mac os X

Strange things running on my Mac

My iMac screen is dark and isn’t lighting up like I expect it to when I tap the keyboard. I can, however, SSH into it and see what it’s doing when not responding to me.

I found GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent running, this FAQ item vaguely tells me it’s part of Chrome, and that if I try to uninstall it without also uninstalling Chrome it will simply “be reinstalled after a few hours.”

Two instances of PTPCamera are running. This may be related to Picture Transfer Protocol used in some cameras and has caused more than a few people to ask why it’s running. is using a lot of CPU (100% of one of the cores). Googling for it reveals other people inspecting their systems while the screen refuses to awaken. I’m guessing it’s related to, um, iCloud and syncing, but the interwebs don’t say much more about it and killing it didn’t fix the problem.

Saving Backup Space With Time Machine and iPhoto

Three things that, when mixed, can consume a surprising amount of disk space: Backup automatically with Time Machine Use iPhoto and take a lot of photos Sync photos to one or more iOS devices like iPhones and iPads I do all three, and on top of that I have three current computers backing up to […] » about 500 words

Play FLV in QuickTime Player Using Perian

Perian: “The swiss-army knife of QuickTime components”

  • File formats: AVI, DIVX, FLV, MKV, GVI, VP6, and VFW
  • Video types: MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivx, H.264, Sorenson H.263, FLV/Sorenson Spark, FSV1, VP6, H263i, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Snow, NuppelVideo, Techsmith Screen Capture, DosBox Capture

The LGPLlicensed QuickTime plugin installs easily on Mac OS X 10.5 and does what it promises. FLV videos (such as those you’d sneakily download from YouTube) open just like any other QuickTime vid, and you can easily export them to other types.

Solaris’ CacheFS Could Be The Space Ship I’ve Been Looking For

Joerg Moellenkamp‘s post explaining CacheFS has me excited: Long ago, admins didn’t want to manage dozens of operating system installations. Instead of this they wanted to store all this data on a central fileserver (you know, the network is the computer). Thus netbooting Solaris and SunOS was invented. But there was a problem: All the […] » about 400 words

Apache, MySQL, and PHP on MacOS X

p0ps Harlow tweeted something about trying to get an AMP environment running on his Mac. Conversation followed, and eventually I sent along an email that look sorta like this: If you’re running 10.4 (I doubt it, but it’s worth mentioning because I’m most familiar with it), here’s how I’ve setup dozens of machines for web […] » about 300 words

Screencasting On Mac

I’m as annoyed as the next guy about how hard it is to find a decent screencast app for Mac. The forthcoming Mac OS 10.5’s new iChat Theater (and the built-in screen sharing/control features) should create some new opportunities for developers, but right now it’s hard to know what works or is worth trying.

Further, I narrowed the field with the following requirement: I need an app that records to QuickTime-compatible files, not Flash. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Extra: this how-to pointed out OmniDazzle and Mouseposé as tools to help draw users’ focus during both live or recorded demos.

Mac + Cell Phone + Bluetooth + SMS

Old instructions that connect the Mac OS X Address Book app to a phone via Bluetooth from O’Reilly and SillyDog. Once paired, the Address Book can initiate dialing, notify the user of incoming calls, and send SMS texts.

Bluetooth Texter SMS Widget, message2net, and BluePhoneElite all offer further tools to interact with your Bluetooth-connected mobile phone. The list of compatible phones (BPE & m2n) offers some leads for those trying to make the connection.

Finally, Simon Winter offers some tips on interacting with SMS via AppleScript.

Waiting For Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

With rumors of a March release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, swirling, Zach asked what was promised that he should be excited about, so I went looking to jog my memory. The announced features include Time Machine automatic backup of all your stuff (with integration to make finding and restoring stuff in applications easy […] » about 300 words

Apache 2.2.x on Mac OS X

I’m lazy, that’s all I can say to explain why I hadn’t put any serious thought into upgrading from the 1.3.x version of Apache that ships with Mac OS X to the much more feature rich 2.0.x or 2.2.x. But today I found reason enough to switch my development to 2.2.3, and I went looking to the community for information about the switch.

A post in Marc Liyanage’s forums made it clear how easy config/compile was. Minutes later I was up and running and fiddling with the new features.

Macs vs. PCs

Vista delayed The delay is the latest problem for the software giant’s flagship operating system. Microsoft had originally slated the software for release in late 2005, but pushed back its target date to summer 2006 and dropped several planned features to try to guarantee delivery. The company attributed the delay to the extra time needed […] » about 300 words

Bluetooth Headset Problems

I’m still excited about that Bluetooth headset I got last week, but I did encounter a little problem with it. Rather, I encountered a problem with Mac OS X and the Bluetooth headset. I don’t remember all the precipitating details, but the obvious threshold event was when Gizmo Project complained that it couldn’t find the […] » about 400 words

Bluetooth Headset

As I was contemplating making angry calls to my hosting provider last week when they shut down MaisonBisson for a couple days, it occurred to me that I would rather make those calls via SkypeOut or some similar service that didn’t reveal my home phone number. After all, I wouldn’t want an angry sysop to […] » about 400 words

DoubleTake Stitches Panoramic Photos Cheap

I actually like the look of a broken panorama, where the borders of each photo are clearly visible — even emphasized. But last night I got the notion of doing a seamless pano and found DoubleTake, a $12 shareware app that makes the process pretty darn easy. The sunrise shot above (larger sizes) was my […] » about 200 words

Enabling .htaccess On Mac OS X

I do a lot of web development on my laptop. I’ve got Apache and PHP there, so it’s really convenient, but I usually move projects off to other server before I get around to wanting to mess with mod_rewrite. Not so, recently, but I ran into a big stumbling block when I discovered OS X’s […] » about 200 words