Igor's Blog

30-Sep-2016
How to remove missing songs from iTunes for free without any Apps
I've moved my music collection between media servers recently and so my iTunes library got a little bit messed up. There were lots and lots of missing files. I started looking into ways of removing these and quickly found various apps that would do it for you, but those were not free. If you don't mind fiddling with iTunes a little you can find and delete all of the missing songs in your library without any apps and without paying a cent. Here's how.
25-Jul-2016
How to stop the iMovie Video rendering error: 10008
On the weekend I was putting together some video footage from separate movie clips that I captured on my dashcam and every time I tried to export my project I'd get a 'Video rendering error: 10008' message. The same thing happened if I tried to share directly to YouTube too. This is how I managed to stop the error and successfully export my movie.
08-Jul-2016
How to change IntelliJ IDEA Terminal background and colours
IntelliJ IDEA is a fantastic IDE, much better than any other IDE I've used in the past. It's my IDE of choice for most of my professional development work so I use it on quite a regular basis. A really cool feature it has is that it's possible to run the OS shell in a Terminal tab. The default colour scheme of course sets the background to white and foreground to black, not very Terminal-like. This is how you can get the Terminal tab looking like it should.
30-May-2016
Digitizing old photos with a scanner and some handy scripts
Over the past couple of months I've been digitizing my parents' old photos with the aid of a scanner and some ImageMagick scripts. The scanning itself is quite an arduous process, and the cropping and rotating of the images is equally as much work so I decided to see if I could automate at least a part of this.
07-Apr-2016
Sony PS4 Remote Play on OSX connected to a Dell U3415W
A couple of days ago the PlayStation Blog announced it's 3.50 System Software Update which included one of the best features released in a long time - Remote Play with support for PC and Mac! I took some time out today to check it out and I really like it.
11-Feb-2016
Does f.lux for OSX really make a difference to your sleep patterns?
You've probably heard of f.lux, an app that reduces the amount of blue light that your screen puts out at night. That is meant to help with sleep problems due to distorted circadian rhythms caused by the blue light. I've been using f.lux for a few weeks now to see if it actually has some sort of effect, read on to check out what I observed.
09-Dec-2015
Chrome and Safari keep saying ad.doubleclick.net requires a client certificate
I've noticed today that ad.doubleclick.net started asking for client certificates when browsing in Safari and Chrome on OS X. For some reason mutual authentication is being performed by the doubleclick (Google) servers. I'm guessing this is a configuration issue on the Google side as there is generally no need to have the client prove their identity, especially when serving ads. That or this is some new ad tracking technology gone wrong.
08-Dec-2015
OSX Messages finally stops working with Facebook chat so what's the alternative?
A little while ago I wrote about Adium not working with Facebook any more. The solution was to switch to the OS X Messages app. Now however today the Messages app stopped working with Facebook Chat as well.
21-Nov-2015
Stop Photos.app opening when connecting an iPad or iPhone to your Mac
OS X 10.11 El Capitan has a great new Photos app to replace iPhoto, but it has one very annoying feature. Every time an iPhone/iPod/iPad is connected to the Mac, Photos opens and asks to import photos from the connected device. There is a way to switch this off however.
27-Oct-2015
How to remove images from Skype's 'Recents' profile pictures list in OSX
Skype allows you to change the picture that's displayed as your avatar, the (sometimes) unfortunate side effect is it keeps all of the previous pictures you used in its 'Recents' tab. I never really liked this kind of functionality, but do admit it can come in useful sometimes. In the case of Facebook you can delete the recent profile photos, but in Skype, at least on OS X there is no way to remove these recent pictures within the app itself. However, there is a more complicated way to remove them if you're willing to put a few minutes of your time into it.
17-Oct-2015
OneNote vs Apple Notes round two, Microsoft loses this time
More than a year ago now I wrote an article mostly praising Microsoft's OneNote app on OS X. Now that OS X 10.11 El Capitan has been released, my position on OneNote has become less enthusiastic. I really did love aspects of OneNote for a time, but for my purposes Apple's updated Notes App does the job better all around.
06-Oct-2015
XtraFinder not working on OSX 10.11 El Capitan
I was super excited when XtraFinder was released. It really transformed how Finder in OS X worked. I loved the folders on top sorting and many of its other features. Unfortunately it ceased to function in OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
03-Oct-2015
And the best OSX 10.11 El Capitan feature is... shake-to-locate
El Capitan, the 10.11 release of OS X has been out for a few days now. If you haven't seen all the features from all the tech blogs already, Apple has set up its own microsite dedicated to showing off all the new things you can expect to find.
