Engineering Manager / Trail Runner / Budapest, Hungary


Okay, Harmonic is a great widget for the Mac. It downloads the lyrics for the music you’re listening to in iTunes. Quite nice, since it passes it right to iTunes and it gets saved with the song. Next time you plug your iPod in it even gets transferred to that as well. Now, what’s the problem? Stupid people. Seriously, how bloody hard is it to get right… especially for a native speaker:


For the uninitiated, let me do the honours: your is a personal pronoun denoting possession; you’re is a contraction of you are.

It makes my brain bleed to read lyrics like this:
“Maybe your a sinner into your alternate life, …”
(For a bonus you can tell me the title of the song the line’s from. Google is cheating.)

If people decide to share the lyrics of a song and post it to a site (all lyrics sites have private contributor sources) how on Earth can they be so terribly ignorant as to make basic mistakes like this? How can they not care about what they put out for everyone to see? Aren’t they fans? It truly boggles the mind.

Please, God, make them stop butchering the language…

I've done this before…

I managed to import the songs properly to iTunes finally.

(For non-Hungarian speakers, the last post was about me being unable to change the ID3 info of a couple of songs in iTunes. I could rewrite the tags all right, it just got changed back whenever I restarted iTunes.)

Googling the problem revealed that apparently other people have encountered the same bug, but I couldn’t find any decent solution. So I just copied the songs to Linux, rewrote the ID3s in Audacious and imported them back. It worked.

But in order to do that I had to set up the NFS. And NFS requires that the uids of the users are the same on both machines so I had to change my uid on the MacBook. (Following this guide.)

(I could have sworn I wrote a blog post about this when I first did it. Couldn’t seem to find the post though.)

See how every problem generates a new one?

Anyway, I also managed to get my backup of the Documents folder restored from iDisk. (It’s basically some storage space on Apple’s servers that comes with the .Mac subscription.) I really don’t know what divine enlightenment possessed me at that moment, but I set up a daily backup for the documents on the Mac using the .Mac Backup 3 tool a while ago. Probably I just wanted to try the backup software…

The technology is the following: at the start it creates an archive then whenever a file is changed it creates a so-called increment file. This way only the changes are saved greatly reducing the disk space needed.

However possibly because of .Mac being unbearably slow the process of restoring from a backup takes ages. And Backup 3 isn’t really offering much feedback either, other than the rainbow cursor of death. I guess it has to check through every single increment file and reading those takes time. They could have put a progress bar there or something though, because it really looks like it just hung. For several minutes. And I mean several.

Then when it finally starts copying the files back the progress bar has the nasty habit of disappearing for – once again – extended periods of time.

I can’t complain though because it really did copy everything back.

However, the best part was when I removed the old backups from iDisk. Again, it worked without a glitch – took bloody ages of course – but it displayed something like this:

.Mac acting up

I'm not god but if I was I'd be an angry god

Azt magyarázza el nekem valaki, hogy az hogyan létezhet, hogy van egy album, és abból két szám ID3 infoját hiába írom át, ha fejreállok is visszaírja a régire az iTunes a következő indításnál. Nem, nem vagyok ideges…

Black Thursday

Not quite the day I have imagined having.

I was peacefully reading Prophet Without Honor during a predictably boring kyogen when Preview froze, displaying the notorious cursor of rainbow death. That could have been a minor glitch, however soon the whole OS X followed. Now that was a first. Up until this morning I’ve always been able to just force quit any mischievous application. Not this time…

So I rebooted, or rather I tried to reboot, unsuccessfully. The MacBook never got past the grey boot screen, and the flashing folder with a question mark didn’t bode well either. Neither did the clearly audible click-click sound coming from the hard disk.

This is the moment when all your life data flashes through your mind.

I ran home, and tried to boot from the OS X installer DVD to no avail. I mean it booted up all right but the HDD wasn’t present. So I disassembled the Mac and with shaky hands I tried the drive in the desktop. Click-click. Detecting IDE drives… For minutes…

So much for the glory of Rome.

