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MacWindows News items from January 2002 through March 2002

Most recent news first.

March 2002

Solutions update: New X-platform file converter for Mac OS X. March 29, 2002 -- We've added VINC 1.0 (US $49) to the list of file translation products on our File Solutions page. VINC is a new file translation utility for Mac OS X 10.1 from Recosoft. It can translate between Mac and Windows file formats including Word, AppleWorks word processing, RTF, and between JPEG, PICT, PNG, BMP and other formats. It doesn't supports as many of the formats supported in DataViz MacLinkPlus, and it doesn't support spreadsheet formats, but costs less. VINC also lets you view text files without translating them. We've added VINC to the list of file translation products on our File Solutions page.

CNET publishes review of Virtual PC 5 review: OS 9, Win 2000 best performance. March 29, 2002 -- CNET has published a review of Virtual PC 5 for Mac, written by MacWindows' John Rizzo. The test results show some interesting facts about performance:

  • The free 5.0.2 upgrade is nearly 15 percent faster than version 5.0.
  • VPC 5 is significantly slower in Mac OS X than in Mac OS 9--taking twice as long to complete some tasks.
  • The version of Windows you run is nearly as important as the version of Mac OS. Windows 2000 is significantly faster than Windows 98. The performance gap between OS 9 and OS X is much smaller when running Windows 2000 than with Windows 98.

Readers verify OS X SMB peer-to-peer file sharing problem. March 29, 2002 -- A couple of readers are also seeing the problem with OS X SMB connections to Windows workstations that we reported on March 26 (see our Mac OS X Report page). Eric Cooper describes the problem as a window update issue:

I have noticed the same problem. Basically, OS X is not refreshing the window. You can also get files to show up by moving (downloading) one of the files you CAN see.

Darren Trokhan has seen this problem connecting to a Samba server:

I have seen the same problem between my Mac running OS X 10.1.3 and a Samba server running on an SGI. I can add files from the SGI, but I have to drop files into the folder from my Mac before the list is refreshed.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

TIP: Airport WEP key from Airport Admin Utility in OS X. March 29, 2002 -- Stephen Jonke provides an answer to an issue raised in our last Windows-on-AirPort report, when a reader pointed out that the password of the AirPort network for third parties cards in PCs is not the same one as for users with Macs. Jonke says you can find the password to use on the PC in Mac OS X:

When trying to get the WEP key if you're using Airport Admin Utility in Mac OS X you'll find that there is no "Configure" menu. Instead you click the "Password" button in the toolbar. That will display the equivalent WEP key you'll need to enter on your PC.

Reader experience PiePants beta2 VPN client for OS X. March 29, 2002 -- Ed Dyer reports on the second beta (prerelease) version of the PiePants virtual private network client for Mac OS X:

PiePants is still able to connect to my company's three VPN servers. However, when I check "use remote DNS" and/or "use remote gateway" I can no longer get DNS resolution and still cannot see remote Windows shares via Sharity or SMB Browse. My Wins server is out of the range of computers to which I'm connected, as per the dialogue in PiePants. Putting in (as with DAVE) does not help.

An extra bonus-as my ISDN router times out after two minutes of no traffic, and my computer uses the remote DNS and route, the router detects no traffic (no packets sent to it's IP) it dumps the connection. PiePants does not error out, but persists in thinking its connected.

I also cannot ping any address, including those to which I'm connected.

For previous coverage of PiePants, see our VPN Report page.

VPN over AirPort: NAT transparency. March 29, 2002 -- We've mentioned several times before that in order to use AirPort over a virtual private network with a Cisco 3000, readers recommend using NAT transparency mode. Mark Duling got a similar story from Apple:

I couldn't get a VPN connection to work with an AirPort so I contacted Apple and they said AirPorts do in fact do VPN transparent mode. Sure enough, I found out that the default group setup on our Cisco 3000 didn't have transparent mode enabled. Once I did that the AirPort works fine with VPN transparent settings.

In a report about using VPN on AirPort with a Netscreen firewall, a reader recently said that the AirPort Base Station does not pass IPsec through its NAT transparently.

Solutions update: Keyspan adapter lets you connect parallel Epson printers to Mac USB. March 29, 2002 -- The Keyspan USB Parallel Printer Adapter for Macintosh (US $39) lets Mac users connect and Epson parallel port printer to a Mac USB port. It works for Epson Stylus Color printers models 440, 600, 640, 800, 850, 1520 and 3000, and Epson Stylus Photo printers models EX and 700. It runs with Mac OS 8.1-to- OS 9.x. (We've added the Adapter to the product listings on our Network Solutions page.)

Mediafour releases X Technology Preview 5 --iPod for Windows. March 29, 2002 -- Mediafour announced XPlay Preview 5, the newest beta version of its Windows software that lets PC users connect to Apple's iPod, which appears in Windows with a drive letter associated with it. Among the new features:

XPlay Preview 5 runs on Windows 98SE/Me/2000 or XP.

Terra Soft Ships Yellow Dog Linux 2.2 for Mac. March 29, 2002 -- Terra Soft Solutions has shipped Yellow Dog Linux 2.2, which the company claims is the "most mature and complete PowerPC Linux distribution available." New improvements include a more stable kernel, better support for Apple's ADC monitors, and an improved Gnome user interface. Yellow Dog Linux 2.2 is based on Red Hat 7.2, KDE 2.2.2, and Gnome 1.4.

New beta of PiePants, VPN client for OS X. March 26, 2002 -- Rob Newberry has posted PiePants b2, the second prerelease version of the PPTP virtual private network client for Mac OS X. New features include:

Info on integrating OS X with NetWare LDAP. March 26, 2002 -- Most readers responding to last week's question about OS X login authentication to NetWare LDAP say they've heard it can be done, but haven't succeeded themselves. Adrian Cadden pointed us toward an article called How to Integrate MacOS X with E-directory, which provides some details. However, Scott Krajewski has read this article but has not been able to make it work:

While I can't say I've succeeded yet-- though not from lack of trying -- I've been following closely and an early success was just reported at [the How to Integrate article] I'm still baffled why all of the suggestions noted there haven't worked here. But I suppose it may be due to something in our LDAP setup or attributes.

An anonymous reader reports that Apple has demonstrated NetWare integration:

An Apple engineer named Dan Sinema (sp) in Provo Utah has successfully demonstrated this a couple of weeks ago at a tech conference in Salt Lake City. He connected directly to a users home directory on a Novell 6 server from the login screen on an OS X box. It was super to watch all the PC techs look at that one. He is writing an Apple tech article on how to do that.

John Endahl asked Apple about it:

Haven't done this myself yet, as I don't have an X server with Mac Manager installed, but have asked the question at a couple of Apple seminars...

An Apple engineer told me you can use the Mac Manager piece for logon and point it to a Novell LDAP server for authentication information, and even have the user's server-based folder mount during login.

David Morrison heard of a limitation with Mac OS X login authentication to NetWare:

Not doing it myself, but someone did tell me that the Novell LDAP server did not support MD5 encryption of the passwords. Ergo, passwords traverse the network in plain text...

If you can shed some light on this topic, please let us know.

Using a PC laptop, Linksys card, with AirPort Base Station. March 26, 2002 -- Angelos Hannides sent us some detailed information about configuring a Toshiba Satellite Laptop and a Linksys 802.11b PC Card to work with an AirPort Base Station, which he says is a suplement to Rus Maxham's comments on our Cross-platform AirpPort Report page. He says"The critical key to success in the above task is the encryption. The password of the AirPort network for third parties is *not* the same one as for folks with Apples." You can read Hannides entire report on the MacWindows Cross-platform AirpPort Report page.

Fix for Mac IE multiple password-request problem. March 26, 2002 -- Scott Burditt sent us a fix for a problem which cause Internet Explorer for Mac to present a password screen for every web page loaded. The fix isn't new--it's been listed on our MS Proxy Server special report page for two years--but we thought it was worth mentioning again. Burditt reports:

I've finally fixed it! Get into Internet Explorer preferences and click on security zones. Click Custom settings and then under User Authentication change this to Automatic. Job done at last. I have suffered for over 2 years with this problem.

A solution for VPC5 on OS X problem. March 26, 2002 --Benson Young sent an interesting fix to a previously reported problem with Virtual PC under OS X:

Regarding Robin Jackson's problem of having to restart the entire computer when VPC unexpected quits:

There's another VPC process running in MacOS X called "VirtualPC_Servic". Properly quitting VPC will stop this process, but an unexpected quit will keep it running. It can be killed through the Terminal, and you can then relaunch VPC without incident. I looked up the Process ID in Process Viewer, and then went into the Terminal and typed "sudo kill " and the Process ID number. The "sudo" command is required because the process is owned by root.

We should point out that Jackson later reported the problem disappeared with a reinstallation of OS X.

Odd SMB peer-to-peer File sharing problem with OS X 10.1.3 and Win 2K. March 26, 2002 -- Al Tucker reports a problem with OS X's SMB file sharing that occurs only when he access PC workstations (not servers):

Here's the problem:

1. Make a shared folder on the W2K PC.

2. Connect to it from the Mac with the smb://<IP address>/<share name> URL and mount that share.

3. Put files into the share on the PC.

4. On the Mac, files do not show up. Window remains blank.

5. Now, if on the Mac, you put a file into the mounted share, it seems to "jump start" the window refresh process and THEN suddenly ALL files are visible. But every time you add a new file on the PC, the Mac does not see it until you add a file to the share on the Mac side.

I do this all the time sharing between my OS X 10.1.3 Mac and my Win NT Server PC and never see the problem. Only when sharing between an OS X Mac and my coworker's Win 2K PC does this pop up.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Apple seeks feedback from PC users. March 26, 2002 -- Apple is soliciting feedback from PC users who own a Mac or are thinking about buying a Mac. The web page seems to be looking for information that Apple could use in marketing, but it seems to be an opportunity for PC users to submit wish-lists as well.

Apple to support BlueTooth wireless standard next month. March 21, 2002 -- Yesterday, Apple announced that next month it will release software for Macs to connect to BlueTooth wireless peripherals (free) using the D-Link DWB-120M BlueTooth USB Adapter ($49), which Apple is selling at the online Apple Store. The software will be called a Technology Preview 1 and will require Mac OS X 10.1.3. The software will allow Mac-to-Mac connections, as well as Mac connections to BlueTooth-enabled cell phones and Palm OS devices. No word yet about Mac-to-PC connections, but we will be following the issue.(See also this Apple press release.)

Using IPsec VPN with AirPort Base Station. March 21, 2002 -- James Woodyatt sent us an explanation of why readers may be having problems getting a virtual private network connection using AirPort and the Netscreen firewall. He also offers a workaround:

The AirPort base station does not pass IPsec through its NAT transparently. If you're using a Netscreen firewall, and you have enabled its NAT function, then you probably want to turn off the NAT in the AirPort base station.

Configured as a bridge between wired and wireless networks, the AirPort base station simply forwards 802.1 packets without having to look at their payloads. An IPsec VPN should go right through without any trouble.

Possible explanation for VPC problem starting from non-startup partition. March 21, 2002 -- Several more readers have written to say they are experience the problem of Virtual PC not starting up when the application sits on a non-startup partition. We have not seen this problem, but Payman Parastaran send a possible explanation:

The most likely explanation is that the "Ignore privileges on this volume" setting in the Get Info box for this volume has been checked. Virtual PC needs to run the components for the virtual switch as root, and so certain files in the VPC installation not only must have root ownership, but need to have the suid bit set. With the "Ignore privileges on this volume" checked, the virtual switch will fail to run as root. I should also point out that UNIX style privileges are always active on the boot volume, hence when the application was moved back to the boot volume, it started up fine.

However, Suzanne Rodday sees the problem with Mac OS 9:

I have seen the same VPC 5 problem on an older G4 OS 9.0.4.... when the image is on a different drive (2nd partition not the boot partition), I had problems in booting VPC. Moved it to the primary, and it was fine.

I haven't verified on another computer.

SMB connection name character limits in OS X. March 21, 2002 -- Brad Judy sent an explanation about problems with long server names with SMB file sharing in Mac OS X, a problem we reported last week:

SMB service naming is based upon NetBIOS naming as defined in RFCs 1001 and 1002 (see section 5.2 of RFC 1001 for mention of the character limit). RFCs 1001 and 1002 define the NetBIOS service upon which SMB was designed to run. There is a recent Internet draft regarding the formatting of SMB URLs that is probably of interest to those relying on SMB for file sharing.

Microsoft dealt with this issue by assigning a separate NetBIOS name when giving a computer a name. If the given name is too long, the NetBIOS name is a truncated version of the name by default. Perhaps Apple should address this issue in a similar fashion if SMB is to be a natively supported protocol.

Reader report on Apple Remote Desktop. March 21, 2002 -- Nathan McBride has good things to say about the recently released Apple Remote Desktop:

I installed Apple Remote Desktop today and must say that I am pretty much blown away by the functionality of this product. Basically they have taken Network Assistant, carbonized it, and given it the ability to control machines via IP and added several new features such as full reporting (with export potential into any tab or comma delimited ODBC receptor apps), software search, and NO SERVER required. I am running the admin app on a DP 1 GHz and and have only installed 5 clients in my test lab of Graphite iMacs running 9.1. The speeds are phenomenal across the board. In Network Assistant when you controlled a screen the client could tell that you were observing because of the AppleTalk traffic arrows and the eyes. With ARD, there are no indicators that you are observing the client with the exception of the fact that the computer slows down the tiniest bit. We are getting rid of Filewave next week once and for all. The unlimited client license only cost us $440 from CDW.

Mac OS X Login Authentication to NetWare LDAP Server: anyone doing it? March 20, 2002 -- During the past few months, we've reported about using Mac OS X 10.1.3 with Microsoft authentication (Active Directory, LDAP), but we've heard little about doing the same in a NetWare environment. If you've succeeded in integrating Mac OS X and NetWare, we'd like to hear from you.

Microsoft MSN Messenger 2.1 for Mac available as a download. March 20, 2002 -- Microsoft has posted MSN Messenger 2.1 for Mac as a free download. The chat software allows Mac users to communicate with both Windows and Mac users. Microsoft reports that the version 2.1 has some enhancements over version 2.0, including:

VPN: PGP 7.0 Desktop issue with Netscreen and AirPort. March 20, 2002 -- Thomas Hauber responded to an item on our Virtual Private Network report page about a problem getting PGP Desktop to work through a Netscreen firewall. Hauber could get through the firewall over Ethernet, but not over AirPort:

We have been successful in getting PGP Desktop to connect via IPsec to a Netscreen firewall. Where I discovered a problem was when attempting to do this over an Airport network. That simply would not work. I would either get packet failures or no secure connection from the start. The only solution was to do it from a Mac with a hardwired connection to my home router (Linksys).

The other downside is that this will only work for OS 9. McAfee has dropped all development on PGP Desktop and will not be updating it (translation = no OS X client).

If you've worked with PGP Desktop, Netscreen, and AirPort, please let us know how it worked out for you.

Reader has problem with Win XP and AirPort. March 20, 2002 -- Ronak Patel is having trouble getting his PC with Windows XP to stay connected to an AirPort network:

I have just upgraded from Win 2000 to Win XP Professional. I have an Apple AirPort and using a Lucent/Orinoco Silver card with Win 2000, with no problem. Though now that I have upgraded to XP, the connection only works for about the first 2 minutes then stops working. According to the properties on XP, it is connecting to the right network (there is only one). The signal strength is excellent. Though I get no connection to the Internet, what gives?

Also is there a way to upgrade the firmware on the AirPort WITHOUT a Mac. I am looking for the .bin files to upgrade the firmware, but I cannot find them.(The AirPort is the older version (single 10BaseT port.)

If you can offer any advice, please drop us a line.

Virtual PC 5: does it matter where the application sits? March 20, 2002 -- Andy Hilton noticed a problem when the Virtual PC 5 application was not on his boot partition:

I was having trouble with Virtual Switch when I had VPC 5 starting from a different drive (actually a partition on my disk but not the boot partition) as had been described. I couldn't really understand the error message that was showing when first starting VPC, but moved the app (not the PC file) to the main drive and all appears much happier.

We have not seen this problem. We've been starting VPC 4 and 5 from non-startup partitions without any of these issues. However, if you've can verify Hilton's issues, please let us know.

More kudos for Mystery Machine Java Citrix Client under OS X. March 20, 2002 -- Kerry Griggs is the latest reader to have a good experience with Darren Montjar's Java Citrix client for Mac OS X:

I just began using Darren Montjar's "Mystery Machine" Java Citrix client under OS X 10.1.3. So far, the performance is impressive. I am the only Mac user on our firm's Win NT network of 100 plus users. The IT guys were able to set up the client without a hitch. It seems as responsive on my PowerBook G4 400 MHz as the Windows 2000 client used on 700 MHz ThinkPads. It's a bonus to have the "Mystery Machine" van bouncing on my Dock. Thank you, Darren.

For previously reported reader experiences, see our Citrix and Macs special report page.

GraphicConverter 4.3 available. March 20, 2002 -- Lemke Software has released GraphicConverter 4.3, a new version of the cross-platform graphics translation software for Mac OS. The new version adds the import and export of the Sony Clie PGPF format, as well as a number of bug fixes.

Illustrator 10.0.1 fixes problem with Win NT Server. March 19, 2002 -- Darryl Zurn says that the newly released Adobe Illustrator 10.0.1 fixes a problem with saving files to Windows NT Server:

I noticed that you had a description of the problem of Illustrator 10 files being saved on a Windows NT server. The Illustrator 10.0.1 update from about a week ago fixes this problem.

The problem is supposedly with the Mac OS X in terms of permissions for intermediate temp files that Illustrator used. Adobe claims it was Apple's problem but they fixed it in any event. (The "twist" mentioned above is not really a twist, that's the source and the result of the problem, not just "need to resave the file.")

PocketMac 1.0 lets Macs synch to Pocket PC handhelds. March 19, 2002 -- We noticed that PocketMac Regular Edition 1.0 ($49.95) is now available. The OS 9 or OS X (10.1 or higher) software synchronizes Pocket PC (Windows CE) handhelds with Macs using USB or Ethernet or AirPort (via TCP/IP). PocketMac synchronizes, copies, or deletes files on a Pocket PC from a Mac. A Professional Edition, now in beta ($15 upgrade), adds synching functionality to Entourage and to Outlook for Exchange Server.

VPNConnect adds interface to VPN client on Mac OS X. March 19, 2002 -- Mathey Wiesbeck's VPNConnect is a free piece of software that adds a simple graphical user interface to the Cisco Unity VPN Client on MacOS X 10.1 and later. We've added it to the listings of virtual private network products for the Mac on our Network Solutions page.

More positive reports about the PiePants VPN client. March 19, 2002 -- More readers are reporting success with the PiePants beta, a virtual private network client for Mac OS X. Nathan Marentette mentions some techniques he used to get it to work:

Just wanted to chime in with some positive feedback regarding PiePants (I wish all final release software was as reliable as this beta).

On a lark I downloaded it and installed at home on Mac OS X 10.1.3. Over my 26400 bps dial-up, I had no trouble authenticating to a Windows 2000 server using PPTP.

My only trouble was not using the proper subnet mask for my network (duh me :)). My VPN server and the file server are in different IP ranges, so I needed a subnet mask of, rather than the default.

Anyway, as usual any fault was my own, the software performed excellently. I could mount my AppleShare volumes (over IP) and ping hosts inside the network, launch a Citrix session, etc.

Hope this motivates a few more people to try it out, and if you're reading, thanks Rob for writing this. It ought to be included in the base OS.

Gianpiero Meazza:

I have seen negative reports about PiePants VPN client for Mac OS X and I am a bit surprised, as I have been testing PiePants in the last few days and my experience with it is quite positive. I was able to connect to my company's network resources on both a conventional modem with PPP and on an ADSL link with PPPoE. We are using the Microsoft PPTP Server which comes with Windows 2000. I am running Mac OS X 10.1.3 on a PowerBook G3/500 with 256 MB of RAM.

I had a minor problem only with the DNS settings, that I solved by defining a new location for network settings where the DNS and proxy addresses are those of the target link after VPN connection.

Also, after a suggestion of PiePants' developer, I lowered a bit the MTU parameter of the connection to get a better performance when connecting to the IMAP mail server. This has to be done manually in the terminal: "sudo ifconfig pptp0 mtu <size>". An MTU value just below 1000 worked fine for me instead of the default that is around 1500.

Ed Dyer:

Having just come back from vacation, this is a wonderful thing to find!

PiePants works just fine to get to my company's three VPN servers, but of course since the Classic Environment can't get to them, we're out of luck for Outlook. Ti/500/OS X 10.1.3 with ISDN 128K.

(See our VPN Report page for previous reports of PiePants and other virtual private network solutions for Mac.)

Reader collecting data for lack of direct booking in MS Outlook 2001. March 15, 2002 -- Dan Oblak has set up a web form to collect user information on the Lack of direct booking of resources in Outlook 20001 (Knowledge Base Q296145), a problem we have reported on before. He would like to lobby Microsoft to fix it. He writes:

Our issue has apparently not garnered enough complaints from Mac-using corporate customers for Microsoft to invest the necessary time to resolve this particular failing...

What I am looking for is the opportunity to pass along to Microsoft some real numbers and testimonials showing the impact this has on Microsoft-centric shops. If your company uses Exchange, and you have a real need to give your Mac users the ability to reserve rooms on an Exchange 2000 server, please fill out this form.

Be aware that your name and other contact information will be required for this data to be considered legitimate; so if you can't provide a way for me/them to reach you, I must decline your input. We want to try to place an approximate dollar amount on how this missing feature impacts your bottom line.

