Windows 7 Printer Share with Mac OS X

Naturally, Windows 7 (Pro, at least) doesn’t play nicely on a Mac OS X network environment out of the box.  As far as I can tell, Windows 7 doesn’t utilize IPP, which Linux and Mac employ for printer sharing.

The situation: I wanted to print from my Mac laptop to my printer connected to Windows 7. To do this, I had to enable a feature disabled by default.

In Control Panel, have a look at Programs and Features. Then look under Turn Windows features on or off. Under Print and Document Services, check LPD Print Service to install and turn on this service, which will allow sharing your Windows 7 attached printer across your network.

Additionally, you need to specify to Windows the printer(s) you would like to share.  From the Start menu or Control Panel, select Devices and Printers. Right-click on the printer and select Printer Properties.  Under Sharing, select Share this printer and give it a share name without spaces.

On your Mac (the client), go to System Preferences then Print & Fax. Click the + to add a new printer. Under Advanced, set the Type as LPD/LPR printer. For the URL, enter lpd://ip_address/share_name/

For example, lpd://

You may try using your machine’s name instead, but I had better luck using my IP address. If your IP address is dynamic and changes, this would obviously cause a problem. Select the correct driver based on your printer model, and give it a go!

Urban Terror GLW_StartOpenGL() Error Windows

So you just installed a fresh copy of the free multiplayer FPS game Urban Terror on Windows 7 (or possibly an earlier version).  The problem is, you keep getting a “GLW_StartOpenGL() – could not load OpenGL subsystem” error when you try to launch it.  You’re so close to fragging someone, yet so far.  If your video drivers are up to date, then herein lies the solution:

The game’s default full-screen resolution doesn’t match a native resolution of your hardware.  If you launch UT in windowed mode, you can then access the setup menu to select the correct video resolution.

To accomplish this:

1. Go to the install directory (probably “/Program Files/UrbanTerror” or “/Program Files (x86)/UrbanTerror”)

2. Inside here, go into the q3ut4 directory

3. Open the file q3config.cfg in your favorite text editor.  Keep in mind you may need to use Administrator permissions to modify the file.

4. Find r_fullscreen and change its value to 0 (zero).  Save and exit.

5. Lauch UT and access Setup->System.  Set your video mode.  This may involve choosing Custom and entering your video width & height.

6. Set Fullscreen to YesApply settings.

While this worked for me, your mileage may vary.

How to reinstall grub bootloader on Ubuntu 10.04 after Windows effs up your MBR

Windows decided to overwrite my MBR and clobber grub. I was successful at restoring grub by taking the following actions. While this may be a self-serving reminder for the next time it happens, others may find it useful.

It’s worth noting that grub2, which ships with Ubuntu 10.04, has made some changes — mostly notably, /boot/grub/menu.lst has been replaced with /boot/grub/grub.cfg. Following restoration instructions for previous versions of grub will likely fail.

1. Boot from Ubuntu Live CD (Install disc)

2. Open terminal

3. Look at partitions to get device name

sudo fdisk -l

4. If your Linux partition is not marked as bootable, go to System->Administration->Disk Utility and mark the partition as bootable.

5. Create a mount point

sudo mkdir /mnt/linux

6. Mount the partition by device name found in step 3 (for example, /dev/sda1)

sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt/linux

7. Run grub-install, which will rewrite the MBR. Note that here you want to specify the device (ie, hard disk) but not the partition. So for /dev/sda1, you’d use /dev/sda.

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/linux/ /dev/sdX

8. Reboot and grub should load. You may wish to run sudo update-grub after rebooting to update /boot/grub/grub.cfg with any partition or OS changes.

References: from LiveCD

Wolfram|Alpha = Freaking|Awesome

WolframAlpha, the “computational knowledge engine,” is fantastic for those interested in math, science, engineering, music and more. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s worth investigating. It’s not a web search engine like Google or Bing, but instead is a searchable database of just about anything science-related.

Want to know about the Sun? Do you like caffeine? Have a need to convert AU to parsecs? Looking for a solution to a differential equation? Wolfram’s got your back!


WolframAlpha cranked out this integral calculus problem almost immediately! I wish I could say the same about my HP calculator!

Bad Font Breaks Time Machine?

So I came across this error in my Mac OS X system.log while performing a Time Machine backup:

backupd[]: Unable to rebuild path cache for source item. Partial source path:

I don’t know about you, but when I see errors from my backup daemon, I pay attention.

