Friday, November 7, 2014

High CPU Usage on Macbook Air (solved)

I had been struggling with CPU fan being too noisy on my Macbook Air especially with an external thunderbolt display. This was the case with both Mavericks and Yosemite. I finally stumbled upon this article which helped me kinda solve the problem. the CPU usage is now normal 95% of the times and no more nosy fan. Please refer to the original article on apple forums by Luis_Mercado

Summary of the Fix is below (Please make sure you print out this guide and follow the steps exactly in the sequence mentioned)

First Step disconnect any external or secondary monitors, if any is present. The video memory allocation leak can also happen if you have a system with an integrated card, like Intel, with no external monitors attached.

Second Step Shut down your machine and enter Safe Mode (press shift once you turn on your computer again, more info below). Once you're there, fix your disk permissions.

Guide of how to access Safe Mode: OS X: What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode?

Third Step From Safe Mode turn off your machine again and reset your System Management Controller (SMC). There are different methods, depending on machine, to do this. To know what method applies to yours read the following guide.

Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

Fourth Step Once your machine completes a full boot after resetting the SMC turn it off again and reset your PRAM (THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP, BUT THE PREVIOUS ONES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR THIS ONE TO WORK). The PRAM stores small bits of data that indicate our Apple computer how to interact with the devices connected to it, including monitors and video cards. It also affects software.

To reset it you should hold the OPTION, COMMAND, P and R keys in your keyboard immediately after turning on your machine again.You'll hear the start up chime, continue pressing the keys until the machine boots and the chime starts A SECOND TIME, then release. IF YOUR YOSEMITE INSTALLATION LOCKS UP AT A BLACK SCREEN AFTER THIS, DONT PANIC! It's normal, just turn off your computer and let it boot again.

More info about PRAM: OS X Mavericks: Reset your computer’s PRAM

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Outside Lands SF 2014 #olsf

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Samsung Smart TVs/Blu Ray Players don't work with HotSpots (ATT MiFi)??

Struggling with getting the Samsung Smart TV/Blu Ray Player to work with AT&T MiFi/Novotel MiFi 5792. Seems like Samsung has some way of identifying that the WiFi signal is via a MiFi hotspot.. I didn't think so but samsung support confirmed that it doesn't support MiFi. On the other hand you can create a hotspot on your mobile phone and it works fine. What could be different?? Still trying to figure it out so if anyone has any luck with it, i would really appreciate any tips or tricks. I have tried setting up a WiFi share on a Mac as well as Windows and that seems to work but just not the actual MiFi broadcasted WiFi signal.. Update: The latest update to MiFi 5792 enables Samsung TV's to use the data.:-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Disable ATT Communications Manager (ATTCM) autostart on MAC OSX

ATTCM can be a nuisance and there is hardly much you can do on MAC OSX since there is no startup elements you can disable like on Windows. You can go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items and can disable some items but it doesn't work with USB Modems. Once you have installed the ATTCM or any USB modem application (like sierra wireless air watcher), you are kind of stuck with the autostart of these applications once you insert the modem on the USB port since they almost act like a disk.

So what i had to do was to first of all setup PPP connection via the USB Modem network interface as detailed in one of my previous posts so that i could at-least connect to the internet. Don't try to upgrade the ATTCM with the application running because you don't know where the update is going to get downloaded and 99% of the times it doesn't come with the uninstall option and no modem driver for some wired reason.

If you are really interested, go to ATT website and download the dog file and install it manually so that at least you get the uninstall option which cleanly uninstalls the ATTCM.

I would rather stick to the ATTCM 7.2 version since it comes with correct modem drivers for SierraWireless 313U (Momentum 4G) wireless data card so that you can have the PPP working properly which is essential if you want to try VPN via data card.

So in order to disable the autostart, i ended up doing the following:
  1. Unplug the USB data card before doing this.
  2. Go to the Finder > Applications > AT&T > AT&T Communication > Right Click > Show Package Contents
  3. Click on Contents 
    • Delete diskutil
    • Click on SharedSupport > Config
      • Delete the autostart INI file.
    • Click on MacOS and delete the following files
      • attcm
    • Don't delete the
Shutdown and restart MAC without the modem plugged in. Once started, connect the modem and use the PPP connection to connect to the internet. You can also setup the PPP advanced options to auto connect to avoid the extra step of manually clicking connect on the PPP connection. Also you can create a shortcut by checking "show modem in status bar".

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Working Cisco AnyConnect, CISCO IP Communicator on VMWare on MAC OSX LION Host, WINDOWS 7 Guest using broadband datacard

This one was probably one of the most challenging ones i have faced so far.. I am not a networking expert by any sorts but this issue specifically has taught me stuff i don't wanna even know..