07-Sep-2015
How to resume/unpause paused apps in OS X
My OS X Hackintosh that I use as a home server has started behaving strangely recently, iTunes would stop responding, Plex would not work and sometimes I couldn't even log into the server itself. What I noticed was that Apps were being 'Paused'. This is how I resolved it.
23-Aug-2015
Creating a bootable SD card for RaspberryPi on OSX is so easy now
It's been some time since I've had to create a fresh Raspberry Pi SD card and I'm really pleased how easy it is to do now. There is no need to get your hands dirty with command line tools like diskutil or dd, just download a graphical app and let it do the work for you. In my case I used the ApplePi Baker. The app is super easy to use and it shows you progress so you don't have to be guessing how much time is left before your SD card is ready to go.
27-Jul-2015
How to package your Java code as a native app on OSX into a DMG file
I've come across a nice tool in the Java 8 SDK (Java 7 has it too, but it has a different name) that lets you package your Java application as a native app for a range of platforms. This tool is called javapackager and it makes distribution of you Java apps so much easier than previously and best of all, it's part of the JDK itself.
21-Jul-2015
OS X and iOS Safari iCloud Tabs not synchronising? This is how you fix it!
At some point in the recent past I've noticed that my Safari iCloud Tabs stopped working and synchronising between my iPhone and my Macbook Pro. I am not sure exactly when this happened, probably after the iOS 8 upgrade, but something's changed. I looked into this a bit further and found out the cause and how to fix it.
14-Jul-2015
Facebook disables chat, leaves Adium dead in the water, but there is a solution
Adium is a fantastic IM client for Mac, but unfortunately its been lacking updates in the recent times. When it comes to Facebook Chat, Adium used to work flawlessly with it, however over the past month or so it started to play up. First, I could not use the standard Facebook account support, it would ask me to authenticate over and over. I got around that by switching to the chat.facebook.com Jabber account, this allowed me to keep using my Facebook account with Adium for a time, but last weekend that finally stopped working too. This is happening in version 1.5.11b2 of Adium. Although it looks like Facebook chat support for Adium is gone, there is a way forward.
13-Jul-2015
Cornerstone is the best SVN client for Mac
I've been using Cornerstone 2 on my Mac for about 6 months now and cannot imagine using anything else. Prior to this, I preferred to use svn commands on the Terminal, but then realised I was wasting time doing this - some tasks are much easier to do with a UI. When I finally decided to switch to a graphical client, I went through a lot of different apps before settling on Cornerstone 2. Of the apps I tried out, many didn't feel right or had the necessary feature sets for me (svnX, Versions) or had too high of a licence fee (SmartSVN). I went through many more SVN apps than that, including some Java clients.
19-Jun-2015
Record iPhone screen video and audio without Jailbreaking or special apps in OSX
I've been looking at making a recording on my iPhone's screen to make a video and at first was stuck for options. I tried some apps that claim to do this but they didn't work properly, then I found out that it's possible to use QuickTime Player to record your iPhone's screen directly from your Mac without needing a Jailbreak or any extra hardware.
04-Jun-2015
How to select columns of text in OSX Applications
If you've ever needed a quick way of selecting a column of text in OS X (this tip should work in Windows too by the way), this is a tip for you. In most applications that display simple text, you can do this by holding down the Alt/Option key and dragging your mouse to select a column (or rather a box) of text that you want.
05-May-2015
Change the JRE used for SoapUI on OSX
I use SoapUI on a regular basis and today I wanted to change the JDK that it uses. I've noticed that by default the OS X installation of SoapUI 5.1.2 is using JRE 1.7. On my system, I've had the 1.8 JDK set as the default for quite some time, my ~/.profile file pointed to the 1.8 JDK bin directory for the PATH and the JAVA_HOME was set correctly, so it was puzzling to me why 1.7 was being picked up by SoapUI. I dug a little deeper and found the answer.
29-Apr-2015
Use 'Separate Spaces' option in OSX to stop the second display switching desktops
At home I use my Mac in clamshell mode so I've never had a need to do anything on the second display, however at the office everyone who was not using an external monitor was given one now, so all of a sudden I had a second display to use. As soon as I connected it, I instantly remembered why I've been avoiding dual displays on a Mac - whenever you changed desktops on one, the second display would change its desktop too. This is very annoying if you use the second display to hold some reference material or a document while you work on the primary display. Luckily with Yosemite (although I think it was added in Mavericks) this can be changed.
