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December 13, 2007

LaunchServices and Document Handlers

Recently, we have been receiving reports of users being confused by Pages opening Microsoft Word-formatted documents instead of Microsoft Word. So, we made some changes to the file ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.plist, which is the file responsible for file associations (and storing which applications open using Rosetta). On login, however, the LaunchServices file was changing—only the lines relating to Microsoft Word were removed.

Andrew Mortensen was kind enough to share a utility he wrote, "dh," that reads the content of a file and sets document handlers accordingly. Using this utility, I created a login script that runs and reads a file containing the Microsoft Word information. This successfully sets the correct file behavior on login.

Posted by slauncha at 10:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2007

Safari 3.0 and Mac OS X 10.4.11

The issue that was stopping the deployment of the 10.4.11 update was that when a user launched Safari, the first time he or she tried to download a file, they would see an error message stating that Safari could not download the file due to insufficient free space. We'd seen similar errors before, and they involved the download folder location (specified in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.internetconfig.plist) pointing to the default user profile folder instead of the logged in user's profile. This time, the default folder was not set, but the error was still occurring.

After trying various fixes, we realized that Safari 3.0 defaults to saving downloads to ~/Downloads instead of ~/Desktop. Since ~/Downloads doesn't exist in our default user profile, the folder didn't exist for the regular users and Safari, after the first failure, defaulted to the desktop.

To fix this issue, we changed ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist to point to ~/Desktop.

The lines added in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist were the following:

<key>DownloadsPath</key>
<string>~/Downloads</string>
<key>DownloadsPathWasConverted</key>
<true/>

Posted by slauncha at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2007

Flash crashing IE7 on Windows XP

The PC Team worked on a problem this past weekend with our partners at the LRC. The LRC was reporting that an online exam was crashing IE7. The exam is a custom web app developed by the Med School, and it was completely closing the browser without generating an error message. We began by running their web app on our own machines, which we had set to display more verbose error messages than the lab machines do by default. This revealed a few bugs in the app's JavaScript, but did not seem to fully explain what we were seeing. Further investigation by ourselves and the LRC staff revealed that the app was closing most often at a particular point where the web app used Flash. We also found out that the LRC staff had noticed problems recently with other apps that used Flash. A short Google later we had found that many people are seeing similar problems with Flash 9 crashing IE 7. Our labs are currently using IE 7.0.5730.11 and Flash 9.0.47.0.

The IT folks at LRC were able to make some changes that increased the stability of their web app, and will be further testing to find out how compatible their apps are with current versions of Flash.

Posted by mrr at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

XServe RAID Problems

Lately we've had some problems with server hard drives that have required rebuilding the software RAIDs on some of our servers. Unfortunately, most of them were set up well before we put Mac OS X Server 10.4.11 on them, so they were using AppleRAID 1, which OS X 10.4 can't rebuild. After making a backup, we used the command diskutil convertRAID /path/to/volume to convert the RAID arrays to AppleRAID 2, allowing us to rebuild the RAID using Disk Utility.

Posted by slauncha at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2007

Poster Printing **Update**

Throughout our roll-out of the BETA version of the poster printer, we have noticed many erroneous jobs were sent our large format device. Sometimes users would inform us of their mistake, other times we'd have to contact them to give them a rebate. We quickly identified this as a problem and with the help of Kevin Jones (developer of the hold queue), were able to launch a solution. Sites Printing developed the poster printer hold queue.

The hold queue can be accessed here: https://mprint.umich.edu/poster/

Users are now forced to go to the advertised webpage to either release their job to the poster printer, or delete the job. If jobs are not addressed, they are purged from the queue after 24 hours. This page has resolved the most glaring issue we've encountered with our poster printer, but we aren't finished with development.

It is our hopes to implement a pop-up message that informs users of their decision to use our poster printer as well as gives them next steps for releasing or deleting the job. We are currently in development of the pop-up but do not have an eta as to its deployment.

-Sites Printing

Posted by rjonesii at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)