Posts filed under Software

Cleaning Up Apple TimeMachine Might Take A While

When I bought my Apple iMac about 2.5 years ago, I also added a 500GB external drive for backup reasons. This backup drive is a 2.5" USB-powered Western Digital drive. Small, unobtrusive, and stuck to the back of my iMac.

Now, >2 years later, the TimeMachine process started to complain that I ran out of disk space for (the TimeMachine) backup purposes (4.85MB free of 500GB). I used to think that TimeMachine would warn once, and after that it just started to overwrite old backups, but no matter how many times I clicked OK -> Continue etc. the out of space error kept coming back. Highly annoying. During this period I have no idea if it's actually doing anything in regards to backing up my data. I needed to resolve this, so I had two options;

  1. Get a new / bigger external harddrive (on Christmas eve......)
  2. Or delete the old backups from about a year back to the beginnning.

Since getting a new drive was out of the question I decided to delete some really old stuff on the backup drive. My reasoning being that if I didn't need the extremely old (modified) data back then, there's little chance I need it now or any time soon.

Selecting the data and deleting it was easy, this only 'moved' the data to the Trash. In other words, it's still sitting on that drive. I have the empty the trash to free the actual space on the external drive.


The screenshot was taken while it was still counting the objects that were going to be deleted. Eventually (after 2.5 hours), the counter reached >480,000 items. After this time the actual cleaning of the Trash started. That was over 1 hour ago, and it still needs to eliminate about 350,000 items. This is one of those situations were lightning backup fast drives are welcome. For the other 364 days a year it doesn't really matter.

It's gonna be a long night for the iMac.

Posted on December 24, 2012 and filed under Software, Annoying, Apple.

iPhone App Distressed FX For Free


Another photo app for iOS (iPhones etc.) has been added to the Apple Store. Normally, these apps cost money, but Distressed FX is free for a limited amount of time.

Distressed Dough

The app used (predefined) filters, and blurring effects to manipulate photos. Photos can be made by the in app camera function, or by selecting a photo from your library.

Posted on December 15, 2012 and filed under Software, iPhone, Apple, Photography.

OS X Wireless Connection Problems Solved (??)

Ever since the upgrade to Apple OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) on my MacBook (v5.1) I encountered wireless problems every now and then. These 'experiences' are documented in two different blog posts here and here.
At the time I was also running an 'old' version of Little Snitch (v2.x). After installing v3.0.1 my problems seemed to have solved... Seemed, until I upgraded Little Snitch to v3.0.2.

After the (mandatory) reboot my wireless connections were gone. The adapter wouldn't go active. The symptoms being the exactly the same as before. So I have no doubt, that Little Snitch had something to do with it.

Posted on December 8, 2012 and filed under Software, Annoying, Apple, Operating Systems, Tips'n Tricks.

Backup Failure

Creating backups. Something everyone with a computer should do. Not only to preserve the items of (sentimental) value, but also to minimise the time and effort to recreate what went to the eternal data fields.
But even if you create backups, things can go wrong.

Many believe that storing the data on an external device is a backup. Well, it is, but only if you have the original data on another device. Backup means that you store the same thing (at least) in two places. If one of the devices (your computer with internal hard drive, or the external backup device) should fail, you have still one copy of the data, which you can restore or backup (depending which device went up in smoke).

Posted on October 19, 2012 and filed under Annoying, Personal, Software.

Junos Pulse, Apple iOS, and Split-Tunneling

When you create (SSL)VPN access for you employees, you might enable split-tunneling to save corporate bandwidth. No split-tunneling means that all traffic is forwarded into the VPN tunnel. So if you browse the internet with an active VPN, the traffic goes through the VPN, and accesses the Internet through the corporate Internet connection. This isn't a big problem with a couple of employees, but with hundreds on the road or working from home, this might frustrate the employees in the building.

Posted on June 15, 2012 and filed under Annoying, Apple, Security, Software, Junos.

Changing SSL Certificates in a ISPConfig v3 Configuration

When you install a Perfect Server based on Centos and ISPConfig v3.x, the system / 'installer' creates for the components self-signed certificates. All these certificates will generate different warnings in your browser, mail clients etc. So time to eliminate those warnings.

First I needed to find out where all those certificates are located, and what there formats are. In my case, there are three services that use SSL/TLS in some form;

  1. Postfix SMTP service
  2. Courier IMAP service
  3. http / Apache2 webservice

Checking the configuration files will reveal their locations.

Posted on January 7, 2012 and filed under Linux, Operating Systems, Security, Software, Tips'n Tricks.

Getting ISPConfig to Work on Centos

This is not a manual describing the installation (pre-requisites) of ISPConfig software on a Centos platform. An excellent manual can be found online. It's just that I ran into a problem when I tried to connect an e-mail client to the (IMAP) mailserver (controled by ISPConfig). All the appropriate ports / listeners were up and running, so it had to be a configuration issue.

Googling around didn't solve my problem. My collegue, Xander (@xmoments /, cam eto the rescue with the solution;

yum install cyrus-sasl-plain-2.1.23-13.el6.x86_64

Software that handles cleartext passwords between mail processes. After the installation, the mail went flying across the Interwebs.

Posted on January 5, 2012 and filed under Linux, Software, Tips'n Tricks.

Unofficial iOS5 upgrade

After reading the iOS5 upgrade on the Lifehacker website, I decided to upgrade my iPad2 to iOS5. It's unofficial, because iOS5 hasn't been released yet. The version mentioned on the Lifehacker websites is considered to be the Gold-Master version. Meaning that it's the final version, waiting to be released somewhere this month.

First I installed the iTunes beta version as mentioned and downloaded the appropriate iOS versions for my iPad and iPhone. The upgrade went extremely well. Just remember to backup your device before the 'upgrade' proceding.
After the iPad upgrade, I decided to upgrade my iPhone3gs. This went as smooth as the iPad upgrade.

The biggest new feature for me so far is the possibility to use custom text/notification tones. The iPhone3gs also feels more responsive.

There was one annoyance with the initial configuration of the iPad;
My Apple ID was a basic username, and not an e-mail address. This is NOT accepted by the initial iOS5 configuration wizard. Your Apple account NEEDS TO BE an e-mail address. It took me a while to set that up properly in my online account settings.

Posted on October 9, 2011 and filed under Apple, Operating Systems, Software, Tips'n Tricks, iPhone.

Unable to Upgrade Firefox on OS X

Today I tried to upgrade Firefox 5.0.1 on my iMac to version Firefox 6, but it failed with some 'weird' error;

The operation can't be completed because the item libsmime3.dylib" is in use.

Weird because I didn't have FireFox running at the time. Removing Firefox didn't work either, since I couldn't remove it from the Trash (same error).

Turned out that I had the Cisco AnyConnect VPN installed on my system (process name: vpnagentd). To 'unload' this process enter the following in Terminal:

sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/

Install Firefox, and enable the vpnagent again by entering the following in Terminal:

sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/

And all should be well.

Posted on August 15, 2011 and filed under Annoying, Browsers, Software, Tips'n Tricks.