Arq Backup – great and diverse backup software

Backup anything to any cloud service or sftp of your choosing. Great application worth every single penny.

arqbackup

I don’t often buy software since there are so many free and open source alternatives to most things I need. And when it comes to backup solutions, there’s not exactly a lack of alternatives there either. However, I tried Arq backup a few months back and felt it worthy of a review.

What’s great about Arq is that it allows you to back up your data to most any cloud service or secure FTP of your choosing. And it stores your encryption key on your computer so no backup service ever has access to your stuff. That means you can’t just ask your backup service for help and they’ll fix it for you, you actually have to keep track of your keys your self. Which is a good thing I might add. I don’t really like the idea of giving all my credentials away to someone else to handle.

The Arq team, recently updated the software to version 5 which added a whole bunch of interesting and great features. Since I have my files on both my computer and spread out on network drives. Arq let’s me run a script before and/or after the backup. So I can easily create a script that checks if the network drives are mounted and if not, mount them before running the backup.
Below is the code btw for anyone who needs it. Just code and save it as AutoMount.sh (you might need to change permissions and make it executable). Add that to the settings of your backup.

#!/bin/bash
osascript <<EOD
tell application "Finder"
if not (disk "VolumeName" exists) then
mount volume "cifs://ServerName/VolumeName"
end if
end tell
EOD

 

AutoMount

At the moment I’m running my backup to Amazon Cloud Drive which gives me unlimited space for 60$/year. Adding to that a one time fee for Arq really felt worth it to me. When you purchase Arq they give you the opportunity to pay an extra fee for lifetime upgrades which gives you access to all future versions of the software. So it really is a one time fee.

I am btw not affiliated with Arq more than the fact that I’m a paying customer, I just though the app was great and the customer service is top class and worthy of a review. I’m hoping they stay in business a long time because I wish to keep getting amazing updates =)

So if you’re looking for a backup program, Arq is great and you can get a 30 day trial and usually a trial at most cloud services like Google cloud services or Amazon as well, so it’s free to try. And it works in both Windows and OSX which is great too. Hopefully they’ll add support for Linux systems as well. I’d love to run this on my Raspberry Pi.

Yoda Word Count for OSX

Yoda Word Count for OSX is installed as a service to allow the user to count characters and words in any application

This is a tool you can install as an apple service which will let you count words and characters in any application (most applications).

The other day I was filling out an online form. Like ever so often this form had a character limit of 500 characters.

However, to my dismay, there was no character count! You’d think there would be a 255/500 characters -notification below but they seemed to have forgotten about that. So I wrote my message and tried to send it only to get hit with an error telling me I had written too many characters, the site reloaded and my message disappeared. You can only imagine the frustration.

So I devised a plan and decided to use the force. So here comes “Yoda Word Count”

To install the service, just download it, double click and install to services and Yoda will be accessible from most applications services menu, like the picture below.

Yoda-services

 

Yoda Word Count

 

Downloads can be slow at times, don’t worry.
And btw, this tool was created for fun, I won’t be held liable if something breaks or if you loose your job as a result of fidgeting.

Download your digital library from Vudu, Amazon, etc

Do you ever feel like you would like to own what you own? Here’s how to download your digital library

Do you ever feel like you would like to own what you own? Everything digital nowadays is locked in the cloud or to an app connected to some kind of digital eco-system with drm or just plain stupidity, here’s a solution. I stumbled over the service playon.tv some time ago and thought it sounded just a little too good to be true and since it cost 60 bucks it felt like a pretty big investment for something I felt unsure about. However, during the Christmas holidays this year they had special deal for a life time subscription for $39 so I felt like trying it out.

The solution: Playon.tv – How does it work?

The playon media server software needs to be installed on a windows computer. They show off tons of devices in their “compatibilty list” but those are just for the client.

To download the media center, you first need to create an account here playon.tv, after you have created an account you click download in the top left and just install the software (again, on a windows computer, or in my case virtual windows computer). After installation you just add the channels you want, like vudu, or amazon instant video for example, enter your account info and bam, you have access to your content.

How to download

Just browse through the content you own in the main app and click “record” and it’ll record it to your hard drive. It takes a fair while but it records in highest available quality so it’s pretty great. You can also change where the recorded media goes in settings (far down left in the main app) and send it straight to your Plex Media Center Library =)

edit: a “minor” bug. If your connection get dropped during a recording or your computer glitches, goes to sleep or whatever, there is a risk that the recording gets all jumbled up. Like for example, it might start in the middle of the movie and half the movie goes dark with just sound. So it’s not perfect, but heck, what is..

disclaimer: If nothing works and you loose your money, friends precious time, your sanity or anything else, I will not be held responsible. I’m just saying something because I like saying things. Oh and by the way, I’m not suggesting you do anything illegal, that would be insane.
And don’t do drugs.

Split a file in pieces with “split” and put it back together again with “cat”

Many cloud storages have a file size limit. How to split a file in 200mb pieces using the “split” command and how to put it back together again using the “cat” command

Many cloud storages have file size limit. If you just want to put a big file there for storage, you might need to split it up in small pieces. And it’s super easy to do, without anything except the good ol´ command line and it only takes a few second, so here it is.

1. Open your terminal (assuming you use either linux or OSX) and cd to the directory you have stored your file.

2. Decide the size of the pieces you want of the pieces.

3. How to split the file in 200mb pieces using the “split” command
In this example the file is called bigfile.iso

split -b 200m bigfile.iso bigfile.iso.

