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Hardware - Mac
Apr 14, 2021

MacOS - Addition of Epson ET-2710 Eco-Tank printer.

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Epson ET-2710

Normally hooking up a printer is not a lot of hassle but this one was a grim struggle – pretty hopeless for a company that has been doing printers for a good number of years now. Anyway, on with the saga –

Unboxing and setting up the hardware takes a wee while but is relatively straightforward. Lots of protective tape and ink tanks easy to load from the bottles (they go glug/glug/glug until the max. level is reached then obediently cease). Each bottle will have an amount of ink left that equates to the amount used during the initial setup conditioning cycle and once this cycle has been completed the tanks can be topped up.

The hassle starts with the software setup. This model is not classified as a business machine so there is no ethernet port and the options are USB and WiFi/Direct WiFi. Using the USB is OK but Apple do not supply drivers for the ET-2710 (unlike a lot of older Epson models) so the driver needs to be installed from the Epson website. Once the driver is installed then Bonjour will pick up the printer over the ethernet and System Settings can be updated appropriately.

The WiFi is not so easy – certainly from the Mac perspective the software install process seems to assume the use of WPS on the hub/router which I really didn’t want to use. This is a showstopper since any resolution of issues invariably referred the user back to the website and the usual software install which of course wants WPS!

Fortunately an article on the net provided an answer which basically is to connect an IOS device using the Direct WiFi. ries-printer-wireless-setup-made-easy/

When this is done then a printout of the Network Settings can be obtained which will show the SSID, IP and password of the Direct WiFi connection. Using a browser to the IP will bring up a setup utility which will allow the Wifi to be setup without using WPS ( note: when connected via Direct WiFi over wireless make sure you don’t have an ethernet plugged into the same device as this confuses the TCP/IP and the utility page will not be found).

Using WPS is to be recommended as the install appears to require it.

Using IOS devices for printing is not straightforward since the printer does not support AirPrint however support may be provided via third-party apps on the AppStore. I tried the Epson iPrint app which will print photos and such but when I tried to print from Mail I just got a message saying no AirPrint printers found.

My use case is for a network/desktoppy printer so it is OK but for higher use with IOS devices I would suggest getting a printer that is AirPrint capable from the start. Photo prints appear very good and the text is sharp enough.
The AirPrint apps on the AppStore may work OK but a lot seem to be ‘in-app purchases’ which I find to be a bit opaque.

I have obtained the Printer Pro app by Readdle and it works quite well although not quite as seamless as AirPrint would be eg: printing text of email requires the text to be copied to the clipboard and PrinterPro will then be able to print with the usual setup options.

Software - OSX
Aug 01, 2020

MacOS - Yosemite to Mojave upgrade on MBP 5,3 (mid-2009).

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Well – very impressed with DosDude’s macOS patcher. I used the Mojave Patcher on my mid-2009 MBP and it works well. The only issue that seems to occur is the machine doesn’t fully down power on a restart and just hangs with the mouse cursor showing. This also happened occasionally when it was running Yosemite so I can’t entirely blame the patcher. I took the lazy route and did an upgrade rather than a clean install but it’s OK.

I chose to remain with HPFS rather than APFS so automatic software updates will not occur however the machine is running the last major version of Mojave so should be OK.

MBP 5,3 (mid-2009) – 8GB RAM, 480GB SSD, HPFS

Yosemite 10.10.5 → Mojave 10.14.6 (started as Snow Leopard years ago).

Procedure: (fairly much as outlined by DosDude)

1 16GB USB 3.0 stick
2 Download Mojave from target MBP using Mojave Patcher Tool. (Last major version – 10.14.6)
3 Format/Erase USB stick using Disk Utility
4 Create patched installer on USB stick using the Mojave Patcher Tool (took c. 10mins or so)
5 Shutdown then start with option key held down then select USB installer choosing SSD as target for install
6 Install the macOS (suggested 29mins but took c. 50mins)
7 Re-power with option key then select USB installer and select the macOS Post Install (I used the defaults for 5,3 model)
8 Reboot into the new install – Patcher detected some new updates so installed them.

The MBP 5,3 model I have fortunately had a supported wireless card firmware but there is now a patch to fix the unsupported ones as there is for the iSight camera which previously stood a chance of not working but is as good as gold now.

