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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Sunday, 22 February 2009


This is, as much as anything, a test to see if Leopard (OS X 10.5) has installed OK (something I've been threatening to do for a little while, now) and the blog still works!

My little mac mini has been in the wars a little since I bought it nearly three years ago - during the memory upgrade process I managed to dislodge the fan sensor from the main board, and the DVD drive no longer works - but otherwise, it has survived well, and was due for a bit of an operating system upgrade.

I used a piece of software called Carbon Copy Cloner to create a complete image of Pip's hard drive both for future reference (there are some specific configurations that I needed to apply, for example when setting up the web server) and in case it all went horribly wrong.

The installation went OK, and I was mightily impressed with the Migration Tool, which managed to repopulate practically all the applications and user accounts - the only issue was that I chose 'james' as my first account, which meant I couldn't copy the account from the disk image... creating a new administrator account sorted that out, though.

There was a minor(!) annoyance - Apple Mail decided to carry out an upgrade of my email, which made all the messages disappear from the folders! Fortunately, I wasn't the first to experience this - there's a post on the Mac OSX Hints forums that helped me sort it out. There was a problem with the junk mail filters - resetting them seemed to do the trick.

I followed the instructions on www.diymacserver.com to install Apache2, MySQL and PHP5; I'll be continuing with the excellent guide to setting up an email server when I've got everything running as it should be.

I needed a few bits from my 'backup' files - not least some of the items in /etc/httpd/extra to make the minisites (like blog.mus-ic.co.uk!) work, but it wasn't long before the main website was up and running (hooray!)

The most recent struggle, though, has been this blog! It uses Perl to save entries and publish pages, but the critical link between the blog engine and the database was missing. Fortunately, it was as simple as looking at the error message, visiting the download page for the module and following the instructions to get it working; I don't think I've needed the XCode Developer Tools (the means by which software that works on Linux can be compiled for the Mac, since it runs Darwin, a form of OpenBSD Unix) so much in years!

That's where I am now.. it looks like the Gallery is still broken, but I'm hoping it won't take too long to fix it. Then, it's dansguardian (which should be fairly straightforward, since there are some comprehensive instructions on the documentation page) and I think I'm done!

I have written a few shell scripts that run on a schedule (using cron), such as one that creates a digest of my daily Tweets, and another that backs up the databases; I'm hoping I haven't missed out on anything that I used to rely on!

When this is all done and dusted (and I'm fairly pleased it's only taken about a day - my studio PC would take substantially more time to get 'just so'!) I will be able to upload some photos from yesterday - Eleanor took part in a cheerleading performance along with her gymnastics club, and we also took full advantage of the warmth and sun (while it lasts!) to go to the park and enjoy the snowdrops (me!) and a run around (Chris and Lenni!)

Posted by james at February 22, 2009 3:02 PM

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