Oblak also describe the problem with this lack of support:

What this means is that as a Mac user, I can create a meeting and invite others to attend; but my attempts to reserve a conference room (or A/V equipment, lecterns, etc.) are unanswered by the resource accounts -- letting my preferred room get booked by... you guessed it... the next Windows user who comes along.

The recommended 'workaround' is to have the Mac users book (and make changes to) meetings using the web-based Exchange client instead of Outlook 2001. This requires that our users know the names of all the resource accounts, since there is no pulldown list of all those available. has a couple of helpful notes (here and here) about some shops having set up PCs to remain logged in to these resource accounts (like a user reading their mail) so that the 'autoanswer' feature will process the malformed incoming meeting requests that the Mac client issues:

Because of the number of rooms involved, and practical limits to the number of delegates that can be added to an account before a mailbox fails, this won't work for us.

More positive reactions to PiePants, VPN client for OS X. March 15, 2002 -- We've had more reader reports about Rob Newberry's PiePants beta 1, a prerelease virtual private network client for Mac OS X. Brett Turner liked PiePants in OS X better than with TunnelBuilder for OS 9:

I downloaded and installed the software effortlessly. It works beautifully for me.

In fact I have more functionality with PiePants than using NTS TunnelBuilder under OS 9. With TunnelBuilder it was "all or nothing." With the VPN connection running I could not access any IP addresses other than those served by the other end of the tunnel. With PiePants I have full access to everything. I'm now able to pickup email from my corporate office site as well as the rest of the world all with one "Connect" request to PowerMail.

Jason Paikowsky tempered his criticism of yesterday:

I may have come off a little harsh in my initial reaction to PiePants. I noticed that the author may be expecting people to VPN to a Win 2000 server. That server is indeed my final "destination" but first I need to authenticate to, and get past, a Linux firewall and that may be the point of the bottleneck.

Another link for info on Cisco 3000 and OS X VPN client. March 15, 2002 -- Dan Ruth sent us another URL for Cisco's updated document called Configuring an IPSec Tunnel Between a Mac OS X PC with the VPN Client 3.5 and the VPN 3000. This link is for guests. The link we published on March 11 (here) was to a customer site.

Reader's VPC 5.0.2 problem fixed with OS X reinstall. March 15, 2002 -- Robin Jackson discovered by accident that the problem we reported on March 11 was due to OS X, not Virtual PC 5.0.2 Update:

I found that Sherlock had stopped working under OS X and with all the help of Apple could not get it to work again.

This forced a reinstall of OS X directly over the existing system. This worked. I lost no data and very few settings, but Sherlock does now work properly AND so does VPC. So it appears it may have been a low level system problem and not a VPC problem.

Mixed response to PiePants beta VPN for OS X. March 14, 2002 -- We've had our first two reader reports about Rob Newberry's PiePants beta 1, a prerelease virtual private network client for Mac OS X. Jason Paikowsky writes:

I tested PiePants from my OS X box to a Linux-based firewall. I seem to make the connection okay, but can't get to the resources behind the firewall.

For other feedback, have a look at Apple's support site; OS X forums; forum on Networking and the Web. I posted a message on PiePants yesterday, and others have tried it. No one reports any good results.

Travis Hamilton, however, was successful:

Finally! I can now connect to my company's VPN! I now have CITRIX (via JAVA client), telnet, intranet web resources now all I need are some OS X native ORACLE tools. This is through an Asanté router. Mr. Newberry ROCKS!

We've added these reports to your VPN special report page.

Nortel Contivity VPN Client for Macintosh, V1.3 released. March 14, 2002 -- Mark Alexander tells us that Netlock has upgraded the Nortel Contivity VPN Client for MacOS 9 to version 1.3. The Netlock web site has not been updated, but Alexander says you can fax your proof of purchase and email address to Netlock Customer Service at 714-792-1880. The new version includes several bug fixes, improved reliability when used with poor quality network connections, and support for the Contivity client policy feature.

New Mac OS X client for Lotus Notes/Domino 6. March 14, 2002 -- A Notes/Domino 6 Prerelease 1 client is now available for download. This beta version now supports Mac OS X, includes a new Java configuration GUI, has JavaScript updated to 1.4,an improved bookmark user interface, a new LotusScript Option, and other improvements.

SMB connection problems with Mac OS X. March 14, 2002 -- Todd Miller reports a problem with Mac OS X SMB logging into Windows servers:

I have found that if the server is named a name with 15 characters (the maximum allowed by Windows) you cannot connect via MAC OS X. For instance SMB://REALLYLONGSERVR/SHARE will not connect, but SMB://LONGSERVR/SHARE will connect fine.

To test this theory, I took a machine named M12345 and did an SMB://M12345/C$. This worked great. Then, I changed the name of the computer to MEDICINE-TODDST and tried to connect again. This time failure. I get the opportunity to put in a user/pass/domain but after that I get the "No file services are available at the URL smb://..." error message. I then renamed the machine to BEANIE, and tried to connect. Again, successful.

If you've seen this issue, please let us know.

Most readers say VPC 5 is okay on non-Apple G3 cards. March 14, 2002 -- In response to our question about running Virtual PC 5 on a pre-iMac model with a G3 upgrade card, readers are saying it is possible. For instance, Kevin Morrow reports:

I have set up VPC 5 on a friends 8500 with Sonnet G3 400/512 upgrade and OS 9.1. Runs well enough for his young children to play PC CD's from school.

However, an unnamed reader said Sonnet may not be fully supported:

Sonnet support told me that VPC 4 and 5 are not working under MacOS 9.2 on their cards. Working on fix. 9.1 is fine.

David Green says PowerLogix says it is possible with their cards:

I also heard from a tech support person at PowerLogix who is also running it on an upgrade card. I guess if it works for two others it should work for me.

Michel Lefrancois uses a Metabox card:

I am currently using VPC 5 on a Macintosh 7600 upgraded with a 350 MHz Metabox card. I am not using it extensively, but it seems to be working just fine with Windows 2000. I have also tried Linux (Mandrake) and FreeBSD. Both are working. Great improvement over previous versions.

Daniel Morales runs VPC on an old Mac clone:

I have a StarMax 3000 with a 300 MHz Vimage G3 upgrade. I have installed Virtual PC 5.02 with MS Windows 2000 Pro. It runs pretty slow, and struggles with the low amount of ram (160 MB maxed out total) I have available for it (89 MB allotted to it max). I have tried Microsoft Works and it runs OK. Not good enough to do all my work on efficiently, but cool for running any interesting software I might want to have access to from the Windows world.

New Iogear KVM switch also supports USB peripherals. March 14, 2002 -- Iogear is shipping the MiniView III (US $159 and US $199 for 2-port and 4-port models), a USB KVM and peripheral sharing switch. It allows four Macs and PCs to share a monitor, keyboard, and USB peripheral devices

Xinet drops HP=UX support for K-Ashare AFP server. March 14, 2002 --Randy Smail says that Xinet has dropped support for HP-UX (Unix) in its K-Ashare AFP file server product line.

Introducing PiePants beta 1, a PPTP VPN client for Mac OS X. March 12, 2002 -- Rob Newberry has posted a first beta (prerelease) version of PiePants, my PPTP virtual private network client for Mac OS X. This first release supports a single encrypted PPTP connection between a Mac OS X Mac and a PPTP server. Newberry says he has tested this version with Mac OS X 10.1.2 and a Windows 2000 PPTP server. This beta release is free.

If you decide to give it a try, please let us know what you think of it.

Solutions update: Netopia R910 box supports VPN for Macs and PCs. March 12, 2002 -- We've added Netopia's R910 Ethernet Router to our list of virtual private network products on our Network Solutions page. The hardware supports VPN connections via IPSec and PPPTP for multiple Macs and PCs. The R910 also includes a built-in 10BaseT Ethernet hub and a Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall.

Reader's VPC 5.0.2 networking problem was actually a Virtual Switch issue. March 12, 2002 -- John Lockwood reports that he discovered that it was not Virtual PC 5.0.2 that was blocking network access (as he said in yesterday's report). It turns out that he was experiencing the same Virtual Switch issue that occurs with VPC 5.0:

It turns out it is a known problem that only occurs when you use all three of MacOS X, Airport and Virtual Switch.

My confusion was that this problem has been known about for a while and a previous Connectix document implied it would be fixed in a future version. I therefore assumed it was fixed in 5.0.2 unfortunately it still exists.

Thomas Koons also realized this about Lockwood's problem, and makes some suggestions:

Tell John that he needs to stop using Virtual switch or he needs to stop sharing his pref file in both OS 9 and OS X. The issue is that virtual switch works drastically different in OS X then it does in OS 9. In OS 9 it acts like the PC is on a HUB (or one node switch) and requires its own IP address. But in OS X virtual switch acts like a virtual multi port switch allowing all running virtual environments on one Mac to communicate with each other. OS 9 cannot do this (PC environments running on the same Mac cannot talk to each other in OS 9). So even though both are using the same settings in OS 9 and OS X, those same settings mean completely different things when virtual switch is involved.

I suggest just using separate pref files and you must shutdown the PC (no saving the states) when switching between OS 9 and OS X or it will complain that the PC was not shutdown properly if you save the state in one OS and then boot in another and launch VPC again.

VPC 5: another problem with full screen mode; and dual processors not evenly used. March 12, 2002 -- Mark Napier has a problem with Virtual PC 5.0.2 in full screen mode, as did a reader yesterday. He also offers a fix:

I find that if I check the box telling VPC to skip the dialog box when going to full screen mode, switching modes WILL crash VPC. This may explain the crashing reported today. Resetting prefs to always show dialog boxes eliminates the crash.

Napier also reports that the two processors in a dual-processor Mac are not evenly used:

Also, even in full screen mode I seem to be using only one processor (DP 800 MHz) -- I found this by running top from another computer logged in to the VPC box via SSH. LOTS of idle time on one processor. Two obviously VPC processes -- one takes 0.0% CPU.

VPC 5 on a pre-iMac model? March 12, 2002 -- Dave Green asks if Virtual PC will run on a Power Mac 8600 with a PowerLogix G3 557 MHz card. He points out that the web offers mixed answers:

The Virtual PC documentation says it requires an original Apple G3/G4 processor. The Powerlogix website indicates it "may" run on their cards.

If you're running Virtual PC on and older Mac with a G3 add-in card, please let us know.

Illustrator 10 and NT 4. March 12, 2002 -- Richard Hubley verifies a problem we reported last December concerning saving Illustrator 10 files to Windows servers:

We have experienced the same problem with saving Illustrator EPS files to and NT 4.0 server using Mac OS 9.2.2. Every time you want to save, you must save as a new file.

We had a different twist as well. I tried Illustrator 10 with Mac OS X 1.0.2 and not only did I need to create a new file every time I saved, but the files were invisible after they were saved. No Mac on the network could see them, but they were accessible on the server. Checking properties on the server showed that they were "hidden". Unchecking the "hidden" box allowed Mac access. I have not tried it with the OS X 1.0.3 upgrade as I don't have a lot of time to waste beta testing Adobe software.

We are at this time only using Illustrator 10 to save customer files down to version 9.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Virtual PC Update 5.0.2 improves performance in OS X, but readers report problems. March 11, 2002 -- Over the weekend we installed last week's Virtual PC 5.0.2 update and found that it does in fact improve the performance of Windows in Mac OS X, as Connectix claimed. The improvement is not large, but is noticeable. VPC is still significantly slower in Mac OS X than in Mac OS 9, as the 5.0.2 update also improves OS 9 performance, though to much less so. We also found Windows 2000 to run faster than Windows 98 in Mac OS X, as Win 2000 gains more from the 5.0.2 update than does Windows 98.

Reader Ed Dyer:

I've been using the update all day and I have to say the screen redraw time for Java applets is definitely faster. Better boot time for Win2K for sure, perhaps not a record, but noticeably faster overall. I haven't tried to compare exact times yet. I haven't tried renicing yet either, which is what I did before the update. Ti 500/Mac OS X 10.1.3/VPC 5.0.2/Win2K/512MB to guest OS/768MB overall.

Unfortunately, other readers reported some problems with the 5.0.2 update. (We have not seen either of these problems.) Robin Jackson also found the update faster, but can't get into full screen mode in Mac OS X:

I am running on a PowerBook G4 667 MHz with Mac OS X 10.1.3.

VPC is much faster than the old 5.0.1 incarnation however whenever I try to go to 'full screen mode' VPC simply exits, no crash warning or error message it just exits.

If you try to restart VPC you get a warning message that it is already running but the task manager does not list it as a running application so the only course of action is a restart/log out.

As a check I also installed on my G4 Cube, this machine seems to work fine but the G4 TiBook does not.

Jackson also mentioned that he had installed the VPC Additions in Windows when prompted to do so. John Lockwood finds that the 5.0.2 update blocks networking in Mac OS X 10.1.3:

I have upgraded to VPC 5.0.2 and applied the new additions. It works fine under MacOS 9.2.2 and even fixes a conflict that had existed with Joliet Access in VPC 5.0 and 5.0.1.

I have Windows 98 and Windows 2000 Pro and I am using a PowerBook G3 500 MHz.

Following Connectix's instructions I have my Mac configured to share the Virtual PC preferences between MacOS 9 and MacOS X (by making an alias of the Virtual PC preference folder).

When I start Virtual PC under MacOS X 10.1.3 it happily uses these preferences. However when I then start a Windows machine (98 or 2000) it kills the networking not only within Windows but for the entire MacOS X (i.e. Windows cannot communicate and MacOS X cannot communicate). This can only be cured by a complete reboot (logout is not sufficient).

I am using Virtual Switch for both 98 and 2000 and have left it set to 'default interface'. As pointed out above, all this works PERFECTLY under 9.2.2. However using the very same copy of the application, preferences, and the hard disk images under 10.1.3 networking dies every single time. Note: networking is fine in 10.1.3 before I start a Windows machine in VPC.

For both MacOS 9.2.2 and 10.1.3 the Mac is set to use DHCP via an Airport card (2.0.2 driver). The Windows environments are also set to use DHCP (again a reminder this works unaltered in MacOS 9.2.2).

If you've had either of these problems, we'd like to hear from you.

Cisco updates documentation for Cisco 3000 and OS X VPN client. March 11, 2002 -- Mark Duling tells us that Cisco has published an updated document called Configuring an IPSec Tunnel Between a Mac OS X PC with the VPN Client 3.5 and the VPN 3000 (You need to be a registered user to access the page.) Duling says:

I believe that Cisco has updated instructions for their VPN Client for the Cisco 3000. The new document covers the 3000 setup and the OS X client and as such it is a help for people who are unfamiliar with this type of thing (me!). I followed the instructions and got OS X working with IPSec right away. The modification date of the document is today 3-7.

Office Security patch doesn't fix Office/DAVE OS X problem. March 11, 2002 -- Alan Griffin reports that the Microsoft Network Security Update for Office does not fix the problem of being unable to open Word documents. (On our DAVE Report page, previous readers have reported that the Microsoft Security Update fixed the Word problem.) Griffin says:

I applied the Office security patch and updated to system 10.1.3 for good measure - made no difference.

I then disabled ports 2222 and 3640 using Norton Personal Firewall - which I read somewhere would defeat the MS copy protection checks - bingo for one glorious afternoon I could open files happily across the network.

The following day I was back to the same error message with Excel files but still able to open Word documents. That's the way it still stands. Makes no sense to me!

If you've seen this problem and have installed the Microsoft Network Security Update for Office, please let us know if it affected the problem.

Free ASCon-A text converter now supports Mac OS X and Windows. March 11, 2002 -- Medienwerkstatt Muehlacker has released ASCon-A 2.0.1, a free utility for converting text between Mac OS and Windows. The new version is available for Mac OS 8.6/9.x, Mac OS X 10.1, and Windows 98 or later. (The OS X and Windows versions are new.) Version 2.0.1 also fixes bugs. A German localized version is also available.

More on network packet errors with OS X. March 11, 2002 -- Two readers have responded to our March 7 report about packet errors with Mac OS X 10.1.x networking. These readers are also seeing problems. Gregory Welch reports:

I might be experiencing this also. I have been plagued with similar symptoms between my Ti G4 PowerBook and my dual 800 MHz mini tower, both on the same 100 Mbs hub. Our department network manager and I have been trying for a long time (a year?) to figure out the problem. At some point I had to drop back to a 10 Mbs hub, which seemed to work. Recently I tried the 100 Mbs hub and it seems to work "OK." I'm not sure why. Could be something updated in 10.1.2 or 10.1.3. But I still think there is a problem because the performance seems poor when compared to a similar setup I have at home (see below).

The symptom was that when I would try and copy files (large) between the two machines, the transfer would slow to a crawl, and eventually stop, eventually with the AppleShare connection dropping. I saw similar w/ ftp and http connections. I also did several OS 9/OS X comparisons, and the OS 9 copy seemed to fly, while the OS X copy would crawl or die. If I disconnected the *uplink* cable for the hub, things seemed to unclog. This led us to lean toward collisions near the switch my office is connected to. In any case it appeared that the problem was a snowballing of packet errors. Our network manager currently believes it was/is related to a duplex problem in the drivers, but we weren't sure. We never actually used a sniffer to look at the packets.

Strangely, I have a similar setup at home, and it FLYS in OS X. It is the same hub, my same PowerBook, but my home machine is a beige G3 mini tower with an Asante 100 Mbs card (and their OS X driver). The uplink is through a software router (IPNetRouter) and an ISDN line to our building.

A duplex problem is a possibility. A problem with mismatched duplex settings between Windows servers and hubs can cause similar problems. Our Windows Server Tips page describes the problem and the fix, which is to turn off autosense in the server. However, at this point, we don't know of a way to configure duplex settings in Mac OS X.

Jonathan Greenberg also reports having problems:

I am seeing a tremendous loss of networking speed under 10.1.3 -- I use a Mac G4/500 and a laptop with Windows XP connected to a Linksys 4-port router, which used to give me pretty good transfer speeds (nearly the full 100 mbps via sftp). Now I am getting MAX 10mbps with sftp, 7 Mbps with SAMBA. I've sent bug reports to Apple and posted stuff to various message boards to no avail. I await a bug fix soon!

New VPC 5.0.2 update promises increased OS X performance. March 7, 2002 -- Yesterday afternoon Connectix posted Virtual PC Update 5.0.2, an upgrade to its PC emulator that promises increased performance in Mac OS X. (See the readme file.) The updates the Virtual PC application and the VPC Additions (which get installed in Windows). The readme file notes these improvements in performance:

Network packet errors with OS X. March 7, 2002 -- Jerry Chan sent a report about network packet errors (CRC errors) he's detected with Mac OS X. We've posted it on our Mac OS X X-platform report page.

A Java client for Citrix is upgraded. March 7, 2002 -- Josef Kolbitsch has upgraded his Java client for Citrix. He says:

I have created a new package with client version 6.2.0, and have moved it to our public ftp-server (.dmg.gz-file, 7.2 mb).

Tips on setting up Citrix Java client for Citrix. March 7, 2002 -- A reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent a detailed report on getting Citrix' Java client up and running in Mac OS X. The report describes how to create a double-clickable application using shell scripts. He also notes that "his procedure should work with most if not all Java based apps." You can read it on our Citrix Report page.

Report on Montjar Java client for Citrix. March 7, 2001 -- Robin Jackson reports a good experience with Darren Montjar Java Client for Citrix.

I have tried 2 or 3 Java Citrix clients and all have been difficult for a non Unix user (me) to use.

However the Mysterymachine version has been a real eye opener. It has worked perfectly in the short time I have used it but the important thing is that it has been very easy to configure as it is just like a Windows client. This means I could just copy the Citrix neighborhood information off a Windows PC put the details into the Mysterymachine version and 'hey presto' I could see all my companies published applications.

An excellent implementation.

PC-Mac-Net FileShare offers cross-platform peer-to-peer file sharing. March 6, 2002 -- Lava Software has introduced PC-Mac-Net FileShare 1.0, cross-platform peer-to-peer file sharing software for Macintosh 9/X and Windows. The software works over local networks or over the Internet using 448-bit encryption. File transfers that are interrupted by accident or on purpose can be resumed. We've added PC-Mac-Net FileShare to the list of cross-platform products on our Network Solutions page.

SMB Browse .8 fixes bugs, adds French and German. March 6, 2002 -- Gordon Shukwit has posted SMB Browse .8, a new version of his free Mac OS X utility for browsing Windows file sharing networks. The new version fixes problems with mounting share's that have spaces in the share name, and with logging on to Domains and Workgroups. The new version also includes French and German language versions for the first time.

OS X SMB leaving duplicate files on servers: a widespread problem. March 6, 2002 -- In the past few days we've received dozens of reports from readers responding to our previous reports of Mac OS X leaving files on servers that have the same name real files, but start with "._". The problem seems to occur with SMB file sharing on all types of servers.

Neil Snape sees the problem with Sharity:

For each file I copied to the XP Pro PC from Mac OS X 10.1.3 with Sharity there was a second file with this strange prefix. Always a small<1K file. Could it be the resource file from

Colin Smith send us an "unofficial response" from Apple:

Sure enough I have the same duplicate file problem described below. I always get duplicate files with a "._" prefix when I transfer to my home Windows 2000 server via SMB or Dave 3.1 and also when I use my IBM MicroDrive and mount it on my ThinkPad or when I transfer at the office to the Windows 2000 server. NOTE:These files do not show up when mounted under Linux.

Apple's unofficial response.

