Yearly Archives

51 Articles

Posted by Dave on


a.k.a. MacOS X.9

I said in my article on upgrading MacOS that this was easy to do, it was, but the resultant performance rendered it unusable. This article discusses what I did to resolve this. Concluding that another 4Gb of RAM is all it needs.

Re-install in situ

As at the moment, the best writeup that I’ve found of how to resolve it is here, on Apple’s support forums, a correspondent called IOWA documents four steps on how to resolve it, although he doesn’t explain well why these steps help.

I have reset the NVRAM, reset the System Management Controller and then run a Safe Boot, it seems a bit better now but I need to check if an OS reinstall is required.

Yup, it needs the reinstall. Here’s IOWA’s reference at Apple’s Site “OS X Mavericks: Reinstall OS X” . I have BT Infinity so didn’t take as long as I expected, better but not brilliant. What causes this?

What’s next?

Activity Monitor points me at ‘kernel_tasks”, which points me at  etrecheck, which points me at the startup functions; I also find some MacKeeper detritus, which I delete, and Java which I update.

Dross & Dreck

Performance remains shite. I use Crucial and buy some memory, upgrade from 4Gb to 8Gb. So much better!


On the article My 1st Apple Mac, I identified a fault such that BT consumer customers could not use iMail s a mail composer. Since then I have changed my smtp server from BT to 1and1; I wanted a hosted single ‘sent’ folder and it is now immaterial who my connecting ISP is. I did not test if imail was working after this. I have upgraded from Leopard to Mavericks and tested imail as part of my performance remediation testing and it seems to be working as a reader, need to reconfigure the smtp server and retest.

Cleaning out the User Library

I have installed CCleaner, it’s a quick way of cleaning out various caches, but doesn’t solve the ~/Library problem. The first piece of advice is to get a visualiser, I have Disk Inventory X, but the Library folders are invisible in Finder, this needs to be changed. Most advice seems to be aimed at reducing what’s stored on the disk, perhaps the answer is to replace the disk with an SSD is this possible. It would benefit from more RAM.


One correspondent in the thread recommends a complete re-install using the instructions, here. Mactrast says,

Personally, I always make a habit of starting fresh whenever I install a major new version of OS X. It’s the best way to ensure you have the cleanest, smoothest experience on your Mac.

Great if the reason you have a laptop is to run the Operating Systems; oh wait, with Apple it is!


The technology changed at Mountain Lion. I had forgotton my password on the one user that I had encrrypted and using the master to change it still wouldn’t permit the one user I had encrypted to login, so I blew it away. Filevault 2 works on the whole disk not just the home directory. I think I had better take some backups first, but again it shows the wisdom of the advice above in starting from scratch.

Here are three links,

Reading the Wikipedia page documents the improvement in the encryption technology but also suggest a significant performance cost for older CPUs. I think I may have a problem. I have an Intel Core Duo. This article at osxdaily also suggests that I should consider an SSD if going here. Perhaps I should consider Truecrypt instead?

Do I need to upgrade the RAM, get an SSD and buy another external drive? It all seems a bit expensive for web browsing?

User Account Avatars

Now if we want to use pictures other than those  distributed by Apple, we need to create .tif files, I used Image Magic, and used macports to install it; they need to be located in /Library/User\ Pictures. I created a ./Local to hold my pictures.

Posted by Dave on

Pop Up Meerkats

For various reasons I wanted to make a pop-up on hover using a picture. I have implemented a pop up meerkat in the blog. This broke at some point and I returned to the problem in 2019 and found a new guide, and again in 2020 where I fixed some theme/wordpress bugs. This is now working, here are my notes in which I document the CSS and HTML …

Posted by Dave on

Automating posts to Google+

Automating posts to Google+

I once wanted to post my blog stream to google+, but it seems overly difficult to do. Even harder now that Google have shit-canned it. This is now marked as deprecated, but overleaf/below are my notes when this seemed a good idea,

Posted by Dave on

Buying a Flat 2013

I am buying a flat in London. Some things have changed.

There is a property shortage and so seller’s behaviour is less desperate, although I was buying during the property boom of the early ’80s when a failed offer wasn’t a problem but some things have changed. Most annoyingly a number of vendors wish to leave property on the market even after offers have been made and there’s never any proof of any alternative offers.

As a cash buyer, I need to prove funds, this is best done via a solicitor’s letter, so they need to see the money before the letter is signed. I was in a hurry to get this done and it caused me more work than I wanted. If you need documentation issued from a bank this is likely to be slower than you need. Get it done in advance. Rarely do anything the first time you ask, if it can go wrong it will, or is that just when you ask for a pint of bitter in a pub, that means the cheapest, if you ask for a loan with alternative terms, you’ll get the stupidly most expensive. There was obviously an affordability test taken there and they still have some things only done overnight.

Don’t forget the “Buggering people around in the pursuit of their life Act”. The whole world is going to want to see government issued photo-id. Make these copies in advance.

I shouldn’t imagine that the money will  move particularly quickly either, work out how long it’ll take and what paper work they’ll require in advance. They may exaggerate their speed as well.  I had one case where they took up to 38 hours to scan the fax into their system.

Actually, while they charge more for sending a sum greater than £10,000, actually moving the money to the lawyers wasn’t hard. One cheque to get it all in one place, and one CHAPS transfer, which they asked all sorts of impertinent questions.

I have started reading the lease,  and got to “not to use or permit……to be used for any illegal …purpose”, so much for civil disobedience by piracy… although some of piracy is only a civil infringement. So best not run a web site, but downloading is OK?

No satellite aerials? Is there one? Not that I care, but there’s resale value to consider.

Get them to demonstrate all electrics and windows, preferably before you move in.

Negotiate meter reading for all meters, in the circumstances that you are buying from a letting, you are the only person with a financial interest in getting this done and getting the services continued. The meters are outside, so make sure the keys are handed over.

Posted by Dave on

Code Tag

A note on dealing with the code tag. It shows how it looks today and posses the alternatives of a blockquote class and a code rule. It was written while using the zbench theme.

Posted by Dave on

Upgrading MacOS X

And on to 10.9

There was a rumour that it was best to stop at 10.8, Mountain Lion but by the time I got round to it htis wasn’t an option. The Appstore only permitted an upgrade to Mavericks; is this a cat?  The Appstore upgrade works fine.

And now onto Macports which is a pain, and I document on my Macports page.

Filevault is a constraint as well. You’ll need a better answer than I used if any of your pre 10.8 users had Filevault encrypted home directories.

Posted by Dave on

Circular Icons for Objectdock

I use objectdock free on one of my XP systems and have just decided to install NWN2 complete. This meant I needed an icon for program launcher bar; actually it didn’t because the icon the GOG version ships with is fine. In order to prove this to myself I used google to look for some circular icons.

I found a bunch with white backgrounds and in .jpg format. Including this one.


The simplest way to make an icon for my purposes is to use and this article at their forums details how to do it. Use the magic wand and edit >> cut, then save it as .png which is good enough for object dock.

Best copy the new .png to the object dock image library.


When checking out the image in order to post it in this article, I discovered that the host site has this as a .png with transparant background anyway, but the research is useful for the future.