Monday, 8 December 2014

Windows 8 hiberfil.sys large file size removal

I only have a 60GB SSD hard drive running windows 8. I am trying to save disk space and noticed this large file:

I guessed it was to do with hibernating, and is roughly 75% the size of my RAM, which is 8GB, So it is taking up 10% of my hard drive. I found this very helpful article describing this file and it's function which is well worth the short read.

Basically, it has the added benifit of helping Windows boot faster. But I will forfiet that advantage as I only switch my PC on once a day.

Here's how to disable it:

powercfg /h off

Monday, 1 December 2014

OS X installing Profiles .mobileconfig files through ARD command line

I've not quite got OS X server running pushing changes to macs yet, so in the mean time I have to change a profile through the web service, download it and install it on the machines I want to update.

I found this article which helped doing it through command line:

/usr/bin/profiles -I -F "/Library/MyOrganization/Company Wi-Fi.mobileconfig"
I first copied the file to "Users/Shared" then ran this script. To improve it, I could make a pkg file which ran a script to install the file. That is the next step

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Adding Google street view to Joomla Estate Agencie JEA

So, even though I have only edited the code in minor ways, it actually took me a long time to do it, but here is the final result! Posted here on JEA forums

Hi, I've had a go at this myself, and finally came up with a solution.
The first thing I did was to go into my template and create an override for JEA Property.
I then edited the "default_googlemap.php" file. From line 44 to the bottom, replace the script with this script:
$script = <<
function initMap(mapOptions, panoOptions, MarkerLatlng) {
    map = new google.maps.Map('jea_property_map'), mapOptions);
    var marker = new google.maps.Marker({
        position: MarkerLatlng, 
        map: map, 
        title: '{$this->row->ref}'
    var panorama = new google.maps.StreetViewPanorama(document.getElementById('jea_property_map_pano'), panoOptions);
window.addEvent("domready", function(){
    var longitude  = {$longitude};
    var latitude   = {$latitude};
    if (longitude && latitude) {
        var myLatlng = new google.maps.LatLng(latitude, longitude);
        var options = {
          zoom : 15,
          center : myLatlng,
          mapTypeId : google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP
        var panoramaOptions = {
    position: myLatlng,
        initMap(options, panoramaOptions, myLatlng);
    } else {
        var geocoder = new google.maps.Geocoder();
        var opts = {'address':'$address', 'language':'$lang', 'region':'$region'};
        geocoder.geocode(opts, function(results, status) {
            if (status == google.maps.GeocoderStatus.OK) {
                var myLatlng = results[0].geometry.location;
                var options = {
                  center : myLatlng,
                  mapTypeId : google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP
                var panoramaOptions = {
    position: myLatlng,
                initMap(options, panoramaOptions, myLatlng);
I've only modified the original code to add panoramaOptions variable, and pass it to the initMap function. I then added the panorama variable.
At the bottom I also added a div tag called "jea_property_map_pano", but you have to give it a height property otherwise you won't be able to see it. The street view loads up in this div tag.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

transfering music from ipod to itunes on OS X

So you have your music on you iPod and now you want to transfer it to another iTunes library for free?


  1. Download iExplorer
  2. Load it up and right click and "mount" iPod
  3. load up terminal and type:
    1. defaults write ShowAllFiles YES
  4. go to the apple at top left > Force Quit ...
  5. Click on finder and "Relaunch"
  6. Load up a new Finder window, go to the iPod > iPod_Control > Music
  7. Copy the Music Folder to your desktop
  8. load up "Terminal" again and type:
    1. chflag nohidden ~/Desktop/Music
    2. chflag nohidden ~/Desktop/Music/*
  9. Now you can load up iTunes and copy the music folder onto it
  10.  Sorted!
  11. Oh, you probably want to not show hidden files anymore so type:
    1.  defaults write ShowAllFiles NO

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

OS X Mavericks - No disk space on startup disk - files that can be deleted

After re-imaging a new Macbook Pro 13", I discovered that it only had a 120GB Hard Drive. The Disk Image I use takes up all of this space, so files have to be deleted. The applications that take the most disk space are:

Soundtrack Pro Loops
DVD Studio Pro Content
Motion Content
LiveType Content
Logic Content

so, after imaging these machines type this in to remove these things:

rm -R /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Audio/Apple\ Loops/Apple/Apple\ Loops\ for\ Soundtrack\ Pro/
rm -R /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Application\ Support/Final\ Cut\ Studio/DVD\ Studio\ Pro/
rm -R /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Application\ Support/Final\ Cut\ Studio/Motion/         
rm -R /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Application\ Support/LiveType/
rm -R /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Library/Application\ Support/Logic/

Should make about 57.05GB

As the MacBook Pro is for a manager, these applications arent' needed.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Mavericks Black Screen with Cursor (mouse)

Just encountered two Mac Mini's which, when turned on, show a black screen with a cursor which moves when you move the mouse. cmd + alt + esc doesn't do anything.

