Concerns with Squeeze (and a fix)
EDIT: I found that Squeeze wasn’t the root cause of my problems. If you want to try Squeeze, I think you can do it safely. However, I’ll leave the instructions below for how to “uninstall” Squeeze.
So after Saturday’s install of Squeeze, I’ve had some issues with my Mac. Here are the issues I’ve observed so far:
- Random hard OS X crashes
- CrashPlan engine crashing
- Spotlight indexing never completes
Of course, I can’t say that Squeeze caused all of these issues, but I think that it’s not worth the risk to save 600MB on a 500GB hard drive. If anything, I’m going to say that Spotlight issues were the root cause of the CrashPlan issues, and I have no idea about the OS X crashes. However, I was able to fix it pretty quickly. After removing the directories from the Squeeze interface, just run this command from terminal for each directory you “squeezed”:
mac:~ myhome$ afscexpand Dropbox/
The command will complete after a minute or so (depending on size), and you’ll be left with your files in the original uncompressed state.
Hackintosh is going Bye-Bye
I’ve recently had some flakey behavior with my Hackintosh, and some of that has been traced back to incompatibilities between my Drobo using USB (FW800 is REALLY slow on it for some reason) and the version of OS X I’m running (10.5.7). The best fix would be to do a reinstall and get it back on 10.5.6. Even then, I know that it’ll just be a matter of time before something else pops up.
Luckily I was able to grab a refurbished 1GB 2.0GHz Mac Mini off of the Apple Store for cheap. Even better is the RAM I just took out of my MBP will bring it up to 4GB.
I’m looking forward to having a Mac server that will do everything (Bonjour, Back to my Mac, working video, fast FW800, security updates) and won’t require constant babysitting. Also, this now frees up the Atom hardware from the hackintosh to do my firewall project. It’s a win-win!
I’ll probably do another Hackintosh at some point in the future, but I won’t have it be something that I rely on daily, as it just requires too much care and feeding.
Look for some future posts on using the Mac Mini as a server and setting up pfSense on the Atom hardware.
An End to VM Frustration
Last week I hit a wall of frustration trying to run several VMs and always being at or near 100% memory and the swapping that resulted. Usually just one VM and the typical applications I ran in OS X were enough to bring everything to it’s knees. Well, I decided enough was enough and placed an order for an 8GB kit from Newegg.com. This is the result:
Just testing it out, I launched 2 XP VMs and a Windows 7 VM, along with every app I typically use. I didn’t hit 100%, but I did make it over the 6GB barrier:
Before doing this, I was really torn between a SSD drive and this upgrade. However, this appears to have solved all my woes. I’m sure SSD would be even better, but this is amazing as is.
Would I recommend this upgrade? If you use VMware Fusion heavily on your Mac, and especially if you do demos in VMs with your Mac, I would say with no reservations.
This weeks pick of the week is iEyeNet. iEyeNet is a widget that allows you to see the network interface utilization on any SNMP-capable device. Why would you want this? Simply put, it allows you to see what your Internet bandwidth utilization is at a glance.
If you have DD-WRT, this will work with with very little effort. All you need to do, is go into the “Services” and enable SNMP. The default settings will work just fine, but you may want to change the community strings to something only you know for a little bit extra security.
Once you have SNMP enabled on your router, install iEyeNet and configure it as seen below. If your router is also your gateway IP address, it should enter that for you. If not, set the Router/Gateway address to the IP of your router. Set the SNMP community string to the string you set (or public by default), and then set the interface to monitor to vlan1, which corresponds to the WAN interface of most DD-WRT installs. It may be slightly different depending on the model you’re using (I’m using a WRT54g). If you can’t figure it out from looking at your router configuration, go ahead and try the each of the interfaces until you find the one that appears to match your Internet traffic usage.
Lastly, if your upload and download lines are reversed, you can just check “Flip Up/Down” to correct it.
That’s it for this week’s Mac App of the Week. Be sure to check back next Saturday for the next pick!
While I don’t know if I’d give up Paragon NTFS for this for as it’s so solid, this is a good alternative if you haven’t purchased that and don’t want to mess with NTFS-3G.
First, uninstall NTFS-3G/Paragon if installed.
Open Terminal.app (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal)
Type “diskutil info /Volumes/volume_name” and copy the Volume UUID (bunch of numbers).
Backup /etc/fstab if you have it, shouldn’t be there in a default install.
Type “sudo nano /etc/fstab”.
Type in “UUID=paste_the_uuid_here none ntfs rw” or “LABEL=volume_name none ntfs rw” (if you don’t have UUID for the disk).
Repeat for other NTFS partitions.
Save the file (ctrl-x then y) and restart your system.
This week’s Mac Application pick of the week is SnowChecker. SnowChecker will help you if you’ve recently upgraded to Snow Leopard and haven’t checked all your applications for compatibility, or still delaying your upgrade until you know everything works.
When I ran it, it detected most applications, but it didn’t detect which version of the application I had installed. However, it was still informative enough to be useful. If you’re still curious about which applications you use will be supported under SnowLeopard, you can’t pass this application up.
Be sure to check back every Saturday for the Mac App of the Week!
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