Within OS X, Wireshark relies heavily on X11.

The problem is that the newer versions of OS X (in this case Mavericks) no longer ship as standard with an X11 environment which means you’ll have to install one if you want to use Wireshark.  Frustratingly the Wireshark documentation doesn’t make this clear so after a lot of head scratching and copious amounts of caffeine, I was glad to find the solution was actually quite simple.

Firstly you’ll need to download an X11 environment, XQuartz can be downloaded by following this link. Next download the latest version of Wireshark which you can find here.

Once you have downloaded both applications complete the following steps:

    1. Install Wireshark.
    2. Install XQuartz.
    3. Navigate to the Application folder and launch Wireshark.  A pop up will appear as Wireshark at this stage will be unable to find your X11 environment which it needs to launch, this is normal so don’t worry.
    4. Click the Browse button at the bottom and navigate through /Applications/Utilities and select the XQuartz icon, again don’t worry if nothing happens at this stage.
    5. You’ll notice that the Wireshark icon will now appear in the Dock, right click and quit the application.
    6. Launch XQuartz from the Utilities folder, a terminal window will appear where you’ll need to type the following and hit Enter.

      /Applications/Wireshark.app/Contents/MacOS/Wireshark

    7. Wireshark will now load correctly although it will take some time to launch (it could be some minutes depending on your systems performance).  Once Wireshark has loaded, quit both Wireshark and XQuartz.

You’ll now be able to launch Wireshark normally from the Application folder without having to go through the above again, you’ll be pleased to know that it’ll also launch MUCH quicker it future. Enjoy.

 

I remember the days of migrating from Wndows to OS X well and if like me then, you’re struggling to remember where to edit the hosts file, bookmark this page and you’ll never forget again!

Once you get your head around the file system of OS X things will become second nature and in actual fact, things aren’t actually that dissimilar to Windows in terms of structure and where to find certain administrative applets and ultilites.

So without further ado, to edit or simply check the hosts file simply do the following:

1. Launch the Terminal app; the easiest way of doing this is by simply typing Terminal in Spotlight (or, goto Applications > Utilities > Terminal).
2. Type the following command
sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
You’ll be prompted to enter a password to give you administrative priviledges, assuming your user account is an admin user, simply enter your normal password.

Now simply edit the hosts file in the familiar fashion, fundamentally it work in the same way as the hosts file you’ll be used to using in a Windows environment. When you are ready to save the files, simply do the following:

1. Press Ctrl + X to exit prompting you to confirm the changes.
2. Press Y to accept the changes that have been made you’ve just made.
3. Press Enter to save the changes.
4. Still in Terminal, type the following to flush the DNS cache:
dscacheutil –flushcache

You can now test the changes you’ve just made directly in your browser, or by using Terminal.

I really wanted to love Microsoft Office on the Mac, truly I did.

Since making the move to OS X a few years ago I really haven’t looked back, almost everything I do day-to-day (including supporting a mostly Windows estate) is just easier and more intuitive but that’s not to say there aren’t frustrations.  The thing I missed the most was Microsoft Office.  Apple to their credit produce a very good alternative, namely Numbers, Pages & Keynote but after using Microsoft’s products for so many years I found like so many others I missed the familiarity of Word, Excel & PowerPoint and of course the file compatibility when working with colleagues.  So after a few weeks of persevering with Apple’s equivalents, I decided it was time to install Microsoft Office for Mac 2011.

The problem is that you soon realise how poor Microsoft Office for Mac is compared to the equivalent Windows product; it’s not that I am critising Microsoft because I am not, in fact I applaud them for creating a native Office suite for OS X but it’s not until you live with Office for Mac that you realise how far behind it is in terms of feature set and usability compared to it’s Windows siblings.  It’s a real shame to be honest.

So, almost as soon as I installed Office it was time to uninstall it again and really get to grips with Apple’s offerings but that’s where the problems really began, Microsoft in their wisdom do not provide an uninstallation routine and the only option is to manually remove each element yourself.  So, just how do you clean remove Office for Mac?  Read on.

Note: In order for this guide to work, you must make sure that you quit all running applications and are logged onto your machine as an administrator.

Step 1 – Quit all Office for Mac applications

• Locate any running Office application that is currently running in your Dock, right click the icon and select Quit.

Step 2 – Remove the Microsoft Office 2011 folder

1. On the Go menu, click Applications.
2. Drag the Microsoft Office 2011 folder to the Trash.

Step 3 – Remove Office preferences

Caveat: Removing preferences will delete any cutomisations that you may have made within Office, this may include changes to toolbars, custom dictionaries and any keyboard shortcuts that you made have made; if you need these back at a later date or they are used by another application they will need to be recreated.

Firstly, remove “com.microsoft” files:

1. On the Go menu, click Home.
2. Open Library (by default, the Library folder on OS X is hidden, if you have not previously unhidden it by following this guide, hold down the Option key when you click the Go menu).
3. Open Preferences.
4. Arrange files and folders into alphabetical order.
5. Drag all files that begin with “com.microsoft” to the Trash.