In Terminal type '/Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo <path to an image file>'

You should get something like:

file: "/Users/pat/Documents/Extension editing.rtf"
type: "????"
creator: "????"
attributes: avbstclinmed
created: 05/28/2001 00:12:05
modified: 07/24/2001 03:09:22

If the type and creator part is not ????, then he has metadata and that is causing the ._ files when transferred with Mac OS X.

I tried the Terminal script above and did not get the ???? Type and Creator described therefore all the files I transfer have metadata. But I'm not sure how to create files without metadata as the files I'm transferring are standard docs, images and PDF's??

Curran Riley

I'm seeing this too. I recently started storing things on a Windows 2000 share (I had been using NetWare 4.12 servers, but they were causing me lots of grief with lock ups in OS X).

Now, when making changes to files on the Windows 2000 share, I end up with the extra files with "._" on the front of the name. The files are smaller and don't have much info in them. For instance, one that was a .htm file that I'd edited in BBEdit had some font names listed in it, but the rest was gibberish.

Andreas Kampe-Wennborg

I also have this problem.

Connecting to a Windows share (doesn't matter if it is Win XP box or Win 2K Server) via SMB, whenever I create a file I get a duplicate ._ file. I cannot see the file(s) from the Mac only Windows.

In the root folder of the share I always get a ._Trash file.

Annoying - but really no big problem for me - I'm the admin for the network, so I set the rules/policy what is allowed or not. And guess what? ._ just got allowed.....

Steve Crossman

I have seen the ._. duplicate files on our server too, but I think it occurred to me when I was using SMB to copy files. Since SMB was much slower than AFP/IP, I stopped using it. I haven't tried SMB in 10.1.3 yet and I read that someone claimed speed has improved in the latest X release.

Jin Kim

This problem may not be a problem with OS X but rather the way the server's setup, especially if they are Web servers.

The use of "._" is a way to create sort of a token that effectively locks a specific version of a file for the server to use (perhaps cached to RAM). That's why simply replacing the file without "._" doesn't work. You have to remove the locking file (the "._" file) in order for the server to see the new version at which time it will create another "._" file to lock the new version.

J. L. Williams

I am seeing this too, John. I either have to fire up Virtual PC or OS 9 to delete these (or go to a PC to do it). Without diving into this, I don't know the source...could it have something to do resource/data forks? (I'm just guessing here.)

On our Mac OS X Report page, we have even more reader reports, includin one from a reader who sees this problem when moving files to Zip disks, and another who quotes some information from the Apple Book Mac OS X System Overview.

Apple releases "Integrating Mac OS X with Active Directory". March 1, 2002 -- Apple has released a 42-page PDF manual called Integrating Mac OS X with Active Directory, the final version of the document we discussed earlier this week. It describes how Mac OS X can authenticate on Microsoft servers using Active Directory in various scenarios, and includes screen shots and illustrations. Apple's announcement of the manual included this description:

It is now possible to integrate Mac OS X computers into environments based on Microsoft's Active Directory. This includes maintaining Mac OS X user names and passwords in Active Directory, authenticating Mac OS X users with Active Directory and allowing users to mount their network home directory based upon information stored in Active Directory....

With Mac OS X's open directory services architecture and built-in support for open standards, Mac OS X desktops and servers can now leverage directory services wherever they reside - in a Macintosh NetInfo directory, in a Microsoft Active Directory, or in an enterprise LDAP directory

Apple has also has a 62-page PDF manual called Understanding and Using NetInfo, describing how to set up Mac OS X Server to use the NetInfo network database. (Links to both documents can also be found at Apple's Mac OS X Server page.)

Microsoft to ship Windows XP SP1 by 3rd quarter. March 1, 2002 -- CNET reports that Microsoft will release Windows XP Service Pack 1 by the third quarter of this year.

More info DigiTunnel, VPN for Mac OS X. March 1, 2002 -- Paul Collins of Gacion Software sent us some more information on DigiTunnel, an upcoming virtual private network client for Mac OS X that we've reported on earlier this month:

I choose PPTP for DigiTunnel because it is so widely supported on Windows servers, and so many Mac OS X users need to connect to them. Much of the criticism of PPTP has been about MSCHAP authentication - the current MSCHAPv2 authentication is much better, though certainly not perfect, if used with good passwords. This CounterPane Labs report seems like a good analysis.

My co-developer and I are working to release DigiTunnel as soon as possible. The date depends on the resolution of some issues that have come up in my earliest testing.

The Gracion web page still says "Public bet coming soon."

Latest version may fix AFP over TCP Novell 5.1 disconnect problem. March 1, 2002 -- Two readers say that the problem of random disconnects with Novell Native File Access (AFP over TCP/IP) reported earlier this week can be fixed with newer version of the Novell software. Mike Maday suggests this:

Make sure the NetWare 5.1/6.0 servers are patched to the latest AFPTCP.NLM, version J as a separate download (Our random disconnect problem went away with this version). Also, there's a NFAP service pack that was released on February 26th. Search for NFAP1SP1.EXE or Document ID 2961627 at Novell's support site. Please note: With OS 9.x, there's an Ethernet update that you may need to apply to the Macs in question aside from any server patches.

John Endahl has a similar message:

Our school has had similar problems. Are they running the latest version of AFPTCP? I believe it is AFPj100, that has improved our connection success.

ZipIt 2.2, X-platform file compression for Macs. March 1, 2002 -- ZipIt 2.2 (US $20) from Tom Brown is the latest version of a utility for Mac OS 9 and OS X that can compress and decompress files in the PC Zip format. Neither the web site nor readme file spell out what is new in this version.

More on OSX/ Dave 3.1 Keychain problem. March 1, 2002 -- Lou Flemal responded to our Wednesday reader report on a problem with Dave and the OS X Keychain:

I never connected the two symptoms, but CAN confirm that lately whenever I use Dave to connect I get the same "beachball of death" problem, and end up having to reboot the Mac. I can't confirm that it's related to the Keychain (as I've had Dave configured that way for some time now) but I can confirm the same problem using Dave 3.1 and OSX to connect to windows machines.

Until they get it worked out, I've switched over to using "sneakernet" and ZIP discs to get what I need transferred.

WebMerge 1.9.3 released for Win and Mac, 2.0 announced. March 1, 2002 -- Fourth World has released WebMerge 1.9.3 (US $69; free upgrade) for Mac OS 8 and later and Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME. It can generate static Web pages from database files, including those created by FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Access, AppleWorks, and databases and spreadsheets that can export in Merge or tab-delimited format. The new version provides greater support for automatically generating links from URLs, and fixes some bugs.

Fourth World also announced WebMerge 2.0, a free update that will be available in early April. Fourth World says "WebMerge 2.0 will support a great many new tags, including conditional IF-THEN expressions, and an INCLUDE tag to merge the contents of any text or HTML file into a template."

February 2002

Cisco drops VPN 5000 series concentrators. February 27, 2002 -- Cisco announced that it is discontinuing the Cisco VPN 5000 Series concentrators. The company said that beginning February 28, it would be offering customers a trade in program to Cisco 7200 Series routers and Cisco VPN 3000 Series concentrators.

The VPN 5000 Series supports Mac connections to virtual private networks, as does the VPN 3000 series.

Apple releases Mac OS X Server 10.1.3 update. February 27, 2002 -- Apple has posted Mac OS X Server 10.1.3 Update. Among the enhancements:

AppleWorks 6.2 for Windows exists, but only for education customers. February 27, 2002 -- Carleton Britt points out that there is an AppleWorks 6.2 for Windows, but you can only buy it if you're an Apple education customer. It's not sold at the Apple store, but is mentioned at the AppleWorks page on the Apple Education site. It says:

How Do I Purchase AppleWorks 6.2? Order AppleWorks 6.2 through the Apple Store for Education. Hybrid Mac and Windows CDs are now shipping.

Patch for OS X allows IPSec packet forwarding. February 27, 2002 -- Alex Schnarr has created a piece of OS X software to allow IPSec packet forwarding to another computer running virtual private network software. He describes it:

[It's an] enhanced version of Network Address Translation Daemon (NATd) which supports IPSec (ESP) packet forwarding. This is real handy if your Mac OS X box is firewalling for a PC that needs to use IPSec based VPN software (or even a different Mac that supports it, as some companies such as Nortel only provide clients for MacOS 9 or earlier).

I didn't create the patch, it was created by another programmer for FreeBSD. The patch worked without modification on the Darwin sources (read the notes in the attached Readme for more information)....

The main use for this is to forward on IPSec packets to a machine that is running VPN software or can distribute IPSec packets. The only reason this would happen (as far as I know) is the firewall machine that separates the outside world from the internal is a MacOS X machine...Nortel Contivity now works on my PC through my MacOS X firewall!

DAVE for OS X Keychain bug. February 27, 2002 --Adrian Fry reports a problem with the OS X Keychain when using DAVE 3.1:

There is a bug in OS X 10.1.3 which causes either a Finder stall (spinning beach ball) or Kernel Panic using DAVE to connect to a Windows network.

If you attempt to connect to a Windows PC using DAVE and click to save the password into the Keychain, after a couple more times of connecting to different PC's you will get either a Finder stall (spinning beach ball) or Kernel Panic. This problem actually occurred in 10.1.2 to a lesser extent, but on my iMac 350 once I upgraded to 10.1.3 the problem became constant. I have tried DAVE with and without the recently released patch - same problem. Not sure if this is a Keychain or a DAVE problem - either way, it caused some serious errors on the Hard Drive which I couldn't fix using fsck - had to re-boot into OS 9 and use Norton.

If you've seen this, please let us know.

Another reader sees OS X leaving duplicate files on servers. February 27, 2002 -- Vanessa Schwab reports having the same problem with Mac OS X reported by Larry Martin on January 14, 2002 on our X-platform Mac OS X Report page. Martin (who was reporting about the Finder crashing problem with NT Server) also reported this:

I have also found that I am creating "duplicates" of many of my files that are small in size and begin with "._." on the NT Server.

Schwab also sees this, but with SMB and a Unix server:

I'm having the same problems. I use Sharity to connect to a Solaris server. When I save a file, say 'test.cfm', automatically, '._test.cfm' appears. Then, refreshing the browser will produce a 404 Object Not Found error. Currently, I have to go to a Mac running OS 9, delete the ._file, drag the good file to the Desktop, then replace it back onto the server. Refreshing brings up the page fine.

If you've seen this, please let us know.

More kudos for Citrix Java Clients with OS X. February 27, 2002 -- Another pair of readers report good results with Darren Montjar's Citrix Java client on Mac OS X. Michael Wilmar says:

I have also tried Montjar's Citrix Java Client with System X and can confirm that it works well, at least on a LAN. It is, however, slower on a 266 MHz G3 than the System 9 Citrix client. Still, it's nice that it's there.

Paul Drisgula reports:

I have been using the Citrix Java Client, MysteryMachine, for a few days now and it seems to work just fine. This was one of the last programs I needed to complete my transition to System X. Nice job Darren.

Update on OS X Active Directory documentation: final release "soon." February 26, 2002 -- We spoke to Apple HQ in Cupertino regarding the PDF manual Integrating Mac OS X with Active Directory that we briefly posted yesterday and then pulled at Apple's request. An Apple representative verified that this was a draft of an Apple document that would be released in the near future. We will let you know as soon as Apple releases the finished document.

Cleaner for Win and Mac, X-platform streaming media. February 26, 2002 -- Discreet has released Cleaner 5.1.1 for Mac and Windows, an updated to the cross-plat from video streaming encoding software. The new version adds Mac OS X support (v 5.1 added Windows XP support). The Windows version adds support for updated codecs from Sorenson Video, RealSystems, and Microsoft Windows Media. Reader Nate Caplin notes this about the Windows version:

The Windows version now does VBR encoding for Windows Media 8, which previously could only be done with Microsoft's "Windows Media 8 Encoding Utility", a command-line driven app. Note that the Mac version still supports only Windows Media 7, because Microsoft has not yet released an updated Windows Media SDK for Mac.

Disconnects with NetWare 5.1, Native File Access Pack and Macs. February 26, 2002 -- Ron Bishop reports this problem with Macs and the NetWare File Access Pack:

We just installed Native File Access Pack on a Novell 5.1 server to connect via TCP/IP (We are migrating our Macs to OS X to take advantage of DTI's AdSpeed Systems.) However, we are getting random disconnecting during file transfers with the server. Then, we can't delete the files from the server because the server says they are in use. No disconnections occur if nothing is happening. This problem occurs in OS X, Os 9.x, and Os 8.x.

My boss says that several other companies are experiencing the same problem. No troubles on the PC side.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Corporate Java tool for MS Project 2000 files. February 26, 2002 -- Inovie has a Java program called TeamCenter 4.0 ( US $15,000 per server and US $350 per user) that can import and export Microsoft Project 2000 files from a Mac, and handle document management. It runs on Windows NT/2000, Mac OS, Solaris, and Linux servers.

Apple releases updated Java for OS X. February 26, 2002 -- Speaking of Java, Apple has released Java 1.3.1 Update 1, and update for Mac OS X 10.1.3. Improvements include overall stability and compatibility, improvements with mouse behavior that involve dragging, and the fixing of printing problems.

LATE NEWS POST: Apple demands MacWindows pull Active Directory manual. February 25, 2002 -- At Apple's request, we have removed the link to the 35-page PDF manual called Integrating Mac OS X with Active Directory, which we posted early this morning. The demand we received from Apple:

Remove Active Directory document NOW !!!

Please remove this document now. This document belongs to Apple Computer, Inc.

We (Apple) will post a final version to our web site soon. This version you have still has typos and bugs so please remove it.

I know this because I am the author.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Apple claims that Mac OS X can integrate with Microsoft's Active Directory, but has not provided any documentation to back up it's product claim. Neither Mr. Mankovsky nor any other Apple representative will tell us when documentation will be available.

However, Active Directory authentication is possible, as we have previously posted reader tips for using OS X with Active Directory and Kerberos, as well as links to further instructions, on our X-platform Mac OS X Report page.

Reader Scott Messec sent us the PDF file, which he found on another user's personal web site. The manual contains screen shots and illustrations. An introduction describes the manual:

In the scenario this document addresses, three computers on a network interact when a user logs in:
  • A Mac OS X client computer, where the user logs in and her network home directory is mounted in the Finder under the network globe
  • A Windows 2000 server, hosting the Active Directory database
  • A Mac OS X Server, hosting the network home directories

Reader says Montjar's Citrix Java Client works well. February 25, 2002 -- Reader Adam Getliff is happy with Darren Montjar's Citrix Java client for OS X:

I downloaded the Citrix Java client for OS X created by Darren Montjar - posted 15th Feb 2002 and it works fine. It seems to be about the same speed as the ICA client that runs in Classic mode. Seems fine to me. Many thanks for Darren - I have tried the manual route to install the JAVA client downloaded from Citrix, but couldn't make it work - but then I'm no expert when it comes to Unix.

SMB Browse .7 released. February 25, 2002 -- Gordon Shukwit has released build .7 of SMB Browse, his free Mac OS X utility for browsing Windows file sharing networks. The new version handles larger SMB networks without the spinning cursor on start up and fixes a problem using the Finder to eject shares. Shukwit says that this version has been tested in 14 different network topologies, from large universities to small SOHO networks. Current languages are English, French and Dutch.  

Reader verifies Timbuktu problem outside US. February 25, 2002 -- Jan Suhr also sees the character error problem with non-North American versions of Timbuktu, which we reported last Thursday:

I have the same problem but worse. With Swedish keyboard settings on both Windows and Mac I can not type the special characters at all.

The controlled Windows machine gets the same characters from both Mac and Windows. So even if I use a Windows machine as controller it types incorrectly in the remote Win machine.

None of the special characters that are accessed by ALT GR do not work at all, on Swedish keyboards that includes @ \ $ and many more.

It looks to me as it uses the US keyboard when it transmits commands. So in my case it looks like this:









Reader says StuffIt/DAVE 3.1 problem may be related to Retrospect issue. February 25, 2002 --Gregory Newton sent a report of problem with StuffIt over a DAVE network. He suggests it may be related to a the problem with Retrospect over a DAVE 3.1 network connection that he's previously report. His latest report:

Testing the latest patch from Thursby for version 3.1, I have identified another issue that may be related to the previous problem with Retrospect.

Running under Dave 3.1 and attempting to use Stuffit 6.5.1 from the contextual menu in the Finder to stuff a file located on the server that will be saved back to the server, I get a file error that states "Your preferred destination folder is currently write protected, Error -61". This error does not occur using Dave 2.5.2. Folders on our server are NOT write protected. Thursby has been advised of this issue and is looking at it.

The DAVE patch he refers to was the one we reported February 19.

If you've seen these problems, please let us know.

Another reader says OS X 10.1.3 upgrade offers better networking. February 25, 2002 -- Dwight Adams sees improved networking in last week's Mac OS X 10.1.3 release:

I've found that from within the Classic environment the networking is much better than it was. For example, in Photoshop I can navigate through the server and open a file directly from the server with out crashing now.

My work around has been to have 2 connections to the same sever (1) using the SMB or CIFS (thank you Earl) for copying files back and forth, and (2) an AppleTalk or AFP for when I'm in the Classic environment. It's a bit awkward but so far so good.

Seeking Basilisk II tips for Win Me, XP. February 25, 2002 -- Two readers report having problems using the Basilisk II Mac emulator on Windows. Sirrus Firestrom says he has the same problem running Mac OS 8.1 in Basilisk II on Windows ME that we've previously reported.

Dr. Peter C. Yih has a problem with Windows XP:

I am still having problems with Basilisk II on Windows XP home. I am using the latest build 142 for NT4/Win 2000. After the happy Mac shows up in the Mac Window, the disk is constantly reading. Trying to end the process yields no response. Only a forced shutdown / reboot clears it. The OS is from the system restore image on CD from Compaq.

We have previously posted some readers tips on the subject on our Mac Emulation for Windows page. If you know of any tips that can get Basilisk II running on Win ME and XP, please share them with us.

Mac OS X 10.1.3: Finder crashing with SFM not fixed. February 21, 2002 -- About a dozen readers reported that the new Mac OS X 10.1.3 does not fix the Finder crashing problem with Windows SFM (AFP) servers seen with v10.1.x. However, Brian Frobisher saw one small improvement with this issue:

I notice it is still crashing, but the mounted volume remains mounted when the Finder comes back. In the older version the Finder crashed and you had to relog onto the server, with this version it still crashes when I start clicking on folders and after the crash all the opened folders are closed and the volume is still on the desktop.

Additionally, Johann Dijkstra reports that SMB file sharing to Windows servers is faster:

After updating to 10.1.3 I noticed that SMB works a lot faster than before. The Login dialog appears a lot faster, almost half the time as before, and when the mount button is clicked the mounting happens almost immediately. Before this took several seconds.

Another reader verifies MS Office patch fixes DAVE problem. February 21, 2002 -- Martin Forrester is another reader who verifies our theory that the Microsoft Network Security Update for Office X fixes a problem with DAVE:

I agree that it does seem like that Office X security patch has cured the problem with not being able access Word X files on DAVE volumes.

Reader reports Timbuktu Windows character problem on non-US versions. February 21, 2002 -- John Lockwood reports of a bug in Timbuktu 2000 for Windows and later. He says the bug was not previous versions, and occurs with the UK edition:

The bug causes characters typed on one computer running Timbuktu to produce the wrong result on the computer being controlled. All applications and all versions of Windows are affected in the following permutations.






No errors



Characters mapped wrong (see table)



Characters mapped wrong (see table)



No errors

As I am based in the UK all my computers have UK keyboards and their operating systems are accordingly (and correctly) configured to UK settings. If I do not do this and instead use US settings then the physical keyboard connected to the computer would not work correctly.

For the above MacOS 9.x and 10.1.x with Timbuktu 5.2.4 and 6.0.1 are affected, and Timbuktu 2000 (or later) on Windows 98, 98SE, ME, NT 4.0, 2000Pro, 2000Server, 2000 Advanced Server (and presumably XP) are all affected. All sorts of UK models of Macs (PowerMac and PowerBook) and UK models of PCs (e.g. Compaq, Dell, Gateway) have been tested.

Here is a table showing which characters are involved.

Controller: Mac

Controlled: Windows










(looks like an L on its side, not in Mac character set)

Controller: Windows

Controlled: Mac










(nothing appears on Mac)

While the " and @ characters are simply swapped and therefore an easy workaround is to simply remember to type the opposite key, a Mac controlling a Windows machine cannot type the backslash '\' symbol at all. As anyone who has used Windows will know this symbol frequently has to be typed on a PC to define file paths (e.g. C:\Windows\System\). Being unable to type this character is an enormous headache.

As this bug affects 100 percent of computers 100 percent of the time (when a Mac is controlling Windows or vice versa) not fixing this problem after 2-plus years and several revisions of both the Mac and Windows software is inexcusable. Keyboard mapping is hardly rocket science, nor will it require a complete rewrite of the software to fix.

I can only conclude that because apparently it does not affect computers with US keyboard layouts and therefore US customers are not affected that Netopia are ignoring the problem.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know. Be sure to tell us which language localization you are using.

A Better Finder Rename 4.4 lets you save original file names. February 21, 2002 -- Dr. Frank Reiff has released A Better Finder Rename 4.4 (US $14.95), a Mac OS 9 and OS X contextual menu plugin for changing the file names of batches of files. It can be used for removing characters that are legal under Mac OS, but illegal under Windows and Unix, as well as for other tasks. The new versions allows you to save the original file names in a text file, as well as a "significant rewrite of the internal architecture of the product."

Reader confirms: MS security update for Office X fixes problem with Dave 3.1. February 20, 2002 -- Last week we theorized that a copy protection bug in Office X was the cause of readers not being able access Word X files on DAVE networks.

