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Posts posted by Harry_The_Bustard

  1. The app is supposed to be better following the recent update (2.0.1) out late last month - though the reviews on iTunes give it a panning. Still, they're never spot on and it would be interesting to know whether others (here) find it has improved enough. (Adam was, like many I guess, chuffed at the fix to chapters.) I'm back on a 3GS - my iPod touch having suffered a washing machine disaster and my wife now having a 4S - but I'm sticking with the Music app to manage my podcasts unless I hear it's really worth trying again.

  2. Three years ago I bought my wife an iPad (first generation) for Christmas and this year she's getting an iPad 2 as it will do the job. (I'll be getting her cast-off.) So, this is proof someone is buying them - though I'd only fork out for such an antique on Apple sale days as I did today - and despite the paltry 7.5% discount. Still, it beats gift cards!

  3. I'm still hanging in there with Snow Leopard as my Late 2007 Mac will not go further due to its age. I'm not bothered as all I've lost is MobileMe - iCloud being a poor replacement.


    I've just helped a friend upgrade to Mavericks and he's annoyed at the changes to the display of bookmarks in Safari.


    My wife switched from iOS 6 to 7 and described it as cheap-looking.


    I'm still on iOS 5 (iPad) and iOS 6 (iPhone) so am happy.


    Now if only Apple TV ran BBC iPlayer.


    P.S. Windows 8 is good.

  4. Welcome. You'll find it useful but rather quiet. If anything it's The John Foster Show these days - not a bad thing by any means - he usually being quick to reply when he can help. Of course there's always the Apple Community if no luck here.

  5. As much as I enjoy the MacCast I wish it were split into separate shows with one dealing with news and (sigh) rumours and another dealing with handy hints - the latter being like the Member versions (which I keep meaning to subscribe to) but without the depth and with the advertisements. This way I wouldn't have to skip past the news and rumours (most of which I get elsewhere) as I usually do - not a major chore but one step less in my overly-busy world. (Thankfully I use the Music app on iOS 6 and so get the chapter headings - I being one of the many who have tried Apple's podcast app and beaten a retreat as it fails to handle such.) One other potential advantage is that Adam would be able to release one or the other when, say, there's an hour's worth of stuff to do - not ideal for his work pattern, perhaps, but easier for his audience to manage - I hesitating to take on the latest whopper (2:08) despite me being a skipper.

  6. Although the first version of FileVault - i.e. which runs on 10.3 to 10.6 - can easily be broken into (look) my wife and I have it implemented on our accounts on our 10.6 Macs. She's notoriously bad at remembering to log out every day so that her account is backed up - despite it being used for work - and every week I make sure she does so. More often than not I then check the System Log to establish whether the backup worked and discovered recently that disk i/o errors were compromising it. Here's what I saw...

    12/05/2013 12:26:42 kernel disk0s2: I/O error.
    12/05/2013 12:26:42 com.apple.backupd[1088] Error: (-36) SrcErr:YES Copying /Users/{user.name}/{user.name}.sparsebundle/bands/1137 to (null)

    Research showed that the chances were that the (SATA) drive was failing yet one forum thread post - purportedly by an Apple-accredited technician - showed that the impending and inevitable may be delayed by performing a format with a "Zero Out Data". So, after doing both a drive clone and a manual backup - each to different drives and, of course, not to the Time Machine one - I did that and then restored the system from the Time Machine backup with the critical data from the manual backup being overlaid onto it. (The manual backups showed the likely only area where data was affected - and lost - that, thankfully, being limited to a bunch of podcasts in iTunes which she no longer wanted.) A cursory check that all was well was made and I then created a Time Machine backup - one to an alternative drive to the previous one so that the whole system was backed up - and no i/o errors were reported in the System Log.

    I plan to replace the drive (with a Solid State one) sooner rather than later - which is probably going to be next month - and in the meantime I wondered if there was a method (ideally via Automator) that I could use to frequently check the System Log for such errors and report them if such arise. Ideally this would be done in my wife's account - which is not an Administrator one - as that would be the one usually logged into when the Mac is used.


  7. I got and installed the second - i.e. Ultra... SDSSDH-120G ...and it has played ball (not the beach one) in the three or so months that I've had it in. Having said that I occasionally get system hangs of maybe fifteen seconds - though whether that's down to the "new" drive or not I don't know. One thing I am sure of, though, is that nothing appears in the System Log immediately before or after (and certainly not during) the hangs. I'm thinking of putting a similar one in my wife's slightly lower specification Mac mini - her drive having just started giving i/o errors in the System log - and it will be interesting to see if she suffers the same.