  1. reset PRAM
  2. SafeBoot (hold down shift)
  3. hold down cmd + s and type "/sbin/fsck -yf"
I gave up and reimaged these macs.

Did a bit of research afterwards and found this apple discussions on it. There were two suggested fixes. One involved blindly logging in which isn't an ICT Technician friendly fix. However, Spiro.r suggested:

1. ssh -l username
2. sudo rm /Library/Preferences/
3. sudo rm /Library/Preferences/loginwindow.plist
4. sudo rm /private/var/db/.AppleUpgrade
5. reboot

As ssh is by default turned off, you could also do this in single user mode (hold down cmd + s).

Apparently it is a problem with updates. It basically wants you to log in and OK an update, but seems to stop the login screen appearing. Not entirely sure anyone knows what's happening, but deleting these preference files and .AppleUpgrade fixes it. I shall try it next time I see it.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Apple Remote Desktop ARD preferences and presets transfer

It's always good to have a backup of all the preferences and tasks you have saved in ARD. I thought I had it sussed,  just need the file:


Turns out as of version 3.7 it's all been 'sandbox'ed. That means these prefences files have been moved to:

But not only this, it has to have the right ACL's (permissions)

What I tried to do is copy this file between accounts and it ended up replacing the copied file with a blank one every time. It wasn't until I read this post which mentioned resetting ACL's. THis is the command they suggested using:

{ sudo chflags -R nouchg,nouappnd ~ $TMPDIR.. ; sudo chown -R $UID:staff ~ $_ ; sudo chmod -R u+rwX ~ $_ ; chmod -R -N ~ $_ ; } 2> /dev/null
So first I copied the file to  

I then ran the command in terminal.

Then I logged out and back in again.

Crash bang wollop it worked.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Inventory and job logging database

Over the years I have been working, I've realised a searchable database of jobs done and using which inventory items would be very useful for both large organisations, and also for individuals as well.

The important things to log are (in no particular order):
When: Time frame
Who: The person or persons involved
Where: the locations involved
What: The objects involved
How: The process that was performed (e.g. replace, fix, switch off and then on)

What the database would require are:

One other aspect of this database that would be useful is booking equipment. But this could be thought of as a process?

Start time
Predicted end time
End Time

Login Name
Contact Details

Room Number

Serial Number

Type of process

An few working examples to help design the database:

A new iMac has just been delivered to the college and is put in a computer suite:

  1. The database is logged onto with Username and Password
  2. A process is selected called: Add item to inventory
  3. User adds:
    1. Make
    2. Model
    3. Serial Number
    4. Organisation made Serial Number
    5. Specifications
    6. Room
A student would like to borrow an iPad:
  1. The database is logged onto with Username and Password
  2. A process is selected called: book out item
  3. User selects
    1. type of item:
      1. Make: Apple
      2. Model: iPad 2
    2. Time from: Today at 12:15
    3. Time until: Today at 16:00
  4. User is show whether any iPad 2's available for that time
  5. User confirms booking
  6. User sees instructions
Well, just having another look at the database and found this nice little helpful question and answer about querying a database to find 'free' items. Also describes the database very nicely using MySQL (need to learn this)

I'm thinking about making it in Access and then exporting it to MySQL? Or perhaps I should just delve straight in?

Ready made alternatives:

Here is a list of starting points for different systems:
Drupal - Merci module - this looks good!!
Drupal - Resource booking
Drupal - Resource conflict

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Drying clothes = price + running costs (when will it pay off)

Running cost per year= price per kWH * kWH per cycle * 365 / 2 (i recon we'll run it once every other day)
price per kWH = 13.7p
362 / 2 * 13.7p /100 (convert to pounds) = 25

Tumble dryers:

A++ energy rating
Cost = £599
Running cost = £46

A+ Rating
Cost = £479
Running cost = £73.75

B Rating
Cost = £299
Running cost = £85

C Rating
Cost = £150
Running cost = £91

You could work out how many years the more economic will start paying off over the other by doing some algebra:

A++ energy rating cost + (running cost * years) = C energy rating cost + (running cost * years)

a + (b * x) = c + (d * x)

a - c = dx - bx
a - c = (d-b)x
(a-c)/(d-b) = x

A++ compared with C
(599-150)/(91-46) = 9.99 years

A+ compared with C
(479-150)/(91-73.75)= 20.1 years

B (other) compared with C
(299-150)/(91-85) = 24.8 years

A+ compared with B
(479-299)/(85-73.75) = 17.6 years

So, it looks like C rating is better then all of the above up until 9 years. How long will we have it for? I guess the washing machine has lasted 10 years so far and it's still going strong.