I hope people reading this post will find it useful to help them in following situations:

  1. If you run VMWare or Parallels on a host MAC OSX machine and have trouble running CISCO AnyConnect VPN on the guest WINDOWS 7/Vista/XP etc. connected via a broadband data card (which only support VPN via PPP as detailed in my previous post).
  2. Since there is no CISCO IP Communicator for MAC, this is probably your last option to have CISCO IP Communicator run on a MAC OSX machine via the guest WINDOWS operating system after connecting through VPN to your corporate network.
  3. The other party can't hear you via CISCO IP Communicator (the whole debate around NAT Vs. BRIDGED connections in VMWARE/Parallels)
So how did i end up writing this.. Well recently got a ATT datacard and had to struggle through to get CISCO AnyConnect VPN working on MAC OSX (LION). My previous post details out how to get that working. Now once you get that working you still can't use your corporate IP phone (especially CISCO IP Phone) since they don't have a MAC OSX version even after promising it for several years. Don't know if its APPLE or CISCO but what ever..

So what are your options... I guess the only reasonable one is to run CISCO IP Communicator on the Windows guest operating system either using VMWARE or Parallels. Almost everyone who owns a MAC, has WINDOWS OS running on it for variety of reasons beyond this post..

Now for CISCO IP Communicator to run on the guest WINDOWS OS on host MAC OSX, you most probably need to connect via VPN to your corporate network. The challenges you face there are plenty.
  1. There is this whole issue of how VMWARE/Parallels uses the network connections i.e. NAT, Bridged or HOST. You will find several posts talking about that it works only in BRIDGED mode but the challenge with BRIDGED mode is that it only works with an ethernet/wifi adapter i.e. if you are connected via either one of them. So if you are using a USB modem or data card, you are pretty much out of luck.
  2. The biggest issue with NAT is that the person on the other side of IP Communicator can't hear you. There is some networking issue that i can't seem to understand.
  3. You can try various things like Internet Sharing in MAC OSX, and even then can't get the CISCO AnyConnect VPN to work. Believe me i tried and couldn't get it working.. 
  4. Any who..Your best bet is to figure out a way to get Cisco AnyConnect working on the guest WINDOWS OS and then connect the CISCO Ip Communicator. You will not have to deal with this BRIDGED/NAT BS either if you follow the steps below. 
So the steps that i followed to get this working are below:
  1. Connect your data card to MAC OSX the normal way and let it connect.
  2. Start VMWARE/Parallels and connect the network adapter in it so that you have internet access.
  3. The key to getting this working at least on WINDOWS 7 is the BFE (Base Filtering Engine) service. Somehow for me the service was altogether missing. I tried researching but no luck. Some noble soul had posted the registry settings to create the BFE entry and i am attaching it below.
  4. Once you run the registry file, it will create a BFE entry in the following location --> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\BFE
  5. You will now need to open regedit.exe as administrator and go to the above entry and modify the permissions of the BFE folder in the registry to allow full access to the user operating the HOST & GUEST. You can also try giving full access to "everyone" user.
  6. Now go to My Computer > Manage > Services and start the BFE service. It should start without any ACCESS DENIED errors if you have done step 5 above.
  7. Now start CISCO AnyConnect VPN and it will connect to your corporate network in a jiffy.
  8. You will still have the network adapter in VMWARE/Parallels connected and able to access the internet. If you need proxy, make changes accordingly.
  9. Start CISCO IP Communicator and that too will connect without issues. Make a test call to yourself just to make sure that you can hear both sides :)..
This is all you need to do to get this complicated stuff working. Its working for me.. Hope it does for you guys too... Happy calling!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wireless Data Cards (Sierra Wireless 313U) and Cisco AnyConnect VPN - Solved!!

Just got a brand new AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G LTE data card by Sierra Wireless. Setup was straight forward and i was connected in no time. The ATT Communications Manager application installs by itself (MAC/Win7).

I started playing with the card and the first thing i tried was my corporate VPN via Cisco AnyConnect. What do i find???? No matter what i tried, restart, reinstall, Sierra Wireless Air Card Watcher, nothing would work. It would go as far as the last step and give me the following error

"The VPN client was unable to modify the ip forwarding table...."
"AnyConnect was not able to establish a connection to the specified secure gateway..."

