olc: icloud sync functionality + 10.6.8 Snow Leopard

I upgraded to iCloud, as you would and discovered that one of my machines running 10.6.8 would no longer sync with iCal. There is a solution: add iCloud as a CalDAV account. In iCal, go to Preferences>Accounts>+

Use the server p01-caldav.icloud.com and add your iCloud credentials as User name and Password. This is working for me.

cautionary tale: This device isn’t eligible for the requested build

So in a rush of excitement today, I plugged my iPad into the lapper to update to IOS5 for a bit of post-Jobsian Apple-ness and to be the hippest hipster on my block when lo and behold, I was presented with the message you see above. My inner nerd sank and I was overcome with sadness and despair. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what I was doing wrong. I tried again to update the ‘Pad to its rightful 5-ness but again, no joy. This was really really vexing because I’d never done anything untoward with the iPad, it was and is a vanilla tablet.

Aha! I thought to myself, perhaps it’s something to do with my use of a 3rd party dns provider which I use to limit certain parts of the internet from my children at certain times of the day, I headed off to my dashboard and switched these off to null. Tried again, no joy, the same sorrowful message on iTunes. Next logical step for me was to reset the modem to look at the default dns settings from my internet supplier. Nope. Same again. Checked and turned off all firewall activity in the modem and on the computer. Again, no dice.

I was out of inspiration at this stage, so I headed off to google and looked for some enlightenment. I came across a discussion on the Apple about the possibility of some 3rd party software having made a small change to the hosts file in an attempt to stop communication with a particular apple server. This struck a chord with me as many months ago, I’d tried to jailbreak a spare iphone unlock 3G that was knocking around and I’d used tiny umbrella in this pursuit.

Sure enough, when I looked at my hosts file, there was something in there that shouldn’t have been, so I removed it and restarted the crate. Lo and behold this time the update is in the process of succeeding and I’ll have a shiny new 5-device in a while.

Be advised that mucking round with the hosts file requires intrepid use of the terminal and a spot of vi (or pico if you prefer).

The moral of the story is that after 6 restarts (either modem and/or computer) and a lot of head scratching, I found a solution. Perhaps I should exercise more cation installing stuff  (tu for example) on a production machine.

Lesson learnt for the time being.

olc: Dog walkers


Dog-walkers’ equivalent of pub-smokers’ smirting has to be dirting.

That’s a sheload of apostrophes in one sentence. I’m an apostrophist, it’s apostastic 🙂

olc: iPad upgrade fail (4.3.2 to 4.5.3)

Tried again to update my iPad (original) from 4.3.2 to 4.3.5 but for some reason it won’t


Clicking “more information” brings you to the Apple website, but the info available is complete;y non-specific and of no help.

olc: moment of panic reinstalling OSX

Decided that the best solution to my issues with the lapper “slowing down” was to reinstall afresh. Stuck in the DVD and pressed “Go” only to shudder momentarily thinking that I was erasing all Users and the whole shaggin thing.

Alas no, after the re-install, the Users are still present and correct.

The short memory of pain

I took this picture in Kathmandu after climbing down the Khumbu Valley with a very dodgy stomach which I picked up at Island Peak Base Camp. I now know what severe cramps can do to a person. I flew home with the beard, met my family, my youngest child (5 at the time) was frightened and cried. I shaved it off within an hour of being home.

Thankfully it’s been awhile since I broke anything, but there was a time when I damaged myself a fair bit either in the pursuit of contact sport or just plain falling down stairs. My poor unfortunate (then) girlfriend (now wife) had to pick up the pieces (literally) when I tore the ligaments in my right ankle after a misjudged descent of the stairs in my work at the time. I developed a clementine-sized lump on my ankle within seconds and came close to vomiting. I remember the pain as intense, very intense but short-lived. I’m not sure if there’s a pain scale, but if there is, this would have been up there. But soon gone, unlike the pain of loss which lingers. Continue reading “The short memory of pain”

misc: rest stepping

As we start getting more serious about Elbrus, I’m reminded of Ed practicing rest-stepping up in the Himalayas, basically involving locking out the trailing leg with full weight on it as you pause for the next step. Gives you leg a little rest between steps and really useful on steep slopes at altitude.



iPad and handwriting

So I’ve been footling around with a new (to me) iPad app called Penultimate which is a handwriting app. I’m using it with a stylus which is taking a bit of getting used to and have been recording the results in a e-notebook. Here’s a bunch of doggerel from day 2. I wonder if I’ll improve.

