Using a Lite-On eTDU-108 DVD drive with a Mac

I bought a Lite-On eTDU-108 DVD writer, as a companion for my MacBook Air which lacks a built-in optical drive.

Using this drive with a Mac is strange because it has a lid, so the Mac cannot physically eject the media. This leads to odd circumstances such as when you tell the Finder (or iTunes) to eject the disc, and it makes the icon disappear and suddenly it’s back, as if you had inserted it into the drive again at superhuman speed.

Most of the sequences of ejecting discs that I came up with resulted in error messages, failure to eject the disc, spinning beachballs, or unplugging the USB cable from the drive in frustration. I finally figured out the right sequence to eject a disc from this drive when it’s connected to a Mac.

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MacRuby tweaks to your customized .irbrc

I started playing with MacRuby this evening. macirb wouldn’t run with my customized .irbrc and gave the following error:

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Fix for MacBook Pro sudden USB and Ethernet port failures

I own a 2.16GHz MacBook Pro, which is a little over 3 years old. Over the last year I’ve had an odd problem with it, which has gotten severe in the last few weeks. The problem was that it would suddenly disable the Ethernet port and the USB ports, disconnecting mounted disks and freezing networked services. The only workaround was to reboot or sleep/wake. I finally found the cause and fixed it last week. My guess is that pretty much all MacBook Pros of similar age and design will develop this problem, so read on if you have a similar issue.
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Making Bundler 0.8.5 install Nokogiri on Leopard with a newish libxml

Nokogiri on a standard installation of Leopard is complain-y about a couple of old libraries:

“HI. You’re using libxml2 version 2.6.16 which is over 4 years old and has plenty of bugs. We suggest that for maximum HTML/XML parsing pleasure, you upgrade your version of libxml2 and re-install nokogiri. If you like using libxml2 version 2.6.16, but don’t like this warning, please define the constant I_KNOW_I_AM_USING_AN_OLD_AND_BUGGY_VERSION_OF_LIBXML2 before requring nokogiri.”

Aaron Kalin figured out how to fix this if you’re installing nokogiri as a system gem, but I want to use Bundler and keep my system gems down to the bare minimum. I figured out how to do this under Bundler 0.8.5.
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