There was no way for me to connect to the Cisco VPN using the data card. So i tried investigating online. People talk about various ways they have tried but no luck. There is an inherent problem with the security in Cisco and the way the data is handled via a wireless card using WWAN. After wasting a lot of time and effort, i stumbled across few posts which talk about using the Native Interface for connection or have some sort of NDIS drivers. Being a MAC user, it was a nightmare to find any drivers.. let alone the setups and configuration instructions. I even called AT&T and got the usual answer about the lack of support for VPN and especially MAC OSX (Hope APPLE is listening...) and was asked to contact my local cop orate IT.

Started playing around and finally got VPN to work on my data card. I think the approach is device agnostic so should work with any data card on probably any operating system as long as you know how to go about creating a Dial-Up Networking (DUN) interface. I am mentioning the steps for MAC OSX LION 10.7.4 but same steps can be followed for WIN7 or LINUX.

  1. The first and foremost thing is that you make sure that your initial install of the card doesn't have issues and installs the following network interfaces
    • direct IP (Its just the name of the interface at least on my MAC) - This is the basic network interface required by the AirCard Watcher or ATT Communications Manager.
    • The second but most important is the "AirCard 313U" interface which is basically a USB modem network interface. This is what we will use for setting up the DUN.
  2. One important thing that i noticed is that the drivers that came on the card are actually the only ones (at least for MAC OSX) which install the USB Modem driver and are embedded into the ATT Communications Manager that it installs. If you download a version of ATT Communications Manager from AT&T's website, you may be out of luck and you may not get the Modem Driver installed.
  3. Now if you don't wanna do VPN, you can continue to use the ATT Communications Manager utility to connect.
  4. For VPN, you need to go to Mac OSX Network Preferences. You will use the same approach for any OS. All you need to do is to identify the USB Modem Network Interface.
  5. Once you have located the USB modem network interface, enter the following settings on the Network Interface.
    • Telephone Number - *99#
    • User Nam & Password - Optional. If your network provider has provided you one, please use it otherwise leave it blank.
    • Under Advanced Settings
      • Select the Modem Driver - Sierra Wireless (or your specific vendor)
      • Model - GSM or CDMA
      • APN - broadband or ISP.CINGULAR (These are only for ATT. You can find your network provider APN from the AirCard Settings)
      • CID = 1
    • Proxy - You can setup proxies if required by your corporate.
  6. Save the settings and make sure that the ATT Communications Manager is not running and is not connected using the "direct IP" interface.
  7. Click connect and you will be connected to the internet via DUN (Dial-Up Networking).
  8. Start Cisco AnyConnect VPN and try connecting to your corporate VPN and there you have it.. A working VPN with no degradation of speed ( i validated using speedtest) on a wireless 4G LTE Data Card.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Transferring Thunderbird/Firefox profile to MAC OSX Lion

A novice user of 11.6 " Mac Book Air and a survivor of couple hard drive crashes on Toshiba Portege, i was faced with the challenge to migrate all my emails, profile settings etc from Windows 7 to Mac OSX Lion. Tried several websites and no help. Thought of trying something and it worked like a charm..

So if you are struggling to transfer your mail account settings and locally stored emails from Win thunderbird to Mac thunderbird, below is the step by step guide.

  1. Thunderbird installed on Mac OS, installs in the following directory - /Users//Library/Thunderbird/profiles. If you want to explore the directory, try MAC + SHIFT + G and type in the complete path. Finder doesn't show certain directories.
  2. This is where the thunderbird profile is stored. Copy the profile from the windows machine and paste it in the profiles folder on MAC.
  3. Rename the existing folder to profile.orig and change the new profile you copied to the profile name created by thunderbird which you just renamed above without the .orig.
  4. Go to thunderbird in offline mode and all your account settings etc will be available in MAC.
  5. Now you can change the local folder to the folder where you wanna store the downloaded emails by going to Tools -> Account Settings --> Local Folder or you can keep the existing one. Close thunderbird.
  6. Copy all the locally stored email files from windows machine over to the local folder identified in step 5.
  7. Restart thunderbird in offline mode and you will have all your emails available for viewing.
  8. You can restart in online mode and start using thunderbird for managing your emails.
You can follow the same profile copy approach for firefox. So far i am happy with Safari as my preferred browser but if you have VMWare for WIN7 you can use the same approach to copy the profiles and you will have the entire data set with saved passwords etc.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to Fix "Itunes cannot read the contents of the iphone"

You might be faced with this situation at times when you have a jailbroken iPhone/iPod Touch. You might have played around with some CYDIA apps, most notably the apps which try to modify the contents of iTunes Database File. One of those apps is MewSeek which lets you add the songs to the iTunes library directly from your iPhone/iPod Touch. Well sometimes it corrupts the following two files iTunesDB and iTunesCDB.

You will get the following message on iTunes “Itunes cannot read the contents of the iphone. Go to the summary tab in IPhone preferences and click restore to restore this iphone to factory settings”.

