Igor's Blog

Skipping execution of Maven plugins that do not have a native skip option
Many of the plugins that would be used in a typical Maven setup provide an option to skip execution of that plugin via the <skip> configuration parameter or in the case of the Surefire plugin, the -DskipTests system property. Unfortunately some plugins, like the WebLogic Maven Plugin do not offer this facility.
Making use of corner shelves with easy to make slide out draws
As I've mentioned before on my renovation articles, storage space is always at a premium when living in an apartment. I've tried various ways to make use of all the space that is available and this time around I had the idea of finally making some good use of a set of corner shelves I had installed quite a while ago. These shelves were triangular and very awkward to store anything on. My idea was to add slide out draws for them, here's the end result...
Stopping the RzUpdater from launching and consuming high CPU percentage
I've noticed that on my Mac the RzUpdater process has been consuming a very high amount of CPU for long stretches at a time. Every instance this happened, I had to manually kill that process, but it would get started by macOS again shortly after. This seemed to happen when there was no network connectivity so I am guessing that RzUpdater tries to check for updates to the software and locks up when it can't make an Internet connection. Bad design, so here's how you make sure that process doesn't start in the first place.
Migrating domain email from GoDaddy to Google G Suite
This article will show how to move your GoDaddy hosted websites's email over to and existing Google's G Suite setup. The assumption is that there is an existing GoDaddy hosting account with the standard email services set up and that a G Suite account has been previously set up with a primary domain other than the one being moved. As an example I will be showing how I moved all email services for the rawsparts.com.au domain.
Add batch image resize functionality to macOS using Automator
If you were used to using the Preview app for resizing images in batch, both in macOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan the 'Save All' feature has been removed so it became a real pain to use. Nobody wants to click 'Save' on every single image after resizing them all (especially if you have dozens or hundreds of images), but luckily there is a way to simplify and automate this process.
Show transfer percentage and speed when copying files in Linux and Bash
As great as Linux/Bash is, sometimes I wish some of the built-in commands did a little bit more than the bare minimum. Of these the 'cp' command is something that I always thought should have had a way to show progress when copying files. There are many questions about this very thing on StackExchange like this one and this one. My preferred solution is to use 'rsync' but I'm also a big fan of simplifying things and can never remember all the various command line options required. So this post shows my little trick to enabling file copy speed and percentage display when copying files.
Adding a hidden glass shelf behind the TV for extra storage
I live in an apartment so storage space is always at a premium and so this Holiday Season I took some time to add extra storage and improve on the storage space that was there already. The very first thing I did was make use of that space behind the TV that often goes unused.
How to remove iCloud calendars in the macOS Calendar app
I've noticed that in my Calendar app on macOS I had a 'Facebook Events' calendar stored in iCloud. Initial attempts to remove it didn't work. The Edit menu Delete option was greyed out and pressing Delete on the keyboard after selecting that calendar also didn't work. After a bit of messing around I did find a way to delete it. If you have a calendar in iCloud that just won't go away, follow these steps to remove it.
How to open apps from unidentified developers on macOS Sierra
In macOS Sierra, the security around apps from unidentified developers has really been tightened. In previous releases of the OS you were given an option to open the app if it came from an unidentified developer but it seems that Sierra just gives you the 'OK' option and will not launch the app. There is a way around it however so read on for how to do it.
How to fix pixelated text in Google Chrome to make it appear smooth again
When I first installed Google Chrome on my Lenovo IdeaPad 100S I was surprised with how bad some web pages looked. Specifically - the text in certain web sites was the problem, it came up all pixelated and looked quite ugly.
Six must do tips to secure your laptop while travelling abroad
I've just recently come back from a round-the-world holiday (which was blogged about here) and of course I had a travel laptop with me the whole time. Being security aware and generally a little paranoid about people getting access to my data I took a few precautions before leaving for this vacation. Here are six must do tips that any traveller with a laptop should follow before setting foot at the airport.
Make the new Gmail App delete messages instead of archiving
The new Gmail App has been released on iOS a couple of days ago and while going through the settings I noticed that deleted messages were set to Archive instead of being Moved to bin i.e. deleted. I think this is a bit undesirable, pressing delete should delete the message, so here's how to make sure it does!
