August 7, 2013 0

RailsInstaller install error solved [Mac]

By in Mac, Technology

If you’re new to learning Ruby on Rails, one of the easiest way to get almost everything necessary installed and setup is by using RailsInstaller. However, many users seem to run into troubles during the installation process, most notably encountering the following error:

“There has been an error. Error changing group of / opt/rix to rvm The application will exit now.”

Sadly, there is no explanation or help with troubleshooting. However there seems to be two very quick solutions to this:

  1. Restart your mac and try and again. If that fails then,
  2. Try the following (courtesy of Treehouse):
  • Open Disk Utility
  • Choose Macintosh HD
  • Click Repair Disk Permissions
  • Restart your Mac

They have both worked for me (on two different MacBooks) – I do not know if there is a similar problem when installing on Windows, if there is then a restart may be worthwhile anyway.

Have you encountered this issue; Did this work for you. Share your solution in the comments below.

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June 30, 2013 0

Summer Solstice Microadventure

By in Random

Inspired by Alastair Humphreys and to complete his microa-dventure challenge I set out to spend one night under the stars in the beautiful Chiltern Hills.

There was plenty of cycling and walking, and a few too many odd noises in the woods in the early hours of the morning, but nonetheless it was a fun experience and one that is easy to repeat even close to home.

You can find out more about micro-adventures here. I leave you with a short video and images from my adventure.



Chilterns microadventure light painting fun


Have you tried a micro-adventure, share you adventure in the comments below.


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June 13, 2013 0

Share files wirelessly between Windows, Mac and iPhone with FileDrop

By in Apps, Mac, Reviews

If you’ve ever used the AirDrop utility on a Mac you will know how easily it allows you to send files between two Macs, but what if you want to send a file between your iPhone or your Mac or your Mac and your Windows PC – that’s where the handy little app FileDrop comes in.

The app only does one thing – sending files across two devices running FileDrop – but it does it well. It’s a very simple and minimal interface – you open FileDrop on the sender and the recipient machines (on the same wireless network) then drag and drop any files or folders you want to transfer between them.

This has now become the default way for me to transfer files between my Windows PC and my Macbook Pro. Note that the transfer speeds will likely wary, but so far I haven’t had any issues with sending files up to 1.0 GB.

The developer is also promising future features to allow you to stream photos from your mobile device and as well as listen to music. At the moment FileDrop is available for Windows, Mac OS and iOS with Android and Windows Phone versions coming soon.

You can find out more and download FileDrop here.

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December 7, 2012 23

How to stop Google Drive crashing on Mac OS X (mountain lion)

By in Mac, Technology

[OS X 10.8.2] Since Google Docs became Google Drive it’s been great – they added Dropbox like functionality whereby your documents and any other files on GDrive are seamlessly synced across all devices on which you have GDrive running.

Except there is one slight problem – if you’re running a laptop of desktop with Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2) running – GDrive will continuity crash and bug out.

Reading around, this seems to be a problem with OS X rather than GDrive. There seems to be an issue with the apple events daemon. Until Apple release an update, I have found the following solution:

The Solution

The solution is simple, you need to kill the apple events daemon service (appleeventsd). You can do this either via the terminal or the activity monitor.


Launch terminal by opening and type the following:

sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd

Terminal will ask you for your password, if you don’t have one (tut tut) then you will need to create one and come back.

Activity Monitor

Launch Activity monitor and in the filter box in the top right, type “appleeventsd” (without the quotation marks) then click on ‘Quit Process’.

Did this method work for you? How you found any other ways to get GDrive to behave? Let me know in the comments.

Bonus: What is an Apple Event?

Apple events are high level interprocess communication mechanisms on Mac OS X.

Essentially, when a user clicks on a file or tries to launch an application then finder sends an apple event to the associated application.

The event will request for the file to be open and if the application is not open then it will be launched.

There is a great advantage that there is only one instance of the application running. This has been part of Mac OS for quite some time, and also forms the basis for AppleScript.

The problem occurs when a particular application (GDrive) gets into a state where events sent to it are not delivered. The application keeps getting repeated requests and eventually times out.

This is where the apple event needs to be killed to restore balance.




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November 28, 2012 0

How-to: Check a message for attachment before sending in Outlook using a Macro

By in Technology

I wrote this macro a little while ago when I was using Outlook quite extensively. It comes in quite handy if you send a lage amount of emails containing attachments, and in fact a good number of apps now have this functionality built in (Postbox for example).

Use: The macro looks to see if you have a used words like “attached”, “enclose” or “file” in the email and then to see if there are any files attached. If not and you try and send the email the macro warns you of the case.

I have tested this in Outlook 2003 and 2007 on Windows without any issues.


  1. In Outlook, point to Macro on the Tools menu, and then click Visual Basic Editor.
  2. In the Project window, double-click the module you want to contain the macro.
  3. On the Insert menu, click Procedure.
  4. In the Name box, type a name for the macro e.g. “attachment_checker” – the name cannot contain spaces.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Paste the code below and save.

