How to Connect to Your Vagrant’s MySQL Using Sequel Pro

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.07.51

This was a lot less straightforward than I expected. So I’m posting the incantations here in hopes it’ll save others some time.

Sequel Pro is a very capable Mac-based, open source, MySQL client. One of these many capabilities is to tunnel via SSH to another server. In this case, we’re going from your host machine (an OSX desktop), to your Vagrant guest machine, to access the MySQL database server there. If you don’t currently have a Vagrant machine on hand, try

Continue reading

Cracking Into Your VirtualBox Windows 7 VM When You’ve Forgotten the Password

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m now working with someone who has a couple of NFL handicapping programs. These are written in APL and only run on Windows machines. I have to install these programs, so I can see how they work. But I don’t currently have a running Windows machine. But I do have a Windows 7 virtual machine which runs on VirtualBox.

Great! But, oh, wait, I haven’t used this VM in ages, and I don’t remember the password. So a little googling for “windows 7 virtualbox password” brings me to Don’t get all excited, now. It’s a dud.
Continue reading

Testing Web Sites With IE on OSX Using Parallels

This is the big drawback of developing websites on a Mac: you can’t test with Microsoft Internet Explorer. This is unfortunate, as IE is still one of the most used browsers around. It’s not THE most used browser, of course; that honour rests with Chrome as of May 2012. So, no-can-do on OSX, but you can run IE in a virtual machine, on a Mac. Continue reading

Alfred’s OS X Notes – Screenshots and Screen Captures

Every once in a while I need to take a screenshot or screen capture in OS X. (So what’s the difference between a screenshot and a screen capture? None really, as far as I know. But you have to include both so people searching for either will find these nuggets of wisdom.) Invariably I have to look up how to do this: I don’t have a great head for keyboard shortcuts. 😛 So, I decided to keep a notes page on how to do it. Leave a comment if you use a different method or workflow.

This first set of commands I got from an Apple support page.

Command-Shift-3 (⌘⇧3)
Takes image of whole screen and saves it to desktop.
Command-Shift-4 (⌘⇧4)
Gives you a crosshair, which you can use to select an area of the screen. Also saves to desktop.
Control-Command-Shift-3 (⌃⌘⇧3)
Whole screen, saves to clipboard.
Control-Command-Shift-4 (⌃⌘⇧4)
Crosshair area selection, saves to clipboard.

My friend Joan (V-C, not S) recommended a program called Skitch, which not only captures screenshots, but also allows you to mark them up.

Setting Up Subversion on OS X

I was dismayed, I must admit, to find a dearth of binaries when I was ready to install Subversion, the open source version control system, on Bender2, my MacBook Pro. But the journey brought me to an even better conclusion.

Apple has an article about installing Subversion on OS X, but it’s old (2005), and refers to version 10.4 Tiger; whereas I’m on 10.5 Leopard.

Meanwhile, the Subversion Downloads page references three projects offering OS X binaries. I settled on the MacPorts project because it offers a completely up-to-date version of the package. In fact, MacPorts is all about easily loading, building and installing fresh versions of over 5000 open source packages.

OK, confession time. I’ve never compiled a Linux kernel. I’m not keen to start, either. So the MacPorts solution was attractive to me. Here’s what I had to do to get there.

First, you need to install Xcode Developer Tools available from Apple’s Developer Connection. You’ll need to register, but it’s free. Once inside, go to Downloads, select Developer Tools on the right, and scroll down to Xcode 3.1.2 Developer Tools. (I’d give you a link, but I don’t think it would get you there, since its behind the login.)

Xcode is necessary because it has the GNU C++ compiler built in. This is what’s used to compile all these wonderful open source packages. Pluswhich, Xcode’s pretty cool in its own right, and I’m keen to get started playing with it.

The other prerequisite to MacPorts is the X11 windowing environment. Happily, it’s already part of Leopard.

Then you simply install the MacPorts dmg package for Leopard. They also have versions for Tiger and Panther.

Still with me? We’re almost there.

In a terminal window you issue the following command:

      port search subversion

It will list all packages related to subversion in its library of nearly 6000 titles. You just want subversion. So you issue this command:

     sudo port install subversion

It’ll take a while, because MacPorts will also download, compile and install all dependencies, and there are quite a few. But it’ll get you there.

The MacPorts project also sports some very elegant documentation, which explains all the in’s and out’s of the package.

All in all, I’m very impressed with MacPorts, and extremely grateful to all the people who’ve worked so hard on it. Keep up the good work guys!

Third Time’s a Charm

It’s been a dreadful few days.  So I thought I’d share.

