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Archive for December, 2011

Mac OS: Use HUAWEI 3G modem without Mobile Partner

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

The HUAWEI Mobile Partner software is written in Java and seems to be mandatory to connect with HUAWEI’s mobile devices, but I think it is really annoying to always keep this heavyweight piece of software open while accessing the Internet.

The device will also appear in Apple’s built-in Network Manager, once the drivers are installed. But unless the PIN is disabled, trying to use the Network Manager (System Preferences > Network) will fail. In a next step, I tried to open Mobile Partner for entering the PIN, but then closing it without connection initiation. After entering the PIN, the connection via the Network Manager seemed to work fine! So we need a solution to enter the PIN without using the Mobile Partner software.

Eventually, I found the following solution at hints.macworld.com. It requires that drivers are already installed, e.g. by using the installers from HUAWEI. It works with my HUAWEI Mobile Connect E160 card (o2 Surf Stick).

An alternative to this solution is to disable the PIN completely, but be sure if somebody steals your surf stick or your SIM card, he will be able to use your Internet connection and possibly do illegal stuff.

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Mac OS: How To Create Shell Script Launchers for Launchpad or Dock

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Apps in the Launchpad created from shell scriptsMac OS X’s core component Darwin is a UNIX-compatible operating system, which may attract former Linux users to join the Mac fan community. Projects like MacPorts successfully try to thwart the lack of a built-in package manager, important for Linux residents to install new open-source software. Given these preconditions, many shell scripts you have created in the rest of the Unix world, run on Mac OS X.

Based on a built-in tool in Mac OS X

While both KDE and Gnome enable you to create launcher icons for your scripts, this is not an easy thing to do on the Mac OS X desktop. Since Mac OS X 10.4, a tool called Automator is shipped which allows you to automate some tasks on Mac OS X without programming skills. The interesting thing about Automator is that you can export your task flows to a Mac OS X application.

To launch a shell script from Automator, you may simply create a task starting Terminal with a shell script. Then export the shell script to a Mac OS X application, which will appear in your Launchpad.

Automating Automator

However, when using a lot of shell scripts like I do, it would be an annoying thing to always launch Automator, create a new workflow and export it to an app. So I have written another shell script, automatically creating such an Automator app which opens an existing shell script in the Terminal. The script basically creates an application directory, copies the application stubs from the Automator directory on your hard drive to the new directory, and includes a custom XML file telling Automator what to do. (more…)

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