Win 7 Printing to Airport Printer

We have a combination of Mac and Windows machines in our house, and I was unable to get a new Windows 7 64-bit machine to print. The printer is shared using an Airport Extreme Base Station.

I downloaded Bonjour for Windows and it immediately detected the printer. Everything seemed OK, but printing always failed.

This led to many hours of failed searching and troubleshooting. I found many people have the same problem, and many solutions being offered. Nothing worked, until I noticed the “here” link:

64-bit Bonjour

With those highlighted circles, it seems painfully obvious. But the “download” button is more prominent, so I didn’t read the text. Based on the number of people I encountered having the exact same problem, I must not be the only one to miss this.

The real kicker is the fact that 32-bit Bonjour fails to warn you if you install it on a 64-bit PC. It happily finds the printer, leading to a false sense of success.

One last tip — if Bonjour can’t find the driver, first plug the printer directly into your PC. Windows should be able to download the right driver.

Magic Mouse

A family member got a Magic Mouse so I had some time to play around with it.

Magic Mouse

Here are my thoughts:

  • Step 1 – Go to System Preferences and enable right click. Duh.
  • Left and right click work perfectly, unlike the Mighty Mouse which I never could get to work reliably. You won’t mis-click with the new mouse.
  • There are no buttons, but the whole mouse does physically move and click, so it feels right.
  • The twoone-finger vertical swipe to scroll vertically works well.
  • I do not like the two-finger horizontal swipe gesture. This makes your browser go back and forward. The problem is, the entire mouse moves when I swipe horizontally. So I have to awkwardly hold the mouse while trying to contort my fingers…it’s not good.
  • For me, the mouse is far too dainty and tiny. Women and children will love this mouse. Men with big hands might be better served by a Logitech mouse.

Bad Data

My previous post elicited the exact comment I predicted it would:

you do understand that data is not from apple but from the legendarily inaccurate gracenote right? CD names are calculated by the exact number of tracks and track lengths – my favorite are classic CDs – often duplicate names. Also, the data isn’t vetted – so what would you rather, show the wrong one or give you a choice? Now if you want to gripe because you can’t see which one has the wrong spelling of Eleanor Rigby on it, that I can almost see…

Anyway, if you have an alternative more accurate service, file a bug with Apple, maybe they’ll use it…

While I anticipated this comment, I did not address it. Of course I understand where the data comes from. And of course Apple understands this as well.

Given the obvious knowledge that the data is suspect, any reasonable user interface would provide more detail than this:

CD Lookup Results

A user friendly interface might, for example, recognize duplicates, and offer to show additional details such as track names. This additional information would allow users to make more intelligent choices.

On the other hand, as currently implemented, the UI is completely worthless. If all they do is show a list of identical titles, they may as well merge the list into a single item and randomly choose one. Because as currently implemented, my only option is to randomly choose from one of the identical titles.

Summary

In summary:

  • We all know the data is unreliable, and Apple knows this as well
  • As currently implemented, the UI shows a list of identical names, offering no additional details
  • Two possible solutions:
    • Offer to show additional details when there are duplicates
    • Filter out the duplicates and choose one for us

The bad data is not Apple’s fault, but the bad presentation most certainly is.

Snow Leopard

Like a fool, I installed Snow Leopard today…the very day it was released. I should have waited a few weeks (at least).

For example, I see this message for various System Preferences panes…

System Preferences

…and then the window flashes and re-launches. As a few people informed me on Twitter, this is caused by 32-bit programs running within the new 64-bit System Preferences application. That makes sense after hearing the explanation, however people without a Twitter support group might just assume it’s a bug. UPDATE: Silly me! The dialog has a little question button that explains what’s happening. Doh!

Compatibility

The Snow Leopard Compatibility Matrix lists a surprising number of apps that Just Don’t Work right now. For me, this means:

  • The BOINC screen saver doesn’t launch at all. So for now, I won’t be contributing CPU cycles to search for aliens.
  • The software for my Logitech MX Revolution mouse doesn’t really work fully. I downloaded the latest version from Logitech, but it refuses to install. My mouse still functions, and I worked around the main problem: the thumb wheel no longer invoked Spaces. I was able to configure the wheel to trigger an F8 keystroke, so now it works with Spaces again.
  • Inkscape won’t even launch. I was getting pretty fed up with Inkscape anyway, it has always been riddled with bugs on Leopard. Starting next week, all Twittch.com comics will be created in Adobe Illustrator.
  • After installing Snow Leopard, I have about 3GB more disk space.
  • I don’t notice any performance difference.
  • Whenever I click an icon in the dock to launch an app, the initial “bounce” animations are very choppy and slow. They were smooth under Leopard.
  • SuperDuper! has a brand new release that works with Snow Leopard, so that is very good.
  • Update 2: The dock crashed earlier today. I was moving an icon, and the whole dock vanished. It did recover after a few seconds of beach ball activity.

That’s about it. I think for the most part, vendors are rushing to release Snow Leopard compatible products. I bet within a very short timeframe, just about every good application will work without a hitch.

A few months ago, I had resolved to *not* get Snow Leopard until Apple released a patch or two. But like most fanbois, I couldn’t resist.

Frozen Icons

From time to time, all of the icons on my Leopard desktop freeze. It’s like the entire desktop is a static bitmap, I cannot select any icon, move them, or show a context menu for icons.

To fix the problem, I right click the desktop, select “Show View Options”, and then change something like Icon Size or Grid Spacing.

After this little kick in the pants, the desktop icons become responsive again. But when the problem occurs, it usually happens several more times that day. What causes this?

Setting Java Version on Leopard

Today I learned something new about Leopard. On the command line, my default JDK was 1.5. I was about to edit a symlink under /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions to change to 1.6, but instead learned about the Java Preferences app.

In Spotlight, find “Java Preferences” and launch it. Or, find it directly under Applications/Utilities/Java. It looks like this:

Java Preferences

Just drag and drop to rearrange items in the lists. The JDK at the top of the list becomes your default.

Ant

While this worked, Ant still used the old Java 1.5. I fixed this by adding a line to ~/.bash_profile:

export JAVA_HOME=/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.6/Home

Keynote 09 Theme Chooser

This is the Keynote ‘08 theme chooser, shown when you start Keynote:

Here is the updated screen in Keynote ‘09:

Here are some differences I see:

  • The “Open Recent” feature is a welcome addition!
  • The “Close” button text changed to “Cancel”.
  • The text “Choose a theme for your presentation:” is gone. Instead, the screen has a title bar.
  • You can now adjust the preview size.
  • There are more themes.
  • The window corners are rounded.
  • Components are less rounded than before.
  • The scrollbar and buttons are less glossy than before.
  • The slide size option is now right-aligned. Its right edge matches the right edge of the Choose button. Overall, component alignment and spacing seems cleaner.
  • The background is black.
  • The previews have reflections.
  • The gray background seems to have a very subtle gradient.
  • “Don’t show this dialog again” is gone.

Why did I do this? Because when I ran Keynote ‘09 the first time, I noticed the “Open Recent” feature. I couldn’t remember if the old version had that feature, so I decided to check.

The funny thing is, I didn’t notice anything else different about the screen. (Maybe that’s the whole point!) Seeing them next to each other, however, makes it obvious they’ve put a lot of thought into the details.