more fluenty. :)

Open Source Code Development

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Developers of code have always been fairly open with their tips and tricks. New advancements in the websphere come fast and many of them come from the open source community. Led by people like Linus Torvalds, the original author of Linux, the open source ommunity has rewritten many of the most popular proprietary applications on the market and made them freely available to the world, asking only that if they don’t sell the code you don’t turn around and sell the code as well.

This was the foundation for the web. Apache, the most popular web server in use, is a product of the open source community. Recently, due to a large pool of code to draw upon and the entry into the open source community of many proprietary products we have been seeing a lot of advancements coming at a more rapid rate than ever. OpenOffice.org, a project for replacing Microsoft Office, Eclipse, a project supposedly named because they were going to “eclipse” Sun and a list almost as long as the postings on SourceForge.net (a popular site for open source software) have emerged.

This is changing the way people write code. Programmers today are often charged with assembling and integrating code more than they are actually writing new code. Many organizations have seen that by using code repositories online and in some cases searchable is more efficient than writing new code. In many cases, software developers and architects spend more time finding, downloading and evaluating available code than anything else.

Some programmers sell their code, but many just post it online giving back to the community that helped them find code they have been using and in some cases learn their craft. Finding the appropriate code for a given task and making sure that the licensing and documentation is taken care of can be a tough task. This is where a new type of search engine comes into play. Koders.com currently offers over 225,000,000 lines of code for languages including PHP, Python, SQL and many others. Krugle is another search engine that offers much more information on code although it is currently in beta. If you would rather pay for your ability to search code you can sign up for the protexIP/OnDemand service with Black Duck. Anyone who will be writing a lot of code should get to know all their options for trolling around for code.