If you didn’t Jailbreak and you are in this situation, you have no choice but to do a full system restore on your iDevice and rely on a backup. But if you have jailbroken your iDevice, you can use iPhoneBrowser or iFunBox to explore the contents and fix it yourself without doing a restore. You might have to copy your songs/ringtones/videos back again but you still have everything else. The Songs etc are there on the device its just that the DB files are corrupted. So using iPhoneBrowser or iFunBox navigate to the following directory

Now within the above directory you will find two more directories

Under Music, delete the following directory - itunes_db_checked

Under iTunes, delete the following two files - iTunesDB and iTunesCDB

Disconnect the iDevice and reconnect. iTunes will detect it fine and you may or may not have your media. Try the option below which might help with just reusing the backed up DB files. You can also use iPhoneBackupExtractor to get the same DB files and see if they help.

FYI - You may try copying the iTunesDB and iTunesCDB from tmp folder back to iTunes directory to see if your songs/ringtones/videos come back
This is all you need to get your iDevice back in shape without a restore.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Interesting Pic - Godfather

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Change iPhone/iPod iTunes Backup Directory from default C Drive

If you have portable external storage (1TB) or plus, why would you waste precious C (OS Partition) space with backups etc. Apple thinks that we shouldn't be allowed to change the backup directory.. Dunno why?? if you can change the directory where all music etc is stored, why not the backups.. There is a quick and easy way to do this though. Esp with Win Vista, Win 7. All you need to do is create a SYMLINK for the backup directory using standard MS utility "MKLINK". Below are the steps.
  1. Make sure iTunes us not running.
  2. You will need ADMINISTRATOR access to your computer. Open START and in the search type CMD. Right Click on the CMD.EXE and click "Run as administrator"
  3. You will see the command prompt pop up. Change the directory to the iTunes Backup Directory which on WINDOWS 7 is "C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync"
  4. Cut the entire backup directory and paste it on your portable external drive. Say "H:\iPhone\backup". Make sure that there are no spaces etc in the new directory name on the portable drive.
  5. After the cut/paste is complete, in the Command Prompt Window, type the following command "mklink /D backup H:\iPhone\backup"
  6. This will create a symlink called backup in the iTunes backup directory pointing to your portable drive directory.
  7. Open iTunes and connect your iPhone or iPod Touch and perform a backup. All the data will be stored on the portable drive from now on. You can still click on the backup SYMLINK created on your C drive to access the backup.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vodafone/Airtel India Free iPhone Tethering & Internet access

Well i had to figure this one out cauz it was giving be a lot of grief. It was easy but i somehow didn't put 2 n 2 together for couple days. I think it should work on all cell operators which let you access internet via the phone. I am using it on the iPhone with a Vodafone Sim. Earlier there used to be a hack which will let you access the internet free of cost but i think both vodafone & airtel have patched those holes. Vodafone India offers a 2 GB plan for ₹ 95. If you have an unlocked phone you must have TetherMe from CYDIA or MyWi. Also if the APN Editing is enabled you can directly enter the settings below our use the iPhoneConfiguration utility to create a ".mobileconfig" file with the APN settings and connect your iPhone and install the mobileconfig profile. The settings are below. Now all you need to do is to enable tethering on iPhone and connect it to your PC. After connecting go to the proxy settings of your browser on your computer and enter the following in the proxy address & port

Proxy Address -
Port - 9401

The only catch though is that you will only be able to access WEB. VPN, IMAP, POP etc i.e. anything other than Web might have a problem because its blocked by Vodafone/Airtel unless you subscribe to the VMC i.e VM Connect for all that and for that you will have to pay extra which is rediculous.. However i must say that if you have a SSL VPN system like CISCO AnyConnect, that will work with this setup. Also all other protocols will work once you are into VPN. You will have to change the Proxy to your work proxy for everything else to work once in VPN.

Below is the XML generated by iPhoneConfiguration utility as a .mobileconfig. You can copy paste the XML and rename the file to a .mobileconfig and install on your iPhone as well.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">
<string>Provides customization of carrier Access Point Name.</string>
<string>Advanced Settings</string>
<string>Vodafone India APN</string>
<string>Vodafone IN</string>

Jailbreak iOS 4.1 on all iDevices using GeoHot's BootRom Exploit LimeRa1n !

