June 8th, 2017


Error Code -43 macOS Sierra / OS X 10.12

December 15th, 2016

Under Mac OS X 10.12.1 aka macOS Sierra attempting to put files into the trash results in an error message:

The operation can't be completed because one or more
required items can't be found.
(Error code -43)

Currently a solution can not be googled that well: As general as the error message sounds there is a large heap of well meaning system care advice.

In my situation the problem seems to have been caused by no cleanly un-mounting CF cards and/or external hard drives.

A reboot makes the issue go away. Nothing more and nothing less required.


July 11th, 2015

in a random sub reddit.

Nice: long exposure and light devices

dd unix CLI command taking a while? Just ask how it is doing …

June 17th, 2015

It turns that you can ask a running dd command how it is doing.

In the terminal that runs it simply enter a CTRL^T command.

The dd will react to the SIGINFO that this sinds with statistics of the running process.

Quiet handy since dd can take a while if you start it with a lower block size.

obtaining Dow Jones index in Google Spreadsheet

June 14th, 2015

In order to obtain todays dow jones index (DJIA) in a google spreadsheet one can use:


The quotes matter. Indexes would be for example:

.DJI Dow jones Index
.INX S&P 500
.IXIC Nasdaq Composite

Getting the dow for a specific date is a bit more involved. This worked for me, but there might be an easier way:

=index(GOOGLEFINANCE(".DJI", "price", to_date(DATEVALUE("11/26/2013"))),2,2)

The date (11/26/2013) was actually a cell reference.

Not related, yet interesting was this page that showed how relative popular search terms are.

Others yielded interesting insights. For instance it seems that Cars are a seasonal product. Even though people tend to use them every day, they care more for them in the months leading up to summer.

Other extremely seasonal terms include: Travel, Shopping, Real Estate, Jobs and Durable Goods.

Vesterby glasses: awesome

March 15th, 2015

I really like my Vesterby frames.

When I needed spare parts I got in touch, and they sent them right away and to the address where I would be.

Awesome service. I can only recommend them: Vesterby

deleting all photos from iPhone

February 20th, 2015

Somehow Apples cloud based photo system got enabled on my iPhone. Which also meant that the delete button in the OS X application “Image capture” got grayed out.

To re-enable it had to turn off iCloud Photo Library and My Photo stream via Settings -> Photos & Camera

And then I had to reboot the phone (running IOS 8.1.3)

I am old enough to remember that any change on a Windows machine last century also required a reboot.

robo phone phishing

November 28th, 2014

3rd robo phishing call in as many days.
Today it spoofed my own number as it’s caller ID
and pretended to be AT&T. Telling me to enter
the last 4 of my social. Their scheme was that
my account had been “flagged”. Entering
false four digits prompted in a “flag has been removed”
message. So that people easier forget. I wonder what
people want to do with the combination of my
phone number and the last 4 of my social.

It is frightening to think that they might a have a success
rate in the double digit percentages with this scheme.


November 16th, 2014


Sunday morning, and Breakfast will only be served in 15 minutes.

Not feeling to open a book I visit:


A song comes up. Turns out I don’t have it, but I like it.

The iTunes music gave me grief before. So I use Amazon.
Or, let’s say I try to.

A song with a wikipedia page is obviously easy to find.
I can preview it. Yes, it is what I thought it would be.

No surprise that the purchase button is easy to.

They have a new player / app they like to push.
The old amazon downloader did not cause any troubles,
so I choose that one.
The file downloads in no time. That USED to be the problem:
Getting those large files to your computer.
Clicking on it, the mac tells me that this app is from an unidentified
In system preferences I tell it to open it anyway.
It does, but shows an empty screen.
In my downloads is still the amazon file. I click on that one.
Nothing happens. Well, not really nothing: The downloaded file
Then I go in Amazon to my purchases music. The song is not there
either. The 0.89 USD I spent will probably the only memory of those
3:18 (the length of the song) that I spent to get this song.

Buying music should be easy in 2014. It turns out in my specific
way of trying this it totally is not. I don’t buy music often. So I don’t feel
like researching all that might be involved.

I rather ramble here about it. Also since it is quiet symptomatic:

The actual act of copying a couple of bits to my computer is such a
small part of the overal action. It used to be that DRM was part of
the problem. It no longer is. Still have I have to deal with interfaces
and software that changes / breaks every time I like to use it.

The background is that the people running and maintaining these
systems do not care for the “Alpha to Omega - Experience” enough.

The late Mr Jobs was really good at making sure that things ran
as smooth as possible for certain flows from start to finish. If you don’t
then with computers and systems lots of ‘stuff’ will creep into the flow.
And the system will start depending on this extra stuff of other parts of
the system.