Gmail filters ignoring the Skip Inbox option and how to fix it
Recently I noticed that my Gmail (actually in my case G Suite ) has been ignoring the 'Skip Inbox' option on all of my filters. Even though I had several filters set up to move emails out of the Inbox and archive them, they kept on staying in the Inbox. Turns out there is a setting that controls this!
How to get free unlimited email addresses with your basic G Suite account
In the past I've written about how to migrate from Gmail to G Suite and shared 20% discount coupons for G Suite. Now I want to show a way to create free unlimited email addresses across multiple domains and only pay for a single G Suite user. So for $5/month you can set up unlimited email addresses.
The right way to migrate from Gmail to G Suite email
Now that I finally finished migrating my email to Google G Suite and learned the right and wrong ways of doing it I decided to write up the what I think is the best way that one should go about migrating from a Gmail email address to an email address hosted by G Suite. So here it is.
Removing temporary email addresses from Google G Suite user admin console
As I keep moving my email over to Google G Suite I keep finding quirks in its setup and administration. One of these are the temporary emails that Google sets up on a test domain for initial testing purposes. These are all well and good but eventually you do want to get rid of them, here's how.
Easy way to hide the IntelliJ case sensitive file system warning
If you use IntelliJ on a file system that is case sensitive and are running on a system that IntelliJ doesn't consider case sensitive by default it is likely you've seen this warning:
Compiling unrar on DietPi for ARM
I've recently had to build the 'unrar' utility on my Odroid XU4 after installing DietPi on it. I know it is available on the non-free repository and can be installed using apt-get, but that didn't seem to have the latest version so I decided to build it from source instead. Turns out it's quite easy.
How and when to inline Data URL images into CSS files
CSS offers a lot of flexibility to web developers and can be used and abused in many different ways. The background-image property can be especially useful when dealing with images that should be displayed as overlays (via a DIV). I make use of this over at my jQuery PhotoBoxr plugin, however instead of using images I specify image data directly in my CSS file as a Data URL.
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.
Expand on hover button using only CSS
Here's a little bit of CSS to create a button that expands when you hover over it. I used this over at travelblog.ws to create a 'Home' button that expands to allow the user to jump directly to specific parts of the home page. All of this is using pure CSS, no JavaScript required.
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.
How to simplify a temporal data set for graphing in Google Drive Sheets
When I added a bunch of fans to my TV unit I ended up collecting lots of temporal temperature change data that was quite 'noisy'. Statistics is not my strong point so I was looking at a quick and easy way of cleaning this up for plotting and settled on something that can be done in a few steps in Google Drive Sheets.
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.
How to get orapki without installing the full Fusion Middleware
I was asked recently if there was a way to get the orapki utility without having to install the entire Fusion Middleware. The answer is yes, sort of. So if you need access to this utility but for some reason are not able to use the one that comes with your application server, read on.
Preventing SSH client disconnection by remote host
A lot of work gets done using SSH and one of the most frustrating things to happen is when the remote server disconnects you due to inactivity, but while you had your environment set up just the right way for the tasks you were doing. Imagine that you had to have a number of environment variables set just right in your remote shell and you stepped out for lunch only to come back to this...
Howto: Reset PrestaShop admin password in four easy steps
Getting locked out of your PrestaShop admin account can be a real pain, luckily there is a straight forward way to reset your password as long as you have access to the server that the shop is running on. For this you will need access to the server configuration file and the PrestaShop database via phpMyAdmin.
Mouse wheel displaying control characters in a terminal or scrolling through history instead
I've recently had an odd experience when using Bash. When I used the mouse wheel to scroll up/down the Terminal window (in OSX) all I got was some control characters being printed out. It looked similar to this...
SourceTree Git push fails with rejected tag Error messages
I use SourceTree to manage all my Git repositories, it's a great tool but sometimes something goes wrong with remote tags refs in one of my work repositories and I get error messages when I do a push that tells me that a bunch of tags have been rejected. Now I never actually create any tags so this is a little confusing. Cloning a fresh version of the repository fixes this but is not a solution all the time, especially if you have a bunch of stashes. Luckily there is an option in SourceTree to disable pushing tags to remotes.
