Boot Camp Drivers for iMac (Early 2009)

Apple’s newest iMacs are a fast set of machines and run Windows faster than any PC I’ve ever used, but unfortunately, Apple has yet to update Boot Camp with the required drivers to support the latest and greatest components. Mac OS X ships with the necessary software and works as expected, but Windows XP is met with some trouble. Right away, you’ll notice that your graphics resolution is set to a paltry 800×600, and you have no sound output as well. Here’s how to get those systems working until Apple can provide an “official” fix:

Graphics Drivers

Visit nVidia and download the “GeForce 9M Series (Notebooks)” driver package, as this is graphics chipset in the Early 2009 iMacs. Run the downloaded setup utility, next-next-nexting your way through the steps, and reboot at the end when prompted. Upon restart, you’ll be able to properly max out your display to the iMac’s native resolution.

Audio Drivers

Boot Camp 2.1 actually ships with RealTek HD audio drivers, as evidenced by the lack of a yellow exclamation mark for this system in Windows’ Device Manager, but they don’t seem to work properly, since there’s no sound output.

Visit RealTek and download the “High Definition Audio Codecs” driver package for your OS. In this instance, I downloaded “Windows 2000, Windows XP/2003(32/64 bits) Driver only (Executable file)”, since I’m running Windows XP Pro SP2. Run this setup utility as well, rebooting again when done. After restarting, you should be greeted with Windows’ standard login sound, confirming the install worked.

Update: The Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard disc includes Boot Camp drivers for these iMacs. The Snow Leopard disc is a hybrid image: it provides the Mac OS X installer when viewed under a Mac OS X system, but shows Windows drivers when viewed in Windows. Just run the setup in Windows right off the disc, and you should be set.

Boot Camp Drivers for iMac (Early 2009)

Learning Cocoa for the iPhone

These last few weeks, I’ve been teaching myself Cocoa to learn what makes Mac OS X and iPhone OS apps tick. While Objective-C is quite a departure from my usual web development world, Cocoa has quickly become one of my favorite languages, as it takes care of much of the drudgery of pure C and has plenty of useful frameworks to get your application up and running quickly. Here are some of the best resources I’ve found so far:

  • Cocoa Dev Central and Become an Xcoder are both excellent tutorials for beginners, written in a clear, straightforward manner. They also explain the ins and outs of memory management, which is critical on platforms like the iPhone and iPod touch.
  • Stanford’s CS193P lecture notes and examples have proven to be one of the best resources for learning Cocoa, particularly for the iPhone. These notes and tests offer Cocoa Touch in bite-size chunks, with a little bit of “on your own” work to ensure you know your stuff before moving on.
  • Google Code Search is a good last resort for examples of how others are using a small bit of code or a particular class. For more accurate results, append “lang:objectivec” to your search string to narrow results to only Objective-C code.
Learning Cocoa for the iPhone

How to Run Hamachi on Leopard

A while back I detailed how to get Hamachi VPN running on Mac OS X, but times have changed, so here’s how to go about it under Leopard. Again, it’s a bit tricky, involving some Terminal work, but it’s pretty straightforward as far as command-line software goes.

Download and Install Tun/Tap

Hamachi for Mac OS X depends on some other tunneling software, a Tun/Tap kernel extension which does the low-level work. Download the latest Tun/Tap package and install it.

Download and Install Hamachi

Next, download the latest Hamachi for Mac OS X. Installation is a bit more complicated than the Tun/Tap drivers. Unzip the archive, and open up a Terminal window, and type “cd”, followed by a space. Don’t press Return just yet… Instead, drop the Hamachi folder right into the Terminal window, which will insert the path to that folder after the prefix you just typed: cd /Users/you/Downloads/hamachi-0.9.9.9-20-osx. Press Return, and the Terminal’s new working directory will be the Hamachi folder — this is just a quick drag-and-drop shortcut to avoid typing out the path to a folder you already have available.

Once in the Hamachi folder, type sudo ./install. Enter your administrator password to perform the install.

Hamachi should now be installed, and you can initialize it for the first time by typing hamachi-init. This will generate public and private encryption keys in your Home folder, under .hamachi/ (the initial dot makes the folder hidden in regular Finder windows).

With both set-ups out of the way, it’s time to start using Hamachi!

Run Hamachi

Configure Tun/Tap by typing sudo ./usr/sbin/tuncfg

Start up Hamachi by typing hamachi start followed by hamachi login.

At this point, you should be connected to the Hamachi service, but without a VPN for your computers to join. If you already have a network, or plan to join a trusted friend’s network, you can easily join it by typing: hamachi join SomeNetwork.

Most likely, though, you’ll need to create your own network: hamachi create MyNetwork

Now you should have a virtual network in place and can go online hamachi go-online MyNetwork.

To see other parties on the network, run hamachi list

If other computers are online, you’re ready to connect to them with any higher-level software like iChat via Bonjour, the Finder’s “Connect to Server” command, Safari, etc.

To log out of Hamachi and shut down VPN connections, type hamachi stop

For more information about how to use Hamachi, you can view its manual by typing code>hamachi -h

How to Run Hamachi on Leopard

Coda 1.5

The developers at Panic have been very busy for the last several months preparing a major update for their one-window web development app (covered earlier), Coda, and have finally delivered. Coda 1.5 brings tons of new features like multi-file search, customizable books, “reverse publish”, and more, but the one that really takes the cake is full Subversion support. None of that bolted-on nonsense, either — Panic went out of their way to carefully weave Subversion into the interface, presenting commands as needed. The update is also free for registered owners.

If Coda is your primary tool for web development, and you already use Subversion, you’re most likely aware of Versions and Cornerstone, but now you can toss both of those apps and have your source code management built right into your leafy-green development environment. And, after reading how to go about setting up Subversion on MediaTemple, your Mac web development paradise should be complete, ready to start developing all those killer web apps you’ve been pondering. Check out Coda and get coding!

Coda 1.5

iPhoto Billing Information Error

While trying to order some prints from Kodak/Apple via iPhoto yesterday, I repeatedly got the pseudo-error message:

Please review your billing information and approve it.

After checking out my billing information twice, and still getting that error, I found the answer on an Apple Discussions thread: Make sure your credit card verification code is entered in the Account Information screen. Why iPhoto doesn’t highlight or complain about the missing required field is beyond me, but overlooking this tiny field causes problems that hardly indicate their source.

iPhoto Billing Information Error

Delivery Status Widget

I don’t use the Dashboard in Mac OS X as much as I expected to when it was first released, but when I do, one of the few widgets I employ is Delivery Status, which keeps track of packages during shipment. Big, bold numbers display the days until delivery, and smaller text reports on various stops throughout the package’s voyage. With support for over 30 carriers, including all of the most common here in the U.S., Delivery Status conveys what you need to know at a glance, making it an ideal Dashboard widget. Also in the works is an iPhone/iPod Touch application serving the same purpose with an interface optimized for touchscreen devices.

Delivery Status Widget