Reverting back to Mavericks

It’s unclear.  I did a fresh install of Yosemite on a Retina MacBook Pro 13″ 11,1 but the battery life was terrible.  Typically 4-5 hours max.  In order to revert to the “Out of Box” state you need to delete the primary Mac OS partition and then boot to recovery using CMD + Option + R.  This will initiate the “Internet Recovery” which will take hopefully less than an hour to download whatever OS the machine came with, in my case Mavericks.  Upon receipt of the machine I did a fresh install of Yosemite but consistently saw terrible battery life.  My hope was that it was Yosemite related, so I’ve reverted back to 10.9.4.

I’ve now performed an SMC reset and I see over 13:00 hours at 100% battery life under Mavericks.  It’s unclear if Yosemite is at fault, or the SMC is at fault, the clean install is at fault, I mean who the fuck knows Apple?  All I know is that I did a fresh install of Yosemite on a brand new machine and it got about 4 hours of battery life.  Now it says it has 13 hours of battery life.  Talk about a fucking unreliable narrator.

Heimdall AT&T S4 Mavericks

This post should help you recover an AT&T Galaxy S4 SGH-I337 back to stock 4.4.2 using a modern 64 bit version of OS X, I tried 32 bit 10.6.8 and Heimdall wouldn’t run, so I presume you need OS X 10.7 64bit and above to run Heimdall.

First off, you need to uninstall Samsung Kies so Heimdall has USB access to the S4 drivers, it will require a reboot and possibly command line uninstalls:

Secondly, you need your recovery file.  I used the big ass stock file from Stockroms (dot) net /file /GalaxyS4 /SGH-I337 /4.4.2 /”the big one there”.  You’ll need to rename it to just .tar, then untar that file, and put it in a folder from which you’ll run Heimdall.

Third, install Heimdall.

Read through this post over on XDA:

Follow the OP’s steps, but see 8d) below:

linus$ heimdall flash --RECOVERY recovery.img --SYSTEM system.img.ext4 --HIDDEN hidden.img.ext4 --BOOT boot.img
linus$ heimdall flash --MDM modem.bin --APNHLOS NON-HLOS.bin --ABOOT aboot.mbn --TZ tz.mbn
linus$ heimdall flash --CACHE cache.img.ext4 --PERSDATA persdata.img.ext4
linus$ heimdall flash --SBL1 sbl1.mbn --SBL2 sbl2.mbn --SBL3 sbl3.mbn --RPM rpm.mbn

Sudo doesn’t seem necessary. I added that 4th line per Trevor7.  Thanks to tom_callahan for the original post, for which all things considered made this quite painless for an Android wipe.

As the original poster said, each push will require a boot back into Odin’s Download Mode, hold the ‘volume down & home’ buttons in between reboots as soon as the screen goes black, then press volume up to ‘continue’.  After step #4 you’ll want to boot to the stock Recovery Mode (volume up on boot) and do a “Factory Reset / User Data Wipe”; this will insure you’re good to go.

It should boot to an AT&T logo with a startup sound, it will take a couple of minutes, then you should be back to stock TouchWiz / AT&T bloated stock 4.4.2.  Godspeed.

Update: I updated the above lines.  It should be noted I’ve had issues with the GPS since this flash.  I have been able to make it work again using a GPE “vanilla” edition with a modified TW kernel, but it’s unclear why the GPS wouldn’t work on what should’ve been a fully stock ROM (NB1 vs NC1 rootability or kernel incompatibilities?).  There is apparently a way (using Windows and Samsung KIES) to do a full recovery per the manufacturer.  I haven’t tried this method yet.  For the time being, I was excited to have GPS working, albeit with a fairly unstable AOSP/GPE/Vanilla ROM.  My hope of hopes would be to get this back to fully stock 4.4.2 NB1 and sell it, fully functional 100%.  That may be wishful thinking.