Creating a resizable constant ratio DIV with CSS
As I work away on my travelblog.ws project I encounter some interesting problems and creating a constant ratio DIV has been one of them. What I wanted to do was have photos that I uploaded, no matter whether they are landscape or portrait oriented to be displayed in a uniform manner, all with the same sizes, exactly how Facebook does it. This is my solution to that.
Keeping a PS4 and AV receiver cool inside an enclosed TV unit
Not long ago I built a stunning TV unit out of recycled hardwood. One of the main functional features of this unit was keeping dust out so naturally it was as enclosed as possible. Though the unit looked great, I quickly found that it was not usable the way it was built if both the AV receiver and the PS4 are running. There was no air circulation so everything got super hot inside.
Merge SVN repository subdirectory into an existing Git repository
I've written previously about how to do a one time non-standard SVN repository migration to Git which works fine if you want to move your entire SVN repo, but what if you want to move just a subfolder from SVN to Git? This is the guide for you.
Fixing a broken USB port on a RaspberryPi Model A
I've had my Raspberry Pi Model A for quite a time and it's got quite a workout over the years and unfortunately the USB port became really mangled. The pins inside somehow got bent out of shape and none of the devices plugged in would work. At first I thought this spelled the end for this Model A RPi, however after a bit of thinking I decided that I could just desolder the USB port and replace it with a USB type B cable.
When null == null isn't true and how to get around it
I've been writing some tricky SQL recently and came across an odd behaviour, at least I though it was odd at the time because I didn't read the documentation. I had two columns that represented a composite key, the first column was guaranteed to have a value and the second column could be null. Now I had to join this table to itself to get the results I needed and that required comparing this composite key. When I compared just the first column it worked fine, but as soon as I added the second column, the one that could have null values, nothing matched.
Missing 30 minutes when parsing Java 7 ISO 8601 time zone format
I've been doing quite a bit of work with time conversion recently and started to use the new 'X' pattern in Java's SimpleDateFormat class to parse ISO 8601 time zones. Initially I treated this exactly the same way as the old 'Z' pattern for RFC 822 time zones. That ended up giving me 30 minute rounding errors in some cases. Upon reading the JavaDoc closer, I found this sentece hidden among all the verboseness...
Use SQLDeveloper navigational filtering to unclutter your workspace
SQL Developer is a great tool and it gets better with every version, well in version 4 I noticed that you can filter out what is displayed in the tree underneath a database when you have successfully connected. If you don't exactly know what I mean, this would probably be a familiar sight...
How to redirect SQLDeveloper debug log to a file
I've come across an excellent article by Jeff Smith recently that describes how to enable debug mode in SQL Developer. This has been a useful source of information in my recent quest to solve some connectivity issues with certain databases, however it wasn't the final answer I was after.
RevenueHits for Blog Monetisation - skip it if you have any sense of credibility
I recently missed my Google AdSense payment threshold by $0.02 and that got me thinking if I really have the right ad network for my Blog, so I started to do a bit of research on what other advertising networks I can replace AdSense with. The number one name that kept on coming up was RevenueHits. There was no approval process (first warning sign perhaps?), their website was very simplistic and straight forward and setting up your ads was quite easy. It was not until after I did some trial runs with it that I discovered the true extent of how discredited this advertising network was.
How to get Google Talk working with Trillian and stop those 'Sign-in attempt prevented' emails
Even though Google Talk support has been deprecated by Google, you can still use it via third party clients like Trillian. I tried to do this and found that Google blocked my sign in attempt as they promised they'd start doing. There is a way around it however.
Use normal Skype to connect to Skype for Business (Lync) contacts
As Microsoft acquired Skype, it was a natural step to connect it's Lync (now called Skype for Business) service to the regular Skype service. I tried this out recently and it works like a charm. If you have a need to connect with a colleague who uses Skype for Business but you are not able to get the corporate app (or have no desire to) just follow this guide and use your regular Skype client instead.
