iTunes 10.5 CPU Issue

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After the recent iTunes update (10.5) I noticed the

AppleMobileDeviceService.exe

was suddenly chewing up CPU – everything still seemed to be working, I could still sync devices, it was just grinding the PC towards an early grave.

A bit of Googling suggested it’s a common problem and previously a reinstall of iTunes was the suggested fix – unfortunately this didn’t work for me, nor it would seem for a lot of people at version 10.5.

What did work for me was doing a

netsh winsock reset

from a command prompt (as Administrator) followed by a reboot.

Apparently the Windows TCP/IP stack can get corrupted and this will reset the Winsock Catalog to its default state – i.e. one that works properly.

It certainly fixed my iTunes problem and as a bonus the PC now boots faster and general network performance seems to be improved – one to remember!

WordPress 3.2.1

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Not been paying much attention to the blogs recently, just realised we should have upgraded to WordPress 3.2.1 some time ago. Unfortunately that was predicated on an upgrade of the MySQL database from 4 to 5 so took a bit longer than it should have.

However all blogs hosted here have now been migrated to MySQL 5 and WordPress 3.2.1 so hopefully that’s us all up to date.

If you do spot any problems let us know – and maybe I’ll post a more interesting update on here at some point…

WordPress 3.1.1

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There’s a new version out with many bug fixes including (but not limited to)

  • Some security hardening to media uploads
  • Performance improvements
  • Fixes for IIS6 support
  • Fixes for taxonomy and PATHINFO (/index.php/) permalinks
  • Fixes for various query and taxonomy edge cases that caused some plugin compatibility issues

You should upgrade as soon as you can – this sites been done, and of course that’s broken the access via the iPad application again.

I could just reapply the bodge below to get it working (kudos to NamesCo btw for commenting on the post) but not sure I’ll bother just now.

NamesCo, WordPress & the iPad

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There is an application for the iPad that allows you to manage your WordPress blogs directly, its actually a bit basic but hopefully that will improve over time. However I simply could not get it to talk to this blog – it would just keep throwing a ‘Blog returned invalid data’ error.

Turns out in their infinite wisdom NamesCo (our web hosts) have decided xml-rpc is bad

The standard xmlrpc.php script is quite commonly installed with many free blogging. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to exploit and often abused by amateur ‘hackers’ and spamming groups for malicious purposes.

However, most users that have the script on their sites don’t actually use it, therefore we have decided to block access to that filename to protect those users.

If you wish to use an XMLRPC service, simply rename the file to something like ‘xmlrpc_post.php’ and reference that script instead in your posting service.

Which seems a bit like saying SkyDiving is dangerous so you cant do it – but its ok to put on a parachute and jump out of plane as long as you call it PlaneJumping instead.

So in order to get it the iPad application to work we first have to rename the xmlrpc.php script to e.g. planejumping.php – you can call it anything you like NamesCo have just blocked access to files called xmlrpc.php.

But that’s not enough because clearly wordpress expects this file to be called xmlrpc.php and the file name is unfortunately not configurable.

Instead you have to hack the wordpress php scripts by hand at the current release (3.1) that means updating these files

planejumping.php (previously known as xmlrpc.php)
wp-includes/class-wp-xmlrpc-server.php
wp-includes/general-template.php

Simply replace all references to xmlrpc.php in these files to planejumping.php instead and you should be good to go.

A New Look

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The old blog has been a bit neglected these last six months or so.

A couple of trips to New Zealand was the start of it all, dodged the earthquakes and managed to fit in a trip down to see Pete & Sinead in Dunedin. Also been spending more time on twitter since last summer, first following the events of the ‘epic swindle’ that saw the Dumb & Dumber finally kicked out of Anfield. Then the unmitigated disaster that was Roy Hodgson followed by the second coming of King Kenny – safe to say the club is now in the right hands both off and on the field and future looks a lot brighter.

So to freshen it up we’ve got a new theme (Coraline) and after much faffing I’ve finally managed to get the WordPress iPad application to talk to the blog. Turns out our hosting company decided to deliberately break the functionality, so a small amount of hacking was required to get it to work – but more of that another time.

New Zealand

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Nothing like leaving it to the last minute, but finally got confirmation of flights and where I’ll be staying in New Zealand.

I’m off this Thursday (2nd Sep) and will be spending a couple of weeks in Wellington, getting back to Glasgow around teatime on Sunday 18th. The serviced apartments look better on the website than they do on street view, but I guess we’ll see when we get there.

Expect updates by twitter, facebook and maybe the odd blog post whilst I’m away.

Google Redesigned

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I’ve never been a big fan of Google Calendar, mostly because the user interface is a bit ordinary – I really don’t like the Arial font that a lot of the Google applications seem to force on you.

Recently stumbled across the Google Redesigned plugin for Firefox though, which does a very good job of prettying up Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Reader.

I’m sure its subjective but I find it preferable to the default Google look and feel – well worth a look in my book.