Tuesday, November 24, 2009

External Drives on MacOSX

Another one of my external hard drives has failed, after only two years. I was very lucky not to loose important data!!

So here is my latest bug report to Apple.
I post it here because I do not expect a response from them, maybe one of my readers has an idea if there is a simple solution.

My hard drives connected to Apple equipment are wearing out faster than they need to.

When I have external hard drives connected to my mac via FireWire, I like to let them spin down to reduce noise and energy usage, however every single time I do something like go to save a file, all of the drives spin up, one by one. All activity on the machine is blocked during this and is very frustrating, specially when I did not need to access any of the external drives. It makes more sense IMHO to only spin up a drive if it is actually selected (in the Open/Save dialog).

This problem is causing unnecessary delays in the system and extra wear and tear on the drives.

To try to mitigate this problem, I moved one of my external drives to the USB connection on my TimeCapsule. Now another issues rises.

With the external TimeCapsule drive unmounted, every time the TimeCapsule is accessed via a computer on my network to perform a backup, the external drive spins up, then immediately spins down again!!

This is completely pointless and causes even more noise, delays and wear on the drive.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Compiling Asterisk 1.4.27 on MacOSX

Asterisk is a powerful Open Source telephony toolkit.
The latest version 1.4.27 does not compile on MacOSX 10.6, due to missing libraries.

The solution is simple and slightly strange as this bug was fixed 3 years ago :-/

In the file “Makefile” locate line 360 :

+@_ASTCFLAGS="$(OTHER_SUBDIR_CFLAGS) $(_ASTCFLAGS)” $(MAKE) --no-builtin-rules -C $@ SUBDIR=$@ all

and replace it with this :


Now at least it compiles on my system :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A good winter meal

Channa Saag Aloo
(produces 4 or 5 servings)


2 tins of chick peas
1 lb spinach
3 potatoes
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 green pepper
2 tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste
green chillies to taste (try at least 4)
olive oil and/or butter (or ghee if you are really serious)


Halve then coarsely slice the onion
Thinly slice the garlic
Remove seeds, cube the green pepper
Slice the chillis
Cube the potatoes (1 inch cubes are a good size)
Peel and dice the tomatoes (pour boiling water over the toms to make peeling easier)
Wash and tear up the spinach a bit
Drain and rinse the chickpeas

In your biggest pot, ideally with a thick base and a lid :

Warm the olive oil and/or butter (I mix them, butter has a good flavour, adding olive oil helps stop it burning)
Add the dry spices to the oil, keep on a low heat, when you hear the mustard seeds popping (a few minutes) add the onions and garlic and coat them in spices
Let the onions soften and begin to brown, stir often
Add the green pepper and chillis, let them soften, stir often
Add the tomatoes, let them develop a sauce, stir often
Add the potatoes, coat them in the sauce for a few minutes
Add a cup of water (enough so the potatoes are nearly covered), put the lid on, let it simmer on a low heat until the potatoes are nearly cooked, stir often
Add the chick peas, coat them in sauce, simmer gently for a few minutes, stir often
Add the spinach and salt, put the lid on, leave it on a low heat
When the spinach wilts, give it a good stir and you are ready to serve as soon as the potatoes are done

Serve with rice, pitta bread or wholewheat toast, mmmmm

enjoy !!