Of course if you double the amount of time you use it, you half the number of years. So after 5 years A++ will be paying off better.

Lets compare to some interesting inventions:

JML Dri Buddi
Cost = £45
running cost = (1.2kW * 3 hours = 3.6kwh) * 25 = £90

Lets compare with C rating:
(150-45)/(91-90) = 105 years

Compared with A++
(599-45)/(90-46) = 12.6 years

It's basically the same running costs as the C energy rating, but 1/4 the initial cost. Probably double up as a heater. Must be noted that it probably isn't as good as a tumble dryer though.

Because of the price difference, I think it doesn't hurt to try the Dri Buddi first. If it's rubbish, I've only really lost £70 inc running cost at most.

Another problem is the humidity problem, and we get very bad damp problems. With a dryer it gets dealt with by either vent or internally condenses it. An idea I've had is to put the JML Dri Buddi in the greenhouse. The humidity will escape through the many gaps in the greenhouse. The only problem is that it'll be colder in the winter, what will happen is the clothes will be warmer then the surroundings, and the main points are that the humidity will be low, and the surroundings will want to 'steal' the warmth via evaporating the water. Still worth giving it a go.

Final path should besites/all/libraries/infobubble/src/infobubble-compiled.js error in drupal 7

So I'm just looking through the logs and found this error in the status report:

You need to download the infobubble plugin and extract the entire contents of the archive into the sites/all/libraries directory on your server. Only the src folder is required. Final path should besites/all/libraries/infobubble/src/infobubble-compiled.js

the Link takes you to here. I'm basically going to do exactly what it says here. Sounds simple enough:

Create the file path
download infobubble-compiled.js
put in folder

Easy. Here's what happened.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Drupal Backup and Migrate - how to (in progress)

So, I have a drupal website. I'd like to write down the process of backing up and then restoring upon a complete failure.

So, to backup just use the default backup and set to download. Save these somewhere safe. Just to be safe I also did the same for Public Files Directory and Private Files Directory.

I guess thats the easy part. For the next part I've found it hard to find any documentation on restoring from a complete failure. Here's what I have found:

Both are related to drush which is a command line shell and scripting interface for Drupal.

My best guess for restore is to install drupal, install drush and run the restore command line.

If you also lose files, then you have to make sure you have backup of all files as well.

I think what I'd really like is the backup utility used with Joomla, Akeeba. This is much easier. I don't even think you need to install Joomla to reinstall. And it backs up all files. There must be a reason it isn't as easy. Oh well.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mavericks "The software for the printer was installed incorrectly" error

After reimaging a computer suite with Mavericks and installing a networked printer via "Profile Manager" mobileconfig files, the printer had an exclamation mark next to it in the print dialogue box. When a print was sent to the queue, the print queue would load up and prompt the error:

"The software for the printer was installed incorrectly.
Would you like it to be repaired?"

After clicking "Repair" you are prompted with an Administrator Username and Password dialogue box.

I needed to find a way of "repairing" all these machines via ARD or Profile Manager. Looking in console, I found that the error was due to:
"/Library/Printers/hp/filter/hpPostProcessing.bundle/Contents/MacOS/hpPostProcessing" has insecure permissions (0100775/uid=0/gid=80)"

I found this forum which mentions the fix which is to change owner and permissions.

I ran a few commands to first change the owner, which needs to be Wheel, and the permissions with need to be 755. After doing so, I needed to reboot to see if it had fixed it, only to come up with more errors due to insecure permissions of the containing folders. After continuously doing this it finally fixed it.

I ended up running a command which changed the permissions for the whole /Library/Printers folder recursively:

chmod -R g-w /Library/Printers/
chown -R root:wheel /Library/Printers/

This needs to be run as root, which is an option in ARD, or you can put "sudo" before each line.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

converting headed content into collapsable boxes

So I have some content on 1 page which I would like to put into tabs.