We further predicted that the new Microsoft Network Security Update might fix the problem seen on DAVE networks. Today, reader Per Thörnblad confirms that this is indeed the case:

I had the same problem as Alan Griffin reported about not being able to open Word-files from a Dave-mounted file server. I am using Dave 3.1 and Mac OS X 10.1.2.

After installing the security update for Office X the problem seems to be solved as I now can open Word from my file server.

Readers confirm VPC 5 conflict with Win 2000 Security Rollup Package. February 20, 2002 -- Two readers have confirmed our report of February 18 that Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package causes problems with Virtual PC 5. Doron Eren reports:

I had the same problem, which I (sort of) corrected by using the task manager to kill a process called "discoveryservic" which seemed to be hogging memory and CPU. After reading the post in MacWindows I removed the security update and the problem disappeared.

Paul Cohen:

I run Virtual PC 5.0.1 on a Firewire PowerBook with Windows 2000 installed. I have noted a similar slowdown with VPC after installing both the SR2 additions and the Security Roll-up update mentioned on your site by Bradford Pollock. Things returned to normal after uninstalling both.

Apple ships Mac OS X 10.1.3 -- Active Directory authentication noted. February 20, 2002 -- Apple has made Mac OS X 10.1.3 available through the Software Update mechanism. In addition to a number of multimedia improvements, the new version of the operating system includes some networking features, including login authentication support of Microsoft's Active Directory service and LDAP. MacWindows readers may remember that our Mac OS X Report page has a discussion of how to authenticate using Active Directory -- since Apple has not yet posted details, we can only assume this new "support" means it has been made easier or is now documented in OS X.

WebDAV (used by iDisk) can now authenticate using Digest, be we aren't familiar with what this is. The Mail program now supports SSL encryption as well.

There's no word yet if v.10.1.3 fixes the Finder crashing problem with Win NT Server SFM seen with v10.1.x, or some of the other cross-platform networking problems we've reported. If you've installed 10.3, please let us know if it fixes these problems.

Update on Retrospect/Dave 3.1 problem. February 20, 2002 -- Gregory Newton sent an update to his February 18 report about Retrospect files temporarily disapearing over DAVE 3.1:

Problem confirmed and is directly related to version 3.1. I reloaded version 2.5.2 and Retrospect works perfectly. I have reported this problem to Thursby and they are taking a look at it.

On a positive note, opening of directories on the NT4 server by a Mac client that contains hundreds or even thousands of files is significantly faster than in version 2.5.2. Will keep you posted on further findings as necessary.

Patch for DAVE 3.1 fixes OS X kernel panics. February 19, 2002 -- Yesterday's MacFixIt reported the availability of a patch, called the DAVE 3.1p2 Update (download here -- no info at the Thursby web site). The Readme file says that the patch is designed to fix kernel panics that can occur in some circumstances, including when deleting folders, importing MP3 files into iTunes to a DAVE volume, and when using NetBarrier X. The patch also fixes a problem when DAVE 3.1 would report that it couldn't delete all of the items because some files were locked, when they weren't.

However, the Readme file warns that the patch should be only used if necessary:

DAVE 3.1p2 has not been formally tested. Therefore, you should only use this patch kit if you are experiencing the problems listed below which have been corrected with this patch kit.

Petition asks Apple to add NTFS to OS X. February 19, 2002 -- Brett Koonce has posted a petition to Apple asking the company to add support of NTFS-formatted drives to Mac OS X. There is information here describing why this would be beneficial. The petition itself is here. (NTFS is a drive format supported in Windows NT/2000/XP which removes many of the limitations of FAT32.)  

SMB Browse .62 for OS X posted. February 19, 2002 -- Developer Gordon Shukwit has posted version .62 of SMB Browse, a free Mac OS X utility for browsing Windows file sharing networks. Since the .5 version, there has been a new user interface and a removal of the limits on numbers of servers and shares. Version .62 now can unmounts volumes (instead of the Finder), which fixes a previous problem with ejecting shares.

How to configure 3Com AirConnect and Airport clients. February 19, 2002 -- Albert Booky sent us a detailed report on configuring a 3Com AirConnect acting as a bridge on a wired cross platform network with 3Com PCs and Mac Airport clients. It's a very detailed account that we've posted on on our Cross-platform AirPort special report page.

Aiport 2 affecting VPC and Win XP? February 19, 2002 -- Grant Stephenson reports that installing AirPort 2.0 on Mac OS X seems to have affected Virtual PC's ability to run Windows XP:

I am unable to start Windows XP successfully. I first noticed the problem after I updated the AirPort software in early February to version 2.0. Previously, I had install VPC5 on my PowerBook G4 (677; system 10.1.2) and run it successfully.

The problem: Windows won't load normally; does a drive check; tries to load; on failure presents the "didn't load" properly warning and the cycle repeats.

I have run the 5.0.1 update. Connectix support suggests that the problem may be with the Apple operating system, or may be fixed with the 5.0.2 update that is in the works.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Old MS UAM crashing NT Server. February 19, 2002 -- Nick Brooker reports that an old Microsoft UAM on a Mac was crashing his NT Server:

MS UAM v 1.0 will blue screen an NT server if you transfer a decent sized file to it. The machine is running OS 8.6 and AppleShare 3.8.3. Deleting the MS UAM and restarting solved it, also the new 5.0x UAM worked without problems.

Tip: Outlook 2001 setup. February 19, 2002 -- Reacting to some suggestions for configuring Outlook 2001 on our Outlook Special Report page, Daniel Granja sent us some advice of his own. He set up a hosts file, which readers have suggested before, but this is such a common issue that we thought it was worth repeating:

I discovered that the ExchangeServer's DNS host name (for example "mail" in needs to be the same as the NT Server's own internal computer name. If the two are different, which isn't all that uncommon, then your Outlook 2001 client setup will successfully connect and create a profile, but when you try to log on you will receive errors regarding the information store and the client will shut down when trying to connect.

In the short term, I solved this on my machine by creating a host file which points the NT computer name to the actual registered DNS name. The appropriate fix is either to have the computer and DNS names match, or enter a DNS record for the computer name.

Now if I can only find out why my Entourage client can send Internet mail through my Exchange server, but my Outlook 2001 client can't...

(See our Mac OS X Report page for configuring a hosts file in OS X.)

Virtual PC 5.0.1 problem with Win 2000 Security Rollup Package. February 18, 2002 -- Bradford Pollock found that adding a Microsoft Win 2000 security upgrade in Virtual PC slowed the emulator to a crawl:

I am running Virtual PC 5.0.1 w/Win 2000 under Mac OS 9.2.2 on my PowerMac G4/500 MHz/512 MB RAM with 296 MB RAM allocated to VPC. Everything was fine until I used Windows Update to install a "Critical Update" released by Microsoft - the Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package Jan 2002. VPC slowed to a crawl after that. I removed the update using the Win 2000 Add/Remove Programs control panel and VPC performance was OK again. It might be a critical update, but I can't use it.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Feedback on Iogear's Palm Synching solution for 10.1 and Outlook. February 18, 2002 -- A couple of readers commented on the Palm synching solution for Outlook and Mac OS X we reported on February 8. Michael Perbix says:

I have used this software and it works as advertised from the Ethernet cradle. But if you have a lot of users, the software becomes pricey fast.

Tony Gentile is using an infrared connection instead of Ethernet:

We're using the same software but instead of an Ethernet cradle, we're synching Palm and Outlook over IR with a Clarinet Systems Ethir. Works most of the time. We've kept the test environment small, 8 users, and hope to get rid of cradles altogether soon.

Migrating from NetWare to Win Server: use Retrospect. February 18, 2002 -- In response to our request for tips on moving Mac files from NetWare servers to Windows servers (and retaining the resource forks), two readers suggest using Retrospect from Dantz. An anonymous reader says:

We use retrospect to back up local machines. It has a duplicate function. So, what I do is mount both volumes. Use the duplicate function and chose source and destination and set it to copy corresponding files. It will keep up with what it could not copy (open files) plus if you need to copy again it will only copy what has changed.

Don Haldane reports:

We have just finished migrating Mac files from Novell to Windows 2000, (4 servers in all). Just use Retrospect and set up a script to to a duplicate. All docs must be closed on client machines, otherwise those open files will not copy.

Reader problem: Retrospect files become invisible over DAVE network. February 18, 2002 --Greg Newton is having problems using Retrospect to back up Mac files on a Windows NT network using DAVE 3.1:

We have been successfully using Dave 2.x for around 3-4 years now and it has been a great product. We just purchased some new Macs to use on our NT4 server based network and I decided to upgrade to the new 3.1 version to try it out. All systems were go, until I tried to back up the server to my new G4 (running OS 9.2.2) using Retrospect 4.3. I did this regularly using 9.2.2, Retrospect 4.3 and Dave 2.5.x with no problems. Now, using Dave 3.1 I get huge numbers of errors in the Retrospect log (typically a -127 error) and Retrospect gives the warning that the "volume may be corrupt?" which is always reassuring.

Quitting Retrospect and attempting to open a folder on the server that yielded the "-127" error, I find that most if not all my files are apparently missing. The only way to get them back is to log off the NT server and log back on and bingo, all the files are back. Attempting to backup again yields the same problem with the mounted server "forgetting" files which apparently causes Retrospect to generate numerous errors. Has anyone seen this type of error? Again, this never happened when using earlier versions of DAVE.

If you've seen these problems, please let us know.

Mac OS X sleep disconnects from network volumes. February 18, 2002 -- Jeff Chambers is also seeing Macs disconnecting from Windows 2000 Server, but when the Mac sleeps:

Both Mac OS 10.1.2 machines are running nothing special except that both will disconnect from shared volumes from two different servers. One is UShare for Solaris and the other is Windows 2000 Server SP2

I have fixed the problem by setting the energy setting to never sleep and that has solved this problem for both machines. The screen saver still works though. I have also seem it affect another network program with similar disconnect results.

QuickTime Streaming Server 4 ships; QuickTime 6 will support MPEG-4. February 18, 2002 -- Apple has released QuickTime Streaming Server 4 (free download). New features include streaming and on-demand support for the MPEG-4 format and the ability to serve MP3 files or playlists to standard Windows and Mac MP3 players, such as WinAmp, iTunes, and QuickTime player.

MPEG-4 support is also built into the cross-platform client software, QuickTime 6, which apple says is ready but not shipping:

Although the QuickTime 6 software is complete and ready for release, Apple is delaying its release until MPEG-4 video licensing terms are improved.

Microsoft survey on Outlook is IE only. February 18, 2002 -- Hal Taylor and John Wolf point out that Microsoft's Outlook:Mac survey about future features only works with Internet Explorer. You can fill out the form using Netscape, but the submit button only works with IE.

Win 2000 or XP on an OrangePC card? February 18, 2002 -- Dave Green wonders if anyone has found a way to run Windows 2000 or XP on an old OrangePC Pentium card (which was discontinued before Windows 2000 shipped). If you know of a way, please share it with us.

Apple nixes Aqua themes for Windows. February 18, 2002 -- Apparently Apple doesn't want Windows XP to look any more like OS X than it already does. According to a CNET story, the ThemeXP web site removed two Aqua-like themes for Windows at Apple's request.

Microsoft Office X copy protection bug -- the cause of a problem with DAVE? February 15, 2002 -- Alan Griffin reports a problem with Office X applications over a network with DAVE connection:

I have just made the transition to OS X and as I need to connect to an NT network I upgraded from Dave 2.5.2 to Dave 3.1. Imagine my shock when I was unable to open Excel or Word files across the network.

...The workaround is to drag files to your local machine then copy them back when they have been updated, but this is a completely impractical way to work in an environment where you are sharing files all day every day.

We asked Thursby Systems Director Customer Services Carl Ketterling about the problem. He responded:

We've had several reports of this problem -- enough to know that is a serious problem -- but we have other customers using Microsoft Office without problems. We are having a difficult time reproducing this in our office which, as you know, is usually the first step in resolving a this type of problem. We have documented this as a bug, and we hope to have it corrected in our next release. For customers experiencing this problem, we would like them to report their symptoms to our support department. As stated above, we do not yet have a solution, but the information may help us track down the problem and will allow us to contact customers once a solution is found.

However, this problem could be related to a Microsoft Office X "security bug," which is a problem with the anti-piracy software in Office X. (See this MacInTouch page report on the issue.) Microsoft has released a Network Security Update as a fix for the bug. (Macintosh writer Bob LeVitus provides some tips on installing the update at OS X

If you've seen this problem (with DAVE or another network), let us know. Also let us know whether you've installed the Microsoft Network Security Update.

Microsoft posts new ODBC drivers. February 15, 2002 -- Microsoft has posted ODBC database drivers that enable Office 2001 "to connect to and retrieve data from the following data sources: Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, dBASE, Microsoft Visual FoxPro, America Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) text files."

Matthew Smith postulates that the new drivers may work with other products besides Office:

I would imagine they'd work with anything that supports ODBC, including FileMaker Pro. If so, I can pretty much stop using Virtual PC to run the Windows version of FMPro to do my queries to a MS SQL 7 database.

MySQLConnect for 4D 1.0.4 adds OS X support. February 15, 2002 -- 4ee4 has released MySQLConnect for 4D 1.0.4 for Mac OS and Windows. The update to the 4th Dimension plugin adds support for Mac OS X. MySQL for 4D enables 4th Dimension database servers and applications to connect to SQL databases. It is based on the open source cross-platform MySQL.

Upcoming VPN Client for Mac OS X promised. February 15, 2002 -- Gracion Software is promising to release a virtual private network client for Mac OS X called DigiTunnel. The software will use the Microsoft PPTP protocol. Gracion has not published release dates for DigiTunnel, put is promising a public beta. Gracion has not responded to our request for more information. (Thanks to John DeMillion for the tip.)

New version of SMB Browse for OS X; info at web site. February 15, 2002 -- Gordon Shukwit has posted build 0.56 of SMB Browse, his Mac OS X utility for browsing Windows file sharing networks. Shukwit says the new version has better support for NT Domains, name resolution, and mounting. He's also updated the SMB Browse web page with information and tips.

Migrating Mac files from NetWare to Windows server: still no solution? February 15, 2002 -- A little over a year ago, we reported that the only way to migrate Mac files from a Novell server to a Windows server without loosing the resource forks is from the Mac Finder. Tulio Quinones if another solution has come about since then:

We are currently a Novell shop and are in the process of migrating to Windows 2000 and are looking for a solution to move the Macintosh files that are stored on a NetWare server to a W2K server. When we copy the files or restore the files using Arcserve we lose the resource forks. The only solution is to drag and drop from a Mac. This solution works but the speed just isn't there.

If you know of a faster way to migrate, please let us know.

Native Mac OS X Client for Citrix may be ready in Q3 2002; another Java client. February 15, 2002 -- Darren Montjar reports that Citrix says it may release an OS X-native version of the Mac Citrix client in the third quarter of this year:

Mac OS X Support for ICA Client

Currently, Citrix engineers are in the process of developing a native MacOS X client and we anticipate availability of the client in quarter 3 of 2002.

Montjar says:

This is the first semi-official response from Citrix I've seen regarding client availability for Mac OS X. I found it on their self-help solutions forum.

Montjar has also posted a Java client

I've posted a double-clickable version of the Java client for Mac OS X. It works pretty well.

Our Citrix special report page notes other Java Citrix clients that run in OS X, including several created by MacWindows readers.

HELIOS offers free Mac OS X test drive. February 15, 2002 -- HELIOS Software GmbH is offering free test drives of all of its server products for Mac OS X 10.1. This includes EtherShare 2.6, and AFP server for Mac clients; PCShare 3.0, and SMB server for Windows clients; and other products.

The demo versions can support up to three concurrent clients for 30 days. The demo software is available at Apple's OS X networking download page and at the Helios site.

NameCleaner 2.5 adds OS X features. February 15, 2002 -- Sig Software has released NameCleaner 2.5, a new version of the a file name utility for OS 7/8/9 and for OS X.NameCleaner can remove characters from Mac file names that are illegal under Windows. It can also manipulate file type codes. Among the new features are:

TIP: using MS Outlook with VPN connections. February 8, 2002 -- Jason Halvorson sent us some suggestions on how to get Outlook 2001 for Mac to work over a virtual private network connection:

Within the Exchange Server settings, you can disable the Server Polling option in the Advance tab. This should take care of the issue, if it is same one I've had in the past.

I am no expert, but it appears that Outlook on PC's and Mac's love to have uninterrupted connections to servers. If there is even a slight hiccup, the client has a bit of a fit. This is the setting change we had to make in order to make MS Outlook stable when using a VPN client:

Meanwhile, Jason Elliott has some other workarounds:

We've had similar problems on our corporate network. If you connected through a cable modem or dialup that was not Sprint or AOL, the Outlook client would work fine via VPN. There's something about the authentication the VPN client uses that is not supported over some ISP's networks.

On the other hand, we have the Outlook Web Access setup, so that's a workaround. It's worked pretty well so far.

We've added these to other reader VPN/Outlook tips on our Outlook Special Report page.

Outlook 2001 Palm syncing solution. February 8, 2002 -- Matt Green has found a server-based solution that enables Mac users to sync Outlook 2001 data to their Palm handhelds:

Just wanted to let you know that we found a solution that will allow Mac users to sync their Palm Handhelds to the Exchange server. A company called Extended Systems makes a server that interfaces with the Exchange database and allows the users to Hotsync through the Ethernet version of the Palm cradle. The server software is sold per license for 5-9 users = $249 ea. and 10-49 users - $209 ea. We have a few users who have Palm Vx units which don't have an Ethernet cradle, so a company called Port Smith makes a serial to Ethernet adapter for $169 that will allow each user to sync. This setup would also work for PCs but isn't necessary since the conduit is already built for the PCs and Outlook. This solution bypasses the Palm Desktop/Outlook sync completely and goes straight to the Exchange server.

If you've tried this, we'd like to know how well it works.

Fix for "Logon to Win 2000 Server stuck in a loop"-- same as fix for long logon times. February 8, 2002 -- Responding to our Feb 6 report of a problem with the logon process being stuck in a loop, Stefan Reumann offers a fix. The interesting thing is that its the same fix for the problem of long logon times: delete server aliases on the Mac. Reumann says:

  1. Open the System Folder:Server
  2. Delete all Aliases
  3. Go to the extensions manager in Control panels and disable Keychain
  4. Reconnect to the server(s)

    I am not sure if this solves the problem for 100% - deleting the aliases every once in a while DEFINITELY helps.

Reader corrects us on Win 2000 hotfix. February 8, 2002 -- Yesterday, we said that the Microsoft hotfix for Windows 2000 Server to fix the incorrect file size report problem is not included with Service Pack 2. Johan Gunverth tells us that while the fix is not included if you upgrade to SP2, it is with a clean install:

This is right if you update your Win2K Server to SP2 from SP1 or earlier using Windows Update or the separate SP2 install. You have to apply the hotfix if it hasn't been done earlier.

If you perform a clean-install of a Win2K Server from CD where SP2 is included in the installation (in this case the Select-Discs) the file sizes are reported correct. It's not documented, but it works. Also, the hotfix reports that it´s not needed when you run it.

Update on USB-Mac-to-PC file transfer product. February 8, 2002 -- David Zinkin sent us the URL with more information on the Direct Linq BFC-100 USB Smart Cable (US $32), a device that can transfer files between Mac and PC. (We reported the cable last month, but the link we used did not provide much information.) The cable uses software installed on both the Mac (OS 8.6-9.x) and the Windows PC.

Citrix Metaframe for OS X. February 8, 2002 -- Jon Miller reports that a Citrix engineer told him that "Citrix is considering development of Metaframe for OS X.

Beta OS X tool lets you browse for SMB Win servers. February 7, 2002 -- Gordon Shukwit has created a Mac OS X tool for browsing network for SMB Windows file servers. He describes it this way:

A .5 release of a Windows/SMB network neighborhood tool that allows you to browse Samba and NT Domain/AD shares and mount them without the bother of having to use the command-k connect to server and remembering the name of the domain, server and share.

Its free to whoever wants it. Have tested it in 6 different configs, NT 4 Domain, 2000 AD, SAMBA and Win 98 shares only.

Mounts the shares in the mount table, and refreshes the disktool to show the mounted shares in the file dialogs and desktop. Requires OS X 10.1.2 (may work in 10.1.1 but I do not have a copy of it)

Mediafour releases X Technology Preview 4 --iPod for Windows. February 7, 2002 -- Mediafour announced XPlay Preview 4, the newest beta version of its Windows software that lets PC users connect to Apple's iPod. Among the new features:

XPlay Preview 4 runs on Windows 98SE/Me/2000 or XP.

Reader says hotfix for Win 2000 fixes incorrect file size report problem. February 7, 2002 -- K. Scott Myers reports that a hotfix for Windows 2000 that we reported about 10 months ago does indeed fix the problem with incorrect file size reporting by the server. (The hotfix was not included in Service Pack 2.)

I have installed the MS Hotfix described in Knowledge Base article Q277862. The fix was emailed to me free of charge from MS and seems to work fine. All file sizes from 4k to 50 MB report correctly.

Reader says MHT is Windows only. February 7, 2002 -- A reader named Frank responded to our query about reading MHT files created in Internet Explorer for Windows. He writes:

Some bad news about the web archive platform problem. Both MS Internet Explorer for Mac and Windows have an option to save an entire web page (or site) as a monolithic file which can be browsed offline.

The Windows format is called MHT, while the Mac format is called WAF. The two formats are mutually incompatible. Why? You'd have to ask the programmers at Microsoft.

