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Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

Mac OS X Mavericks: new problems with old printers? (and some solutions too)

Mavericks Printer Filter ErrorI recently updated a couple of client*s iMacs with Mac OS X Mavericks (better late than never) and found myself stuck with an unknown error from the printer spooler: “Filter failed”.

I checked all printer software, namely a Kyocera PDL and a Samsung laser printers, and still got the same problem.
A short check with Error Console didn’t helped that much.
I deleted the printers and re/installed them, I checked for more recent drivers on the web but… no way, no solution.

Time to Google out some help.
It turns out that Mac OS X Mavericks doesn’t support (or likes) many older printers and many users are complaining about it so here’s my pick along with a couple of solutions and a few lessons learned.

Mavericks Mac Printer ProblemFirst attempt, just as I did, try to delete, remove and reinstall the printer, eventually rebooting in between.
Then, from the Printer & Scanners panel, right-click to Reset printing system status and try again if the dreaded filter error gets away.

If not, here’s B-Plan.
Mac OS X printing service, CUPS, may be part of the problem so you may turn to GutenDriver, which overrides CUPS’s settings and brings high quality printer drivers for Canon, Epson, Lexmark, and PCL printers.

Download them from GutenDriver web site, as of writing latest version is 5.2.9, and reinstall printer drivers as usual: GutenDriver should have taken place.
Now you’re printing (happily as I did) back with your old printer but through GutenDriver filter.

GutenDriver works from Mac OS X 10.2 up to 10.8 and, as I tested, with 10.9 AKA Mavericks.


Posted on November 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

PDFpen: a Mac PDF editing tool (and PDF to DOC converter!)

PDFpen Mac PDF editorPDF files are so great (and widely used) and Mac supports them natively (that is: you can print to PDF without any additional software).

Preview app allows for some page deletion, insertion, appending but… what about some editing?

Ok, you can get the full-featured Acrobat Professional package or just turn to PDFPen.

Not only you’re able to correct and edit PDF files (easily) but you’re allowed to do something quite unusual: bring them back to MS Word!
That’s right: PDF to DOC and DOCX conversion, quite handy provided you don’t have the original file available.

It downloaded the trial version, tested it under on both Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9) and moved to the full version (it’s $59.95): recommended and available both on Smilesoftware web site and iTunes Store.


Posted on September 2, 2011 at 6:02 am

SecondBar: get your external monitor a second menubar! – for free

secondbar mac appWritten by MacSwitcher Andreas Hegenberg, SecondBar, still in early development, is the first successful attempt I’ve seen at replicating the menu bar across displays. Just launch this program and your menu bar magically appears on your second screen.
You can thus access menu commands from either menu bar.

Via SecondBar’s preferences, you can set the transparency of the second menu bar, and you can make the second menu bar movable (although I’m not sure why you’d want to move it lower on the screen). SecondBar also provides some useful keyboard and mouse-button shortcuts for quickly moving windows between displays and resizing windows to the left or right half of a display.

Just a few cons: SecondBar puts a second menubar up on a second monitor. Unfortunately, the name reflects reality–it only provides 1 more menubar, and not one per additional screen; moreover Secondbar it’s still an unfinished project so may hang up with some apps: be warned.

However, it works well for what it does. I tried some other menu utilities, but they all miss the boat for my needs.

Screen real estate is never enough, so is the menubar!

Download SecondBar by clicking here and check Andreas other apps as well!


Posted on November 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Get 5 Mac really useful apps ($154 value) for free: 4 days remaining!

The bundle that came for free

MacHeist did it again!
Usually their app bundles typically deliver a dozen Mac applications at a significant discount.
The latest bundle is even more affordable: it delivers you 6 Mac applications ($154 value) for Free!

  • ShoveBox ($25) – easily capture important bits of information
  • WriteRoom ($25) – a distraction free writing environment
  • Twitterific ($15) – popular Twitter client
  • TinyGrab ($14) – quickly share screenshots
  • Hordes of Orcs ($25) – tower defense game
  • Mariner Write* ($50) – fast, streamlined word processor
  • * Mariner Write requires 500,000 total bundle participants to be “unlocked”.

    My favorites?

    writeroom macI love WriteRoom (in fact I’m writing this very post with WR now) for its simplicity and ingenuity: it’s really “distraction-free” writing – with some pluses.
    You get a Matrix-like editing screen that’s really good if you need to concentrate only on writing – and you ought to!

    twitterrific mac freeSince I’m an avid Twitter user, Twitterrific is a valuable tool!
    Just like WriteRoom, you get a full-featured Twitter window that requires very little system resources, stays quietly in the background, allows you to perform all Twitter operations.
    (regular price for this jewel is $ 14.95 – for free is a steal!)

    I’m intrigued by ShoveBox and still have to fully exploit its features.
    I love the idea of being able to stack up all tiny data (URLs, products, single news, snippets of code) that I get into all day.
    Hope Shovebox does it in a neat way as it promises: more on this will follow!

    Click there to download this free bundle offer from MacHeist but hurry up, offer end November 12th 2009!

    (Each application offered represents full licenses.)

    Remember that free is the perfect number!