Found JQuery tabs

Monday, 25 August 2014

Building an Outdoor Oven/kitchen

Just need to note down some research, but thought this would be the ideal solution. Seems to have everything a kitchen has. Awesome!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

AMD A8 5600K crossfire card research

Finally deciding on a HD 7770 1GB GDDR5. It might not fully function, but perhaps it'll last a little longer, and with games which don't support crossfire I can use on its' own.
 Found it here for £65

Motherboard Biostar HiFi A75S3
1 x 16xPCIe 2.0 (you can plug 3.0 cards in though)

This forum advises a HD 6570, but I can do better!

Heres a youtube of a 7750

Here's a comparison of different cards 

looks like the HD 7850 might be the better bet now. Less power consumption (I have a bad PSU).

Not sure now if my motherboard can do crossfire?

Also, PSU only has 1 x spare 4 pin, no 6 pin!! It's OK because you can convert 2 x 4 pin to 1 x 6 pin.

HD 7850 2GB GDDR5 it is then. For around £80 second hand.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Gathering images and media for use in a Drupal site

So I have hit a slight stumbling block whilst trying to integrate media from external websites into my own.

I want to collect Photos from Flickr which are linked to the project and display them on the website in the form of a gallery.

The first thing I tried was flickr module. But I was a little underwhelmed by how simple it was. It simply adds links to the specific galleries etc. that you want. The block adds thumbnails, but thats about it. Whenever you click on anything it takes you straight to flickr. Not what I wanted.

The advantage of this is that every thing can have a 'flickr' field, and so can be used on the map which I have.

I tried using with Views, but I think I need to do some more planning to get this working. But I think it won't work as any fields/data just links to the flickr site.

The next thing to try is the Media module. This is more like what I'm looking for. There is a plugin for this module specifically for Flickr

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Mavericks Server Deploy Studio Multicasting tests

I read the wiki page on multicasting from the Deploy Studio wiki pages.

When I'm imaging one machine, I'm getting a download rate of 8.5MB/s, and a variable write rate, but it is a compressed image. When I put 5 machines on, I'm getting about 1MB/s download rate, which is too slow for my liking, especially with a 89GB Image file.

The server is a new (2014 - July) mac mini server, 8GB RAM, 2 x SSD 256GB, Mirror RAID. Deploy Studio 1.6.11

Repository is stored on another server, on a different subnet which might cause issues? Shared via CIFS.

The Server is on GigaBit LAN so I'm trying a 10MB/s stream rate to start with.

The computer suite I'm testing on are Mac Mini's from 2011, 4GB RAM, 500GB SATA HD's.

To get the Client Write Disk Speed I put in this command in the terminal:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/test bs=1024 count=1048576
1048576+0 records in
1048576+0 records out
1073741824 bytes transferred in 18.062331 secs (59446470 bytes/sec)

This converts to 59MB/s

Test 1

clients: 5
Stream Data Rate: 10MBs
Client Disk Speed: 43MBs

Conclusion: Got about 20 fails on each computer before 2% of a 89GB compressed image.

Realised I didn't scan for restore. At this point I scanned the image for restore using Disk Utility on Server.

Test 2

clients: 2
Stream Data Rate 10MBs
Client Disk Speed: 42MBs

Conclusion: Got about 7 fails on both machines before 2%

Test 3

clients: 16
Stream Data Rate 6MBs
Client Disk Speed: 38MBs

Conclusion: Got 2 fails in the first 2%, but 7 more fails in the next 6%. Interestingly, 7 out of the 16 started doing the recovery partition first, and as it was so quick, got onto the main image after the rest were over 2%. This might explain the packet loss. Getting a consistent 13 fails per 8%. Not sure if this works out at less then 20% or more? Seems to have failed to reimage 3 out of 16, which is good.

For the next test I wanted to see if having the images on the server itself would speed things up. I setup the repository in NetBootSP0 in /Library/Netboot/NetBootSP0

Test 4

Clients: 4
Stream Data Rate 6MBs
Client Disk Speed: 38MBs

Conclusion: 1 machine out of 4 got 20 fails before 2%, but then only got 2 more for the whole restore. Must have been a network spike or something. The others report very little (smallest so far) fails! Yay. Think I'll try and speed it up for next test.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Counting in Base and Prime Numbers

Whilst counting in a bases, it becomes apparent that some numbers are not prime. I.e. Any numbers ending in 2, 5 and 0 whilst counting in base 10.

This is because counting in base is a form of arithmetic.

Let's take base 10. It is divisible by 2 and 5. Hence the non-primes above. But also 4, 6 and 8, multiples of 2 smaller the 10.

