Not waiting for Mac OSX Mountain Lion 10.8

I just upgraded to Mac OSX Lion 3 months ago after waiting for whatever reason to upgrade. I decided this time that I was gonna be one of those people that upgraded as soon as the new version was released.

I didn’t camp out in line or anything to get the new OSX Operating System, I simply downloaded it and ran it.

The only weird thing about the upgrade was that when the machine rebooted into doing the installation, the brightness on my 17″ MacBook Pro was turned what seemed to be all the way up. The brightness keys didn’t turn it down, so the whole time the screen was really really bright. Other than that, everything smooth as the Lion upgrade. Only thing required was the waiting. Waiting for the download of the 4+ gigabyte installer and then the time it took to install.

The install itself got to one point and said 5 minutes left and then jumped back up to 20 minutes left. I thought it hit a snag and was re-installing Lion or something as I have an Early 2008 MacBook Pro which is supposed to be compatible with Mountain Lion but FUD said otherwise.

My other concern was running Avid Pro Tools 10.2 under Mountain Lion and I’ve fired it up and ran some sessions through it and all seems to be fine.

I did this on my secondary system which I hardly boot into, but will have to see how it works out and then install on my main HD. To be honest, the only thing I’ve noticed is the Notifications in the top menu bar (of which I’ve had none) and the addition of Reminders and Notes in the dock.

proftpd borked after portupgrade with mysql option

My gosh! Try to stay current but shoot yourself in the foot much?

portaudit does the wondrous job of letting me know port vulnerabilities each and every day … We like “0 problems found” to be returned in our daily email, yes? So when there is ports that need to be updated, I usually give it the ol’ portupgrade -aRr to cover everything.

In this last update, proftpd went and modularized everything. I noticed this because I have one server utilizing the MySQL version so as to easily handle virtual users and provide temporary accounts to transfer music files for the studio. So I figure how I have to update the conf file with the proper settings to get proftpd running. Finally when it is happy, logins are failing and I don’t know why. I find in /var/log/messages that there’s a chroot problem … Tracking this down shows that I need to update my FreeBSD version due to this security vulnerability that proftpd is detecting.

Now off to the make buildworld and some hours of compiling. Can’t just build the kernel. Blast!

Rails 3.2.6

~$ rvm install 1.9.3-head

No bison!

~$ rvm requirements

I was on XCode 3 (from Snow Leopard) – Need minimum 4.1 for Lion – NO 4.3!

XCode 4.3.3 from App Store June 12, 2012
XCode Command Line Tools (Pref->Downloads)

rvm says DOWNGRADE XCode 4.3! (If problems)

~$ rvm install 1.9.3-head

No autoreconf!

install homebrew (because of autoconf)
brew install automake

~$ rvm install 1.9.3-head – worked!

rvm use 1.9.3-head –default

gem install rails

Rails is off track without Ruby …

So I’ve been doing my thing.  Trying to get the gist of it all and get things in place, working, etc … and then they start with this Rails 3.0 stuff that it doesn’t seem I can run …

What I mean is, developers seemed to have moved on to Rails 3 but I don’t understand how.  I decided, okay, it’s an RC (Release Candidate) so I’ll take the plunge and install it on a public server and start developing.  Welp, Rails 3 requires ruby 1.9.2 far as I know and I can’t get that installed successfully in a FreeBSD environment when the latest ruby is 1.8.7 (2009-12-24 patchlevel 248) (which currently has a UTF-7 encoding XSS vulnerability in WEBrick.) … sure 1.9.2 will install, but it doesn’t install a “ruby” binary, it’s called ruby19 and you have to symlink or copy it to “ruby” … Why?

Can you run rvm on a production server?  Would you?  Why?

In Rails defense, their website isn’t advocating a new release nor to install it, yet touts how many people are running it in production already …  Bah!  Cutting edge.

In other words, I think there’s just still too much stuff up in the air to actually try to massage Rails 3 into place before the rest of the world is ready for it.  I mean, Rails isn’t the only thing in my servers that use ruby …

… A couple hours later UPDATE: Ruby 1.9.2 Released

If you’re a Mac, you’re a PC …

A PC is defined literally as a Personal Computer.  If you’re using a Mac, you’re using a personal computer.  The Mac vs. PC commercials are obviously Microsoft vs. Apple commercials, and they’re spot on when put in that context.  But why confuse everyone thinking that “PC” is a bad thing?  Or “PC” is the derogatory term that has opposite connotations than “Mac” …  I mean, don’t get me wrong, as a computer professional since the mid eighties, I have found my place in the Mac world.  I find myself utterly and completely more productive and enjoying my environment and experience 100 times more.  I was in misery at the hands of Microsoft products.

