Archive for the 'Computing' Category

May 04 2011

Cornerstone SVN – Phantom Folder Changes

Published by under Coding,Computing

I use cornerstone to manage my SVN repositories at work and I was getting frustrated that it kept detecting changes in folder but showed no files changed in that directory.

The problem I eventually discovered was that the .DS_Store file in the folder was changing and Cornerstone was picking up that change (but not showing the file in the interface).

To avoid this in the settings go to the Subversion tab and in General add *.DS_Store to the Global Ignores.

Save and the problem goes away ;o)

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Aug 20 2009

Western Digital Sharespace – Rebuild Raid

Published by under Computing

I’ve got a western digital ShareSpace (4TB) at home to store all my photo’s and music. It’s a bit of overkill as I only use a fraction of it at the moment but having a series of usb drives that have become redundant as they’ve got too small I decided to go for the biggest I could get with the hope it would last a bit longer. I’ve got it set up with RAID 5 (it’s default setting), which means if any of the drives fails I don’t lose my data. I recently had a bit of a scare when I got a ‘DataVolume degraded’ message when I logged into the share drive (I logged in as there was a blinking red light on the front of the box).

The first thing I did was look at the status of the drives, they were all showing as good but drive 3 was showing as not being part of the RAID array any more (hence the degraded situation). I did some internet research which brought back a load of horror stories with people having lost all their data e.t.c. I then spoke to Western Digital (full credit for having a global support line with the number easily findable from the web site), who advised to clean the disk (there is an icon next to it in the advanced / volumes section of the interface) then rebuild the RAID. Mindful of the horror stories I’d read I backed up my photo’s to a usb drive (not enough space or time to take the music as well) before starting. As it turned out it was a very simple process, all I had to do was click the clean drive icon and the ShareSpace cleaned the drive, then turn the ShareSpace off then on again. It automatically began re-building the RAID and within about 15 minutes was back online.

It’s worth noting that the quick turn around was because I don’t have much data on my drive at the moment, the more you have the longer it’s going to take to rebuild the RAID array. Also if there is a problem with the drive (the status doesn’t show as good) you’ll need to replace the drive with an identical Western Digital drive (turning the system off first) then when you turn it on again it will automatically rebuild the array.

Hope this helps someone, happy to respond to queries about this if anyone’s worried, I know I was as the prospect of losing all my photo’s doesn’t bear thinking about. I’m very please with how the ShareSpace worked and dealt with the problem and feel confident about the preservation of my files.

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Aug 19 2009

Word Press iPhone App

Published by under Computing

Just a quick post to rave about the word press iPhone App. It’s fantastic, allowing you to compose posts offline (whilst on the tube for example), then push live once you’re ready & have connectivity.

Like most good things it’s very simple yet powerful. I intend to be blogging a lot more frequently as a result.

And it’s free =o)

As an asside – there are enough people raving about the iPhone that I don’t think I need to add my voice to the throng, except to comment that there’s no way I’d go back to my old phone….

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Aug 18 2009

Why I’d take google over Phorm any day

Published by under Computing,Privacy

So there was a lot in the news about Phorm a while back, several commentators comparing their information capture to that of google’s and commenting that their business (tracking your web usage at your ISP), is no different privacy wise to google tracking your searches. I disagree with this for a number of reasons the main being user choice.

As a user I can choose whether or not I use google as my search engine, I can choose to use they’re services or not, choose if I want to sign in thus sacrificing some of my privacy. With Phorm however there is no choice, it sits silently over your internet connection tracking your every move. There is no opt out procedure, short of changing service providers, a complicated and potentially costly procedure. This also assumes you know your ISP is using Phorm in the first place. A knowledge which is not guaranteed, just look at BT’s track record of trialing Phorm without informing the customers being monitored. There’s no way to be sure other ISP’s are any better.

Phorm is a far more Orwellian system where the user has no choice but to participate, potentially unknowingly. With google on the other hand users have the choice to sacrifice some of their privacy for a better level of service with the option to get out at any time ( all though they can’t clear their existing data). I’m happy to use google, for me the trade off is easily worth it. Phorm (or similar), on the other hand would make me change ISP’s.

See BT’s current stance on Phorm
here, you’ll notice they don’t rule out implementing it in the future.

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Jan 22 2009

Adobe CS3 Updates Failing on a Mac – Solution

Published by under Computing

I’ve had Adobe CS3 installed on my Mac for a while now with automatic updates switched on, however whenever it tried to run it failed with no usefull error message. I finally switched one of the preferences so that it downloaded the dmg first and then got a sensible error message.

The issue I had was with file permissions in <User Folder>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Update5/Install. Adobe update needs to have permissions to write to the folders in this directory to update the relevant applications and it my case it didn’t (not sure if this is related to me having File Vault turned on).

The solution was to right click and ‘get info’ for each of the folders and change the permissions to allow anyone to read / write to the folder. If you’re worried about this you can change this back once the update is complete but I don’t see it as a problem.

Once I’d done that all the updates worked perfectly and my copy of CS3 is now completly up to date.

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Nov 28 2008

MacBook Docking Station

Published by under Computing

Why don’t apple do docking stations? The setup seems perfect, my macbook has all the connections, power socket etc on one side, it could easily slide into some kind of dock…..

…. but no. Instead when I set up at home or in the office I have to plug all the cables in, including the adapter to connect to my monitor start up my macbook then close the lid and wake it from my USB keyboard so I can work off my main monitor.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mac, but there are a couple of things that would make life a lot easier.


Just found these, quite expensive but look like they should do the job. Still don’t know why Apple don’t make them…

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Jul 29 2008

Chart of the day

Published by under Computing

A great chart about web design. Shows why so may developers hate microsoft 😉

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Jun 25 2008

Linux Idea (flawed as it turns out…)

Published by under Computing

I was looking at the mass of aging computers in my flat the other day and thinking there must be a better use for them, I’ve currently got a Pentium 3 currently running Ubuntu & a G4 (currently on loan to my sister) as well as 2 work laptops and a Sony Vaio, a somewhat excessive amount of kit.

At the moment the pentium is only used for scanning (as I’ve and old scanner and it doesn’t have drivers Vista or Mac OSX. It’s not really an issue for me at the moment but I can see when I want to upgrade next time I’ve got to decide what to do with some of this kit.

The idea I had was to run them as a grid where the most powerful machine has control of the other’s processors etc and can balance the load to optimise performance. Linux seems to be the ideal platform for this as it can be very small.

So …. great idea, I thought – I ran it past a couple of my Coleagues at work (Jeremy, Anton & Andrew – Thank you).

The feedback was that it’s not worth running as a grid as the computational power to manage it would negate any benefits, better solutions suggested were to user them as Firewalls, Routers or for running house telemetry. I then did a bit of digging on the web and I’m definitely not the first person to have thought about this, (have a look here for starters).

From what all I’ve looked at the best solution for old computers is to donate them – there are a lot of charities asking for them to donate to underprivaledged kids. This is going to be what I do when I next upgrade (after wiping the hard drives….)

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