Saturday night I was on my way to a party at Centro, to celebrate my friend Brian’s 50th birthday.  The radio station was cutting out.  I thought some poor bastard was probably scrambling in a control room somewhere; so I’ll give him a few minutes to get his act together.  When I got tired of the continuous cutting out, I decided it was time to change the station.  I looked at the radio and realized it wasn’t the station: it was the radio.

That’s when I noticed all the coloured lights on the dash were on.  And the dash itself was growing dim.  And the acceleration was sluggish.

Best turn around and go home, I thought.  On the way, even though I was moving at a reasonable clip, the speedometer was often at 0km/h.

I got the car into the driveway, turned off the ignition and drew a sigh of relief.  I tried starting it up again, but no go.  I called Mario, our mechanic, and described the symptoms.  It was the alternator.  Towing, parts and labour: $400.

Sunday night, while I was laughing my ass off at the Winter Garden Theater, watching Lewis Black’s Dual Citizenship Tour, a tree from my backyard fell into a neighbour’s yard.  Thankfully, it didn’t damage the house.  In fact, my neighbour, who seems to be quite ill, poor woman, hadn’t even noticed it.

Still and all, cleaning that up: $300.

But wait: I’ve saved the best for last.

This afternoon, while Yvonne and I were at work, earning our daily bread for an honest day’s work, some lowlife scum broke into the house and stole my MacBook Pro.

The car, the tree, I can take that.  But my computer?  Breaking into the house?  That’s nasty.  So in addition to the $2200 replacement cost (we’ve yet to see if the insurance will cover this), we’re going to have to install a monitoring system.  And you never stop paying for that.

My friend Morty observed that the real tragedy was that the kid who stole my machine was probably only going to get fifty bucks or so for it.  I could have bought a replacement MBP for about $100; so long as I didn’t mind buying a stolen machine.

FYI, the insurance company said there’d been a rash of break-in’s, all targetting notebooks.  They figure it’s kids going in and out within five minutes, grabbing the first thing they can easily carry.

Silver lining?  I had turned on Time Machine, the OS X backup system, so everything was backed up on a separate hard drive.  Of course, the backup was about two months old, but I hadn’t really done much other than surf and download videos in the past little while.  So when I turned on my new MacBook Pro it asked me if I wanted to initialize from another Mac or Time Machine, and it took care of everything.  It took about an hour and a half.  (And, oh yeah, it now has to go through USB, because Bender2 doesn’t have FireWire anymore.)  So, my users are now in place, my screen saver, my pictures, my iTunes, my VMWare with WinXP, the hookup to my desktop at work, the wireless connection to my router.  All done.

Backups are a miracle.  I’ve seen the light and been saved.  Hallelujah!

Now I need to go through all my websites and change passwords.  Blech.

Correction: The new MacBook Pro’s now have FireWire 800, while the old ones had FireWire 400.  Different connectors (though you can get an adapter).  So I’m still stuck with USB.  (Thanks to Michael Goldberg our intern here at butterscotch.)

And while we’re at it, I should mention how grateful I am that no one got hurt, and that Mr. Lowlife-Scum didn’t trash the place.

But I’m really disappointed in the cats.  All those barking lessons were for naught.

So I Bought An iPod Touch

In spite of Apple’s many transgressions, I finally caved, and bought a Touch.  What transgressions?

Ok, they’ve actually retired that NDA, but there are other offences.  The highly vaunted Apple user experience has been a bust for me.  I tried and tried, but couldn’t get into the App Store, which is the ONLY WAY to download programs onto the platform. Continue reading

I Want to Get This Good at Photoshop

I’ve been using Paint Shop Pro for years.  I got pretty good at making greeting cards, but there was a limit to what I could do in terms of photo-realistic compositions.

My friend, Kristan Uccello, posted a link on Facebook to a set of tilt-shift miniatures, which I think I can pull off.  I’m also interested in learning how to do High Definition Range photos.  I’ll keep you posted.

What really got my juices flowing, though, was a link to one of the artists in that list: Glenn Karlsen from Norway has some terrific and amazing images.

I’m not sure you can do this stuff with The GIMP, which is the open source, cross-platform image manipulation program I’m currently using, but I’m going to give it a shot.  Watch this space for developments.

From Windows to Mac: Another Convert

Mac OS X FinderI’ve been using, playing and struggling with Windows since version 3.0.  Before that, I used pretty much every version of MS-DOS.  I’ve poured a lot of my money into Microsoft.  I’ve watched them go from enthusiastic techno geeks, to arrogant robber barons.

When Vista was announced, I vowed not to donate another dime to the mighty Microsoft marketing machine.  I was planning on going to Linux.  But when push came to shove, I didn’t want to spend days struggling with obscure arcana.  So I decided to go with an OS hailed as a paragon of ease of use: OS X. Continue reading