If you think that Byzantine bureaucracy was horrible then you have
no idea how our digital future will be.

Lufthansa “NONSTOP messing with YOU”

October 20th, 2014

Lufthansa is on their 8th strike in 2014. If you are affected this is how it looks like:

An email arrives that the final leg of flight got cancelled 24 hours before departure.
Logging in to the website suggests to get a train ticket.
Trying to do so results in a generic failure.
Phone lines are not being answered by Lufthansa in Germany or the US.
At 6am there is another email informs you that the outbound flight is also cancelled.
Phone lines still don't work.
The web interface says to contact phone numbers that have not been answered in the last 20 hours.
The phone numbers tell you to check the web.

the valley is behind us

September 27th, 2014

The first realistic rendering of a human in a computer I even laid eyes on got created by Chris Jones in Australia. If Intel would have any sense then they would give him everything he needs so that he can make a super bowl spot.

It is much easier for a director to dial in some emotions on an “Eckman board” rather than trying to coax them out of a drugged up little twat being full of itself. CAA better get their sh*t and required legislation together.

It will take a little while, but this WILL be a big deal: Completely artificial movies that just look like reality.

careful what you touch …

June 27th, 2014

In this study two small (25) groups of (mostly female) students were ask to keep their hands in ice water.

Their averages were 40.12 and 42.03 seconds. Which gets to show the range of variance with a small sample of 25.

They were told that they would do a different experiment after that: evaluating product design. One group handled Noodles, the other a bottle of Ibuprofen for 2 minutes.
After that they did another ice water test and now the results were:

45.28 seconds (instead of 40.12) for the Ibuprofen group, while the Noodles people lasted for 41.83 second instead of 42.03.

I wonder what would happen if one would repeat this experiment. As much one would want to have that handling pain killers will reduce pain the actual difference is so small that it could easily be part of noise to be expected in a sampling size of 25.

hiperos ? whoa that sucks

May 13th, 2014

Big corporations have their own problems. And if they don’t have them, then they create them. Like hiperos.

Imagine people reading a couple of Franz Kafka novels, putting them down and then proclaiming: “Hey lets build this (badly) and slap a web interface over it”
Of course they were intrigued by all the horrifying concepts and scary details in those nightmarish (yet awesome books) of that bohemian insurance clerk.

I wonder how much productivity gets lost by people waiting for hiperos to load, or trying to decipher what those random popups mean, how to find what
is missing in which form, etc etc etc.

Amazing how bad some things look in light of the second decade of the 21st century.

Validate fonts cleans up error message

May 3rd, 2014

On OS X 10.9.2 I got a message in /var/log/system.log like

Google Chrome Helper[23799]: CoreText CopyFontsForRequest received mig IPC error (FFFFFECC) from font server

whenever I opened a new Chrome window. (running version 34.0.1847.131)

Fixing this was surprisingly easy:

1) open Font book

2) select-ALL

3) Validate Fonts from the file menu.

Once I cleared the problematic ones the messages no longer appeared.

Canon support: awesome

May 2nd, 2014

I don’t have any expectations if it comes to end consumer support. These days I anticipate phone systems that will try very hard to make you give up. Should you reach a person they seem often not to care about your issues, their job or anything for that matter.

When I ran into questions with a recent Canon camera I called them anyway. I have been massively and positively surprised: After 90 seconds I spoke to somebody who cared. He had the camera I had in hand within a minute.
I sent them test pictures, and now they are looking at them. Regardless what the outcome of this investigation will be: I have the feeling that they care about their product and my experience with it.

As I said: I have not expected this. It will probably be a long time before I would consider another manufacturer. Unless there is a killer feature in a competitors product I will always look for a Canon device. I don’t mind paying more for it.
It might very well be that other companies have awesome support too. The risk to run into issues and they don’t is just to high.

So, yes, every support call is the chance to win a customer for life.

How odd that so few companies seem to understand this.

Good Bye Firefox

May 2nd, 2014

OK - I really am a laggard. Using Firefox in 2014 was not really the best thing to do. But it got me where I needed to be. Other browsers are of course always part of the mix of things to use. Comes with the job.

But with Firefox 29 today they finally pushed me over. As usually it is a minute detail: I like to have around 20 things 1 click away. Firefox used to be able to ONLY display those bookmarks without the favicon.

Since I identify those things by 1 or 2 letters it makes a big difference if I have the favicons visible or not. With Chrome I never found a way to get rid of them. Now with Firefox they just poppped in.

