Tuesday Nov 27, 2007

How to get experimental rw ZFS support AFTER upgrading to 10.5.1

The alternate title of this entry is "Force install of ZFS Beta Seed v1.1 on Leopard"


This is performed at your own risk. The steps described remove any logical restriction for installation of the package.


There is more than one way to implement this particular hack. This method uses the package installer (a cleaner more friendly hack than manually copying files). Other recommendations included installing 10.5 on a different partition and subsequently installing the patch and copying the package files.

A simple alternative left to the reader would be extract the files from the package Payload an manually copy the files into place (cat /tmp/ZFSseed1/ZFSBetaSeed1.pkg/Payload | pax -z -r -v).


On to the actual Implementation:

Download the dmg from developer.apple.com


Mount the DMG:

open ~/Desktop/Inbox/leopard_9a559_zfsbetaseed1_0613523123.dmg

Expand the package:

pkgutil --expand /Volumes/ZFS\\ 1/ZFSBetaSeed1.pkg /tmp/ZFSseed1

Edit the Distribution file and comment out the line that actually checks the requirements (and "causes" the failure):

vi /tmp/ZFSseed1/Distribution
// <volume-check script='volumeCheck()'/>

<!-- <volume-check script='volumeCheck()'/> -->

Flatten the edited expanded package directory back into package format:

pkgutil --flatten /tmp/ZFSseed1 /tmp/ZFSrw.pkg

Open the package installer:

open /tmp/ZFSrw.pkg

Install the package and reboot.

Again this is performed at your own risk. The steps described remove any logical restriction for installation of the package and may cause you system to explode or you cat to catch fire.


ZFS Beta Seed v1.1 will not install on Leopard (10.5.1)

Edit: I guess I should mention that it does actually appear to work :) Next I'm going to try and switch access between Leopard and Solaris under Parallels

Edit1:  Changed comment marks from // to <!-- -->; // works if you are commenting in the embedded script part not the XML part. Thanks to Colin Seymor for catching that.

Wednesday Nov 21, 2007

OS X Leopard, Tiger X11 and SGD (How I downgraded to Tiger's X11 and got SGD working again)

We use SGD to provide access to few applications. After installing Leopard I could focus and click with a mouse but all keyboard input was ignored for SGD applications.

Searching online I found some indications that X11 in Leopard has some application interaction issues. The solution presented in a number of different forums for various applications was to downgrade to Tigers X11.app. I tried methods from a couple of posts and didn't have success. Instead I mixed and matched the steps from a couple of suggestions and found a solution that worked for me.

I have not tried to recover from this change, You can PROBABLY re-install X from the leopard DVD.

When this is complete you will probably have two X icons in the Dock when X11.app is running.

The steps can be summarized as:

  1. Download X11 Update 2006 1.1.3: "http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/x11update2006113.html"
  2. Destroy your current X11 installation
  3. Install X11 update 2006
  4. Change the path to your window manager in xinitrc
  5. reboot

wget 'http://wsidecar.apple.com/cgi-bin/nph-reg3rdpty2.pl/product=12045&cat=60&platform=osx&method=sa/X11Update2006.dmg'
open X11Update2006.dmg
sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/org.x.X11.plist
sudo rm -R /usr/X11R6
sudo ditto -Vx --noqtn /Volumes/X11\\ Update\\ 2006/X11Update2006.pkg/Contents/Archive.pax.gz /
sudo perl -i -p -e 's:exec quartz-wm:exec /usr/X11R6/bin/quartz-wm:g'

The instructions I found online indicate that a log out/log in should do it. I found that it didn't seem to start working until after I rebooted.

The instructions I based the above steps on:
Bring Back Tiger's X11 to Leopard in 3 Steps
easier instructions to install Tiger's X11.app

Wednesday Nov 30, 2005

Aperture (almost)

Am I on the bandwagon or am I out in front about to get run over?

I got a shipping notification from apple...only after I had already seen the ups, "you need to sign for this" note on the door.

If they had sent it three hours earlier, I would have come home early to receive it.

Capture ONE LE, did almost everything I think I want but not all at the same time


Capture ONE PRO, better but I had some trouble trying to get it to do what I wanted even though it should be supported. (multiple sessions, multiple settings at once on an image)


Aperture, looks like it does basically everything I want and more, hopefully it isn't too slow on my not quite supported powerbook

$499 ( $249 go student discount)

The price is right, Aperture wins even thought I am drinking the apple kool-aide buying a product that I have only ever seen in demo videos probably running on the biggest baddest fastest quad G5s with 16GB of RAM and an X-serve RAID array behind it.

Wednesday Nov 16, 2005

File editing with IM

Chatting over IM with a coworker about editing some perl format configuration files.

Emoticon translations really lower the efficiency of this process.

$foo::Debug != $foo:[Big Grin]ebug

especially when copy/paste ignores the emoticon

Tuesday May 24, 2005


The Dashboard widget blogger is neat, but I think it is missing some of the features I would want like drafts. The interface is also overly large and not resizeable.

Wednesday Apr 20, 2005

New Battery -- Excelent Life!

For the first time in about 6-9 months my laptop has warned me about running on reserve power! Before I replaced the battery at almost exactly 1 hour of predicted life my laptop would sleep. Now I have had about 2.75 hours of wireless operations streaming audio running at highest performnace and constant 'find /'s to burn power. I expect my laptop to sleep any second now, with an estimated 4 minutes of power left, but the estimated time appears to be dropping about 1 min for every 90s or so of operation. It's like christmas, and I have a new toy. Now I am running at %0 power and no estimate of time just "Calculating". Damn, and there goes the recycling collection and I didn't take it out. Saving quite often now just in case I shutdown instead of sleep. Went to sleep at just over 3 hours, I am happy.

Tuesday Apr 19, 2005

New Laptop Battery

Received a new battery for my Ti Book today. So far, it is charged. I am supposed to wait 12 hours before going off line power then run it down until my laptop suspends. (This to try and calibrate the microprocessor in the battery) That part isn't a problem. What concerns me is that as with the old battery the charge went to ~75-80% and then jumped to 100% charged. The reverse was also happening with the old battery only it was jumping from ~35-40% to 0% Hopefully this will not be the case with the new battery. Although 2.5 years and still over an hour of full power use isn't too bad. We will see. If I continue to see strange behavior I will go for a PMU reset. Then off to the genius bar if I can show the problem with more than one battery maybe I will get somewhere without having to let them have my laptop for testing for a minimum of three days. Repair is one thing, but testing where I know that what they said they will do is watch it charge and discharge a number of times is just silly. Particularly when I can show logs of the charge discharge cycle.

Sunday Feb 06, 2005

PowerBook as a serial console

A question about using a powerbook as a serial console was forwarded around recently. I thought I would share my solution(which happened to be suggested by more than one person).


I have been using a "Keyspan High Speed USB Serial Adapter":http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/usa19hs/ a db9 -> RJ45 adapter, a rollover cable and ckermit
This solution has worked without a hitch for devices with RJ45 serial management ports. Adding a additional RJ45 to DB9 and RJ45 to DB25 rounds out the connectors for basically everything else.


Another recommendation from someone using the same hardware is Zterm.

And now off to sleep.

Firefox/Thunderbird and CodeTek Virtual Desktop

CodeTek makes a fabulous product called Virtual Desktop.

Virtual Desktops should be familiar to anyone who is/has used an X window manager.

Effectively virtual desktops allow you to ararbitrarily aggregate windows to reduce window clutter.

e.g. I have desktops for Mail, Browsers, Office Applications, Photo Manipulation, Local and Remote terminal windows, and Code Development.

All of which are acaccessibleia hot keys and all of which have the appropriate windows directed to them when new windows are created.

I have recently found an interaction bug with Virtual Desktop and Firefox/Thunderbird. Fortuneatly I have also found a work around.
The problem presents as Firefox/Thunderbird (F/T) occasionally not accepting input from the keyboard, although they do respond to mouse events.

The workaround:

If F/T are not responding to keyboard input, switch to a different desktop and back. This has fixed the issue every time, since I have started using it.




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