All posts tagged OsX

As so many companies are now requiring that you encrypt your hard disk this article may come in handy :

MacBook Users: Encrypt Your Drive with OS X FileVault! It’s Easy and Free!
DECEMBER 20, 2012 BY STEPHEN 8 COMMENTS
Apple’s MacBook laptops have become increasingly desirable and successful, making them a prime target for thieves. Now that Mac OS X includes integrated and efficient full disk encryption, I recommend that everyone with a MacBook enable it. It’s easy, nonintrusive, and a potential lifesaver if your machine is stolen!

[From MacBook Users: Encrypt Your Drive with OS X FileVault! It’s Easy and Free! – @SFoskett – Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat]

Apple’s COreStorage volume manager has not received a lot of attention – possibly because it does not have a good visual user interface yet – and because Apple only really use it in their Fusion Drive technology.

But here is a good series of articles about it :

CoreStorage is Apple’s volume manager that provides an interface between the OS and physical volumes on the drive. It was introduced in OS X Lion for its full-disk encryption options with FileVault 2, but in addition allows for volume spanning, where multiple drives in the system can be combined into one logical volume for the OS to use.

[From How to make a custom CoreStorage drive in OS X | MacFixIt – CNET Reviews]

While trying to get the Zabbix server running properly I found that the PHP module for gettext was not installed. But this tip helped me no end :

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I managed to make it work using the gettext.so from MAMP. I am still using the Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) version of php, but in the php.ini I added the extension using the full MAMP path of gettext.so In the /etc/php.ini file add :

extension=/Applications/MAMP/bin/php/php5.3.6/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/gettext.so
You can probably make a copy of the gettext.so file if you want to have a smaller path in your php.ini

Then restart your webserver:

sudo apachectl restart
After that you can use _() and gettext() functions.

[From osx – PHP on Mac OS X Lion: where is gettext module? – Stack Overflow]

One of our servers has been running with a 3-way mirrored Raid-1 volume for a very long time. Occasionally I stop (freeze) one of the volumes and this is later “swapped” with one of the 2 active ones, so that we have a point-in-time backup of the boot-disk. It’s also backed up with Time Machine.

The reason for this is that it is almost impossible to restore certain files – and you will need something to boot from to restore anyway, meaning that the boot disk that’s out of rotation should in theory alway be a “known good” boot disk.

A couple of months ago I swapped one of the active disks to a SSD – figuring that could speed up the server.

And this worked well until Thursday – when the server crashed.

When I tried to reboot from the active mirror this turned out to not work, so I booted from the “known good” disk. And it turned out the SSD had failed. Unfortunately it had failed in such a way that it had corrupted the other disk in the mirror as well.

I tried Disk Utils and Disktools Pro – both told me that the disk was corrupted beyond repair.

It was while I was scratching my head I remembered DiskWarrior – my faithful companion in pre-OsX days. I downloaded (yes I actually purchased a copy), and started it up.

30 minutes later it showed me a repaired directory from the disk, and asked me for permission to write it to the volume. I gave permission, and a few minutes later I had a readable directory from the disk.

I rebooted from this disk (after having cloned it to another volume) – and lo and behold I could boot from it!.

WOW! Thanks DiskWarrior!!!

We are using a Mac Mini as a video server (and transcoder) for our video library – and using AirPlay to enable us to show it on any TV in the house. With the newest version of the AppleTV it’s capable of doing “proper” HD – 1080 lines.

A lot of the videos we have are not stored in a format that’s native to the AppleTV (.mp4 etc) – and therefore will require transcoding to enable AirPlay to transmit it.

We are using ServeToMe (a excellent server application) to do the transcoding, and StreamToMe to work with AirPlay on any of our iPads.

But transcoding creates a lot of small files on the hard disk of the server, and this is not IMHO ideal – as they will be created quickly, then almost immediately streamed to AirPlay, and destroyed. The hard disk is slowing this down – and as the server has 8 Gb of RAM, and only uses part of this during normal operation I decided to try to create a RAMdisk for all this temporary storage – as a RAMdisk should be a whole lot faster than a hard disk.

And ServeToMe allows you (under Advanced preferences) to set the location of the RAMdisk as a cache folder.

