Monthly Archives: July 2008

Blogging System Ideas

So I want a different blogging system and here’s the basic requirements

* I need to be able to create generic text files and have them automatically rendered into HTML using templates.
* I want the automation to be simple enough to write in almost any scripting language
* The workflow should be write a file, save it, let the automation see it/render it/upload it

WANTED: Simple text blogging system

I want a new blogging system. Here’s my manifesto:

* All posts contained within individual text files
* The ability to edit locally and have changes synchronized to the website via SFTP (since [we shouldn’t be using FTP](
* The automation and intelligence of the weblog system should be local to my machine and written in well-documented common scripting language
* The local software would render the text files to HTML that can be served by Apache with mod_rewrite enabled.


For the love of a command lines

I love having remote access to my Mac at home. Today I decided I wanted a bunch of James Bond theme music so the command line came to the rescue!

1. Tunnel AFP (Apple File Protocol) over SSH

`ssh -l USERNAME -L 10548:`

2. Switch to the Finder and mount the remote share


3. Enjoy!

This will mount the drive on your local desktop, tunneling the AFP data over a SSH connection, something most firewalls safely allow.

Bonus command line action: you can remotely (and safely) quit a GUI app using AppleScript

`osascript -e ‘tell application “YourAppName” to quit’`

It’s a result of the OSA and the fact that Apple still supports AppleScript after all of the years.

White Stuff People Like

I got a 16GB iPhone 3G in white. It’s beautiful and fast, like a sports car. The wait in line starting at 3:30AM was worth it and the conversion process was painless. The screen “seems” wider even though it’s not and the grip is much smoother and easier on the hand. I’ve spent some money on games and other apps: Moto Racer, Ms. PAC-MAN, Enigmo and Twitterrific. Here’s a breakdown:

* Moto Racer

I’ve wanted a fun game to play when I have 5 minutes of down time and this fits the bill. Not much in the way of backstory to tell, but you’re a motorcycle rider on a race to recover a beautiful hostage. The game has two controls–steer and gas–and they make use of the technology in the phone without overdoing it. Steering is done by tilting the phone from side to side and, once you get a read for it, it’s very easy to control. Ten bucks well spent and easily repeatable.


What is there to say–I’m a child of the 80’s. The game works as expected but the controls are poor. The acceleromter expects you to keep the game level so it’s hard to make rapid direction changes. What really works the best is swiping your finger in the direction to move the joystick. The ‘virtual joystick’ stays in that direction until you swipe again. This allows you more of an arcade machine experience. After switching to the swipe method, I got much farther than before and the game became fun.

* Enigmo

This game is all puzzles with no real “right or wrong” answer to each one. You have water or fire sources and you use them and a variety of tools to fill a corresponding jug. I’ve played the game on other platforms and it works better when you have more screen space than is allowed on the iPhone. I’m reserving judgement.

* Twitterrific

I bought the premium for one reason only–developers deserve to be rewarded for their efforts and my ten bucks was my vote for The Iconfactory.

How to fix iPhone firmware restore

I updated my iPhone using the wrong firmware yesterday. When the new and correct 2.0 firmware came out for my first generation iPhone, I tried the obvious update/restore method and insanity ensued. After many different tries, here’s what I did:

1. Restored the “bad” firmware and performed a complete sync.
2. Closed and reopened iTunes.
3. Holding the shift key, I chose “Check for update” and it downloaded the correct 2.0 firmware again.
4. Continuing to hold the shift key, I told it to apply the update.
5. Long scary time passes.
6. Phone now on correct 2.0 firmware!


I’ll be in line tomorrow to get a new phone for me and hand this one over to Tammy.

Early firmware brick update

So I thought I bricked my iPhone by putting the early firmware on there. It turns out that the early firmware was likely the 2.0 stuff for *3G* phones and not 1st generation iPhones. After trying many different was to get old 1.1.4 or new correct 2.0 on the phone, I remembered that I still had the firmware from yesterday on a thumb drive. I copied it to my Mac and started the process to “update” to 2.0 again.

Now I just need to figure out how to go from wrong 2 to right 2 and I’ll be out of the weeds…

Early firmware a bad idea


I downloaded the early firmware from a link and wished I hadn’t. I’m sure it was a legit source, but it hasn’t been a “right phone” since. I took the opportunity to download the regular 2.0 and now my iPhone is in a weird state. It’s in “recovery mode” and I’m waiting for 1.1.4 to download.


No iPhone 3G today

I was up at 6AM and I *still* didn’t get an iPhone 3G today. I’ll be up early tomorrow morning and in line at an AT&T store, trying to get one of the few arriving tomorrow. Tammy’s cell phone contract with Sprint has been up for two weeks and tomorrow is the last day of the billing cycle. If I can port her number to AT&T on Saturday, then we’ll be “even” with Sprint.

Wish me luck!