The code:

' Created by Abhijat Saraswat
' On 14th March 2012
' Feel free to edit
' Code below...

Private Sub Application_ItemSend(ByVal Item As Object, Cancel As Boolean)
Dim m As Variant
Dim strBody As String
Dim intIn As Long
Dim intAttachCount As Integer, intStandardAttachCount As Integer
On Error GoTo handleError
'Edit the following line if you have a signature on your email that includes images or other files. Make intStandardAttachCount equal the number of files in your signature.

intStandardAttachCount = 2
'Edit the number above

strBody = LCase(Item.Body)
intIn = InStr(1, strBody, "original message")
If intLength = 0 Then intLength = Len(strBody)
If intIn = 0 Then intIn = InStr(1, Left(strBody, intLength), "attach")
'Not looking for "file" keyword at present, comment out the line below if you wish to:
'If intIn = 0 Then intIn = InStr(1, Left(strBody, intLength), "file")
If intIn = 0 Then intIn = InStr(1, Left(strBody, intLength), "enclose")
intAttachCount = Item.Attachments.Count
If intIn > 0 And intAttachCountm = MsgBox("It looks like you forgot to attach a file... " & vbNewLine & vbNewLine & "Do you still want to send this message? ", vbYesNo + vbDefaultButton2 + vbExclamation + vbMsgBoxSetForeground, "Attachment Missing?")
If m = vbNo Then Cancel = True
End If
If Err.Number <> 0 Then
MsgBox "Outlook Attachment Reminder Error: " & Err.Description, vbExclamation, "Outlook Attachment Reminder Error"
End If
End Sub

Feedback and problems: Please let me know what you think of the macro if you have any improvements and/or issues.



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November 9, 2012 0

[Solved] How to add & sync multiple google calendars in OSX Lion calendar app

By in Mac, Technology

Ever since I updated to OSX Lion I’ve been troubled by the issue to managing my google calendars on the desktop calendar app.

I use multiple calendars tied to one google account, and by following the syncing instructions provided by google I always got two copies of the same calendar showing up (as it was being added as a delegate).

Thankfully, after some searching I have found a solution, which solves the problem. It’s a little long (depending on the number of calendars you have) but definitely works. The steps are as follows:

I was finally able to set up all my Google calendars via CalDAV in iCal 5.0 (OS X Lion).  They are nested under all kids of weird “google” names in the calendar list, but I can live with that so I can get edit and sync my iCal and Google calendars all from iCal:

1. Copy the calendar id from your google calendar (under “Calendar Settings”) for the Google calendar you want to set up in iCal.

2. Open Preferences in iCal and select “Accounts”

3. Click on the “+” button to add a new account

4. Select “CalDAV” from the Account Type menu

5. Type your user name (important: do not add the “” part or it will just duplicate your main google account).

6. Type your password

7. Replace the section in all caps with the ID from step 1, then copy and paste this to the server address field. (NOTE: do not add “https://” to the beginning of the address)

These steps helped me add nine google calendars to my iCal that are accessible via Mail to add events directly from email messages. (I would not have been able to do that via the delegate method).

You can have a look at the full thread or leave a comment below if you’re having any difficulties.


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November 7, 2012 17

[Solved] Galaxy Note 2 s-pen sensitivity problem

By in Android

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is an excellent phone, which is made even better with its Wacom technology powered stylus. However the stylus on some devices suffers by being too sensitive or not sensitive enough, or randomly clicking when brought close to the screen.

Mine was plagued by the latter, whereby the stylus would draw and otherwise interact with the phone when it was a good 5mm+ away. This is a issue especially when writing or sketching as you cannot get clean lines.

Note: I do not accept any liability for any damage caused to your stylus by following the below.

Thankfully there is a very quick and easy solution to this – using a razor-blade, paperclip or something similarly thin pop open the button cover. You will then note two potentiometers (they look like small screws), the one closest to the nib controls the sensitivity. See picture below:

Rotate this using a flat-head screwdriver – I had to rotate mine clockwise – until you get the desired sensitivity. Pop the button back and done.

If the issue isn’t resolved then you may have to speak to Samsung.

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September 26, 2012 1

Oh the sciences, and women

By in Opinion, Science

Weblog Pritilittlediscoveries recently wrote commentary on an article published on the guardian website focusing on the issue around women in science.

The underlying tone of the article (which references several scientific papers) suggests that the diminishing number of women in science is due to the subconscious schemata we tend to establish.. This is the same principle that conjures up images of a man when you are asked to think of a doctor for example (incidentally that is not the case for me, does that make me abnormal!?).

There are other issues that are put forward such as changes in trend, economic issues and so on and generally a lot of these are moot now and the author accepts that. Except perhaps the economic argument which could well be another article on it’s own, but that would perhaps apply equally to both genders.