I found a excellent little script to create a RAMdisk here : https://github.com/blebo/osx-ramdisk.

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Btw. – it works, and allows StreamToMe to convert the movies with the highest possible quality.

I’ve been using LWC (Lightsoft Weather Center) for a couple of years with a weather station outside the house – and it has worked very, very well. But it has a drawback – it is not being updated and further developed.

So of course I was interested when I stumbled across WeatherCat – which seem to be a “drop-in” replacement for LWC :

WeatherCat is designed to work with hardware-based weather stations; as of this time, the following stations are supported:

Davis Vantage, Vue, Envoy, Monitor and Wizard stations. WeatherCat also supports the WeatherLinkIP data-logger.
La Crosse WS23xx range of stations.
Oregon Scientific WMR 928/968 stations.
WeatherHawk stations equipped with an IP server module.
As data is gathered and stored in its database, WeatherCat allows you to view weather statistics such as the lowest temperature, or the highest wind speed over any time period stored in the database. In addition, WeatherCat can generate and upload simple web pages which offer quick ‘canned’ solution to get your weather data on-line as quickly as possible, as well as template driven ‘custom’ web pages that can contain current conditions, graphs, gauges, statistics, webcam images and time-lapse movies; these web pages can be uploaded to your server by WeatherCat for display via a web browser anywhere in the world. A live list of all possible ‘tags’ that can be used in your templates is available here.

[From WeatherCat]


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When you run your own mail server on your own domain and move to BT Infinity there are a few possible issues

– BT does not offer static IP addresses for the non-business version of Infinity

A lot of recipient mail servers will refuse to receive email from mail servers with dynamic IP addresses, as their spemfilters rely on tracking known spammers by the IP addresses they use.

So you will have to use BT Internets “smart host” = mail.btinternet.com to relay your outgoing mail through.

If you (as I) use a Mac running OsX as a mail server running postfix, this will not work out of the box, as the authentication mechanism used is plain text.

So you need the line

smtpd_sasl_security_options = no anonymous

in your main configuration file for postfix (in /etc/postfix)

After running a update of all gems on OsX 10.6 my old ruby programs using MySql stopped working, complaining of a old (or non-existent) “mysql” gem.

Trying to install it gave the following errors :

sh-3.2# gem install mysql

Building native extensions. This could take a while…

ERROR: Error installing mysql:

ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

/System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8/usr/bin/ruby extconf.rb

checking for mysql_ssl_set()… no

checking for rb_str_set_len()… no

checking for rb_thread_start_timer()… no

checking for mysql.h… no

checking for mysql/mysql.h… no

*** extconf.rb failed ***

Could not create Makefile due to some reason, probably lack of

necessary libraries and/or headers. Check the mkmf.log file for moredetails. You may need configuration options.

In the end I reinstalled the MySQL native client using MacPorts

(port install mysql) – and as it now resides in a set of directories that Ruby does not necessarily know I had to use the following to install the gem :

gem install mysql — –with-mysql-config=/opt/local/lib/mysql5/bin/mysql_config

Microsoft have recently made a few changes to their remote desktop software at both ends (server and client) – and unfortunately this has meant that we were unable to use our Mac’s to access work computers due to the new TS Gateway functionality. Microsoft has so far not updated their Mac/OsX client software to handle this.

But fortunately we found that a 3rd party – iTap has sorted this :

iTap mobile RDP supports TS Gateway. It is fast, secure and optimized for business and home use. Our RDP client is also the first RemoteFX capable 3rd party RDP client available for general use!

They can be found here – and their software just seems to work – no issues so far.

Excellent.

Btw. just discovered that it supports printer redirection as well – even better than expected.

After lots of small issues with our O2 WirelessIII router we splashed out on a Fritzbox 7390. It arrived today and I connected it to the O2 ADSL line – and with a few configuration tweaks (more about these later) the internet connection was established

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and to my surprise with better line speeds (upload) than I’d ever had on the O2 routers.

A few hours later and the VPN to the box is up and running from the IOS devices we have, and the phone line has been connected to the Fritzbox as well, and I can dial out from a app on the iPhone and iPads – remarkable.

It’s really good – and with a web based configuration interface that actually works.

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