Monday, March 31, 2008

Adventure in Maxtor OneTouch III Disassembly

My Time Machine drive is a Maxtor OneTouch III connected to my iMac via FireWire 800. Everything is working swimmingly, until recently, when it began to make a grinding noise. Yikes!

Actually, it's happened before. When the grinding starts, if I stop Time Machine, eject/unmount the drive, and re-mount it using Disk Utility, the sound goes away. But, it's been happening more often. So when it happened again today, I decided that I needed to do something about it.

I Googled around for disassembly instructions. The best I came up with are here. The instructions are for a different model altogether, but close enough. Being hardware-challenged, I broke a few plastic tabs along the way, but I managed.

At first I feared the worst, that the drive mechanism bit the dust. After I took the drive apart, I realized the noise was coming from the fan. The drive itself makes a quiet whisper. Whew. Then I thought perhaps the fan's bearings have gone bad. Wrong again. Turns out the screws fastening the fan to the housing are a bit loose. After re-fastening the screws, the fan quieted down.

Not sure how long this will last. Perhaps I should look into buying a Time Capsule?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Time Machine Bug

My Leopard installation seemingly choked sometime in December after a software upgrade. Apparently, as a co-worker informed me later, the "fix" was to boot into safe mode, and then reboot again normally. Since I didn't know better at the time, I decided to perform a restore from Time Machine.

Afterwards, I began noticing certain weirdness that would crop up every once in a while with postfix. It happened again just now, where postfix was complaining really loudly into system.log the following message:

postfix/master[4751]: fatal: open lock file pid/ cannot create file exclusively: No such file or directory

Doing a man master told me that it is expecting the /var/spool/postfix/pid directory to exist. After I created it manually via sudo, I thought all would be well, until I saw that the error messages changed to this:

postfix/master[5266]: fatal: fifo_listen: create fifo public/pickup: No such file or directory

This time, trolling around Google turned up this tip by Felix Geisendörfer on how to re-create files and directories not backed up by Time Machine.

After running sudo /etc/postfix/post-install create-missing, all is well.

Thanks, Felix!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Which Rails IDE?

Well, things have been interesting on the Rails IDE front for me.

I made a trip from Aptana to vim to Xcode to Aptana. Then, I landed in NetBeans. NetBeans is pretty cool, and it has a smaller footprint than Aptana.

Now that RadRails 1.0 has been released, I am now back in Aptana. What I missed about Aptana is fuller support for Subversion (via the Subclipse plug-in) and the CSS editor.

I have also been doing some Prototype/Scriptaculous stuff while I was in NetBeans. I get the feeling Aptana is better for JavaScript editing. Now that I am back in Aptana, I am about to find out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Themed Leopard Terminal Scripts

I've updated Ruby scripts for Leopard's Terminal such that you can now optionally specify a setting (or theme) for the new tabs and windows created via a "-s" command-line option.

You can download the new scripts here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Updated Ruby Scripts for Leopard's Terminal

I now have two scripts I find useful when working within Leopard's Terminal. One is to open one or more tabs within the current window, and the other is to open one or more windows. The key advantage these scripts give you over hitting Command-T or Command-N on the keyboard is that you get to specify what directories the new tabs and windows start off in. The default is the directory you are in when either script is run.

Furthermore, both scripts now apply the current settings to the new tabs and windows created. For example, if I am working inside a terminal session using the "Grass" settings, new tabs and windows created using my scripts will have the same settings applied to them. Tabs opened using my earlier script always got the settings you've marked as default.

As before, these scripts make use of the rb-appscript gem.