Suggestion for problem of to Windows 2000 Server logon stuck in a loop. February 7, 2002 -- Grã Downey send in some suggestions for yesterday's problem of the logon dialog for Windows servers keeps popping up:

I have seen similar logon loop issues on the networks I manage. The following solutions have worked for me:

1) Open System Folder:Servers

- if multiple aliases for your server exist, delete them and all should be well for a while. For some reason multiple copies sprout up over time. I've heard of some folks getting fed up enough to create an Apple script to empty this directory upon shutdown. If the problem persists, you might want to try this approach.

2) If the above doesn't help, this also works if you have a user mistakenly check the Chooser box to logon at startup, then open System Folder:Preferences -- delete the AppleShare Prep file. This gets rid of anything cached relating to AppleShare logons.

Microsoft survey asks for wanted Outlook features. February 6, 2002 -- In a web survey, Microsoft is asking users what features are important for the next version of the Outlook:Mac for Exchange Server. It asks users to rank potential new features, including a OS X native version and Palm synching. (Thanks to Jim Rumbaugh for the tip.)

Another theory on the OS X Finder crash with NT Server SFM. February 5, 2002 -- David Graubard has done some investigating of the Mac OS X Finder crashing problem with Windows NT Server and has a theory. He is running OS X 10.1.2 and Windows NT 4.0 Server SP6a 128 bit:

The server mounts just fine, but if I double click to open it, it will immediately reset [crash] the Finder, after much poking and prodding I found the culprit to be a unknown trailing character on a ICON file. This was also causing a error -37 when trying to transfer anything on to the server.

I did find I could transfer files onto the server (by dragging to the closed icon on the desktop), if the files had known PC extensions (.zip or .exe)--so by compressing everything with Drop Stuff into a Zip format it would work and transfer fine. So the problem appears to be a miscommunication between OS X and the Windows extension mapping for the Win NT server.

Again everything works fine by mounting the server through Samba services (which I didn't even think about trying till I read it on your page).

I don't know if this helps at all, but I figure every little bit helps to solve the puzzle.

Solutions update: another PS/2-to-ADB KVM box. February 6, 2002 -- We've added Aten International's CV160 Masterview Mac to PS/2 Console Converter to our list of products on our Cross-platform keyboard/monitor sharing Solutions page. CV160 is an small interface converter that translates between the older PS/2 keyboard/mouse signals and older Mac Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) keyboard/mouse signals. It also has Mac and PC VGA ports.

Reader Tommy Jonaeson recommends the Masterview Mac to PS/2 Console Converter:

It is a small box slightly larger than a cigarette pack. It works excellent, and I've been using several now together with various KVM switches they also carry. At home, at work and I've also equipped quite a few of my customers with it.

It works excellent, with the exception of older Macs (PowerPC and older), sometimes Macs that old doesn't work with the PC keyboard, although the mouse almost always work. The Adapter maps Mac keyboard functions to the PC keyboard. (The Power key is not implemented.)

They also carry a similar adapter for SUN computers.

Updated reader report on pcSetup 2.1.7--there are some bugs. February 6, 2002 -- Alarik Skarstrom tempers his enthusiastic report from the other day for the free pcSetup 2.1.7 software with an acknowledgment that the software is not problem free. (pcSetup 2.1.7 lets you run Apple's old PC Compatibility pentium cards on Macs running recent versions of Mac OS.) Skarstrom says:

I should have added this caveat. The software works well in light of its purpose--to provide the 32-bit support so that for , for example, long names in PC CDs appear. Also the cards no longer run in "DOS Compatibility mode" so they should be faster.

But the software is still buggy. There are problems I've seen so far with 1) sharing folders--trying to do so can lead to hard crashes; and 2) if, before booting Win 95, you delete an extra driver (a D: drive) that the computer locks up looking for D:. Or seems to. You can work around this but still, there are problems....

But the forum (sadly not searchable) details some of the bugs going way back. It would be great if Apple (which was apparently never very helpful) let them open source it. There are still a lot of these cards around and there are apparently many uses for them in "lab" situations etc.

I think Randall has been a real gent throughout this entire adventure.

As we reported last week, Discovery Software has recently made pcSetup a free download, and has asked Apple to allow Discovery to open source it.

VPC 5 user can't share folders. February 6, 2002 -- A reader gets error message when trying to save to a shared folder in Virtual PC 5:

Ever since I upgraded to VPC 5, I haven't been able to share folders with the host computer. Drag and drop is still possible but backing up a QuickBooks file to a shared folder is met with a message that there is not enough memory or space on the drive. Each folder whether it is a shared folder on the desktop, removable media, or a hard drive is given a drive letter name (i.e. G: ) and 878 bytes of memory!

If you've seen this problem please let us know.

Another reader verifies file copy to MacServerIP, but with OS 9; problem deleting files. February 6, 2002 --Jan Suhr has the same problem we reported yesterday, except with Mac OS 9 (instead of OS X) copying a file to MacServer IP. Suhr also reports another problem and workaround:

I have seen this on our setup which is the same (NT4 with MacServerIP 7) but we don't have Mac OS X. We have this problem sporadically on our Mac OS 9.x.

There is some other issues related to rights when using MacServerIP. You can get the "you have not rights to put this file in the Trash, Do you want to delete it now?"

I hope that MacServerIP 8 will fix this kind of behaving. It can be annoying.

The quick and dirty solution now is to restart the MacServerIP service through the MacServerIP Control Panel.

Logon to Windows 2000 Server stuck in a loop. February 6, 2002 -- Julian Beckett reports this odd logon problem with Windows 2000 Server:

I'm having problems with Macs OS 8.6 to OS 9 logging onto a Windows 2000 server. Every time the Mac user inputs a username and password (which is accepted), the log on screen reappears. This can be canceled again and again until it eventually disappears, the server mounts and work continues as normal.

If you've seen this problem please let us know.

OS X Server and Windows clients: share name can cause problem. February 6, 2002 --Larry Sclafani reports a problem with Windows clients logging into Mac OS X Server:

I have discovered the following info and would like to share it.

Running Mac OS X Server 10.1+ any share point with an _ underscore in the name will be inaccessible from a PC running Win 95/98/NT4.

The PC's in question can see the folder, however they will not be able to map or open the folder to reveal it's contents. Windows 2000 does not have this problem we realized after renaming the share point that it only affected 95/98/NT4 OS

If you've seen this problem please let us know.

Solutions update: OS X client for NT Terminal for Mac OS X. February 5, 2002 -- We've added the Fink Project's rdesktop to our list of thin-client/application sharing solutions for Macintosh. rdesktop is an open source Mac OS X client for Windows NT/2000 Terminal Server (a competitor to Citrix servers). The developer says "Unlike Citrix ICA, no server extensions are required."

Reader Adrian Cadden says of the software "It's a bit buggy but got potential."

X-platform AirPort tip. February 5, 2002 --A reader offers a suggestion for getting a Mac and a PC to work wirelessly:

I'm a Mac man and my wife is a PC girl. I went wireless a couple of months ago and she was very jealous. Needles to say your solution was right on time.

The only addition I have is that I needed to enter the Gateway IP address on the PC to get it to work. I got the gateway (router) address from my Mac TCP/IP configuration. The default is

I use the Airport Card and she uses the Compaq WL110 (Lucent Orinoco).

Software migrates Windows NT/2000 Servers to Linux. February 5, 2002 -- DAS Technology's LSP is software designed to migrate large networks from to Linux servers. The software automatically converts users and copies files from the Windows to Linux Server. (Thanks Ron Carlson for the tip.)

Fixes for problem with Outlook 2001 booking resources. February 5, 2002 -- Several readers responded to yesterday's report of problems booking resources with Outlook 2001:

Jeff Sternberg

This is a known limitation in the Mac Outlook 2001 client (and other PC clients like the older Outlook 97 one). Basically, the automatic scheduling of resources doesn't work from these clients because they don't know how to ask the resource for this service, or do anything with the reply should it come back.

The way we solved it was to create a "service account" -- basically, an Exchange user for a non-human NT login. We had a spare NT box serving as a RIP, so it automatically logs in as this NT login and launches Outlook 2000. Out Exchange admin set up this user as a "delegate" for all of the resource accounts in our address book, and it has the options "Automatically accept meeting requests and process cancellations" and "Automatically decline conflicting meeting requests" checked on. So now, when a Mac user tries to book a resource, this delegate intercepts the message, schedules the resource's calendar, and replies back to the Mac user with the results.

One catch is that the delegate account needs to update the free/busy information on the Exchange server more frequently than the default. We set ours to 1 minute so that if another user attempts to schedule the resource, as long as they do it a minute after the Mac user schedules it, they'll see that the room is booked.

Dave Green

Try putting the Resources in the "Required" box along with the attendees. That works for me.

Luis Antezana

Mac Outlook 2001 clients have no issues whatsoever with booking Resources, but there must be a computer set up to respond to these requests. I believe you published one of my previous notes on how to do this efficiently, using one computer as a delegate to respond for every Resource automatically.

Billy, Keith J

According to the Microsoft article "Direct Booking of Resources Is Not Supported [Q296145]" the resource must be logged into, before it will process requests from a Mac.

Here is one way of doing it. I created a profile for the resource on a PC and opened the resource's mailbox in Outlook. I then configured Outlook to automatically accept meeting requests. As long as Outlook was open it would process requests from a Mac, and book the resource. If you close Outlook it stops working since you are no longer logged in. Setting up Outlook to open additional mailboxes doesn't work either, since you are only logged into the first mailbox.

So, if you have 10 resources that you want to use, you need a separate computer setup for each one of them. Until a better/cheaper solution is found, our Mac's are booking the resource by opening the resource's calendar and manually booking the time.

Periodic disconnects from server is a Win 2000 feature. February 5, 2002 -- Several readers responded to yesterday's report of a reader who keeps getting disconnected from a Windows 2000 Server. All said this was a setting on the server. Dennis Wallace describes how to change this setting:

The reason for this is the internal security parameters of Win2K are set to disconnect inactive clients after 15 minutes. To change this, go to the Administrative Tools, and select Local Security Policy. The relevant setting is in Local Policies/Security Options. Set the "Amount of idle time required before disconnecting session" to 0 to prevent disconnects.

IE for OS X doesn't open MHT files. February 5, 2002 -- Alexandre Valerio asks how to read .MHT files on a Mac:

I used to have Windows and, using Internet Explorer, I saved a lot of web pages under the ".MTH" format (which saves the whole content of a web page in a single file). Now I use Macintosh and the Internet Explorer for Mac doesn't read mht files (at least not decently). Is there any way I could read my MTH files under Macintosh?

We couldn't answer this question, but if you can, please let us know.

Internet Explorer 5.1 and Cisco Pix Firewall. February 5, 2002 --Michael Wilmar is having a problem with Internet Explorer 5.1 performance:

I am trying to access the Internet from behind my firm's Cisco Pix firewall using Internet Explorer 5.1. Our MIS department says that there are no barriers to outgoing Internet traffic and no proxy server. Nevertheless performance is unacceptably sluggish, particularly downloading graphics.

I'm the only Mac. Windows users don't have the problem; I have less of a problem when I access the Internet from my Mac using our Citrix server and IE 5.0 for Windows. I am using OS 9.2 generally but have also tried OS X. Same problem with IE in both cases.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

More on OS X Error Code -43 with AFP Servers (NT and others). February 5, 2002 -- Yann Bouckaert is seeing the -43 error code with Mac OS X when accessing MacServerIP servers:

I too have seen this problem with Mac OS X workstations connected to Windows NT 4.0 Server with MacServer IP 7. On two file server configurations it works without errors: Windows 2000 Advanced Server with native AFP over TCP/IP, and on Windows NT 4.0 Workstation with PC MacLAN (also AFP over TCP/IP). Also, the 'server' with PC MacLAN seems to be the only configuration which is listed under 'local network', in the 'Connect to server' dialog box, as Macs that share their files over TCP/IP.

Bouckaert also sees the problem where users can't delete NT SFM files from OS X

Witnessed this problem too. Example: create a folder on the mounted volume, drag something in it, and try to delete the folder. A message appears that the folder is in use. BUT! When you do this on a volume that is mounted via SMB, you can delete the folder.

Reader can't copy a file to MacServerIP from Mac OS X. February 5, 2002 -- Yann Bouckaert reports this problem:

Server configuration: Windows NT 4 Server with MacServer IP, client runs Mac OS X 10.1.2. A volume is mounted via AFP over TCP/IP. Creating a folder on the volume works fine, but I can't copy anything into it. A message appears: 'The operation cannot be completed because you do not have sufficient privileges for some of the items.' Then, after closing and reopening the folder, the files at first does seem to be copied, but it's empty. Doing this on another volume (same server, same login) works fine. When I connect via SMB to the first volume I can drag stuff into the folder. When I connect with a Mac running Mac OS 9.2.2 to this volume (AFP over TCP/IP), I can also perform these actions.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Beta testers sought for next XPlay release (iPod for PC). February 4, 2002 -- Mediafour is seeking beta testers for the next prerelease version of XPlay, PC software that allows Windows to use Apple's iPod. Potential beta testers need an Apple iPod and a Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP system with an IEEE 1394 (a.k.a. FireWire or i.LINK) port. To apply for the beta testing program, complete the questionnaire at this Mediafour page.

Regular disconnects from Win 2000 Server February 4, 2002 -- Don Begley reports that he is disconnecting from periodically from his Windows 2000 server:

My OS X 10.1.2 machines disconnect from the network after about 15 minutes of inactivity. Same machines on OS 9 run all day long. I wonder if these aren't related problems. My configuration: Windows 2000 Small Biz Edn w/2 G4s and many Win machines of various OS flavors.

Another quirk is that Windows 2000 is very sensitive to the time on its client machines. (I understand it's used to establish machine identity.) If an XP client in particular does not have it's time synchronized to the server, the server cannot access the client. I wonder if there could be a time-related issue going on between Windows 2000 and the Macs, too.

pcSetup 2.1.7 works well. February 4, 2002 -- Alarik Skarstrom reports that Discovery Systems pcSetup 2.1.7 works well on his old Apple PC Compatibility board (Pentium card for Macs). (Last Friday, Discovery announced that the software is now free.) Skarstrom reports:

Just to let you know, I have already downloaded the now-free software and installed it (you'll want the PDF manual too), and it works well. The 32-bit drivers, what people had clamored for all along, work.

On my Quicken 99 CD for PCs (sent by my bank, long ago) I can now see the file names and it can be installed normally (previously, you had to sneak it in by mounting it as a shared disk--all kinds of headaches). I know this project caused R. Ventola a lot of grief and difficulty and what he's accomplished is quite quite impressive

PS. You know there's a forum devoted to the PC and DOS cards: it's still active.

Note: In case you missed it, late on Friday afternoon, we added the authorization codes required to use the pcSetup for free. These codes are not yet on the Discover Systems site.

DAVE date-modified data inaccurate. February 4, 2002 -- Christopher Reid reports a problem with Dave 3.1 reporting incorrect modification dates for files:

I am having a problem with Thursby's Dave 3.1. We have a total of 10 desktop G4 and G3's running OS 9.2. These connect to 2 Windows 2000 servers via fast Ethernet over a Cisco switch.

Folders are shared from the server and mounted on the Macs only (no Mac shares). Dave works except that the "date modified" field updates itself on the Mac to a bogus date when viewing a shared windows folder on the Mac. The date modified looks fine on the Windows Server and on connecting PC's. If the windows share is removed and remounted on the Mac it goes back to the correct date.

Thursby says this is a known bug but haven't offered any workarounds.

If you know of a workaround, please share it with us.

OS 9.2.2 may fix problem with NT Server not visible to OS 9 apps. February 4, 2002 -- Mitch Turner sent an update to his problem with Mac OS 9 applications not seeing NT Server: updating to Mac OS 9.2.2 seems to have cleared it up. Turner reports:

Thanks for the response. Got an update for you. We just got in a new G4/733 MHz running OS 9.2.2, and Photoshop 6.01 can see our NT Server and save to it. The G4's that can't see our Server are running OS 9.1, so I'm going to update them and see if this solves our problem.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Problem with Outlook booking resources. February 4, 2002 -- A reader reports a problem with Outlook 2001 an the booking of resources:

Our Outlook users were recently introduced to bookable resources. Since Mac users are the low on the totem pole, this service wasn't tested for functionality with a Mac before rollout. Needless to say, resource booking works for the Outlook 2K users and doesn't work for our Outlook:Mac users.

The process is fairly straight forward -- create meetings and invite people (into the REQUIRED and OPTIONAL fields) and resources (into the RESOURCES field). Our people calendars can be booked, but the resource does not respond to our meeting request.

We asked the Exchange server people to look into it. I'm a little skeptical they'll find a speedy solution, so I'm wondering if anyone who visits MacWindows has already seen and solved this problem.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

One more report on X-platform asset management report. February 4, 2002 -- Adding to last week's reader reports on cross-platform asset management solutions, another reader today has this to add:

We've looked extensively at cross-platform asset management solutions. Anything from Computer Associates should be tossed away as irrelevant. They have very little Macintosh expertise and should not be considered in the cross-platform asset management space.

Considering economics, we're finishing up plans to deploy a dual solution: SMS for PCs and netOctopus for Macs. SMS was included with our MS enterprise agreement. Both SMS and netOctopus will live in the SMS SQL repository.

Another Trash bug with Windows 2000 server. February 4, 2002 -- We've reported several problems related to Mac Trash and Windows servers throughout the years. Art Larsen sent us another:

Our experience has been that users connected to SFM shares on our Windows 2000 Advanced Server will notice many items in their local trash can from one of the server shares. Once we determine where the files are from, we determine that the user's Macintosh has mistakenly attached it's trash can to a file folder on the server share other than the hidden 'Network Trash, Trash Can #XX' folder it should be using. Other users of the same server volume can still access the files that are appearing in the affected user's trash. Once a particular instance is discovered and announce to all users we discover that several (up to eight so far) users are experiencing the same 'Network Trash mismapping' to the same server share folder at the same time. From the user side the only solution seems to be a hard reboot (so that the trash does not empty) and from the server side a clean restart seems to clear everything up until the next occurrence appears.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

August Software upgrades ODBC drivers from multithreading. February 4, 2002 -- August Software is has updated its ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) drivers to provide multithreaded support to applications running on Mac OS, Mac OS X, Apple Darwin, Yellow Dog PowerPC Linux, Windows, Red Hat Linux and Linux Mandrake. Version numbers weren't mentioned, but August says the new software enables applications to launch multiple SQL database threads that run concurrently against one or more host databases. On Mac OS X, the new version adds multiple process support for Darwin or Carbon applications for SQL database access.

Fourth World upgrades WebMerge--runs on OS X, faster on Win and Mac. February 4, 2002 --

Fourth World has released WebMerge 1.9.2 (US $69), a tool for Mac OS and Windows that generates static Web pages from database files (including FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Access). The new version is the first to support Mac OS X, and offers enhanced performance and a few minor bug fixes for Windows and Mac. Fourth World is also offering new "workgroup pricing" discounts for multi-license purchases (5 licenses US $195; 10 licenses US $295).

Gates predicts recession to continue through 2002 in U.S., Japan. February 4, 2002 -- CNET reports that Bill Gates told and audience at the World Economic Forum in New York that he doesn't think the economies of the U.S. or Japan will recover this year. He predicted that the European economy may do better this year, however.

PCSetup now free; developer Apple for permission to open source. February 1, 2002 -- As of today, Discovery Software is making PCSetup 2.1.7 available as a free download. The software enables the Apple's old Pentium cards, the Apple (and Radius/Reply) DOS and PC Compatibility cards, to full function under Mac OS 8.5-to-9.2 pcSetup was previously sold for US$39.95 with support; the free download does not have support. Discovery Software also said it would like to freely distribute the source code of PC Setup 2.1.7, and has asked Apple permission. (Apple still owns the technology.)

Late addition to this story (Friday 3 PM):

Discovery software has just provided us with the free license codes to use pcSetup for free:

As of Friday, this information was not at the Discovery web site, but will be soon.

Users respond to call for X-platform asset management experience. February 1, 2002 -- Several readers responded to our Wednesday request for experiences using cross-platform asset management software. Jeff Gagné recommends Asset Trustee from Filewave for Windows and Macintosh.

Nathan McBride shared his experience with Altiris Express and FileWave:

I have used Altiris Express for the last two years (now called Deployment Server) and it is the best enterprise wide product I have ever used on the PC side for deployment, management et. al. However, on the Mac side I use Filewave. Filewave is OK but has several buggy issues, even in the new releases, that have always left me with a insecure feeling about it. I also run Asset Trustee which is a package designed to work with Filewave and it is pretty good for reporting and whatnot, but still, Filewave is very finicky and will wipe out a system with no warning if you are not very very careful.

I really wish that there was another product besides Filewave that would do what Altiris does on the Mac side. I spoke with my Altiris rep today and they said that they have toyed for a long time with the idea of supporting the Mac but that nothing has ever come to fruition.

Daniel Foshee reports of the possibility of Mac OS X support for Altiris:

Nothing really concrete, just stuff gleaned from passing conversation. Mac OS 9.x support is just not there, and with no plans for it, although our Altiris contact did allow that Mac OS X support is more likely. I was told unofficially that a Linux version is being seriously considered. If so, again unofficially, a Mac OS X wouldn't be out of the question.

An anonymous reader reported on two other systems:

We (our company Adera) got a live demonstration of Unicenter from Computer Associates in Sweden last year. From a Macintosh administrators point-of-view, it worked just like you could expect. Rollout of software installations, full hardware inventory (better than the local Apple System Information) and control, virus scanning and remote control. The software is more than an asset management system.

