Blog posts in the 'Software' category

Yosemite causing MacBook Air 2013 to crash when connected to Thunderbolt display

Oct 20 14

My setup is a fairly standard one:
13″ 2013 MacBook Air, which is occasionally, although more often than not, plugged in to a 27″ Thunderbolt Display.

I “upgraded” to Yosemite last night.
Booted my machine, everything seemed fine. I was downstairs at the time, no Thunderbolt display connected.

This morning, plug in to the TB display, and disaster… Blacked out.
Machine restarts saying it restarted because of a problem. One off I thought….
Then, a few seconds later, same thing.

I unplugged the TB display, and it booted fine.

Plugged the TB display back in, it crashed again. I could replicate and reproduce this every time.

Secondly, if the TB display was left plugged in, then boot the machine, the problem would happen, and it would get stuck in a cycle of booting, crashing, and restarting itself.

Recovering Skype history from TimeMachine backup with Skyperious

Sep 27 14

It amazes me that Skype chat history is only stored on your local machine

It’s just a simple sqlLite db file, located (on a mac at least) in
/Users/alex/Library/Application Support/Skype/<username>/main.db

Recently, I started fresh on my mac – fresh install of Mavericks, and re-installed all my apps

I had a TimeMachine backup anyway, in case I needed to either roll back, or get anything back –
And lucky I did.

While searching for a >6 month old Skype chat, I realised that the history had been totally wiped out.

Luckily, I came across Skyperious –
A handy little utility for viewing (and importantly in my case, merging) Skype DB files

I used TimeMachine to grab the latest (pre-wipe) version of my /Users/alex/Library/Application Support/Skype/alexjamesbrown/main.db file (which happened to be >30mb)

I then copied this to my desktop, calling it skypeold.db

Also, I copied my current main.db to desktop, calling it skypenew.db

Once these were in place, I used my Parallels VM (which I share home folders with) to install Skyperious – the setup steps for mac are numerous, where as there is a handy installer for Windows.
I browsed to the desktop, selected the skypeold.db, and merged with skypenew.db
This took a couple of seconds to merge, but when it was done, I renamed to main.db and overwrote the original file in /Users/alex/Library/Application Support/Skype/alexjamesbrown/

Signing back into Skype, all my old history is back

One of the many benefits of keeping a git repository inside dropbox

May 22 14

A couple of weeks ago, for a number of reasons, I had polluted my working copy so much, i decided it would be easier to simply blow my cloned repository folder away, and re-clone.

So, I deleted the folder, and made a fresh checkout to the same place.

Today, I was about to resume work on a feature I’d started; you guessed it, around 2 weeks ago.
It was on a separate branch – a branch, which had been lost when I deleted the folder containing my git checkout.
Naturally, I had not pushed this branch.

Uh oh, I thought.. but not for long.

I use my Dropbox folder as my main folder for nearly all my files on my machine – projects, docs, photos etc…
As I’m sure you know, Dropbox allows you to restore previous version of a file to a previous revision (or undelete)

The only trouble is, you can’t do this on a directory level.

I found this project on github –
This enables you (via the simple command line interface) to restore an entire directory within your dropbox folder to a previous date.

Using this, I was able to roll back my entire folder containing my git repository to a point in time – before I’d deleted it.
Sure, I could have done this with reflog – but that wouldn’t have helped if I hadn’t committed changes!

Once I’d used the script to roll back, my working directory was as it was prior to me deleting it – some files staged, some not!

Download emails from GMail in a specific label with GMVault

Jan 9 13

I recently wanted to download around 20,000 emails from a specific label in my gmail account.

To do this, I used GMVault.

I’m not going to talk through the basics of setup / using this as it’s already talked about at length on the GMVault site.

However, in order to get it to download only the mails in a specific label, you will need to do a custom sync.

The command I used was this:

gmvault sync –type custom –gmail-req “in:LabelNameGoesHere” [email protected]

This worked fine, however all files were compressed.

To solve that, we can simply add —nocompression like so:

gmvault sync –type custom –gmail-req “in:LabelNameGoesHere” [email protected] –no-compression

Now, all emails are downloaded as .eml files from the LabelNameGoesHere label

Parallels 8 Upgrade – Moving windows in Windows 7 snapping back

Sep 7 12

I recently upgraded my copy of Parallels desktop from version 7 to version 8.

As soon as I had done, I noticed the supposed “improved multi-monitor support” wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

If I had a window open, and dragged it to the other monitor (either from external to macbook, or vice versa) it snapped back!

See video:


Parallels have now released a hot fix which fixes this issue.
It would have been nice if they’d tested this before releasing in the first place however… 

As per their support site, follow these instructions:

Please update Parallels Desktop 8 to the latest build. To obtain the update, please do the following:

1. Start Parallels Desktop > click on Parallels Desktop menu > Check for Updates...
2. Download and install the Update.