Category Archives: OS X

Apple Digital Media OS X

Random drive spinning with LaCie 2big Quadra

As I’m a geek, I take great pride in my home server – a 2012 Mac Mini. As I was fortunate enough to have built my own house, during the pre-build stage I painstakingly planned out my Cat6 cabling and had everything meet up in a dedicated ‘comms’ area. Over the last couple of years I’ve been gradually adding, tweaking and improving the comms area which now has a 5U cabinet containing the Mac Mini, a Draytek Vigor modem, Apple Airport Extreme base station and a 16 port switch.

The server itself is mainly used for file sharing and as a media server but the Mini’s achilles heel is it’s lack of internal storage. Although I’ve installed two WD Blue 1TB drives, one acts as a mirror of the other so I only have 1TB of storage.

Enter the LaCie 2big Quadra with it’s two 3TB drives arranged as a RAID 1 array. read more »

Apple OS X

Serious Workstation

I’ve recently been putting the finishing touches to my home work station. As my working week is split between an office in Norwich and my ‘Den’ at home, my work station needs to be flexible enough to allow me to move between these locations quickly, easily and effectively. A laptop is central to this as, by default, it allows me to take my files, my work and my life with me. I’ve used Apple laptops for over a decade now and currently use a late 2011 15″ MacBook Pro with a quad core 2.4ghz i7 processor. Initially, I was pretty disappointed with this machine. It came with OS X 10.7 ‘Lion’ installed but this was quickly upgraded to 10.8 ‘Mountain Lion’ which, at the time had just been released. Mountain Lion seemed to chug along painfully slowly and made the experience of using the MacBook feel a bit like a £1400 downgrade! read more »


File Extensions

Is it just me or does Apple’s iWork apps play silly beggars with file extensions? Whenever you save a document in Pages, Keynote or Numbers, the ‘Save’ dialog box features a checkbox that allows you to ‘Hide extension’. Self explanatory and typical enough of Apple’s usual easy-to-use, easy-to-understand approach. However, this option seems to be an absolute law unto itself. I never check this box as it’s always been my preference to leave extensions switched on so that you can instantly see what type of file you are looking at. However, with the iWork apps file extensions seem to disappear even when you leave this option unchecked. It’s (seemingly) totally random too (believe me I’ve tried lots of tests) and I haven’t been able to find any information about it on Apple’s support forums.

Irritating at this is, it’s still preferable to Window’s nightmarish handling of file extensions with the display options squirreled away amongst a myriad of other ambiguous settings. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the comparison below!

Apple OS X Wordpress

Setting up a WordPress 3 Network (nee Multisite) on MAMP

I happened upon an interesting problem today whilst setting up WordPress 3.3.2 on MAMP. Essentially WordPress plays nicely with MAMP so long as you don’t want to switch on the Network feature that has been rolled in to the WordPress core since version 3.0 (it was previously available as WordPress MU (Multi User).

The problem is a result of WordPress Network’s inability to handle a host name with a specified port number. By default, MAMP uses port 8888 and 8889 for Apache and MySQL respectively, resulting in the host name http://localhost:8888 which WordPress Network won’t accept (the setup discussed here fails when using a host name that has a port number appended to it). However, with a few simple config changes to MAMP and and some very minor tinkering on the command line, you can overcome this problem.

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