All change (Tools that is) ?

So after a few recent frustrations with some of the software I used and a twitter conversation last night with @jamesketchell and @andyrixon I’ve spent a bit of time during the course of the day changing some of the tools I use.

So out with Google Chrome and back in with Apple’s Safari, this is in part due to frustrations with crashing but also I had been using Chrome on my iPhone and iPad but the default actions within iOS is to open in Safari so I had two different browser history’s and couldn’t see the tabs I had open via Chrome across all of my devices unless I copied and pasted the link from an email / tweet into Chrome.  However of course I still can’t not until the update to iOS to add iCloud tabs (but there is reader for sharing sites of interest.)

So change of browser, and good bye instapaper as a side effect, which I tended to forget I had anyway.

Next up, Getting Things Done (GTD)

So over the last few years I’ve tried a number of apps and ways of keeping / logging tasks and reminders.

and a couple of others which have come and gone. (in the case of some apps deleted in less time than they took to download)

My requirements in my mind were simple, a note / task / reminder should be quick and simple to add, be on all of my devices and be able to be added into folders / projects / related lists.

Nice to haves were things like recurring tasks when completed (useful for Physio which I should be doing daily for example!) but none of the above have really worked, so along the same lines of my browser change over I’m trying Notes and Reminders like Safari the power comes from using the iCloud account to sync everything up, so now  in theory with some of the other iCloud services I now have my bookmarks, reading list, open browser tabs (once iOS 6 comes out), notes, photos (using photostream) emails, diary, and reminders all synced up across all of my devices…. it almost feels like the future is here.

I just wish that iCloud still synced up the Keychain and could be used by developers such as Panic so that Transmit bookmarks were synced !

Yep, never happy ;-)

OSX, Fedora 17

Is this the linux desktop that has long been promised and never delivered ?

Ok so ignoring the fact that the linux desktop will probably never be that main stream this is the first I’ve used the new Gnome interface.  As someone who has used Quicksilver and now Alfred on OSX I can’t see what all of the fuss is about to be perfectly honest.  I’ve never liked navigating into a folder (and sub folder, and sub sub folder) of applications trying to find the right shortcut, hit Apple+Space type in a couple of letters, start the application.  Simples.

So the new Gnome is nice, I like the way it works, I like especially the way it works out of the box installed on VMware Fusion with no tinkering.  The same updates completed as for F16 and that’s the VMware tools installed so my mouse is free to move in and out of the window, copy and paste between guest and host works, and well to be honest it just works.

I’ve also installed Cinnamon on the recommendation of Richard Morrell, and again it just works, and it works great.  I certainly know what I’d be loading on to a machine as my default OS if I ever went back to PC hardware, and I wouldn’t be too upset to do so (probably).

Clearly I’ve not really used in anger yet, that comes later, but initial signs are certainly promising…..

OSX, Fedora 16, a bit of spice and OpenShift Origin

So with the news that Redhat have released OpenShift (PaaS) to opensource under the name of OpenShift Origin I thought I’d take a look having played with the service over the last six months (along with Heroku for some Ruby tinkering) I grabbed a copy of the ISO and had a look using the Live CD, thought it looked interesting, went to install and it decided it didn’t want to work with the drive set up on VMWare Fusion on OSX.

Back to square none.

Download Fedora Project 16 64bit and run it up in VMWare (On MacBook Air I gave it 2Gb RAM / Single Processor and 20Gb HDD space)

Side Note to get VMWare Tools working:

From the terminal

sudo yum update

Reboot to ensure you are using the latest installed kernel

sudo yum install gcc make kernel-devel perl

You should now have everything in place to install the VMWare Tools (Happy Days)

Installing cinnamon to make it look pretty (although I’m yet to get gnome working in anything other than fallback mode on VMWare) – I mainly do this as one day I will get it working or VMWare will get updated

sudo curl http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/leigh123linux/cinnamon/fedora-cinnamon.repo -o /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-cinnamon.repo
sudo yum install cinnamon

And then on to the real work…

Installing OpenShift Origin from the official doco ;-) Will update with progress once I’ve worked through it….

Of course I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but it’s good to play.

