Recently a new group of App store developers has banded together to help push the cause of making the Apple App Store a little more developer friendly for people trying to make a living as Developers of applications for Mac’s and iPhones.
The website is called The Developers Union and has some listed goals and targets. Their about page states
We believe that people who create great software should be able to make a living doing it. So we created The Developers Union to advocate for sustainability in the App Store.
Today, we are asking Apple to publicly commit — by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July — to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores before July 2019. After that, we’ll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.
Here is why we joined.
1. The stated goal of offering free trials is something what has reared it’s head for the looming release of our next app. “NOTAM Reader”. The model we wish to operate under is not currently available where we can offer a free trial. So their first stated goal is something we are defiantly onboard with and hope they can influence Apple.
2. The possibility of reducing the 70/30% split that developers share with Apple is something we also support. Apple the entire ecosystem and for that we are always grateful of the opportunity to develop on such a popular and solid ecosystem. BUT. They are so hugely successful throughout the entire process that it is hard not to feel that the wealth distribution is a little out of kilter. This is not something we are militant about but certainly a review of this policy is something we feel is worthy of banding tougher.
In the future we will review the groups stated goals and only remain part of the group while the stated goals are not self destructive and the process remains respectful for everyone involved.
Hot to Fix Multiple Monitors not working in OS X 10.9.3
Mac Pro 2013 computer users have experienced problems in some configurations since upgrading to Mavericks OS X 10.9.3. For most people, the issue related to the use of mini port to DVI external monitors.
The mac pro by design can only run two Miniport to DVI monitors, and any additional monitors need to be run on a converter that has additional power. Apple call this their Dual Link DVI adapter. Essentially this is the same thing, just with a powered USB port on it. If you were to try an run 3 mini port to DVI adapters, what you would find is that only two monitors plugged in would run. Effectively the last two plugged in in any combination would be the two that ran.
Apparently this is by design, and part of the way that the Mac Pro is set to provide a stable and powerful signal in the miniprot to DVI adapters. The additional power that is required is subsequently provided by the Dual Link (USB port).
The problems OS X 10.9.3
With this update, only two monitors would work, were previously more would run fine. Many online communities were talking about this problems that is considered serious for IT professionals. Here at InteractiveWebs.com we identified the problem, and lodged a support ticket with Apple. We had some back and forth providing the photo’s of our configurations, and some software tools that they provided to give system feedback.
The Fix for Multiple Display Problems OS X 10.9.3 – is 10.9.4
Today we received a final version of OS X 10.9.4, and to our joy it has restored the monitor problems that we experienced and things are back and firing as they should.
I have seen some people digging in for a sledging of Apple over this issue. Personally I am old enough to have experienced this type of serious issue with other more prevalent operating system. In those instances, the disconnect between manufacturer, OS developers and software developers meant that we sometimes never fixed display problems. I can remember one instance with a Matrox graphic card that we paid something like $1200 for, and never could get it working as designed due to operating system changes and software incompatibilities. We later found the same cards on sale for $50 after we had dropped $6 K into the cards.
It was problems like that that, and the fact that no matter who we told our problems to (MS, Matrox, or 3rd party software developers) that we could never get a fix. No one would own the problem. That is exactly the reason we changed to “Apple Fan Boys” and although we have spent 10 days with less than optimal Mac Pro systems, it still remains that we had a problem. Told Apple, and they fixed the darn thing in a timely manner. Well done I say!
They specify that .zip archives include a tag informing about itself to the program trying to decompress the archive. This tag information is known as the “version made by” and as the name suggest, it would tag information about the program version of .zip and the files system in use.
When the Mac system encrypts the files, it marks them with the attribute of being UNIX based files. Correct considering the Mac operating system is based on UNIX.
The problem arises at the Windows end. Because Windows is created by the most arrogant computer company in the world, it does not recognise that a .zip file could have been created with a computer that is not running Windows. It fails to correctly see the flag as UNIX and marks the files as Encrypted.