Probably many people don’t know that before Microsoft, it was an IBM world and the PC had become known as an “IBM Compatible.”  At that time we also had the Commodore, Apple ][ and Franklin.  Franklin was an Apple ][ clone and were sued by Apple.  Result being, you don’t see any Franklins around, do you?

People also probably don’t know that the CPUs in the first IBM computers were AMDs.  Seems that AMD came late to the game to most people, but my IBM XT had a 4.77Mhz AMD chip installed in it, and I used the “Tiny Turbo” to up that baby to a whopping 8Mhz.  I imagine Intel struck a deal early on with IBM and that’s how they cornered the CPU market as well as Microsoft pushing IBM’s PC-DOS out of existence with MS-DOS.

But, is it just me?  Someone like me that knows all the history of the little boxes and where they all came from and how they started?  (Of course I skipped over the earlier Apples and Tandy’s attempt at PC greatness, the 5.25 floppies and 3.5s that don’t exist anymore, etc).  Is it just a simple fact that “PC” now means IBM Compatible running Microsoft Windows and “Mac” means awesome computer that puts PCs (in this context) to shame?

I write this post on my 800MHz PowerPC G4 iMac with 768MB SDRAM that I bought used off of eBay and received January 14th, 2004.  It’s running 10.4.11 Tiger Mac OS X … It shipped with Jaguar (10.2) but the previous owner gave me Panther (10.3) which I had also purchased separately.

I now run 2 MacBook Pros, a 17 and a 15 both with Snow Leopard (10.6) and a Dell Mini running Leopard (10.5).  I bought 10.5 for the Dell (Family version) and tried to install it on the G4 PPC and that was a no go for processors under 866MHz and Snow is Intel only.  It took the Intel version of the Mac (and OSX) before I was able to lose Microsoft completely.  Whatever the mixture of technologies came together, that’s the case for me.  The iMac didn’t get me there in 2004, it took the MacBook Pro in 2008, 4 and a half years later.

I don’t run any emulation software to run MS-Windows virtually, and I don’t utilize BootCamp.   There is absolutely nothing Microsoft on my Macs at all.  It’s wonderful.  The 15″ came with Microsoft Office and I figured I would check it out.  When I loaded Word, it said it wanted to update and I said sure.  The words “Running Microsoft Update” came up on my screen and I freaked, I blew away the HD and installed my purchased Leopard from DVD.  I wanted no remnant of a Microsoft product on my Mac.

So!  Once you go Mac, you never go back.  I think this is the case for anyone that seriously uses a computer for computing and not just web browsing and email.  What do you think?

Snow Leopard Black Screen Fixed?

MacSnowLeopardBoxI ordered Snow Leopard from Amazon.Com and waited patiently for it to arrive.  I read up on some sites about things to watch for when I upgraded, etc., but nothing can prepare you for when you actually go and do it.

I opted to run Carbon Copy Cloner as suggested by one site found by Google to make a complete backup of the hard drive inside my MacBook Pro 17.  I tested by booting from the USB hard drive (hold down ALT at power up) to make sure I could “go back” if I had to by reversing the Carbon Copy Cloner step.

All of the FUD on the Internet was crap.  Everything just worked.  Until …

I had been working on my MacBook Pro 15 and the Snow Leopard blanked out (as my MBP17 normally does after about 20-30 minutes).  Working on another MacBook Pro is a suggested method for passing the time.  Yes, I suggest you have more than one Mac (if you’re cool enough).  As I do sometimes, I swipe my finger across the trackpad to bring back whatever is on the screen.  When I did this, the keyboard illuminated, but nothing shown on the screens (I have a 24″ external).  The screen was black!  I thought maybe the brightness went out of range and pressed the “f2″ key to bring it up.  I see the dialog for the brightness level, but there’s nothing on the screen.  I see the backlight getting brighter, but the screen is black … nothing there.  I try the volume and that shows on the 24” (which is set as the main display).  I Google on the MBP15 and find that people close their cover and open to a working Mac.  After I wake from sleep, moving the mouse I see it as the spinning beach ball that it is.  I hold down the power button to power off the Mac, there is no other choice.