20-Apr-2015
External monitor not working on boot up with OSX Yosemite and FileVault
I've recently enabled FileVault on my OS X Yosemite install, everything went well at first, then it came to restarting my Mac to complete installation and this is where I hit a snag. My laptop is always in clamshell mode when I'm working from home, so naturally I rely on having everything displayed on the external monitor. With FileVault, after the laptop boots up, you're asked for a password, at this point even if your external monitor is plugged in, you will not get anything displayed on it. The laptop will sit waiting for you to open it up and type in your password before it continues to boot.
23-Feb-2015
Remove unwanted accounts from the Skype login window on OSX
If you have old skype accounts you don't use or had someone login on your computer with their Skype account, the chances are that the Skype login window remembered this account and has it in its drop-down list. This can be irritating, but there is an easy solution to get rid of these offending accounts as well as their data from your Skype login window.
15-Feb-2015
Get notifications from your Android device on your Mac
I use a Mac for work, I also have an Android for work. I have the tendency to leave my phone in my bag a lot of the time so this makes me miss phone calls and messages that could be important. At first I thought the only solution is to simply check my phone, but after searching around I found an App called Pushbullet that pushes notifications from your Android to your Mac. You'll (or rather I) won't miss a work related call or txt again even if my phone is in my bag!
06-Feb-2015
Stop OS X tar from including hidden ._ files in archives
I've noticed that when I use the OS X tar command that it adds a bunch of files that start with ._ to the archive. These files store extended file information and are useful on OS X, but on a system that does not understand them, they just add clutter.
30-Jan-2015
OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 update fixes previously terrible graphics performance
The OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 update resolves a number of OS and Security features as well as adding some visual perks like nice new toolbar icons in Mail.app. However, the most enticing reason to get this update is because it hugely improved graphics performance, something that Apple left off the official update notes.
29-Jan-2015
Deluge not starting on OS X - how to fix it
Every now and then my Deluge app fails to start on the home server. This was a little frustrating at first, but then I figured out what was going wrong. This is how to fix Deluge and make it start again.
22-Jan-2015
Enable OS X quick look feature to view Markdown files
If you do any kind of software development or use any open source software the chances are that you have come across Markdown files, typically something like README.md. If you're on OS X, there is no easy way to view these out of the box. This is where qlmarkdown comes to the rescue. It's a QuickLook addon that renders the Markdown formatted files directly in the quick look window.
13-Jan-2015
Stop the iPhone WiFi hotspot from starting automatically when plugged into a Mac via USB
The Handoff features were introduced with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. One of those features is to automatically start the WiFi hotspot on your iDevice as needed. This feature can be great in some circumstances, but in others it can be a downright pain. I found that plugging your iPhone into a Mac causes the hotspot to start by default, that's not needed nor desired in my case, so here are a few steps on how to disable that feature.
11-Jan-2015
Thousands of free classic DOS games for your Mac with Archive.org and Boxer
Archive.org has made available thousands of DOS games for free that can be played directly in your browser. The list of games consists of classics like Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Leisure Suite Larry, Sim City and Prince of Persia. This is all well and good, but the in-browser games do not appear to work in Safari; they do work in Chrome. Not all games are downloadable directly either, but with a bit of URL manipulation and the Boxer app, you can get these running directly on your Mac. Here's how.
18-Dec-2014
Hands on with DuetDisplay - bugs, terrible performance, not worth it
I was really excited when I heard that about the Duet app that promised to make your iPad into a second screen with good refresh rates and even retina resolution (if available). I downloaded the app and installed it as soon as it was available, only to be severely disappointed by how buggy and slow it is.
13-Dec-2014
XtraFinder updated to 0.25, fixes annoying refresh bug
If you are using OS X Yosemite and don't have XtraFinder, you need to get it. It adds functionality to Finder that should have been there all along, like sorting all folders on top, a feature that's so useful I can't believe Apple didn't include it in the first place.
05-Dec-2014
Bad graphics performance while zooming screen in OS X Yosemite
It appears that if you use the screen zooming feature in OS X Yosemite and you happen to have an external monitor attached to your Mac's laptop, you're in for a world of trouble. In Mavericks, zooming the screen was not a problem, it was smooth and worked as expected. In Yosemite, the performance drops significantly while zooming. I used NovaBench to run just the GPU Test to prove this and here are the results.
02-Dec-2014
How to stop OS X auto spelling correction
Ever since the upgrade to OS Yosemite, I've noticed the automatic spelling correction has been ruthless and fast. Working in an IT field and using quite a few TLAs (three letter acronyms), this led to a lot of backspacing and correcting the auto-correct and causing lots of frustration. Finally, I decided that the auto-correction simply had to be turned off, this is how you do it.