Leaving Files Encrypted
If the files are left as encrypted, you may find that there are problems if the files are shred on a network drive etc. Taking ownership will not change this flag, and resetting permissions does nothing.
The Easy Fix – Remove Encrypted Tag
Removing the incorrect Encrypted Flag on a green file in Windows 7, or Windows Server is really easy. Right click the file or files (holding the shift key to select multiple folders and files) then Click: Properties / Advanced / Un-tick the Encrypted Option
Which makes perfect sense to us, as we run the http://www.interactivewebs.com website blog on WordPress too. It really is so good for blogs, that at this time there is nothing better around.
We like it so much that we are recommending it to all our clients as a supportive SEO / SEM tool to bring hits to their site. We have setup our on server environment specifically for blog sites (and can offer hosted WordPress sites).
Just like the fact that good old Microsoft has dumped using their “junk blogs” in favour of a WP site.
Today, like a kid in a candy store, I upgraded to the new Mac OSX Lion from the Mac App store.
It can’t go without noting that it has been a long time since I was excited about the prospect of a new release software download. Today gave me glimpses of the days long gone when Microsoft would release new and innovative software. Those days are “dust in the rear-view mirror”. True geek like I know… but hay! You are the one reading this!
So How Did it Go?
Generally it went exceptionally well.
The download was way faster than I expected. I had imagined that the apple servers would be getting hammered all day, but that was not the case. The 4 GB package came down in around 30 min on a Telstra Australia cable connection.
The initial install and reboot was fast. Around 1 minute and a MacBook Pro running an SSD hard disk.
The setup and install of the operating system was reported by the software to be around 30 minutes, but took less than 20. Not bad for a new 4 GB operating system. The important thing was that there were no errors or stalls. At one stage the screen went to sleep or reset with a blank screen. Space Bar fixed that. So no problems there.
After reboot, there was one small glitch. The OS detected that a new version of Java was required to be downloaded. The download window started and on first attempt stopped after about 50% download. It stalled and did not go further. I could not quit the program so decided to reboot. After which it prompted again and this time the download reached 100% 63.3 Meg from memory. However it stopped and did not appear to install.
Again I rebooted but wised up to this download. Rather than say, install. I quit the auto detected download prompt. Then went to the “Software Update” and asked it to check for updates. This time the updated worked, along with an iTunes update. All good.
More Findings – Mail
We noticed that the Mail application that was updated and previously linked with an Exchange connection to our Exchange server 2010 ended up with two accounts. Both with the same details and same settings, both of them as IMAP accounts, and not exchange accounts.
We deleted both accounts from Mail. Then added the exchange connected account again, and this worked. Holding the details as an Exchange account.
Not sure why this happened, but it did happen on 3 machines.
More about Microsoft Office for Mac on Lion
Over the weekend Microsoft published a knowledge base article that outlines some known issues with Office for Mac on OS X 10.7. Overall, if you have Office 2004 and rely on it, then do not upgrade to OS X Lion until you have an alternative Office version installed (2008 or preferably 2011). Office 2004 is PowerPC code, and as with Intuit’s Quicken 2007 and earlier versions, if you install Lion then you will not be able to launch Office 2004.
Luckily there are options, including the ability to upgrade, or even install Snow Leopard in an alternative partition so you can still use Rosetta, but these may require you to either purchase new software licenses or set up a relatively cumbersome dual-boot situation.
In addition to the lack of support for Office 2004, there are a few situations in which Office 2008 and 2011 applications may crash. In Excel, a crash may occur when moving spread sheets between workbooks. PowerPoint may also crash when you use Command-Tab in presentation viewer mode. The only other known crash situations involve Communicator (only in Office 2011), which may shut down when initiating calls or messages.
If you regularly use any of these options or application functions, then you might consider waiting to upgrade to Lion until they are fixed.
Some Other Issues Especially in Xcode
The other interesting observation is that the scrolling is not only reversed (which we don’t essentially mind) but that in a few applications the scrolling is so bad it is virtually unusable. Xcode is a great example.