4. That’s it. The file will now be split in 200mb -pieces with filenames in alphabetical order like bigfile.iso.aa, bigfile.iso.ab etc. (Remember, the full size file is still there, you just made a copy in small pieces)

5. Put it back together again using the “cat” command

cat bigfile.iso.* > bigfile.iso

Voila!

Black Menu bar in OS X Mavericks and replace the Icons

How to change your menubar icons to white ones..

I installed the “Obsidian Menu Bar” for OS X Mavericks which makes the menubar black. How to use it is simple, just download and install. It’s smart, easy and looks good. But it  doesn’t by default make the application icons in the menu bar white. But you can change them and it’s pretty simple. The Obsidian package comes with a bunch of application icons so I’ll go with how to change the dropbox icon since it’s pretty common but the same goes for all applications. The steps Open Finder and go to the Applications folder. Once you’ve found Dropbox, right click (CTRL + Click) and choose “Show Package Contents” showpackagecontent
The icons are located in Contents / Resources folder. To be sure you can restore the default icons later I would suggest that you create a “Iconbackup” folder somewhere and copy all the .tiff files to that folder. The easiest way to do that is to sort the files by “Kind” to to gather all the icon files in the same place. Then you can just select them and copy them to a folder of your choice
sortbykind
Once that is done you can copy all the files from the the downloaded Obsidian folder in “Installer Content / Applications / Dropbox/”
obsidiandropboxicons
Paste them into the Dropbox Resources folder you opened earlier and Choose “Replace all”. After that is done you only need to restart dropbox and the white icons will appear. Voila!

What if I use an application that’s not included in the Obsidian folders?
I’m glad you asked. Many times the company will provide original icons in many different versions on their homepage. But if they don’t, you can make your own icons. To find out which icons you need you can open the resource folder of the application like I showed earlier. I might go over how to create and edit .icns files another day.

Audio not working after sleep and after use with headphones issue Macbook Pro Retina 2013

I had the issue that any time I had headphones connected to my Macbook Retina (late 2013), my audio would stop working after waking up from sleep. If I plugged them in when the computer was on it didn’t always work either. I tried all of the normal Pram reset, smc reset and all that. Nothing seemed to help. To get audio working again I had to restart my mac. What happens when you restart the mac is that all drivers and kernel extensions reload, so instead of doing that I created a small application that does that for you. If you want to, you can do it yourself in the terminal by typing

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext
sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext

Pretty simple but I found it frustrating to have to do it every time it happened so here’s an app you can put in your dock. This might work if you have other audio issues as well. I won’t guarantee anything though. If you mac stops working forever, I won’t take responsibility. This app has worked for me many times. Some times your audio driver won’t unload for other reasons and then you might need to restart any way but this should save you the trouble most of the time.

Run multiple instances of Dropbox

Since I have one private Dropbox account and one for work I thought it should be possible to run two instances of the program on my Mac. Turns out it was quite easy. There are a few explanations how to do this, but anyway, I thought I’d bake a small application for it. Please feel free to use it.

I’m not quite sure who I should give credit to for this so “Thanks to every one in the world that might have helped me, you are awesome”

I’ve only tested it on Lion and Mountain Lion but it should work on any version as long as Dropbox don’t change their settings. You need to install the regular Dropbox client first though.

Click on the image below to download. Extract the zip and drag it to your Applications folder.

Enable Java in 32-bit Chrome

Actually Chrome does support Java 7. Even though Java 7 only runs on 64-bit browsers and Chrome is a 32-bit browser. Follow these simple instructions.

“Chrome does not support Java 7. Java 7 runs only on 64-bit browsers and Chrome is a 32-bit browser.” I know many people have been annoyed with this message. At our workplace we use java for many things and most of us prefer Chrome. There are two solutions for this. Use another browser or try this:

1. Open a terminal and type these three commands and press enter:

1. sudo mkdir -p /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled

2. sudo mv  /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled

3. sudo ln -s /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle/Contents/Resources/JavaPlugin2_NPAPI.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
Have you already done this once before and this time it’s not working/you are getting errors?
You might need to add this command between commands 1 and 2
sudo rm -r /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
2. Restart your Chrome browser and try whatever you wanted to do, again.
Done!

NTFS Write permissions, OS X Lion

Hur gör man för att få NTFS skrivrättigheter i Mac Os X Lion?
Nedan följer 2 enkla sätt att lösa det på..

After my upgrade to OS X Lion my ntfs volume was no longer writable. I checked my old ntfs-3g installation and it was still running but not working. So I started looking for an explanation. Ntfs-3g wasn’t developed for Lion so it seemed the only option was to buy a third party program. After some searching I found a relatively easy free option. I’ve sorted out the only part you’ll be needing to get this working, a couple of download links. Here are two different options.

1. Costs 
Buy Tuxera NTFS for Mac from Tuxera or NTFS for Mac® from Paragon. They both cost a little under 20$ at the time of writing and they both have trial versions so you can try them out before buying.

2. Free
There were a couple of free options earlier like NTFS-3g which now has the payed option Tuxera NTFS for Mac but they decided to stop developing the free versions. The old free versions are still free though so if you don’t have the money, here’s an easy workaround. Just download the three free programs below and install them in the same order, restart your computer and you should be good to go.

As usual, this worked for me. If you break something, it’s not my fault.

1.

– developer Tuxera

2.

– developer mechie

3.

– developer  bfleisher