Sick of Facebook showing you daily memories, this is how you turn it off
Facebook rolled out its 'On this Day' app recently and started forcing everyone to see daily memories on their news feeds. In principle this is a nice idea but personally I do not care for this functionality. Sadly there was no way to disable this app, but there is a way to prevent it from accessing your past posts which effectively turns this feature off. Here's how.
A tip to bypass the Java unreachable statement compile error when debugging
Many a time when I'm debugging I feel quite lazy and often want to stop execution of code within a method before that method actually ends. The naive solution is to put in a return statement or throw an exception at the point where you want to stop running your code. Of course this doesn't work if you have lines of code after your return/throw clause.
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.
Take a heap dump with the HotSpotDiagnosticMXBean using JConsole
This is a nice trick I learned over the past week while doing JVM heap analysis. You can use JConsole to take a heap dump of your JVM. Open the MBeans tab and navigate to com.sun.management, then HotSpotDiagnosticMXBean. This will display all the methods that can be invoked on this bean. We're interested in the dumpHeap method.
RasPlex stuck in a crash loop and how to fix it
I really love my Rasperry Pi 2 running RasPlex at home, in fact this is our primary streaming method and it works great, well most of the time. Recently I've experienced an issue where RasPlex would go into a crash loop, submitting crash reports over and over. Restarting didn't fix the issue but I did find a means to fix it, after a fashion anyway.
Adding swap space on a RaspberryPi running Minibian
My photo frame has had some new pictures added to it recently after which it started to crash. Turns out it was running out of memory. I guess 256Mb of RAM could not accommodate for a 128Mb JVM as well as the OS. I decided to add some virtual memory swap space to it only to find that dphys-swapfile was not installed by default in Minibian. This article describes the steps I followed to get virtual memory working.
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.
HashMap keys and values passed as null with JAX-WS and WebLogic 12c
I've noticed something curious while testing some web services recently. The keys and values in the HashMap object that's passed as an IN parameter to the web service were all being turned into nulls. If I passed one key/value pair, I'd get one key/value pair of nulls, if I passed two key/value pairs, I'd get a pair of null/null, and so on. I did eventually track down the problem and fixed it, but it has been an interesting issue to come across.
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.
Java StringWriter vs CharArrayWriter which one to choose for performance
I've been writing some code recently that manipulates lots of strings, specifically it does appends on them via a Writer. In Java there are two choices when it comes to a Writer that's oriented around Strings - CharArrayWriter and StringWriter. I got curious about which one would be best in terms of performance, these are my findings.
How to change AfterLogic WebMail Lite PHP login logo to a custom image
I've used the AfterLogic WebMail Lite PHP script on a number of sites now and find it quite easy to install and use. It has some limitations but if you are after just basic webmail capability it does a great job. One of the things I wish was easier to change is the logo you see on the login screen. After a bit of work I managed to change it, here's how.
Don't like Windows 10? You have a month to uninstall it, here's how
Now that I finally was able to install Windows 10 by jumping the queue, I thought that I'd upgrade a desktop running Windows 7 to Windows 10. Big mistake. I had issues starting Edge, the all new web browser - it would open and immediately close. Control Panel would also crash in a similar manner, but worst of all, Windows 10 decided that one of the accounts on the computer would automatically login even time, even though auto-login was not enabled.
How I upgraded to Windows 10 without waiting in queue
Windows 10 has been officially released for two days, so I thought that was enough time for everyone to have finished downloading it already and that I'll have no issues getting it quickly. However, I was surprised to find out that the upgrade is being rolled out in waves and I couldn't just click and upgrade. I didn't want to give up so easily and a quick search gave me this article that described how to force your windows to upgrade immediately. With no hesitation I went ahead and tried out the steps, there needed to be some correction in the paths that the article described, but I did get there eventually, read on for how.
Here's an addition to your programmer's toolbox - strfunc.net
I've said it previously that I am a huge fan of online tooling that assists you while developing software. I've even written some of my own (UUID to OID Converter) online tools. Recently I wanted to use a popular online string functions website, but to my surprise, I found that it was no longer working. As a response to this, I've decided to put up my own: http://strfunc.net.