26-Nov-2014
How to fix Safari Can't Open the Page error
Ever since the upgrade to OS X Yosemite, I've noticed some sites in Safari just would not load. This typically happened when I had to log into a site to access admin features. The same site would work find in Chrome however. This was really getting under my skin, but I did manage to find a solution and this is how to fix it.
20-Nov-2014
OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update fixes the computer name changing Bonjour issue, lost notification centre settings and improves performance
The 10.10.1 OS X Yosemite update has been out for a few days now. I've been running with the updated system while working and am seeing improvements so far. Notably the bug that caused the computer name to change is fixed now. Notification centre remembers its settings after a restart and graphical performance of the system seems improved (no more jerky animations on dialogue boxes).
09-Nov-2014
OS X Yosemite 10.10 issues
This is a list of OS X Yosemite issues that I've come across from daily use. I'll add to these as I encounter more and will update when/if they are fixed in the future releases.
06-Nov-2014
Rename multiple files easily in OS X Yosemite
One very useful feature in OS X Yosemite is the ability to rename multiple files with ease using Finder. This functionality is quite flexible with several options on how files should be renamed.
04-Nov-2014
Fix the javax.net.ssl.SSLException: Received fatal alert: illegal_parameter in SOAP UI
I've started receiving the 'javax.net.ssl.SSLException: Received fatal alert: illegal_parameter' exception when sending requests to some web services. These services were all working fine previously and continue to work when invoked from other applications e.g. OSB. This could only mean that the issue was local. Turns out that the problem started occurring due to a JDK upgrade.
03-Nov-2014
MP150 and MP Navigator even less usable under OS X Yosemite
I've written about the Canon MP150 printer/scanner no longer scanning out of the box under Mavericks. Back then the MP Navigator utility still let you use the scan features however, which extended the life of the device. Under Yosemite, the MP Navigator software is broken and is more or less unusable. There is a workaround, but it is ugly and produces terrible scan results.
02-Nov-2014
Onyx for OS X Yosemite available
Onyx, my favourite utility for OS X has been updated to work with OS X Yosemite. This utility lets you verify and clean your OS as well as tweak many settings that are otherwise not available to change. This is a must have for any serious OS X user.
30-Oct-2014
Mac computer name keeps changing after OS X Yosemite upgrade
The 10.10.1 OS X update fixes this issue. Read more about it here: http://www.igorkromin.net/index.php/2014/11/20/os-x-yosemite-10101-update-fixes-the-computer-name-changing-bonjour-issue-lost-notification-centre-settings-and-improves-performance/
28-Oct-2014
Force iPhoto to refresh your iCloud shared streams on OS X Yosemite
I've noticed that sometimes iPhoto does not refresh the iCloud shared streams after they've been updated on another iDevice. Quitting iPhoto and starting it again does not help. The only fix is either to restart your Mac or to restart the iCloud Photos process. The method for how to do this is different on Yosemite to previous OS X versions. This is how to do it.
21-Oct-2014
Stop OS X Yosemite from sending your private keyword search data to Apple and Microsoft
Turns out that every time you use the new Spotlight search in OS X Yosemite, the keywords are sent real-time to Apple and even shared with Microsoft. This is an intrusion on privacy, but luckily it can be stopped quite easily. There are a number of settings that need to be switched off to do this.
20-Oct-2014
Reduced transparency and increased contrast options in OS X Yosemite
If you don't like the new transparency features in the OS X Yosemite interface, there is an easy way to turn them down, and while at it you can make the all of the UI features stand out quite a bit more and not blend together as much as they do by default.
17-Oct-2014
A quick glance at OS X Yosemite
The new OS X Yosemite has been released to the public and is available as a free download. It took me about an hour to get the download this morning, unfortunately I had to work so only got a chance to install it now. The installation is a breeze and took less than 30 minutes on my existing Mavericks install. This is a quick glance at what Yosemite looks like and my initial thoughts on it.
30-Sep-2014
Shellshock update available for OS X Mavericks
The recently discovered Shellshock vulnerability has been fixed in OS X. The Mavericks update is not a part of the automatic update, but can be downloaded and installed manually.
21-Aug-2014
Break a OS X software RAID-1 up into individual disk volumes
I've been running two software RAID-1 arrays on my OS X Lion Server for quite some time for backup and data storage purposes. At the time, I went for software RAID so that I didn't have to rely on any particular hardware. This worked great for me, but I've been thinking more and more that for my purposes, I did not need a RAID-1 array, what I needed was a separate, stand-alone offline mirror of my drives. This required me to break the RAID-1 arrays up into their individual volumes, this is how I did it.