OSX Lion Dashboard and Dock

So having recently rebuilt a couple of machines recently I was missing a few of the tweaks that I’d used in the past, so here for my future reference are the commands required to disable the Dashboard and also make the Dock appear to be flat.

Using Terminal (which can be found under applications->utilities):

$ defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
$ defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
$ killall Dock

And to re-enable

$ defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean NO
$ defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO
$ killall Dock

RVM, Lion and XCode 4.2

Maybe the dullest subject line ever but it took me a while to get Ruby 1.9.3 installed on my laptop and so here to help me in the future is the secret sauce.

This is all on a Lion based machine (clean build, not an upgraded machine)

Download and install XCode from the AppStore (Which is easier these days now that the latest version actually installs itself, rather than just downloads.
Install RVM:
$ bash << (curl -s https://rvm.beginrescueend.com/install/rvm)

Update your .bash_profile
$ echo '[[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && . "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ' >> ~/.bash_profile

Reload .bash_profile (or close and re-open terminal)
$ source .bash_profile

Install Ruby 1.9.3
$ rvm install 1.9.3 --with-gcc=clang

Set Ruby 1.9.3 to be your default
$ rvm --default 1.9.3

And check using
$ ruby -v

And then install Rails
$ rvm install rails

Update: Since originally writing this post I've switched to using JewelryBox instead, a nice GUI that makes the whole process a lot easier. (Especially if you need to develop off different versions of Ruby for whatever reason)

Adobe Air

So for a while I’d had issues with Adobe Air applications sometimes working other times not, and due to the infrequency with which I used Air based applications I had largely ignored the problem, however today I need to use Mockups and this I meant I had to fix the issue.

The solution turned out to be pretty simple, uninstall Air (for good measure) and then install Mockups, simples.  So open a terminal session and use the following:

sudo /Applications/Utilities/Adobe\ AIR\Uninstaller.app/Contents/MacOS/Adobe\ AIR\ Installer -uninstall

Enter your password when prompted and a few seconds later you get:

Uninstalling Adobe AIR (all versions)
done

Re-install Air, install Mockups, get creative ;-)

Why the dull post on something so simple, well I’ve had to do this several times now and always have to Google for the best way to uninstall Air on OSX so this time I’ve posted here to help me out.

OSX Migration

So it was time to replace the home Mac Mini, it had done sterling work as the main home machine serving as a home for all of our photos, music and used for general surfing, but it was certainly slowing down, the upgrade to Snow Leopard had gone well and helped prolong its life but the signs were there, time for something new and shiny.

The Mini was sitting on top of 2 x 1Tb Iomega Minimax drives which gave a useful number of extra USB boots and made for a neat tower / shrine. One drive was data the other was the time machine backup, but things had moved on, I now had a QNAP TS-439 with 4 x 2Tb (1863Gb Actual) drives installed and configured as RAID 6 (3664Gb usable) so there was plenty of storage to be had and the potential ability to recover from two drives failing.

I configured a number of iSCSI targets and using the Studio Solutions GlobalSAN iSCSI initiator connected up. This was a very simple, one minutes process and having done the same under Windows using the MicroSoft iSCSI initiator I know which I’d prefer to use in future.

I copied the data across into the relevant targets, music, photos and then setup backup using time machine to do the applications, user account and everything else other than the music and pics. To ensure everything worked I quickly re-opened iTunes and iPhoto and changed the library to the iSCSI targets, all was working lovely. Time taken to setup, 10 minutes, time to copy the data about 4 hours in total.

Now the migration, shut down the mac mini, spend an hour moving all the kit around and tidying up the wires and then for the moment of truth. Fire up the new mac, register and ignore the migration assistant for now. Once the mac is running I downloaded the initiator and installed, setup the connections to the iSCSI targets, open iPhoto and iTunes and point the applications to the iSCSI data and all was good. Just the application migration to go.

I opened up the ever so handy OSX Migration Assistant, pointed it at the time machine backup and recovered the old account data and applications on to the machine as a new account, logged out, logged in as the recovered account and the migration was done.

Work done, about 10 minutes, time taken 5 hours of data transfer backwards and forwards.

Job done, no problems and no fuss, technology as it should be.