 

Avoiding the analog: Icecast2 for OS X, Sonos & Spotify Radio

Apparently, Spotify has finally released their Radio API to certain content management platforms, but until it’s built into Sonos the only way to actually get Spotify Radio on my ZP80 was to use the analog line-in.  What about creating an Icecast (Shoutcast, Podcast, etc.) local radio station that I tune in to on the Sonos locally? This would then avoid the analog hole (until I add a phonograph line stage).

There were a few sources I had to use to make this work, and I’ve only built/tested this under 32 bit 10.6.8 Snow Leopard (so your mileage may vary for 64 bit and/or more modern OS X machines).  Joao Ricardo’s blog post of  “Icecast Radio in Mac OS X” turns out to be a great starting point.  Note, that he recommends installing MacPorts, which may not strictly be necessary if you have Homebrew already installed.  I have not tried to port Icecast via Homebrew, but I imagine the installation would also work, as others have had success.   For example, here’s Josh Dzielak’s tutorial for Icecast & Darkice using Mountain Lion and Homebrew

So yes, per Joao’s instructions:

1) Install MacPorts (note: there are several dependencies, read up before you even install MacPorts)

2) In Terminal$: sudo port install icecast2

  • If doing Homebrew$: brew install icecast
  • Icecast vs. Icecast2?  I don’t know. You tell me internet, you tell me.
  • This took like 30 minutes using MacPorts on an old 32 bit Intel machine

3) Install Ladiocast.

4) Install Soundflower.

  • Reboot machine.

5) Make sure your admin/user has access/rights to “icecast -c /usr/etc/icecast.xml” as well as wherever an error for Icecast’s “access.log” and “error.log” files.  In my case they needed to added to /opt/local/etc.  You’ll need to adjust access with “chmod 755″ in this example.

6) Start playing some music on your Icecast server machine.  In OS X “Sound Preferences” make sure “Soundflower 2ch” is set as the “output device”; you can also “option + click” on the volume in the at the top right menu and select the source.

7) From Terminal$: icecast -c /usr/etc/icecast.xml

  • At this point Terminal will need to be open, obviously you can set this up as a background process, run on startup, etc. see Josh’s article linked above.

8) From within Ladiocast choose “Soundflower 2ch” as your source, click on the “main” button in Ladiocast.  You should see music bars making music.

  • From the menu in Ladiocast click on “Streamer 1” choose Icecast.  Set 127.0.0.1:8000 or whatever you machine’s IP is for the server.  The default user and pw is located the XML file.
  • For encoding, especially to work with iTunes and probably Sonos, I set it to AAC 320 kbps.  Ogg may in fact work with Sonos, I’ve not tried it.
  • Click “Connect” at the bottom there.

9) In a web browser, type in the IP for the Icecast server.  If said machine is localhost use 127.0.0.1:8000 which is the default port for the service. Click on the .m3u link and open in iTunes/Winamp or similar.  If you have music bars making music and you have a .m3u created you should hear music (double check OGG vs. AAC).

10) Final step: open the desktop Sonos App. Click “Manage” from the menu bar and then “Add Radio Station” and the enter http://127.0.0.1:8000/stream.m3u (or whatever your IP is for the Icecast machine).  Create that as a favorite radio station.

11) Works for me.  If you want an Icecast radio station globally on WAN, well, poke those holes. Google a bit.  That’s not this blog entry.  Let’s hope Sonos adds Spotify Radio sooner than later.

 

No more Java Plug-In support OS X 10.5.8 Chrome & Firefox

I was trying to figure out what had happened after I ran a system update, and as it turns out, Java Plug-In support for both Chrome and Firefox web browsers is now deprecated in OS X 10.5.8 “Java Update 10”. Ugh. I’d been meaning to do a clean install of 10.6 for sometime now, I suppose this is just one more reason to do it, but really Apple, you couldn’t have let people know before you did this?

https://discussions.apple.com/message/15544003#15544003
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3151047

Mass .flac to Apple Lossless (ALAC .m4a) conversion

I have a couple posts going on the back burner, namely the re-foaming process on the 8″ woofer drivers from the Advent Heritage speakers I found in Greenpoint and the Mac Mini media server setup we have going now.  But first, say you want to convert all the albums you ripped to FLAC to Apple Lossless (.m4a) under OS X.  You want to know what’s easiest and quickest for batch conversion?

