17 Apr 2011

time machine excludes some files and directories by default, the list can be found in
a description of the plist in Time Machine Exclusions shows that some log files/paths were excluded in 10.5, and even more excluded in 10.6 (see Designed to Fail: ...). the motivation to exclude /private/var/log directory is pretty clear, it is changing rapidly especially because of log rotation. actually, Apple does not use backup-friendly scheme for log rotation:
$ ls -alt /var/log/system.log*
-rw-r----- 1 root admin 59536 Apr 17 00:54 /var/log/system.log
-rw-r----- 1 root admin 24823 Apr 17 00:30 /var/log/system.log.0.bz2
-rw-r----- 1 root admin 13872 Apr 16 00:30 /var/log/system.log.1.bz2
-rw-r----- 1 root admin 13690 Apr 15 00:30 /var/log/system.log.2.bz2
-rw-r----- 1 root admin 18642 Apr 14 00:30 /var/log/system.log.3.bz2
log system.log is compressed every night at 00:30 and all the compressed files are renamed so that the most recent archive is system.log.0.bz2, the files in backup should be updated. the better scheme is to use date instead of numbers for numbering the compressed files.

18 Oct 2010

time machine and renamed files

briefly: time machine does not recognize renamed files and folders. if you simply rename a folder containing 1Gb of files without touching data inside, you'll waist extra 1Gb of backup space. more on this issue in Time Machine: Some Details

26 Sep 2010

named backups in time machine

it's a pity that apple time machine does not allow to give a name or a note for a backup. unfortunately it is not possible push the button "back up now" and give a reason for this manual backup. it would be really useful for search, when you do not know thew date. additionally it would be good to keep such backup longer (forever?).

25 Sep 2010

search for apple downloads

unfortunately apple did not make proper search for their downloads. I played a bit with google custom search and created one, find the form below.

7 Jul 2010

google and languages

google and its services are available in many different languages, which is good. the bad thing: it does not follow any consistent rule for labeling all these languages in drop-down list.

assume you came to the Netherlands carrying your own laptop with English as the default language. open google.com web page and see Dutch. it is wise to use geolocation and redirect URL to a local server, it will handle requests faster. on the other hand, it is stupid to change also the language of the page ignoring user-agent string. actually the local server is available in English, why you are not redirected there?..

google.nl language
ok, this is not the main point, it takes only few clicks to change settings manually, see the snapshot on the right.

google.eg language
the pitfall: all the languages are labeled in Dutch. although it is not a problem to guess English in many European languages, can you easily do the same in Egypt with labels in Arabic?
of course in this case you can use Google.com in English link at the bottom, but it is not available on other google sites. what is offered instead?

a wikipedia-like style, when all the languages are labeled in their native transcript. for example chrome download.
it is rather wise, people can easier recognize letters of their native language. what if the translation to your language is not available? search through the long unsorted list to pick something acceptable? it can be very annoying.

another google example contains labels in the local and native languages (found on blogger). what is the point to do this? if you know the local language, you are already there. if not, there is no advantages over previous example.

the most sensible approach is used on knol, here English label is supplemented by native. it combines all the advantages, you can easily find the native language or select preferable from the sorted list.

all these examples are discovered during one day. I would not be surprised if google used even more combinations, which are not consistent.

6 Jul 2010

keychain in applications

some developers do not use keychain to store the passwords (why?). I started to promote the keychain usage in different applications, the links are below
DynDNS Updater
Kindle (?)

3 Jul 2010

password duplication in keychain

keychain on Mac OS X may contain several password records, which actually refer to the same password. for example, searching for "google" in keychain gives three records:
- jabber - application password (iChat)
- google.com - internet password (Firefox, Safari, Chrome)
- jabber - internet password (Adium)
you could also have POP3/IMAP/SMTP passwords on gmail, if you use Mail. they all refer to one password for google account. this means that the password cannot be changed in one place anymore. fail.
what can be done? merging of the records is not possible, since different applications look for saved passwords using their rules. maybe aliasing or symlinking of all duplications to one record is possible? then how to handle different kinds of records (application password, internet password, web form password)?

15 Mar 2009


while browsing wikipedia, I came across article about gopher. It remind me the days of my first experience with internet. The funny thing: it is still possible to find some "porn".