Strange things running on my Mac

My iMac screen is dark and isn’t lighting up like I expect it to when I tap the keyboard. I can, however, SSH into it and see what it’s doing when not responding to me.

I found GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent running, this FAQ item vaguely tells me it’s part of Chrome, and that if I try to uninstall it without also uninstalling Chrome it will simply “be reinstalled after a few hours.”

Two instances of PTPCamera are running. This may be related to Picture Transfer Protocol used in some cameras and has caused more than a few people to ask why it’s running. is using a lot of CPU (100% of one of the cores). Googling for it reveals other people inspecting their systems while the screen refuses to awaken. I’m guessing it’s related to, um, iCloud and syncing, but the interwebs don’t say much more about it and killing it didn’t fix the problem.

Coda Feature Wishlist

I’d long been a user of BareBones’ BBEdit, a product that’s served me well for a number of years. But upgrading from version 8.5 to 9 is a paid deal, and after spending 15 days with the demo of BBEdit 9, I decided I wanted to look around a little bit. My friend Matt switched […] » about 600 words

Looking Back At Mac Hardware Performance

I recently replaced the Mac Mini I use to host my web development with a PowerMac G4. (Story: the Mini was mine, a personal purchase I made to support my work on Scriblio and other WordPress-related projects, but recent changes in our network and firewall policy made the machine inaccessible from off-campus without using the […] » about 200 words

Play FLV in QuickTime Player Using Perian

Perian: “The swiss-army knife of QuickTime components”

  • File formats: AVI, DIVX, FLV, MKV, GVI, VP6, and VFW
  • Video types: MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivx, H.264, Sorenson H.263, FLV/Sorenson Spark, FSV1, VP6, H263i, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Snow, NuppelVideo, Techsmith Screen Capture, DosBox Capture

The LGPLlicensed QuickTime plugin installs easily on Mac OS X 10.5 and does what it promises. FLV videos (such as those you’d sneakily download from YouTube) open just like any other QuickTime vid, and you can easily export them to other types.

Forget Time Capsule, I want a Space Ship

Apple’s Time Capsule is great. Seriously. When has backup been easier? But I need more. The MacBook Air‘s small storage highlights a problem I’ve been suffering for some time: there’s never enough storage. The slower processor and limited RAM expansion are sufferable, but storage isn’t. The 120GB drive in my MacBook Pro now is stuffed […] » about 500 words

Apache, MySQL, and PHP on MacOS X

p0ps Harlow tweeted something about trying to get an AMP environment running on his Mac. Conversation followed, and eventually I sent along an email that look sorta like this: If you’re running 10.4 (I doubt it, but it’s worth mentioning because I’m most familiar with it), here’s how I’ve setup dozens of machines for web […] » about 300 words

Screencasting On Mac

I’m as annoyed as the next guy about how hard it is to find a decent screencast app for Mac. The forthcoming Mac OS 10.5’s new iChat Theater (and the built-in screen sharing/control features) should create some new opportunities for developers, but right now it’s hard to know what works or is worth trying.

Further, I narrowed the field with the following requirement: I need an app that records to QuickTime-compatible files, not Flash. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Extra: this how-to pointed out OmniDazzle and Mouseposé as tools to help draw users’ focus during both live or recorded demos.

Mac + Cell Phone + Bluetooth + SMS

Old instructions that connect the Mac OS X Address Book app to a phone via Bluetooth from O’Reilly and SillyDog. Once paired, the Address Book can initiate dialing, notify the user of incoming calls, and send SMS texts.

Bluetooth Texter SMS Widget, message2net, and BluePhoneElite all offer further tools to interact with your Bluetooth-connected mobile phone. The list of compatible phones (BPE & m2n) offers some leads for those trying to make the connection.

Finally, Simon Winter offers some tips on interacting with SMS via AppleScript.

My Personal Crisis of Digital Preservation

For a long time I was a big fan of Dantz Retrospect Backup. For while I was so committed that I would do an incremental backup of my laptop and most every other computer in my house every day, but I’ve been using it one way or another since 1999 or 2000 or so. All […] » about 300 words

Apache 2.2.x on Mac OS X

I’m lazy, that’s all I can say to explain why I hadn’t put any serious thought into upgrading from the 1.3.x version of Apache that ships with Mac OS X to the much more feature rich 2.0.x or 2.2.x. But today I found reason enough to switch my development to 2.2.3, and I went looking to the community for information about the switch.

A post in Marc Liyanage’s forums made it clear how easy config/compile was. Minutes later I was up and running and fiddling with the new features.

NewerTech FireWire 2 Go PCMCIA/CardBus Card Target Disk Mode?

All my searching seems to confirm my hazy memory that my olf NewerTech FireWire 2 Go card does indeed support target disk mode, but the old “hold T while booting” trick doesn’t seem to be working. Another shady part of my memory is that the key command was different, but what is it? Either Google is failing me, or it really isn’t online anywhere. Help?

Enabling .htaccess On Mac OS X

I do a lot of web development on my laptop. I’ve got Apache and PHP there, so it’s really convenient, but I usually move projects off to other server before I get around to wanting to mess with mod_rewrite. Not so, recently, but I ran into a big stumbling block when I discovered OS X’s […] » about 200 words

Apple Releases Multi-Button Mouse

Apple this morning released the Mighty Mouse ($49 at the Apple Store). With a scrollball, left and right click, and side buttons, it’s a big departure from Apple’s old opposition to multi-button mice. Apple didn’t invent the mouse, but they were probably the first to put mice through usability testing. One, two, and three button […] » about 200 words

The Big Switch

Other than a bit of head scratching after the announcement in June, I’ve been quiet about Apple’s switch to Intel processors. Now, ArsTechnica‘s Jon “Hannibal” Stokes has written some of the most intelligent material I’ve seen since. How’s it work? Hannibal thinks Apple’s relationship with IBM soured to the point where they refused to play […] » about 100 words