Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Parallels, Et Tu?

What is Bill bitching about today? 
  • Politics? NO
  • Economy? NO
  • Sports? NO
  • Technology? Maybe
I use a Mac - you know that.  I also have need to get into Windows occasionally which I have found very huge returns on my investment with Parallels.  Recently, my job has called for the usage of VMWare, both from a Workstation perspective and a ESX perspective, so I acquired the VMWare Fusion 1.x and have kept it up-to-date.  I am now up to 3.0 (released last week).

Now my gripe!

Why is it that the upgrade to VMWare Fusion 3.0 was 39.99 and the Parallels is 49.99 - that is it.  A bitch session over $10.00.

My existing Parallels works fine in Snow Leopard (NOTE TO DEVELOPER:  If you product works in one O.S., don't market that as selling point for next version of product).

Why should I spend $50.00 on an upgrade that will give me:
  • Aero enhancements
  • Windows 7 Compatibility
  • DirectX 9c shaders
Ah... who am I kidding - I will probably buy it just to buy it.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Slapconfig, MacOSX Leopard Server and Frustration!

For the past several years, I have been the admin of my children's school, which subscribes to the Apple model of one-to-one and employs X-Servers as their infrastructure model of choice.  While I think the Mac OS client is an awesome platform full of features and functions, I also find that the tapestry of technical prowess required to circumnavigate around an Open Directory implementation is known to a few key architects at Apple and no one else.  Open Directory has got to be one of the most fragile and complex beasts known to man - (note to Apple: Simplify it, make it work, then add features).

It goes beyond frustration that I have a brand new 10.5 server (patched to 10.5.8) as an Open Directory Master, but for the life of me, cannot create a replica on another system (also 10.5.8).

After much splunking and searching, I have determined that the error lies within the launchd process that is not being elevated enough to run the slapconfig utility properly.  Why?  Don't know.

I try to run the GUI application to promote a system to replica and I am greeted with an 1077 error (which relates to an incorrect Directory Administrator User and Password issue).  I have changed my diradmin user and password about 2 dozen times and nothing suffices.

The username/password combo I am employing works from Workgroup Manager just fine. 

So I dug a lot deeper and found that during the process, I get two SSHD error logs on my master server:       (0x10fa90.sshd[1237]) Could not setup Mach task special port 9: (os/kern) no access

Hmmm....  So I then, from the 'replica-to-be' run the command line version for creating the replica:

slapconfig -createreplica servername diradminname

and it asks me for my root password and I enter it - it works, then it gets to the part where it wants the Directory Admin password and then it part of the replica initiation process re-runs the slapconfig process with a -checkmaster and the parameters I just specified.... and it fails with a:

Error: Incorrect username or password. You must enter a directory administrator username and password. (errror=77)

But the combination I am using, does work.

Still working on it...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New iMac 21.5" and Apple Store Experience

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have been using a Macintosh computer since the late 80's.  I love it.  Just something great about the innovations and the revolutionary enhancements that Apple has made to the computer industry in general.  They, as most companies do, have their great poignant moments inter-mixed with their dark times.  The Scully era or the Amelio era. Pick which one and you are probably sitting on one side of the fence or the other as a Mac historian. 

This is not the reason for my posting today.  Today, I have replaced my Intel Core Duo 2.0 GHz iMac with the new iMac 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo system.  State of the art in Macintosh technology.  Why?  Several reasons, the biggest being that I had need for the more horsepower, RAM upgrades for my new Photoshop CS4 work. 

So I made the journey down to the local Apple Store and walked into what can only be described as a packed kiosk full of pre-pubescent windows shoppers and iPod toting persons.  I walked over the iMac display, looked at the new model and decided that it would fit fairly well on my desk.  My kids gravitated towards the iPods and iTouches and played with them.  I followed suit, shortly thereafter, and was greeted by an Apple representative, who could not have been more than 22 years of age?!

Apple Rep: Hi Sir, Can I help you with anything today?
Me: Why yes, I want to pick up your new 21" iMac
Apple Rep: Oh, you mean the 21.5" iMac

NOTE:  Never-ever correct the customer, especially on something so inane or bullshit-worthy as one half a fucking inch

Me: Yes, that is the one

We then talked about which model of the 21.5 inch iMac I wanted.  He retired to the back to search for one in his inventory and I meanwhile fumed at the audacity of the twenty-somethings technical ability.  He returned with my prize and I informed him that I would be seeking my educator discount as I am in the employ of a local school in Almaden Area (of which I will leave nameless here).  He said that this was great and informed me that he thought the benefit would be $50.00 and I informed him that I thought it was $100.00 (of which I already researched a dozen times over).

Ultimately, I won out and left with my new Aluminum prize lugged between me and my kids and quickly set it up at home, ripping out my old system (of which I will put up on Craigslist, to offset this purchase).

I type upon it now.  It is a smaller screen, as I was typing on a 27" Dell Monitor, but the colors are richer and clearer and it isn't so imposing upon my desk.  The Magic Mouse is also pretty cool - I will blog about that later!