Turn the MacBook Pro 17 on again and I have a working Snow Leopard.  All the things that “they” said didn’t work work for me.  I installed the 10.6.1 update and iTunes 9.  So everything is up to date.  It happens again, same symptoms.  Black screens, can see volume and brightness dialogs when keys are hit, no mouse until after I sleep and wake to spinning beach ball mouse with black screens.

Google searching brings up black screen during the install, and some similar to my problem, but not all the same.  Some blame just on the install blanking and they can see images on their screen with no backlight.  I guess they’re fine after they upgrade cause I see no follow ups.  I see more and more people blaming things having to do with the video or their video card.  Some it’s playing games and some it’s running VLC …  So I decided, mine “hangs” when the computer screen sleeps (that’s SCREEN, my MacBook Pro never sleeps), so I think *screen saver!*

While the computer is running, I click on the Apple, go to System Preferences… into Desktop & Screen Saver.  Immediately, spinning beach ball.  Aha!  I can Force Quit System Preferences until I can get in there and click on the first screen saver I can click on to change it.  What was selected when it hung was a directory “Screen Savers” … I don’t know where it came from – only thing I can think of was a shareware copy of that Aqua Marine fish tank-like screen saver that I never ended up buying.  I’ve been using Flurry forever (and that was my first thought when I thought it might be OpenGL or something, which never worked on my KDE installs on cheap PC hardware) and thought that might have been hanging the computer’s video card or something.

So far so good, I will update if the longer the screen sleep gives different results.  Here’s hoping this helped someone.

Going Mac, one person at a time …

imacSo my brother Tom calls me one night frustrated as heck because he can’t make a copy of a DVD.  A simple thing, pop a DVD into the computer and click “Copy”.  It’s of his performance at a show, and he wants to make copies for himself and the rest of the members of the band.  He’s been trying Windows machines and utilizing Nero.  I think he had purchased a copy of Nero, but it wasn’t cooperating.  He then tried using a trial version from their web site that would be fully functional, just slow (write @ 1X or something).  It may be that he purchased Nero, and that was on his old PC which was in storage and he thought he might go get that to get the job done.  Regardless, no matter how far he got, the copy was not happening.

I told him to stop over, and I would make the copy no problem.  I have a Macbook Pro and a Windows PC where I was, so no matter what, we’d make a copy.  I ended up using a trial version of Toast I got with Cubase 5.  But even so, I would have tried the FREE Mac software Burn if Toast hadn’t stepped up.  It was a click, “Copy” and it asked how many copies you wanted.

While we waited for the process to complete, Tom reiterated his DVD copying experience and frustrations.  He was to the point where he was going to go out and buy a new computer to make this work!  He thought maybe his PC was too old for such a task as copying a DVD.  I said, “If you’re going to buy a new computer, you should buy a Mac.”  I think that was Monday, August 17th.  I saw Tom a week later, Monday, August 24th and he told me he bought an iMac.  He was going back to the store to have a one on one session with someone who knows Logic.  I told him Cubase 5 or Digital Performer 6 were good choices as well … and you can always play with GarageBand.

I hardly ever touch a Microsoft Windows machine anymore unless I have to.  All my servers are FreeBSD and the Mac software (OS X) is FreeBSD based.  The interface is so much more intuitive and I venture to say “cleaner” …  It’s much more of a pleasure to develop web sites and programs on and mix music as well … Come on Windows people, once you go Mac, you never go back!  Or so they say … but who are “they” actually?  Probably a bunch of satisfied Mac users! =)

Offline Rails API layout using RDoc’s RDOCOPT

UPDATE March 29, 2009: This was all solved using:

template="jamis" rake doc:rails

Found on the blog by JamisBuck is the RDoc layout used online at Simply acquire the file jamis.rb (posted here if you can’t find it elsewhere) and you’re covered with your Ruby Rdoc utilizing the instructions to append --template=jamis

But what about Rails? rake doc:rails doesn’t like the --template=jamis argument.

RDOCOPT="-S -f html -T jamis" — Then run  rake doc:rails and your offline local API copy will look just like the online version.

Sure there may be other ways of accomplishing this, but this got the job done and will get the job done next time I want to build the latest Rails API. If you’re interested in a more permanent solution, look at setting up variables in your .gemrc file.