We also tried Netopia's netOctopus on our own. This software does what it claims as a asset management system.

None was chosen, because our company's personnel we're downsized a lot. The need for asset management disappeared.

Reader says MacServerIP slower than NT SFM; also gets -43 error code. February 1, 2002 -- Steve Crossman reports having the Mac OS X -43 error code problem when accessing MacServerIP, which he finds to be slower than Windows Services for Macintosh:

I can report the same thing happens with MacServerIP v7 and v8 with Win2K as reported by Jack Stoller. This does not happen with Win NT 4 sp5 or greater. I have not seen much improvement in MSIP v8 over 7. Win2K SFM beats either version when copying a lot of small <2mb files to or from the server. MSIP excels with large files>10mb and easily beats SFM by a factor of 2-3 times the performance.

I tried using SMB as an alternative to the above, and performance is, well ' terrible ' !

If you've seen these problems, please let us know.

Another reader confirms Mac OS X Finder crashes not related to NT root volumes. February 1, 2002 -- Brian Frobisher is another reader reporting that the problem of Mac OS X 10.1.2 Finder crashes with Windows NT SFM is not related to the location of the Mac volume on the server:

Our volumes are not at the root level of our NT4 SP6 server and we are getting the OS X Finder crash when navigating folders/files.

More on invisible files left on servers by OS X: could script fix it?. February 1, 2002 -- Alan Pedersen-Giles comments on the DS_share and .Trashes files that Mac OS X leaves on servers. Previously, readers have reported that these files sometimes prevent OS X users from deleting files. However, Pedersen-Giles points out another problem and proposes a workaround:

Others have noted that OS X 10.1.2 leaves files/folders (e.g., .DS_share and .Trashes) that are invisible to OS X on shared volumes. Unfortunately, these files are quite visible to other OS's (e.g., Windows clients on an NT server). Apple's highly touted networking seems somewhat useless if we, as browsers, hack other users off by leaving a bunch of files in our wake.

I have not, as of yet, seen a solution/workaround, and was wondering if anyone had ideas. It has been suggested to remove ".____" files via a (periodically run) shell script. I would prefer, of course, that these files not be written in the first place when browsing a volume by SMB. I suppose the second-best solution would be an automatic script that removes these files as they are generated, or upon removal of the shared volume.

These invisible files may have some affect on access from Classic. If you'd care to comment, please do.

FileMaker offers discounts to nonprofit organizations. February 1, 2002 -- FileMaker today it will offer FileMaker Pro 5.5 database software for Mac and Windows to nonprofit organizations for up to 40 percent off the single-unit price. The company says:

Nonprofit organizations may purchase FileMaker Pro 5.5 for $149 US per copy (regularly $249), in quantities of 10 or more, beginning Feb. 1, 2002. Nonprofit organizations may purchase upgrades from earlier FileMaker Pro versions for $99 US per copy (regularly $149), quantity of 10 or more required. Larger discounts are available on purchases of 50 or more FileMaker Pro licenses. Organizations must prove 501 (c) (3) IRS tax status to take advantage of these special prices. These prices are valid in North America only.

HP, IBM, Dell, Red Hat, SuSE sign agreement to standardize Linux. February 1, 2002 -- A ZDNet article says that a group of server manufacturers and Linux vendors have released the Linux Standard Base specification, which would allow software to work with different versions and vendor releases of Linux and different language releases. The standard is aimed at encouraging software development for Linux. The group includes Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM, Dell, SuSE, Red Hat, and Caldera.

New free utility, MacVolumes, reports on file info on Win servers. February 1, 2002 -- Patrick Peccatte's Soft Experience has just released a new free utility called MacVolumes. The utility for Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000 displays Macintosh files signature information (such as type and creator) stored in Macintosh volumes index (in alternate stream AFP_IdIndex attached to each Mac volume) on Windows NT 4.0 or 2000 Server. MacVolumes is a complement to MacExplorer, another free utility from Soft Experience.

January 2002

Workaround for DAVE 3.1 -50 error with Synchronize software. January 30, 2002 -- David Bills sent a workaround to a problem with a DAVE 3.1 conflict with Qdea's Synchronize program in Mac OS 9.2:

I've had this problem. What happens is that the permissions on the windows volume get set incorrectly. I'm not sure exactly what they are, but you will have problems accessing the files on the windows computer too. I got around it by copying and pasting the affected folders of files under windows and then recycling the originals. I'm guessing that this procedure simply rewrites the permissions on the folder.

Meanwhile, David Bills has a problem with this software and DAVE in Mac OS X. He also supplies a workaround:

I'm having a problem with the new Synchronize beta 4 software. It seems that Synchronize is creating a permissions problem with SMB volumes mounted via DAVE under OS X.

The problem first manifested itself when I saw a -50 error under OS 9.2 when trying to access files with BBedit which had been synched. Then, I started getting crashes under Windows 2000 when trying to access the files.

What happens is that the permissions on the Windows volume get set incorrectly when synching.

I got around my problem by copying and pasting the affected folders under Windows and then recycling the originals. I'm guessing that this procedure simply rewrites the permissions on the folder.

Advice for MacOS 9 VPN Client for Cisco 3000 series. January 30, 2002 -- Matt Landel offers this bit of advise for using the Cisco virtual private network client for Mac OS 9:

I'm using Netlock's Cisco VPN client on my TiPB under OS 9.2.1 to connect into my company's Cisco-3000 based VPN network. Works pretty much flawlessly. Net surfing, network tools, and e-mail all seem to work transparently as they should. Make sure that you read the Readme file is you use proxies: the program uses your browser to interact with the user. If you must use proxies then you must set your browser to skip the proxy for the Netlock client.

Reader says Mac OS X Finder crashes not related to NT root volumes. January 30, 2002 -- Anthony Trumbo responded to a reader theory that the Mac OS X 10.1.2 Finder crashes with Windows NT SFM might be related to placing Mac shares at the the root level. Trumbo says that is not the case:

We have been experiencing Finder crashes in X when connecting to NT SFM volumes that are not root shares.

Reader reports VPC 4 problem with NHL 2002 game. January 30, 2002 -- John Wilson reports this conflict with Virtual PC 4:

I am having problems trying to set up my NHL2002 Hockey by EA Sports on my Virtual PC. The problem that I am having is that it ... won't even let me run the program, the error is as follows:

"Your 3D accelerator and/or video card could not be initialized properly. Please update the drivers for your video card."

I am using OS 9 with Windows Me, I have 896 MB of RAM, and running 512 MB for VPC on a G4 733.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Reader seeks Asset Management integration info. January 30, 2002 -- Scott Mindeaux asked this question about asset management for hardware and software:

I'm interested to find out if any of your readers currently have or had experience with large scale asset management packages like Tangram, Blue Current, Peregrine or Altiris and how they integrated Macintoshes into those systems. Large scale asset management packages all say they support Mac, but all the marketing materials cater to the Windows world. Nothing I have seen in live demos or marketing materials show me specific Macintosh items like Open Transport version, installed Extensions, MRJ version, etc.

What tools are your readers using today for asset management that integrates their Macs? We have investigated numerous asset management packages and asset management service providers. We have over 12,000 workstations with a Macintosh population under 1,000. We want to make sure the Mac workstations are integrated into this project with the same level of attention as their Windows counterparts.

If you have any experience with this subject, please drop us a line.

PcConverter 2.2 for OS X and OS 9. January 30, 2002 -- Vampire Software has released PcConverter 2.2 (US $20) for Mac OS X and OS 9. PcConverter converts text files and RTF files between Windows or Unix to MacOS. You can also use it to write your own conversion tables to expand PcConverter's capabilities.

Cyan releases MacServerIP 8, improved performance, cluster improvements. January 28, 2002 -- Cyan Software has shipped MacServerIP 8, a new version of the Apple File Protocol server for Windows servers. Among the new features:

(See also our reports on previous versions of MacServerIP, as well as previous reports of using MacServerIP in Clusters.)

VPC Virtual Switch known to crash Mac OS X. January 28, 2002 -- The problem we reported last Thursday about Virtual PC 5 crashing Mac OS X v 10.1.2 is a known bug, acknowledged by Connectix. Many readers have since reported that starting Windows with the Virtual Switch networking option turned on causes a kernel panic--a crash of the entire Mac OS X system.

The Readme file for VPC 5.0.1 says that the 5.0.1 update fixed a problem in Mac OS X 10.1.2, but not for v10.1.2. A note in a Connectix forum says that Connectix will be fixing the 10.1.2 problem in VPC 5.0.2. This forum also provides an AppleScript which "must be run on Mac OS X and will set the permissions properly for the Virtual Switch component."

We have some more descriptions of the problem on our Virtual PC 5 Special Report page.

(Thanks to Paul Crawford and Patrik Häggstrand )

More on Mac OS X error code -43: add MacServerIP to the list. January 28, 2002 -- Jack Stoller reports seeing the -43 Error code when accessing MacServer IP. (We have previous reports of the problem with NT Server.) Stoller says:

Running Windows 2000 with MacServerIP 7.x (latest version) installed (the reason is another story entirely).

Some folders when copied (in either direction) between my local disk and the server result in the folder being created on the destination, then the -43 error appears. If I go to the source folder, select all the files, and copy them to the (newly created) destination folder, they copy without incident.

I don't know if the -43 problem is recursive if the source folder itself contains folders because I don't have any such situations in my work.

OS X Finder crash with NT servers: related to volumes at root? January 28, 2002 -- Mitch Turner noticed that one of last week's reports on the OS X 10.1.2 Finder crashing problem with mounted Win NT volumes had this suggestion from a reader:

"From that point on try not to access the server's root shared directory."

Turner notes that putting a Mac volume in the server's root directory is a bad idea. Indeed, we have reported various problems on various Windows servers caused by root-level Mac volumes, and Microsoft recommends that Mac volumes placed in another directory. Turner says:

One of the first things I was taught about setting up an NT Server and Services for Macintosh is not to share the root directory. I don't recall the exact reason, but I always set up one or more directories specifically for Mac clients and enable SFM from there.

We were wondering if any of our readers who are experiencing the OS X Finder can verify if the problem occurs with volumes not at the root volume on the NT Server. Of so, please let us know.

Reader problem: Win NT Server not visible to OS 9 apps. January 28, 2002 -- Mitch Turner also sent us this problem he is seeing with OS 9 clients:

When using apps that utilize the Navigation Services dialogs (Open and Save), I can't see the Windows NT Server under OS 9. (Windows 2000 Server appears to work fine .) On a Mac that's running OS 8.6, it works fine.

The Macs running OS 9 are three G4's and a B&W G3. At my last company we used OS 9 across the whole network and I never saw anything like this (we used a Win NT Server). The applications I've tried are Adobe Illustrator 9.02, Photoshop 6.01 and even Apple System Profiler. Apps that use the old style open & save dialogs work fine, for ex.; QuarkXPress 4.11. I tried to search your site and Apple's KB for an answer without success.

Doing some testing, I updated a Beige G3/266 from 8.6 to 9.2.2 and it accesses the NT Server through NavServices fine, although the amount of time you wait for all the folders to finish updating in the dialog can be excruciating. So for some reason it appears to be only our G4's running OS 9 that have this problem.

Anyway, I asked the IT Director if SFM was enabled for the root directory and he confirmed that it was on both NT and 2000 Servers.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Another idea on using Timbuktu on OS X instead of VPC: buy a real cheap PC. January 28, 2002 -- Responding to last week's report on using Timbuktu for OS X as an alternative to Virtual PC 5, Dave Fleishman agrees. In fact, he went a step further with the remote control software, and bought an inexpensive PC to control:

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought of this. I picked up a Toshiba Libretto 100CT on eBay for about $300, and I'm using it to run those few windows programs I really need. The Libretto, even with docking station, takes up almost no space on my desk, and it goes along at P133 speed. Not a rocket, but for the amount of time I use windows, it's fine. Still faster than VPC, too. Also, I don't [use] up my hard drive on my iBook having a VPC image PC drive.

Mac OS X Server Updater 10.1.2 improves Win client support. January 28, 2002 -- Apple has released Apple Mac OS X Server Updater 10.1.2. Apple says the new version "improves reliability and performance of Apple file services, Apache web services, and Mail services under heavy loads. Enhancements have also been made to improve server administration, SMB printer sharing, WINS registration, and system clock accuracy."

Using ADB keyboards with USB Macs. January 28, 2002 -- A reader has found a way to use the old Apple Desktop Bus keyboards with USB Macs. Windows is not involved in this tip, but we have previously state that this was impossible. The method:

I am currently controlling two 20th Anniversary Macs and one iMac with an ADB keyboard via a three-position ADB switch. I have been running this setup for two years with no problems. What you have to do is use a Griffin USB-to-ADB adapter to feed the ADB keyboard to the iMac.

The problems I have is that I cannot use the ADB board for iMac specific functions: e.g. boot with the "C'" key depressed; start up the iMac with ADB board power button; set PRAM. Other than these, the ADB board runs the iMac in fine form for everyday typing and Internet surfing. If I need to do boot with the "C" key depressed (which is rare ), I plug in the iMac board, take care of the problem, and go back to the ADB board (that I like much better than the iMac keyboard).

More suggestions for OS X 10.1.2 Finder crashing with NT Server; Finder alternative, SMB. January 24, 2002 -- Readers have sent some more workarounds to the problem of the Mac OS X 10.1.2 Finder crashing when connected to Windows NT Services for Macintosh.

Gareth Swarbrick says that not using the Finder--using another file browser--avoids the problem.

I have been experiencing the same problems: NT Server 4, SP6. As a work around I have been using a file browser that runs in classic mode (Greg's Browser), Mac Explorer etc.) to navigate through the NT file space and copy what I need. Note that drag and drop across the Classic app to OS X desktop can stall (but not crash) at times so I try to copy within the browser instead.

Michael Alatorre confirms yesterday's suggestion of using OS X's built-in SMB feature (Go menu,Connect to Server):

I can confirm that Dan Buchan's solution via the SMB client works. Though initially I could not connect using his URL form ("smb://workgroup;username@servername/volume"), I did achieve success using smb://username@servername/volume . In the subsequent SMB/CIFS Filesystem Authentication dialog box that came up, I changed the workgroup name in the Workgroup/Domain space to the name of our authentication domain, entered my password, and the sharepoint mounted successfully. Also, I added this server address to Favorite Servers to save me some typing the next time I mounted that share.

VPC 5 slowdown in OS X may be similar to other apps. January 24, 2002 -- Reader Stephanie Nite has sent us test results that show the booting Windows in Virtual PC 5 is slower in OS X than in OS 9, but within the range of the slowdown seen for other native Mac applications. Nite found that Windows booted 25-to-30 percent slower in Mac OS X than in Mac OS 9. This is in line with what Connectix claims for VPC 5 performance, and is faster than a previous reader's report (which you can read on our Virtual PC 5 Special Report page).

Mac OS 9
(Average of 3 trials)
Mac OS X
(Average of 3 trials)
Percent slowdown in OS X

Virtual PC 5.0.1
Booting Windows 95 to desktop




Virtual PC 5.0.1
Booting Windows 98 to desktop




Virtual PC 5.0.1
Booting Windows 2000 to desktop




iTunes 2.0
Rip a song (3:32 long)




Disk Copy -- Mounting and verifying a ".smi" image




Explorer 5 -- Download 8.9MB iTunes over Airport




Finder -- Duplicate 3500-item folder (180 MB total)




Duplicate single 150 MB file




Nite also tested the performance of certain Mac apps running in Classic, which we did not reproduce here. Nite feels that the performance under OS X is acceptable. You can read her comments and her descriptions of her testing on our Virtual PC 5 special report page.

Timbuktu: alternative to VPC in OS X--if you have a PC. January 24, 2002 -- For Michael Babineau the performance of Virtual PC 5 in Mac OS X was unacceptable. He finds performance of Netopia's cross-platform remote control program, Timbuktu Pro, faster:

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one have performance problems with VPC 5 under OS X. Performance is so bad that I gave up and bought Timbuktu for the Mac and I'm using it to control a PC that I'm running my few irreplaceable Windows apps.

VPC 5 network crash in OS X. January 24, 2002 --Per Thörnblad is having a problem with the Virtual Switch network feature of Virtual PC 5 in Mac OS X:

I am having some trouble with VPC 5.0.1 installed on my iBook 600 DVD/CD-RW 384 MB RAM. Everything installs OK but as soon as I turn on the "Virtual Switch" network and restarts OS X crashes completely. Restarting the system and then turning off "Virtual Switch" makes everything work OK again. I have tried with and without Airport but the problem is the same.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Reader sees winmail.dat enclosures from Mac users as well. January 24, 2002 -- Responding to yesterday's report (directly below) of solutions to the "winmail.dat" problem, Morten Davidsen also sees the problem with email from Mac Outlook users:

We have also seen this problem with attachments sent from Mac Outlook 2001 clients, through Exchange 2000. Windows users with other mail servers than Exchange 2000 have seen this problem with files sent from Outlook 2001 from our users. Even users on the other end that has Exchange 5.5 have seen this problem with files sent from us from time to time.

Solutions for winmail.dat enclosures from Win Outlook users. January 23, 2002 -- A number of readers responded to our query about winmail.dat e-mail enclosures--which can occur when Outlook for Windows users send files to non-Outlook users. Readers report that TNEF's Enough, a freeware utility, lets Mac users decode winmail.dat files, which use Microsoft's TNEF encoding format. (We reported earlier that the problem can be prevented if Windows users use plane text in Outlook instead of RTF.) TNEF's Enough is a Carbon application that works natively in either Mac OS X or Mac OS 9. Brian Povlsen describes it:

If you have Entourage you can drag the email with the TNEF attachment to the desktop. Then you can drop the email onto this TNEF program and it will prompt you to save the contents of what is inside the TNEF. Then you can view the contents with normal Macintosh programs.

(Our thanks to all who wrote in.)

However, this isn't a problem for just Mac users--Windows and Linux users who don't use Outlook can also receive these files. Dan Wright told us about Fenton for Windows and Linux, a free utility for PCs. The web site describes it :"Register it as Netscape's helper application for "application/ms-tnef", and you will be able to extract attachments embedded in the TNEF. It should be easy enough to use Fentun with other e-mail programs as well."

OS X 10.0.2 bug with NT Server: some suggestions. January 23, 2002 -- We have several reports of when the Mac OS X 10.1.2 Finder does not crash with NT Server. The problem seems to be when using AFP (Apple Filing protocol) over AppleTalk. (See our Mac OS X page to read a discussion of the problem.)

- Dan Buchan writes that the problem does not occur using Mac OS X 10.1's built-in SMB client. (Log in via the Go menu's Connect to Server command, type smb://workgroup;username@servername/volume). Bucan says "I can now browse the entire server without the Finder crashes."

- Andrew Cunningham reports "Connecting to Windows 2000 Server via SFM (TCP/IP) works perfectly with 10.1.2 for me. Fast and reliable. Is used heavily.

- Reid Lewis of Group Logic reports that the problem does not occur when OS X access's ExtremeZ-IP running on the NT Server instead of NT Services for Macintosh. He writes:

We believe the crash is caused by the AppleShare on AppleTalk feature that was just added to OS X. While SFM on NT requires this, ExtremeZ-IP does not. Hence, we believe ExtremeZ-IP will solve the problem.

Group Logic offers a free trial version of ExtremeZ-IP. If your are having this problem, and can verify that ExtremeZ-IP doesn't have the problem, please let us know.

- Greg Byerly reports of a method to lesson the Finder crashes:

I can connect to our Windows 2000 and NT server okay, but at random times to Finder will crash. Though this is not a fix, I've had good success with the following:

1. Log in to the NT or Windows 2000 server
2. View in icon mode (seems to be the most stable)
3. Do not scroll, instead, type in the first few letters of the folder you want in the Finder window to make the folder appear.
4. Click on the folder icon once and choose "Add to Favorites" from the Finder's File menu.

From that point on try not to access the server's root shared directory. Click on the Finder's "Favorites" button--the heart--and then click on one of the folder shortcuts in your "Favorites" menu. I've been using this method successfully for a week to access my shared folders on our NT and Windows 2000 servers. The Finder has not crashed once since I started access the server through this method--knock on wood!

WEP Key Maker 1.1: AirPort cards and non-Apple access points. January 23, 2002 -- Chally Micro Solutions has released WEP Key Maker 1.1, an upgrade to its software for using Apple AirPort cards with non-AirPort wireless access points. The company describes it:

WEP Key Maker generates a hexadecimal WEP key from a pass phrase. IEEE 802.11b (aka Airport, Wi-Fi) uses a 104- or 40-bit (aka 128- and 64-bit) key to encode packets with WEP encryption. Third party devices typically use a hexadecimal key, which WEP Key Maker helps create. Generating such a key from a pass phrase makes it easy to create and reproduce a key without writing it down. The key can be copied from WEP Key Maker's dialog and pasted directly into Airport dialogs and third-party software. WEP Key Maker also creates keys of other lengths.

Gefen releases DVI-to- VGA conveter boxes. January 23, 2002 -- Gefen has released two new cross-platfrom video converter boxes. ex-tend-it DVI to VGA Conversion Box lets you connect analog (VGA) monitors to digital (DVI) graphics ports. The ex-tend-it VGA to DVI Conversion Box lets you connect digital (DVI) monitors to analog (VGA) graphics ports. Both boxes are US $399.

OOFILE 1.4: Cross-platform C++ application tools. January 23, 2002 -- Yesterday, AD Software released version 1.4 of OOFILE cross-platform C++ application development library upgrade released for MacOS X, Mac Classic, Windows and Unix. This is the first Carbon version that runs natively in OS X.

