How to access your Windows 7 printer from Mac OS X

Adding a windows printer to your mac can get a frustrating job. There are various solutions for that task (e.g. workgroup settings) but today I’d like to show you the easiest way – the LPD way.

Before you follow these instructions, make sure you have shared your printer.
Important: The share name has to be one word (no spaces allowed).

Windows 7 Setup

  1. Go to Windows 7 Control Panel
  2. Select “Programs and Features” pane
  3. Click “Turn Windows Features on or off”
  4. Turn on the LPD protocol.
  5. And of course you need to ensure your printer is shared

Mac Setup

  1. Go to System Preferences/Print & Fax
  2. Hold down the “Option” key and click the “More Printers” button
  3. From the top menu choose “Advanced”
  4. Set the “Device:” field to “LPD/LPR Host or Printer”
  5. In the “Device URL:” enter: lpd://windows7_name/printer_share
  6. Choose the right printer driver
  7. And finally hit the “Add” button

So if your Windows 7 machine is called “MyPC” and your printer network share is called “myprinter” you should have the following Device URL:

Power Tip #5: Firefox’s (3.6) new toggle full screen shortcut conflicts with Web Developer’s Display Element Information shortcut


After updating my Firefox to the new 3.6 version I've noticed that my favorite shortcut Cmd+Shift+F (Display Element Information – Web Developer Toolbar) didn't work anymore. Instead of getting the expected results Firefox just switched to full screen mode. Well, my first thought was that there might be an version conflict between the Web Developer Toolbar and the new Firefox and I would simply update the plugin to fix the issue. But there is no new version of the toolbar yet.

What happened?

Mozilla has added the new shortcut for full screen mode to Firefox which apparently overrules the shortcut of the plugin. As a web developer I use Cmd+Shift+F on a daily basis for my work. And honestly, who needs to switch Firefox to full screen mode, at least I never do.


Firefox Menu




Web Developer Toolbar Menu



The Solution

There is a very simple solution to this issue:

  1. Download the Keyconfig plugin for Firefox at
  2. Restart Firefox
  3. In Firefox go to Tools -> Keyconfig
  4. Find the entry "Full Screen" (the one with the unwanted shortcut) and press Disable


That's it. Your Web Developer Toolbar should work again.

Power Tip #4: Showing & Hiding Hidden Files on a Mac


As a web developer I'm often working with .htaccess files in my projects. When I want to test a new .htaccess configuration for mod_rewrite I usually make an upload directly to the ftp server (not quite the best development cycle ;-) … I know).

Trying to locate the file in Finder I had no luck. The reason is that Mac OS an unix based operating system is and all files starting with a dot won't be shown in Finder.
One could however upload the file via Terminal with a command line, but that's not a solution to me.

There is a Mac OS command that reveals these hidden files:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

And you can hide them again with:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

It's important to kill Finder to apply the changes.


Now there is even a better solution without any command line typing: a widget for your Dashboard.

It's called hiddenfiles and you can download it directly from Apple's website.


Making Screenshots on your iPhone


Recently I was asked about how to make a simple screenshot on an iPhone. Although it’s not much of a secret there are still iPhone owners that don’t know how to do it.

You can achieve that by a very simple key combo: Press shortly the Home button and the Power button at the same time (until the screen flashes up).


The screenshot is stored inside the Camera Roll in your Photos App. Now you can sync it with iTunes and finally your screenshot is placed in iPhoto (or any folder you have selected in iTunes for syncing photos).

Taking a screenshot works at any time within any application you are currently using.

Activating Missing Ant Plugin in PDT Eclipse


Did you ever wonder why there is no Ant support in your Eclipse installation?

If you are working with Eclipse as your standard IDE for PHP Projects you will probably use the PDT Eclipse environment which doesn’t include much of the Java project tools. Ant is one of the very handy ones.

What is Ant?

With Ant you can write simple and as well sophisticated batch jobs for compiling and deploying your code or any other task you could think of. For an example, I’m using Ant to compress and obfuscate my Javascript and CSS files.

How does it work?

Tasks you would like to be processed with Ant you put in a build.xml file.
Here is a simple example:

 <target name="myTarget" depends="myTarget.check" if="">
     <echo>Files foo.txt and bar.txt are present.</echo>
 <target name="myTarget.check">
     <condition property="">
             <available file="foo.txt"/>
             <available file="bar.txt"/>

To learn how to write your own build files checkout the Ant Manual.

Activating Ant in Eclipse

  1. In Eclipse go to Help -> Software Updates -> Available Software
  2. Select Java Development Tools and install it
  3. Restart Eclipse

Now you should be able to see Ant in your Eclipse Preferences and when you right-click on a build.xml file in your project you can run it via Run As -> Ant Build.

