Retrospect 8.2

If you’re unlucky enough to be using Retrospect 8.2 in OS X and run into “This disk is already a member of this media set” even though it is clearly not (freshly formatted, not listed in the members section of a backup media set, different names, etc,) I had some success reformatting the volume using Apple Partition Map instead of GUID.

Lion Server tips

Recently setup Lion Server and it’s very different from previous OS X Server incarnations.  Mostly things went well, some things went amazingly well, but of course there were a couple stupid hiccups too.

The main one that gets me is that I turned on a number of services and always enabled SSL, using a self signed certificate because in this case I’m only providing service to a couple people where it’s trivial to accept the cert permanently.  When trying to access iCal Server either via the web or iCal itself I received varying messages.

From iCal on a Snow Leopard client I got “Then account information was not found. The server has not specified a calendar home for the account at [blah blah blah].”  Via a web connection I got “Calendar service is turned off” when it was clearly turned on (and rebooted, etc.)

The fix is to use the Server application, go to Hardware, then Settings.  Click Edit next to SSL Certificate.  Even though I had never edited this setting before, by default both Mail and Web had my self-signed cert selected and iChat, iCal, and Address Book did not.  After selecting the certificate I was able to access all services normally.

I do not know why Lion Server had those boxes unselected.  In future 10.7 server setups I will be interested to see whether this was a recurring issue or a one-time failure.

Lion Server feels unfinished.  I very much agree with “macshome” take on  They are trying to make a server OS iOS-simple and in many ways they’ve succeeded.  However there has to be all those settings accessible somewhere.  I hate that Server Admin Tools do not come on the server by default – what were they thinking?  Further, the lack of MySQL and relegation of so many functions to the command line borders on silly.  If I wanted command line I’d be running CentOS or debian or RHEL.  You know, sources with good package management, backports of security patches, and the knowledge Apple won’t unceremoniously overwrite your configs out of the blue.

It’s a love/hate relationship, what can I say?

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.

Recycling Peanuts

Just dropped off two huge garbage bags of packing peanuts at a local ups store. A couple of customers were just wrapping up as I handed the bags over to the employee, she said: “Peanuts for Recycling?” I said “Yup.” The female customer asked “are you going to throw those away?”

I just… wow. First off, why would anyone bring two huge bags in to a store just to trash them (and wouldn’t the store charge me then?) and secondly, we had just verbally confirmed they were going to be reused/recycled.

Ah well. Guess we all have our moments.

Just found out: we’re having a baby girl!

I never thought of the ultrasound as being what it actually is. As we went into the appointment I was thinking “woot! We get to find out the sex and see actual features, versus the 21mm peanut-sized first ultrasound.” Of course the medical reason is to make sure everything is there and healthy.

So they go around and document everything with pictures and measurements. In fact we have to go back because out of all 30-50 measurements our daughter (still weird to type that!) wasn’t in a good position for an accurate cerebral measurement.

The entire time I’m desperately trying to make out more than the basics on the monitor… trying so hard I’m somehow suppressing my breathing and blinking (obviously, to a degree.) I tell ya, the expert skill of the person (nurse, doctor, idk?) getting the scans was blindingly clear. About the only time I was 100% sure of what I was seeing over those 45+ minutes was when we were looking at the spinal cord, the head, or the heart.

Was hoping to post pictures and possibly a video but the angles just aren’t that great. So while we found out the sex in about 3 seconds we never did get a great shot of the face. Also was surprised they used 2D ultrasound for almost everything, seemed like 3D was almost just an extra, although we did end up trying it too.

I asked if this was average or on the harder side and pretty much got a scowl from the otherwise very friendly pro. Think we just got a tad unlucky, our daughter was comfortable and wasn’t gonna move, and that was that.

Now, to decide on a name!

ABS braking

This is the perfect time of year to test your antilock braking system. Wet all the time and packed leaves can be nearly as bad as snow (not ice; and yes that’s an opinion and not something I’ve researched) Test ’em before you need them!!

Just find an empty area, preferably one with nothing whatsoever in it, get up to about 25mph and slam on the brakes. When I’d read about ABS I heard it was kind of a gentle clicking. Which is crap. In my car it feels like an odd conglomeration of rapid popping and harsh grinding, the pedal even moves side to side a tiny bit. The effect is a damned quick stop in a straight line.

As long as you check your interior for objects that may fly around and truly are in a huge vacant space, I cannot imagine anything bad happening. Personally, I’ve picked opportune moments for seeing how ABS works in a variety of conditions, but I understand if that’s beyond most people’s comfort zones.

Chances are if you’re reading this you mean something to me, so please make time to try this out.

blind spots

Can’t believe I’ve been driving for over a decade and never knew how to properly set my mirrors. Here is the gist of it:

To adjust your mirrors properly, put your head against the left side door glass, then adjust your left mirror OUT until you just barely can (or barely can not) see the side of your car. THEN, move your head to the center of your car and adjust your right mirror out until you can barely (or barely can not) see the side of your car. The goal is to set it up so that once a car leaves your REAR view mirror, it appears in your SIDE view mirror – and once it leaves your SIDE view mirror, it appears in your side window/peripheral vision. Unfortunately, some American cars don’t let you adjust the mirrors out far enough to completely accomplish this. I recommend experimenting in a parking lot until you get the ideal angle.

CarTalk covered this a while ago and it’s worth sharing (their page has graphics available in the downloadable PDF.) Might as well get used to using the mirrors correctly now, before I’m an old fart and can’t easily look over my shoulder.

A place for random thoughts.