Airport 2.0.1 update conflict with Cisco VPN for OS X. January 21, 2002 -- An anonymous reader reports that updating OS X to AirPort 2.0.1 prevents the Cisco VPN 5000 5.1.4 from connecting:

I let OS X Software Update my system with the Airport Driver Update version 2.0.1. I restarted and now I can't connect with VPN. Thinking it might be my net connection at home I verified my net is working by connecting with VPN on a OS 9 system and a PC. I maintain two OS X volumes on my TiBook for testing OS X betas so I restarted on another volume with 10.1.2 system and connected with VPN just fine. I went ahead and let Software Update install the Airport Driver Update v2.0.1 on that system and now it can't connect with VPN. Ouch!

I can connect with VPN *if* I'm connected to my net through my Airport card. If I'm connected through a hardline Ethernet connection, the VPN client doesn't ever find the VPN server to connect through. Switch from built- in Ethernet to Airport and the VPN client connects just fine.

I reinstalled 10.1, updated to 10.1.2, installed VPN and can connect just fine with built-in Ethernet. Allow the Airport Driver Update v2.0.1 to get installed, restart, and only VPN connections through Airport work now.

Anyway I've tested this, the results strongly indicate Apple's Airport Driver update v2.0.1 breaks built-in Ethernet VPN connections.

VPN Client: Cisco VPN 5000 for Mac OS X, version 5.1.4.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Receiving "winmail.dat" enclosures from Outlook for Windows. January 21, 2002 -- Alexis Rosen describes a problem with email attachments from Outlook for Windows users.

I am getting sick and tired of PC Outlook Express's insistence of wrapping all enclosures into some MS-specific nonstandard "winmail.dat" file. (PC Outlook may do this also- I'm not sure.) If the sender happens to know I'm on a Mac s/he can designate the mail as text-only, which will solve the problem...few people sending attachments will bother to do this even if they even know about it. Do you know of any way to get Eudora, or Mutt, or any other Unix or Mac email app to read these winmail.dat files?

We found that Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q197064 explained the phenomena:

The Winmail.dat file is used to preserve formatting that the sending client includes in the message, but is not recognized by the receiving client. In the case of Outlook, the Winmail.dat file includes Rich Text Formatting (RTF) instructions. This type of formatting is used with the Microsoft Outlook Rich Text Format and when using Microsoft Word as an e-mail editor.

The article describes how Windows users can turn off the feature (by using plain text), but doesn't mention if Mac users not using Outlook can open the Winmail.dat file.

A Eudora tech support article calls winmail.dat a Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF), and says "This TNEF information is unopenable and irrelevant outside of Outlook."

If you have any helpful hints on the subject, please let us know.

Updates on connecting to NT / OS X Finder crashing bug. January 21, 2002 -- Reader reports continue to pour in concerning the problem of Mac OS X 10.1.2 Finder crashing when connected to a Windows NT server via SFM (AppleTalk). Users have offered some suggestions as to when the problem is better or worse, though no fix has been found.

Nicholas Macias points to file names:

I actually can't see how this got out the door at Apple; it seems to be that any filename that uses non-alphanumeric characters sends the Finder down in flames. We're running NT 4.0 with the latest service packs.

Michael Curtis has better luck in icon view:

I do have the Finder crash when connection to NT 4 and 2000 servers. It seems much better is I leave it in icon view. List is not too bad, but column is terrible. I haven't had time to investigate too much as yet.

Patrick Renner crashes when scrolling:

We're experiencing the same problem. I can log into the server all right but when I try to scroll down in the directory, the Finder crashes.

Brian Frobisher sees other symptoms:

I have been testing OS X 10.1.2 with our NT server using NT 4.0 SP6 an SFM.

When I mount a volume from the server it mounts fine, it is only when I start clicking "Open" arrows on folders to look in them that the volume window closes, the Finder kind of flashes and you end up with the volume still mounted, but the window is closed etc. Very frustrating.

P.S. I also had the finder crashing while trying to view a .PDF that I d/l from APPLE yesterday. I installed Adobe Reader and it reported font problems with the .pdf in question, but the built-in PDF viewer was crashing the Finder.

Nicholas Sorensen crashes when he copies or opens a file:

Yes, I can report this same problem. I can mount the server, most of the time even navigate to the folder I need, but as soon as I attempt to copy or open any of the documents I get an immediate Finder crash.

Very annoying - I need to boot into 9 to grab the documents I need, reboot into X to work on them, boot back into 9 to copy them back, and reboot once again into X to continue working. Very tedious.

Bailey Kessing

I also have this problem with one Volume on an NT Server. I had assumed that it was the server's problem since this only happened when I was navigating this one volume on a particular NT server.

Mark Cole

The OS X finder crash when accessing NT servers is a big problem for me.

If you have any helpful hints on the subject, please let us know.

DAVE 3.1 -50 error under OS 9.2 with Synchronize software. January 21, 2002 -- Steve Byan thinks DAVE 3.1 has a conflict with a third-party file synchronization program in Mac OS 9.2:

I upgraded to DAVE 3.1 on my PowerBook G3 last December. Our network uses NetApp servers for our SMB shares. DAVE 2.5.1 worked fine for me, but when I upgraded I began to get "-50" errors when attempting to use Synchronize! to sync my PowerBook with my SMB share. Finder copies work fine. I've just tried opening a file on the share using BBEdit and got the same -50 error. CodeWarrior also fails to open the file, but does so silently, without any error dialog box.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

VPC in OS X update: Apple says no unpublished APIs; Connectix revises VPC white paper. January 17, 2002 -- In an interview with MacWindows yesterday, Apple denied that it was using unpublished APIs to make its own Mac OS X applications run faster than developers' applications.

"I'm not aware of any services that Apple applications have access to that other apps don't" said Ken Bereskin, Apple director of Mac OS X product marketing.

As we've previously reported, Connectix told us that Apple was using unpublished APIs in applications such as iTunes and iMovie to keep them running smoothly in OS X. Since our previous reports, Connectix officials have said that they don't believe this is intentional, but that Apple simply hasn't gotten around to documenting all OS X APIs.

"Apple has documented those APIs that are most important to the largest number of developers, " said Eric Traut, Connectix chief technical officer and the architect and principle programmer of the original Virtual PC. "We don't believe that Apple is intentionally holding anything back."

Apple denied that lack of documentation is hampering developers. "There are different degrees of documentation," said Bereskin. "But nothing of material impact to the performance of an application."

Rather than hampering VPC, Connectix said that Apple was a acting as a partner. "[VPC is] one of the few apps for OS X that has code in the kernel specifically for it, " said Trout. Bereskin agreed that VPC was an important application for Apple. "Our top engineers are working with Connectix engineers."

White paper revised

Since our last report on this topic, Connectix made changes to the white paper called Virtual PC 5 for Mac -Technical Update that tries to explain why Virtual PC 5 runs more slowly in Mac OS X than in OS X. The revised paper backs off its previous statement that all non-event driven apps suffer in a preemptive multitasking OS. For instance, Connectix removed this statement:

Some programs, like Virtual PC, are not event-driven because they need to use the processor continuously for good performance. These type of programs are referred to as compute-bound. Compute-bound software tends to run better on a cooperative tasking model because it can be as "uncooperative" as it wants.

"That statement was a simplification," said Kurt Schmucker, Connectix director of product management.

This now-deleted statement lead to our inquiries about why other compute-bound applications, such as Apple's iTunes and Final Cut Pro, didn't see the kind of performance drop in Mac OS X as VPC 5 did. This lead to Connectix's claim of undocumented APIs in Apple applications.

The newly updated white paper focuses on the idea that things are different in OS X, instead of saying that preemptive multitasking is a negative feature. "We [developers] didn't know how to schedule in a preemptive world," said Schmucker.

Mitch Cipriano, Connectix vice-president of product management, added "Mac OS X is a new system. The way you optimize an application in OS X is different than in previous Mac OS versions. Developers are just getting up to speed."

Does this mean that Mac OS X applications will some day obtain the "unprecedented performance" due to "industrial-strength UNIX," as Apple claims on its Mac OS X home page?

"We believe OS X apps have the potential to be faster than OS 9" said Bereskin. "We are convinced that application developers can optimize their products for superior performance in OS X."

However, the Connectix white paper still says that "Virtual PC will never be as fast on Mac OS X as it is on Mac OS 9."

When pressed about the finality of the word "never," Cipriano took a less pessimistic tone. "'Never' is probably an overstatement."

AirPort Admin utility for Windows available from Apple. January 17, 2002 -- Apple has posted the AirPort Admin Utility for Microsoft Windows, a utility for Windows 98, 2000, and XP that enables users to configure Apple's dual -Ethernet AirPort Base Station (Snow), though not the original Graphite Base station. Apple says this is "an unsupported development version," the first Apple has released for Windows. (We have other third-party Airport configuration tools for Windows listed on our Cross-Platform AirPort page.) Of the utility's capabilities, Apple says:

You can also use the AirPort Admin Utility to configure advanced base station settings such as channel frequency, closed networks, base station density, multicast rate, DHCP lease time, access control, or port mapping.

More reports of the Mac OS X Finder crashing with NT Server. January 17, 2002 -- We've had several more reports of the Mac OS X Finder crashing when connected to Windows NT Server. The problem appears to be fairly widespread, and is preventing some people, including Mike Deme from migrating to OS X:

Same problem here. I can mount the NT server fine. However, when I actually try to use it, the Finder crashes. Very disappointing. I can't switch our organizations Mac users over to X until this issue is dealt with.

Larry Groebe describes more symptoms:

I can confirm and reproduce this, too. Boy, can I reproduce this! I just wish I could stop it. It's nothing so simple as blank space in front of the file - I wish.

Because of problems like this, we only have one Mac currently running OS X, much as I would like to have more.

For instance, I just spent half-an-hour playing with one guilty directory on our NT server. Navigate to it in the Finder and you're guaranteed a quick crash. If I move all the dozen or so files in this directory into a subdirectory, the crash stops. Move a few files back, the crash still doesn't happen. Move a few more files back, the crash happens again. MOVE THOSE SAME FILES BACK OUT AGAIN, THE CRASH CONTINUES(!). Move *all* files out again, the crash stops.

That's a clue, but I'm not a smart enough detective.

Ralf Schmidt has a theory:

We have still the same problems. It seems to be a problem with the filenames.

Dan Schwartz of the Mac-NT Mailing List told us that his readers are also reporting the problem. If you have this problem, please let us know.

University group posts info about authenticating Mac OS X to a Windows 2000 Active Directory. January 15, 2002 -- Brad Judy of the University of Colorado at Boulder reports that Apple is working with a group of universities "in a collaborative effort on Mac OS X deployment." The group's web site, ("Mac OS X Deployment in Higher Education") includes a lot of useful information--including instructions on using LDAP to authenticate OS X to Windows 2000 Active Directory, complete with screenshots.

(There is also some previously posted information sent by readers on our Mac OS X Report page.)

Prosoft working on Novell NetWare Client for Mac OS X. January 15, 2002 -- Yesterday, MacFixIt reported that Prosoft Engineering was working on a Mac OS X version of its NetWare Client. MacFixIt said it would be ready when Apple ships Mac OS X 10.2. (Thanks to Brian Lee.) (For more on the Prosoft NetWare Client for Mac, see our NetWare and Macs Report page.)

WebMerge 1.9.1 adds database export formats, speed. January 15, 2002 -- Fourth World has released WebMerge 1.9.1 (US $69) for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME and Mac OS 8.0 or later. WebMerge 1.9.1 generates static Web pages from database files. The new version adds performance and new database export file formats. Support formats are Merge or tab-delimited, FileMaker Pro, and Microsoft Access.

Solutions update: VersaTerm terminal emulator. January 15, 2002 -- We've added VersaTerm to the listings of Mac terminal emulation products on our Network Solutions page. Reader Steve Samuels vouches for it:

I've been using VersaTerm to connect remotely with VAX/VMS networks since 1994. It still works well under OS 9.2.2.

X-platform QuickTime DV codec problem. January 15, 2002 -- John Coats reports this problem

When creating a QuickTime movie in Adobe Aftereffects from a targa file sequence using the DV codec I find that the results appear correct when viewed on the platform that was used to make them but shift in brightness and contrast when the same file is viewed on the the other platform. This is not a monitor gamma issue, the actual RGB values are read differently on each platform. This holds true when going from Windows to Mac or Mac to Windows. It appears to be unique to the DV codec.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Another reader with Outlook through VPN problem. January 15, 2002 -- Warwick Teal responded to our January 4 report of a problem with Outlook 2001 getting through a virtual private network.

I also see the same symptoms when connected to my corporate network via VPN. My other network connections (Netscape, I.E., various apps, DAVE, FTP, etc. etc.) all work fine every time except MS OUTLOOK EXCHANGE.

It was working every time since the last few days and now despite how I use it under OX/X in classic mode. I am looking for some ideas on how to shoot the problem.

If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

Mac OS X with NT -43 error may be bad RAID. January 15, 2002 -- Jon Buckley writes about a -43 error another reader reported with Mac OS X accessing Windows NT Server:

Interesting tidbit... going to MacHelp in OS X and asking "What is Error Code -43?" pops up a list of options, and one possibility... that it could be a damaged RAID Drive. Now as I stated, I am not having this file transfer problem in OS 9, but perhaps it offers a tantalizing clue as to the culprit. Apple still has not replied to this issue on their message boards.

FreeBSD goes back to its roots. January 15, 2002 -- A CNET story reports that Wind River Systems is selling its FreeBSD business back to Bob Bruce, who first published FreeBSD in 1993.

News Analysis: Apple contradicts Connectix about OS X speed. January 14, 2002 -- Apple and Connectix are telling opposite stories about the ability of applications to grab enough processor power in Mac OS X. As we reported last week, the Connectix web site says that Mac OS X and preemptive multitasking can't give Virtual PC 5 the processor time it needs. Yet, the old SoftWindows for Unix emulator ran smoothly on a preemptive multitasking Unix system, and Apple itself had a Mac emulator for Unix (Macintosh Application Environment) the worked well. But Connectix says that VPC will always run slower in OS X than in OS 9.

Apple was telling a different story to audiences at Macworld Expo last week. At about 4:25 minutes into a presentation entitled "The Power of X," Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Avie Tevanian said:

"If an application is really important and needs to get something time-critical done, it can indicate that to the kernel, and the kernel can make sure that gets scheduled appropriately using realtime processing."

Connectix told us last week that Virtual PC 5 uses "more parts of the kernel than any other application," but said VPC still can't get the processing power it needs. It would seem that VPC does not meet Tevanian's criteria of "really important application." Does "really important application" mean an Apple application? Connectix seems to think so, and told us last week that Apple is using unpublished APIs (application programmer interfaces) to speed up Apple applications such as iTunes and iMovie.

What VPC 5, iTunes, and iMovie have in common is that they are all Carbon applications. Apple created Carbon as an easier way to port Mac applications to OS X after developers balked at completely rewriting their software for the Cocoa framework. Carbon lets developers reuse old Mac code, but comes with overhead baggage. Unfortunately, developers of major pieces of software--including Apple--are not yet releasing big Cocoa apps. Most of these non-Apple Carbon applications (such as Microsoft Office) are not showing the promise of stellar Unix performance that Apple was promising before OS X shipped.

Another issue that hints at the possible performance limitations of Carbon is the lack of a Carbonized version of Adobe Photoshop. When Apple had first announced Carbon, Adobe appeared on a Worldwide Developer Conference stage to demonstrate Carbonized Photoshop. The Adobe rep said he had Carbonized Photoshop over the weekend, taking time out from a family picnic. Three years later, Adobe has released almost its entire product line as Carbon versions--except for Photoshop. Why? Sources told MacWindows that Carbon Photoshop just isn't making it performance-wise. This could indicate that Adobe is either waiting for something from Apple--or may be writing Photoshop as a Cocoa app.

For our previous reports on the VPC performance issue in Mac OS X, see our Virtual PC 5 Report page.

(Thanks to reader George Machen for his help with this piece.)

TIPS on Virtual PC 5: what works and what doesn't. January 14, 2002 -- During our interview with Connectix executives Kurt Schmucker and Jeff Woolsey last week, we asked them how to optimize a Mac for running Virtual PC 5 in OS 9 and in OS X. They told us what works and what doesn't.

Connectix also passed along a timesaving tip. Installing your own copy of Windows XP in VPC 5 can take up to 2 hours. Installing Windows XP via a Connectix OS Pack takes 5 minutes. The Connectix OS Pack with Windows XP is also less expensive than a copy of Windows XP.

For more on VPC 5, see our Virtual PC 5 Report page.

Solutions update: low-cost USB Mac-PC file transfer utility. January 14, 2002 -- We've added the RAM Electronics BF-100C USB Smart Cable (US $29.95) to the product listings on our our Cross-Platform Network Solutions page. The Smart Cable enables file transfers between Macs and PCs. The manufacturer web site doesn't mention software, so we're not sure how file transfers are initiated. If you've used this product, please let us know how it works.

(Thanks to Jay Ruuska for alerting us to this product.)

Solutions update: utility converts Meeting Maker data to MS Exchange. January 14, 2002 -- Sumatra Development has a "custom, database-driven solution" that can help migrate from Meeting Maker to Microsoft Exchange Server. However, it is unclear whether this solution is a product or a service--the web site doesn't give a product name, but asks readers to contact them. Sumatra rep Zyg Furmaniuk described it:

At Sumatra Development we've developed a way of migrating Meeting Maker servers to Microsoft Exchange -- so that all MM activities and meetings become Outlook appointments and meetings.

Solutions update: A cheaper converter connector for connecting Apple flat panels to PCs. January 14, 2002 -- While roaming the aisles of Macworld Expo San Francisco last week, we found the New Motion DVI to ADC Conversion Box (US $139), so far the least expensive way we know to plug an Apple ADC display into a PC (or older Power Mac G4 with DVI).

Gefen's ex-tend-it DVI to ADC Conversion Box list price has dropped to US $199, but is available at the Gefen web site for $149.

We've added the New Motion box to the product listings on our Keyboard and Monitor Solutions page.

More reader reports on OS X Finder crashes with Windows NT. January 14, 2002 -- More readers have reported problems with Mac OS X 10.1.2 and NT Server that results in the Finder crashing. Larry Martin reports:

With AppleShare on, logging on to Mac volumes on an NT 4 SP5 server, I get crashes in the Mac OS X 10.1.2 Finder when opening specific folders. Not all folders and no logic (yet) to how the folders that crash are different. But I can repeat it on certain folders.

Interestingly, logging on to the main Windows NT server using samba yields no such problems. I have had no crashes whatsoever. Unfortunately, I also have to sift through dozens of folders and invisible (to windows) files to get where I'm going. I have also found that I am creating "duplicates" of many of my files that are small in size and begin with "._." on the NT Server.

Also, I have yet to figure out how to automatically logon to the Windows server when I log in to OS X.

David Schlosser also verifies the problem reader have been having:

We experience an OS X Finder crash when trying to browse Win NT shares via AppleTalk if a file or folder has been named with a space as the first character. Removing the space clears it up. Unfortunately, some users (most work on OS 9.1) like to do this to get their file/folder to the top of the list.

Connectix says Apple apps get preferential treatment in OS X. January 10, 2002 -- Yesterday we met with Connectix executives to discuss the cause of Virtual PC 5 slower performance in Mac OS X, which we reported on January 7. Connectix claims that some Apple applications don't experience the slowdowns of VPC because of extra access to the processor given to Apple applications. "There's a discrepancy between Apple apps and non-Apple apps." said Director of Product Management Kurt Schmucker.

As we've previously mentioned, Connectix says that VPC in OS X will never be as fast as it is in OS 9. Connectix claims that Virtual PC can't get enough processor power in Mac OS X because of preemptive multitasking. Virtual PC is not "event driven" (using the processor in response to user commands)--but instead needs constant processing power, which preemptive multitasking can't give it, according to Connectix. However, there are other nonevent driven OS X applications that have good performance--iTunes and iMovie, for instance. Connectix claims that Apple applications get access to the processor that other apps don't. "It's undocumented API's that give iTunes and iMovie their smoothness," said Connectix QA Manager Jeff Woolsey.

If they exist, these undocumented APIs are the kind of secret trap doors that Microsoft is often accused of using for Windows applications. However, Schmucker said he did not think Apple was intentionally withholding technology, saying that Apple already has given Connectix help with porting VPC. "Virtual PC exercises more parts of the kernel than any other application," he said. Schmucker also said that Apple is currently working with Connectix to improve VPC performance, possibly incorporating changes in a future version of OS X. We could not contact an Apple representative for a comment.

Another issue for Virtual PC 5 is that it is a Carbon application, which means it is subjected to the processing overhead that all Carbon applications are subjected to. Carbon is the fastest way to port an application to Mac OS X, enabling a developer retain large portions of its code base instead of creating a new application from scratch. (Microsoft Office is also a Carbon application.) iTunes and iMovie are also Carbon applications.

We'll have further updates to this topic, including tips for maximizing performance of VPC 5 in Mac OS X.

ODBC & JDBC Data Base Drivers for Mac OS X. January 10, 2002 -- OpenLink Software has released a Mac OS X version of its Universal Data Access Drivers Suite v4.2, which includes ODBC and JDBC database connection drivers. The drivers support connections to Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, Informix, Sybase, MySQL, and "any other ODBC compliant database engine," according to OpenLink.

