Author Archive

syslogd gone wild

January 8, 2008

Since Leopard my mac sometimes begins to freeze and I recognized that my syslogd is running at 100-150% with 1Gb of virtual memory. I wondered a little bit about it and began digging in Google.

My research ended in a guess. (If its wrong – please drop me a note)

The reason is, that buggy programs are filling up the syslogd with debug messages – mostly Apple Event Debug messages in my case. When the file /var/log/asl.db is over 20-25 mb big, the syslogd goes wild

so execute in your prefered shell

     sudo rm /var/log/asl.db && sudo killall syslogd

and it will stop for a while.


I am looking for a permanent solution. If you know one – please drop me note.

have fun


change the 3D Dock in a 2D Dock (Mac OSX Leopard)

November 18, 2007

One week ago I installed Leopard. Well I am quite happy. There are some disappointing bugs, but I hope they will be fixed soon. (like my beloved python does not compile and mplayer from macports works only with disabled SSE and MMX).

Another thing was the 3D Dock. I find it a little bit ugly. So if you want to change it to 2D, here’s the trick.

open a terminal an execute

defaults write no-glass -boolean YES; killall Dock

You can undo this with

defaults write no-glass -boolean NO; killall Dock


have fun



I found this in this german blog (thanks guys)

PS: Sorry corrected a error (removed the sudo)

will I like zeroconf?

September 15, 2007

will I like zeroconf?

YES you will (or do)

what is this magical thing everyone is talking about.

Well, simply spoken – its sends a broadcast in your network and gets back the ipadress of another machine.
I hear you saying – but thorolf, that’s a normal broadcast. You are not telling us really news.

… and it gets back the port and a decsription – ahhh that sounds cool.

zeroconf was former called Rendezvous or Bonjour in Apple systems. Now you can find it under linux also, under the name Avahi.

A longer good video about it – google zeroconf video

have fun

jabber – why it rocks

August 20, 2007

Jabber – why it rocks

Jabber is an instant messenger based on the XMPP, near real time XML streaming/routing protocol.

There are tons of specifications out there – but what does it actually for you. Well think of a protocol, which does not need a port for every extension and with that every function you use.

You can have a client capable of sending text messages over XMPP. One day the developer of the the chat client decide to extend the client with a white board and you and your friends can now draw images together. And maybe other developers decide to implement some telephone features – now you can talk to your friends.

The really nice thing is – if you have a fully functional client for speech, chat, drawing and your friends not – the clients are not useless. the client “knows” which features it implements – and gives you the best he can offer.

But its not only for chat and drawing – because there is enough stuff out there. The interesting stuff begins when you use it as a transport layer for web services. Imagine you can see the status of your coffee machine in your chat client. or you get every time a message when someone of your project group add some code to the subversion repository. Fiction ? no its working – and I love it.

A protocol which you can extend dynamically. Of course you can use it with SSL and Kerberos. All the beauty of network transportation on top of all layers.

Of course I am simplifying it, but its really easy and very extend able. So why is jabber so cool, if XMPP is the cool protocol. Because jabber does not care what it transports – its an XMPP router. You can use it for transporting all your XMPP streams through your networks and far beyond.
links for more information

the main site (rfc’s, extensions, ..)

and of course in Wikipedia – there are also lots of links for more information

dig in and have fun

python – convert tab’s in spaces

July 19, 2007

python is a nice language for programming, but recently we engaged a problem with tabs and      spaces.

you guessed right – there was emacs and vim users on the project with different coding rules in there configs 🙂

to fix the problem of this mixture of tabs and spaces, I used a bash one liner.

just change in your project directory and execute

for file in `find . -name “*.py“`; do expand –tabs=2 $file > $; mv $ $file; done

and for the other direction you can use “unexpand”

The Network Lamp

May 13, 2007


I have a new little toy. Actually two.

A Asus WL500gp router with OpenWRT on it and a Arduino I/O Board.

Ok and what is so cool with a linux wlan router with usb und a usb plattform independent I/O Board, you might ask?

Here I put some snapshots of the prototype I built with this two cool things. its a little case to switch on and off a led over wlan.

Right now I have added a little optocoupler circuit to switch on and off a little 220volt lamp. (this description is coming soon)

beside that my little router is

  • a network file storage (samba)
  • a network printer connector for my usb laser printer
  • a ITunes streaming server (with mt-daapd)
  • a switch for lazy people
  • a wlan router, dhcp server and other useful network stuff
  • a IPsec VPN gateway, for a Intranet with my friends


now its possible for my friends to switch on and off my bedside lamp 🙂

I will update this thread regulary in the future and I will try to build some useful documents

If you have some ideas, comments or other stuff to say, please let me know.

Bis Bald


smooth wake up service

April 21, 2007

I am using this tool every day and I nearly forgot to write about it.

The Alarm Clock for my macbook.

What should I say – its an alarm clock. And it smoothly ends my dreams with my itunes music collection.

I especially like the easy wake function.

one little hint: Don’t have your remote control near your bed, when you have an urgent appointment.

good night – sleep tight

Journaler – a bloggers friend

March 29, 2007

This time I want to write about Journaler, a nice tool for blogging. It’s very easy to handle and has many nice features for writing. This is my first blog with Journaler and in the future I will give you now and then an update about my experiences with it.

The configuration for blogging is quite simple. Under Journaler -> Preferences -> Blogging  add a MetaWeblog API account.
The Blog’s Location is http://<your blog> and the XML-RPC is http://<your blog> and of course you should know your login name and your password.

For now I can say. It exists, is easy to use and its full of features I want to try out. I also hope, that it will increase my blogging rate to bring you more cool information, about mac and free software.


March 21, 2007

Platypus is a really nice tool, to start command line tools or scripts from the GUI.

I show here a quick and dirty hack to demonstrate the power.

platypus - mplayer starter

You can install mplayer and python from the macports.

sudo port install mplayer python24

To use the commandline mplayer, you have also to install the X11 bundle, from your MacOSX Install DVD. It’s not installed out of the box.

The source code for the python mplayer start script (e.g.

#!/usr/bin/env python

import sys
import os

filename = sys.argv[2]
os.system(“/opt/local/bin/mplayer -framedrop -fs \”%s\”” % filename)

To start it, fire up your Quicksilver and select a movie file and use open with the mplayer script. You can also say your finder to open the film of your choice with the mplayer start script. The easiest way is simply to drop a film on the script.

Here you will find some other useful platypus scripts.

If you have a better solution, please comment it and I will update this.

have fun

I am a blogger

March 15, 2007

Finally I am arrived in Web 2.0 – Maybe.

Yesterday Georg asked me to join this blog and I must say that I am very honored to write with such excellent Mac Users.

In the future I will hopefully write here some things about Open Source progams for the mac.

Briefly to descibe my background I have to say that I originally come from Dos then wandering to Nextstep then I had a short intermezzo with windows traversing to Linux and at last I made a sudden curve to MacOSX.

One of my favite things is Open Source Software. For programming I prefer Python and as for my work I like Zope. Maybe I drop here and there a line about it.

So at the end of my first blog I have to say to You. Thanks for reading and get a mac, macports, mplayer, iterm, quicksilver and eclipse. It will make your life easier – maybe.