Restoring MacBook Pro using Time Capsule

To my horror suddenly my MacBook Pro wouldn’t display anything anymore, a blank screen was all I got. Hooked up an external monitor, no success. Searched the internet and concluded that I might have a broken Nvidia graphics “card” (it’s soldered on the board so it’s not really a card) as the batch my MBP is from contains a faulty Nvidia card
So I went to an Apple Service Center where they concluded that indeed my graphics card is broken and that repair is covered by the extended warranty. The ASC had a MBP for rent for the duration of the repair, but as I was late on the day they weren’t able to swap the harddisks.
So I took the MBP home and ventured out to restore a Time Machine backup. I have a Time Capsule so there should be a recent backup available.
The MBP booted into the installation of Leopard, after the introduction video (couldn’t bypass watching the whole video) I was give the option to do a restore from a backup. Selected the option, the MBP found my Time Capsule but after I selected a backup-set got the Spinning Beachball and nothing happening for more than an hour, I uttered a small curse.
What the heck, let’s boot into Leopard and start the Migration Assistant. Hmm, the same experience, found my Time Capsule but after selecting the backup-set a Beachball. Damn.
Read something about restoring a backup by starting the restore tool off from the OSX installation CD. So started the utilities, selected the restore, hmm it can’t find my Time Capsule. Looked up a knowledgebase article on the Apple site and found that I had to start the Wireless network by clicking the WIFI icon in the upper right corner of the utilities screen. Ok, so the backup-set can be selected, but you guessed it, a Beachball.
Than it dawned me that the backup was made with Time Machine running Snow Leopard not Leopard, so I put in the Snow Leopard DVD, started the Utilities, selected restore from Time Capsule, saw the backupset, and now was able to select exactly which backup I wanted to restore. Selected the most recent (which was from just before the screen problems started) and went to bed.
The next morning I was greeted with my trusted login-screen and everything was installed in such a way that I couldn’t tell that I was working on another machine. Great, love automatic backups. Note to Apple, a meaningful message along the lines of “Backup was created with a newer version of Time Machine” would have saved me a couple of hours.

Switching to Git

I’ve been using subversion for a very long time. During that period I’ve got several people and one company hooked on this version control system after I got frustrated with SourceSafe. SourceSafe was the only version control software developers on the Microsoft platform knew, if they did any. For those people subversion was a giant leap, but once they saw it in action on they’re large .net projects they were sold.
Once I moved to the Mac OS X platform subversion happily travelled along for my local version control.
I’ve always had two main frustrations with subversion:

  1. In a local situation you are stuck with a directory on your system which doesn’t contain anything sensible: your local repository
  2. It is not easy to convert a local directory to a working copy under version control (add/commit/checkout)
    Now I’ve switched to Git and I will undoubtly find issues using it, but so far my two main frustrations are solved with three lines of code
    git init
    git add .
    git commit -m "First commit"

I want to store more items

I’m running Vista and Office 2007. Previously I used Newsgator for all my blogreading, but the new Windows RSS platform in combination with Outlook 2007 brings me the exact same functionality.

It appears that the feeds have a limit for the number of items they can contain, this limit is by default set at 200. That’s not enough for me. You can set the limit by modifying the feed properties, but that would mean I needed to right-click al the feeds (100+) so I needed another way to modify all the feeds. Of course the Windows RSS Platform has an API, so some programming will come to the rescue. I originally thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to delve into Powershell, but it appears that Powershell is not yet available for Vista at this moment :-(

So some JavaScript to the rescue. Run it using cscript, and all feeds will be modified.

  var feedsManager, rootFolder;
feedsManager = new ActiveXObject(“Microsoft.FeedsManager”);
rootFolder = feedsManager.RootFolder;

function iterateFolders(folder)
if (null == folder) return;
var currentFolder;
var e = new Enumerator(folder.Subfolders);
currentFolder = e.item();

function iterateFeeds(feedFolder)
if (null == feedFolder) return;
var feed;
var e = new Enumerator(feedFolder.Feeds);
//feed.MaxItemCount = feedsManager.ItemCountLimit;
feed.MaxItemCount = 0;
WScript.Echo(feed.Name + “: “ + feed.MaxItemCount);
Update: I previously set the MaxItemcount to the ItemCountLimit (2500), set it to 0 to set it to unlimited

Let's get started

Back from vacation and ready to go. Welcome on my Blog.

This is the first ever public blog I’m running. Not that this is my first blogpost, I used to work for a company where every employee has his own blog and loved sharing information that way.

I work for LogicaCMG in the Netherlands as a Microsoft Consultant and for the past decade I’ve been building, designing, teaching, presenting and architecting software systems on the Microsoft platform. Starting at VB4 16-bit in 1996 up till the .Net framework 3.0 now and I ain’t gonna quit very soon :-)