  8. I did a clean install of Leopard on a G4 Mac mini recently and used the Migration Assistant to restore the two principal user accounts - a Limited one and an Administrator - from a Time Machine backup. I didn't copy across "Settings", I think, and certainly not "Other files & folders" as it had problems in respect of being seen on a network - my guess being that the problem might lay therein. On completion I logged into the Administrator account as expected but when I tried to do the same with the Limited one I discovered the password didn't work. I also found that the Master password that had been set didn't work - or at least none of the several usual ones I might have used did - and so I was forced to boot from a system disk and use the option provided by that to change the password on the account. (I later got the Master password option working - perhaps after trying the right one - though I was sure I tried that before.) So, all was well but given that the account I temporarily lost access to was protected by FileVault it struck me that such a level of security can be easily overcome and so is not that valuable. P.S. I know there are other means of securing data - e.g. a password-protected disk image - but unless that can be implemented to work transparently to a user then that's not ideal.

    • Like 18

  9. I have a handful of regular - i.e. repeating - Reminders and recently discovered that none of them had popped up this month. (Two were due on the 1st and another on the 7th then the 14th - the former being monthly and the latter being weekly.) On examining them they all had a peculiar structure with features I'd not seen before and which I see no reference to on the relevant Apple resources. Prior to them being corrupted - as I'm presuming they have been - they had the following set...

    - Remind me "On a day" with a date and time.
    - Repeat: Every Week or Every Month.

    ...and now they have the following additional fields...

    - Due (Checked)
    - All-Day (Not Checked)
    - Date (Set)
    - Time (Set)

    ...between the previously-existing fields mentioned and with the Repeat field being set to "Never Repeat".

    I can't think of anything that I've changed of late and so have no explanation.

    I've just recreated the Reminders and will monitor their behaviour closely in the coming weeks.


    P.S. I use iCloud synchronised with iCal on Snow Leopard via a hack (actually detailed on the show) which I've had in place for at least six months without issue and the only iOS device that I synchronise with that is a second generation iPod touch running 4.2.1 which requires iTunes to do so and is synchronised most every day for my podcasts.

    • Like 18

  10. I have a fairly similar network in that I have a Netgear modem/router connected to an ADSL2+ service and although that can serve over wireless the range is poor so that feature has s been turned off and I use an AirPort Extreme, plugged into the Netgear device, to broadcast the signal. I also have two AirPort Expresses working via that using WDS to boost the range as the two home office-based Mac minis have poor reception. (They're actually hard-wired into one of the AXs via a switch and AiRport is turned off on them.) An iPod touch, iPhone and iPad are used every day for streaming and aside from occasional dropout (which may be down to local interference) they usually stay connected. Having said that I have had the occasional problem with the iPod touch losing its connection in that whilst the IP Address and Subnet Mask fields are populated the Router and DNS fields weren't - the solution being to restart the AE. I don't know what BT charge for their modem/router these days but the latest version - the Home Hub 3 - is pretty good and may be worth investing in as it has a clear and clean web interface. (I know as I've just installed one for my mum.) That's not to say you shouldn't use your AE for the wireless functionality - though if you don't need it you could always sell it and offset the cost of the BT box.

  11. After roaming around the web reading general guidance, technical specifications and reviews I plumped for SanDisk with these being the two front-runners...


    1. Standard... SDSSDP-128G


    2. Ultra... SDSSDH-120G


    ...the key differences between them being that the first is...


    - four times slower at random (4K) reads

    - five times slower at random (4K) writes


    - 75% faster at sequential reads

    - 30% faster at sequential writes


    - 20% less cost


    ...than the second.


    Given that my Mac mini has a SATA 1 interface the better sequential reads & writes of the first don't matter. However, I'm not sure if the better random ones do - i.e. whether the slower ones of the first are capped by the interface in the same way as the sequential ones - and so the more expensive drive is not worth buying. (I don't know how the quoted "IOPS" values for the random stuff relates to the interface.) There's only GBP 10 (about USD 16) in it but that's a night down the pub for me. I might just toss a coin in the morning.

  12. I cleared a portable drive and generated a new install of Snow Leopard (I have the required Leopard licence too) then restoring my Time Machine backup and overlaying my new and revised files from my wife's machine. I then cloned it to another portable drive so that I have a third copy of my data and, of course, a second copy of my system - one which I've moved off-site for safe-keeping - that being likely to be rotated each month with a clone on my current live drive when I've replaced the buggered drive in the Mac mini. So, yes, that's the plan with me now looking at SSD options given that I'm not going to trust the failed drive. Data Rescue 3 (demo) found a fair bit on there but didn't jar the drive into a state that it could be mounted so I'm deliberating as to whether to buy a licence for that - what I've no longer got access to not being essential and the £60 or so being better spent on a dual disk drive with one disk being a mirror. (I've long planned on getting a LaCie 2big NAS and using it in that mode - the recent failure of my single drive NAS from them underlining that need - much of my DVB-T-sourced video being lost.) Having researched SSDs for my Mac mini - i.e. Version 1 SATA interface - it looks like a drive with read/write speeds above 150 MB/s won't be worth the extra expense. Should anyone have any views on this - or, again, makes - then I'd be grateful. (As mentioned in an earlier post I do a fair bit of video rendering and whilst the data has been on the local drive of late I'll probably have it on an external one in the future.) As things stand I may play it safe and go with a brand I know - e.g. Crucial and Kingston - the former having lower-speed drives whilst the latter has higher ones and which may be a waste of what may be extra cash.