When using the new revered scrolling to browse simple lists of code, the stop start nature of the scrolling is so bad that it is almost unusable. It feels like your fingers may not have enough pressure when in actual fact they do!
All in all the update was exceptional. I cannot help but think back to MS updates that totally killed my system so often that I would NEVER consider a Windows Update, but would always start fresh with a new install. (What a pain). Never gain! Apple, your careful eye to easy end user experience has mean that as an advanced Windows Server Administrator I have never needed to “look under the hood” at your OS. Thanks for that!
That being said, clearly there are some bugs. Some of like the scrolling in Xcode make me wonder if updating is really necessary until they patch things like this.
Do you need SVN or is there another way to manage code?
We use and manage an SVN server dedicated to our xCode development, but mostly because we can, not because we need to. We have the servers, knowledge and experience to do this so we did.
I thought I would suggest another way to share code among multiple developers, and still keep thorough backups of all the things you need.
There are a few exceptions and we will list them first.
1. Technically SVN allows for two people to work on the same code at the same time, and for those changes to be mashed together. Sort of. However this is not really the case. SVN does such a lame job of mashing when compared to some TFS systems we have used for years, that we would advise strongly against thinking it will solve this problem.
For this reason, we treat SVN as a single user project for modifications, but that all users can update their local copy of the code any time, and test locally.
2. SVN encourages you to keep the server repository separate and Update or download a local version for working. “A working copy”, that you can then update back to the server when ready for check in. The process works well, and forces some dev discipline.
The suggested alternative to SVN with xCode working remotely for developers
What you need:
Skype, DropBox, Time Capsule
1. Create a DropBox account and share access to this for your developers. If you all use the same account, you can probably do this for free.
Drop Box will cache a folder to the cloud, and share that back to all users with the same account. Great service that just works!
2. Skype lets you talk to your other developers. Not really necessary, but a lever of communication is needed to ensure that you are not on the same project at the same time. This is nothing new to SVN that suffers the same problem and requires the same communication.
3. Time Capsule – This is to perform backups that are easy to revert to any point in time. We suggest that each developer has their own Time Capsule
Here is how it works
Setup a Working folder for xCode, with a sub folder by developer name. Eg xCode Working /My Name. Setup a folder for each developer. We will call this the working folder.
Setup a folder system / single folder and one sub folder for all your xCode projects. E.G. xCode Dev with sub folders /Project1 etc
Setup a different folder and sub folders for supporting files. Original images, notes etc that relate to the same projects.
Make sure that Drop Box is syncing these folders and all sub folders.
Drop your projects into the related xCode project folders and sync to the cloud.
When it is time to work. Clear your working folder of all files.
Grab a copy of your xCode files from the project folder, and drop it into your working folder. Inform others that you have the folder checked our, by changed the folder name to: “/project1 – checked out to me” Work away.
If you are online, drop box will be syncing everything you do. No problem as the xCode changes are usually small. Either online or off. Not really a big deal.
When you are ready to submit your changes back to the “Server” just copy all files back to the folder that you changed to – “checked out to me”. And rename it back to it’s original name.
Sync to dropbox, or let is be syncing all the time is even better.
Make sure that your time capsule is backing up periodically.
1. The more connected and syncing to drop box the better.
2. Don’t work on code that is marked as check out to others, but you can grab a copy from any time and look / play with it in your working directory. You can even copy from someone’s working directory to yours.
3. Don’t check in over others checked out projects.
4. Be disciplined about notes and image originals into the correct notes folder.
That’s is. You own automates SVN in the cloud.
Disaster / Backup restore.
Easy. When you find a problem, you can use your time capsule to go back to any point in time for any project for any user directly from your time capsule. Any other team member with a time capsule can do the same.
The benefits are huge.
1. It actually gives you more protection and backup and SVN.
2. You all automatically have the latest code shared via Drop Box.
Today I was trying to achieve something that was simple in Windows 3.1. Searching a directory in Windows, and checking the content of files for the search term.
