Apple IDs, iPhone upgrade, lost abilities
#205 Henry, 29 January 2015 9:56 AM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: apple appleid)

I upgraded my iPhone and iPad to the latest version two days ago. Since then, I can no longer get messages to and from my iPhone. It's a mess.

It starts with every upgrade to every device and Mac. The iPhone and iPad both start up and demand that I start using Anne's email addresses for Facetime and Messages and email and I have to turn stuff off, and then every device starts getting popups that this has started using that email address for this or that.

I looked at this again, and found that the whole Apple ID system I have here is a complete mess. I have one Apple ID that I use for all devices, mine and Anne's. That way we pay once and get it on all devices. This Apple ID has one of my email addresses, and two of Anne's. And don't start me on about the being the equivalent of, but not really, but sort of.

But wait, I have a second Apple ID that is included in my regular ID, and it has two email addresses.

But wait, turns out I have a third Apple ID and it's not linked to the others, and while I was checking it out, I was forced to upgrade my password and that caused problems of its own. This one is for my iCloud account, the one with and

Turns out my iPad is registered with one Apple ID, the iPhone (because it's a clone of the oldest device) is with the other Apple ID associated with the first.

Nothing works the way it should. Whatever I do is going to involve erasing several devices and configuring them from scratch again and losing all my settings and data. When I started with Apple devices and Macs, I didn't fully understand the Apple ID and now it's a mess and I don't see anything except painful ways out. Family sharing isn't going to work, because Anne won't upgrade her iPad to iOS8 because a bunch of games will stop working.

I've started charting what every device has and turning things off on the Macs because they aren't used for anything except storage. Once I get charted what it is, I am going to chart what I want, and then I'm going to go the Apple Store and get them to help me there.

Three iPads, one iPhone, three MacMinis, a MacBook, a MacBookPro. All these need to be charted and cleaned. Maybe I should take the plunge and erase everything and start again. It can't be that much worse than what it already is.

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Drobo expansion
#204 Henry, 28 January 2015 7:34 PM (Category: Hardware)
(Tags: macmini drobo dashboard)

The two 3T hard drives arrived today. I installed them in seconds. While it was running, I took the faceplate off the Drobo, and inserted the first hard disk. There was a short pause, like 5 seconds, then the green light beside it went on, and a notification popped up on the Mac Mini to tell me that a new drive had been inserted in the Drobo. I did the same with the second hard disk, same thing happened. So now I have two 500G drives and two 3T drives in the Drobo. This is what the Drobo Dashboard now shows:

Drobo status showing drives

It confirms and shows the capacity drives that have been inserted. I looked at how the drives are being used, and the Dashboard shows this:

Drobo status showing usage

That explains a lot.

The default is to be able to handle one drive failure. There is a setting to allow two hard drive failures, and I investigated that. Instead of giving me 3.5 T of usable data, it told me I would be down to 950G of usable data. I did not change that setting.

And finally, I wanted to see what my current usage was, and the Dashboard showed me this:

Drobo status showing what I am using

I'm pretty happy with it so far. But I'll be happier when those two 500G drives are replaced with two more 3T drives. I'll do that next month.

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More rsync filename weirdness
#203 Henry, 25 January 2015 1:23 PM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: hfs+ rsync space hyphen)

There could be another bit of weirdness here too. I had a file with spaces in the filename and a double hyphen. Like this:

jonah and the whale -- dore illustration.jpg

and this file was repeatedly deleted and copied every single rsync attempt.

Generally, I do not use spaces in my filenames. My primary OS is Linux, at the command line, and spaces are anathema. I have to escape those things all the time. If you are using a GUI only with a GUI file manager, you can use spaces to your heart's content and not notice anything. If you are working on the command line much, you learn to hate spaces in filenames.

These files came from a CD of clipart and this appears to be the only one containing a double hyphen. I don't know why it causes issues, but I renamed it, and all the others to not give me grief. I'll run some tests on it later.

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Mac OS X file system weirdness
#202 Henry, 25 January 2015 12:56 PM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: hfs+ macosx rsync)

I read a post by Linux Torvalds a few days ago where he ranted about the quality of Apple's HFS+. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it, but with the rsyncing I am doing today to a HFS+ volume, it came back to me.

During the rsync, I noticed that two directories kept getting deleted and re-copied every single time. Why?