GeoHot has caused quite a stir among the JB community by releasing his pwn4life exploit which JBs all iDevices to date. He released it well before Chronic Dev-team could release Shatter exploit which would only JB iPhone4. Still the unlock is not available but hopefully someone is working on the next release of UltraSn0w which will unlock the 4.1 bootrom and the new baseband 05.14.02. Users candownload LimeRa1n from the following website which is the untethered version due to some amazing work by Comex the guru of userland JB (the infamous

LimeRa1n by GeoHot & Comex

GeoHot has registered another domain which is prompting rumors about a possible unlock solution for all iPhones. Its codenamed LimeSn0w

Monday, August 2, 2010

Enable Multitasking & Wallpaper on iPod Touch 2G & iPhone 3G with iOS4 !!

With iOS UserLand JB out and all thanks to COMEX & Dev Team, you can now manually modify plist file to enable MultiTasking & WallPaper on iPod Touch 2G & iPhone 3G.

Links for JB are below

Comex JailBreakMe
ModMyI Mirror Link

Now all you need is iPhoneBrowser and go to the following directory


Save the N72AP.plist on your computer. Download PList File Editor free from iPodRobot website

PList File Editor

Install PList File Editor and open the
N72AP.plist file and add the following key/value pairs

For Multitasking Add the following


For Wallpaper Add the following


Save the changes to the .plist file and upload it on the iPod Touch or iPhone via iPhoneBrowser in the same directory i.e. "/System/Library/CoreService/"

Restart iPhone/iPod Touch and you will have both feature.

To Check the WallPaper navigate to Settings > Wallpaper and you will get an option of setting the wallpaper for homescreen & lock screen

To Check Multi Tasking, double press the HOME Button and it will show all the apps which are currently in background. You can click each app (press & hold HOME) and it will let you kill that app. By default and app that is closed goes into background.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Restore Selectively to iPhone instead of a Backup Restore using iTunes

Most of the times when you restore, you may not want to restore to a backup which may have had apps, and other junk which you don't want. All you want is selective stuff like Address Bood, SMS, Book Marks etc. Well Apple gave you no way to achieve this. Either you get everything or nothing. This is a big nuisance when you don't want everything esp any app that caused your phone to crash or not boot at all. Well now there is a way. Follow the steps below and you will be all set.. All of the steps below require the iPhone/iPod Touch to be JB.
  1. Download iPhoneBackupExtractor from This Link. You can either buy this software of use the trial version which will let you extract certain files manually. Just google for a Full version if you can't live with the trial version.
  2. This software will identify all the backups you have from iTunes and will let you selectively open a specific backup and extract certain files like AddressBook.sqlitedb & AddressBookImages.sqlitedb or sms.db.
  3. This software will save these files on your computer
  4. Now open iPhoneBrowser. You can download it from This Link
  5. For AddressBook go to /var/mobile/Library/AddressBook and copy the addressbook files saved using iPhoneBackupExtractor. For SMS go to /var/mobile/Library/SMS and copy the SMS files saved using iPhoneBackupExtractor.
  6. Sometimes you might have an issue syncing contacts using iTunes and Google Contacts, use OPENSSH in iPhone using CYDIA, get the iPhone/iPod Touch on WiFi and SSH into the phone using PUTTY from your computer and do a CHMOD 0777 on the addressbook files.
Hope this helps

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oracle Forms Display Issue with Laptop on Battery..

This turned out to be a simple fix. Everytime i used to unplug the power from my laptop, oracle applications (11i, R12) both used to act abnormally. if you clicked on a Form or a menu or Function, the refresh was not correct. It was as if you didn't even perform the action. If you did an ALT-TAB and switch back and forth from another application to Oracle Apps, it would then refresh. I struggled and thought may be it was something to do with the Power Settings etc.. But no, it just turned out to be the Refresh Rate of the monitor/laptop screen. Just make it to 60Hz and you will be all set without any issues.

VISTA/Windows 7

Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display\Screen Resolution

Click on Advanced Settings > Monitor

Change the Screen Refresh Rate to 60Hz instead of default 40 Hz.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Record Live Streams & Radio on iPhone/iPod Touch !!

Another useful tool for a heavily protected OS. If you want to record live streams, radio or any stream or even podcast on iPhone, you can now do that using Pocket Tunes. Pocket Tunes now comes bundled with all codecs for almost all formats for all streams. You can add your custom URLs even if the standard search doesn't find the URL or radio station you are looking for. For you to download the recording (which is saved as a .AAC file) you obviously need to jailbreak and just use iPhoneBrowser and navigate to /var/mobile/Applications/Documents/PtRecordings. Below are the links to PocketTunes & iPhoneBrowser.

On a side note PocketTunes has this new AACPlus codec which i have still not managed to get because the link via the app to itunes is broken or maybe iTunes is no longer carrying the codec. if anyone finds it please let me/us know..

PocketTunes iPhone APP