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.
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.
Simple JMeter counter example
This is a simple example on how to create and use a counter inside JMeter. The counter can be set up so that it increments independently for each user i.e. thread, or it can be a global counter. The process to define either type of counter is almost identical.
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.
How to install Positive SSL certificates with GoDaddy web hosting
I've recently moved web hosts to GoDaddy and needed to SSL enable my website. Since I didn't do the whole process myself at my previous host, I didn't know exactly the steps to take, but I figured it out and here's how to do it.
Tricking the Java compiler into allowing unreachable statements in code
I've been doing some tricky debugging recently where I had to provide one of my web services that required the environment it ran in configured a very particular way. The developer I was working with did not have such an environment and there was no time to set one up properly. This was a bit of a dilemma, however the issue we were trying to debug didn't require my service to fully execute, it was sufficient to get to a particular point in the execution and exit, this could be done on a vanilla system.
Use .htaccess file to send HTTP 410 Gone responses for aliased domains
Recently I've consolidated hosting for a number of my domains going from 4 hosting accounts down to two, however I decided to still keep all of my domains but have them point to my primary hosting account. This meant that anyone could use one of these old (an unrelated) domains to access my primary blog. This isn't what I wanted because I didn't want the old domains to be associated with my blog.
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.
Get a free 2Gb bump up to your Google Drive storage
If you use Google Drive you already get a fair amount of free storage, well now Google is offering to bump up your storage by an extra 2Gb for free. The catch? You just have to check your security settings and the free storage will be awarded to you by the 28th of February 2015. This offer seems to be valid only up to the 17th of February so if you want the free extra storage, don't wait, do the security check now!
Add a URL shortener plugin to FlatPress
Ever since I've started sharing my blog posts on Twitter, I've wanted to have my own URL shortener. There was no such feature with FlatPress out-of-the-box, so I went ahead and made my own plugin. This post shows how to write a shortener plugin for FlatPress and then how to configure it to redirect from the short to real URLs.
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.
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.
A quick way to visually detect unused variables in code, and exterminate them
Making changes and fixes to other people's code is never fun. It is especially not fun when naming conventions and basic programming principles like using getter/setter methods are not used. It gets worse when part of a naming convention was used to specify variable scope only to have someone come along and change this variable's scope and not update its name to match the convention. Then there is the issue of unused variables. Unfortunately the former set of issues is a little harder to deal with, but unused variables can be removed at zero cost and so are a quick win in terms of cleaning up bad code. The trick is configuring your IDE to let you do this easily.
3D Printing with diluted PVA for better results
I'm in the process of rebuilding my 3D printer and having to print new parts on the existing printer itself. An issue I've been running into has been uneven shrinkage across a print, which leads to unusable parts since they out of shape and are not level. My solution to this has been to use diluted PVA on the printer bed to get proper adhesion and a straight print.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Increase the number of uploaded files OctoPrint shows
OctoPrint shows 5 files by default without any option to change it via the configuration, however, there is a way to control how many files are displayed by changing its source code.
Automatically start your iPhone hotspot using iOS 8 Continuity features
With the release of iOS 8 we were gifted with the Continuity features. I think one of the overlooked, yet very useful features that Continuity provides is Instant Hotspot. If you're a regular traveller like me and have multiple iDevices, then this feature is super useful. In a nutshell, Instant Hotspot lets you turn on the WiFi hotspot on your iPhone directly from your iPad without ever having to touch the iPhone. This is amazing at airports when there is terrible free WiFi service.
OctoPrint SerialException: device reports readiness to read but returned no data
I've started getting this SerialException error when using OctoPrint every time after starting a 3D print. This problem would only manifest itself when printing, I could use the toggle buttons to move the extruder around on all the X, Y and Z axes, could manually extrude, etc. At first this really baffled me, but then I realised what the problem was.