The System Updates in Mojave allowed the updating of a couple of apps as well as the bundled Apple ones (Garageband, etc). A Safari update came through later and appeared to work. I think the limitation on Software Updates if not running APFS applies only to the major version updates maybe.

Just needed to cull a few wee unsupported apps and the printing/networking appears OK.
AirDrop between Macs is OK – iOS devices won’t work on hardware that predates 2012.

In theory Mojave should see this MBP out but there is always the option of moving up to Catalina should I wish to try the absolute 64bit only environment. Big Sur will be a big step too far for this old machine I think and 10 ~ 14 years for a laptop will be pretty darn good! Apple don’t lose since the cash goes towards the iMac anyway.

Software - OSX
Aug 01, 2020

MacOS High Sierra - .webp files icon preview and work with Quick Look

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Was always annoying how .webp file icons (Google standard) would show as blank and were unsupported in Preview however it seems that support has been enabled (at least partially) without much fanfare in the latest updates to High Sierra (2020-004 security update along with Safari update). The icons now show a wee preview of the file and QuickLook will view the file however if Preview is opened there will be no window shown.

Jan 31, 2019

Yummy FTP Lite – Very slow file uploading, server busy issue

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Don’t often use FTP but recently encountered a message – ‘Server Busy – Waiting to Upload’ when I connected to my webhost.
The connection would happen quickly and the remote folder list would appear then if I dragged a file from the local to the remote I got the message. Nothing would happen for c. 10-15mins then the connection would timeout and immediately I would get a file overwrite dialog and after OK the file would upload OK. It took a while but I found that the default prefs are set for Multiple Connections (5). I had set it to 2 hoping that it would help but found that it only started working when Multiple Connections was unchecked.
The FTP had been working before but now I think the servers are insisting on 1 connection at a time (this still allows multiple upload of files by the way but over one connection).

Software - OSX
Jan 31, 2019

Installation log saying MacOS Installer failure on boot

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This happened in the morning when switching on the iMac.
Boot up was quite slow then finished up with an Installation Log of a failed MacOS Installer.
Looked very bad but the fix was to shutdown then Restart whilst holding down the Option key which then shows the bootable volumes. In this case the boot volume was pointing to MacOS Installer rather than the Macintosh HD so I changed it to the Macintosh HD volume and the iMac started OK.

This appeared to be a result of doing the Software Update the previous day (2019-001 10.13.6) which required a restart. I had left the update to happen and when I came back c. 1hr later the screen was black so I plugged in the mouse to the USB to juice it up and immediately the display started again. It looked like the update had worked OK but in the morning however the signs were very different.

Once the correct volume had booted OK I checked the updates and they showed that the iTunes and Safari updates had happened but the security update was still showing UPDATE on the button (the security update is the part that needs the restart which will happen 1 min later unless clicked prior).

At this point I did a whole lot of backing up of data and then restarted the iMac again - sure enough I got the Installation log and the boot volume was set to MacOS Installer.

I then booted into Macintosh HD using the Option key method and redid the Security Update - it proceeded to download c. 1.81GB and then did the install (c. 15 mins or so). The install appeared normal and ended with the logon screen. The Macintosh HD boot now seems to be OK.

Not sure why the MacOS Installer was involved because there is no installer in the Applications folder (I removed the downloaded Mojave copy to avoid inadvertent upgrading action). Also when I applied the Security Update I had all my data volumes (ext USB/TB) disconnected to avoid any tragedies.

Machine is -
iMac 27 2017 4.2GHz i7 40G RAM running 10.13.6 (High Sierra)

Software - OSX
Jul 02, 2018

OSX 10.13.4 High Sierra - File/Folder Icons Incomplete After Copy

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After copying files/folders into another folder when the new folder is opened some of the files/folders will still have the transient downloading icons. This happens on local copies and to external volumes. If a file with an incorrect icon is moved out of the folder the icon will be corrected but when placed back into the folder the faulty icon will be shown again. I generally find that if I don’t open the new folder for a while the success rate seems a lot better – it is as if the system is to slow in updating the icons after the download is complete. Never encountered the issue prior to High Sierra.
If the target folder is already open for viewing the icons are created/updated correctly.

