Computing / Mac OS XNo Comments
Nov 09

Brother HL-2070N issues with OS X

I love my laser printer, a Brother HL-2070N. It is fast, has a network interface and on my Mac it installed itself automagically. Sadly, on my wife’s Mac it installed alright but all print jobs failed. Even tinkering with CUPS did not work. Luckily I found the solution on this Apple support page.

The solution is essentially to install a new version of the open source driver set called Gutenprint. The problem I faced was that the version I tried to install, 5.2.4, did not install fully. I tried the Gutenprint uninstaller that comes in the same dmg file but it failed to work. Downloading the previous version, 5.2.3, and installing it worked just fine. All that was left to do was add the printer as usual (using JetDirect/Socket) and instead of using the default Brother HL-2070N drivers, to use the “Brother HL1270N – CUPS + Gutenprint 5.2.3” driver.

Hope this helps and thanks to the folks from the Apple forums. This was a doozy to solve.

Jan 09

Microsoft Live Messenger hates my webcam and why Microsoft is the same old story

I tried using Microsoft Live Messenger, the heir to the MSN Messenger legacy. MSN Messenger was a serviceable option for people who did not have Skype. I tried using Live Messenger today with my mom who lives in Israel.

To my surprise, when I tried to connect and use my trusted Logitech Quickcam Pro webcam, which worked for the better of 3 years and does so faithfully with Skype day in and day out, I was told by Live Messenger that I did not have a webcam or audio devices. Welcome to 2009, but no audio? Guess what, it all still works with Skype and worse off, even with the long in the tooth Windows Messenger.

Looking at Yahoo! Answers for some direction, I found out that the accepted answer was, well, ‘there’s no answer and something is wrong’. Windows Live being Microsoft’s moniker for the startup way and the new spirit reinvigorating the giant software company, I went to the development team’s blog. Maybe I could post my issue there, at least as a comment. Sadly, Microsoft continues to disappoint. The comments a post about a new feature about ‘3D emoticons’ all talk about problems and issues with Live Messenger. Any responses? no. How many comments? Look at the image below. Why would I share my comment with them? Do they care?


It is disheartening that new features, as crucial as 3D emoticons is, take precedence over the meat and potatoes of instant messaging, like audio and video chat. If Microsoft is looking to change, become more accessible, more like a startup or worse, like Google, they should LISTEN. The worst evidence of their deaf ears is the URL of the blog: “”. They say, we listen.

Microsoft needs a conversation. Not a monologue. They have the resources, to listen to people’s comments. We want their products to work and comments on a blog show the best example of them caring back about us. Until then, Messenger is uninstalled.

Nov 08

Openfire/Smack bug? Unable to ask Multi-User Chat who the admins are

I encountered two interesting points when working with the Openfire XMPP server and the Smack API, both from IgniteRealtime.

  1. After joining a Multi-User Chat (MUC) independently, without invite, I was forbidden (e.g. error 403) from finding out who the administrators or owners of the room were. I could not find anything about this in the documentation.
    The workaround was not too bad: apparently the method getOccupant() allows you to get an Occupant object which does hold affiliation and can report admin rights.
  2. In some situations – not sure when yet – the owner of an MUC was able to grant another user admin status by just using his/her nickname, without using the full JID. That is
    grantAdmin("nickname") worked just as well as grantAdmin("nickname@conference.server"). Nonetheless, when trying to use the method getOccupant() as mentioned above, the full JID form worked while the nickname-only one failed.

I am using Smack 3.0.4 and Openfire 3.5.2. Weird.