Using a Logitech K750 PC Version on a Mac

Probably one of the nicest full-sized wireless chiclet keyboards for PC (which used to come in a Mac version, however Logitech stopped selling them)

So I’m forced to use the PC version on a Mac, which comes with a few gotcha’s. For one, the PC version has a hardware-based FN key (the OS doesn’t know you’ve pressed it until you press the corresponding blue-text key as well)

Oh and the Vol Up/Down/Mute keys are one position left on the keyboard than the Mac equivalent.

Mac: F10 = Mute, F11 = Down, F12 = Up.
PC: F9 = Mute, F10 = Down, F11 = Up.

apple_web k750_web

Ugh….
Enter Karabiner

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With it, you can remap your keys and make customisations more relevant to the Mac world.

I find the Home/End re-mapping great.

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There are some exceptions where this shouldn’t be remapped of course, and that’s Remote Desktop sessions (which I use RoyalTSX for – see my previous blog post)
So we had to add an exception into the XML file – easy!

Screenshot 2015-09-02 14.46.58

In the following example I’ve remapped the following;

F3 = Spotlight
F4 = Launch Calculator.app (always found that handy in Windows)
F9/10/11 = Mute, Vol Down, Vol Up
PrtScr = OSX Screenshot to Clipboard
FN+PrtScr = OSX Screenshot to File

Put this code in your private.xml file;

Hit the Reload XML button and enable the “K750” options to suit you.

Screenshot 2015-09-02 14.48.40

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Using Royal TSx to administer your Windows network, from your Mac

Recently moved over to a Mac exclusively for my workstations, despite being a sysadmin for a medium-sized Windows Active Directory network.

Remote Desktops are tools-of-the-trade, and coming from Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMAN) console, I was struggling to find a suitable alternative for OSX.

Until I found Royal TSx.

This is essentially RDCMAN for OSX, on steroids.

Relax, it also comes in Windows edition (Royal TS) so die-hard windows nuts can keep reading.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 7.39.01 pm

I found it fits my workflow perfectly with the following features;

* Organise RDP connections (and inherit credentials) by folders

* Organise Terminal, SSH and Telnet connections by folder

* Ability to sync your .rtsz data file to your work PC (via Dropbox)

* Can also use a “gateway” application (Royal Server) to tunnel to your network, and access other things like Event Logs, Terminal Services admin, and Windows Services – right from your Mac!

Price isn’t too bad (29EU for a personal use license, client only, no gateway server)

There’s also a 10-connection trial you can use.

Check it out at http://www.royalapplications.com/ts/osx/features

Automating Maxmind GeoIP downloads on Windows

Sure – there’s lots of snippets for automating the GeoIP database downloads (with your Maxmind subscription) for your *nix boxes, but not many for Windows.

 

Here’s a simple PowerShell script that you can pop into your favourite job scheduler application (Batch Job Server, JAMS Scheduler, or *ugh* Windows Task Scheduler)

 

It’s pretty rough and not much error handling (I wrote it quickly) but it does the job to;

 

1. Download the latest GeoIP file

2. Unextract the double-zipped tar.gz file

3. Copy the unextracted .dat file to a location for you to use

 

(We use this in a webfarm environment, which is replicated to each web server via Microsoft’s DFSR)

 

It’s posted here on GitHub, so feel free to make improvements and collaborate 🙂

AFP setup on CentOS 7

Finding an accurate how-to for the minefield that is, open source software is sometimes terrible.

Documentation is hard to read, and often isn’t updated for point releases, which is often out of date.

 

Thank god this blog post from Zit Seng explains exactly how to setup Netatalk on CentOS 7.

https://zitseng.com/archives/6182

 

Except for the afp.conf file, which sometimes needs a little more massaging to be usable as a bare minimum config.

 

I found it needs the uam list property present in the file in order for AFP clients to connect successfully.

I’m using OSX 10.10.5 (Yosemite) and found without these config directives accessing the shares would fail.

 

Here’s a working usable config you can use;

 

Homelink Mirror Install on AUDM MY15 WRX

Thought I might write as well post this one up on this forum too.
I got sooo many people asking the same questions on how I did it.

These instructions are for AUSTRALIAN garage doors that generally do not operate on the US 390mhz frequency. AU are usually 433.x mhz and will not work with US gear – this is why we use an additional receiver.

Yes, I know some of the EU homelink mirrors works on 433mhz, but I don’t have a Subaru part number for that, they’re very hard to find online, and even then there is still no guarantee it will work with your garage door.

Knowledge required:
Basic electrical and common sense
The ability to read a manual
The manual from your garage door system (to find out where to wire the manual switch contacts)

Parts required:
H501SFJ101 Subaru Auto-dimming with Homelink and Compass Mirror – eBay has them.
Liftmaster 635LM Receiver WITH REMOTE (390mhz) – eBay too.
240V to 115V Stepdown transformer – Jaycar
http://www.jaycar.com.au/Power-Products-Electrical/Power-Conversion-%26-Transformation/AC-AC-Transformers/50VA-240VAC-to-115VAC-Stepdown-Transformer/p/MF1091%5D50VA

Wire-taps (2x) – Supercheap auto

Tools required:
Torx set of privacy
Flathead screwdriver or interior trim levers
Philips head screwdriver (generally for the garage door part

Mirror Directions:

1. Remove your old mirror from the windscreen using the torx screw underneath the main support.
2. Install the new Homelink mirror on the exact same windscreen mount the old one used.
3. Pop down the interior map light cover (flathead lever from the rear of the car)
4. Unscrew the two screws holding in the assembly and pull it down.