I first forced a reindex of Spotlight on the source device by removing the metadata:

sudo hdutil -E /

Spotlight got busy again, but after 20 minutes, I saw log entries along the lines of:

mdworker[]: ATSFontFindFromContainer failed: count = 2

And when I say lines, I mean hundreds of them.  Disk Utility returned OK on both devices, but Spotlight seemed to be spinning its wheels:

mdworker[]: (Error) Import: Importer force killed!

I “validated” the integrity of the fonts in Font Book, only to find csd12.ttf gave a warning.  After removing the font, Spotlight finished indexing in 30 minutes. With no more log errors, Time Machine now seems content to copy my files hour after hour.

So could it be that a bad font caused problems for OS X’s backup mechanism?

Safari 4 Passes Acid3 Test, Private Browsing Sucks

I’ve been a long-time fan of the Firefox web browser, and I’ve been enjoying some of the new features that have been creeping into the beta builds lately. But I recently upgraded my Mac to Safari version 4, and I have to say, I am very impressed!

Acid3 tests a browser’s compatibility with Web 2.0 standards. When I ran this in Safari 4, I was surprised to see a result of 100/100!

Safari 4 Acid3 Test

My current version of Firefox, 3.5b99, made it to 93/100.

Firefox 3.5b99 Acid3 Test

I do enjoy the usefulness of some of Safari’s new features, such as the Top Sites grid and the Developer tools. Others, like the Cover Flow view in History, offer some pleasing eye candy. The main improvement seems to be in Java-script engine performance. Gmail loaded noticeably faster and my Netflix queue drag-and-drop was much snappier with Safari 4’s “Nitro Engine.”

Both browsers offer a new “private browsing” mode, dubbed by some “porn mode.” Firefox seems to have a better implementation of this private browsing experience by suppressing cookies. Safari, on the other hand, keeps your cookies present when switching from normal to private browsing.

To test this yourself, login to Google while in normal browsing mode, then activate private browsing, then reload Google and you’ll see you’re still signed in. Try this again with Firefox 3.5b99 and you’ll notice the same doesn’t happen.

Safari’s private browsing seems silly when cookies stay intact, allowing websites to still identify the user. If anything, it gives the user a false sense of anonymity!

Private browsing flaws aside and despite the features and speed increases, until there’s an Adblock Plus for Safari, I’ll probably stick with Firefox as my primary browser. I’m sure others have extensions they’re attached to as well, and this alone may keep market share with Firefox.

Windows 7 Includes New Psychedelic Wallpaper

The new Windows 7 RC demo sports some new features for the Microsoft operating system, most visually noticeable being the bright, new psychedelic wallpaper themes.

Windows 7 Mushroom Wallpaper
This is just one of the new psychedelic wallpapers included with Windows 7 RC, which I like to call Mushroom Trip.

Windows 7 Includes Cool Wallpaper
Another impressive Windows 7 included wallpaper.

Windows 7 Psychedelic Wallpaper
Looks like a wild acid trip!

Those of you that know me know that I’m a pretty big Apple fan.  It humbles me to tip my hat to M$, but I do enjoy the new eye candy!

Duplicates in Mac OS X “Open with…” Finder menu

I’ve read several blogs and forums online describing how to fix the problem of duplicate or old entries in the “Open with…” contextual menu in Mac’s OS X Finder.  The problem with some of these sources is that the path listed is not always correct, rendering the ol’ copy-and-paste standby useless.  One easy way to handle this is with the locate command.

To rebuild the list of programs under the “Open with…” menu, from a Terminal shell, copy/type:

`locate lsregister` -kill -domain local -domain system -domain user

Note the ` [backward apostrophe] is the key shared with the ~ [tilde or “twiddle” in unixspeak].  This should not be run as the superuser, but rather as your own login.

This could potentially fail if you have more than one lsregister installed on your system, but that shouldn’t be the case with a default install.

You may need to logout and log back in for the changes to be seen.

Why the TI-83 sucks…

Have you ever tried to use the hyperbolic trigonometric functions on the TI-83?

As far as I can tell, the only way to access the hyp trig functions like sinh and cosh is to go to Catalog and scroll all the way down to the function name.

Now granted, you can use the letter keys to skip down a bit closer to the function you’re looking for.  But scrolling through function after function is just awful, especially considering how many other calculators have a “Hyp” button right on them, or even individual sinh and cosh buttons (including OS X’s built-in calculator).

If I’m overlooking something, please feel free to leave a comment.  I’d love to know a shortcut to access those functions on the calculator!

If only I could get used to RPN, maybe I’d go the HP route.