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.

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.

Login through ssh or backup with rsync without password

Login to a remote host through ssh without a password

There are a number of reasons why this would be useful. For me it was because I wanted to create an rsync backup job that would run every day at a certain time but I didn’t want the script to wait for me entering my password every time. Warning! This is a bit of a security risk so if you do this, it’s on you own risk.

1. First create a password file with ssh-keygen like this

ssh-keygen

(just press enter for every option until it’s done)

2. On this step, the “remoteuser@” is set so the user that you want to log in as on the remote host is set. If you skip this, you will log in as the current user on your local machine

ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub remoteuser@remotehost.com

If you don’t have the ssh-copy-id command (on a mac) do the following:

curl https://raw.github.com/beautifulcode/ssh-copy-id-for-OSX/master/ssh-copy-id.sh -o /usr/local/bin/ssh-copy-id
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/ssh-copy-id

And don’t forget to thank beautifulcode

3. Now you should be ready. Try it out by typing

ssh remoteuser@remotehost.com

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!