Sunday, January 16, 2011

MobileMe Sync Options


A long time ago, I wanted to be able to sync any folder with my MobileMe disk. Unfortunately, the only way at the time was to drag that folder over to MobileMe - and I'd have to do that every time I modified that folder. Conveniently for me, I was working with AppleScript at the time. (Perhaps the work with AppleScript even prompted my thought flow to delve into the MobileMe sync script that I was about to write.)

I planned to write an AppleScript that would sync the folders I wanted with the MobileMe (iDisk) folders - and create new MobileMe folders, if they did not exist.

Below is the simple code, which utilizes rsync.

do shell script "rsync -a -E -4 -v ~/Documents/thisFolder/ ~/Documents/thatFolder/"
NOTE: It is very important that you put a slash at the end of the source and destination, because if you do not rsync will copy a folder into the destination folder. However, the goal is to just copy the files of a folder into the destination folder.
It might seem to some that you could just do without the slash in the source and then tell it to go to a destination one level above where the desired destination would be. By syncing - which in this case could be visualized as copying - a folder into a hierarchially higher destination, the folder would end up one level lower, right where it should be.
Nevertheless, I believe that the aforementioned code is the best, because it allows the user to not have to worry about folder names, etc, and it is generally less confusing.

Later, I will post more dynamic code. Essentially, one AppleScript adjusts a text file with all folder sources and corresponding folder destinations; the other reads from that text file and syncs appropriately.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Waiting for Root Disk

Recently my MacBook Pro suffered a quasi-fatal catastrophe: the hard drive failed. To help out anyone, I have compiled a list of symptoms and a test.

  1. During the start-up process, either the gray apple never shows up or, at some point, it is replaced by one of the following icons:
    (1) a folder with a question mark

    (2) a gray circle with a slanted line through it

  2. After about a few minutes - or any time that is substantially longer than your usual boot time - the spinner icon that usually appears under the gray apple does not appear.
  1. Start up your computer
  2. When the screen turns gray and/or you hear the start-up sound (whichever comes first) hold down "command + v" until the screen turns black
  3. A lot of white text will be displayed over a black background
  4. After a while, if the last line of the text says "still waiting for root disk," your hard drive has most likely failed
If you get any combination of the symptoms that I listed, you should run the test; if the test returns positive for possible hard drive failure, it would be prudent to go to the Apple store immediately and learn about your - mind you, expensive - disk-recovery options.

I went to pick up my computer and one of the Apple Geniuses said that the cable that connected my hard drive to the rest of the computer became loose. There was no actual damage done to my hard drive, so I do not have to get anything recovered - nothing was lost. For anyone who experiences the waiting for root disk problem, definitely take it to the Apple store so they can run further diagnostic tests, because those tests could determine the problem to be something less expensive to fix.

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