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Archive for June, 2008

Serious OSX Security Vulnerabilty

June 29, 2008 Leave a comment

This one broke around a week ago but I’ve only just had the chance to try it out. And an OSX security flaw is big news so no harm in spreading the cure. The advisory at Washingtonpost.com concerns the Apple Remote Desktop Agent which runs as root and accepts applescript commands. Typing the following into terminal, you can copy and paste and it works fine.

osascript -e ‘tell app “ARDAgent” to do shell script “whoami”‘;

On my 10.5.3 installation this returns ‘root’, so the vulnerability can be used to do anything on the mac. The following code will change the file access permissions of ARDagent

osascript -e ‘tell app “ARDAgent” to do shell script “chmod 0555 /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/MacOS/ARDAgent”‘;

Again this can be copied and pasted into the terminal. Running the first commands again should now return your username rather than ‘root’.

Read the full article at the Washingtonpost.com

Macpro overclocking tool

June 29, 2008 Leave a comment

ZDNet.de has released a tool for overclocking the Macpro. It’s not a perfect solution and raises some interesting points about how the Mac keeps time, so read the notes before using, especially on a first generation Intel Macpro.

The more interesting point is that this has been released at all. The PC overclocking field is well established but until now there has been little of interest for overclocking Apple Macs. It’s different in the hackintosh realm, where overclocking the Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad is well documented and common. My own hackintosh has been running an overclocked Core 2 Quad 6600 at 3Ghz (up from the stock 2.4Ghz) for several months. This is set from the Bios and doesn’t appear to have any effect on OSx’s timekeeping ability.

Read the article and download the overclocking tool at ZDNet.de

Windows Vista: Not that bad

June 27, 2008 Leave a comment

If ever there’s been a case of damning with faint praise it’s an article on Gizmodo titled ‘Ten reasons why Vista isn’t that bad’. From the title that suggests it’s only slightly bad, to some of the weakest excuses I’ve heard yet, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. Here’s the list of ‘reasons’ Read more…

Leopard Finder ‘shared’ resources progress

June 24, 2008 1 comment

I’ve written several times in the past about the lack of network shares showing up in the Finder sidebar. The issue has been around since I first built my hackintosh using 10.5.2. Nothing would show up, other Macs or Windows (SMB) shares. I’ve tried many suggestions with no luck until this morning. My motherboard, a Gigabyte P35-DS3R using the Realtek 8111B chip. Read more…

Viewing AVCHD on a Mac

June 23, 2008 5 comments

How hard can this be? Sample video from the Sony HDR-TG3E (TG1 in the USA) has started appearing online and I’ve downloaded some to have a look at on my Mac. The video files are in an AVCHD format with an .MTS file extention. Quicktime doesn’t recognise the files, and VLC tries to play a few seconds then crashes. This post says some of the VLC nightly builds will play the video, so I downloaded several that were recommended as working. All played the video files poorly, freezing and jumping constantly. Mplayer wouldn’t even open the files.

Further searching revealed the only current way of viewing .MTS AVCHD files on the Mac is using Roxio’s Toast 9. Toast opens the Toast Video Player (©2008 Elgato) which plays the video’s smoothly. iMovie and Final Cut Express/Pro can import the video files direct from the recorder, but not plain files on your hard drive.

For anyone looking to view some sample’s on a Mac here are some links that should help.

Tracy & Matt’s Blog – sample video file

Akihabaranews – sample video files

iMovie ’08 camcorder compatibility at Apple.com

Fileinfo.net compatible software for .MTS files

Download a trial of Toast 9 from Softpedia

The Open Source FX pedal

June 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Open Source operating systems and software have been around for a long time and continue to gain popularity. The Open Source ideology seems to be spreading to new and varied areas, including sound effect units. The Open Stomp Coyote 1 is an Open Source design based on the Parallax Propellor processor, and uses the free software development tools from Parallax to write its effects programs. The developer is currently waiting manufacturing quotes for an initial release, so it’s worth signing onto the mailing list if you have an interest in seeing this one go to production.

Psystar releases Openserv platform

June 20, 2008 Leave a comment

Following on from its Opencomputer and OpenProcomputer models, Psystar has now released the Openserv 1100 and 2400 models. The 1100 offers four drive bays in a 1U rack space case and is available with a range of operating systems including Mac OSX 10.5 server. The 2400 models ups the drivebays to six in a 2U case. There’s been no reported action from Apple following the release of the Opencomputer, so it looks like Psystar are confident they can continue with their Mac OS range with impunity.

There’s also an Opengamer range on offer, but not surprisingly this is restricted to Windows Vista.

Also on the Psystar web site is a 10.5.3 installer for the Opencomputer range. This downloads and installs the 10.5.3 update from Apple for the hardware that the Opencomputer could be configured with. There’s no indication if this would work for a homebrew hackintosh with the same hardware.