Dash by Kapeli
I’m currently studied a Honours Degree in High Performance Computational Physics, and the “computational” part means I need to be literate in programming languages along with a strong computer science background. In this semester I am learning C++, and Ive been looking for a bunch of developer tools, and I will post about them later. But I jsut wanted to give a massive shout out to Dash by Kapeli. Which is an API/language documentation browser, and its totally fucking awesome. I have to catch the train into university each day, and on the train I have no internet. So it can be hard at times to do any length of coding on the train, cause Im constantly looking up references online and code examples etc. So I was looking for an offline documentation for C++. What I found was better than I had ever imagined. Dash has support for pretty much every programming language you could think of. If your language is not included there are resources for generated docsets for them. Dash also intergrates into a bunch of different apps. One of them is Alfred. Which is fucking grea too and if you dont use it, you should be. I can call up Alfred and use the prefix, dash, and then search directly into Dash from Alfred. Fucking awesome right. Another great integration is with PopClip, so I can highlight a search term in my code and search Dash directly from my code. The searching ability of Dash are superb. It also has a Snippet Manager which I havent looked much into at the moment. But in short, Dash is awesome and you should get it right now, if you are doing anything with programming.
Free from the Mac App Store, full version is I think 9$ at the moment.Get it.

Dash by Kapeli

I’m currently studied a Honours Degree in High Performance Computational Physics, and the “computational” part means I need to be literate in programming languages along with a strong computer science background. In this semester I am learning C++, and Ive been looking for a bunch of developer tools, and I will post about them later. But I jsut wanted to give a massive shout out to Dash by Kapeli. Which is an API/language documentation browser, and its totally fucking awesome. I have to catch the train into university each day, and on the train I have no internet. So it can be hard at times to do any length of coding on the train, cause Im constantly looking up references online and code examples etc. So I was looking for an offline documentation for C++. What I found was better than I had ever imagined. Dash has support for pretty much every programming language you could think of. If your language is not included there are resources for generated docsets for them. Dash also intergrates into a bunch of different apps. One of them is Alfred. Which is fucking grea too and if you dont use it, you should be. I can call up Alfred and use the prefix, dash, and then search directly into Dash from Alfred. Fucking awesome right. Another great integration is with PopClip, so I can highlight a search term in my code and search Dash directly from my code. The searching ability of Dash are superb. It also has a Snippet Manager which I havent looked much into at the moment. But in short, Dash is awesome and you should get it right now, if you are doing anything with programming.

Free from the Mac App Store, full version is I think 9$ at the moment.
Get it.

You’ve probably already seen these OS X “Ivericks" mockups around the web the last few days. But to be honest, it scares me a bit. Cause this mockup by Stu Crew follow all the iOS & guidelines and are a real look into what an iOS 7 inspired OS X will look like. And I dont think I like the change. I started off as a great fan of iOS 7 when it first got announced. I was in the camp that thought iOS needed a great design overhaul and needed to change to stay competitive. When iOS 7 came around I was happy with it, I loved the new design. But after using iOS 7, the design language just doesn’t add up for me. It feels nowhere near as polished and cohesive as iOS 6. Yes, its still in beta and of course its not polished. But in the 5 beta updates, it has not changed dramatically. It just does not feel right, its hard to explain.

In the next generation of OS X after Mavericks, I imagine much of the iOS 7 design language will be incorporated, in a manner very similar to the mock ups above. And I dont think its going to work. It will different and new and fresh, but after the novelty of that has worn off. The ‘brushed aluminum’ we have come accustomed to will be gone. Which is a pity, cause OS X is beautiful. All the apps follow the OS X design language to a tea, and it looks great and feels great and is so cohesive and works so well. I dont want to lose that. How ugly is it going to look when apps are transitioning to the new look and you have ‘brushed aluminum’ mixed in with modern white space. 

Im concerned, I still have faith for iOS 7 and I think it works on the iPhone, but I dont think it works so much on the desktop.

Installing iOS 7 without a Developer Account.

Editors Note: Im gunna try to make an effort to update this blog more often.

I recently installed iOS 7 on my iPhone and iPad. I purchased a UDID developer registration for my iPhone. But with the release of iOS 7 Beta 2 which came with a release for the iPad, I wanted it, but didnt want to pay another 10$ for a UDID registration. So heres how.