Making ADF af:table emptyText appear with padding using some CSS
I've been doing a fair amount of ADF work recently and especially dealing with tables. What I found was that when a table contained no data, the emptyText string rendering is very ugly by default, so I got exploring. It turns out you can put HTML into this string and customise how it is rendered with some CSS.
JDeveloper 11g to 12c ADF Application migration causes deployments to fail with a ClassNotFoundException
I've been porting an older ADF 11g application to ADF 12c and used JDeveloper to do the migration for me, after a bit of code tweaking I tried to deploy the app only to find that it was failing with the java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: org.apache.myfaces.trinidad.webapp.TrinidadConverterELTag error. It took some time to find the culprit, so I've decided to share the fix.
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.
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.
SEO Metadata Plugin removing quotes, punctuation characters
I've been noticing that the SEO Metadata Plugin for FlatPress has been removing quotes and other punctuation characters from the metadata. This makes any blog snippets on social media sites (Facebook, Google Plus, etc) appear unprofessional. The plugin can already preserve these characters, it just needs to be configured.
Fixing the Node remains in conflict SVN message
I had the 'Node remains in conflict' error message come up recently due to an SVN update, this is how it's resolved. This error came about because I had a file in my local checkout that was not under version control, someone checked in a file with the same name into SVN. This should never have happened, the repository had its file deleted, yet every time I did an update, I got this error.
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.
Change the aTV Flash (black) icon order on Apple TV 2 to appear on the first row
If you're like me and have an Apple TV 2 and use aTV Flash (black), you may have disabled a number of applications in the parental controls leaving you with just the parts for streaming music and video via the Apple TV. The unfortunate effect this has is that the Maintenance and nitoTV icons appear on the second row with an alignment to the left which makes the whole screen look lopsided in my opinion. This is how you get these icons on the first row.
Notice to appear in court email - ignore it
I have recently received one of these emails and my first (irrational of course) reaction was to think about all of the things that could land me in the situation of having to appear in court. Then, I actually opened the email and had a look, instantly I realised it was a fake and either a hoax or a way to distribute viruses/malware to unsuspecting victims. Doing a bit of further research on the matter, I was right.
WinZip Mac 1.5 won't quit from the Dock
WinZip Mac not quitting via the Dock is a bit of a bothersome issue, the only workaround I found is to open WinZip and use the WinZip menu to quit it. This behaviour is quite bizarre, I am not sure if it still happens in later versions and not willing to upgrade to find out, however I hope they have fixed it.
Make Google Documents Spreadsheet recognise Australian dates
I use Google Documents a fair amount and recently have been really bothered by the fact that it was not recognising the dates I put in (in the Australian format) or worse it was making dates appear completely different. This was an obvious locale problem, so I went for a look around and this is how you fix it.
Add a filter/search option to the OS X Terminal history command
If you're like me and use the Terminal in OS X on a daily basis, you probably also use the 'history' command quite regularly too. Every time I use history I always pipe it through grep, so always, always end up typing 'history|grep blah', now isn't there an easier way? Well there is, and that's what the alias functionality is for.
iOS7: How to take a screenshot of the power off screen
The usual way of taking a screenshot in iOS by holding down the home key and pressing the power button does not work when on the power off screen, so I looked around a little to see if there was a way at all to take a screenshot in this scenario and turns out there is!
Changing the JDeveloper 11g IDE font size (not the Editor font) on OS X
I've been searching around on how to change the font size for the JDeveloper IDE and finally got it worked out on OS X. There are some forum posts on this but none that I could find that dealt with OS X specifically. So here's how to do it.
CalendarAgent wants to use your login keychain messages after upgrading to OS X Mavericks
I've been getting this KeyChain access dialog popping up ever since I've upgraded to OS X Mavericks, finally found a solution to make it go away permanently. Here's how.
Lessons learned: Moving a hardware RAID-5 to multiple software RAID-1 on OS X Lion Server
I've finally been able to complete my move from a hardware RAID-5 setup running OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 to a Hackintosh running OS X Lion Server using multiple RAID-1 sets. The move took about 4 days to complete because I didn't have 4 spare disks (only had 2), so had to move data temporarily to a USB disk.

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