Tag Archives: Apple

Avoid losing old Time Machine backups

Every now and then you get a problem with OS X’s Time Machine function. When that happens the system asks you to start a new backup which results in you losing all previous backups.

It hasn’t happened to me for more than two years or so and even if it does usually I have something in place so that I don’t lose my backups: My NAS backs up to another NAS that can take snapshots, so usually I’d be able to rollback to a previous snapshot of the Time Machine.

Unfortunately, when this happened to me recently I had just deleted the previous snapshots because I was running out of space and didn’t want to buy another hard disk – so I couldn’t roll back to a previous snapshot.

Well, for now I have just created a new Time Machine share, meaning that if I need to go back I can access the old Time Machine in the previous share.

PS: When I had an Apple Time Capsule this problem occurred every few months. With y Synology NAS it only seems to happen every few years.



Downloading a merging a .ts stream in OS X

Another brain dump to help me remember if I need to do this again.

Install wget

Install and make wget, information taken and updated from another blog.

curl -O http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/wget/wget-1.18.tar.gz

tar -xzf wget-1.18.tar.gz

cd wget-1.18

./configure --with-ssl=openssl


sudo make install

cd .. && rm -rf wget*

Download video

Find file location in Safari’s Page Resources, then use with wget

wget -r http://filelocation/filename_{1..999}.ts

Merge files

cat filename_?.ts filename_??.ts filename_???.ts > all.ts



Another command I want to write down, like dot_clean, so that I remember the details:
diff – Compare files line by line.
Usage: diff [OPTION]… FILES
FILES are `FILE1 FILE2′ or `DIR1 DIR2′ or `DIR FILE…’ or `FILE… DIR’.

diff -rq folder1 folder2

e.g. -r (rekursive) and -q (brief output)

diff -rq /Users/memm/Backup/Documents/ /Volumes/Documents/


I keep forgetting this command – I just don’t use it often enough, so I thought I write it down to make it easier to find. I need it when I copy mp3 files to a SD card for the car.

The command to delete hidden system files in OS X is:

dot_clean folder/

Just to spell it out, you can see all files (including hidden ones) using:

ls -a

Podcast order on an iPod Shuffle

New Mac

Not long ago I started using a new Mac. I didn’t want to move my old account over and liked the idea of starting again from scratch, which means that my settings got lost in the move.

Podcasts on the iPod Shuffle in the wrong order

When I started syncing my iPod Shuffle (4th gen) with iTunes on my new Mac I noticed that Podcasts play in the wrong order. I want them to play ‘oldest to newest’. Quite annoying when I listen to podcasts when I cycle to work, when fiddling with the buttons is inconvenient.

I remember having had the same problem in the past, but didn’t remember how to solve it – so this time I’m writing it down in case I need this information again.

What didn’t work

I remember that I somehow had to change the order the podcasts are being displayed in iTunes to fix the problem.

Choosing Play: Oldest to Newest in the Podcast settings didn’t fix the problems.

Changing the way the podcasts are being shown to Sort Order: Oldest on Top didn’t help either.

Doing the above, then removing the podcasts from the iPod Shuffle and adding them again didn’t solve the problem either.

What fixed it

In the end I fixed it by changing the podcast display to Episode List.

iTunes Podcast Episode List

I then sorted the podcasts by Release Date (oldest to newest).iTunes Podcast Release Date

Next problem, which I had for year: Sometimes iTunes will replace the VoiceOver for a Podcast with the generic VoiceOver “Podcast 1”, “Podcast 2”, etc…

Does anyone know how to fix this? Comments welcome.

MacBook Air 2014

After starting life as a place where I write down Raspberry Pi settings or discoveries this blog seems to become a dump for my general computer thoughts, at least at the moment.

The new MacBook Air

A few days ago I ordered a new MacBook Air, the 2014 version. I bought the 2010 version, that was the first one with a SSD, when it was new – and I’ve been very happy with it. The battery info only showed a few charging cycles >100 (rated: 1000), so it seems as if there’s still a lot of life left in this laptop.

What’s better

…but with Apple’s tempting offer, a voucher on top of the education discount, I coulnd’t resist. Other reasons to get the latest version were the specs when compared to the  2010 model:

  • twice the hard disk space (I was always very careful with the space available, so didn’t run into too many problems yet)
  • ~3x as fast (the 2010 version felt a bit slow after the Mavericks update)

On top of that the new version also has

  • twice the RAM
  • ~3x the battery life

…but these last two factors didn’t seem that important to me.


What’s worse

There wasn’t really much time yet, but there are a few things I noticed – where the new version is worse than the old version – at least in my mind. Others might have different priorities and might not mind at all.

  • The keys feel much cheaper. My guess is that this is caused by the different, more plasticy noise they make, not as ‘low’ as the noise from the old keyboard. This might be caused by the fact that the keys are not backlit, which might mean that they’re more ‘hollow’.
  • The new MagSafe power connector is more bulky. The old one could just be used with some particularly chunky USB adapters plugged in next to it. This is not possible with the new connector. It doesn’t matter though for normal USB cables plugged in next to it.
  • The corner of the bottom half seems much less rounded off. This means it’s much less comfortable to rest your hands on the corners of the laptop – in fact it seems quite uncomfortable to me.
  • If you want to use the F5 button you’ve got to use the Fn key now to get to it.

On a positive note: the # key is marked on the keyboard now. Becasue I switch between different language versions and systems of keyboards I tend to forget where some of the special characters are, so I had to mark the key for # with a pen on my old laptop.

Apple Reinstall Drive

The new MacBook Air doesn’t come with a Reinstall Drive any more. It probably makes sense, as most users upgrade to the latest version of OS X anyway. I’m not sure whether the new MacBook Air has a reinstall partition. My old one didn’t, so I reinstalled it from the web, using “Command R”, and despite my fast internet connection (60Mb/s) it took quite a while. The Reinstall Drive looks so good, it’s a shame that as far as I know Apple didn’t sell USB sticks with this design.