Archive for the 'miscellaneous' category

OS X: disable automatic updates to disable notifications

Apple, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that the company knows best when it comes to deciding how to inform us with notifications about application updates.

While there is a hidden option that enables users to hide certain updates (control-click the update inside the App Store to reveal a hidden “Hide Update” option) this does not work for all updates. For instance, I can hide a Safari update, but not Apple Numbers, Pages or Keynote.

For this reason I have now disabled automatic updates altogether. Smart way to mishandle your clients Apple! Another slice of arrogant Apple pie from a company which knows what’s best for its customers.

Instead I’ll set up a personal weekly reminder to run Software Update manually.

Dreaming Festival 2010

From the 11th to the 14th of June I had the pleasure of visiting the Woodford site to shoot the Dreaming festival once again. As per usual, the atmosphere was fabulous and it was great to catch up with the many old friends who frequent the festival circuit.

This year’s line up included local acts Dubmarine and Chocolate Strings (both bands always manage to put up a great show). Dan Sultan was particularly animated on stage and a definite favourite with the female punters who enjoyed watching him move as much as they enjoyed listening to him.

Dan Sultan

Dan Sultan

Chocolate Strings

Chocolate Strings

Comedians Shake-A-Speare, Kevin Kropinyeri and Sean Choolburra made the Dingo Shed rock with laughter, while Mark Sheppard continuously cracked up both young and old in the Black Dramatics venue with his “Chasing The Lollyman”.

It has almost become a tradition now for musicians to jam together on the last night of the festival. They are then joined by both traditional and contemporary dancers and makes for quite a show which is not to be missed.

All in all, another great festival, and I’m already looking forward to being back there next year. A big warm thank you to all who performed, danced and organised the event.

Hi-Res 15" MacBook Pro

As previously mentioned, I recently purchased a new i7 MacBook Pro. I considered getting the 15″ hi-res screen, but decided against it.

An Apple store employee advised me that he considered there to be little noticeable difference between the two versions. I came to a very different conclusion having compared them side by side in store for nearly an hour.

While the menus probably would have been alright, a lot of text is already hard to read due to small font sizes used on many websites. As I didn’t feel like constantly squinting or getting rather close to the screen to read articles on these websites (interestingly enough, the Apple online store was one of the websites I found really hard to read) I opted for a regular screen instead.

So, if you need the extra real estate, by all means, knock yourself out with a 15″ hi-res screen. Otherwise, think very carefully about getting this. If at all possible try before you buy.

Shiny New i7 MacBook Pro

Finally, after a long wait for the next MacBook Pros to come out, my patience has paid off: I went down to the Apple store in Chermside, Brisbane, to pick up a brand spanking new i7 MacBook Pro. My previous MBP gave the ghost a couple of months back, and like many people keeping an eye on sites such MacRumours I “knew” that the updated MBPs were imminent.

Wanting to make a near complete switch from desktop to laptop for all of my work, I decided to wait for the faster and relatively cheaper machines to come out.

After buying and swapping a new hard drive, my machine now is a 15″ 2.66 Ghz i7/8gb RAM/7200 rpm (16mb cache) beauty that deals with virtualisation just fine while running every other application that I throw at it.

Using Localhost Loopback With Fusion

So you develop websites on your Mac using virtual hosts mapped to the usual localhost loopback ( Everything is fine until you install virtualisation software such as VMware’s Fusion to fight IE’s dodgy rendering issues. Of course you prefer Fusion to recognise all your locally mapped DEV sites, but you can’t simply tell the virtualised Windows environment to use since this will simply point back towards itself.

Suppose you have set up a virtual host for a site called This virtual host allows you to use URLs such as

Now you want to be able to use that same virtual host in your virtualised environment (=guest environment). You’re just a few simple steps away from making this work for you.

  1. Unique Loopback Address

    To make all this a little easier, I prefer to use a different loopback address than the standard My preferred address is: I’ll explain why I use this address later on.

  2. Hosts file: Mac

    Ensure your site is configured in your local hosts using the address file as follows:

    We’ll use the local IP address to bridge the guest and host environments. Please note that you can use any local IP address available to you (ie, not yet in use or assigned).

  3. Host file: Windows

    Next, we’ll add the same lines to the host file of the guest environment: locate the file (windows/system32/drivers/etc on XP) and duplicate the Mac host file entries:

  4. Applying the Glue

    Now that we have configured the host(s) files on both the guest and host environments all we have left to do is create the actual bridge for these environments. We do this by adding an ifconfig directive to our system by using launchd or rc.local

    • launchd

      Introduced in OS X 10.4, launchd is a flexible way to start/stop/edit processes. To put it to our use, we’d create a plist entry in

      We do this by opening a terminal window and typing:

      sudo touch /Library/LaunchDaemons/ifconfig.plist

      Next, open the file we just created in a text editor and add the following:

      <plist version="1.0">

      Finally, save and close the file.

    • rc.local

      The rc.local file runs in the background at system start up. While deprecated and essentially replaced in Leopard by the more flexible launchd, it still can be used to launch processes.

      rc.local can be found at /etc/rc.local. If you’re running a more recent system installation, chances are that you’ll have to create this file as OS X has not created this file by default since version 10.4.

      You can create the file by typing the following in your terminal window:

      sudo touch /etc/rc.local

      Now, open the file we just created in a text editor and add the following:

      ifconfig lo0 inet netmask alias

  5. Almost done

    You may need to reboot both the hosted and the hosting environment in order to have these changes come into effect.

    Thanks to Rob Sanheim for his tips on the subject.