5. Run the wires from the back of the mirror under the roof lining and into the map light area. You might need to extend them a little as they just won’t be short enough.
6. Identify the two wires you will need (there are 3) by holding the plug in your hand, the far right one is the ignition, the next one (middle) is ground. It doesn’t matter if you mess this up, reversing the polarity to the mirror will not break it.

6. Tap them into the sunroof wiring loom using the wire taps. The BLACK and YELLOW wires are the ones you want. Black for ground, yellow for ignition.

7. Replace all panels and trim and make sure your mirror powers up when you turn the key (or push START the button)

Garage door directions:
1. Open your 635LM and mount it somewhere near your garage door motor. I chose to lay it on top of mine.

2. Read the manual – wire in the two wires from the 635LM receiver to the manual switch contacts on your garage door, commonly called “bell wire switch”
3. Make sure you can activate your garage door with the existing 635LM REMOTE, does it go up and down? Great next step.

Setup:
1. Pair the mirror with the remote to “learn the freqency” there is countless youtube videos – but you should have read the instructions that came with the mirror!
Once it has learnt your frequency when you push the desired programmable button it will flash in quick succession.
2. Pair the mirror with the 635LM receiver to “learn the rolling code” – put the 635LM in learn mode by pressing the button under the rear flap. Then go into your car and HOLD DOWN the programmable homelink button.

All done!

DIY Caturday: Building a trendy Condo for your cat.

Why don’t they sell Condo’s for cats that match my furniture?

Why do they all have to have cheesy paw-print motifs, and built from shitty materials?

I do not know.

SO….

….with the inspiration of IkeaHackers.net, some free time, and a fluffy cat who was recently relieved of her home (flood) – I decided to build my own condo! It is loosely based on this project (EXPEDIT double-decker cat snug – credit where credit is due, of course) I’ve thrown in a few more cool ideas.

First things first: IKEA Shopping List.

EXPEDIT Single Shelving Unit – White $19.00
STOPP Felt rug – $10.00
MALINDA Chair Cushion – $7.95
GURLI Chair Cushion – $5.95
RAMSTA Mini Lamp – $3.95
GOSIG Mouse Soft toy – 2 @ $1.95

Secondly: The Bunnings Shopping List.

Stormwater PVC Pipe 90mm $7.49
Laminated Pine Panel 1800x450mm $26.50
Selleys Adhesive Contact Spray $16.45
Outdoor carpet 1m @ $20.95
PVA Glue $4.98
Staple gun $36.00
15m Sisal Rope $13.50
2x 90mm PVC endcaps $2.60

Directions;

1. Measure out your base panel twice, then cut.

I went for about 800mm length, and sticking with the 450mm width as it suits the EXPEDIT quite well.

condo1

One cut pine base panel.

condo3

2. Cut some of the carpet roughly to size, using the panel as a guide.

condo4

3. Using the workbench once again, spray one side of the panel with adhesive spray.

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4. Using an iron, give the corners of the carpet a push so they crease a bit better when you try wrap the carpet around the panel.

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Like so;

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5. Staple it down!

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6. Finish it off with some neat cutting and fancy tessellating corners (not pictured accurately below)

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Place your EXPEDIT on the finished carpeted panel and choose a position.

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Let’s now work on the pipe (heh, pipe) Cut it to whatever size you want (I went with a bit taller than the EXPEDIT itself)

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Hold it down, and place the end-cap on one side.

condo13

Drill a hole on an angle and file the inside burrs nicely.

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Thread the Sisal rope through and tie it off. Then wrap it around continuously until you reach the end of the pipe.

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Drill another hole in the other end, loop the rope through, and you can use a bit of glue to stick it down. I used hot glue.

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Screw another end-cap into the carpeted base.

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Add the EXPEDIT and your rope-twisted PVC pipe. Secure them to the base (a few screws from the underside will do it)

condo27

This is how the cushions will sit once complete. How do we fasten them to the EXPEDIT ? Easy!

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Cut off one side of the velcro (the hooked side)

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Fasten – like so – to the existing holes in the EXPEDIT.

condo38

Use a different trick for the GURLI cushion on the top….

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Make a hole big enough for the EXPEDIT coach screws to go through in the GURLI, thread an old washer around them, and screw them down.

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Fill the inside of the GURLI with STOPP filling.

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You’re almost done!

Grab your RAMSTA and install it!

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Admire the coolness of a light for your cat.

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Fasten some elastic to the top of the PVC pipe, and fasten the other side to the GOSIG Mouse.

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DONE.

Install the condo!

IMG_1786

Now the waiting game begins!

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Mission Successful!

CondoFinished