Reading List: Sweeter than Wine
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 22:52
Reading List: SJWs Always Lie
Thursday, October 8, 2015 23:46
Mac OS: Scaling El Capitan
Friday, October 2, 2015 02:06
Total Lunar Eclipse 2015-09-28
Monday, September 28, 2015 17:03
Reading List: Sacramento's Moon Rockets
Monday, September 21, 2015 02:15
Friday, October 2, 2015 02:06
Other than installing routine security patches, I haven't bothered to update the operating system of “Ansel”, the Macintosh Pro I installed in 2009 primarily to do photographic and video production. The applications I use were primarily developed for that platform, and while I prefer to avoid proprietary software, it's a much better choice than anything tainted by Microsoft.
I was finally pushed to bring the system up to date due to nagging by Apple that upgrading my iPhone and iPad to iOS 9 might cause problems synchronising with the old version of iTunes on my desktop system. (I haven't investigated the details of this, but no newer version of that regrettable application is available for the old operating system I was running.) I decided to jump all the way to the newest release, “El Capitan
”, posted as an official release on 2015-09-30.
I downloaded the update and started the installer, after making sure
I had a complete Time Machine backup of the existing system. The
installer ran for about a minute and then said it was restarting
to perform the installation. It went into a shutdown process and
hung with two blue screens and nothing but the cursor on the screen.
After about 15 minutes in this state, I discovered I could log into
the system with SSH, and that it was still running the old system
with an uptime indicating no reboot had happened. I did a
after which my SSH window disconnected and the cursor on the blue
screen was replaced by a spinning disc icon.
This persisted for more than half an hour, during which time the system
would respond to pings but not an SSH connection. Finally, it
spontaneously restarted into an installer screen which said it had
about half an hour to go.
After around 45 minutes, it rebooted again and came up into what
looked like an initial setup screen, warning me that two applications
were not compatible with the new system. As I was about to look around
the new system it crashed, rebooted, and came up with the "problem" screen
and then the desktop.
Just about everything I tried would bounce me out after a few
seconds to what looked like a login screen, which would require
me to enter the password for a few seconds more access, after which
it would bounce again. I made sure screen lock and screen saver
were off and even removed my login password: nothing doing.
I was also getting weird tearing on the screen, failure to
refresh windows when uncovered, and a frozen cursor, after which
the inevitable pop.
The network settings were lost in the “upgrade”. I re-established
the WiFi connection to Fourmilab with settings as follows:
Search: lan.fourmilab.ch dmz.fourmilab.ch fourmilab.ch
The “upgrade” disabled SSH logins. I went into System Settings/Sharing and
set “Enable remote logins” between pops to the login screen.
Now I was able to SSH login from Hayek and access the system in text
mode without pops.
Tried iTunes. Of course, it doesn't see the Apple TV. I restarted
the Apple TV—nothing doing.
A wired sync of the iPhone to iTunes seems to work. I did not dare
to try installing the iOS 9.0.1 “upgrade” it's been bugging me about.
I unplugged the Time Machine backup disc. If this ends up as badly
as it looks right now, I'll want that as a clean backup to start
over on a new machine.
Based on a discussion of the login crashes, I backed up and deleted
the following in /Library/Preferences
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 229 Oct 1 21:18 com.apple.loginwindow.plist
-rw-r--r-- 1 root admin 2084 Jan 26 2010 com.apple.loginitems.plist
-rw-r--r-- 1 root admin 787 Jan 26 2010 loginwindow.plist
No improvement. It still pops.
Further research on login crashes discovered mentions of display
switching on various video boards, so I unplugged the right monitor.
The pops appear to have gone away, at least for the moment.
I went to the Mac App store and dowloaded 395 Mb of updates, including
good old iTunes. Now I appear to be able to run iTunes without
popping. It shows the Apple TV in the Preferences panel and says
that it's “Syncing” but I cannot find any sync progress indicator
anywhere so I have no idea what it's doing. A
/usr/sbin/tcpdump -l -nn -x -i en2 host 10.1.2.255
doesn't see any traffic going to the Apple TV so I'm not sure I
believe it. All I see is the Apple TV sending multicast broadcast
“Hello. I'm here! Anybody out there?” messages.
Naturally, the new installation of iTunes created its own library
file in “/home/[me]/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media
” and did not
respect the library I was previously using in
”. When I set the
library location to there, it still didn't see the files, since it
continued to use a new “iTunes Library.itl
” file which it had
created containing only content in the “cloud”. I had to restore
the backed-up previous library:
“/Users/[me]/Music/iTunes/Previous iTunes Libraries/iTunes Library 2015-10-01.itl”
“/Volumes/Vault/[me]/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/iTunes Library.itl”
then start iTunes while holding down the Option key so I could navigate
to that directory where it could then find the .itl file. Now it appears
to see the local content.
With iTunes repaired, I was now able to wipe the computer association of
the Apple TV (because it couldn't possibly remember something like that
across an event as momentous as an operating system upgrade) and start
the re-sync which, if experience is any guide, will run for more than a
In order to get public key logins via SSH to work, I had to:
cp -p authorized_keys2 authorized_keys
on Ansel. “authorized_keys2
” no longer works.
At the moment the machine is running with one of the two monitors I paid for unplugged, dark, and useless, but at least I can use the machine without bizarre abstract art on the screen or popping back to the login screen every minute or so. I'm sure I will discover plenty more as I try to do actual productive work with this machine. I'll add the details to this post.
Monday, September 28, 2015 17:03
Here is an animation of the eclipse from the start through mid-totality.
These images were taken with a Nikon D600
camera and a 25 year old Nikon 300 mm f/4.5 lens
. All exposures were made with a lens aperture of f/8 and ISO sensitivity of 200. Exposures prior to totality used a shutter speed of 1/125 second, allowing you to see how the Moon darkened as it entered the penumbra. The shot at the start of totality (where the lower limb of the Moon is quite bright) used a shutter speed of 1/4 second, while the remaining two images of totality used a one second exposure.
I have aligned, rotated, and stacked the images while preparing the animation with The Gimp
, taking out the apparent rotation of the Moon due to the Earth's rotation as the eclipse progressed.