Dr Fragen in the operating room


  • Customer Service

    I just had to pass along kudos to [APC][]. I use one of their BackUPS battery backup systems. It’s been flawless for most of the past 3 years. In the past 3 days the overload light has tripped and it shuts off power to everything. Not what you want.
    I called tech support. They picked up the phone after only 2-3 rings, ran me through some diagnostics, told me there was probably 18 days left on my warranty. Then they told me they were shipping me a new unit.
    They are my customer service heroes.
    [apc]: http://www.apc.com/index.cfm

  • Verizon Thinks You’re a Spammer

    They must. Verizon now blocks port 25 and does not allow you to opt out. Why do I care? Well our hospital just opened up free WiFi everywhere and when I found I couldn’t send email I made a couple of trips to the Information Services folks.
    They swore up and down that they weren’t blocking anything at the router. An epiphany later and we figured out it was the Verizon DSL they were using for the access points.
    Well, the simple solution is to change email to accept SMTP on port 587. This was simple enough to fix on the server. Just uncomment the following line in /etc/postfix/master.cf
    #submission inet n - n - - smtpd
    Then sudo postfix reload and you’re good to go.
    Of course I also had to change my iPhone SMTP to use port 587. The only tricky part was remembering that I have my router set to provide a basic hardware firewall, in addition to the server’s ipfw. I had to open a service and a rule on the router to let TCP traffic on port 587 through.

  • WordPress Automatic Updates

    I think I finally have the automatic updates feature of WordPress working. Previously, when asked for my login info for the FTP connection I would get some vague connection error. It’s a permissions issue. Some permissions for files/folders need to be set for web server user, in my case Apache2, or _www on OS X Server.
    The answer mostly comes from looking for why WordPress asks for connection information. Be sure to read the comments. Definitely add the following to wp-config.php.

    define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

    So far, my solution seems to be something like the following, from the wordpress directory.

    sudo chown -R _www ./wp-content*
    sudo chown _www ./wp-admin/update*

    It seems to work, however, the information about what should be happening with the update seems to be in an endless loop. I let it run for a bit and when I check to see if the plugin or theme is updated it seems to have the newer version, but I’ve no real way to check or to know how long to let the process run.
    Very confusing.
    When I encounter more updates I’ll see if this really does work. BTW, updated to WordPress 3.0 for all the new goodness.
    This works fine for plugins and themes but not for the actual WP updates. Also, I just let it run until the browser doesn’t seem to be loading the page any longer and the updates are done. Something’s clearly not working as expected with this and OS X Server but I don’t know what it is.
    Update 2
    Thanks epor for the missing piece.

  • Don’t Send iCal Replies

    I came across a great hint in Mac OS X Hints today. It seems that there’s an easy way to interrupt the process of sending an email reply when accepting iCal invites. As I tend to play around with iCal invites a lot (adding and deleting the same event ad nauseum) — I love this.
    I wrote up a modified script like in the example and bundled it with a shell script, to install and uninstall the modification. You have to run this shell script using sudo from the CLI (Command Line Interface aka Terminal.app).
    The zip file contains the shell script, the modified Mail.scpt AppleScript, and the original Mail.scpt AppleScript.
    To install run sudo /path/to/iCal_Reply_Send.sh install
    To uninstall run sudo /path/to/iCal_Reply_Send.sh revert
    To check usage and status, run /path/to/iCal_Reply_Send.sh
    If you don’t like messing with the CLI then there’s a great little shareware app, iCal Reply Checker that does it all, and more.
    It seems that neither method interferes with the code signing of iCal as the script in question is not code signed.
    It appears that if you’re using an Exchange account in Mail.app that this script is being bypassed and this hint won’t work for you. 馃檨

  • New Safari Version??

    I’ve just spent the last 40 minutes on the phone with Union Bank tech support because for the past 2 weeks I’ve been unable to log in to my online account with Safari. After all this time the tech support person, who was very nice, told me I was missing a patch to Safari.
    I told him I have the latest patches to my OS and I am running the most currently available version of Safari. I told me that someone there “got some update patch and could log in.” I told him, with all due respect, I’ve been using Macs for over 20 years. (I got my first Mac 128K in 1985) I was quite certain that there is no more currently available version of Safari. Naturally I ran Software Update and no updates are available.
    Currently I’m running OS 10.6.3 and Safari Version 4.0.5 (6531.22.7), according to the About box. I’m not sure why they want to blame Apple, but for their logic to hold true a single user of theirs seems to have a “more up-to-date” version of Safari than is obtainable from either Software Update or Apple’s site.
    Fortunately Firefox still works.

  • iPad Arrives

    Well, with the Easter weekend over and Apple’s iPad gaining more headlines than anything else, I have to say I want one, but I can wait.
    I actually got to touch one. Someone at the hospital brought it with them.

    • It’s not that heavy.
    • The display is bright and crisp.
    • It’s fast.

    I played a little with the keyboard and I can see with some practice that it’s quite usable.
    I’m more excited to see what’s coming Thursday in the iPhone 4.0 announcement. A unified inbox for the Mail.app and Smart Folders would be great.
    The iPad is certainly a machine designed for consuming data, not necessarily manipulating data. There are several scripts that I’ve written that make my life easier and I don’t see anyway of making them work on an iPad or iPhone. Not that it’s a deal-breaker, it just means I can’t use the iPad for much more than I use my iPhone now. Except it’s really a faster, better reading environment. I’ll probably buy one based upon that alone.
    Time will tell. But I have to say for all those naysayers, wait till you’ve held one!