Counting in base 3, you can only see numbers ending in 0 as being non-primes.

It appears that there is a correlation between number base systems and prime numbers (or non-prime numbers).

Based on the fact that these base systems seem to be linked, but in a rather limited way. For each number base being used, you can tell only the numbers which the base is divisible by. In this sense, the best base to work in is one which is divisible by many prime numbers.

This doesn’t seem very efficient. But perhaps we can improve things.

But first I want to discuss the point in using base systems. Surely all we need is an equation to work out prime numbers? Yes, but we have yet to find one which works efficiently with computing.

Hence investigating the base system, which is what humans and computers use to work these things out. Humans (mostly) in base 10, and (most) computers in base 2 (binary)

My thoughts were guided onto the idea of a new base system which relied on only prime numbers. The uniqueness of prime numbers is a good starting point. All numbers are either prime or not, and those that aren’t can be represented in terms of prime numbers. So in theory we don’t need to represent these numbers. Here is the initial number system idea, non-primes are represented as their prime factors (but using Base Prime) separated with a comma:

Base 10
Base 2
Base Prime

In base prime you can write any number down and immediately see if it is prime or not.
4 is prime
5  is prime
10 is prime
2,2 is not prime
3,6,8 is not prime
100000000000 is prime!

The only problem (at the moment) is the fact that it is hard to work out what that number is in any ‘normal’ base system. i.e.

1 = 1
2 = 2
3 = 3
2,2 = 4
4 = 5
10000000000000 = ?????

What we need is a way of converting, but not algorithmically but logically, as this is how computers compute!

To do this I propose we must be able to do arithmetic using this new system. Once this can be done, we will be able to convert to other base systems.
1+1 = 2
2+1 = 3
2+2 = 2,2
3+1 = 2,2
3+2 = 4
3+3 = 2,3
4+1 = 2,3
4+2 = 5
4+3 = 2,2,2
4+4 = 2,2,2
5+1 = 2,2,2
5+2 = 3,3
5+3 = 2,4
5+4 = 3,3
5+5 = 2,5

Arithmetic is the utilisation of patterns apparent in the number system being used.

One such pattern I've seen is the doubling of prime numbers:
1+1 = 2
2+2 = 2,2
3+3 = 2,3
4+4 = 2,4
5+5 = 2,5
6+6 = 2,6
7+7 = 2,7
8+8 = 2,8

Adding to itself is another way of saying 2x. This could be utilised for arithmetic.

A more obvious pattern is the use of multiplication.
1x1 = 1
2x2 = 2,2
3x2 = 3,2
3x3 = 3,3
4x2 = 4,2
4x3 = 4,3
4x4 = 4,4

2,2x2 = 2,2,2
3,4x4 = 3,4,4

Another question might be how to do arithmetic with non-primes?
2,2+1 = 4
2,3+1 = 5
2,2,2+1 = 3,3

For the moment I can see no pattern, but adding one to a number is very important thing to do! But I think we need to keep looking for patterns.

It appears that adding 1 is a difficult thing to do. I think this is because all other numbers, including primes, are divisible by two numbers, itself and 1, but 1 is only divisible by 1 thing. This makes it one of the uniques numbers, others being 0 and minus numbers. Perhaps it should be represented using another form. It can take the form: x/x where x is another number in the equation. e.g.

2,2 + 1 = 2,2 + (2,2 /2,2)

also, if we choose not to represent 1, we could use this figure to represent the first prime number 210

The same could also apply to 010 , which could be represented as x-x, e.g.

2,2 + 0 = 2,2 + 2,2 - 2,2

I think it's a valid thing to think about.

After playing with the Base Prime system there are some key points/questions I'd like to make:

  • In Base systems, the order you write the numbers is important. It doesn't appear to be important here? Should there be a system for the order in which you write the numbers? Perhaps smallest first?
  • It's hard to know what to do with the squares and cubes? for the time being I prefer to write all the numbers down. e.g. 810=2,2,2. Although it could be 23

Monday, 2 June 2014

Petrol Lawnmower - Honda Izy 415 C2 - revving up and down

Having a issue with the Honda Izy. It rev's up and down and eventually cuts out. After a while of restarts it just cuts out all together.

I've checked the air filter and given it a clean, although it was already quite clean.

I've checked the petrol

Next thing to check is the oil.

One thing this page says at the bottom is to tilt the lawnmower on it's right side (away from the air filter) as this takes any air bubbles out of the system, worth trying.

Found this manual on a different model, will need to check what sort of oil it takes though.