So I might as well use Chrome, and maybe look for a way to get rid of them there. There is no way that I will invest any of that into a browser that it is declining. These days Internet Explorer actually causes less troubles than Firefox.

Turns out there is a solution for Chrome:

Remove Chrome Bookmark Favicons

It is not ideal since it leaves the space AND the site itself looses the favicon as well, but it is never the less better than Firefox.

I doubt I will ever look back …

Internet Security Companies

April 24th, 2014

Between January 2012 and March 2014 more than 160 giga dollars were spent for Internet security. You would think that much of it would care about Encryption. One would further think that some of this money would go into evaluation of the actual code of library mostly in use: OpenSSL. Apparently not enough.

There are between 3 and 10 contributors to OpenSSL, which provide a total of around 50 code commits a month.

If the security Industry would spend only 0.01% of their earnings on these code commits, then each one would have a review budget of 10 kilo dollars.

ping frequency of black boxes

April 5th, 2014

Today’s story on flight MH370 is that pings got picked up by a Chinese ships. Blackboxes seem to emit a signal every second for a couple of weeks.

Maybe it would be better if these devices would send a ping not every even second. Technically it should be easy to give black boxes a fix random
ping frequency. I probably would help that the device you are looking for emits a ping every 1.345 seconds.

And bigger batteries are probably a good idea as well.

network solutions - how to ruin a company

April 2nd, 2014

Since I have been on the Internet for a while I unfortunately have domains registered with Network Solutions.

They were the first company that one could register domains with.

They are so bad, it is not even funny.

With having your domains there you can also have DNS service with them. However: Their DNS servers go away. That is really really really bad.
That’s like your car stalling at random times. And doing so repeatedly.

The example with a car is not the right one, since most DNS providers are simply never down. They just work work work. While Network Solutions Servers don’t.

But that is -unfortunately- not the end of what is wrong with them:

Their web interface sucks. Much like with Godaddy its main purpose is to sell you more crap. Not to let you do what you want to do. That is really hard.
Imagine the DMV but having hundreds of beggars, peddlers and the like trying to push something on you while you wait.

Their phone system is just as awful as most phone systems are.

How rotten Networksolutions is I learned today:

I happen to have a .com domain with them that will expire (thank god!) in 2 months. Today I got 2 mails: They thanked more for my order of the corresponding
.info domain. They didn’t want any money for it. But it is ridiculous since I had to cancel this domain that I didn’t want.

What are they thinking???

Domain registration is EXTREMELY lucrative. For a couple of bytes one pays good money.

Network Solutions had more money than god. They had lots clients. Serving them just average could have kept them
in business for a long time.
Instead they tried to make even more money.
And all they accomplish is to royally fuck this up.

Register anywhere you like. Hell, if you don’t mind being exposed to half of the rant-points here, then even use the dreadful Godaddy. But Never Ever use Network Solutions. Really.
You will regret it. They gotten so continuously worse during the 15 years that I tolerated them in my life, I can only envision in horror what they future will bring …

jetset without overplay is dull

February 17th, 2014

Finally followed advice from a good friend and got overplay. Was super easy. Support was stellar. Netflix releasing House of Cards while I am on the wrong contintent?
Who cares …

Nice planet. But parts of it are a bit boring without any access to netflix etc.

printing all pdf’s in a folder in OS X via terminal

February 13th, 2014

Make a new folder on the desktop, and drag the pdfs you like to print in there.

Open the terminal, type


and a space. Then drag the folder you just created on to the terminal window. OS X will put the path there. So your shell command looks something like this:

cd /Users/yourName/Desktop/FolderYouMadeThatHasThePDFs

hit enter.

Then you can simply print all PDF files in that folder by copy pasting this:

for i  in *pdf ; do echo $i ; lp $i ; done

Wells Fargo session.cgi from Statements & Documents

February 13th, 2014

I tried to download an online statement from the Wells Fargo today. What fun!

While I could do so for one account - on the one I needed I got nothing. I could select the year, or click on “Recent Statements”.

I called Wells Fargo. After ten minutes the first human I was able to talk to told me that I would need to speak to the online department for that.

So I was put on hold for another ten minutes. ( 1 800 956 44 42 would be their direct number). WF hold music cut deep grooves in my auditory system in the mean time.
It is the most obnixous loop one can think of. Amazing how they can literally have humans listen to this junk for years each day and nobody complains.

Once there was a human on the other end he was able to ‘enable online statements’ for the account in question. Not sure why that was not on in the first place.
After signing off and on again I did indeed my past records. Which is awesome.

I friendly declined the second offer from the WF operative if he could sell me any additional services at this point. That’s a bit like trying to sell timeshare junk to people
having a root canal.

All this would not be worth wasting any ink over. It’s just corporate America how it slogs along day after day extracting billions from people trying to get by (and from me too) .

When I clicked on the actual download link all I would find is a file called


Turns out that WF online puts the PDF statement into file with that name.

Renaming to


made it accessible. I decided not to spend another 20 minutes in the Wells Fargo phone loop to tell them about this unfortunate bug.

Media consumption in 2014

February 10th, 2014

4 months after I moved I connected the BluRay player. Turns out it was worth it: “Save the Tiger” is worth watching.

nest blinking red light

February 8th, 2014

I moved five months agao and had not installed the nest yet. When I hooked it up it only showed

a red blinking light

On top of the unit. It turned out that the device needed to get charged via the mini USB adapter in the back. After about 5 minutes, a small dull nest home screen showed up.
After maybe another minute the screen said:

Please attach display
to its base

It turns out that this message tends to be over optimistic: After connecting the device
it fell back into the red-blink slumber.

I gave the device 10 more minutes of USB charge. I used an actual physical charger, not a USB connection from a computer. The ampere that the unit sees can be quiet different.
A drained rechargeable battery certainly appreciates the flow a nice and solid current.
After said 10 minute charge things got better: the thermostat started ‘boot’ while being connected and it was able to operate the heat pump. At this point it still said

low battery

in the Wifi and other connection related screens. Since this did not change for an hour I gave the display another 30 minutes on the USB charger and then was able to set up the network connection as expected.

perl CPAN fails install DateTime::TimeZone

January 26th, 2014

doing a simple

perl -MCPAN -e shell
install DateTime::TimeZone

the screen starting throwing LOTS of errors at me. And they end along the lines of:

... skipped lots of output ...
t/10deprecated.t   (Wstat: 512 Tests: 0 Failed: 0)
  Non-zero exit status: 2
  Parse errors: No plan found in TAP output
Files=12, Tests=0,  0 wallclock secs ( 0.04 usr  0.03 sys +  0.26 cusr  0.05 csys =  0.38 CPU)
Result: FAIL
Failed 10/12 test programs. 0/0 subtests failed.
make: *** [test_dynamic] Error 255
  /usr/bin/make test -- NOT OK
Running make install
  make test had returned bad status, won't install without force

That does not look so promising - does it?

Actually the fix was easier than the output had let me to believe. Scrolling up I saw there were lots of errors starting like

Can't locate Params/Validate.pm in @INC ...

When I tried to do a

install Params::Validate

I got a similar error - just now Attribute/Handlers.pm

Much to my happiness

install Attribute::Handlers

actually worked. After that Params/Validate could be installed and finally I was back on track with installing the module that I actually wanted.

I do not know why my CPAN install is not having the right understanding of its proper pre requisites. Since this worked for me I probably will not find out …

blocking facebook on OS X

December 19th, 2013

It is quiet easy to block a website if you run a mac and are not afraid to edit system files.
Simply adding www.facebook.com

in /etc/hosts takes care of all facebook traffc. Not only will the site be not accessible navigating to other page that run embedded facebook will also no longer tell Mr Zuckerberg & Co where you are going on the Internet.

fast mac keyboard

December 19th, 2013

Just in case that this tip about fast keyboards should go away.


defaults write NSGlobalDomain KeyRepeat -int 0

in the terminal and logout and login to have a super fast keyboard. Using 1 instead of 0 will make it slightly slower. 2 corresponds to the fastest setting accessible via System Preferences.

learning vim

December 19th, 2013

First there is ‘vimtutor’ which covers the basics.

Drew Neil publishes insightful screen casts about vim.

Bram Moolar himself has a great commented page about books he recommends about vim. [A little bit as if Jesus would point out his favorite Bibles]

These vim keyboard maps might be handy. Not sure since I have not used those yet.

LSI megaraid write cache via CacheCade

October 14th, 2013

If you like to use the MegaRAID write cache feature make sure that you indeed have a version 2.0 key.

Version 2 keys have the part number LSI00292 while Version 1 keys have the part number LSI00248.

It is possible to get the Version 1 flavor, since both keys share a part number. If you use a Version 1 key
nothing will say this in the MegaRAID “WebBIOS” software or any of the command line tools that LSI offers.
The only indicator will be the part number on the packaging and the fact that write cache will not be enabled.

assemble images randomly

September 5th, 2013

Want to assemble images randomly into one? That’s easy in the command line if you have imagemagick installed:

Assuming you have all pictures in the current directory:

for i in *jpg ; do mv \"$i\" $RANDOM.jpg ; done

this renames all files ending in jpg into files that have a random number. Files might get overwritten should the random number come up again.

Assembling is as well:

montage *jpg -mode concatenate outputfilename.jpg

If you would run this again outputfilename.jpg would be a used as source image as well.

avoid enum suggestions in mysql procedure analyse()

August 23rd, 2013

If you don’t want to see enum suggestions in a mysql procedure analyse() call on a table then you simply run it like:

select * from table_name procedure analyse(1,1) \G

The (1,1) will always show you non enum solutions for each column.

Firefox 22 . Mac OS X 10.6.8 and Quicktime 7.6

July 2nd, 2013

It seems that in any dying project the bureaucrats, middle managers and otherwise challenged people are the last to leave. They cling on to past greatness and try to re-evoke what is gone.

The last Firefox update 22 put the latest available Quicktime Version 7.6.8 on their blocklist. Clips will not longer play, but a warning will show up, requesting an update. Only problem is that Quicktime 7.6.6 is not out of date for OS X 10.6.8. FF has acknowledged this and it is fixed. But a download of FF still has the broken blocklist.xml.

If you want or need to fix this manually you can do:

1) locate blocklist.xml for instance via

mdfind blocklist.xml

2) remove the 3 lines:

<pluginitem blockID=\"p408\">
<match name=\"filename\" exp=\"QuickTime Plugin\.plugin\" />                      <versionrange minVersion=\"0\" maxVersion=\"7.7.0\" severity=\"0\" vulnerabilitystatus=\"1\"></versionrange>

3) restart Firefox

Hey Flickr …

May 23rd, 2013

Hello Flickr,

next time that you remember that I did set up an account in 2006 and send me an email please make sure that your stuff, actually, well, how I can put this: works.

I knew about you. All along. I didn’t us you. Many reasons. Now there is 1TB of storage. That’s great. Just that I was unable to upload anythings since your uploader is broken.

Maybe wait another 7 years, and content me again if you have something else worth looking at. You had my attention. Bummer that you were not ready for it.

- your truly

May 23rd, 2013

When installing opendkim on a Centos 5.7 or 5.9 system following the wonderful howto by Steven Jenkins mail stops going out and the maillog shows:

May 23 12:55:53 her9 postfix/cleanup[4836]: warning: cannot receive milters via service cleanup socket socket
May 23 12:55:53 her9 postfix/smtpd[4832]: warning: premature end-of-input on public/cleanup socket while reading input attribute name
May 23 12:55:53 her9 postfix/smtpd[4832]: warning: cannot send milters to service public/cleanup socket
May 23 12:55:53 her9 postfix/smtpd[4832]: 8DBDB4D48004: client=localhost.localdomain[]
May 23 12:55:53 her9 postfix/master[4824]: warning: process /usr/libexec/postfix/cleanup pid 4836 killed by signal 11
May 23 12:55:53 her9 postfix/master[4824]: warning: /usr/libexec/postfix/cleanup: bad command startup -- throttling

The syslog is even scarier:

May 23 12:55:53 her9 kernel: cleanup[4836]: segfault at 0000000000000008 rip 00002b152350db10 rsp 00007fff855746e8 error 6

Yes, a segfault. Things work better when SELinux gets disabled.
Without going deeply into the reason of this incompatibility the following commands make opendkim work while SELinux is still active.

This command will show you what did cause trouble today, and convert it already in to the syntax for an ‘allow’:

ausearch -m avc -ts today | audit2allow
If what you see is indeed only about opendkim you then can go ahead and install this:
ausearch -m avc -ts today | audit2allow -M yourdesiredmodulename
semodule -i yourdesiredmodulename.pp

Things work much better then.

The Centos SELinux How To is a helpful resource for this kind of thing.

infinite sar display - neat option

May 21st, 2013

wanting watch sar run in a terminal in linux indefinitely one can start it with

sar 1 0

The first number indicates the sampling time in seconds. The second number is usually the number of samples you like ot see.

If this number is 0 then sar will not stop. And as another bonus will look at how large the terminal is and will display a new header

Command line can be user friendly. I really like those little gems that show up in all software: People spending their time to make something better. It is like a little gift to the world. With software the value of even a little detail can potentially be significant. Which is an awesome thing.

For all we know it might very well be that the feature described here will please people in a hundred years from now.

I don’t think that mankind will manage to drop unix at this point. Neither can it give up on the use of steel. Yes there might be new systems, much like there have been new materials.

The new gets all the attention. But in many cases the new will not replace the old entirely. Only journalists tend to think that way. In reality the findings of Mr Newton help Boeing and Airbus today to build tubes with wings that shuttle people around the globe close to the sound of speed.