Jul 02, 2018

Mac/Win Networking - Stick with WORKGROUP in Network Settings

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Originally tried customising the workgroup settings but found that support for this is flaky – macOS doesn’t seem to hold the setting and ReactOS also had problems in this area so in order to work correctly I just use WORKGROUP which is the MS default and also the default in MacOS. This area of networking is probably seen as ‘legacy’.

Software - OSX
Jul 02, 2018

iMac 2017 (High Sierra) - Unable to install libdvdcss.2.dylib

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Handbrake was producing .m4v files that were heavily pixellated and broken. Turns out that Handbrake uses VLC to read the source and it requires libdvdcss.2.dylib to be installed.
Sierra/High Sierra will block the install of this file to the /usr/lib folder but it can be done via the Terminal.

sudo mkdir /usr/local/lib/ (if it doesn’t already exist)
sudo cp ~/Downloads/libdvdcss.2.dylib /usr/local/lib/libdvdcss.2.dylib (will ask for password)

Software - OSX
Jul 02, 2018

iMac 2017 (High Sierra) - Volumes Eject Sporadically

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High Sierra appears to work reasonably well and APFS on the SSD appears OK.

Bug: Intermittently the old RAID disks on the TB give incorrectly ejected notifications with the Volumes sometimes actually unmounting. This can happen quite often at times then be OK for a long time.

Trying a wee app called Semulov which sits in the menubar and monitors the Volumes.

Semulov not stopping issue at all so tried Mountain (paid app) and it seems to be a bit better – it doesn’t stop the issue but auto remounts the volumes. The issue sometimes occurs quite frequently and then is OK for long periods of time.

Thunderbolt appears to be flaky in my experience even more so with High Sierra - the storage subsystem on MacOS is no longer 'trustworthy' unless the slower USB3 is used.

Very difficult to pin this issue down but the RAID was swapped out for 2x 4TB Lacie disks (TB2) which appear to run a bit better. The 6TB D2 started the same dismounting trick so I changed it out for a D2 Pro and it seems rock solid (USB3). Also connected a Lacie 1TB portable SSD (TB3) and it is also solid.
Seems like it may be compatibility between the drives and computer (voltages maybe?) - who knows.

Hardware - Mac
Jul 02, 2018

Mac Mini 2012 - Addition of 6TB LaCie D2 Drive and Error 50

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Tried a discounted LaCie drive which had be opened previously (used for benchmark testing). This particular model was the TB2/USB3 d2 model. To cut a long story short the drive never worked with TB2 and kept giving error 50 (Error in User Parameter Listing). USB 3 works fine and I use the drive with that as a backup drive.

Install: (OSX 10.11.6 – El Capitan)

Problem 1 – drive could not be seen and it turned out that the drive had been formatted as NTFS so was Read Only on the Mac. Using Disk Utility I was unable to Erase the drive or re-partition, this was because the drive was RO.
Tried the OSX Fuse/NTFS-3G solution nbut NTFS-3G is currently not working on El Capitan/Yosemite.
Tried Paragon for Mac (Seagate drives only) but although the LaCie uses Seagate drives it didn’t work.
Tried a Terminal method which worked – I was able to make the drive partition RW.

sudo nano /etc/fstab (system password is required)
within nano type –

LABEL=New Volume none ntfs rw, auto, no browse

ctrl O – to save
return to write file
ctrl X – to exit nano

Note: fstab is deprecated in OSX (fstab.hd in the etc folder will confirm this) but will still work if used.

Use Disk Utility as normal to Erase (it will show R/W).

The drive was formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) on a MBP USB 2.0 port running 10.10.5 (Yosemite).

Moving the drive to the Mini USB 3.0 port running 10.11.6 (El Capitan) it worked OK.

Problem 2 -
I tried the drive daisy-chained (Mini TB to Lacie 2Big TB to 6TB d2 TB2) and it wouldn’t work. I could read files on the disk but could not trash them or place new files on the drive – error 50 messages were issued. Also tried the drive directly on the Mini (TB to TB2) and still no good. The TB cable was swapped out but no difference.

Maybe if the 6TB was brand new with factory pre-formatting then TB may work OK but who knows (can’t help but feel that there are so many reports of error 50’s that LaCie know of a bug/fix but they play their cards close to their chest like Apple and I haven’t got the patience to deal with them)

122 Posts Displaying page 13 of 13

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