Enable web interface to manage printer settings in MacOS Sierra

I use an HP 915 All-in-One Inkjet printer. I like it because of the fact that buying a new cartridge costs almost same as the refilled cartridge. As a result, I always buy a new cartridge when the current ones run out of ink, minus the feeling of being taken for ride by the Printer companies (read: Why Is Printer Ink So Expensive? and All printer ink is more expensive than gold]

The printer settings dialog that can be opened via System Preferences -> Printers and Scanners -> Choose your printer in the list -> Options and Supplies is extremely simplified. This is good for a regular Mac user. But if you need to customize the print output, say, you would like to change the default presets, there is no way to achieve it via the Options and Supplies dialog. This is where enabling the web interface to manage printer settings comes into play.

Mac uses CUPS which is an acronym for Common Unix Printing System. In simpler terms, it’s the network printing service used by Mac. Ideally, it is utilized to setup and configure printers that are connected to the network. In our case, we will use it to configure the printer connected locally to our Mac.

Step 1: Open the terminal and enter the below command.

cupsctl WebInterface=yes

The above command may fail if you are not the root user. In that case, try executing:

sudo cupsctl WebInterface=yes

If you come across an error message that reads, cupsctl: Internal Server Error, you would have to follow the alternative method of enabling WebInterface as described in the Apple Support Forum, here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6485634?tstart=0. As listed on the support forum, the alternative is to edit cupsd.conf file located within the /private/../cups folder using a text editor and updating the line that starts with WebInterface no as WebInterface yes (if its not already yes).

Step 2: Open http://localhost:631/printers/ in your browser. You should be able to see the list of printers connected to your machine.

Step 3: After you have updated your printer settings, you can consider disabling the interface by executing:

cupsctl WebInterface=yes
# Or, sudo cupsctl WebInterface=yes

or, updating the cupsd.conf by replacing WebInterface yes as WebInterface no within it.


References:

Spotlight does not list newly installed applications on macOS Sierra

I decided to try the IntelliJ IDEA editor (https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/download/). After installing the editor, I realized that Spotlight did not list it even after several days.

While searching for a solution, it came to my notice that this is a common problem and can be fixed easily. There were several solutions listed on the Internet. The one that worked for me was to open System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy  and add the volume Macintosh HD to the exclude list (volumes / directories that Spotlight will not index for search) and remove it immediately. This solution was listed in one of the threads related to Spotlight at the Apple Support Communities portal (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2697313?tstart=0).

There were several other solutions that I did not try but found one of them worth mentioning:

Enable display of hidden files and folders in Mac

This article is note to myself. It lists the command to be executed to show hidden files and folder in Mac. As a practice, the names of the Hidden files and folders are prefixed with a period.

Step 1: Open the Terminal – type Cmd + Space followed by terminal in the search box and press return.

Step 2: Within the terminal window, enter the following command and press return.

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

If you would like to hide hiddens files and folders, type:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO

Step 3: Relaunch the Finder.

  • Hold the Option + Control keys and click on the Finder icon on the Dock.
  • Select Relaunch in the menu.

Private Internet Access client fails to connect in OS X Yosemite

I have been using PIA as a VPN provider for some time now and have no complaints about the access speed. Setting up the PIA client on Windows was a breeze. Configuring OpenVPN to connect to PIA in my Ubuntu box was easy.

Few months ago, I switched over to a Macbook Pro. I downloaded the Mac OS X VPN client from the Client Support area of the PIA website and installed it successfully. But, when attempting to connect to one of their US VPN Tunnel Gateway, the connection did not go through and seamed frozen in the ‘connecting’ phase.

Few weeks zipped by the time I came across a solution listed at the PIA Discussion Forum.

The PIA blog post by dvh listed three alternatives to fix the problem:

  1. Configuring PIA client to use TCP on behalf of UDP.
  2. Disabling the OS firewall.
  3. Whitelist PIA executable in the Firewall settings.

I do not prefer using a TCP connection with the VPN tunnel as the three way handshake would slow down my connectivity.

It did not make sense lowering system security so as to connect to the VPN tunnel. Therefore, disabling OS firewall was not an acceptable choice.

The last option of adding PIA OpenVPN executable to the whitelisted applications in the Firewall settings made sense. I could implement the fix by following the below steps:

  • Open: System Preferences (Cmd+Space and Type: System Preferences)
  • Choose: Security and Privacy followed by Firewall on the tab-bar.
  • Click: + icon within the Firewall dialog box to add the PIA OpenVPN program to the whitelist. This executable is listed in /private/tmp folder and named pia_openvn.

On completion of the above steps, the PIA Mac client was able to connect to their gateway successfully.


References: