Tips 'n Tricks

Free enhancement to NTBackup

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NTBackup is a free backup application that comes with Windows 2000 Pro and Windows XP Pro (and also runs on XP Home..) that is great for simple stuff. There are a few limitations to it though - you can't do multiple, concurrent backup jobs, you can't set it to delete old backups if the destination drive is getting full, and other bits. One step towards making NTBackup more useful is a free tool called Enhanced Windows Backup that works as a replacement GUI to fix some of the limitations. And did I mention it was free? Well worth giving a try.

OSX 10.4.9 update a little funny

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I just installed the OSX 10.4.9 update on our PowerMac G4/533 at home and had a little bit of weirdness. The first time the machine was rebooted after the install it took several minutes for it to actually start booting, leaving the screen white until it was ready - needless to say this was rather concerning, but I left it alone for a while and it finally kicked in a-ok. The Mac Pro at work had no problems, however.

How to make Transmit update the SSH host key

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Today I had a problem where my FTP client of choice, Panic Software's Transmit, where I changed the server software and any time thereafter SSH connections gave a "Permission Denied" error. As it turned out the problem wasn't permissions but rather the server's SSH identity changed and Transmit was getting confused. A little looking around didn't turn up anything obvious - there was no preferences option to force it to re-validate the identity, it just kept failing. So on the off-chance I took a look at the file ~/.ssh/known_hosts and sure enough there was an entry for the server - I removed the server's line, re-connected and it worked again! Now to submit a feature request...

RubyOSA - don't forget the docs!

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A really quick time for anyone on OSX.

RubyOSA is a great interface to the AppleScript APIs available to most applications. The only problem with it is that the APIs of many apps are undocumented, disappointingly especially for Apple's apps, so there's a handy little command that can generate these docs for you:

rdoc-osa --name (appname)

e.g.

rdoc-osa --name iPhoto

This will create an rdoc-style document structure in a directory called "doc" in your current working directory, so just launch in the index.html file in your browser and get coding!

Really excellent stuff.

AdiumX 1.0 & Yahoo problem

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There's a small problem with the just-release AdiumX v1.0 and Yahoo Instant Messenger (Y!IM) accounts if you were using any of the beta releases. For whatever reason, something changed in the Y!IM configuration and the only way to get your connection to work is to remove it then add the login back in again. Go figure. Still, a minor quibble when the rest of the program works so well.

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