Archive for the 'Macs & Apple' Category

Firefox 2 freezes. The mistery resolved.

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Even since betas of Firefox 2, I had constant unexpected freezes of the browser, at least once on 1-2 hours of normal use (usually the uptime was not longer than 10-15 minutes during heavy lifting).

That, considering excellent stability of Firefox 1.5, was very very annoying. I thought may be it release candidates or the release version itself will fix the problem, but RCs came and gone, and even the release version of the browser was as freeze-prone as early betas.

I tried to delete user profiles and create new ones, delete preferences – without any results. Then I have started to turn off extensions (I had lots of them), leaving only the ones I can't live without, and which I thought I can trust 100%. These extensions happen to be: WebDeveloper, FireBug, Google Toolbar for Firefox and Google Browser sync. But no matter what, even with this limited extensions set, freezes continues at their usual annoying level.

…until one day when I was desperately searching for a solution to the problem again, and found a post in which the poster suggested removing Google Toolbar for Firefox extension in order to get rid of crashes. "Huh? Google's toolbar?", – I though. "Isn't Google's software pretty good and polished to be a source of such a horrible problem?". But I eventually gave it a try. I removed Google Toolbar for Firefox extension from both computers I use (Intel-based iMacs, one at home and one at work) – and I could barely believe my eyes – the freezes just stopped. I'm living my 3rd day without ANY freezes at all!

Now.. I'm not sure if Google Toolbar causes these problems on any machines it is installed on, or is this problem only Mac-version specific, or may be I live right in the middle of some anomaly which causes Google Toolbar to behave in such a way, but all I can say is that :

removing Google Toolbar extension resolved Firefox 2 freezes for me

so you might also give this solution a try if you have similar problems with Firefox 2 constantly freezing on you.

Transmit SFTP without entering login and password

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

In my previous entry regarding "SSH Login without entering password" I have wrote about how to make it easier to login into SSH servers.

It's all nice, works, and makes life easier. But if you are a Mac user who uses Transmit to log into SFTP servers, there is one very nice side-effect of the technique described in the forementioned entry. You can actually log into your SFTP servers by just typing a server's address, and with not need to enter password, or even login name!

Here's how I connect to my SFTP server:


And after clicking the Connect button…


Voila! No login name, and no password, but I was logged into a server which actually does require a login name, and the password is actually more than 10 characters!

How does it work? Well actually, SFTP connection is a connection using the same mechanism which is used to do an SSH connection (you use the same login and password for both). And Transmit uses the standard OS built-in functions to do this connection. Therefore, once you have set up your computer to be able to login into remote SSH server without entering password, you automatically gain ability to use Transmit to log into the same server using SFTP protocol!

There's one catch though. I have told you that you don't need to enter login name, but actually it is not true :) A name is required in order to login, but if you don't specify it, your current login name is used (which is "mike" in my case), and if login name on remote server is the same as your local one (and it happens that remote server's login name is "mike" too), you are just fine with the default values.

But what you are to do if, say, your local name is "mike", and you have setup an SSH key for, say, server "" as "" (ie, the user name on the remote hosting is "hosting", and not "mike)? Well, you can override the defaults, and specify which default name you want to use when connecting to which server. In order to do that, you have to edit contents of ~/.ssh/config file (you have to create it if it doesn't exist). For the case above, the contents of the ~/.ssh/config file should read

User hosting

This way, when you connect to the host "" without specifying user name, the default user name "hosting" will be used (thanks to Dave Teare for this hint).

And of course, you can always just specify user name in the Transmit connection window :)


That's it :) Happy name-less and password-less SFTPing ;)

Power in Simplicity (discover the 'scp' command)

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Just recently I have discovered the power which ssh-installkey utility gives for the ssh login (i.e. you don't need to enter your password to log into a remote computer after you have installed your public SSH key onto it). And you can read about it here

Now, I have discovered the power which a simple 'scp' (SSH Copy?) gives you when added to the mix. (more…)

Safari, AJAX and "broken" encodings

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Some lessons are learned the hard way.
I was doing another AJAX based system today, and faced a problem where the Ajax.Updater updated text was shown correctly in every single browser except for Safari.
Like I wrote in one of my previous posts, one should check if the output to browser from a script is sent in UTF-8, because this is the encoding AJAX supports. So, in my case with Japanese-language web-sites, I have ordinary pages encodings set to ShiftJIS. So, when I output text which is supposed to be used to replace web-page contents using Prorotype's Ajax.Update call, I convert it from ShiftJIS to UTF-8 before outputting as the result of AJAX call.

.Mac keychains sync

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

I use .Mac service to synchronize the 3 Macs I use (2 at home, and one at work). The service it expensive at its $99/year in my opinion, but it works flawlessly and oh well.. let's make it "it worths its price".

I synchronize, for example, my Transmit favourites so I can add a new FTP server bookmark at work and then access it at home.

Wow… iPod will sense your running style?

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Today I got over to this link: Apple Syncs iPod Music tempo to exercise

It looks like Apple has patented a technology which will adjust type on songs played on your iPod to the rhythm of your jogging. And if you look at these – Nike+iPod – developments, the picture becomes pretty clear. Way to go Apple!

.Mac down and "web-sites made easy"

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

I'm a paid subscriber of .Mac service and although I think it IS expensive for what it offers (or at least for what I use it for which is most synchronization of my Macs at home and at work), I do like it.

But man.. I was trying to up a new page to my photo gallery at .Mac and I was unable to do it (unable to read iDisk quota). So I tried to load and the f**king site is down. I guess the server admin is out for lunch or something, or just having some very exciting intercourse with some hot chick right next to a router so who the f**k cares about zillion red lamps and unplugged wires :/

.Mac is down

To hell with it. They'll definitely fix the fucking thing by tomorrow by I needed it today!


Thursday, May 18th, 2006

Today one of my co-workers just went to Apple store and bought himself a MacBook. The main reason? His old "toilet seat" iBook refused to boot today :) Well everybody have their own "good reasons" I guess :)

Here's a gallery

From me to Apple. Re: iWeb

Monday, May 8th, 2006

I have sent the following feedback to Apple regarding iWeb after waiting for almost a minute for the bloody application to even open on my Mac :/


Setting up RadRails on Mac (the paths problem)

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

I've been learning Ruby on Rails during the last 1.5 weeks. And the framework is absolutely stunning at how much functionality you can add with just a few lines of code. No, really! It's like I have read at some site – writing with Ruby on Rails is kind of using Jedi-force magic.
If you write in something like PHP, it's like.. to drink a glass of wine in your fave chair – you get up from the chair, walk the room, take a bottle of wine, pour the wine into glass, return to your chair and start enjoying the drink.
But using Ruby's secret ninja-magic all you have to do is to reach out your hand into air, make a wish and.. you already have a glass of fine wine in your hand :)

Anyway, there's a very nice tool with RAD development with Rails, which is, not surprisingly, named RadRails. And I've been fighting trying to make it work on Mac OS X. There was some problem with the paths configuration which prevented RadRails to find required command-line commands to run ruby's commands – so no project creation, code generation, WEBrick control from inside the RadRails.

I have tried solutions from RadRails web-site to set the environment paths for user processes on my computer, but with no luck. Until I have found another solution.

What you need to do is:

- open Terminal
- type cd ~ to go to your home directory
- create new directory named ".MacOSX" (mkdir .MacOSX)
- and change into the new directory cd .MacOSX
- now, create new environment.plist file with pico : pico environment.plist
- copy and paste the following code into Terminal (to insert into the newly created file)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

- save the file by typing Ctrl-O
- log out and log back in

You're done. Enjoy the coding :)