MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Support

Mar. 6, 2009
Mar. 7, 2009
Mar. 11, 2009
May. 27, 2009
May. 28, 2009
May. 30, 2009
Jun. 1, 2009
Aug. 19, 2009
Aug. 20, 2009
Jan. 14, 2010
Jan. 15, 2010
Jan. 16, 2010
Jan. 18, 2010
Jan. 19, 2010
Jan. 20, 2010
Jan. 21, 2010
May. 19, 2012
May. 21, 2012
Feb. 17, 2014
Feb. 18, 2014
Mar. 6, 2009

item.88312

David Snedigar

I just found out via a question asked in their online support forums that Buffalo does not plan to release additional firmware updates that can be run from a Mac. Apparently, the one they did release was "an exception to the rule" whatever that means.

So they advertise compatibility - which they are - but then won't support Mac users ability to update their devices firmware for bugs or other issues past this one update - which BTW is v. 1.02 to the Windows updater version 1.07?

Very nice customer service there.

Color me disgruntled.

http://forums.buffalotech.com/buffalo/board/message?board.id=0101&thread.id=6567

Mar. 7, 2009

item.88377

MacInTouch Reader

I'm a little unclear about which Buffalo products you're describing. There's a Buffalo 1TB "turboUSB" drive advertised at Fry's today for $99. Is that a drive which will require a firmware update which Buffalo will not provide to Mac users? Should I steer clear of all Buffalo products? Doesn't sound like a very dependable source from a support standpoint.

Mar. 11, 2009

item.88662

David Snedigar

I'm sorry - I guess I didn't define which product I was speaking of. In particular, I'm talking about the Buffalo LiveStation series of NAS drives - which are great products no doubt. I'm just disappointed that I have to take my drive to a friend with Windows in order to update it's firmware to fix bugs.

May. 27, 2009

item.92848

Robert van Lier

Here's another one. I am having a slight problem with my HP All-in-One printer: when I try to scan film or slides. the printer has a special holder and command when scanning film. The scanner makes a horrible grinding noise for a moment and then locks up. Yet scanning a paper document from the glass works just fine. I contacted hp technical help through an online chat session. Their chat service only works with Firefox or IE. No Safari thank you. After connecting and doing some simple tests at the direction of the online technician, he finally asked what operating system I was using. When I said Mac OS 10.5.7, he promptly replied that they do not provide online technical support for Macs, and that I needed to call a toll-free number but would be charged for help.

May. 28, 2009

item.92895

David Krafchick

The reply from the Tech seems a little harsh. But maybe I would ask if Mac Support is only available by phone. If that is the case, then it should be posted on the support page.

I personally think HP is missing an opportunity in the Mac community

item.92931

Christoph Trusch

Regarding Robert van Lier's HP support issue - you are lucky that HP already has a driver out for 10.5 at all. I would call again and, if there's another technician, pretend to be a slightly computer-challenged person using Windows XP.

May. 30, 2009

item.93029

MacInTouch Reader

HP support is horrible. A while back I had to contact HP support for a piece of equipment I used at work. I had a simple question which they could not answer. Also, I could hardly understand the person through their heavy accent. I vowed then that I would never own anything HP. Next time I had to replace that piece of equipment I demanded another source. So far I have switched many, many people at work and elsewhere to steer clear of HP. The could care less about Mac users and customers in general. I won't support them, that is for sure.

Jun. 1, 2009

item.93054

Gregory Tetrault

MacInTouch Reader said: "HP support is horrible...."

I needed HP support for a 23" LCD a year or so ago, and the support was good. I explained the nature of the problem, the agent immediately diagnosed a power switch failure, and HP shipped me a new LCD (with a prepaid label for returning the original).

It appears that HP outsourced support in the recent past and did a poor job of training and managing the foreign support personnel. I had already given up on HP printers and scanners. It may be time to write off HP altogether.

item.93114

Robert van Lier

A follow-up on my experience with HP support. . . One of the options for Mac users is to get support via e-mail. This of course is slower with 1-2 days between cycles. I went this route and heard back from HP Support with directions on how to do a partial and full NVRAM reset. Neither solved my problem. The following e-mail from HP a few days later said essentially to trash this printer and buy a new one. They suggested several refurbished models. Since the only thing wrong is that my current printer will not scan films or slides, and this is a feature I do not use very often, I'll hold on to this printer a little while longer.

In all the experience was less than satisfactory and I indicated as much on their customer survey questionnaire that they sent me. But I'd still buy another HP printer when the time comes. I still feel their printers work better with Macs than the competition, their mac software is superior, and their inks don't clog nearly as often as an Epson I once had. Let's face it, these companies make money off of the ink cartridges, not the printers themselves, and repair services these days is a dying industry.