The X Lossless Decoder (see: XLD) is one very good option for OS X.  I find generally his application works best decoding full album single file rips from EAC with .cue sheets.  Usually with EAC you’d have three files, the .log, the .cue and the full album .flac file, XLD will nicely split the .flac into .m4a (Apple Lossless) individual files with little effort.

For larger batches, and because I used Stephen Booth’s “Max” for a lot of ripping, I find batch processing of tags and mass conversion a bit easier.  Where XLD is good on an album by album basis I found that Max was very good for converting whole directories of individual artists with multiple albums.  I find that I’m often fixing tags first in Max and then again in iTunes and then the last step is usually confirming the album art for use with Cover Flow.  It takes probably 5-10 minutes per album and it’d be faster if I had uniformity in my ripping standards.

I think ultimately, as an archive, using EAC and backing up to an image (.flac, .cue & .log) makes the most sense (but takes the longest). For playback and ease of use, unless you’re really crazy about bit perfection, I think the sound quality with Apple Lossless (.m4a) and iTunes is perfectly acceptable, especially with a halfway decent external DAC.  I’ve been using the Mac Mini as our A/V front end and the Apple Remote application for the iPod Touch works very well (over wifi)  allowing me to control iTunes on the Mini.

X Lossless Decoder (XLD)

X Lossless Decoder (XLD)

Stephen Booth's "Max"

Stephen Booth's "Max"

OS X and the “cat” command for appending sequential .zip files

For whatever reason there is certain a level of incompatibility between various .zip (archive) file formats among various operating systems today.  It’s certainly not that you won’t be able to access any file type on any given system, as there are many tools to do so, mostly it’s a question of how many hoops you have to jump through.

Specifically, I had a sequential .zip file that was in multiple chunks where the first file ends in something like:

zzzzzz.zip.001.zip

And the next files in sequence look like this:

zzzzzz.002
zzzzzz.003

OS X comes with a couple of utilities for archives but neither seem to be able to handle this particular sequence (especially if it is AES256 encoded with a password).  There is a $20 piece of software called BetterZip that has no problem with any type I gave it, however, I found a free utility called The Unarchiver which seems to be an excellent replacement for the OS X native ‘BOMArchiveHelper.app‘ and if you use the *nix ‘cat‘ command (see: Concatenation) you can append the sequential files all into one and The Unarchiver will work fine.

Open the Terminal in OS X, red is what you type, assuming all the files you want to append are in your home directory:

computer:~user$ cat zzzzzz.zip.001.zip zzzzzz.002 zzzzzz.003 > onebigfile.zip

Where onebigfile.zip is your new appended file, ready to be unarchived.  I’m sure they teach this to preschoolers in *nix 101, in fact I think there is a book out now called Linux For Lilliputian Lads, but I found it useful.

I’ll be doing a writeup soon of the re-foaming process of my Advent Heritage speakers, they sound better now.

Airport Extreme! Broadcom! Oh my!

So, if you don’t care about wireless data connections and or OS X & XP you should ignore this post. I recently did a little 802.11n upgrade to my aging Core Duo Macbook Pro and I bought an “official” Apple 802.11n Airport Card that has 2 antenna wire inputs. It’s chipset is the Broadcom BCM4328. My Apple System Profiler polls this as Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (5.10.38.9) and in Windows XP it clearly shows up as the BCM4328. Now, shouldn’t this be all good? Well sort of, there have been some problems.

Under OS X 802.11n (ie Airport Extreme) works like gang busters over the Time Capsule but it seems my 802.11g performance has taken a huge hit. And under XP SP3 both my g/n performance has degraded. So what’s the deal? Well it seems I should’ve gone with an older version of this chipset.

