Category Archives: Uncategorized

US standard of living

On several occasions, I have glibly referred to how it now takes two spouses working to equal the wages of a one-income family of 40 years ago. Unfortunately, that is now an understatement. In fact, Western wages have plummeted so low that a two-income family is now (on average) 15% poorer than a one-income family of 40 years ago.

Links April 2012

SUV vs minivan – is bigger safer?

Here is part of the reason we have newer cars now:

I find that just fascinating – the newer car was so much stronger it didn’t even have to fire its airbags in a 35mph collision. The occupants of the 2010 model walked away from a crash that would have killed the driver of the 2000 model.


And of course we have the classic new v old crash test, a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu versus a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air.


I mean yeah, the steel bumper in your old ass car may be able to hit things in parking lots without getting so much as a scratch, but damned if that old car won’t royally mess you up in a crash!

Worth reading

All are good, I like number five the best:

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Lion Server update failure

Ran the 10.7.3 server combo update.  Come to find out it failed to properly handle network openldap info.  I see in the log files where it failed to move files from the tmp install directory.  On login I’d see the red dot and “network accounts are unavailable”.  I could still login with the local admin account.  In Server Admin Open Directory was not running and could not be started.

This server is not bound to AD, fsck turned up a clean filesystem, and I re-ran the combo update in case it was able to succeed where it had failed before.  I also repaired permissions.  In Console PasswordService was reporting “Unable to locate search base: -1” and “Can’t contact LDAP server”

The fix was to use a Time Machine backup to restore the /var/db/openldap folder.  I had to select “keep both” and then head in via single user mode.  If you’re a novice who got screwed here:

hold down command and S on boot.

fsck -fy

mount -uw /

cd /var/db

mv openldap openldap-corrupted

mv openldap\ [press tab and it will fill in the spaces appropriately for (original)] openldap


It is important the second to last command look something like mv openldap\ \(original\) openldap  I can’t remember the exact \ usage, that’s why you’re using tab autocomplete, but also remember the second openldap, which is what you’re renaming it to.

After rebooting all services were up and running again, including mail/calendar/contacts/etc.

Unsubtle geekery: CalDAV and Lightning

Recently I was trying to migrate from a Google Calendar and iCal/Sunbird to a Kerio Connect CalDAV server with multiple calendars and iCal / (Thunderbird & Lightning.) I ran into a bug that has existed for 7 years and 5 days, as of today.

Apparently the CalDAV specification outlines essentially a per-domain authentication instead of per-user. So when you add multiple calendars to Lightning all calendars from the same domain use the same login as the first time it was entered. The second (and 3rd, 4th, etc) calendars will fail to load because Lightning is providing only the password for all calendars, including user2, user3, etc.

The solution is to step outside of Lightning and configure delegation so the user1 has access to the calendars of user2, user3, and so on. I used iCal to add each account and then added the two primary users to all 5 of the calendars available. Write access must be granted, otherwise as of Lightning 1.0b2 it will fail.

Side note, I’m not entirely sure it’s necessary but in order to lookup users to delegate to at least according to the manual, in Kerio Connect 7.2 you must use the auto setup utility (for the main account. and possibly for Address Book as well?) I could be wrong on that but I think I remember trying under the manual config and the auto-complete did not work.

After configuring delegation in iCal add the primary user first and then all of the other accounts – it will now work as it should have in the first place. Hope this helps some random internet searcher! (I’ll never know since spammers essentially made me turn off all user registration.)

Kerio CalDAV and CardDAV setup tips

This is a quick reference guide to configuring Kerio Connect 7.2 with a 10.6.7 machine + an iPhone.

CalDAV for iCal 4.0.4:

CalDAV for Lightning 1.0b2:

CardDAV for Address Book
username user(
Yes the server is in parentheses.

server address
Check the port in your admin page.

Configuring CardDAV within the iPhone will not work. You must use the iPhone Configuration Utility. If you’re savvy enough to have configured your own services so far this utility is a breeze to use. Fire it up, go to Configuration Profiles and fill out the General and CardDAV sections. In case you’re pulling from two different servers or with two (or more) different usernames, it’s easy to add multiple sets of settings. After you’re done, connect your phone and click the install button.

I am kind of stunned at how well this is working compared to all other Calendar and Contact syncing apps I’ve used. I used to have to wait for Google Calendar to finish writing (over the network) on my phone or I’d lose data, and every form of contact syncing other than the paid mobileme service has lost contact data including phone numbers, custom labels, etc. Syncing via iTunes with Google Contacts periodically duplicates some contacts. Syncing contacts using exchange is a nightmare, it dumps all custom labels and all but ~3 of the phone numbers per contact.

This solution not only maintains my contact entries perfectly but also syncs over the air. When inputting calendar data on my phone – which I do constantly – I don’t have to wait for network operations to finish, I just put in the data and sleep it. On top of all this I synced the contact data to my phone and after verifying it’s accuracy deleted the old information, expecting to have to reconfigure favorites. I didn’t. The transition is seamless. I can’t guarantee that for everyone, so make your backups first!

Camera raw

I can’t see how I ever lived without raw’s killer white balance capabilities. That and the extra exposure control has had a dramatic impact on my photos.

At one point I was pretty into least-adjustments-possible photography, but after going through the raw vs jpeg debate one more time I realized adjusting photos is part of the craft. Nothing you see is the “true” photo anyway, it’s all just a bunch of 1s and 0s. Either the camera interprets the data and makes permanent decisions in the form of a jpeg, or you make reversible decisions later on.