  1. Goes without saying backup your device before all this jungo.
  2. Restore your device with iTunes. For me this was a prerequisite anyway cause my iPad was jailbroken and I hade to restore before I could update. Make sure you set it up as a new device, dont Restore from a Backup jsut yet.
  3. Make sure your device has the latest public software. Once again I had to do this cause the latest software was not jailbreakable so I was behind a 6.1.x release. Not entirely sure if this step is needed but I have seen other people say you should, so to side of the air of caution. Update it.
  4. Download iOS 7 Beta 2 (or what ever the latest is) for you device from a range of shady websites, ie torrent sites or file hosts. Unless you are developer and have access to Apple’s copies, in which case WHY ARE YOU READING THIS? Make sure you get the right build for your device. I know with the iPhone 5 there is like a billion different builds for US-Domestic and International phones and all the funky carrier LTE stuff. Suss it out before hand okay?
  5. Now here comes the super tricky hazor stuff. Hold Option if you’re on a Mac and Shift if you’re on a Windows, while clicking on Update Software in iTunes. This will open up a dialoge to which you should navigate to the IPSW file you downloaded for your device.
  6. Let it do its thang. And hopefully you somehow it will bypass Apples fancy checking stuff and you will have iOS 7 without a Developer account. 

It worked for me with my iPad which is has not been registered to a Developers account. I dont know why this sequence of events allows non-developers to install iOS 7 but it does. Do note though that it might suddenly change and you wont be able to do this. Or it might fail for you for some reason. In that case jsut click update normally and it will reinstall the latest public release. Or if you really want iOS 7 go pay someone 10$ for them to register your UDID if you want to be safe.

I still dont understand the iPad.

Now I am a techie and Apple fanboy. But I dont find the iPad useful at all. Except for maybe browsing a little web and RSS feeds in the morning. And games.

But as a work device it sucks.

As a school text book it sucks.

As a creation device it sucks.

As a gaming device it is mildly successful.

It dosent make much sense to me tbh.

Fix Spastic Spotlight in Lion.

My Spotlight has recently been reindexing on each boot, and when you have a MacBook Pro indexing cuts the battery in half when out and about, not to mention the fan noise and heat as a result. I searched for some solutions online, I’ve done a bunch of them like; reindexing via Terminal and 3rd Party Apps, reindexing from System Preferences, turning Spotlight off/on in Terminal and more.

Previous Spotlight problems I’ve had have been solved by turing off Spotlight in Terminal, rebooting, then turning it back on. If you want to try this use this code.

sudo mdutil -a -i off

You will need to enter you password for the sudo command. Then reboot your Mac. Then enter this code.

sudo mdutl -a -i on

If that worked for you fantastic. But it didn’t work for me. I finally found the problem. It was indexing my Bootcamp volume, Windows HD. As Windows HD is a NTFS volume and OS X has problems with them the index for Windows HD was being constantly rebuilt.

The fix, go into System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy. Then add your Bootcamp volume to the Privacy list. The fix was instant for me. But to be safe I turned off Spotlight and turned it back on to get a clean index.

While you’re at it, it might be beneficial to delete 3rd Party Spotlight Importers which some people say solves similar problems. In Finder.app go to /Library/Spotlight and delete all .mdimporter files. Do the same in username/Library/Spotlight.

How to upgrade all songs to 256kbps AAC with iTunes Match.

iTunes Match was recently released to international users. I quickly subscribed. iTunes Match allows you to upgrade any songs you have ripped from CDs, downloaded else where to the versions from the iTunes Music Store in 256kbps AAC (though I would rather 320kbps). Here is how to upgrade all the songs that are less than 256kbps in bulk, rather than individually.

  1. Create a new Smart Playlist with the rules; ‘Bitrate is less than 256kbps’, ‘iCloud status is Matched/Purchased’ and ‘Media Kind is Music’.
  2. Select all songs in the playlist and Option(Shift)-Delete. Make sure you don’t delete them from iCloud as well. Send the files to Trash/Recycle bin.
  3. Next to the playlist in the sidebar, click in cloud icon. This will start downloading all the songs in 256kbps AAC.

Once all the songs are downloaded, you can enjoy the extra kilobits per second.

Bonus Tip: Before buying iTunes Match use a tool such as iTSfv or TuneUp to ensure all your tracks have appropriate meta data, too save your self uploading them.

Fix “This iPhone cannot be used because the Apple Mobile Device Service is not started.”

The other day I was listening to my iPhone, and realised a new song that I downloaded on my PC had not synced over. So I tried to manually sync it with the USB cable as aposed to the Wifi Syncing. Only to be greated to this message.

This [device] cannot be used because the Apple Mobile Device Service is not started.

So after some snooping I found a solution. [For Windows 7]

  1. Close iTunes.
  2. Go to the Start Menu and search for ‘Services’, open the corresponding .exe.
  3. Search for ‘Apple Mobile Device’, you mght need to click ‘Standard’ on the bottom of the window.
  4. Double-click on ‘Apple Mobile Device’, and click ‘Start’.
  5. Now my problem was that this service was not starting automatically on boot. To fix this, click on the ‘Startup Type’ dropdown menu and choose ‘Automatic’.

