Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mac OS X: Unlocking Your Desktop

There are many reasons for unlocking your desktop, but a great many more for leaving it locked the first of which is that the Desktop is more than simply a folder on OS X. Having lots of files on your desktop will affect the performance of your Mac (see here, here, and here).

However there are a number of cases where you might want to, temporarily, unlocking the desktop so you can save files to it.

First of all bring up finder and right-click your Desktop and select "Get Info";

Desktop Folder Properties
There is a check-box at the top called "Locked", un-check it.

And you're done ... Easy wasn't it?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mac OS X: Fixing "Your screen shot can't be saved" Error Message.

In order to save a screen shot when you're running Mac OS X (I'm on 10.7.4) you press;

Cmd + shift + 4 

The mouse will then turn into a cursor allowing you to select an area of the screen to take the screen shot of. Clearly an incredibly useful feature particularly if you're looking to produce documents (or blogs!) which include lots of helpful screen shots!

The problem is that if, like me, you have a locked desktop (and for the life of me I can't work out how it happened; but I like it and don't want to unlock it!) the first time you go to use this you get the following error;
Error Message
The text of the error message reads; "Your screen shot can't be saved" and "You don't have permission to save files in the location where screen shots are stored."

(Just a little note for Apple - telling me where it's trying to save the screen shot would have been helpful, as would offering me the change to save it somewhere else!)

The problem is that the screen capture utility is set to save the screen shot to your Desktop and to fix this you  have essentially two options; change the location it's trying to save to to somewhere it can access (my preferred one!) or to unlock your desktop (a lot easier!)

To change the location you need to use Terminal. Bring up a terminal session (Cmd + Space > Terminal or go to the top right and click on the search and enter Terminal);

Copy/ Paste the following two lines (you'll notice your bars will refresh);

defaults write location ~/Downloads/
killall SystemUIServer

Close terminal and try again, the screen shot should now appear in your downloads folder (if you want it in Pictures just replace Downloads with Pictures in the first command above).

I'll blog unlocking your desktop separately.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Noetix: Omitting View Templates (Script)

Similarly to a previous post to omit view columns from templates (see here) this script will allow you to omit whole view templates by calling a single file. Here is the script;

define noetix_view = &1;
define update_date = &2;

UPDATE N_View_Templates N
       n.last_update_date = TO_DATE('&update_date'),
       n.last_updated_by = 'A Pellew'
 WHERE n.view_label = '&noetix_view'


The script file (omit_view_template_xu2.sql - I've called it) takes two parameters the first if the view label to disable and the second is the date to set the Last_Update_Date to.

You can call this script from wnoetxu2.sql. For example;

@omit_view_template_xu2.sql INV_Transaction_Details 17-JUN-2012

The point of doing this was to make sure that, if the way a view is disabled changes, we only have to update a single file. Hope this helps!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Noetix: Omitting A Column From a Template (Script)

As you might be aware Noetix 6.0.2 has introduced a new way to omit columns from view templates. Previous you needed to update the Product_Version column with a product version that would never be used by your installation (we typically picked '8'), from the new version there is a new column called User_Include_Flag which you can set to 'N' to exclude a column.

This makes a lot more sense but it has highlighted the issue that we have a lot of changes to make to our various script files in order to introduce the new functionality - hardly ideal. In order to get round this we have introduced a new script filed called "omit_view_column_template_xu2.sql";

define noetix_view = &1;
define column_label = &2;
define update_date = &3;

UPDATE N_View_Column_Templates N
       n.last_update_date = TO_DATE('&update_date'),
       n.last_updated_by = 'A Pellew'
 WHERE n.view_label = '&noetix_view'
   AND N.column_label = '&column_label'

This is pretty simple, it takes three parameters and omits the specified column from the specified view updating the Last_Update_Date to the date you specify. You'll notice my name is hard-coded in the Last_Updated_By column - feel free to replace with your own.

This way if there is any future changes in Noetix functionality we only need to update a single file to ensure they are taken into account!

As an example the following (from wnoetxu2.sql);

@omit_view_column_template_xu2.sql INV_Onhand_Quantities Organization 21-JUN-2012

Will omit the column "Organization" from the view INV_Onhand_Quantities (setting the date to 21-JUN-2012).

