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