First of all, I had a stupid arrangement on my Linux box. I had two directories set up like this:

-- Ipad
    |-- new
    |   |-- img_0045.jpg
    |   |-- img_0046.jpg
-- iPad
    |-- 20141022_a_richmond
    |   |-- img_0047.jpg
    |   |-- img_0048.jpg
    |   `-- img_0049.jpg

I had one directory called Ipad with a capital I and one directory called iPad with small i and capital P. On the Linux boxes, these are two completely directories. On HSF+ they are the same. There appears to be no case sensitivity. When I created the Drobo volumes, I didn't get a choice about case sensitivity, I only got one choice - HFS+. I think Linus said something about this.

So when rsync is working on the Ipad, it looks at the Ipad/iPad directory and deletes the 20141022_a_richmond directory and copies in the new directory with its files, then moves on to the iPad directory and there's only the new directory now so it deletes it and copies in the 20141022_a_richmond directory and files. Next time, it does the same thing over and over.

Sure, it's my fault for having two stupidly named directories, but Linux handles this just fine rsyncing from one to another. It's only a problem here because HFS+ sees Ipad and iPad as the same directory.

To fix this, on my Linux box, I have merged those two directories.

EDIT: I found Linus' rant.

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Mac Mini Drobo problems
#201 Henry, 25 January 2015 12:05 PM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: macmini drobo rsync)

I'm having problems with the Drobo on the Mac Mini when I am rsyncing data to it.

The Mac Mini appears to be fine. There are four external hard disks attached to it, some through a powered hub. The Drobo is attached directly to the Mac Mini, not through a hub. I use rsync over ssh to duplicate my photos from my Linux box to the Mac Mini onto the Drobo. The script I use to do this is slightly modified from the scripts where I keep my music and my videos and my flacs all synced to the four external drives. I haven't had a problem with them before.

I start the sync process, and it chugs away nicely, transfers photos, puts them in the right place, everything going well, and then the Mac Mini goes grey screen and it's dead. The first time it happened, I restarted the Mac Mini and used Disk Utility on all my hard disks to repair the disks. All was well. A report came up showing that there was a problem which would be sent to Apple. It appeared to show a panic in launchd.

I started the Activity Monitor so I could see what was going on. Spotlight seemed to be working overtime. I guess that when you put a large amount of new data on the system, Spotlight has to index it. I waited for all activity to die down, no load on the CPU or memory, and started the sync process again.

It transferred a bunch of new photos to the new Drobo and then the Mac Mini did the grey screen thing again. I rebooted, ran Disk Utility and repaired all disks, and waited for all activity to cease. A second report about the failure got sent to Apple.

Then I did the sync again, but killed it every now and then so it wasn't doing too much. That worked for the rest of the night. I left it idle overnight.

Next morning, I started again. Not too far into the first sync of the day, it grey screened again. This time the Mac Mini did not come back so well. The top bar did not appear. The external disks did not appear. I think Finder was a bit messed up. Half an hour later, instead of right away, the report for Apple about the failure appeared. I couldn't do anything. By now, I was suspicious of so many USB connections with the external hard disks. I shut everything down, had to pull the plug on the Mac Mini as it would not shut down gracefully. I powered down all hard disks, totally removed all power, went and had breakfast. Then I came back and powered it all up. It all came up again and things worked properly.

I continue to sync the photos in small batches.

I suspect that there are too many hard disks attached for the USB to handle. Or Spotlight is causing me problems. Or the Mac Mini has memory issues. Or any of a bunch of things. I'll start with small things and work up.

First thing - turn off Spotlight. I do not use it. The Mac Mini is used solely for backup (Drobo) and as a media server to my Apple TV. I do not need Spotlight running. Google pointed to this page How To Turn Off Spotlight with the command

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

and I did that and yes, it disabled Spotlight. I will keep syncing my photos and see if that makes a difference. If not, I will remove the other external hard disks and try again.

I have done long 3 T rysncs of data. But that was with the previous Mac Mini and these same external hard disks. The old Mac Mini was an earlier Intel Mac Mini with 2 gig RAM and it would rsync 3 T of data in one smooth continuous run with no panics or grey screens. The new Mac Mini has been in place about six months, and small amounts of rsync don't bother it, but it's never had to do a large sync like this before.

I'll keep testing and syncing.