Clearing Plex Caches

Although it’s happening a bit less recently, every once in a while when I add new media to Plex, the metadata does not appear. When this happens I first try doing the usual things like manually refreshing the metadata and emptying the library trash. If it’s still not working, I’ve found that manually deleting the cache files from the computer running the Plex server seems to almost always fix the problem.

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Windows Defender Does Not Play Nice With iTunes

I recently had to reformat my Windows PC and do a fresh install of Windows 10. One of the primary uses for this PC is to run my home iTunes server, but soon after the reformat, it became clear that something was not right with iTunes.

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Virtual Host Rewriting in MAMP

While developing Drupal websites locally, I found it to be somewhat of a pain to sync all of the uploaded files (specifically images) from the server to my computer. In some cases, this could be hundreds of megabytes worth of files to download, but without downloading them, my local version of the site would look incomplete with missing images.

I primarily use MAMP for local development, and it turns out that MAMP PRO has an option to add additional virtual host parameters to each individual site hosted locally within the app. Using this feature, I am able to add a rewrite rule to have the MAMP look for photos on the live site when they don’t exist locally, removing the need to download the files onto my computer.

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The Problem With E-mail Apps

A few weeks ago I ran across an article on The Verge titled “The best Gmail app for the iPhone is now made by Microsoft”. The article talks a lot about the new Microsoft Outlook app (a rebranding of the recently purchased Acompli app), but there was one quote that really stuck out to me:

…nobody wants to just give me an email client for my phone: everyone’s gunning to reinvent the entire experience and revolutionize the speed and efficiency of my communications.

That quote really summarizes my frustration with all these new e-mail apps. I don’t need someone to “reinvent” my e-mail experience. I don’t want to turn my e-mail into a to-do list. I just need someone to make an e-mail app that does e-mail well.

I did end up trying the new Outlook app for iPhone and still found it to be lacking in one major area: it seems to only be able to add one label per message, much like standard folders. The whole point of Gmail having labels instead of folders is so that messages can have multiple labels and thus can be found in multiple locations. Oh well, the search for a good e-mail app continues.

Messages History Location

At some point Apple decided to remove the option in the Messages app to choose the location to save chat history. Ever since that change, I always seem to forget where my chat history is saved. Here is where chat history is now stored:

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iChat/Data/Library/Messages/Archive

Update

The location of the Messages history has moved in Yosemite. Here is the new location:

~/Library/Messages

That directory contains the Messages chat history, as well as all attachments.

EditorConfig

I just used EditorConfig for the first time on a project, and it seems like something that will be very useful, especially for team development. What is EditorConfig? Here’s the description from the website:

EditorConfig helps developers define and maintain consistent coding styles between different editors and IDEs.

EditorConfig allows you to specify the type and size of tabs used on a project, as well as things like character set and line endings. In a supported editor1, the rules specified in the .editorconfig file will execute when saving the file, making sure the formatting of the file is consistent. It even allows you to configure file extensions separately for languages that have specific requirements that may differ from your default settings.

Using EditorConfig eliminates the need to modify your editor preferences when switching between projects. For example, I’ve always preferred hard tabs, but everyone on my team at work uses soft tabs. You can just add the .editorconfig to a git repository, and everyone who works on the project can be using consistent formatting.

Here is my current .editorconfig file:

# EditorConfig (http://editorconfig.org)

# Set this as the root EditorConfig file
root = true

# Default settings for all files
[*]
charset = utf-8
end_of_line = lf
trim_trailing_whitespace = true
insert_final_newline = true
indent_style = space
indent_size = 4

  1. My editor of choice has been Coda for the past couple years, but it does not yet have EditorConfig support. I’ve been trying out a few other editors, including TextMate and the new GitHub Atom editor. You can find a list of supported editors on the EditorConfig website. 

iTunes MiniPlayer in Full Screen Mode

When using iTunes, I often like to have the app running in full screen mode so that it doesn’t clutter my desktop. When I do this, I also like to have the MiniPlayer open so that I can easily change songs without switching back to the main iTunes window.

Just switching to the MiniPlayer will hide the main window, but I would like to have open at the same time. I found some instructions on how to do this, but I am noting the steps below as I’ve had trouble accessing that page in the past.

  1. Exit out of full screen mode.
  2. Set iTunes to show on all desktops by right clicking (or control + click) on the iTunes icon in the dock and selecting “All Desktops” under the Options menu.
  3. Open the MiniPlayer from the Window menu at the top of the screen.
  4. Enter full screen mode by clicking the full screen button at the top right of the main iTunes window (also found under the View menu).