Long Weekend


It’s Easter which means it’s been a long weekend.

In more ways than one as it turned out.

Firstly M. is away so I’ve not spoken to her for what seems like ages (i.e. last Wed) and that makes things seem lonelier.

However what I’m really going to talk about here today is the re-build of my laptop.

Friday night I was frustrated at how long it was taking to download something so I experimented with Bittorrent instead. It was much faster for that particular file and so I was pleased. However, later my computer started behaving oddly. I can’t remember all the symptoms now but the screen wasn’t redrawing properly, mail kept crashing and attempting to restart and failing. So I took the decision to back up my files and re-install. I figured I’d got one of the rare cases of a Mac virus and this was one way to kill it.

Backup took a while. Actually my hard drive was pretty full and I needed to archive some of it – so I wrote about 5 or 6 DVDs. The rest – mostly mail and iTunes – I copied to my external USB hard drive. I then re-installed OS X wiping the hard drive and went to bed in the early hours leaving it running the software update overnight. It took me several hours the next day to get things the way I wanted them. It took me ages to correctly set up popfile so it could connect to my gmail account (the answer is to use version 0.96 of the perl package IO::Socket::SSL. rather than the latest available). Then when I’d got it all nearly done, I was re-installing my newsreader (tin+leafnode) and messed up the /etc/passwd file and the Accounts System menu wouldn’t work. So…

I started again. This time the thing that took longest was actually re-importing the mail. Most of my mail was still on the server so I could just re-download it. This caused popfile to classify it as ‘unclassified’. I then went in and created some “buckets” (mail categories) and manually re-classified my mail. Except that half-way through I decided I didn’t like the buckets I had, deleted my mail folders, created new buckets, allowed popfile to re-re-download the mail, then manually re-classify (did I mention there were over 1,000 messages). Finally I deleted the mail again, re-re-re-downloaded it, this time to have popfile classify it correctly. That whole process took about 4-5 hours.

Then I had to re-install other applications, Firefox, this LJ program, restore my iTunes backup (and reauthorised this computer), get tin and leafnode working (this time I didn’t mess up the account but it took me a while to realise tin wants a hostname not an ip address otherwise it fails with a SIGBUS). Oh and copied over my other backup files.

It’s now all more or less back to how I like it. More space because of the archiving I did. I need to set up my RSS feeds again.

One interesting thing about it though is that a lot of the time something like this takes is down to me wanting to have things a certain way and not being prepared to give up until I get it working that way. I don’t really need my gmail account to be downloaded to my local machine. If I do, I don’t really need it to go through popfile.

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About shuggie

My name is Shuggie, Paul or LatePaul depending on where you know me from. I work in computers (databases) and occasionally write about softw
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