Fixing OS X Yosemite wireless printer & scanner driver

Last night I attempted to go through my desk inbox and scan any new documents I had waiting. But Yosemite (OS X 10.10.x) was not recognizing my Epson Workforce 545 wireless all-in-one as a scanner. I could print to it, but not scan. Additionally, in the printer section of System Preferences, there was no Scan tab shown.

I initially looked at Epson’s drivers page for the WorkForce 545, but the page basically said download all drivers from Apple Software Update, which Yosemite helpfully does for you anyways. Although I did verify that Epson’s scan utility worked, which lead me to think it was something up with OS X itself. After some research, I found a video on YouTube that describes how to fix the problem.

Apparently if OS X is using the AirPrint driver for your printer, it doesn’t include the scanner driver. By switching to the real printer driver, not AirPrint, the problem is solved.

Here is a screenshot of when I go to add a printer and the “Use” drop-down shows the AirPrint driver as selected by default:

Before (AirPrint)

Here is a screenshot of me switching to the actual Epson Workforce 545 driver.

After (Epson driver)

And now my scanner software sees the scanner, where before it didn’t:

Scanner software

This should work with any all-in-one printer/scanner device, not just an Epson one.

iTunes keeps triggering 'allow incoming connections' dialog from OS X firewall

Ran into an interesting bug with Mac OS X’s Firewall. Every time I launched iTunes, I would be prompted by the firewall whether I wanted to allow incoming connections. Every single time I launched iTunes.

Luckily, there is an easy fix according to this Apple support forum post:

Doing so has worked perfectly well for me. However, there may be a specific sequence of actions that will work. Mine was:

1) Wait for the dialogue to appear, then deny access. Quit the application in question.

2) Open System Preferences>Security>Firewall, and remove the application in question from the list entirely.

3) Wait for the dialogue to appear again, then grant access. This should be the last time you see the dialogue.

Problem so far has been resolved!

Mac Tip – Grouping applications into stacks

One of the new features in OS X Leopard that has lots of potential is Stacks. Here is a neat way to create several stacks for various groups of applications.

  1. Create a folder named ‘Stacks’ in your home directory
  2. Create aliases for several applications you want to group and put it in a sub-folder within your ‘Stacks’ folder. For example, create aliases for all of the iLife apps and put them in an ‘iLife’ folder underneath the ‘Stacks’ folder you created.
  3. Simply drag the ‘iLife’ folder into your dock.
  4. Now you have a stack grouping all of your iLife apps together! You can then remove the individual dock icons for these apps, as they are no longer need. Instantly more dock space!
  5. You can then right-click the stack and set several options, including making the stack use grid mode (which I prefer over the fan).

You can easily create several stacks to organize your various applications, making them easy to find. For those of you who have dozens of applications you use regularly, this is really nice.

First Impressions with Leopard

Here are a few first impressions on my experience of upgrading to OS X 10.5 Leopard:

  • Make sure you do proper backups before upgrading. I cannot stress this enough.
  • I did an erase and install. I hadn’t reinstalled OS X since I got my Macbook and just decided it was as good as time as any to do it.
  • Did I mention that Apple doesn’t assume you are a thief? No serial code and no product activation. Breath of fresh air for sure.
  • Installation on my 1st Generation Macbook took ~40 minutes.
  • My Macbook definitely is a little faster, especially when I have several applications open and doing stuff in the background.
  • The iTunes Artwork screensaver now works with album art downloaded from the iTunes Store.
  • Any VBR AAC file encoded in Leopard now shows its real bitrate in iTunes.
  • According to Hydrogenaudio, the AAC encoder also has sound quality improvements.
  • Web Clip in Safari is going to get a workout.
  • I am really digging Coverflow in the Finder. Makes me wish someone made a Windows version of it, I can picture my work using it.
  • Speaking of the Finder, it is faster, beautiful, and much more functional.
  • Time Machine is great. After the initial backup, the only time I have even noticed it was when I happened to look at my external hard drive and saw the disk activity light on. I think the “gimmick” UI actually makes more people want to use it, as it is quiet beautiful. It is simply as easy as backup can get. Try restoring a photo from your iPhoto library, it will take your breath away. Volume Shadow Copy in Vista cannot compare.
  • Leopard seems very stable. No crashes or any noticeable first version bugs. Apple definitely did a lot of polishing work on it.
  • I’m liking Spotlight much better this time around. Faster and you can do boolean searches.
  • Grammar checking is a joke so far. If I can even get a sentence to show the green underline, I haven’t got it to offer suggestions on how to fix it yet.
  • I highly recommend this upgrade for Mac users.

    For another perspective, Leo Laporte (of TWIT and TechTV fame) has a good first impressions review.