Matthias Schoettle

PhD Student & Software Developer

Category: Problems

AirDrop on macOS working unreliably

AirDrop is quite convenient to send files to a colleague or another device without having to send an email or uploading it somewhere. At some point (I forgot with which exact OSX version), AirDrop was updated and required Bluetooth. Since then, it often occurs that the device I want to share a file with does not appear. However, there is this option to “Search for older Macs”. In the past, I’ve only used it to send files to a Mac running an older OSX version.

However, as it turns out, even for newer macOS versions, if this is done on both devices, it works much better and the device appears almost immediately.

LyX: Installing unknown document classes

If you either received a LyX file that uses a document class unknown to your LyX installation or you would like to create a document using one of the options in the settings dialog, you need to install that document class.

This description is for Mac OS based on the latest version of MacTeX (as of May 28th 2012 this is MacTeX-2011), but should work with any version.

First, you should find out where the document class package should be put. In a previous version, I mentioned to put it in /usr/local/texlive/<version>/texmf-dist/tex/latex/ but this approach is not recommended, because it makes it only available for the current version. There are two better options that allow you to install a new version and keep all your custom packages: You can either make it available to all users or just your user.

  • All users: /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/
  • Just you: Run kpsewhich -var-value=TEXMFHOME in Terminal. This will show you your personal TEXMF home directory (e.g., ~/Library/texmf). In case it doesn’t exist, you need to create it, as well as the sub-directories, to get the path ~/Library/texmf/tex/latex/

Now that you know where to put it, follow these steps:

  1. Download the desired document class package.
  2. Put the folder with the downloaded document class package into the path retrieved above. You can use Finder to do that. In Finder go to Go > Go to Folder and type in the path. You need to authenticate yourself in order to do that.
  3. In Terminal execute the following command: sudo texhash
    You will be required to enter your password.
    In case texhash cannot be found you have to go to /usr/local/texlive/<version>/texmf-dist/bin/ and execute sudo ./texhash
    Note: You can make sure it worked by executing kpsewhich classname.cls which will give you the path to that package class.
  4. In LyX do Reconfigure (in the menu bar LyX > Reconfigure)
  5. Restart LyX and the document class should be available now

On Windows (using MikTeX) this should work quite easy using the MikTeX Package Manager.

Update 28.03.2013: Fixed path to LaTeX packages (Thanks, Mathias!)
Update 05.04.2013: Updated description with better location for custom document classes.

PostgreSQL accepts any or no password when connecting

When connecting to the database with the postgres user I realized it accepts any password or no password even though the user has a password set. I don’t know if this happens also when using the installer to install PostgreSQL, in my case I used initdb to set it up. I remember it mentioned something regarding “trust” after setting it up but didn’t take much notice until I realized it accepts any password.

In pg_hba.conf it adds all local connections to be trusted which means connecting from the same host doesn’t need to authenticate.

host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            trust

If you don’t like that just change it to another method, for example md5.

Mac OS: Airport not connecting automatically to Wi-Fi

A few weeks ago I helped a friend with an issue he had on an iMac with the Wi-Fi. After a while AirPort stopped from connecting automatically to the Wi-Fi. Although this can be caused by various different issues I want to describe the one I found. All the other instructions can be easily found on the web with the search engine of your choice.

The Wi-Fi uses a hidden SSID which can cause problems, not in this case though. Although it doesn’t really increase the security (because there are tools you can use that reveal it) it can help on a social basis when people just shouldn’t see that there is a Wi-Fi.

Anyways. As a side note: There were two iMacs set up the same way. One worked fine but the other didn’t so something must have been different. A lot of advices didn’t help but they could help in your case. In this case the problem was caused by the fact that the SystemPreferences application was moved out of it’s original place. After moving it back to the Application directory (/Applications) and restarting it worked fine again. I am assuming this could cause more problems than the one described here.

Office End-User License Agreement (EULA) has to be accepted every time

Do you have to accept the the End-User License Agreement (EULA) of your Office applications every time you start them even though you’ve accepted them already? This might be because you are using a restricted user account and thus the change can’t be written into the Windows registry.

To solve this log in with an Administrator account and perform the following steps for all Office applications you are using: Open the application, accept the EULA and close the application again.

If you log in with your user account again the EULA should not appear again. If it doesn’t work try to modify the permissions in the registry described in this knowledge base article.

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