Sharing a CD/DVD drive over the network with OS X


I’ve got a Mac Mini with a broken DVD drive, but I wanted to install iWork on it from the installation DVD. 


I used the Remote Disc feature of Leopard that Apple developed for the diskless MacBook Air to share another machine’s drive over the network.


On the client machine were you would like to use the CD / DVD, you need run 2 commands on the terminal.

defaults write EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true
defaults write ODSSupported -bool true

Then restart your computer.

Next on the server machine where you will be inserting the physical disk, you must enable CD / DVD sharing in System Preferences > Sharing.

CD & DVD Sharing with Remote Disc

Once you’ve done that, insert your CD or DVD and then you should be able to connect to it via finder on the client machine.

Installing Zend Framework on OS X (Leopard)

Today I needed to use Zend Framework on my iMac’s local web server, so here’s how I installed it. 

I prefer using subversion where possible to download any open source projects, and since Zend have an svn repository available I decided to use that. 

sudo svn co /usr/lib/php/libraries/zend-framework-1.7/

This will follow the latest updates to version 1.7 – you can simply run svn update anytime a minor version is released.

You can then include this in any of your projects with:


Although I’ve gone through these steps on my OS X Leopard workstation, they would also work equally well on other Unix / Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Centos, Fedora etc..

iPhone over the air sync with Google Calendar

We’ve been desperate for a centralised calendar solution that can sync with all our desktop PCs and iPhones for a while now, and yesterday one of our developers, Matt, found a solution for us.

It combines the following technologies:

Essentially Google Calendar is used to provide a central calendar, this is then synced to the iPhones via Nuevasync, which provides a free exchange interface. The calaboration tool makes it easy to sync your iCal with the Google Calendar, and then MobileMe is needed if you want to have a private calendar on your iPhone as well.

Matt has written some in-depth instructions on how to set up over the air calendar syncing on your iPhone, over on his blog.

Getting Apache, PHP and MySQL to work on Leopard

Enabling PHP

If you have upgraded from Tiger, you may need to complete this step to get Leopard’s version of Apache to work with UserDir (otherwise ignore this bit):

  • Copy your old userdir configurations from /etc/httpd/users/ to /etc/apache2/users/

PHP is normally disabled by the default Apache configuration, so you will need to load up a text editor and then:

  • Uncomment LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/ in /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Once you’ve saved this, you’ll need to restart apache. The easiest way to do this is to go to System Preferences > Sharing and to turn Web sharing off then on again.

Installing MySQL

To install MySQL, just follow these steps:

  • Download the MySQL OS X disk image from a MySQL mirror
  • Mount the image, and install the main package, the startup item package, and then the preferences pane
  • Add the mysql bin folder to your path:
    sudo echo 'export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin' >> ~/.bash_profile
  • If no /private/etc/php.ini exists, make a copy of php.ini.default
  • Update php.ini to point at the new MySQL socket mysql.default_socket = /private/tmp/mysql.sock – do this for both mysql and mysqli.
    mysql.default_socket = /private/tmp/mysql.sock
    mysqli.default_socket = /private/tmp/mysql.sock

Other tips if you having problems with .htaccess

Ensure the following directives are enabled (e.g. look in /etc/apache2/users/username.conf) :

Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All

iPhone firmware update fails

If you repeatedly get an error while upgrading your iPhone’s firmware that says something like:

the iphone could not be restored an unkown error occured 1604

Try restarting iTunes and plugging the iPhone into a different USB port. Failing that you might need to try restoring the phone on another machine before syncing your settings from the original machine.

Testing out wordpress for the iphone

This is my first post using my iPhone. I’ve installed the wordpress app and now I’m typing on the phone itself!

First thoughts: it’s great! I was a little concerned that the iphones spell checker wouldn’t work but it does (although not in the post titles).

I’ve tried to attach a photo of brendan so let’s see if that works…

iPhone on O2’s Simplicity Tariffs – £25 a month

My brother has just given our dad his old 2G iphone after upgrading to the 3G one. Initially I thought he would have to pay £35 a month for the iPhone tariff, but it turns out that you can use the old iPhones with any o2 tariff.

There are a number of sim-only Simplicity tariffs, that have short term 30 day contracts, and these start from £15 per month. You can then pay £7.50 extra a month for unlimited data, or £10 a month for unlimited data + wifi.

In the end he opted for the Online 15 tariff with the web+wifi bolt on. This gives him:

  • 200 minutes
  • 400 texts
  • Unlimited O2 to O2 calls
  • Free voicemail
  • Unlimited data + wifi

The only thing he doesn’t get his visual voicemail, but not bad for £25 a month.

3G iPhone

So the iPhone 3G has finally been revealed by Apple today.

  • Built in A-GPS
  • 3G Data transfer, downloading a web page is over 3.5 times faster than EDGE, and even up to 36% faster than on an N95 3G.
  • Improved battery life: 2G talk time up 25% from 8 hours to 10 hours. 5 hours of 3G talk time.
  • Enterprise support: full exchange support, improved VPN support, remote wipe.
  • Third party applications: Games from Sony, massive potential for location based apps
  • Flush rather than recessed headphone jack: this will allow easier use of third party headphones.
  • Distribution in 70 countries
  • Price reduced 50% from $399 to $199 for 8GB model. 16GB white model for $299.
  • Available July 11th

So no front mounted camera for video chat (I guess that can wait for the next version), and the camera is still 2.0 megapixels.

The addition of GPS is a key factor here. It’s going to enable a huge array of location based apps and web services. Prior to the iPhone, few companies cared about mobile, yet now everyone is fighting to build iPhone versions of their services. You know it’s going to be huge when your bank builds an iPhone specific version of their website.

Apples stock (AAPL) is currently down 4%. Is this a good buy opportunity before it soars to $300? 😉