Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Hide twitter app worldcup menu

Since the World Cup started the Twitter app has been suggesting I look at the latest World Cup game. I'm not that interested anymore but it keeps on bothering me. 

The good news is that you can disable or hide the world cup menu in the Twitter app by tapping and holding on the world cup banner till you get an option to "Hide" or "Never Show Again", or "Cancel". Choose Hide or never show again and it's gone forever.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Spotlight not working?

You just tried to use Spotlight and it found nothing apart from a dictionary word?! Spotlight seems to shut itself down for a variety of reasons  - one being lack of disk space - it seems to need about 5% of your disk space to free to operate effectively. Here's one way to fix it.

Firstly you can check if Spotlight has indeed stopped (from a terminal):
mdutil -s /
If it says: "No index." then you can re-enable it again - making sure you have about 25GB free if you have a 500GB hard drive - you'll need to type in your password as it requires root privileges:
sudo mdutil -i on /
It should say "Indexing enabled" - sometimes you have repeat this last step a couple of times until it says "Indexing enabled".

If you have no joy enabling it you can go one step further and try erasing and rebuilding the Spotlight index:
sudo mdutil -E /

Or as a last resort try removing it manually - firstly you should disable Indexing:
sudo mdutil -i off /
And then remove the index:
rm -rf /.Spotlight-V100
And finally re-enable Indexing:
sudo mdutil -i on /

Once you have enabled Indexing again be prepared to wait for a few hours before it's finished (it'll tell you roughly how long if you click on the Spotlight icon). However you can actually use Spotlight whilst it is building the index - it starts to provide some results fairly soon after it begins indexing.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Uninstall Silverlight on OSX

It seems that even Microsoft can't explain how to remove their own software (they omit the first step) so here's how to do it:
sudo rm /var/db/receipts/*
sudo rm -rf /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/Silverlight.plugin
sudo rm -rf /Library/Receipts/Silverlight.pkg

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Mounting OSX Time Capsule shared drive on Linux

If you've been trying to mount an OS X Time Capsule disk over the network using Samba/CIFS/SMB and you've recently run into the problem: "mount error(13): Permission denied", and you KNOW the password is right then this may help. Basically you now need to inform Linux CIFS of the specific security mechanism to use (sec=ntlm). E.g. To mount the drive as root (where share_pwd is the password required to access the drive):
# mount -t cifs //server_ip/Data /mnt/Data -opasswd=share_pwd,sec=ntlm

As an alternative it is also possible to use the Netatalk package under Linux to mount the Time Capsule drive using Apple Filesharing Protocol (AFP).

PS: If you were hoping to mount the Time capsule drive that you either had plugged in or removed from inside your Time Capsule see my earlier post.

[28jun14: Updated to clarify that this regarding network mounting]

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Cure unresponsive iPhone voicemail (and gain some space)

It seems that Apple's 'Visual Voicemail' is all very well but when you delete a message it doesn't actually get deleted - it gets put in a "recycle bin" taking up space and slowing the phone down or 'freezing' it (and hanging around when you though they had gone). This seems to be a particular problem on iPhone 4's running iOS7, though can also affect newer iPhones such as the 4S, 5, and 5S.

To fix this open the Phone app and select voicemail, then scroll right to the bottom of the list of voicemails where it says 'Deleted Messages'. Tap on that and you'll see all your old voicemails - to get rid of them tap on 'Clear All' at the top right and they're finally wiped away. You might also want to delete some of you existing voicemail messages to gain some additional space, and generally speed up voicemail and the Phone app  a bit more.

If you're having trouble with iPhone freezes, or it going slow, when attempting to delete all those voicemail messages then try switching on Airplane Mode and deleting them all, then switching it back off again when you're done.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Viewing Preview's PDF annotations on iOS

If someone sends you a PDF document that has been annotated on a Mac using OSX Preview the default PDF viewer in iOS (Iphone/iPad) does not show the annotations (which is a bore). A search doesn't reveal an immediately useful answer so I thought I'd create one. So far I've found two free apps to view Preview's PDF annotations:

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Ghostery app's new WiFi Protection feature

I'm a fan of the Ghostery apps and plugins - they allow one to keep an eye on just how many other people are trying to snoop over my shoulder when I'm on the web.

The latest version of the iOS Ghostery app (v1.4) mentions a new feature called 'Wifi Protection via proxy automatic file (aka PAC file)', but with little explanation as to what it is... I took a look at this new version at it seems they've come up with a way to add tracker blocking for ALL apps when connected to WiFi. They have done this by creating a custom PAC file which you need to copy and paste into your WiFi setup which then provides for filtering (in Javascript) of trackers for all connections when on that WiFi network (you will need to copy and paste the PAC file for each WiFi network you connect to for it work on all WiFI networks you connect to). To enable it you click on the WiFi button in Ghostery and follow their instructions.

If you're paranoid you can download their Javascript PAC file and host it on your own server (and modify the PROXY entries so it uses your own server to return 'HTTP/1.1 204 No Content').
This looks like a pretty nice feature, though they caution that one should use Chrome or Ghostery as Mobile Safari may be a bit slow.

One thing that comes to mind is that us of PAC files could provide for a nasty security hole as you can basically fill them with an arbitrary JavaScript function that could do all sorts of fun stuff like redirect your more sensitive web visits elsewhere. This is not to say Ghostery is doing this but it just brought to mind the possibilities - so beware of random PAC files.