  13. Thanks for the information and advice.


    I agree that two backups would be best - one local and one remote - and better than just the one (Time Machine) that I do at present. I will improve.


    I'll check on SSD read and write speeds before buying.


    I fired the Mac up in Target Disk Mode and connected it to my wife's Mac mini then running Data Rescue 3 (demo version) in "Deep Scan" mode. However, it was going to take 24 hours and with her machine being needed until the weekend I abandoned that and opted to knock up an OS X 10.6.3 boot drive on flash media. That proved "fun" in that it took three hours to generate it and then wasn't spotted by the Startup Manager no matter what I tried - though my wife's Mac mini spotted and used it so it was a runner - albeit a slow one. (It's a brand new 16GB Kingston Data Traveller SE9 - a simple write test that I did showing a piss-poor speed of 5 MB/s.) So, my next step is to clear a FireWire drive and install OS X 10.6.3 on that before trying Data Rescue 3.

  14. The second drive - i.e. the one mentioned in my last post - has just popped its clogs and with it being well within the warranty period (three years it seems) I'm almost certainly going to request a replacement. Before doing so, however, I'm going to have a crack at recovering the (hardly-essential) stuff on there - i.e, that which I chose not to back up - in the meantime I having recovered the contents of my Time Machine backup to my wife's Mac mini. (I must admit it was a bit scary having to rely on a single backup and this experience has nudged me in the direction of making a periodic second backup for off-site storage with the likes of online services being a likely option.) I don't hold up much hope of getting the non-essential data off but I'll let Data Rescue 3 (demo version) do a "Deep Scan" of it as that managed to get my previous buggered drive into a state where I could pull quite a bit of stuff off via (the) Finder. (Sometimes it mounted and sometimes not whilst this one hasn't since the day it died.) Whatever the case I may reformat it (with zero writes) and see if it behaves itself before sending off for a replacement - trusting it perhaps asking for trouble - though given that I use Time Machine I'm fairly covered and such might mean I can avoid major surgery once more. I know this goes against good advice but a mate's iMac hard drive went tits up - possibly one under the "iMac 1TB Seagate Hard Drive Replacement Program" - and he managed to get it going after reformatting then restoring and carried on regardless.


    Whether or not I get a replacement drive I might get an SSD - one even as small as 64 GB as that's all I may need - that not only speeding things up but also, I guess, reducing the internal temperature which I suspect may have been the cause of the drive's failure. (I render a lot of video down from a DVB-T source to DivX.) In view of this - and this is the main reason for updating this thread - I wondered if anyone has any recommendations as to which makes to use and which not. (I gather TRIM support in 10.6.8 would be good but that I might need to use a third party patch as Apple only support it in "their own" drives.) I know the model I have only supports SATA 1 but from what I can make out drives offering SATA 2 and 3 will work - albeit at the lowest speed offered by SATA 1 - but an SSD drive should, I gather, be better than a spindle & platter(s) one.

  15. I've just utilised a first generation 802.11g model to connect two Macs (with AirPort turned off) to the Internet via a Netgear 5-Port 10/100 Fast Ethernet Switch with each being wired into the switch and the APX being connected to an AirPort Extreme via WDS. (For the record the two Macs are Mac minis - one Late 2006 and the other Mid 2007 - both of which have poor AirPort capability.) Not quite the same but proof nonetheless.

  16. I'm happily no longer grappling with my 3GS as I swapped it with my wife for her second generation iPod touch. (She needed it more than me and I'm using one of my two old 2G devices - both Siemens A50 models - one being my personal one and the other my business one from days gone by.) Mind you being stuck on iOS 4.2.1 has its downside with many apps not working on it.. Indeed was lucky too in that in an iTunes archive I had a copy of several apps which have been upgraded since and which won't run - the Skype app being one - that being really handy. (Short of jail-breakiing it I'd have been stuffed.) Not that it's great with it not running in the background - it signing one back in each time when launched - I guess that being something 4.2.1 didn't support. So, there's life in the old dogs yet and the Music app in my "new" device is fine. Slightly off-topic but there we are.

  17. When iOS 6 was installed the Podcasts app was too and my podcasts were move to that from the Music app. I managed to get back to where I was by deleting the Podcasts app and, I think, re-syncing to my iTunes library - something covered in Show 412 - I doing so before that via trial and error. I reverted the Podcasts app is still awful - sluggishness being the main problem though I also hate the design. (Not finding a list of chapters for the MacCast was a real bind too - something I may not have tried hard enough to do - they thankfully being available again in the updated Music app after a long absence.) I wonder if any other 3GS users have struggled as I have.

  18. In the Show Notes section "Using iCloud iCal Sync under Snow Leopard" replace...


    The path should be /XXXXXXXXXX/principal




    The path should be /XXXXXXXXXX/principal/


    ...and all should be fine. (The latter is how it appears on the source resource.) It may be worth noting that MobileMe had set my Server Path to "1.nnnnnnnnn" and that I had to drop the "1." prefix from this setting.

    • Like 25