Power Tip #3: Speed Up Mail Client on Mac


If you get a lot of emails or if you have an IMAP account you have maybe noticed that Mail gets slower and slower. The reason for the speed decrease is Mail’s Index file that grows with time. Deleting and moving mails causes gaps in that index file.  To speed up Mail you just need to send that index file on diet.

(before you continue here make as usual a backup)

  1. Quit Mail
  2. Open Terminal ( Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal )
  3. Run command: sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/Envelope\ Index vacuum index
  4. Optional: automate it on a weekly basis

Now your Mail should be fast again.

100 Breathtaking Photoshop Tutorials (1st Part)


This is the first part of my 100 favorite Photoshop tutorials on the Internet. These tutorials are of interest for web designer, graphics designers,  beginners  and Photoshop freaks.

In these tutorials you can learn a lot about different techniques and styles. Amazing things you can do with Photoshop, try it and love it.

Tutorials 1 – 10:

1. Photorealistic Burning Text

2. Spectacular Grass Text Effect

3. Neon Effect

4. Speedy Shatter Effect

5. Logo On Fire

6. 3D Pixel Stretch

7. Waterbody

8. Vector Composite Effect from a Photo

9. Energy Spheres

10. Eery Eye

Make sure to check back for the next episode.

Firefox 3.5 – Get your speediest, safest and most advanced Firefox now.


The Mozilla Team has done a great job with the new Firefox 3.5 browser. FF 3.5 is twice as fast as FF 3 in terms of Javascript speed and even 10 times faster than FF 2.


Smaller Memory Footprint

One of the things I didn’t like about Firefox was the fact that having several tabs open would lead to an unbelievably high consumption of memory. These days are over. The XPCOM cycle collector continuously cleans up unused memory. Plus, hundreds of memory leaks have been remedied.

Awesome Bar

The location bar is now called the awesome bar for good reasons. Now you have Safari functionality inside Firefox. You don’t need to remember exactly the website URL anymore – just start typing some keyword and it will present you results from your browsing history. Great!

Offline Browsing

Websites that are Google Gear enabled (like GMail) you can surf offline without having to install any additional Add-ons.

Newest Web Technologies

These web technologies are now natively supported:

  • CSS 2.1
  • CSS 3
  • HTML5
  • SVG Filters
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • Ogg Theora
  • Native JSON
  • MathML
  • Animated Portable Network Graphics (APNG)
  • Cross-Site XMLHttpRequest
  • Microformats
  • Web Worker Threads

Private Browsing

You can easily switch between normal and private browsing and you won’t leave a single browsing fingerprint behind for others to discover. You can even remove every trace of a specific site from your browser without loosing the history of the rest of the sites.

So don’t wait any longer and get your Firefox 3.5 upgrade here.

Global Gaming Factory Acquires The Pirate Bay For $7.7 Million


This morning Global Gaming Factory X AB (a Swedish software company) announced to buy file-sharing service The Pirate Bay for 60 Million Swedish crowns (approx. $7.7 Million). The transaction is scheduled to be closed in August 2009.

The Situation Change

One year ago the founders of The Pirate Bay were sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of $3.6 Million for running the site, which counts to the largest downloading portals on the Internet.

Official Statements

About the future plans for TPB Hans Pandeya, CEO at GGF,  said:
“We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site”

TPB’s statement:
“A lot of people are worried. We’re not and you shouldn’t be either!
TPB is being sold for a great bit underneath it’s value if the money would be the interesting part. It’s not. The interesting thing is that the right people with the right attitude and possibilities keep running the site.
As all of you know, there’s not been much news on the site for the past two-three years. It’s the same site essentially. On the internets, stuff dies if it doesn’t evolve. We don’t want that to happen.”

TPB is the biggest BitTorrent tracker at the moment and so it might have a deep impact on the underground scene.

It will be for sure a very interesting transaction to follow.

Google mistakes Michael Jackson Searches for DDOS Attack


After Michael Jackson’s death last week searches on that topic increased dramatically at Google. Google mistook the millions of search queries for a distributed DoS attack.

As Google product manager R.J. Pittman said in a blog post:
“Search volume began to increase around 2:00pm, skyrocketed by 3:00pm, and stabilized by about 8:00pm. As you can see in Google Hot Trends, many of the fastest rising search queries from yesterday and today have been about Michael Jackson’s passing.”

Many people saw Google’s error page when looking for that topic:


Other websites were affected too: Twitter (micro-blogging platform) was forced to disable some of their features to keep the service up.