Simplify "scanning libraries" indefinitely on 10.5.3

I'm using "Simplify" for sharing my iTunes library with some people and especially myself on my iPhone.

Unfortunately I recently had some problems getting it to work on my Leopard Server, running 10.5.3.

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Simplify support was extremly helpful and blazing fast. Using the built-in Troubleshooting tool, I sent them some logs, the XML of my library and a brief description of the error.

The app was always saying "scanning libraries" and nothing else happened.

Here's the mail from support:

Hello,

Thanks for the heads up and sorry for the problem. Our app is unable to connect through your network, per the error below:

Network Scan Status: NAT test error
Network Type: 0x0 (hairpin = false)

We have seen this on a few other systems running Mac OS 10.5.3, and in all those cases, upgrading the latest Mac OS version solved the problem.

Thanks




It turned out, it's the 10.5.3 that's causing the problem. After an update to the newest 10.5.4, everything is back to normal and works as expected.

Thanks for the great support and keep up the good work!

Bacon flavored vodka

Call me crazy, but a friend told me about some weeks ago, and I just had to try it.

Nowadays, you can get flavored vodka with all kinds of weird stuff in it. But for some reason, nobody makes bacon flavored vodka.
And to be honest, I don't know why. Everybody loves bacon, everybody loves vodka. So it's just natural to combine these two! And nothing says warmer "good morning sweety" than a nice shot of bacon-vodka ;-)


Here's what you have to do:

1. Fry some bacon. I took 5 stripes of "Tulip's Best".

2. Put the bacon into a bottle with a big opening.

3. Pour approx. 24 oz. of vodka over it.

4. Close the bottle and let it sit for about 2 months in a cool and dark place. (No, this doesn't mean to put it near your soul...)

5. Grab another clean bottle and strain out the fat from the injected bottle with a coffee filter.


Voila, bacon flavored vodka.

Automatic podcast removal and cleanup with Cast Away

iTunes does a great job downloading and syncing podcasts to my iPods / iPhone. But what it really lacks, is some kind of management functionality to delete outdated podcasts.

Cast Away fills in the gap so far left in iTunes. It allows for the scheduled removal of podcasts on a per podcast basis with lots of options.


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Get it from woodenbrain.com.

Trial is available, full version is seven bucks.

Move MOZY installation to another machine

Today I ultimately went from OSX 10.4 Server to 10.5 Leopard Server.

The whole process went smooth and without any major problems. However, I was a bit worried about moving Mozy, my online backup, to the new setup. Most of the files to be backed up, are stored on an atttached Lacie Biggest Disk with a Raid 5 setup, so the hash and the location of most of them wouldn't change.

For those of you who don't know Mozy go to www.mozy.com and download the trial. It's free for 2GB of storage and about 5 bucks a month for the unlimited service.

I really like Mozy. It's easy to set up and works flawlessly in the background. I regularly do some restores, not a single problem until today. But make sure this is just ANOTHER line of defense against data loss and not your ONLY ONE!


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I didn't do an upgrade, instead I chose to start with a fresh install. Over the last 2 years with a 10.4 server I installed a lot of junk and the configuration was... I admit it, a bit scrambled.


So, here's how I moved my Mozy installation from 10.4 to 10.5:

1. Make sure to run a last backup on the old machine.

2. Copy the contents of the folder "/library/Application Support/Mozy/" to a disk accessible from your new system. Remember: This is NOT in YOUR home directory, it's in the SYSTEMS Library folder!

3. Make a new directory in your new systems /Library/Application Support/ folder and name it "Mozy".

4. Copy the files from step 2 in this directory.

5. Make sure your new system has the SAME computername as your old, otherwise Mozy will totally fuck it up.

6. Download and install Mozy.

7. Startup Mozy for the first time, click "Configuration" and let mozy figure out how much backup space will be needed. After that click SAVE, restart your server and you're done.

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Easy VPN-Setup on the iPhone, secure browsing on public networks

I've just set up my iPhone to make a VPN connection to my home servers via PPTP. No, this protocol is not unsecure. It's a long lasting urban myth, so don't mail me with some crap about it. I've chosen a strong password and that's it.

It was quite easy to setup, just add a user to your router at home/office. Then go to SETTINGS - GENERAL - NETWORK - VPN and add a new vpn-connection.

Provide your username and password and think about whether you want your entire traffic routed through your VPN (then check ALL TRAFFIC) or just the routes to your private network.

I gave it some thoughts, and by choosing ALL TRAFFIC you essentially get a complete encryption of your traffic. So, if you're using public, unencrypted hotspots, anybody could see the filthy sites your surfing on. This is a great and EASY way to prevent this (if you have a PPTP-capable router). Communications between you and the site is still in part unencrypted, but just the route between it and your own router (which hopefully sits on a non-public somehow secure line).

To put it in a nutshell: using this technique you're browsing as secure as you would when you are at home in front of your computer.

That's it. Best of all, you now have a direct on/off switch for the VPN in your SETTINGS menu so you don't have to dig deep to turn it on and off.

I suggest turning it on every time you're on an unencrypted or otherwise untrustworthy network (airport WiFi, etc.). Just remember to choose a STRONG password. And your children's names are not a strong password ;-)

Increase security for code-entering on the iPhone

I just had an idea to increase security whilst entering your code into the iPhone lock screen (or any other similar application).



It's quite easy to see what numbers you are typing, even from a distance. That's mainly because the asshole on the next table just needs to take a look at the pattern you're typing on the screen.



Now, what if the keypad (displayed in a conventional format) will have the numbers ordered in a random fashion?



Would definitely make it a lot harder to get your code.




Feel free to use this idea for an application but don't forget to send me a copy :)

Disable auto correction of the iPhone 3G 2.0.1

As I'm constantly switching between languages, the auto correction "feature" of the iPhone is driving me nuts. And it's no help at all.




Now, here's how to switch it off:


1. SSH into your iPhone (must be jailbroken, use fugu or SSH in a terminal

2. Go to /System/Library/TextInput

3. Rename TextInput_XX.bundle to whatever you like (perhaps .bundle.BACKUP)



The XX stands for your country code. So, you know... use EN for english, DE for german... I think you're getting the point.


And if you want to switch it on again, just remove the .BACKUP from the filename.





UPDATE:





If you want to have some kind of on/off switch for the auto-correction, just try this little workaround:



1. Install a language you don't use, I used fucking french for this purpose.



2. Delete the TextInputBundle for the just installed language as shown above.



3. Now, when you want NO auto-correction, just switch to french or whatever dumbass-language you chose.