I've seen a few videos which suggest it is the Carburettor, something clogging it up. Probably needs the air filter taking off first then the carb. Need to get some carb cleaner though.

Found this website which sells parts for it, heres a service kit, and heres a gasket kit

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Drupal moving database from one server to another

So I wanted to get a site I've been making 'live' which meant transferring from the test server to the real one. How to do this? I remember in Joomla it was as easy as pie, not so with Drupal, although not too tough.


  1. move all files
  2. move all tables from database
So, in myPHPadmin you can export, but I was coming up with an error:


SQL query:
-- Database: `sitename_pw`

MySQL said: dot.gif
#1044 - Access denied for user 'my_user_name'@'localhost' to database 'sitename_pw'

So I found this website which explained that you have to export the tables within a database, rather then a whole database. To do this you have to be looking at the database tables, then press the export button to export just the tables.

Then when you import them, you have to be actually in the new database and press the import button

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Alcatel onetouch t'pop and android

Well, I wanted a phone for my girlfriend, she was not really that bothered. I thought "you can't go wrong with this, only £20!". How wrong I was.

What you won't find in reviews for this is that there is only 100mb internal storage. This of course isn't too bad, is it. Surely you just put a 32gb memory card in and it's just as good as an iPhone 3GS! Nope!  Well, here's my rant:

one thing no-one really says is that Android has to use the internal storage to store some information about each app, and most of the time it's xxMB's big. Yes, it does store extra data for the app (pictures, music) on the sDcard but you'll soon fill up the 100mb internal storage with the information it does NEED to store internally. i managed to install 4 apps before it started complaining. I think it's pretty poor design which limits you to this internal memory. Surely android can fix it so you use your sd card! There are ways to do it, but it'll take you a few hours, and it's pretty technical. 

But the worst bit wasn't actually the lack of apps, it's what happens when it runs out of internal storage space. On an iPhone it simply won't let you update apps and take more pictures. Thats about it though. Surely android would be the same?

Nope, it turns out Android doesn't care how much storage you have left. What happened was that she couldn't actually answer the phone when it rang!!!!! Very poor design in an operating system.

What should happen is it should include answering the phone as a priority app and reserve a little more space for this as well. The trouble is that if it did do this, Alcatel couldn't really sell this phone. Poor from both points of view.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

One pc two logins and screens

So I don't want to get another computer, and at any one time only one person will be playing intensive games, so why not use one PCM as two. Here's some software which does it

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Blender render farm for OS X in background

Hi, I want to set up a render farm at our College to run on any machine in the background with minimal installation and setup.

It looks like the built in render farm to blender is only acceptable on smaller scales where all machines are logged in, and have blender open and running. This isn't the right solution for me.

A while back I set up a render farm for Maya using OS X Qmaster. This runs in the background without anyone logged in, receives jobs and executes command line arguments. A network share is mounted on all machines running it. Looks like Qmaster isn't set up correctly on Mavericks, also might be some compatibility issues for it too. Looks like you can set up with command line:

sudo SystemStarter start Qmaster
qmasterprefs -list
Current settings:
 -sharingType servicesAndQuickCluster
 -launchContentAgent off
Bus error: 10
qmasterprefs -cluster on servername "test1"
Bus error: 10

I'm getting "Bus Error: 10" every time I run any commands

I also setup Blender to render over Xgrid, but Apple has pulled this out of the new servers so I'll give this a miss for now.

Farmerjoe render farm, looks alright. Need to install Perl I think.

DrQueue looks interesting, but you do need to compile it first.

Backburner is more promising, as we can also use it for Maya and any autodesk app. Found an article here which almost proves it. So here's my attempt a few years ago to get it working. I tried once more but couldn't get the web monitor working, might be because I've got the server app installed? Or it's mavericks? I shall continue with this.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Creating a Back Button in Joomla

So, I wanted to create a back button, as one of my articles did not provide an adequate link to the previous item. I found this article which describes a simple a tag which calls javascript. Heres the example:

Go back

for none javascript browsers he proposes this:

Go back

I then created a module called "Back Button" with this link, and made it appear only on the pages I wanted. It nearly worked but unfortunately I couldn't get the WYSYWIG editor to let me put the javascript entry in, it always wiped it out!!