Aug. 19, 2009

item.97928

Marc Rhodes

Amazon AWS now allows you to send them a hard drive and they will copy the data from the drive to to your S3 storage area. This may be faster than trying to upload the data.

They support Linux and Windows file systems on the hard drive you send them:

NTFS
ext2, ext3
FAT32

...but do not appear to support any Mac file system like HFS+.

http://aws.amazon.com/importexport/#supported_devices

Aug. 20, 2009

item.97944

Bill Graefe Jr

Amazon S3 and HFS+ Support: Considering that HFS+ supports two forks for the same file, it's probably wise that they don't allow for HFS+ disks. Their target filesystem would probably munge files when copied. The apparently simple solution would be for them to buy a Mac and plop it on their network. However, this could still have unintended consequences with data forks appearing as separate, unaccessable files.

Macs natively support FAT32 so that disk image could be tailored to what the user wants. (With MacFUSE or other, you can add full NTFS support too. NTFS supports unlimited forks but it seems almost nobody uses them. Extra forks don't even appear in the file size total.) So, this minor limitation is probably a good thing.

item.97959

Robert Rosenberg

Marc Rhodes states

"Amazon AWS now allows you to send them a hard drive and they will copy the data from the drive to to your S3 storage area. This may be faster than trying to upload the data. They support Linux and Windows file systems on the hard drive you send them"

If you are sending them an external drive created by a Mac, why not format it as FAT32 or NTFS (if you have purchased the "Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X" product that allows MacOS X to write NTFS [read NTFS is a MacOS X native function]) and then copy the files to it?

The lack of native Amazon AWS read support for HFS+ is a disappointment but not a 100% showstopper.

Jan. 14, 2010

item.107661

Bob Drake

Firmware update files for the LG blu-ray players (like the BD270) are Windows only. Anyone had luck circumventing this? Unzipping the download yields a file "LG_BD_350BB.ROM_v808021_AsCKRs_production" which Get Info identifies as a "Unix Executable File." Updates by Pioneer and other are .bin files.

item.107696

Ed Savage

Re:

Verizon In-Home Agent -- Macs not welcome!

In-Home Agent is a PC application that provides you with fast, easy solutions for common FiOS & High Speed Internet questions. It's 24/7 support at the click of your mouse!

To companies who hoist a "we know better-than-thou" platform attitude like that, I find smart use of google.com to be more informative and useful when I need an answer to a question.

Jan. 15, 2010

item.107759

Matt W

Re:

Firmware update files for the LG blu-ray players (like the BD270) are Windows only. Anyone had luck circumventing this? Unzipping the download yields a file "LG_BD_350BB.ROM_v808021_AsCKRs_production" which Get Info identifies as a "Unix Executable File." Updates by Pioneer and other are .bin files.

Hi Bob,

Did you ... read the firmware update guide (PDF) at LG's site? If you had, you would have learned that you simply burn the file you downloaded to CD/DVD (or copy it to a flash drive) and then insert it into the LG player. Thus, the firmware update is completely platform-agnostic.

Jan. 16, 2010

item.107769

Paul Constantine

I suspect one issue that may trip up Mac users dealing with CE firmware updates applied from a USB drive etc. is they all require a FAT32 (or variant thereof) formatted storage device.

An awful lot of home Mac users have no clue about this. Not to mention that by including a pretty lame disk formatting utility in the OS, all third party ones have disappeared. And the only option is called "MS-DOS." Which to most Mac users was something that ended 2 decades ago. So even if one reads the requirements, one probably sees "FAT32" or "FAT16" or "NTSF" and sees they seem to have no ability to format that way.

Face it, in many instances, it's Apple itself who is responsible for some level of marginalizing Mac users.

Jan. 18, 2010

item.107800

David Krafchick

I have to add my 2 cents here. My WD 1T came with FAT32 installed. It was very, very slow to appear. I even call WD and complained about it. After I reformatted as Journal Extended, it appeared almost as fast as my Firewire 250g.

So if there is an update that requires FAT32, I tend to not worry about it. My only complaint is that my USB cable only goes half into the drive. Any movement or bump results in a disconnect and a red flag dialog note that I did not properly disconnect the drive.

Normally I would have returned it and gotten a Firwire drive, but my brother bought these in a group sale and I just use it as an archive and so it's not needed every day - except to free up space on my video drive.

item.107825

Steve Hix

"by including a pretty lame disk formatting utility in the OS, all third party ones have disappeared. And the only option is called "MS-DOS."

On this MBP running Snow Leopard, Disk Utility offers, after the list of Apple-specific formats, "MS-DOS (FAT)", which is a bit more specific than just "MS-DOS".

And after installing one of a couple of additions to Disk Utility, you might also find "Windows NT Filesystem (NTFS-3G" as an option.