In the logfile you will see the following output when the script is called;

SQL> @omit_view_column_template_xu2.sql INV_Onhand_Quantities Organization 21-JUN-2012
SQL> define noetix_view = &1;
SQL> define column_label = &2;
SQL> define update_date = &3;
SQL> UPDATE N_View_Column_Templates N
  3         n.last_update_date = TO_DATE('&update_date'),
  4         n.last_updated_by = 'A Pellew'
  5   WHERE n.view_label = '&noetix_view'
  6     AND N.column_label = '&column_label'
  7  ;
old   3:        n.last_update_date = TO_DATE('&update_date'),
new   3:        n.last_update_date = TO_DATE('21-JUN-2012'),
old   5:  WHERE n.view_label = '&noetix_view'
new   5:  WHERE n.view_label = 'INV_Onhand_Quantities'
old   6:    AND N.column_label = '&column_label'
new   6:    AND N.column_label = 'Organization'

2 rows updated.


Commit complete.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Windows 7 Drivers for PC line Flatbed Scanner (Model PCL-3000 aka Mustek 1248UB)

Label on the Underside of Scanner
My parents have just brought a new Windows 7 machine and as you can imagine, as the techie in the family, when I came to visit I managed to pick up the task of getting all the old USB devices working with the new machine. The upgrade was from Windows XP so it was quite a big surprise that pretty much everything worked just fine, the drivers for the Lexmark Z615 were downloaded and installed without incident. Same with everything else actually (memory card readers, speakers, etc).

Of course not everything worked, the Labtec USB Webcam had become damaged in transit and no longer seemed to work at all - thankfully a quick trip to PC World netted a Sandstrom 720HD camera to replace it - and then there was the PC line Flatbed Scanner.

Now this isn't the first upgrade/ replacement machine I've dealt with (not even the first one this year) so it was quite a surprise when I plugged the make and model into Google and searched for drivers that I *didn't* get anything useful (and no, I'm not counting the "pay us £20 and we'll let you have them" sites which absolutely everyone should avoid as usually either a) they don't have the drivers or b) the actual driver download is just a couple links lower in Googles search results and is *free*). I'm happy to be proved wrong if someone has a site that's reliable; I just doubt that the business model for these sites can actually support the in-depth knowledge and testing of (frankly) obsolete hardware people think they are getting access to when they type in their credit card number.

A bit of digging turned up the fact that the PC line PCL-3000 is actually just a re-badged Mustek Scanner - looking further into it revealed that it's just a re-badged 1248UB scanner and if you go to the Mustek driver download site the Windows Vista drivers are available to download;
  • (** SEE UPDATE BELOW **) Go to (note that this is NOT the usual .com site, but the parent company in Taiwan - the drivers don't seem to be on the US site)
  • Click "Support"
  • Enter "1248ub" and click "Search"
  • A single result is returned, click on "1248ub"
  • Click "Drivers Download"
  • Click "Windows Vista 32-bit" (or 64-bit if that's the version of Windows you're using!)
If you want to go straight to the download (and you trust software downloaded from bloggers you don't know!) then the direct link is here (of course this might not work as they could move this anywhere on their site).

Hopefully this will save someone the amount of time this took me to work out!

UPDATE: October 2015: Mustek have updated their website and the link (and instructions) above no longer works. The software itself is still accessible on their FTP site though at this location;

It looks like the software for the scanner is now available for Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, and 2000. I've not tried it, I switched to a Mac a good few years ago, so can only guess it still works. If it does please leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Using AppleTV (and Airplay) with BT Home Hub 3.0

If you're reading this post then you're probably experiencing one of the following issues;

  • Your Apple TV can connect to the internet over Wi-Fi but can't see your iTunes Library (that you're sharing via Home Sharing) on a another machine on your home network
  • Airplay Devices you own (such as iPod's, iPhone's, iPad's, etc) cannot see your Apple TV (despite them all being able to access the Internet via the Home Hubs Wi-Fi
You've probably tried;
And still no Airplay on your devices, and no iTunes library on your AppleTV.

Here is the solution (well, what worked for me anyway!);
  • Go to Your Home Hub 3.0 login page (see here if you're having problems finding it) and login (if this is the first time you've logged in it will ask you to change the password from the "admin password" on your Hub Settings fob)
  • Click "Settings" 
  • Click "Wireless" (on the left)
  • Change Security from "WPA & WPA2 (Recommended)" to "WPA2 only"
  • Re-enter the Wireless Key as specified on your Hub Settings fob (you could pick another, but that just complicates the process and means everything will have to reconnect and login again)
  • Scroll to the bottom and click "Apply"
And that's it, assuming everything is connecting properly and this was the only problem (and you've chosen the same Wireless Key so that everything doesn't have to reconnect - always a good idea!) then everything should, as if by magic, start working.

BT Home Hub 3.0 Wireless Security Settings