    Posted on January 7, 2009 at 11:10 am

    MacWorld 2009: a few new -yet cool- things introduced

    Still have to sort out all stuff that’s been announced yesterday.
    In a nutshell:

  • Apple MacBook Pro 17″ with unibody, 8-hour battery (even though non user-replaceable) and up to 8 GB RAM (!!!)
  • iLife ’09 which, along with all updates, introduces an interesting Garageband feature: music school lessons with the best artist around!
  • iWork ’09
    that introduces iWork.com, right now a public-beta online service for document sharing
  • iTunes pricing changes:

  • All Songs DRM-Free
  • Users Can Download Songs Directly Onto iPhone 3G Over Their 3G Network for the Same Price
  • In April 2009, Songs on iTunes Will be Available at Three Price Points
  • (check our partner site iPodPalace.com about this iTunes-related topic)

    Highly recommended: check these Garageband previews with music lessons from selected artists!


    Posted on September 28, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Adobe Creative Suite 4, Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended unveiled

    Adobe Systems announced the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product family, a milestone release of the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow. Delivering radical workflow breakthroughs that bring down the walls between designers and developers and packed with hundreds of feature innovations the new Creative Suite 4 product line advances the creative process across print, Web, mobile, interactive, film and video production.

    Adobe Creative Suite 4 combines virtually all of Adobe’s new design and development applications, technologies and services in a single box the most comprehensive creative environment ever delivered.

    Customers can choose from six suites or full version upgrades of 13 stand-alone applications, including Photoshop CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, After Effects CS4, and Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

    A simplified workflow in Adobe Creative Suite 4 enables users to design across media more efficiently by making it easier to complete common tasks and switch between mediums without leaving a project. InDesign CS4 includes a new Live Preflight tool that allows designers to catch production errors and a newly customizable Links panel to place files more efficiently. The revolutionary new Content-Aware Scaling tool in Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended automatically recomposes an image as it is resized, preserving vital areas as it adapts to new dimensions. An expanded version of Dynamic Link in CS4 Production Premium enables users to move content between After Effects CS4, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Soundbooth CS4, and Encore CS4, so updates can be seen instantly without rendering.

    Designers using the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product family will be able to gain unprecedented creative control using the new expressive features and visual performance improvements in Adobe Flash Player 10 to deliver breakthrough Web experiences across multiple browsers and operating systems.

    Adobe Creative Suite 4 brings 3D center-stage providing the ability to paint, composite, and animate 3D models using familiar tools. Flash CS4 Professional now offers the ability to apply tweens to objects instead of keyframes, providing greater control over animation attributes. Also in Flash, the new Bones tool helps create more realistic animations between linked objects. With a searchable library of more than 450 dynamically updated device profiles from leading manufacturers, Adobe Device Central CS4 (see separate release) enables users to easily test mobile content designed using many of the Creative Suite 4 products.

    Adobe Creative Suite 4 significantly expands access to services available to creative professionals and developers who want to collaborate online.
    Adobe ConnectNow, a service of Acrobat.com, can be accessed from InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop Extended CS4, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, Fireworks CS4, and Acrobat 9 Pro, allowing real-time collaboration with two colleagues or clients. Designers can also share color harmonies with Adobe Kuler™, which is now accessible from within InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop Extended CS4, Flash CS4 and Fireworks CS4.
    Other online resources include: Adobe Community Help for technical questions%3B Resource Central for accessing video and audio product-related news and tutorials, as well as Soundbooth scores, sound effects, and other stock media%3B and Adobe Bridge Home, a customizable resource for tips, tutorials, news and inspirational content.

    Adobe Creative Suite 4 and its associated point products are scheduled to ship in October 2008.

    For a limited time, validly licensed customers of eligible versions of Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Production Studio and Macromedia Studio will be able to upgrade to Creative Suite 4 for the CS3 upgrade price.


    Posted on September 22, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Daylite 3.5 syncs with iPhone, iPod

    daylite sync iphone ipodMarketcircle today released Daylite 3.5, a major update to the Mac business productivity software that uses Apple’s Sync Services to bring Daylite contacts, appointments, tasks, and reminders to Apple’s iPhone and iPod as well as other mobile devices.
    Designed for the unique needs of Mac-based businesses of 1-50 people, Daylite 3.5 helps users organize at every stage of the business cycle, from identifying and qualifying opportunities to delivering projects.
    The update features new syncing abilities that allow users to select and sync distinct contact categories, and introduces more than 300 contextual help articles via Apple Help that aim to expose little-known Daylite features to more users. Daylite 3.5 is a free upgrade for Daylite 3.x users, and requires iSync 2.4 or later to connect to regular cellular phones.

    New licenses are priced at $150.

    Daylite 3.5 adds support for international time zones, the ability to multi-select Daylite-enabled colleagues to set or revise appointments, and a new multi-user trash system that allows everyone in a Daylite workgroup to review or re-instate trashed items regardless of who deleted them or which method was used. The latest release also allows users to export files in a tab delimited format as well as .csv formats.


    Posted on August 23, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    New iMacs, iWork 08 and iLife 08: short intro

    I’ve just attended Apple’s press briefing for the new iMacs, iLife and iWork ’08.

    Will post soon pictures, first hands-on impressions on both hardware and software.

    look really pretty, screen displays are gorgeous.
    Still have to try the new keyboard, low-profiled and featuring MacBook-style keys.

    iLife ’08 shows some pretty cool new features, iMovie has been completely redesigned while iPhoto now tends to be a Web 2.0 tool aimed at .Mac Web Gallery photo publishing and sharing (videos too).

    iWork ’08
    updates Keynote and Pages but, most important, introduces Numbers which, of course, is the spreadsheet fellow of the band.
    Numbers is really cool and shows off some nifty features most *xcel users really would love…

    More on all of these when I’m back to the base, up and testing!