OLC: new from the missus

So Christmas Day brought a huge surprise in the shape of a shiny brand new iPad from the beautiful and generous Mrs C. Amazing machine, I’ve been looking for some new apps to whet the appetite and am really impressed by Flipboard, a really cool aggregator for news publications, twitter, flickr, facebook etc, but is more like a magazine in its presentation.

other lesser codologies: on not being there with Eircom Broadband Support

Gustav Doré’s engravings illustrated the Divine Comedy (1861–1868);
here Hugh is lost in Phase 1 of the BB Support
simply “not there”

I had been experiencing a few issues with my broadband service at home, namely sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and coming form a technical background, intermittent problems are the hardest to diagnose and fix, simply because some of the time, they’re just not there.

Let’s hold that thought for a minute, not there. It’s something with which I was to become acquainted over the course of the next few days.

On November 16th I phoned Eircom Broadband Support in an attempt to solve my problems. I gave my phone number so my account could be accessed but the support operator couldn’t find a broadband account associated with the phone number. That’s a bit weird, we’ve been paying Eircom for a broadband service pretty much since it became available. It was with regret that the support guy (#1) told me that he couldn’t offer me support because as far as he was concerned, I didn’t exist, I was not there. He told me that I’d have to get onto the Broadband Sales team to get this fixed. Just in case, I thought I’d ask him for a reference number which he duly gave me.

Fair enough I suppose, sometimes databases go a bit awry, so I phoned the Sales Team to be told that indeed I do exist – hooray – and was promptly transferred back to BB Support armed with the certainty that I am, in fact here. This time I got a new support guy (#2), I quoted him my account number, my phone number and my reference number from earlier. Guess what – he couldn’t find any record of my account. I’m simply not there. I reacted as calmly as I could and told this support guy that I’d just been transferred from the Sales team having being told that I do have an account. This confused him somewhat. He is not allowed to offer me support because I don’t have an account. So we get into semantics and hypothetical discussions about what if I did in fact exist as far as he was concerned, how would be proceed to try to fix the problem? Hypothetically of course.

So he suggested removing various other bits and pieces from the system to rule out any possibility of interference and leave the BB modem connected directly to the socket. I did this.

At this stage I had to go out and earn a living, returning some hours later to find that the broadband service was still well dicey.

OK, grasping the bull by the horns, I phoned Eircom Broadband Support again, after serfed a bit at simplyswitch.com looking for the possible solution myself. I connected with another support guy (#3) who, alas, couldn’t find my account despite two reference numbers and the nice chat with the Sales team earlier on. I’m just not there. So I pretty much went over the hypothetical scenario again and asked him to see if he could do anything from his end. He found my account nefariously by going through some non-standard procedure and noted that my line had been rated for an 8mb service; ‘Aha!’ he said, ‘maybe your line won’t support such a speed, I’ll cap it at 7, give it a few days and see how you get on.’ This support guy, guy #3, has given me a little light at the end of the tunnel.

After leaving the modem a few days and watching alternately flashing green and red, or not at all, I decided to contact Eircom Broadband Support to move the issue along as it were. on November 22nd, I connected with a really nice guy, support guy (#4) and gave him my account details, phone number, reference numbers, the whole kit and caboodle. ‘I’m sorry,’ says he, ‘you’re not there in my system.’ I’m beginning to feel inwardly hysterical but manage to maintain a reasonable facade. I explained to him my sorry situation; at this stage I’m searching for any simile, analogy, syllogism or bloody anything to try to communicate with Eircom Broadband Support. I asked him if he’s heard of Dante’s Inferno, the nine circles of hell? He chuckled, I thing I’ve struck a chord. He promised me that he’d email his supervisor immediately and we decided that since the problem hadn’t been solved that an Engineer would have to come to inspect, so we booked an appointment (and a new reference number).

November 24th, the appointed day arrived. But the Engineer didn’t. He’s not there. I feel as though I’m moving on from Dante’s Inferno to a spot of Joe Kakfa; The Castle.

I phoned Eircom Broadband Support and spoke to a new support guy (#5). He apologised profusely and arranged for a new appointment (under threat by me that I’d move my custom elsewhere). I’m antsy at this stage.

November 26th, so the new day arrived, and so did the Engineer. He roots around with the phone lines and equipment and deduces (God knows how) that there is another (vestigial) line coming into the house somewhere else and that this is causing the problem. He calls another guy whose job it is to go up poles and disconnect stuff. He does this with aplomb.

So my broadband service is now working again – I was thinking to change to the Usave already! Bloody great. One slight problem, another phone related service has stopped working as a direct consequence of the Engineer’s visit. I give up. It has taken from November 16th to November 24th and hours on the phone to Eircom Broadband Support to get sorted out. one service fixed, another service broken.

No matter what point of view you take, Eircom’s Broadband Support service is appalling and inefficient. The only thing going for it is that all 5 guys I spoke to plus the Engineer and Pole Guy were courteous and patient with me. That’s the only thing I can say in their favour. The rest of it?

Just not there.