Holy Moly, Batman. Apple upgraded my Maven

I ran a Maven build this morning and it broke. Strange, as I had not changed anything. Maven’s ability to simply break because of a change to a non-versioned dependency or even more arcane, a versioned dependency with a non-versioned dependency of it’s own (a transitive dependency) is legendary.  So I thought that was the trouble. On my other machine I ran a build and the Maven output “looked” different. Stranger still. So I did a mvn version on both.

Whoa! My Big Mac was 2.11 and my MacBook Pro was 3.0.2.

It came down in the “Java for Mac  OS X  10.6 Update 4” which was released on 10 March.

Now a lot of folks are not ready to move to 3. For myself firstly I don’t need the grief until it is rock solid. Secondly, I use the site plugin and reporting extensively and this is all getting a big makeover in 3 which is not yet done.

There are lots of ways to go back to your old version.

My was is to add the old version into the front of my PATH in .bash_profile:


Mac OS X Desktop Switching bug fixed by making Java 6 your default

As readers will know, Apple released Java 6 for 64 bit intel architectures this week.
What you may not know, is that making it your first preference in the “Java Application Runtime Settings” “Java Preference” app in Utilities, fixes a nasty app switching bug you get when using spaces.
That bug is that if you change away from a space and then change back, the Java app you had in focus has gone and it is fiddly to get back.

Adjusting the networking MTU on Mac OS X

My wife is newly involved with a Arbonne, a network selling cosmetics company. They set up in Australia a few months ago. She has an a website http://arbonnebrisbane.myarbonne.com.au . Anyway the web site did not work from Mac OS X or Linux from our home, only Windows (running in VM Ware). The problem was seen in all browsers, curl and wget. Not a problem I have seen before.
The issue, viewed from wget, looks like:
Using wget we get:
=> `index.html.1′
Resolving www.myarbonne.com.au…
Caching www.myarbonne.com.au =>
Connecting to www.myarbonne.com.au||:80… connected.
Created socket 4.
Releasing 0x00516290 (new refcount 1).
—request begin—
GET / HTTP/1.0
User-Agent: Wget/1.10.2
Accept: */*
Host: www.myarbonne.com.au
Connection: Keep-Alive
—request end—
HTTP request sent, awaiting response…
—response begin—
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Lotus-Domino
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 22:36:16 GMT
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 14036
Last-Modified: Sun, 01 Jul 2007 21:15:36 GMT
Accept-Ranges: bytes
—response end—
200 OK
Length: 14,036 (14K) [text/html]
0% [ ] 0 –.–K/s
i.e. the response is always stuck on 0%. You never get any data.
A colleague, Dave Whitla, suggested that our default MTU of 1500 bytes could be at issue. Not all networking equipment deals properly with fragments. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_transmission_unit
The default MTU on Mac OS X is 1500. I adjusted the MTU to 1000 bytes and sure enough, the problems were resolved.
On Mac the MTU can be adjusted to 1000 bytes using:
sudo ifconfig en1 mtu 1000
You then to stop and start the interface. You then get:
en1: flags=8863 mtu 1000
tunnel inet –>
inet6 fe80::216:cbff:feb9:7131%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x5
inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
ether 00:16:cb:b9:71:31
media: autoselect status: active
supported media: autoselect
vlan: 0 parent interface:
bond interfaces:
MTU can also be on the server side. See http://help.expedient.net/broadband/mtu.shtml

Syncing your Mac with your Blackberry

I bought myself a BlackBerry 7100 a few weeks back. At the time someone said you could add it to iSync using PocketMac.

I got around to looking into this yesterday. Talk about great timing. At Mac World 2006 San Francisco RIM announced they had licensed PocketMac for all BlackBerry users.

While it was announced that the free version would be up on blackberry.com in February, you can download it now from PocketMac. They have changed the price to $0. Make sure you use the credit card option. It will skip the credit card screen and take you straight to downloads. If you use PayPal it causes an error. Obviously the store is not normally used for charging nothing.

PocketMac seems to work fine as an iSync conduit.

Now if only I could something working for Lotus Notes syncing to iCal…

Digital Signing and Encryption of email on Linux and Mac OS X

Years ago I played with PGP – pretty good privacy, an open source crypto package from Phil Zimmerman. At the time, Phil copped a lot of heat from the NSA and others, concerned with the nefarious applications of crypto. I played around with signing my email and so on, but I upgraded my computer and my attention drifted.

My family do all of our banking online. As a result I am a little paranoid about security. We never do banking unless on one of our own Mac or Linux machines. (Our Macs have just become plural – we added an iMac for my 4 year old son Curtis). What really worries me is phishing. As a result I have my spam filters turned way up, to the point where I sometimes miss non-spam. (Apologies to any open source patch submitters I have been slow to respond to). Occasionally I have to look closely at a phishing email. Looking at the actual URL and viewing raw source of the email headers always reveals the scam. What worries me is what is a couple of things:

  1. knowledge of the SMTP and HTTP seems to be required to ascertain a scam, and
  2. how do people know my messages are really from me?

I have always thought that digital signing ala PGP, was a solution waiting for its time. I thought that once authentication and privacy became a big deal, naturally all this stuff would get used. Today I decided to take the trip. From now on, all emails from me will be digitally signed with my own Thawte Certificate.

Having done this I can sign my emails and encrypt them. The thing I have not worked out is how to share my public key. This is the missing piece.