Lets consider the life sciences (as this NYTimes article did), which historically has been one area of science dominated by women with around “…58 percent of all bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates in biology are awarded to women”. Paula E. Stephan, an economist at Georgia State University, offers a reason for this:

“Women historically have been interested in subjects that were less math intensive and that had goals of helping people, and biology and the medical sciences have both of those”

The commentary on Pritilittlediscoveries hints that we have been programmed to believe that a successful scientist should be male. As much as I might concede that point that we have been programmed to believe something (a lot of it is unconscious and I believe does take some time to reverse) there is no such belief the a scientist should be a male to be successful.

Lastly, the commentary also notes that there have not been enough women [scientists] to steal the spotlight of history. On that note I shall leave you with this very short list of accomplished women who certainly have earned a place in history.

  • Hypatia (c370 – 415) – the Greek mathematician, astronomer and philosopher and also the first recorded female scientist in history
  • Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) – arguably one of the greatest scientists, if you’re done any sort of science in high school or thereabouts you will have heard of her. Winner of two nobel prizes (and the first person to do so)
  • Irene Joliot-Curie (1897 – 1956) – Marie’s daughter and like her mother winner of a nobel prize. Her work with radioactivity was crucial to the discovery of nuclear fission.
  • Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910 – 1994) – British scientist who discovered and photograph the molecular structure of penicillin and Vitamin B12
  • Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) – Daughter of Lord Bryon, articulated the ideas for an ‘analytical engine’ which today we might call an all-purpose computer. She later had a programming language named after her (ADA) and her image is on Microsoft’s authentication hologram sticker.
  • Jocelyn Bell (1943 – ) – One of the most notable female physics professors in the UK, she is widely regarded as the discoverer of Pulsars.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Share them in the comments below.

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March 7, 2012 0

The New iPad is here – first hands-on impressions

By in Technology

Apple, earlier today, unveiled the next generation of their tablet device – aptly called ‘The New iPad’ (seriously!). The headline feature being the Retina display with a ridiculous 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, packing a whooping 264 pixels per inch.

Other note worthy features unveiled include the new A5X SoC (system on chip) with quad-core graphics and a 5MP iSight camera capable of capturing 1080p video. The noteworthy feature (which is, for the moment at least, redundant in the UK) is support for 4G LTE  offering speeds up to 72Mbps.

Otherwise, largely things remain unchanged, with very slight increases in weight (1.4lbs) and thickness (9.4mm) with Apple promising battery life of up to 10 hours.

Several blogs, that were at the Apple event, have already posted their first impressions. Here’s a collection of a few.


There’s no doubt that this here tablet feels every bit like a $500 product, oozing quality from edge to edge and being as delightful as ever to use. Is it the second coming of the tablet? Of course not, but if we’ve learned anything from the iPhone 4S, it doesn’t need to be. Apple just put an insane amount of real estate in the hands of crafty developers, and frankly, we can’t wait to see what they cook up.


“It’s Resolutionary” Apple says of the new iPad, and we have to agree. We’ve just grabbed some hands-on time with the new Retina Display iOS 5.1 tablet, and the difference from the iPad 2 – which, remember, stays on sale alongside it – is vast. The pixels in the 2048 x 1536 display are, at regular arm’s length, completely indistinguishable: it’s only when you get up close that you can make them out. …

… Should you opt for the new iPad rather than the discounted $399 iPad 2? From our brief experience with the new Retina Display, it’s hard to imagine going back to less pixel-dense panels. When third-party developers jump on board and begin crafting Retina Display-compatible titles, the iPad 2 may start looking like a poor choice for anyone but those on the strictest of budgets. Make no mistake, the new iPad has reset the bar for the tablet segment, leaving Android and Windows 8 OEMs playing catch-up once again.

Ars Technica

As for the high-resolution “retina” display, it certainly looked good. Just like the iPhone 4 and 4S, the third-generation iPad’s screen was very smooth and able to (quite impressively) display high-resolution photos and videos without pixelation no matter how close you look. The display has fewer pixels per inch than the iPhone 4/4S, but in our side-by-side comparisons, that wasn’t perceptible. The two screens looked basically the same in terms of sharpness, though the third-gen iPad did appear to have higher color saturation.

The Verge

Physically, the device feels nearly the same in hand as the previous model. Though it does have a slight bump in thickness, the difference is nearly unnoticeable. Since the design hasn’t dramatically changed, there’s not much to note in the casing department, and though there are improved cameras present, the general seating and size of the sensors seems unchanged.

The new iPad should go on sale in several countries worldwide on March 16th 2012. Pre-orders can be placed now.

Will you be getting one?


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February 29, 2012 0

February quoteables

By in Random

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes

I think this is absolutely true, and it is something we often forget in times of high stress or when things are really going our way. A lot of those times we don’t really have any control on the outcome and yet we try and change how things might turn out, instead it’s important to change our attitude and keep moving forward. This is sound advice courtesy of educator Charles R. Swindoll.



On criticism, cynicism & sharpening your gut instinct | The 99 percent


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