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So Flickr (which I hardly ever use) has been taken over by Smugmug. I guess that news was sufficient to nudge me into considering deleting my Flickr account.

Done.

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14th October found us at an off roading event organised by Land Rover Monthly magazine. The trail was a step up from the usual green lanes I’ve driven, on a 3 mile course expertly prepared by the chaps at Experience the Country near Milton Keynes.

There were wooded sections to navigate, through some tight twisty turns between the trees:

There were some very challenging sections which I had to skip, due to ground clearance and the absence of low range and locking diffs on the Freelander. Oh for a Defender or a Disco. (sigh).

There was lots of mud!

Here, we are about to follow this chap over a steep hill:

Some stills from our in-car video:

  

 

Terrain Response set to Mud & Ruts throughout and much use made of Hill Decent Control. I continue to be impressed and pleased with the performance of “R2”.

In a carpark full of Land Rovers he felt right at home. Parking Rules Applied.

It was great to be using the Freelander in the environment for which it was designed! And yes, we went round the course several times!

I’d quite like to do it all again!


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I have finally started the famously difficult geocache: “Your Mission…“. This is widely held to be one of the best geocaches ever and is one I have planned to do for several years. Unfortunately other “life events” have got in the way over the last few years but now I’m in a position where I can go for it.

If you know anything about this cache, you’ll know how long it takes to complete. I’ve done a few stages before running out of time so I’ll keep you updated as I progress towards the final. Once I’ve done it I will try to encapsulate the experience in a blog. Bet you can’t wait!


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I’ve been annoyed at the laggardly behaviour of our iMac, currently running El Capitan, 10.11.6 . We’ve had the old girl for a few years now and I was sure that successive OS X upgrades had left some crud clogging it up – somewhere!

Even though I had cleaned up the Login Items for each user in System Preferences, I suspected there were other App “helpers” still running.

(Follow along if you want to try this at home).

Make sure you have a good backup.

Start up in Safe Mode (Hold <Shift> throughout startup).

Open a Finder window and go to Macintosh HD/Library/Launch Agents

In my case, I found these files:

com.adobe.AAM.Updater-1.0.plist

com.adobe.ARMDCHelper.<a very long hex number>.plist

com.google.keystone.agent.plist

The first 2 related to Adobe Air and the Adobe Auto Updater. I thought I had deleted Adobe Air a long time ago but on further investigation I found it was still there! So I deleted it. I also deleted Adobe Acrobat reader because I no longer use it. I then deleted the .plist files. Of course, if you find similar files and you use Adobe Air or other Adobe products, you won’t want to delete them. Obviously your requirements will differ from mine.

The third file was more “interesting”. This is an auto update Daemon which Google uses to check for updates to products you have installed. In my case, the Chrome browser and NIK plug-ins. I decided to find out how often it “phones home”.

In Terminal, type:

defaults read com.google.Keystone.Agent and press <Return>

It spits out a lot of stuff about the Apps it checks, etc., ending with:

checkInterval = 18000;

Hmm. That’s every 5 hours. Overkill, I thought. So I changed the interval to once a week:

defaults write com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval 604800 <Return>

Of course, you could delete the daemon completely but I decided against that.

Lastly, I deleted the caches in Macintosh HD/Library/Caches, that’s  <File -> Select All> then <File -> Move to Trash>. I then did the same for each user in Macintosh HD/Users/<user name>/Library/Caches. This will remove any old, broken or corrupt caches which might be causing a problem. It is safe to delete the caches as OS X will create new ones the next time the user logs in.

Finally, I restarted the Mac (still in Safe Mode) and emptied each user’s Trash. Once that was completed, I restarted the Mac normally.


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When I set up my new MacBook Pro I chose not to use Migration Assistant. This meant that I had to do a fresh install of my non-Apple Applications. Not a problem, except for games such as Call of Duty 4 and Bioshock. For these it would be nice to have the data from when I’d played the games before. As for the joystick manager, the thought of having to map all those controller buttons again – Nooo!

But, you may be thinking, he has a backup of the old Mac. Right? Well yes, I have, but this is where an idiosyncrasy of the Mac OS can cause difficulties. Most games store their game saves, preferences, etc. in each user’s Library folder in a folder called Application Support . In recent versions of OS X the ~/Library folder has been deliberately hidden from casual view ‘for the user’s protection’. So although you can view the Library folder in a Finder window, when you look inside the Time Machine backup it is still not visible. So a simple click/drag of the required files isn’t an option, neither is it possible to navigate to the Library folder using the Time Machine UI.

Luckily you can use Terminal commands to get at the files and copy them. So I thought I’d write up the process for you (because I care). Command text in red. 

The first step is to mount the backup disk. Then open a Terminal window. Use Finder to navigate to the folder. This saves a heck of a lot of typing.  Instead of typing this into Terminal:

cd /Volumes/TM_MacBookAir/Backups.backupdb/Steve’s\ MacBook\ Air/2016-11-30-195052/Macintosh\ HD/Users/steve

simply click and drag the folder (e.g. ‘steve’ in the example below) to the $ prompt in Terminal.

The pwd command in Terminal shows you the current directory. Just what we wanted:

$ pwd

/Volumes/TM_MacBookAir/Backups.backupdb/Steve’s MacBook Air/2016-11-30-195052/Macintosh HD/Users/steve

$

Now change directory to the ‘hidden’ Library folder, then Application Support:

$

cd Library

$

cd ‘Application Support’

$

Put Application Support inside single quotes because there’s a space in the folder name. Alternatively (and better) you could also escape the space with “\” like this:

$

cd Application\ Support

$

My Bioshock game data is in a folder called “Feral Interactive” in the Application Support folder, so:

Application Support $ ls -la Feral*

total 16

drwxr-xr-x@  4 steve  staff   136 30 Oct 18:09 .

drwx——@ 76 steve  staff  2584 26 Nov 20:45 ..

-rw-r–r–@  1 steve  staff  6148 30 Oct 18:09 .DS_Store

drwxr-xr-x@  7 steve  staff   238 30 Oct 22:55 BioShock

Application Support $

Use the copy command to copy the folder and contents to a folder in my home directory in the new location:

Application Support $

Application Support $ sudo cp -R Feral\ Interactive/* /Users/steve/Feral\ Interactive

Application Support $

Back in Finder, here’s the result:

I can now replace the game’s folders in Users/~/Library/Application Support with these.

Simples.


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