This is how I spent my afternoon looking for two items: 1) a replace drive 2) a Torx T8 screwdriver. Luckily Apple has a really generous policy about hard drives and memories: the user can replace either of them without losing warranty. Not that my warranty was still valid, but it also means both parts are easily accessible and user serviceable. They are behind the same L-shaped bracket I removed when I installed the extra memory from Crucial. Why the Torx then? Because the HDD is held by a flexible metallic plate that keeps the HDD in place and also protects its circuit-side. And this plate is held by four not-so-ordinary screws. Torx is basically a star with six arms, but try to explain that to a Japanese shop assistant. Well, after about twenty minutes of haggling they managed to find the right one, so it went rather better than I expected. It’s a nasty trick by Apple though, least I don’t think these screwdrivers are in abundance in a common household. Or maybe I’m wrong and they are popular over the New Continent. (If anyone’s curious, the Japanese term’s ヘクスローブドライバー T-8)

I went for the same manufacturer that Apple used, Seagate. The original drive was an ST98823AS (80G), and I got an ST9160821AS (160G). An upgrade I could have lived without to be honest. This guide shows the detailed instructions how to replace a drive in a MacBook. It all went shiny, it’s not quantum physics after all. OS X flew on in less than an hour, took about another thirty minutes to upgrade itself to the latest version, and violá, freshly installed Mac.

Also, apparently other people had similar issues.

If only I hadn’t lost nearly fifty gigabytes of music.

My entire music collection.

But hey, if you’re an idiot you surely deserve to die. And I was a prize one for I never even thought about backing up such important data. Why would the hard drive fail in the notebook I bring to classes every day, with which I travel and move around while switched on… The universe is vast but human (my) ignorance is the true infinity.

Only thing I’m left with is the 7.5G of the iPod. Which is a funny thing, because you can’t transfer music from the iPod to the computer, only the other way around. You can only sync with one iTunes application at a time. So I had to use YamiPod to first copy all the music from the iPod to a temporary folder, then import it all back to the new iTunes and then sync back the songs to the iPod. Well, least I have those, although it’s heartbreaking to look at all the broken albums from which one or two tracks were saved by some playlist…

Luckily I had all my music I actually paid for on the iPod as well, or else I’d be looking for sharp things already…

(What does data loss teach you? Buy your music.)

Funny I can get so worked up on a simple hard drive failure you could say. And yes maybe I’m overreacting… but music was what really got me through the days here. And, like TV shows, it’s an integral part of my life. So I’m now all emo, thanks for asking.

I hate being the person who gets so sad for losing an iTunes library. fejlesztések

Nem igazán figyeltem oda a “hivatalos” kliensre, de egészen szépen fejlesztik. Legfontosabb, hogy most már képes iPod szinkronizálására is, méghozzá sokkal elegánsabban, mint az eddig általam használt iScrobbler. Az iScrobbler az iTunes Recently Played listáját használja a feltöltéshez ahová ugye az iPod is beteszi a rajta játszott számokat. Ennek a legnagyobb hátránya, hogy amennyiben az iPod után az iTunesban is hallgat valaki zenéket, és csak ezután csatlakoztatja az iPodot, akkor már nem ismeri fel az iScrobbler az iPod zenéit, elveszettnek tekinthetők.

A saját kliense viszont az iPod belő lejátszási listáját figyeli, így nem veszít el számokat. Minden iPod csatlakozáskor feldob egy ablakot a számok listájával, és minden lejátszóhoz külön account is rendelhető. Én mondjuk örülnék egy olyan opciónak, hogy ne kérdezzen rá minden egyes scrobble előtt, hogy valóban akarom-e. Valamint egyelőre olyan a rendszer, hogy hiába játszódtak korábban a zenék az iPodon, a oldalon elsőként lesznek kilistázva, igaz megfelelő timestamppel.

Mégis, bár experimental support, kiválóan működik. Van Wines verziója is.