In this instance, I was searching something from the content of a Web Server directory that contained some resx files. These files are used in a DotNetNuke website to deliver language content to a module.
In every version of Windows up until the "Mac Version” (that is the version that makes you get a mac… i.e. Vista). the ability to search was easy.
Now, in Windows 2008 server, they have replicated the crap that they call search in Windows 7. So basically no one know how to resolve some strange results.
I search the net and found many solutions, but non worked for me.
This appears to be one solution: (but who knows)
Open Server Manager and select Roles in the left pane. Then in the center pane click on Add Roles.
If you get the Before You Begin page just click Next, depending on if you have installed a role before and chose to skip this page in the future you might not see it.
Select Server Roles window go ahead and select File Services and then click Next.
The next page will discuss the File Services Role and what you can do with it. After reading go ahead and click Next.
In the Select Role Services page place a check next to Windows Search Service and then clickNext.
The next page will ask you to select the volumes you want to index. Place a check next to the volumes you want indexed and then click Next. As a note this is a test server so I don’t have separate data drives, be careful indexing your system drive as it can cause performance issues.
Confirm your selections by reviewing the information and then click on Install.
Hopefully you see a Installation Succeeded message and you can click Close.
That’s it! You will now be able to execute searches on the Windows server through Windows Search Services.
Because this is a web server, I really have no desire to turn on service that case the machine to run indexing all day long and possibly slow down my machine.
So I decided that after 30 minutes of rooting around like a novice on something as simple as this, I should stop wasting time and just do something I know.
I pulled down all the files to my local Windows 7 machine, and searched the files there. Low and behold, NOTHING. Apparently I did not give the machine enough time to index or something.
So I folder shared the files to my shiny Mac, and within a few seconds had the result that Microsoft failed to give me on two operating system, and to someone with years of server admin / network admin experience.
I find that as I get older, I just don’t have the time or inclination to jump through all the Microsoft hoops to get something like search to return a simple result.
I was asked the question today. How do I open some Microsoft Publisher files with the .pub extension on my shiny new Mac. The answer is that you cannot really do this unless you have a virtual windows machine running in your Mac.
This is something that a lot of people do after they convert over from Windows to Mac, because they feel lost without the BSD (Blue Screens of Death) and the constant security messages.
“Would you like to open the web page that you just asked to open”. “Would you like the web page that you just acknowledged that you want to open to open.” “Do you realise that content on the web is insecure and may harm your junk Windows machine?” “Would you like to remember these settings?” Well guess what, you can’t because you don’t have the permissions as the only user on the computer to change these settings!”
Anyway, most Mac users soon get used to the fact that you can do everything a Windows machine does, just a lot easier. So they soon blow away the virtual machine.
Unfortunately .pub files cannot be run natively on any Mac software. But there is a solution.
Point your Web browser to pdfonline.com/convert-pdf. This is an online resource that will convert many different file formats to PDFs.
Click "Choose File" and select the PUB file you would like to convert and view. Your operating system’s file manager open so you can find your file.
Type your output file name in the appropriate text box.
Type your email address in the appropriate text box. Make sure you are using an email client that allows for attached files.
Click "Convert to PDF" button located on the bottom of the screen. It should take only a few minutes for your file to arrive in your email inbox.
Open your email client and locate the email from Doc2PDF Online.
Download the file from your email client and open it with a PDF viewer. Your PUB file should be viewable as a PDF with all of the original file formatting.
Today I noticed an amber light flashing on my time capsule. Normally I would just rip a power cord out of a device like this and power up again.
Today was different. I was having so much fun making my first iPhone app on my mac, I bothered to stop and think… when was the last time something Apple just funked out for no reason (try never). So I jumped Google for a first hit response.
Time Capsule Flashing Amber =
Could be there is a software upgrade available for the time capsule.
How do you check?
Applications –> Utilities –> Airport Utility, you’ll see this: