Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

After updating an iPhone, maybe it’s stuck. Doesn’t happen much, but it can happen. When it does, it’s great if you’ve got a backup of your phone. And those traditional means of restarting, resetting, and restoring don’t work any more. Or at least they do, but they’ve moved. If you need to DFU or restore your device, starts by plugging the phone into a computer running iTunes. Then press and hold the power button down for 3 seconds and press the volume down button while you’re holding that power button. Hold both down for about 10 seconds and let go of the power button, holding the volume down button for 5 more seconds. This process is pretty specific and I’ve often had to do it 3-4 times to get it just right. If you see the Apple logo at boot, the device is just rebooting (and that’s usually all I’ve needed). But if you really need it to go into restore or DFU-mode, you’ll want to see the screen that says Plug Into iTunes. Once you see that, you are in restore mode. If you want to be in DFU mode, you’ll want it right in the middle, where the screen is black.

April 11th, 2017

Posted In: iPhone

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When doing updates in WordPress, upgrading the WordPress version or the Plug-Ins causes the site to enter into Maintenance Mode. While in Maintenance Mode, a message appears that says “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.” rather than the actual site. Sometimes, especially if you’re using the automatic updating functions, an update might fail and the site may be stuck in Maintenance Mode. WordPress looks at the root level of a directory for some hidden files that can tell a site to operate in a different manner. If there’s a file called “.maintenance” then the site will display the message above. When an update of a Plug-in fails, the .maintenance file is never deleted and the site is stuck in Maintenance Mode. To correct the error, simply ftp into the root of the site and delete the file. It’s hidden, so make sure your ftp software isn’t suppressing the ability to see a hidden file. Whatever Plug-in or update failed likely also broke something. Usually, if it’s a Plug-in then you’ll need to re-install that plug-in, as the update process removes the old Plug-in and then adds it back. If it’s a Theme, you might need to re-install the Theme. Programmatically, you can also enable Maintenance Mode by creating this file and then disabling Maintenance Mode by deleting (or renaming) the file again.

December 27th, 2012

Posted In: Mac OS X Server, Ubuntu, Unix, WordPress

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Did you know that System Preferences is a 64-bit application? Stands to reason, but one thing I realized recently while working on some code for a System Preference pane is that 32-bit System Preferences cause System Preferences to react differently. You can use 32-bit preference panes but using them prompts you to quit System Preferences, which relaunches into a 32-bit mode. Going back to 64-bit mode also requires a relaunch. This is a great reason for developers to get their code upgraded sooner rather than later as I can’t imagine this compatibility mode will last forever…

January 9th, 2010

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Uncategorized

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When you install Mac OS X Server you have the option to use Standard, Workgroup or Advanced. I have installed Standard for writing articles/books/etc about it, but from the first day I saw it I knew it wasn’t for me. Workgroup has some augmented record reasons you might use it, but is otherwise similar. Advanced is pretty much, make my server look like it did in 10.4 Server. Here you have Server Admin, Workgroup Manager and the other tools that comprise a Mac OS X systems administrators toolkit. But Standard is synonymous with “Simple” in this case and should rarely be used. If you are fairly non-technical then it can act as a nice gateway drug to bigger and better things – in that case you don’t necessarily need the configuration granularity that you have readily at your fingertips with “Advanced”. However, be able to leave behind Server Preferences and quickly transition into full-blown tools (it will ask you if you want to do so the first time you open Server Admin) at any time as you start to find that it’s limited in what it can do…

August 20th, 2009

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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I originally posted this at So you selected Advanced Setup during the wizard while you were installing Mac OS X Server and now you’re looking at this new Server Admin screen that you’ve never seen before. You see the server name but there are no services in the list. This is because Apple has gone the extra step to make Server Admin less confusing and more user friendly than ever before. When you click on the Settings icon at the top of the Server Admin screen you will see the tab for Services. Here, you can enable or disable any service by checking its box and clicking on the Save button. Once a service has been enabled then it will appear under the server in the Servers list (notice it no longer says Sites and Services). From here, you’ll notice that the old chicklets from the bottom screen are gone. Now they have been replaced with an icon set in the toolbar that changes as you click between the services. For example, the AFP Service shows Overview, Logs, Graphs, Connections and Settings. Clicking through these icons, you’ll notice that they provide the same experience that the chicklets at the bottom of the screen provided. However, by placing them at the top the user interface makes more sense. One thing that is a bit strange is the decision to move the Start and Stop buttons to the bottom of the screen. When you enable a service it will not start by default so if you want to begin using it look to the bottom of the list and click on the Start button for the service. When you enable and then click on each service you will notice that many have the same options that they’ve had in the past. There are exceptions (like a more granular logging tab for the FTP service), as there are with every version. But for the most part many of the settings have stayed the same through a few versions of the OS because they just make sense in how they are laid out. New Services added are Radius, Podcast Producer, MySQL (which actually existed in its own stand-alone application before) and iCal. Each of these has a great purpose and will hopefully be explored in detail as time goes on. You might notice that one service, Applications, is gone from the list. Tomcat has now been moved into the Web Service as a checkbox (Enable Tomcat). So that’s the quick and dirty tour of the new Server Admin application. It’s sleeker and has a (in our opinion) much improved interface over the old Server Admin.

November 16th, 2007

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

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