Apple Mobile Device Service should now start on boot, and you should be able to sync freely now.

Update: This problem persisted for me after following the steps. But it fixed it self after I chose ‘Automatic (Delayed)’ option in the Services program.

Fix Dropbox’s ‘Cant Sync File(s): Permission Denied’

I was syncing some files from my PC to my Mac with Dropbox, but they never arrived at my Mac. I got a Cant Sync File(s): Permission Denied error. Heres how I fixed it.

Whip open Terminal.app.

Write these lines in, one at a time, return key in-between. 

sudo chown -R $USER ~/Dropbox
sudo chmod -R u+rw ~/Dropbox
sudo chown -R $USER ~/.dropbox
sudo chmod -R u+rw ~/.dropbox

Notes: Replace ~/Dropbox with your location of Dropbox folder if you have moved it from default location.

If you dont have Dropbox yet, now is the time to get it. 

Fix Apple Firewall asking for permissions.

As long as I can remember every time I opened up iTunes it would ask me to allow it permissions for my firewall. I have been meaning to check this out and find out why, but I just simply have had not gotten around to it. Then it started to happen to my Dropbox. At this point I decided to delve further.

After some Googling I found out that probably it was not signed properly and that the firewall did not see it as a trusted program, when clearly it is, Apple made it of course.

So do a check for this, fire up Terminal.app and write this command.

codesign -vvv /Applications/iTunes.app 

It should return this string.

/Applications/iTunes.app: valid on disk
/Applications/iTunes.app: satisfies its Designated Requirement

Mine returned this.

/Applications/iTunes.app: a sealed resource is missing or invalid
/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/iTunesASUHelper: resource modified
/Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/iTunesHelper.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper: resource modified

So this means it is not a trusted signed piece of software. How do we fix this? We simply uninstall iTunes and download a clean copy and install. Don’t worry about deleting iTunes, all your music and media will stay intact.

Why do the apps loose their signed code? Most probably because you have done some sort of hack. For example I changed the way iTunes had the ‘Close, Minimise, Maximise’ buttons. And for Dropbox I changed the menubar item so it was invisible. After reinstalling these hacks stayed, but the problem went away. 

Repeat this process with any app that continually asks you these questions. Hope this solved your problem.

How to increase you Tumblr SEO.

Tumblr does not have very good SEO built in, compared to blog sites like Wordpress and Blogger. But you do have the option to edit the HTML, so we can increase our search rank with a bit of smart coding, and good habits.

  1. Beef up the <title> tag.
    Add the Post Summary to the Title, as its more likely to gain you search spots than the title alone.

    <title>{block:PostSummary}{PostSummary} - {/block:PostSummary}{Title}</title>  

  2. Use your tags as keywords.
    Basic SEO 101, add meta keywords, but we’ll leverage off of Tumblr to dynamically add them.

    <meta name=”keywords” content=”{block:Permalink}{block:Posts}{block:Tags}{Tag}, {/block:Tags}{/block:Posts}{/block:Permalink}” /> 

  3. Meta it more. 
    Add meta tags for title and description. 

    <meta name=”title” content=”{block:PostSummary}{PostSummary} - {/block:PostSummary}{Title}” /> 
    <meta name=”description” content=”{MetaDescription}” />
      

  4. Upload your sitemap.xml to Google Webmaster Tools.

    Tumblr builds sitemaps automatically, http://yourname.tumblr.com/sitemap.xml. Submit it to Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster and Yahoo Site Explorer.

  5. Use <h1>.
    Delve into your themes custom HTML and find the {block:Title} and replace it with this.

    {block:Title}<h1>{Title}</h1>{/block:Title}

  6. Add a social button.
    Search engines rank sites higher by the the amount of sites that link to a page, so make it easy for people to link to you.

    <!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="{Title}" addthis:url="{Permalink}"><a class="addthis_button_preferred_1"></a><a class="addthis_button_preferred_2"></a><a class="addthis_button_preferred_3"></a><a class="addthis_button_preferred_4"></a><a class="addthis_button_compact"></a><a class="addthis_counter addthis_bubble_style"></a></div><script type="text/javascript" src="http://s7.addthis.com/js/250/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-4d9c5506633045a3"></script><!-- AddThis Button END -->

  7. Piggy back on Tumblr’s limited SEO.
    Go to the http://www.tumblr.com/customize, and under Advanced, and tick Use descriptive URLs and Allow search engines to index your blog.

  8. Add Google Analytics so you can track your progress.

Follow these steps as well as good and engaging content you should have solid traffic from search engines. 

The miscellaneous tech related thoughts of Jden Redden.

www @