Apparently the BCM94321MC aka the Dell 1500 Part Number NJ449 was the original version, which worked well for people under Tiger. There obviously are other options, but the key here was the 4321 chipset as opposed to the newer 4328 chipset. So what’s the issue? I don’t know. I imagine the XP drivers aren’t fully up to date. And I also imagine 802.11n MIMO works better with 3 antennas which is why the newer Core 2 Duo machines come with the 3 antenna input Atheros wireless cards. Can I add a third antenna wire and put in the Atheros? I don’t know. Should I sell the one I installed and try the $30 Dell 1500 NJ449? I would say yes.

Another issue that has developed is that with around 15% battery the wireless card will go dormant and not startup again without a reboot. Nice. Whatever, I suppose I cannot complain too much. It mostly works.

Upgrades… and AWESOME! OS X Keyboard Shortcuts you never knew

So I was sitting on WordPress 2.3.3 for some time, 2.5 came out, and then finally 2.6.1 came out and I figured what the hell? Why not try a one click update and so far things seem good.  One of the problems I still haven’t sorted out is that my author title doesn’t list my full name, continuing to limit my status as the #1 (number one) Mark Beattie on the internet (via search engines like “The Google” or “The Yahoo” but probably not the MSN Live Search .NET nonsense).  Basically it comes down to “Mark Reid Beattie” or “Mark Beattie” not occurring often enough in this blog.  So there, I’ve increased it a couple more times.

OK, now you want to hear about some awesome OS X keyboard shortcuts you’ve been too lazy to hunt down, right?  Have you ever minimized an application only to have it hide somewhere on that dark lower right-hand corner of your dock and wished, ‘Man there must be some keyboard shortcut I’m missing because when I press [Command+TAB] the application I want just stays minimized.’  Well you’re right there is a keyboard shortcut and as it turns out in OS X “hiding” is better than “minimizing” to the Dock.

To prevent further disambiguation especially for users more familiar with Windows keyboards the Command key on modern Macintosh keyboards is represented by either  or  and/or the word ‘Command’.  The Alt key on the Mac layout is usually referred to as ‘⌥ Option’ and the Control key is ‘⌃ Ctrl’.  Now that’s in the open one more area of disambiguation is “hiding” versus “minimizing” versus “closing” under OS X.  

I’ve had this MacBook Pro for two years now and I suppose it’s sad that it’s taken me this long to find all these keyboard shortcuts but hopefully this entry might help other switchers.  It seems Minimize [⌘ + M] was introduced with the advent of OS X and The Dock (Aqua interface *nix heritage, etc) whereas “Hiding” windows [⌘ + H] has been around since at least OS 7.  When you [⌘ + H] the application literally hides and there are two way to bring it back, click on its icon in the Dock or use [⌘ + TAB] until the application you want is highlighted.  Simple.  But when you Minimize the app (using either [⌘ + M] or clicking the Yellow Minus circle at the top left corner of the active window) a small icon’d version of the window buries itself in the dock next to the Trash Can.  So what’s the secret keyboard command?  [Command ⌘ + TAB] and then when you select the application you want from with the TAB menu hold down and release [⌥ Option].  

Now the caveat is that this seems to work only in Leopard (10.5) but not Tiger (10.4) however  [Command ⌘ + L] to open the browser location once you’ve tabbed to Firefox or Safari will restore a Minimized window.  Another option is Witch a third party Tab management “switcher” enabling full restore capability to  [Command ⌘ + TAB] also allowing you switch between multiple active windows of any given application.  A third option is the somewhat kludgy ability for  [Command ⌘ + F3] to highlight and control the dock using the arrow keys, also allowing you to activate a minimized window.  Using a laptop often requires the addition of the FN key, so [FN + Command ⌘ + F3] the use arrow keys to navigate.

Awesome.