‘mac’ Archive

Bootable OS X Lion USB Drive

27 July 2011 14:16

This has been done to death on the vast expanse of the interweb, but, I’m blogging it anyway more for my own reference than anything else.

OS X Lion is distributed via the App Store however it’s really easy to make a USB drive that’s bootable which you can use to install Lion from.

  1. Load up Mac App Store, login, purchase and download OS X Lion.
  2. Once downloaded, open Finder and go to the Applications and locate the “Install Max OS X Lion” file
  3. Right click on the downloaded file and select “Show Package Contents”.
  4. Go to “Contents”, then inside the “SharedSupport” folder and you’ll find a file titled “InstallESD.dmg”. Copy this over to the desktop. Make sure you copy and paste rather than drag & drop this file.
  5. Plugin the USB drive you want to use. 4GB is enough, but, I’d do it on an 8GB one. I used one of these with Amazon’s frustration free packaging, which rocks!.
  6. Open up “Disk Utility” and drag InstallESD.dmg from wherever you copied it to in to the left-hand sidebar. Select the attached USB from left side and click on “Partition” tab.
  7. Select “1 Partition” from the Volume Scheme dropdown menu. Choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” from the left.
  8. Now click on “Option” at the bottom. Select “GUID Partition Table” and press OK. Now click on Apply at the bottom right. Be warned this is will erase all data on your USB flash drive.
  9. Once it’s done formatting click on “Restore” (it’s right next to where you clicked on “Partition” in Step 6).
  10. Choose the USB drive you plugged-in in Step 5 as “Destination” with the InstallESD.dmg file as “Source”.
  11. Click Restore and type in your password. This will create the Lion bootable USB flash drive.
After it’s done, you’re pretty much set. You can either carry on and install Lion or you can reboot with your USB drive plugged in and whilst holding down the “Option” key select it and boot up to the installer.

Also, if you don’t back up your machine and loose everything, don’t blame me. Good article on backing up and more specifically cloning can be found over on Craig Grannell’s site.

Thanks to articles on Mashable, Information Week and Redmond Pie.

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MAC apachectl ulimit error with 10.6.5

18 November 2010 13:23

If you’ve upgraded to the latest MAC release of Snow Leopard, 10.6.5, and you use apache you may have noticed a bug when you try to control apache with apachectl.

[[email protected] ~]$ sudo apachectl -t
/usr/sbin/apachectl: line 82: ulimit: open files: cannot modify limit: Invalid argument

The release notes detail that apache has been upgraded to 2.2.15 to fix some security holes, however by doing so causes this bug.

The fix is pretty easy and requires you to edit the /usr/sbin/apachectl file. The line you’re looking for is this:

ULIMIT_MAX_FILES="ulimit -S -n `ulimit -H -n`"

All you need to do is simply remove the actual ulimit command and leave this in place:


Try apachectl again and it’ll work. In my case the offending line was in fact 64, not 82.

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Rails Setup

23 March 2009 21:39

Been playing with Rails and Passenger 2.1.2 but had some problems upgrading from the two respective earlier versions. The key was in the fact I probably didn’t RTFM. Following the guides.rubyonrails.org I’d got as far as section 4, changing the default index but whenever I did this or tried to view the controller directly on my Mac (10.5.6) it just 500 errored. The key was something that a friend (@neilmiddleton) alluded to was that the app was running in production mode. There was no errors in the log files also aiding the diagnosis.

Solution? Pretty simple, just add an environment variable.

ServerName rortest.local
DocumentRoot "/Users/ian/Sites/rortest/public"
RailsEnv development

Now I’ve got to try and write something useful rather than hello world or a blog post/view page.

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Screen Lock Mac (with a message)

30 October 2008 10:46

There’s a few ways you can screen lock a mac but I wanted to not just lock the screen also put a message in the login window.

Using ScreenLock from handymacapps.com and Quiksilver you can quickly launch the lock and then by running the following you can neatly add a message to the login window.

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText “If you need me, call me.”

Just do “” to blank it again or ditch the file.


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New Macbook and Macbook Pros

26 February 2008 15:09

Amid the ever entertainment Apple rumour mill so long awaiting updates have today popped out. Updates to the Macbook and Macbook Pros.

Nothing massive really, the screens on the MBP’s perhaps. Specs mainly.

This taken from Apple Gazette.

The Macbook Pro now features the same multi-touch trackpad featured on the Macbook Air, but neither the Macbooks nor the Macbook Pros feature any real significant cosmetic changes. The new MacBook Pro features the latest Intel Core 2 Duo technology with up to a 2.6 GHz processor with 6MB of shared L2 cache; up to 4GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory and up to a 300GB hard drive, plus NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with up to 512MB of video memory.

The MacBook lineup comes in three models and includes faster processors and larger hard drives across the line; white 2.1 GHz and 2.4 GHz models with 120GB or 160GB 5400 rpm hard drives and a black 2.4 GHz model with a 250GB 5400 rpm hard drive, previously only available as an option. The 2.4 GHz MacBook models ship with 2GB of memory standard, expandable up to 4GB across the line.

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O2 upgrade iPhone tariffs

31 January 2008 20:21

Got a text from O2 saying that my tariff is being upgraded… woo! Instead of 200 minutes I now have 600 and 500 texts from 200.


Hopefully they’ll release a 3G version and give us all discounted upgrades.

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15 January 2008 21:11

Well I was close. A new Macbook “Air” which for business people or those who travel a lot looks awesome… I want, but, don’t need one. An update to the iPhone firmware which was expected along with movie rentals in iTunes so all in all nothing really shocking. The Apple TV upgrades look kinda cool.

To update the iPhone though looks like you have to get iTunes 7.6 first because before I did it didn’t work.

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Macworld Rumours

11 January 2008 22:25

Macworld is coming up on Monday (14th) and as usual the rumour mill has been rife. My predictions aren’t that shocking but hopefully I’ll get a clean sweep.

  • New Macbooks with 13.3 LED displays
  • iPhone firmware 1.1.3
  • iPhone SDK
  • Leopard 10.5.2

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Apple Rumour Mill

10 December 2007 9:55

The mill was in full flow last week with numerous posts about a forthcoming iPhone update, 1.1.3. As is often the case these all basically pointed back to one source website saying it’d be the weekend just gone, but, nothing. I plugged in my iPhone a few times across the weekend and saw no updates.

That said, I hope it does come soon as a voice recorder would be pretty handy and allowing some form of disk usage would be good, even if via iTunes. What I’d really like of course is ability to install applications, but hey ho.

A few people have posted that newly bought iPhones over this weekend have got 1.1.3 on, but, no proof so we’ll see if it comes out this week.

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ColdFusion 64bit and Leopard Beta

22 November 2007 9:10

Slow to the game on this but been busy working! If you want to get in on the 64bit / Leopard beta check out Kristen’s blog.

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