Reformatting a FAT32 drive to HFS+ – Never trust a GUI

I bought an external drive for a relative to use with Time Machine. Of course it cam pre-formatted as FAT32 and while this would work it wouldn’t give the best performance, so I wanted to reformat it as HFS+.

I fired up Disk Utility, selected Journaled file system and click erase…and error.
A bit of googling suggested that selecting the option to zero the disk would resolve the problem. I tried this but I decided I wasn’t prepared to wait the 4 hours it was going to take to zero a 600GB drive – there had to be an easier way.

I decided to try the command line – I thought that this may give me a more meaningful error message if nothing else.

Anwyay, much to my surprise the command diskutil eraseDisk “Journaled HFS+” “Back Up” disk1 resulted in

Started erase on disk disk1
Creating partition map
Formatting disk1s2 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with name Back Up
[ + 0%..10%..20%..30%..40%..50%..60%..70%..80%..90%..100% ]
Finished erase on disk disk1
Finished partitioning on disk disk1

And it just worked, so hopefully Google will find this and it may help someone else.

So much spin I’m getting dizzy

This is kind of old news now, but I have been too busy to post in the last week or so.
The chaser “invasion” of the APEC security zone was funny but also extremely alarming.
The authorities applied “spin” to the issue, claiming that the security worked as the Chaser boys were arrested and that they placed themselves at risk of being shot by snipers.
In fact, as shown by the video below, it wasn’t until “Osama” got out of the car that they were challenged. And if they weren’t challenged by ground staff, why would snipers suddenly decide to open fire?

The fact is that once again a lot of money was spent and a great deal of public inconvenience caused in the name of security that was in effect “security theatre“.

Although it seems unlikely that the cars were close enough to a venue to actually kill or injur any APEC delegates, if the vans had been packed with explosives and detonated it would have killed & injured a number of police officers and created a serious embarassment for the Australian government.

The Chaser’s stunt was fairly simple impersonation attack and even if the police didn’t have time to examine the (obviously) fake security passes on the cars, procedures should have been in place to challenge any unexpected convoys. The movement of these VIP convoys through the city was obviously co-ordinated with the RTA traffic operations centre to ensure green lights; this means that even if they movements weren’t scheduled it should have been simple to notify the people “on the ground”.

The police would have had standing orders to either

  1. Stop any unexpected convoys
  2. or allow through unexpected convoys

Clearly option 1 may have resulted in potential inconvenience to a VIP, but is the more secure stance. It is what is known in IT security as a “default deny” policy. Option 2, “default permit” increases risks while reducing inconvenience.

Surely the same world leaders that decide we can’t take nail files on to an airplane would understand the need for a little inconvenience to protect their safety?

BOSE – Excellence in customer service

About a week ago my much loved Bose headphones broke – the plastic headband snapped. If they were a cheaper set of headphones I would have just thrown them away, but with a $500 replacement cost I thought it was worth enquiring about repair. I called Bose and was advised that they may be able to repair them and that the best thing to do was to drop them in to the Bose office in Newington.
I called in there yesterday and was met by the service manager. He asked when I purchased them and how they had broken. I advised him that they were about 18 months old and that they just broke one day when I took them out of the case. He told me that he could see evidence of hairline cracking in the plastic and that even though they were out of warranty they would replace them at no charge!
5 minutes later he brought me a Bose bag containing a replacement set of headphones, some Bose stickers and two packets of Bose branded “Jaffas”! It certainly left me with a great impression of Bose and not only much more likely to purchase Bose in the future but also to recommend Bose to other people.

Mac “Large Type” Function

Dear LazyWeb,
I am looking for sample code that demonstrates how to achieve equivalent functionality of the Addresss Book “Large Type” option.
I have successfully created a transparent NSWindow into which I can place by view, but I am not sure how to put that window on “top” of the screen rather than just on top of my application. Do I need to use something other than Cocoa to achieve this?


Update 11/10/2006 For the sake of Google and posterity, the answers can be found in the Round Transparent Window example on Apple’s Developer site. I had figured most of it out myself – the key item is [iconWindow setLevel:NSStatusWindowLevel]; in order to have the window appear on top of everything else.

Its not a bed…its an iPod Dock

Whilst shopping for beds recently I came across the Pause by NZ company DesignMobel. The available accessories for this bed include a Bose soundsystem and iPod Dock built in to the bedside table.

Microsoft has announced their intention to ship a music player by Christmas. I think it is a good indication of what they are going to have to compete against when companies are building beds with iPod compatibility.

How much energy is spent producing energy rating stickers?

We just bought a new freezer. It comes with one of those energy star rating stickers stuck on the door. Starting with the new washing machine we bought six months ago I have noticed an annoying trend in these stickers. They used to be made of a kind of plastic that was held on to the metal with static & suction more than glue. They came off easily. The new stickers are paper and seem to be stuck on with superglue. They come off in a thousand tiny scraps and leave a horrible glue residue behind. The result, instead of looking at an ugly sticker on the freezer, I am now looking at uglier, partially shredded sticker!

Why do they need to put the sticker on anyway? I mean, of all the freezers, washing machines, fridges etc produced, how many are destined to be display models? Couldn’t they supply the stickers for the retailer to stick on to the display model? The same with the stickers on your new TV that tell you it has “Super auto-vibrant constrast modulation” or whatever?

Anybody know of a good sticker removal product? Big Kev we miss you!