Posts made in December, 2011

Using Kiwibank for Google Wallet (Checkout)

Posted by on Dec 24, 2011 in Documentation | 1 comment

I had some trouble getting my account verified in Google Wallet, or Checkout for that matter. Google claimed that the test transaction had been refused by my bank. Kiwibank did not have a clue what the problem could be and even started to give me misleading information. The call center guy thought that the SWIFT number should be put into the routing field, which was just utterly wrong. Contacting Google is also a hopeless endeavor. Their customer support does not exist.

After some internet research I found out that the problem was with the suffix. Kiwibank, and many other banks in New Zealand, only use a two digit suffix. Google does, however, expect three digits. A leading zero was the solution. After I put a three digit suffix in, the test payment went right through.

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Repairing corrupted iPhoto library

Posted by on Dec 24, 2011 in Documentation | 10 comments

My iPhoto library was corrupted and even the Apple’s build in tools for repairing the database and rebuilding thumbnails did not longer work. Any attempt to use these tools lead to a crash. Working with the photos was also increasingly difficult, since iPhoto would frequently crash. The library contains more than 33.000 photos spanning 12 years. I was not prepared to give them up.

I have been using iPhoto Library Manager for some time for quickly moving between libraries but today it became my true champion. The software has a tool to recover corrupted libraries. But it works differently from Apple’s approach. It starts with a fresh clean library and imports all the photos, including their meta data, such as location, faces, date. It also manages to rebuild albums and folders. After nearly 20 hours of processing, my new library was fully functional. No more crashes or missing thumbs.

The rebuild function

The culprit turned out to be the QuickTime plugin Perian. Once I uninstalled it, iPhoto worked without crashing. It is a pity, since Perian is so useful.

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Contacting Google

Posted by on Dec 19, 2011 in Technology | 0 comments

I noticed that it is impossible to contact Google. Occasionally something goes wrong with the many services we use and there is no phone number or email address from which you can expect a response. The best help are other users. This is pretty sad.

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Visualize your complete family tree

Posted by on Dec 16, 2011 in Design | 5 comments

For some time I have been looking for a way to visualize my complete family tree. Not just the usual ancestor/descendent charts, but really all of them together in one big chart. Until now I could only get yEd to do this job, since it imports GEDCOM. Here is a screenshot of what yEd can do:

yEd GEDCOM network plot

The problem was that yEd cannot deal with UTF-8 and it also does not include photographs or dates. It just prints the network of people. It does also not respect the generations or gender.

The latest version of Mac Family Tree introduced a new “Tree” visualization which is pretty close to what I want. It plots every person in the tree and does show meta data. It included photographs and respects the concept of generations. To be able to get everybody onto one sheet that can possibly be printed, Mac Family Tree breaks the tree into smaller sections and links them by lines or reference numbers. This might be a necessary, but in my case it produces many small “left over” branches at the bottom. So close, but still not perfect. Maybe the next version will have an improved layout algorithm.

Mac Family Tree new Tree visualization




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Posted by on Dec 12, 2011 in Culture | 0 comments

I migrated to Lion on all my macs and now I end up reading articles on how to make Lion more like Snow Leopard. Not good.

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