Fix stuttering Bluetooth audio on your MacBook Pro with Sierra

This tip from OS X daily fixed a problem that has been plaguing me for ages with my MacBook Pro and Bose bluetooth headphones – stuttering audio.

Simple, simple fix … hold down Shift and Option, click the Bluetooth menu, select the “Debug” popout menu and then “Reset the Bluetooth module” option.

It disconnects all Bluetooth devices but they reconnect a second later, and bingo — flawless Bluetooth audio.

SOLVED: why HP printer takes minutes to connect to smtp.gmail.com

So you’ve got an HP multifunction printer with scan-to-email functionality, and you’ve followed all of HP’s instructions for configuring Gmail SMTP in your printer, but every time you go to scan-to-email, it gets stuck for minutes at a time on the “connecting to smtp.gmail.com” message?

There seems to be a problem with the IPV6 autoconfiguration on HP printers.

My suspicion is that the HP printer tries to negotiate via IPV6 first if it sees that your router has assigned an IPV6 IP to the printer. However, since many residential grade ISPs have only partially implemented IPV6 (e.g. Telstra has some IPV6 services visible to residential customers but does not actually have globally routable IPV6 traffic except for business customers…) I think the printer is tripping up on this, and then trying for a few minutes before giving up and falling back to IPV4.

If all of this sounds like gobbledigook to you, don’t worry. All you have to do is go to the printer’s admin web page and disable the IPv6 functionality. Networking Tab, then the Advanced submenu on the left side. Untick the IPv6 option and click apply.

Your scan-to-email connection to gmail should now just take a few seconds, not the extended period it took before while the printer presumably tried in vain to establish an IPv6 connection.

hp-ipv6
HOW TO: Fix slow scan-to-email connection with Gmail on HP multifunction printer

How to fix stuck Mac OS X clipboard – won’t copy/paste anything new

Something has been bugging me with OS X for a while — sometimes the OS X clipboard (officially known as “pasteboard”) gets stuck and won’t accept any new ‘copied’ content. Instead, when you ‘paste’ in any app, the clipboard always pastes back the last thing you successfully copied.

One solution to this is to reboot the Mac, but since Mac OS X is generally so stable and doesn’t need to be periodically rebooted as a matter of course, rebooting a machine with many open apps and windows can be a hassle.

Searching for this issue online provides a lot of bad advice (one website I saw said “repair permissions and if that doesn’t work, reinstall the OS”… terrible advice.)

Other websites incorrectly advise to kill the PBS process and restart it.

Apple’s manual page for PBS notes it is not related to the Pasteboard process. Instead, the correct process to kill is PBoard.

So, to fix a stuck clipboard (pasteboard) problem, you simply need to:

1. Open your application folder

2. Open the utilities subfolder

3. Open the Activity Monitor app

4. Type “pboard” into the search box at the top right

5. In the search results below, there should only be one result — a row listing the “pboard” process. Highlight it by clicking on it.

6. Click the “x” button at the top left of the window which represents ‘quit this process’

Once you’ve done that, OS X will kill the faulty PBoard process and re-establish it with a fresh one automatically. Your clipboard should be back to normal.

I have a suspicion that this stuck clipboard is a bug in OS X Mavericks 10.9 – I don’t recall it happening before I installed that. It is still an (infrequent) current problem as at 10.9.2.

Word 2011 for Mac gets blank dialogue boxes, then crashes

Anyone else see this problem with Word for Mac?

Often, when I am using Word for Mac 2011 on Mac OS X (I’ve seen the problem since 10.5 Leopard, 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion), Word starts putting up blank dialogue boxes — e.g. literally blank white, with no buttons or text.

Soon after, Word crashes.

The following errors are logged repeatedly in the Console shortly before Word crashes.

WindowServer[109]: map_shmem_internal : vm_map(3: (os/kern) no space available) : Cannot map memory
Microsoft Word[16338]: bind_window_backing: cannot map backing data shmem
Microsoft Word[16338]: _CGSLockWindow: Unable to lock window

The other long-standing bug with Word that drives me crazy is that when you’re using it on an external monitor, with the lid of your Mac closed, and then you disconnect the external monitor, the Mac sleeps, and you later resume the Mac, all the Word document windows are blank, but all with random bright coloured backgrounds. I don’t know if the problem is related.

Screen-Shot-2012-11-26-at-12.21.57-PM

I’ve seen these problems on my MacBook Pro which had 8GB RAM and my current MacBook Air with 4GB RAM. Problem occurs whether I’m using discrete NVIDIA graphics or the built-in Intel graphics.

Stop NAB Internet Banking opening in a full-screen popup window

If you’re a customer of NAB (formerly known as National Australia Bank), you’ll no doubt have found the way its internet banking opens up in a new, full-screen window — even if you have a 30″ monitor.