20-Aug-2014
SoapUI taking a long time to establish a connection
Some of the recent work I've been doing required the use of SoapUI to do some basic load testing. When I first started this, every request I tried sending to the server was taking 30+ seconds to complete. This really stumped me because another, pretty much identical environment would respond immediately. I've finally tracked down the issue to DNS.
03-Aug-2014
Change to the traffic cam script to auto-sort by year/month/day into folders
As the traffic cam keeps taking photos every 5 minutes, the number of files in the archive directory quickly adds up, over the past 2 months there were around 12 thousand files. This was getting a little bit difficult to manage so I decided that it would be a good idea if the script automatically put these into directories sorted by year, month and day.
29-Jul-2014
Webcam Tools (wacaw) vs ImageSnap for OS X webcam image capture
I've been running the Riverside Expressway Traffic Cam for some time now. One of the things that's been bothering me with it has been the image quality of night time shots. I've had a look around different apps that I could use for this purpose and it really came down to Webcam Tools (macaw) and ImageSnap. I looked at other tools and these either didn't work at all or were not compatible with OS X Lion Server.
23-Jul-2014
NetBeans 7.1.2 does not work with JDK 8
I've recently installed the JDK 8 on my rMBP and all of a sudden NetBeans stopped working for me. I've dug into this a little further and tried several things, none of which worked, in the end I ended up forcing NetBeans to use JDK 7 and everything was working again.
01-Jul-2014
Goat Simulator released on OS X
I know I'm a few days late and the release was actually on the 27th of June, but hey that still does not take away from the awesomeness of this game. My curiosity of what it would be like to be a goat has finally been satisfied. This game is silly and pointless, but quite a lot of fun to play. Check out some of these screenshots I took.
30-Jun-2014
Fix Cura window positioning on OS X
One of the Cura updates recently caused my main window to go off-screen. Out of the box OS X does not have a built-in way of manually moving windows using a keyboard (like Windows does). There are third party tools for this, however I thought that surely there is a different answer and this setting must be stored in Cura configuration somewhere. After a bit of digging, it's right there as expected and here is how to change it.
28-Jun-2014
Setting up a traffic webcam on OS X
I've had a number of people mention to me that I should have a webcam set up in my apartment because I am overlooking the river and the major road that runs beside it. After some thinking, I've decided to do just that. So here it is, this is how I've set up the Riverside Expressway Cam.
11-Jun-2014
SQLDeveloper 4.0.2 on OS X with the Mac L&F rendering issues
I've updated my SQLDeveloper to 4.0.2 and to my surprise found a major rendering issue with this version. The whole window is using black as the background, including the toolbar. This means none of the text can be read and the whole application is essentially useless then.
22-May-2014
To regex or not to regex, with Reggy it's a simple and clear choice
I used to hate regular expressions, however, recently I've had a need to use them a fair amount so actually started to appreciate them. What I found challenging then was debugging them. Writing code, compiling it and executing it just to find out the regex was incorrect was not going anywhere fast, so I looked around and found Reggy.app. This very simple app lets you put in your test strings and most importantly, your regex and see what matches. It's a super handy tool.
15-May-2014
7200 RPM HDD vs SSD performance in Skyrim for PS3
I'm still playing Skyrim, yes it's an amazing game! However, I've been getting frustrated with its loading times. So I thought, why not try an SSD upgrade, they are so cheap now it's almost a crime NOT to do it. The results are quite favourable, they aren't going to blow your socks off, but will definitely improve the gaming experience.
06-May-2014
Microsoft OneNote vs Apple Notes
When Microsoft OneNote came out, I was very quick to download it and make the switch from the iOS/OS X Notes app, but over time I've been finding myself slowly creeping back and using the original Notes app for certain things. These are my thoughts about both of these apps: I think both have legitimate use cases and can coexist and used together, but their use is quite different.
05-May-2014
PS3 hard disk upgrade makes you lose Skyrim DLC
There is a number of guides that talk about how to upgrade the hard disk inside a PS3 (and now a PS4) and various reports that talk about how beneficial these upgrades can be. Well I've decided to try it out myself by upgrading to an SSD and seeing how Skyrim performance changes, that's in a separate post later. I was out to get some real figures to see what an SSD upgrade would do, instead I found something worse - the DLC content is lost during this upgrade process.

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