French-language page for setting up Windows 2000 Server for Mac clients. January 10, 2002 -- Gils Gayraud has a pair of web pages that describe setting up Windows 2000 Server and a Mac client for file sharing. The pages are written in French and include screen shots. There is one page with Windows 2000 Server instructions and another with the Mac client instructions.

Update on OS X logging into Windows domains. January 10, 2002 -- Kyle Crawford sent us a report on how to authenticate Mac OS X to Windows domains using Active Directory via Kerberos, in repsonse to our recent reports on the subject on our Mac OS X Reports page. Crawford offers several useful tips:

I've had success with logging into our Windows Domain using Kerberos as well.

Here are a few gotchas:

1.) If you are getting 'encryption type not supported' messages, try changing your password from a Windows machine. Windows NT 4 user accounts that have been upgraded to Windows 2000 will not work until their passwords have been changed. The password change triggers Windows 2000 to generate a DES encrypted version of their password--which is required for MIT standard Kerberos.

2.) The Mac OS X screen saver does NOT use the Kerberos password, so one must use the local account password for this to work--which makes the domain authentication somewhat useless since you already have a local account password.

3.) Unlike Windows, Mac OS X is not able to cache a profile for the user, so when off the network, a user will need to enter the local account password--again making domain authentication somewhat useless.

4.) The Kerberos Login Authenticator uses the short name, but Mac OS X defaults to the long name in the login panel. To avoid confusion, it might be best to make both your long and short names match each other in addition to matching your domain username.

I'm still doing some experimenting. I'm still not sure how Kerberos relates to the Directory server hierarchy. For example, can one use Kerberos to login and still get your home directory info from an LDAP server? Are they separate entities?

This is exciting stuff. I'm impressed. I hope that other Mac Managers will encourage Apple to keep up the good work in this area and provide some documentation for Kerberos and LDAP.

Our IT department has been willing to add entries to Active Directory to help out.

Next project: using LDAP to set home directories and browse for servers and LPR print servers. If anyone has had success with that, please share.

You can share by e-mailing MacWindows.

Problem with installing QuickTime 5 for Windows. January 10, 2002 -- A reader reports problems downloading and installing QuickTime 5 for Windows on multiple PCs in different locations. The installation would begin but would not complete. If you've seen this problem, please let us know.

XPlay (iPod for Windows) to ship next month. January 9, 2002 -- Yesterday at Macworld Expo San Francisco, Mediafour announced that it would offer XPlay on February 26 for US $40. XPlay, now in beta, is Windows software that allows PC users to transfer music to Apple's iPod as a storage device, play the music on the PC through Windows Media Player, and use the Windows Explorer Interface to arrange music on the iPod.

We spoke to Mediafour yesterday and learned some more about XPlay:

DeBabelizer Pro 5 runs on OS X. January 9, 2002 -- Yesterday Equilibrium Software began shipping DeBabelizer 5 Pro (US $699.95; upgrade US $149.95) for Mac and Windows, the news version of the cross-platform automated media production tool. Debabelizer Pro can do batch editing of an unlimitted number of images, digital video, and animation, converts between hundreds of Mac and PC multimedia formats, and can acquire images from devices, files, or folders. Version 5 adds a number of new features, amoung them:

There were also interface improvements.

Windows Media Player for Macintosh OS X posted. January 9, 2002 -- Yesterday, Microsoft posted Windows Media Player for Mac OS X (free download) at its web site for the first time. The Player requires Mac OS X v10.1 or later. Windows Media Player for OS X is on the Office X CD-ROM, but had not been made available to the general public.

Darwin-certified PCs. January 9, 2002 -- Daemon News is now testing x86-based PCs for compatibility with Darwin, the BSD Unix core of Mac OS X. This is part of Daemon's hardware certification program, which tests PCs for compatibility with various types of BSD.

Terra Soft offers Black Lab 2.0 for Yellow Dog Linux. January 9, 2002 -- Terra Soft yesterday released Black Lab for Yellow Dog Linux 2.0 for creating clusters of Macs running Linux.

Apple announcements: new Macs boot in OS X, radical new iMac. January 8, 2002 -- Cross-platform implications were absent from yesterday's keynote address at Macworld Expo, as Steve Jobs introduced the new iMac and the impressive new consumer iPhoto software. Jobs did announce that all new Macs are now being shipped with OS X configured to boot. (Mac OS 9 is still installed can be set as the default OS.)

Although a bit off our beat, we can't help commenting on the "Luxor lamp" design of the new iMac design. The chrome arm that connects the flat panel display to the base is one of the most interesting technologies in the system. It enables you to move swivel, pivot, and rotate the display in any direction with the touch of a hand. Although it looks like it might tip over, the base is weighted, making this unlikely. Another interesting aspect is that the iMac has the specs of some current PowerMacs G4, including G4 processor, high-end graphics hardware, and option for DVD/CD RW. We suspect that this unit may find its way into corporate art departments and onto cross-platform networks.

One more note: The Time Canada story with photo of the new iMac that we linked to yesterday was apparently posted for 3 hours on Sunday night (when we saw it)--a violation of Apple secrecy, which ended when the iMac rose out of the stage. Our sources said that Apple has the remove the story until yesterday morning. (Jobs and the new iMac are on the cover of Time magazine.)

Helix ships prepress servers for OS X. January 8, 2002 -- Helios Software GmbH, a developer of cross-platform prepress servers for Unix, yesterday announced that it is shipping Mac OS X versions of its network software to service Windows and Macintosh clients. Helios now has Mac OS X versions of the following servers:

Microsoft offers a free Test Drive of Office v. X: demoware for office; rebate program. January 8, 2002 -- Yesterday, the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit announced the availability of a free Office v. X Test Drive for OS X from now until March 31. While most products labeled "test drive" are alpha or early beta versions, Test Drive v.X is a 30-day demo of the shipping versions of all 4 Office applications. Office v.X Test Drive is available as a download or on a CD-ROM.

Apple and Microsoft are also offering rebates: people who purchase a Mac and the full version of Office v. X can receive $150 back by mail. Customers who purchase a Mac and the upgrade version of Office v. X can receive a $75 rebate. A Mac OS X upgrade and the full or upgrade version of Office v. X gets you a $50 rebate.  

Virtual PC 5.0.1 fixes minor bugs. January 8, 2002 -- Connectix has released Virtual PC 5.0.1, and upgrade to the PC emulator for Mac OS 9 and OS X that fixes a number of bugs, including a conflict with Sharity in OS X, a problem with reading DVD-R discs from Virtual PC, and a problem with dragging and dropping files between Mac and Windows.

Gefen ships VGA-to ADC converter for Apple Digital Flat Panel Displays. January 8, 2002 -- Yesterday, Gefen Inc. shipped the ex-tend-it VGA to ADC Conversion Box (US $399), a solution for computer users who want to connect an Apple flat panel digital display to a standard analog VGA port on a PC or Macintosh. Apple's current LCD displays are all digital with an Apple proprietary ADC connector. Gefen also has DVI to ADC Conversion Box (US $199).

IE 5.1 on OS X authentication problems. January 8, 2002 -- Several reader verified a problem we problem with Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac that we reported on January 4. Kyle Crawford says the problem is authentication:

I've experienced the same authentication problems and instability with IE 5.1 as Tony McArthur. The problem only occurs with proxy servers that require authentication. With proxy servers that do not require authentication, IE 5.1 is stable. So MS added instability to the existing proxy authentication issues in IE 5.

I've requested a timeframe for a fix from MS, but haven't gotten a response yet.

Given that in Mac OS X, we can now get a Kerberos ticket from a Windows Domain at the login panel, I'm wondering if MS could use Kerberos to authenticate proxies. In general, if applications begin supporting Kerberos, Macs can start using Kerberos as a single login point of entry. Enter your password once at the login, and you are authenticated to every authorized service on the network. Now THAT would be nice.

(For more on Kerberos and Mac OS X, see our Mac OS X report page.)

Daniel Foshee verified the problem and verified that other browsers don't have the problem.

I've seen the exact same problems with 5.1 on both Classic and OS X. I use IE 5.0 in Classic mode. Also use Mozilla 0.9.7 or Netscape 6.0 without those problems in classic, and OmniWeb in OS X successfully.

MacWindows covering Macworld Expo this week. January 7, 2001 -- We will be at Moscone Center in San Francisco to hear Steve Jobs give his "big" announcements, as well as to talk to vendors at the show. We can 't remember Apple every hyping a Macworld show as much it has in the past few weeks. A new flat-panel based iMac is a certainty, equipped with the new iPhoto software. (Time Canada magazine has some photos and a story, oddly dated "January 14.") We know this doesn't do much for MacWindows readers as, say, a universal virtual private network client might, but we'll keep ears open. We'll have a report of any cross-platform Expo news tomorrow.

Special report: Readers respond negatively to slow VPC 5 performance in OS X. January 7, 2001 -- We've heard from numerous readers regarding the speed of Virtual PC 5 on Mac OS X on a variety of different Mac hardware. Most readers use words like and "very slow, "unsusable" or "almost unusable" to describe the performance of VPC 5 in OS X. Several readers said they will not be using it, and a couple said they would be or had bought PCs to take care of their Windows software needs.

For it's part, Connectix claims that Virtual PC 5 is actually faster than VPC 4, and that VPC 5 is 25-to-35 percent slower in Mac OS X than in Mac OS 9. In a PDF paper it published at its site, Connect says that "Virtual PC will never be as fast on Mac OS X as it is on Mac OS 9," blaming the layered architecture of OS X, its Unix underpinnings, and preemptive multitasking. Connectix also explains some of this at one of its forums.

We have to question some of these claims. We understand that VPC under Mac OS 9 takes some unorthodox steps to "hog" memory and processor time, steps that are not permitted in Mac OS X. However, programmers for BSD, Unix, and Linux know that if you need more processor time in a preemptive multitasking system one can break up the program into a large numbers of smaller tasks.

Additionally, some of our readers say that OS X performance penalty is greater than the 25-to-35 percent claimed by Connectix. Gordon Wolford sent us some test he did that show VPC running 35-to-70 percent slower in OS X:

I recently ran a very crude and basic time trial comparing Virtual PC 5.0 speeds between OS 9 and X [time in seconds].

In OS 9.2.2

In OS X 10.1.2

Percentage of OS X Speed in OS 9





Virtual PC 5






Windows 95 (256MB RAM)






Windows 95 Loaded






Windows 95 I Explorer






Windows 98 (256MB RAM)






Windows 98 I Explorer






Windows ME2 (256MB RAM)






Windows ME2 I Explorer






Windows XP (512MB RAM)






Windows XP I Explorer






Total Times






This was run on a QuickSilver G4 733, 1.1 GB RAM, dual monitors at millions of colors with no other applications running except Virtual PC 5 and in full screen mode on my second monitor. All versions of Windows were run from a clean install from the respective Windows CDs except for the system named 'Windows 95 Loaded' which is my working Virtual PC file loaded with my normal PC software. As can be seen, having other processes running (i.e. Spell Catcher, Office Shortcut Bar, QuickShelf) dramatically slows things down.

I'll let the specific numbers speak for themselves, but from this chart, one can see that contrary to Connectix's stated claims that Virtual PC 5 is only 25-40% slower in OS X than in 9, the overall speed of starting up the program itself and then all Windows systems from 95 to XP and then each system's Internet Explorer to the browser's home page is closer to twice the speed (50%) in OS 9 overall than in X. In no cases except opening Virtual PC 5 itself was the speed difference anywhere close to being only 25% slower and those times are too short to be significant.

You can read a number of other reader reports on this issue on our new Virtual PC 5 Special Report page.

MacWindows Solutions page back on line. January 7, 2001 -- We've corrected a problem with our MacWindows Solutions page that prevented Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac from displaying most of the page.

Mediafour posts XPlay Preview 3--next prerelease of iPod for Windows. January 4, 2002 -- Mediafour has posted XPlay Preview 3, the third prerelease version of its iPod software for Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP. XPlay Preview 3 creates a Windows drive letter for an Apple iPod, lets you copy MP3, AIF and WAV files to the iPod through Windows Media Player and a special XPlay music folder, among other things.

More reader problems with OS X 10.1.2 connecting to Windows NT Server. January 4, 2002 -- Andreas Norén verified having the same problems connecting to a Windows NT server using Mac OS x 10.1.2 that we reported yesterday. "We have that exact problem at work," said Norén.

Virtual PC 5 reader report: slow on OS X. January 4, 2002 -- Responding to yesterday's request for reader experiences with Virtual PC 5, Chris Smulian sent this comment:

VPC 5 runs quite a bit slower on Mac OS X (10.1) than VPC 4 did on OS 9. It's faster than the preview version, but that isn't saying much. I find it usable, but just barely. After getting speed boosts with each new version, VPC 5 is disappointing.

We'd like to hear your opinions on VPC 5.

Internet Explorer 5.1 problem with ISA server--both OS X and OS 9 versions. January 4, 2002 -- Tony McArthur has a problem using Internet Explorer 5.1--both the OS X and OS 9 version.

I have never had any difficulties using IE 5.1 on OS X at home but I have had problems with IE 5.1 in OS X on the work network for some months now. The browser has difficulties with authentication to the ISA Server and it crashes regularly. For this reason, I have reverted to using OS 9 where until today, I have had no problems.

Today, I downloaded and installed IE 5.1 for OS 9. I found exactly the same problems. I had difficulties authenticating and I got repeated Type 2 errors and crashes. As a consequence, I have reverted to using IE 5 SR1. My problems in OS 9 disappeared. Now I may attempt to find a way of restoring and earlier OS X IE 5 browser to OS X.

For what it is worth, I cannot use a Netscape browser at all at work but people on Wintel boxes can.

If you've seen these problems, please let us know.

New Outlook 2001 reports: VPN issue, the non-network problem again. January 4, 2002 -- Joshua Hadley reports problems he is having with Outlook 2001 under OS 9.x communicating with Exchange Server through a virtual private network:

We are having numerous "just plain problems" with Outlook under Mac OS 9.0.2 and 9.1. The main issue is with connection timeouts or something similar. You'll be working along, typing an e-mail, and all of a sudden you get a small message box with a barber-pole, saying that Outlook is "communicating with the server", when in fact it is NOT communicating with the server. This may or may not resolve itself in a few minutes -- or a few hours. We connect to our server via a VPN, created by a Windows 2000 Server, via 768K DSL. Windows boxes running Outlook almost never exhibit connection problems, only Macs. We've gone as far as setting up hosts files in the TCP/IP control panel, but that didn't seem to have any effect.

Another problem we see is upon quitting the app -- sometimes it "just sits there", e.q. leaves the icon in the applications area of the title bar (Mac OS 9) but does not go away. A Force-Quit cures it.

[These problems] seem to be random--sometimes they happen, sometimes not. After about 4 months of having it installed on about 10 Macs (various models), we cannot isolate the problems to any particular set of circumstances.

Meanwhile, Stewart Johnson reports having a non-network problem with Outlook running in OS X Classic similar to one we reported on December 20, but suspects OS 9.2.2: 

I have a very similar problem, although I don't think it's related to Mac OS X. Mac OS 9.2.2 seems to perhaps contribute to the problem though. Same symptoms, but as far as I can see is related to the program directory being damaged. On trying to open one of my mailboxes I get an end of file error, and from then on I can't see any messages. The mailbox highlights, but no messages are seen.

I haven't tried downgrading the OS yet, but am not absolutely sure that it is the crux of the problem.

Another reader with AppleTalk on Airport network. January 4, 2002 -- Responding to our December 28 report from a reader who has a problem with a D-Link DSL modem preventing AppleTalk from working on an AirPort network, Steve Simons reports has the same problem with a LinkSys hardware:

I have the LinkSys BEFW11S4. I am also unable to see any AppleTalk devices when connected wireless as well.

Sharing cable modem with PCs and old Mac clone. January 4, 2002 -- Brian Durant sent us his experiences sharing a cable modem Internet connection with a cross-platform network of PCs and an old Umax Mac clone using Linksys hardware. You can read it on our Peer-to-Peer Tips page.

Reminder: for DAVE over wireless networks, turn off NAT. January 4, 2002 -- Recently, a few readers have reported problems with DAVE on AirPort networks. This is a known issue that we have reported on our DAVE special report page. We've also had the solution posted for awhile: turn off Network Address Translation (NAT) in the Base Station and give the Macs static IP addresses. We have more information about this from Thursby Systems here.

Netatalk 1.5 released--major new version of AFP file server for Unix/Linux servers, Mac clients. January 3, 2002 -- The Netatalk development team has posted the final release of Netatalk 1.5, the open source file and print server for Unix to support Macintosh clients. Netatalk 1.5 can run on Linux (Debian, Mandrake, RedHat, SuSE, and others), Sun Solaris (32-bit) FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Tru64. (Binaries for other operating systems will be made available at the SourceForge web site over time.) Among the features of the Netatalk 1.5 suite are:

Version 1.5 fixes some problems with alias and disappearing files. The developers also said that "the quality of the code base has greatly improved since earlier releases." Netatalk is now licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and is a free download.

Cross-platform holy grail -- PowerPC for Intel PCs -- announced for March release. January 3, 2002 -- Microcode Solutions has announced that it plans to release the first PowerPC Macintosh emulator for Intel PCs in March at Macworld Tokyo. (All current Mac emulators, such as Basilisk II, only emulate the pre-PowerMac 68000 family of processors, and can only run Mac OS 8.1 and earlier.) Microcode said that the software will emulate an iMac and will be capable of running any version of Mac OS, Linux for PowerPC, or Be OS. Microcode also said that the emulator will also work with a planned PCI card containing a PowerPC G3 or G4 and slots for RAM (which we reported on last March of 2001.) Microcode said it would price the software for US 50, and the card for US $350. Details on the product are sketchy, and the Microcode has not announced the product's name, but it won't be naming it after the Fusion emulation products it has developed in the past. Jim Watters has some posts from Microcode principle Jim Drew about the upcoming product at Watters' Macintosh Emulation Forum at Delphi. Michael Goodine's Emaculation website also has some information.

This is not the first time a PowerPC emulator has been announced. A few years ago, a company called Emulators Inc. announced a PowerPC emulator, only to abandon the project. Microcode has long said it would develop such a product, and last year produced iFusion, a PowerPC emulator for the old Amiga platform.

Report of Red Hat Linux in VPC 5, OS 9.1. January 3, 2002 -- Harry Reisenleiter was able to get Red Hat Linux running under Virtual PC 5.0 on Mac OS 9.1:

I've successfully (mostly) installed Red Hat Linux 7.2 (KDE) and the new KOffice under Virtual PC 5.0 Machine: PowerBook G4/400, 512 MB RAM, 10 GB Drive, DVD, OS 9.1, DeskJet 870Cse, EarthLink DSL connection.

Everything seems to run smoothly and relatively quickly. There are 2 small glitches (after a couple of problems a missing Disc 2, getting Ethernet configured properly, and getting screen colors to 16 bit), one is getting Linux to print, and the other is getting connectivity to the "Mac side" using my small Intranet and not being connected to the wider Internet world. Other than those, I've been having a ball learning Linux, RPM and Terminal commands.

We'd like to hear your impressions, problems, and tips for Virtual PC 5 in both Mac OS X and OS 9.1. If you'd care to share them, send them our way.

OS X 10.1.2 doesn't fix problems with NT Server. January 3, 2002 -- Several readers have reported more problems with accessing NT Server with recently released 10.1.2 version of Mac OS X. (Various other problems with older versions are described on our Mac OS X Special Report page.) Ken Kling reports Finder crashes when browsing mounted shares:

OS X 10.1.2 Finder still crashes with NT Server 4 SP6a; when browsing shares the Finder still crashes. The problem occurs when mounting the shares via AppleTalk. The latest time it produced this console.log entry (edited to remove local network info):
userSelectedURL is afp:/at/<server>:<domain>
*** malloc[293]: error for object 0x29c4910: Incorrect check sum for freed object - object was probably modified after beeing freed; break

at szone_error

Jan 2 16:54:45 <localhost> /usr/libexec/CrashReporter: Succeeded writing crash report: /Users/<user>/Library/Logs/Finder.crash.log

I don't think it does not occur when mounting the same shares via SMB but SMB mounting confuses many Mac apps.

Jon Buckley is receiving an Error Code -43 with Mac OS X 10.1.2 on a dual 800 MHz Power Mac G4 (640 MB RAM).

"The operation cannot be completed because one of more required items cannot be found. (Error Code -43)"

Message when trying to copy a folder full of files from NT Server to OSX Macintosh. The same file copies perfectly from NT Server to OS 9.

I can copy files but not folders using AppleShare over TCP/IP. I can copy everything if connected via samba but the performance is too slow to be productive. Using Dave from Thursby lets me copy folders but my Classic apps don't see volumes mounted by Dave.

Strangely I didn't have any of these problems with 10.0.4.

If you've seen these problems, please let us know.

OS X 10.1.2 problem with PC MacLan on Win XP and W2000. January 3, 2002 -- Leif Carlsson sees a problem with Mac OS X 10.1.2 accessing PCs with PC MacLAN installed:

Some "incarnations" of OS X seem to work but at least the latest one, 10.1.2, seems to hang the OSX machine when connecting to W2000 with MacLan 8.1 "server". When connecting with OS 9 to the same server (P II 450 MHz, 100 Mbit 3Com) it is both fast 7-8 MB/s read/write and works OK. I will try with the checksum off.

If you've seen these problems, please let us know.

Joliet Volume Access 2.0.2 fixes DVD bug. January 3, 2002 -- Thomas Tempelmann has released Joliet Volume Access 2.0.2, a minor update to the Mac utility for mounting PC Joliet-formatted volumes. The update fixes a bug that interfered with mounting of UDF-formatted DVD discs.

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