In the office, this is particularly annoying because it makes it difficult to discreetly check your bank balance without giving everyone around you a “full screen view” of your finances.

A looooong time ago my old friend Simon Wright (proprietor of the excellent Whirlpool.net.au online community) wrote a script to stop this annoying full screen NAB internet banking behaviour.

It’s a “userscript” that slightly modifies the code on the NAB homepage to stop this annoying pop-up behaviour. To use it, you have to install a plug-in in your browser — Greasemonkey on Firefox or GreaseKit on Safari. Chrome has the capability built in already.

 

To install the script in Firefox:

1. Install the Greasemonkey for Firefox plugin

2. Restart Firefox (File > Quit) then reopen it

3. Click on this link to download Simon’s NAB Internet Banking no-fullscreen UserScript

4. Click the “install” button that comes up.

5. Enjoy your NAB internet banking without the stupid 90s full-screen pop-up window!

 

To install the script in Safari:

1. Install Ninjakit for Safari (download the extension file, then double click it in the downloads list to open and install it)

2. Click on this link to download Simon’s NAB Internet Banking no-fullscreen UserScript [currently I can’t find a way to actually install the script as of Safari 5.1.5… waiting for the developer of Ninjakit to release an update.)

 

To install the script in Chrome:

1. Go into Chrome

2. Click on this link to download Simon’s NAB Internet Banking no-fullscreen UserScript

3. Click the “add” button that comes up.

4. Enjoy your NAB internet banking without the stupid 90s full-screen pop-up window!

In memory of my friend John Pospisil

john-pospisil

I heard the very sad news yesterday that one of my colleagues and close friends, John Pospisil, passed away two days ago, aged just 39.

He had been treated for a brain tumor since 2009, and had gone through surgery, chemo, radiotherapy and an experimental treatment trial, and as far as I knew, the cancer was at least being held at bay.

However, I know that when John became aware he was ill (with a phone call, “Would you mind if I didn’t attend a meeting with a client and you took my place… I don’t want to freak you out, but I’ve just found out, well, that I have a brain tumor”), that he was not keen to broadcast it to the world. He wanted to keep on doing the things — and being with the people — he loved, without focusing on the sickness.

His many online outlets show he has been active right to the end of his life, which is, I know, exactly what he would have wanted.

He was one of the most decent guys I’ve ever known — generous with his time and in his business deals and utterly devoted to his wife Rocio and two young children Grace and Hannah.

He was always keen for a stimulating and entertaining chat about the machinations of the tech media, and musings over how exactly Google News’ algorithms worked. I met him regularly for lunch or coffee and we chewed over ideas for new ventures and swapped tips on our own successes and failures.

But as I got to know John better, we connected on a philosophical level as well. He told me about his faith and that he believed God had shown himself to him. We both shared a deep love for family.

On a professional level, John had a string of successes, borne from his creative, entrepreneurial spirit.

He conceived, founded and edited Computer CHOICE magazine (CHOICE has published a lovely memorial article about him here); founded and ran Free Access, an IT newspaper that was distributed with great success through retailers for many years.

He wrote a book on hacking MySpace (something he always reminisced on with a mix of mirth and entrepreneurial pride, as it was a case of ‘right time, right place’ even though he wasn’t really that interested in MySpace), and published a series of computer and business related books for CHOICE.

More recently, he ran a very successful blog network called Blorge, reporting on the global technology space, and fostering the talents of many bloggers.

Alongside all that, he was also a successful marketing/comms consultant.

Behind the scenes, he has quietly been a MediaConnect IT Journo awards judge in the past, helping to recognise the work of the best IT journalists in the industry.

Despite his many successes, his beautifully humble approach to the world is encapsulated well in what he wrote on his “about” page — “I’m husband to Rocio and father to Grace and Hannah – my greatest achievements. The truth is, any material success I’ve had in this life really comes down to being at the right place at the right time. That’s not false modesty, just an acknowledgement of how life truly works. If you need me to help you with something, you already know who am, and how I can help. Just get in touch.

As CHOICE’s Chris Ruggle points out, though, “John Pospisil joined CHOICE in 1994 as a young man who often expressed surprise at how lucky he was to work here. In fact, he made most of his own luck through his intellect and hard work.

I couldn’t agree more with a comment one of his other friends, Ravi Prasad, wrote in his memory: “John was a good friend. I was expecting us to be friends for the rest of my life. Friends like these are hard to find, you only get a handful in a lifetime. He was so funny and clever and bright and totally charming. I’ll miss John. Rocio, my thoughts are with you and your beautiful children.

John’s funeral will be this Monday, 21st November 2011. Email me for the details.