[We'd be curious to hear more about the Disk Utility "additions". Meanwhile, here's an Apple support article about NTFS: Disk Utility - All options dimmed for a disk that was formatted as NTFS in Microsoft Windows XP. -MacInTouch]

item.107847

Philip M

If you install Paragon NTFS for Mac 7.x, a new option in disk utility appears for formatting NTFS natively disk utility itself, under Volume Format. I don't know whether the free NTFS-3G does this. NTFS for Mac is $40.00, which some people consider steep. I notice Tuxera, which distributes NTFS-3G now makes a version of NTFS-3G that is 25 Euro. I don't know what changed. (They claim it is faster than anything else.) By the way, you should know that the Macbrowser that comes with NTFS for Mac and allows seeing the Mac file system from Windows, only works with XP, not Vista or 7. This is not clear on the website.

item.107848

Paul Constantine

I agree, discs w/ a non-Apple format are extremely limited. Memory cards used in digital cameras give files to a Mac that lack any "created" date data. Not to mention the issue of exceedingly slow i/o.

I suspect what is baked into X is the barest of minimum support for non-Apple disc formats. Several years ago, I worked at a charity that did lots of video work. They called on me when it seemed several drives that had gotten corrupted... containing tons of original video files most of which were completely unique and irreplaceable. Turns out a POC tech had installed them... they were all FAT32, but he saw them mount and walked away satisfied. It would have cost many thousands of dollars to recover them so the org has to let it all go.

Don't have an Intel machine so no 10.6.x. Nice to see FAT mentioned, but again, much less than helpful as I think there are 2 or 3 variants of FAT.

As Ric said, I'd love to see if there really are plug-ins to DU... somehow I am skeptical.

Jan. 19, 2010

item.107856

MacInTouch Reader

Re: Disk Utility Additions for NTFS:

It's called Paragon NTFS for Mac.

item.107859

Lee Kilpatrick

Paul Constantine said:<

I agree, discs w/ a non-Apple format are extremely limited. Memory cards used in digital cameras give files to a Mac that lack any "created" date data.

This is not universally true, my pictures come off memory cards with an created date. It may vary by camera type -- maybe your camera does not set the created date, or the clock needs to be set in the camera?

item.107870

Joe White

Tuxera's NTFS for Mac probably is the "add-on" that was referred to earlier. In combination with MacFUSE, it allows one to mount NTFS volumes as read/write.

They have both commercial and freeware versions:
http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/
http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/

(I have no affiliation other than as a user)

Jan. 20, 2010

item.107899

Paul Constantine

Lee Kilpatrick posted:

"This is not universally true, my pictures come off memory cards with an created date. It may vary by camera type -- maybe your camera does not set the created date, or the clock needs to be set in the camera?"

Does your camera use cards NOT formatted with FAT32? AFAIK, this issue lies completely in the formatting...

I have seen this with all my cameras, which go from point n shoot to professional Nikons. Spent 2 1/2 years dealing with MANY freelance photographers and never saw any memory cards from them that had created dates on the files. Then again, 97% of the cameras were either Nikon or Canon.

[I just checked a variety of photos shot over a number of years with Canon ELPHs, G3, G6; Nikon D70, D40x and D90 cameras. Some had creation dates (Canons, D70?); some didn't (D40x, D90). I think all the cards I used were formatted in-camera. -Ric Ford]

Jan. 21, 2010

item.107983

Gregory Tetrault

Why does anyone care about whether the files created by digital cameras have creation dates? All modern digital cameras store the exact time each photo was taken in the EXIF data. If you need the photo file's creation date to equal its capture date, there are utilities (such as A Better Finder Attributes http://www.publicspace.net/ABetterFinderAttributes/) or scripts that can accomplish that task.

item.108000

Eric Godfrey

Re Paul Constantine's note:

Spent 2 1/2 years dealing with MANY freelance photographers and never saw any memory cards from them that had created dates on the files. Then again, 97% of the cameras were either Nikon or Canon.

[I just checked a variety of photos shot over a number of years with Canon ELPHs, G3, G6; Nikon D70, D40x and D90 cameras. Some had creation dates (Canons, D70?); some didn't (D40x, D90). I think all the cards I used were formatted in-camera. -Ric Ford]

FWIW as a nonexpert, with a Canon G10 and working with my photos in GraphicConverter I always find two entries in the basic EXIF data: "Date and time of original data generation" and "Date and time of digital data generation" (they are always the same). In EXIFTOOL "Date/Time Original" and "Create Date" are shown. I am downloading as JPEG, not RAW. I'm using a Kingston SDHC 8 GB card.

May. 19, 2012

item.157576

Scott R.

