Posts Tagged apple

Using MacPorts with Xcode 4.3.x

If you recently updated to the MacAppStore distribution of Xcode, you certainly noticed that the /Developer directory is not used anymore.  Xcode now lives in standard /Applications directory.

This confuses tools relying on Xcode, such as some MacPorts package relying on Xcode to compile code on your machine before installation.

For example :

---> Fetching archive for zlib
---> Attempting to fetch zlib-1.2.6_0.darwin_11.x86_64.tbz2 from http://packages.macports.org/zlib
---> Fetching zlib
---> Attempting to fetch zlib-1.2.6.tar.bz2 from http://lil.fr.distfiles.macports.org/zlib
---> Verifying checksum(s) for zlib
---> Extracting zlib
Error: Couldn't determine your Xcode version (from '/usr/bin/xcodebuild -version').

(more line stripped for clarity)

This can be solved with a single command line terminal, to tell Xcode command line tools the new location of Xcode.

sudo xcode-select -switch /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/

I am still unsure this an Apple bug or a MacPort bug … I am keen to read your opinion about this.

Enjoy !

 

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Apple patches 3 years old bug

There are so many blogs written to criticize Apple, how big, arrogant and control freak they become over the last pas years (some will say they always have been control-freak…) that I wanted to write this post to actually say “Kudo Apple ! & Thank you”

I am using MacBookPro’s since the last 6-7 years or so.  The last one I acquired is the Late 2008 model.  This machine suffered from day #1 of a serious display issue : the upper part of the screen flickers under some load / heat condition.

Problem has been reported numerous times to Apple and the discussion about this issue on Apple’s Support Community forum contains more than 1500 messages posted and close to 190.000 views !

Yesterday, Apple quietly release an EFI firmware patch to address this issue.  Yes, you read it right, Apple did release a firmware patch for a 4 years old machine.  This is so unusual in (consumer) IT industry to mention.

I applied the patch yesterday after having spent an hour or so reading comments from early adopters and I have the pleasure to work on my machine since then without any single screen flickering.

Thank you Apple to take care of old customers, old machines and continue to improve your products.

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MacPort on Mac OS X Lion

If you have performed a fresh install of Mac OS X Lion or if you plan to install MacPort after having installed Lion, you will soon realize that the MacPort team does not distribute (yet) a Lion installer.  Snow Leopard installer will fail when detecting Lion.

Question is therefore : how to install MacPort on Lion ?  Answer : install it from the sources.

It might be scarry, but it is very easy, here are the details.

Preriquisite : install Aple’s development tool XCode.  It is freely available from the App Store (be patient it is a 3.5 Gb download)

  • Open a terminal
  • create a directory for the sources
mkdir macport.sources
  • Fetch the sources

cd macport.sources
sudo svn checkout http://svn.macports.org/repository/macports/trunk

  • Compile
cd trunk/base
sudo ./configure --enable-readline
sudo make install
  • Install
sudo make distclean
  • Change your profile to include MacPort in the PATH
vi $HOME/.profile
#!/usr/bin/bash
# MacPort
export PATH=$PATH:/opt/local/bin
  • Source your profile to include the changes
. $HOME/.profile

That’s it ! Easy as I promised.

You can now search for package with

sudo port list | grep <your search>

and install packages with

sudo port install <package name>

Enjoy !

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Beta Testing iPhone Applications

I am about to release another iPhone application allowing users to visually manage voice mail messages left on their enterprise messaging solution, based on Oracle Beehive Collaboration and Communication Suite

This application is similar to Apple’s Visual Voice Messaging application that is deployed for some carriers.

Testing an iPhone application before it is deployed through the App Store might be tricky and is reserved for users having a minimal technical knowledge.  This article describes the steps required to join a testing program and to collect logs and debugging information to be reported to the developer.

Before installing an application on your iPhone, it has to be digitally signed by the developer and by Apple (when distributed on the App Store).

For ad-hoc distribution, i.e., without going through the App Store, the application will be signed specifically for your device.  The developer needs to know your Device ID (UDID).

Step #1 – collect your UDID and send it to the developer

First step for beta testing an iPhone application is to collect your UDID and send it to the developer.

To do this, connect your device to your Mac/Windows and launch iTunes. In iTunes, select your device in the ‘Devices’ section and navigate to the Summary tab. Click on the Serial Number label to reveal the Identifier field and the 40 character UDID. Press Command+C (CTRL-C on Windows) to copy the UDID to your clipboard.  Then paste it (Command+V or CTRL-V) in a mail message.

Step #2 – Install application

Once the developer knows your UDID, he will generate an application’s release authorized to run on your device.  Most of the time, you will receive the application as a ZIP file through email or web site download.

  • Unzip the file you received
  • Drag’n drop the application in iTunes
  • Sync your device with iTunes to install the application

You should then see the application icon on your device.

Step #3 – Provide feedback and collect log files for crashes

We are interested to collect all kind of feedbacks and testing conditions

  • General application usage, ergonomy, performance etc … many of these are subjectives but all suggestions will be considered.  Sometimes suggestions will be integrated immediately, sometimes they will be planned for a future release.
  • Different devices – you’re mostly welcome to test on older iPhone, iPod Touch or even iPad.
  • Slow / poor network connection.  Real life network conditions are difficult to test on a development machine, only real life usage, on the street, in a cab, in an airport etc …

If the application crashes or if you think you’ve find a bug, please report it as precisely as possible, in particular, I would like to know

  • what version you are using ? (version number is provided in the mail with the application)
  • what device you are using ?
  • what are the precise steps to reproduce ?
  • is it always reproducible or not ?

The application generate a log file that contains a precise description of what happens within the application.  Here are the steps to collect and send me log files.

  1. Download Apple’s iPhone Configuration Utility (Mac and Windows)
  2. With your device connected, run the iPhone Configuration Utility
  3. Click your connected device
  4. Go to the Console tab (see screenshot below)
  5. Clear the log (button at the bottom to the left)
  6. Try to install and/or launch the application and reproduce the error
  7. Select the relevant log lines (or just everything)
  8. Click the Save Console As… button and save the file
  9. E-mail the file to me

That’s all for now.  Thank you for your valuable feedback !

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Can we Trust IP Geo-Localization Services ?

The next version of Maxi80 iPhone application will include a very simple user tracking capability : each time a user listens the web radio for more than n seconds, the application will ping one of my servers, allowing me to collect stats such as date and time, ip address, device model (iPhone, iPod Touch,…) and iOS version number.

Most of this information is also available to the web radio admin through the Shoutcast log files – but I don’t have access to these.

On the server side, I am calling an IP geo localization service to track countries from where people do listen to the radio.

At the time I am writing this post, the new version of the application was submitted to Apple for validation.  This means that only Apple and myself have a version at our disposal for testing, the application is not distributed to the public yet.

In other words, every ping request I am seeing on my server is either coming from me, either from Apple.  Despite this, I am seeing requests from many different countries : Belgium (these are mine), United States West Coast (this should be Apple), United States East Coast (maybe Apple has iPhone Apps validators working from there too).  But I also got requests from two weird locations : Pakistan (Islamabad) and Greece (Athens).

I tested these two IP addresses on many geo localization services and they all gave me the same result.

My conclusion : either Apple tests our iPhone applications from the three continents (America, Asia and Europe), either something is flawed with IP Geolocalization services.

Should you have a good knowledge of IP geo localization inner working – or – from Apple’s iPhone Apps validation process, do not hesitate to leave a comment :-)

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