“Installation Alert” for iTunes While Installing iOS SDK


I ran into a problem while installing the iPhone SDK. A few minutes from the end the install paused and I was prompted with an “Installation Alert” informing me that iTunes needed to be closed before the install could proceed.

I closed iTunes but the prompt remained. Well, the install process had taken a long time so I didn’t want to quit and start over. The solution was simple.

I opened “Activity Monitor” and noticed that while iTunes wasn’t open the “iTunes Helper” process was still active. I shut down the process and a few seconds later the install of the SDK proceeded.


KeePassX Slow to Open in OS X


For a while I’ve noticed that KeePassX was very slow to load. It wasn’t until today that I finally got around to fixing the problem. It seems to be caused by using an older version of the password database. I’ve been using KeePassX for some time, so the database format has probably changed since I first started using it.

I’ve had KeePassX set to automatically load a specific password database. It does, of course, still require a password before actually opening the database. Each time I started KeePassX it would take several seconds before I received the password prompt for my database.

In an attempt to fix the problem I opened the password database file, re-saved it under a new file name, and then closed KeePassX. Since then KeePassX has started immediately, every time.

How to Accidentally Delete Photos in iPhoto ’11 (version 9)


My first App Store purchase for my Mac was iPhoto ’11.

Consider the following a warning, if you haven’t already figured this out. I think my mistake was in assuming that iPhoto managed photos in the same manner that media is managed in iTunes.

Recently, I went searching for photos in several albums and realized they were gone. At first, I panicked. These were important photos. Sure, they probably existed somewhere in Time Machine, but that wasn’t a certainty – every now and then I’ll delete the Time Machine backup and start over.

It didn’t take long to figure out what happened, once I discovered the missing files were in iPhoto’s Trash. It turns out that I didn’t realize that when I deleted photos from an album (moved to trash) they were also deleted from the iPhoto Library.

Instead, I should have selected the photos and clicked “Remove from Album”, which would have removed the photos only from the specific albums.

Personally, I think this was a poor UI choice considering many iPhoto users are probably very familiar with iTunes and would expect the same behavior, as I did.

In addition, I never really wanted to delete those photos from any album – I removed them from new albums that iPhoto had automatically added the photos to. iPhoto should have an option to not automatically populate new albums with existing photos (as far as I can tell there’s no preference to turn this off).

In the end, if you’re missing some photos, check the iPhoto Trash first.

Should I upgrade my Intel iMac Core Duo to a Core 2 Duo to Install OS X Lion? (Apparently Not)


Updated 10/25/2011: Note that despite my comments in this post I decided to upgrade the processor and install Lion. Visit that post for more information. I decided to leave this post since it records what I was thinking at the time and some may still find this information useful.

I was recently disappointed to learn that my iMac, which is an Intel Core Duo system, will not be compatible with OS X Lion (10.7). Core Solo system will also not be supported. At first, I was annoyed. After all, my iMac is still a good system that can run most software rather well, especially considering that it only supports a maximum of 2 GBs of RAM.

However, while I’m still disappointed, I no longer think this is just a strategy to force Mac users to upgrade sooner than necessary. Based on some light reading of several different posts and articles the compatibility cut-off may be an intelligent move. While Snow Leopard does have 64-bit support it runs many system processes and apps in 32-bit mode. The compatibility cut-off for older Intel Macs is apparently attributed to the lack 64-bit support within the Intel Core Duo and Intel Core Solo processors.

Continue reading

Home Automation with Shion Online


For about two years I’ve been using Embedded Automation’s mControl (version 2). It’s worked well though the main reason I continued using it was simply the cash I invested in it. However, since I don’t have a stand-alone Windows system running any more I’ve been using mControl within a virtual machine on my Mac.

Running the virtual machine has resulted in a significant reduction in overall performance of the Mac. In addition, updates for mControl 2 were few and far between. In fact, the updates I ran were considered beta versions. Even the release of version 3 has yet to occur. I’ve grown tired of waiting, I’m not sure I want to invest in a new version if it will be updated as infrequently as the previous version, and the system performance cost for running the VM has been too much to continue.

Continue reading

(Near) Perfect Home-Made Movie Theatre Popcorn


Every now and then I’d experiment with making popcorn that tasted like movie theatre popcorn. Finally, I’ve hit on a recipe that may be as close as I’ll get using relatively basic ingredients.


  • Popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 or 1/2 stick of butter
  • Orville Redenbacher’s Popping & Topping (Buttery Flavor Popcorn Oil)
  • Popcorn Salt
  • Large plastic bowl with lid

Continue reading

Personal Experience with a CPAP Pillow


If you’ve read a few recent posts you’ll notice that I had some issues with my CPAP treatment. Before I figured out that the problem was actually my mask seal, I decided to purchase a “CPAP pillow”, which is a pillow made to accommodate a CPAP mask.

The concept is simple. These pillows are usually formed with indentations in which parts of the mask can fit into, with the intention of relieving pressure from the mask to maintain the integrity of the seal. Materials vary – some are made of memory foam.

I recently purchased one called a Multi-Mask Sleep Aid CPAP Pillow for about $60. Overall, it had very good reviews and I thought it would be worth trying.

In the end, it doesn’t seem to work for myself. I had two problems with the pillow. The first problem, which some reviewers complained about, is that I found it too firm. I knew that might be an issue – I’ve always preferred a soft pillow (firm pillows tend to elevate my neck too high for comfort).

The other problem is the effectiveness of the indentations. It’s a clever idea that might work for some but I didn’t find it practical. While I can place my head and the mask in such a way that it does relieve pressure, I also found that it was unlikely that the mask would always end up in the same position over the course of the night.

In summary, I just didn’t find it very comfortable. Others may have a different experience.

CPAP Pillow with Cover