Starting out on iOS development and the fear of failing in Programming

For the last month or so I’ve been trying to get my foot into iOS development. This has proven more difficult than I had anticipated mostly because of my lack of spare time to dedicate to such endeavor. One thing I’ve come to realize is that even though I’ve been programming for a couple of years now, I’ve been suffering from a widespread disease amongst programmers, the lack of confidence and fear of failing.

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Showing hidden and *nix files on OSX Finder

Coming to OSX from a Linux background it struck me hard that there isn’t a single Finder preference/option to allow me to see files starting with a dot (hidden files) in Finder listings. Knowing that this is probably due to security concerns that not-so-advanced users will mess up their whole system, nevertheless i believe Finder should provide this option. I’m used to the great Xubuntu where i simply press Ctrl+h to enable or disable viewing the hidden files, this might not sound like it but for me this is a real productivity booster.

Although i couldn’t find such a perl in OSX i did however find on google a way to allow me to view those pesky files with Finder.

Fire up a terminal session and type the following command:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

Then simply hold down Option and click on the Finder icon until it the context menu shows up and then select relaunch. Voilá, if everything went ok nest time you open finder it should show all those files for you.

Edit: Apparently this limitation doesn’t exist anymore in Snow Leopard but since i still haven’t managed to install it on my laptop i have no way of being sure.

LGE-500 Hackintosh

I always wanted to give Apple’s OsX a test-drive, it always appealed to me as the best looking Operating System out there but i would never throw away all that money without first giving it a real test-drive. When some of my colleagues got their hands on their macbooks and started bragging about how great it was, making fun about everyone else at the office, i decided i really had to give it a try. I had already heard several stories about people successfully installing OsX on regular PC’s and since i couldn’t really spend the bucks to get the real thing i had to give it a try.
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Resizing a VirtualBox Disk (VDI)

While installing some software on my virtual machine i ran out of disk space so i went out googling and found a nice tutorial. I don’t really like doing this, kind of pasting someone else’s article but, since i keep this blog mainly as a reference to myself and i believe i will most surely need it later, i’ll explain here step by step what i did to accomplish this task.
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Solving Gmail IMAP error ‘Web login required (Failure)’

At work we have been using Google apps to host some of our customers domain e-mail accounts. The other day one of our customer collaborators complained that when accessing e-mails through IMAP (on Outlook 2007) he was getting the following error:

After repeatedly checking his IMAP settings i decided it was not a problem with his settings so I looked around the web and found a quite dated tutorial (back from 2008). Since all my other approaches hadn’t worked i decided to try it, here’s the steps i followed:

  1. Logged in to the web portal with the gmail account that was returning that error
  2. Disabled both POP3 and IMAP functionality and logged off
  3. Logged in with a Administrator privileged account for that domain
  4. Goto “Domain Settings” and section “New Services and Pre-release Features”
  5. Disable “Automatically add new services when they become available” and “Enable pre-release features”
  6. Saved these changes
  7. Re-enabled “Automatically add new services when they become available” which was the one i wanted
  8. Saved these changes
  9. Logged off (as Administrator)
  10. Logged in to the web portal with the gmail account that was returning the error.
  11. Re-enabled both POP3 and IMAP functionality.

After this the user reported that IMAP was working again for him. It amazes me that such a simple and dated (almost 2 years now) solution like this has worked but luckily it did.

Hunchentoot behind a proxy server

Having a lightweight http server (in this case Nginx) proxy request to Hunchentoot offers some advantages over letting Hunchentoot speak directly to the web:

  1. You can have nginx serve all the static files for you app, this way serving them faster while freeing lisp process for generating only dinamic content.
  2. You can take advantage of nginx caching strategies.
  3. You can use nginx for load-balancing.

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Setting up SLIME Tramp filename translation

Picking up from “Remote login with SSH key pair” and the updated “Setting up Lisp & Hunchentoot on a web server”, when i run emacs locally and connect to my running lisp + hunchentoot process on the server, the REPL alone, although awesome, is insufficient for my hacking need. I’ll need some way to work with remote files…

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Remote login with SSH key pair

One secure and easy way of logging in to your remote server is by means of SSH keys. Basically you generate an SSH public/private key pair on your local machine, you put the public key on the remote server and the private key on you local machine, that way people trying to login on the remote box must have a matching private key. Here’s how i’ve done it.

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