Next, remove the Office 2011 folder:

1. On the Go menu, click Home.
2. Open Library (by default, the Library folder on OS X is hidden, if you have not previously unhidden it by following this guide, hold down the Option key when you click the Go menu).
3. Open Preferences, and then open Microsoft (if you have Service Pack 2 or above installed, open Application Support instead of Preferences).
4. Drag the Office 2011 folder to the Trash.

Finally, remove the “com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist” and “com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper” files:

1. On the Go menu, click Computer.
2. Double click on your hard drive icon; by default the name will be Macintosh HD or Apple SSD.
3. Open Library, and then open LaunchDaemons.
4. Drag com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist to the Trash.
5. Go up a level back to Library and then open PrivilegedHelperFiles.
6. Drag com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper to the Trash.

Step 4 – Remove the license file

1. On the Go menu, click Computer.
2. Double click on your hard drive icon; by default the name will be Macintosh HD or Apple SSD.
3. Open Library, and then open Preferences.
4. Drag com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist to the Trash.

Step 5 – Remove /Library/Application Support/Microsoft

Caveat: If the Microsoft Silverlight plugin is installed on your Mac you may have to reinstall it after deleting this folder.

1. On the Go menu, click Computer.
2. Double click on your hard drive icon; by default the name will be Macintosh HD or Apple SSD.
3. Open Library, and then open Application Support.
4. Drag the Microsoft folder to the Trash.

Step 6 – Remove receipts

Note: The amount of files you will find here will vary on your machine and it’s usage so you may or may not find these; delete as necessary.

1. On the Go menu, click Computer.
2. Double click on your hard drive icon; by default the name will be Macintosh HD or Apple SSD.
3. Open Library, and then open Receipts.
4. Drag all files that begin with Office2011_ to the Trash.

If you are still using OS X 10.6 or 10.7 (Snow Leopard or Lion), you’ll also need to do the following:

5. On the Go menu, click Go to Folder.
6. Type this in the Go to Folder box, and then click Go.
/private/var/db/receipts
7. Arrange files and folders into alphabetical order.
8. Drag all files that begin with com.microsoft.office to the Trash.

Step 7 – Remove /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/

Caveat: This will delete any custom template files that you may have created previously.

1. On the Go menu, click Home.
2. Open Library (by default, the Library folder on OS X is hidden, if you have not previously unhidden it by following this guide, hold down the Option key when you click the Go menu).
3. Open Application Support.
4. Open Microsoft, and then drag the Office folder to the Trash.

Step 8 – Remove the Microsoft fonts

You may wish to keep the fonts that were installed as part of the Office 2011 installation (although as you are removing the license I’m not sure whether you are technically allowed to keep these) but if not do the following:

1. On the Go menu, click Computer.
2. Double click on your hard drive icon; by default the name will be Macintosh HD or Apple SSD.
3. Open Library, and then open Fonts.
4. Drag the Microsoft folder to the Trash.

Step 9 – Empty the Trash

• Right click the Trash icon on your dock and click Empty Trash.

Step 10 – Move the Microsoft user Data folder to the desktop

1. On the Go menu, click Documents.
2. Drag the Microsoft User Data folder to the desktop.
3. On the Apple menu, click Restart.

Step 11 – Remove Office application icons from the Dock

• Right click any Office icon in the dock and click Options, followed by Remove from Dock.

That’s it, Office for Mac is now completely uninstalled from your machine; all you need to do now is spend some time getting to know Numbers, Pages & Keynote properly but that’s a story for another day!

I hope this has been helpful.  Enjoy!

Viewing the Library Folder in OS X   October 21st, 2013

Ever since the good old faithful OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard days Apple has decided to remove by default users access to the Library folder, now I guess this makes a lot of sense given the popularity these days of OS X but for users who are familiar with the operating system and may need to access frequently, it can be quite a pain.  Fortunately it really isn’t difficult to re-enable permanent access to ~/Library/ and all you need to do is launch Terminal and enter the following command:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

Your Library folder will be immediately visible once again.

To undo the changes simply enter the following command in Terminal once again:

chflags hidden ~/Library/

Again, changes will take effect immediately.  Enjoy.

Ideas? Contributions?   October 16th, 2013

I haven’t forgotten about my blog I promise.

Things have been very busy for me over this past year meaning I haven’t had the time I once did to regularly update my blog; it’s made me think.  I was amazed by the popularity of some of my articles when I first put this blog together, it wasn’t too long before these pages were getting tens of thousands of unique monthly hits, not bad for a no-one like me scribing some random words together! So how do I go forward?  I’d really like to get things back on track, add more quality posts and interest and get the monthly hits back to where they once were, but how?

I’ve just spent some time clearing out SPAM from the comments and was genuinely surprised and impressed by the contributions that you guys have made to help one another out over the last year, it’s great to know that whilst I haven’t added much content this year people are still visiting frequently; not only new visitors either, a lot of you are coming back to answer comments time and time again – I thank you all.

With this in mind, I’d like to make an open invitation for anyone who wishes to contribute articles to let me know; hopefully this will continue to add interest and attract more visitors but also give you an audience if you don’t have a web presence of your own.  All I ask is that the articles are of a technical nature, or, a random post that is topical and not offensive in any way.  Simples.  Needless to say you will take credit for your own work.

So if you are interested, click here and drop me a note.