I picked up a Neato Robotics XV-12, which is basically their version of a Roomba robotic room vacuum. Interestingly, you can update the robot's firmware... but if you try with the web updater, you get the following message:

"It looks like you are on an Operating System other than Windows 7 or Windows XP. At this time, only Windows 7 and Windows XP are supported for the Software Upgrade. Please retry the Upgrade with one of these systems."

May. 21, 2012

item.157598

Norm Lee

I used Parallels with XP to update the firmware for the Neato Vacuum Unit.

Feb. 17, 2014

item.186648

Brian Taugher

Bought a GoPro Hero 3+ Black camera, a significant outlay with accessories. Went to update the software and firmware and was offered a complex way of using a PC and a micro-SD card to move the files onto the camera. When I asked for a Mac .dmg file, here was the response:

Thank you for contacting GoPro Support.

We do not have a Mac Support page on our website. If you have issues with or questions about your computer, will need to contact the manufacturer.

As for updating your camera, you will need to go to the following web address and follow the steps and instructions for the update.

http://gopro.com/support/product-updates-support. . .

Many Thanks,

Elizabeth M.
GoPro Support

item.186675

Steve Harris

I ran into the same issue Brian Taugher did when I decided I had to have a GoPro Hero. The lack of GoPro support for the Mac killed any desire to get one. Brian may want to check out the Garmin VIRB Elite. It's fairly new but I did get to play with one at my local bike shop this weekend and found it is worthy competitor to the GoPro Hero 3+ Black, and will fit on virtually all mounts that work with GoPros. And Garmin does have a complete Mac software suite to support it. One may argue that Garmin software is lacking support (I find that it is, some bugs in my Edge 500 have stayed in several firmware updates along with a few new ones) but they at least know what a Mac is and actually write decent code for it.

item.186679

Derek Fong

Regarding Brian Taugher's report about updating the GoPro Hero 3+, if the issue is simply just a matter of moving some files from GoPro's website onto an SD card to update the camera's firmware, he simply needs to get an SD card reader if his Mac doesn't already have one built in. A USB version cost around $40 a few years ago the last time I needed one so I imagine you can find them for much less than that these days (my MacBook Pro has one built in, so no need for one).

For what it's worth, putting the update file(s) on an SD card and inserting it into the camera is how most firmware updates are performed these days. Besides, it's arguably better to get an SD card reader to download your photos from the card to avoid the wear and tear (to your computer and camera) of regularly plugging and unplugging USB cables.

item.186680

Brian Charles

I had no issues at all upgrading the firmware on my GoPro Hero3+ Black. All you need is a microSD card formatted for PC, not a PC to do it. Copy the downloaded files to the card are you're ready to go.

You can format the card using Disk Utility.

item.186685

Scott Austin

Brian Taugher wrote:

Bought a GoPro Hero 3+ Black camera, a significant outlay with accessories. Went to update the software and firmware and was offered a complex way of using a PC and a micro-SD card to move the files onto the camera. When I asked for a Mac .dmg file, here was the response:

I found this page on the GoPro web site which has two 1-minute videos that show how to update an older version of the HD Hero using a Mac. Are you certain you can't use this same procedure on the Hero 3+? Many manufacturers of devices with SD cards seem to use the "put the firmware file at the top level of the SD card" method of updating, which is nice because it can be done from both Mac and PC.

http://gopro.com/support/articles/updating-firmware-hd-hero-original

item.186706

Michael Newman

I'm not sure why Brian Taugher is having trouble updating the firmware on his GoPro camera. The GoPro site has a very Mac-specific page which shows quite clearly how to download the update file, unzip it and move the files to your camera using the Finder.

I've done it several times with absolutely no difficulty.

Feb. 18, 2014

item.186681

Jeff Boock

Moving .bin files to a card then restarting a camera is a common way to update firmware on cameras and keeps the camera platform agnostic.

It's up to you to be able to move the files to the microSD card.

However, I'm no GoPro apologist, their new line of cameras (3 and 3+) are buggy and finicky, and if you're trying to update the firmware, I can only guess why. I wasted 2 weeks fooling with one, which I finally got to work properly for a friend, but guess what, it required a Windows 7 machine to reformat the card they'd fubar'd by removing the camera without ejecting.

My 2 cents, don't ever use the camera to move files to your Mac; use a card reader or SD adaptor. Use this same adaptor to put the new firmware files on the card.

item.186701

MacInTouch Reader

GO Pro support was confused. Check

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEyzhZfSwO0

This video explains in simple terms how to update firmware. The use of the PC-only program doesn't appear to be necessary. As is often the case, special PC programs may not be useful or needed on the Mac. Updating the Hero3 seems a bit more complicated than the original Hero HD, but it's pretty much the same process.


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