Ended up going into the database and pasting it in myself! If someone could please let me know for next time how I get TINYMCE to let me put this code in to a customHTML module in Joomla!!

after comingback to this some time later, i accidentally saved it and it deleted the code! But now, if I want code I install flexi custom code, which lets you add javascript, php etc. to modules!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Turn off indexing (spotlight)

Just trying to get Mavericks server working, and logged in as an Active Directory user on it. Seems mds_stores is using a large amount of processing. found this post which says to turn it off, in terminal type:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

This is the message in terminal I got when I typed the command in:

Indexing disabled.
/Volumes/Scratch 1:
Indexing disabled.
/Volumes/Scratch 1/Home Folders:

Indexing disabled.

Might be to do with the fact I was trying to get home folders working, something to do with profile manager. Anyway, the command did stop the large processing.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Drupal Backup and Migrate private folder settings

So, I'm just getting started with Drupal and just installed the Backup and Migrate module. When I tried a backup to a folder on the same server it came up with an error. It was basically saying that this folder was not private and anyone can access it.

Thought I'd take a quick look into it. Turns out that the folder in question - sites/default/files/private/backup_migrate/manual/
can be read by anyone, therefore files are not safe.

So, how do you make it 'private'. Well, a good test is to try and navigate to the file:
which automatically gets made. I typed it into a browser and it loaded up. Simple.

So, to limit access depends on you hosting provider. I'm with, and they suggest using .htaccess files. I found this nice article on the subject, worth reading through properly.

I found that this command at the top of the .htaccess file (which was already in the folder) solved the problem:

AllowOverride All

I figure it's telling the Apache server to override all options.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Mac OS X clients getting wrong DNS names

Hi, so we've had macs here for a long time. We eventually got them working with the Active Directory, and with this I thought would also come the DNS or DDNS names i.e. (for local network stuff). I must iterate here that this is just for internal name lookups, nothing external here, no internet related stuff, intranet ONLY.

So, it worked on most of them. After adding them to active directory, they got their names: '', but for about 1 in 5 macs (we have about 150) it'll give it the DNS name of some random machine in college! So instead of it saying '' it'll say '' !!!!!

I've put up with it for about 7 years, just used the mac sharing name instead, and remembering IP addresses. But we're trying to integrate the macs further into the network, and this is perhaps one of the last hurdles.

Anyway, I did some searching and found this quite frustrating forum. Seems lots of people not communicating very well. At the end, someone suggested this solution. I've yet to try it but if anyone has any comments?

So, I've now found a command which changes: Computer Name, Host Name, Local Host Name:
scutil --get ComputerName
scutil --get HostName
scutil --get LocalHostName

The Computer Name and Local Host Name is the one set up through System Preferences > Sharing, at the top

scutil --get ComputerName|scutil --set HostName

Monday, 10 March 2014

OS X Mavericks and Active Directory Home drive problems (NHR)

So, I'm going to document what problems I currently have with Active Directory home drives stored on windows SMB shares.

In the past when we put our macs on the active directory logins, I always untick the "Force local home" in the active directory options. The main reason is so that users take with them all of their account settings and preferences where-ever they login. This does however come with problems. It seems the mounted home drive has some permission issues which some applications have real problems with.

In the past I have installed Network Home Redirection (NHR). At login, this script runs whenever it detects the user to be a network user. It then creates a local temporary folder and creates alias' from particular folders on your home drive to the local folder. From the perspective of an application running, it thinks that these folders are normal local folders which they tend to prefer.

The default NHR setup redirects folders of known problems in OS X 10.6. But I don't think it is updated anymore. I have been constantly adding and taking away folder re-directions for the application we use in the computer suites.

Here I shall document current problems with network home preferences where NHR has worked.

Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
Seems to Crash when opening a document
Redirected folder: ~/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Acrobat
Seems to have fixed the crash

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

OS X Mavericks AD failed to login because an error occurred

After updating to Mavericks 10.9.1 I seem to be having problems logging in under active directory.

Found this post which describes similar issues.

Seems my problem is now fixed. Not sure what caused it or fixed it though.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Upgrading from OS X 10.6.8 to OS X 10.9 Mavericks

So, the plan is to have all macs updated to OS X mavericks, and a Mac Pro setup with Mavericks Server software! Here's how it is going:

Found this nice article on how to create an install disk for Mavericks. Basically download Mavericks just have a disk with GUID partition and type this into Terminal:
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/UNTITLED --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --nointeraction

Should come up with:

Erasing Disk: 0%... 10%... 20%...100%...
Copying installer files to disk...
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable...
Copying boot files...
Copy complete.

Makes a bootable version on disk (here named UNTITLED)

After a fresh install I added to Active Directory, and Xservers LDAPv3.

Active Directory user logged in fine.

Setup Apple Remote Desktop. Working fine

It isn't getting managed preferences from the Xserver yet. I will wait an hour longer.


  • Software update:
  • Apples software update through App Store

  • Adobe CS 5 Design Premium
    • installed fine
    • when logging in it prompts:
    • To open "CS5ServiceManager," you need to install a Java SE runtime. Would you like to check for and install one?
      • AdobeCameraRaw 8.3
      • AdobeCamera RAW 8.4
      • AdobeDNG Convertor 8.5 is now released, needs installing
    • Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
  • Aperture 2.1.2
  • Audacity 2.0.5
    • with lame 3.99.5
  • Bootpicker
    • came up with message when trying to run the pkg file:
      "bootpicker.pkg" can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer
    • ended up installing via ARD
  • Brushes Viewer
  • "Brushes Viewer" can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer 
  • iBooks Author - through App Store
  • Evernote
  • Opera
  • Adobe Presenter
  • SketchBook Express
  • TextWrangler
  • Clickview 2.0.0
  • DivX Player 10 with HEVC plugin
  • Flip4Mac 3.2
  • Silverlight 5.1.209
  • Final Cut Studio 2
    • Double clicking the installer comes up with:
    • You can't open the application "FinalCutStudio.mpkg" because PowerPC applications are no longer supported
    • I remember this coming up when doing a fresh install on OS X 10.7.4 and there's a terminal command line i found here
      • sudo installer -package /Volumes/Final\ Cut\ Studio/Installer/FinalCutStudio.mpkg -target /
    • Double clicked the Audio Content install (takes a long time)
    • Double click the Motion Installer
    • Double click the DVD studio pro installer
    • GarageBand Extra Content
    • LiveType Media 1 and 2
      1. comes up with the same PowerPC errors
      2. Type:
        1. sudo installer -package /Volumes/LiveType\ Media\ 1/Installer/LiveTypeMedia1.mpkg -target /
        2. sudo installer -package /Volumes/LiveType\ Media\ 2/Installer/LiveTypeMedia2A.pkg -target /
    • XDCAM software only installs on FCP 6.0.2
      • Software update does not update final cut pro
      • Had to download the update here
    •  Cinema Tools 4.0 seems to crash on opening
      • Not sure where to get the update to version 4.0.1 
    •  Also need to put in the Serial number first time you launch the application!! 
  • Google Chrome 32.0.17
  • Firefox 27.0.0
  • iLife '09
    • iMac comes with the latest ilife
    • not sure if I can install this?
  • iWork '09
    • iMac comes with the latest iWork
    • not sure if I can install this?
  • LibreOffice 4.2.0
  • Maya 2008 (as per the fix for installing on later then 10.5)
  • Microsoft Office 2011
  • MPEG Streamclip 0.9.2
  • Mudbox 2010
  • Nikon ViewNX 2.03
    • Need to install latest ViewNX 2.10 for compatibility with Nikon D800 RAW files
  • OmniDiskSweeper 1.7.2
    • put in utilities
  • SendLogon App Installer 
  • Sketchup 2013 
  • Smartboard 2011 installer 
  • VLC Player 2.1.4
  • HandBrake 0.9.9
  • Logic
    • did the same procedure as per my other 10.7 reimage post
    • ran this:
      • sudo installer -package /Volumes/Logic\ Studio/Installer/LogicStudio.mpkg -target / -verbose
      • for f in /Volumes/Jam\ Pack\ Content\ 1/Installer/Packages/*.pkg; do sudo /usr/sbin/installer -pkg "$f" -target / -verbose; done
    • the second line is for extras which I found here
  • Burn 2.5.1
    1. for burning a multitude of different disks and ISO's
  • ScanWizard Pro 7.62 or 7.2
    • for ScanMaker 8700
    • Can't be done, PPC only!!!!
  • Canon MFD drivers
    • install:
      1. Foomatic-RIP
      2. GPL Ghostscript
      3. Hpijs
    • Copy the moded ppd files to /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources
  • Dell Color Laser 3110 + 5110 drivers
    • copy ppd's to /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/
  • Canon 600D software
  • Wacom Bambo Pen And Touch
  • Wacom Intuos tablet
    • version 5.2.1
  • Wacom Bambo Tablet
  • MPlayer OSX Extended R14
    • Plays nearly all Video formats
  • iCanAnimate 2
  • install Canon LIDE 60 scanner drivers
  • Blender 2.71
Reminaging process:
  • Disconnect from AD
  • Get rid of unwanted files
  • Clear PRAM
  • /sbin/fsck -yf
  • target disk mode
    • Arghhhhhh, no firewire. Have to netboot.