of SQL and other programmer joys

I know it’s been a light posting day. I’ve been buried in code.

I’m an application programmer. I tend to write most of my stuff in Objective-C and C++ (and Objective-C++ and sometimes straight C). Sometimes I do some work in Python. A few other bits of dabbling now and again.

I haven’t looked at serious database work in almost a decade.

But today I needed to consider using SQLite as a solution, so I had to pull out my SQL book and remind myself just how it all worked.

Of course by the end of the day I came to the conclusion that going straight to a relational database wasn’t going to be the best avenue to solve my problem. Instead, I think I’m going to use Core Data. I’ve used it numerous times in the past but didn’t feel it was the right fit for the work at hand (given Apple’s design intent/constraints on Core Data). But the more I thought through things, the more I think it’s going to be the way to go. At least, that’s my thinking right now. Could change tomorrow when I start prototyping.

Yeah, this probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to most of you. But I’ve been nose-down in that all day, thus minimal blogging.


As documented earlier, I was having problems with my home file/print/whatever server. I’ve gotten her mostly back and working, but I was having problems getting the FireWire drives to mount over AFP to my other boxen on my home network. Really, all you should have to do under Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is flip on File Sharing and off you go… log in via AFP to the machine with your user/pass for that machine and you should be able to see all the volumes. But alas, not working. Sometimes I would, sometimes I wouldn’t. Sometimes some volumes would show, sometimes some would not.

Eventually I cleaned up some permissions stuff, some ACL’s, and some other things, and I got it to a point where I could get all of the FireWire drives to be visible and mount over AFP but not after a reboot. Then I remembered there’s an old trick to get this to happen. But my Google-Fu was weak… much chaff, little wheat. But then I found a posting that jogged my memory. I looked on another computer in the house with a similar setup and found it, and so I must document it here so it’s easy for folks to find… or at least me to find if I need it in the future. 🙂

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No fun

I discover last night that my home server box (and old Mac) has something wrong with it. I have no idea how it happened, but I went to print something (the server has the printer hooked up to it and shares the printer across my home network), there was a printing problem, needed to log into the box to fix it… turn on the machine’s monitor and there’s all this bizarre stuff on screen.. no GUI, just tons of scrolled text, like a console (I do have verbose booting turned on).

Looked at the system.log and there’s all manner of problems listed in there. Very weird things. Daemon proceeses not running, already running and terminated. Tons of weird errors. Trying to log into the box from other machines on the network would hang. It was just a mess.

Tried an archive install this morning. Didn’t seem to resolve things. So now I’m doing a full nuke and pave and rebuilding of the machine.


Y’know, this is the first serious problem I’ve ever had with a Mac, that I can remember. And I’m at a loss to explain why this even happened and why it requires such drastic measures to resolve. I went searching online on the things I saw in the system log and I’m not the only one that’s experienced it, but unfortunately no resolve could be found other than others taking the same route of nuke and pave… not that that’s the solution, just that they too couldn’t find an answer so they figured to try a complete reinstall and it of course made the problem go away.


But hey, 1 major problem like this with one machine in all the years and with all the Macs I’ve owned. Not a bad track record. Still better than using Windows. 😉


Update: I did a complete nuke and pave of the boot volume back to Mac OS X 10.5.0, then just completed doing all the netborne updates to get her up to 10.5.6 and all the other updates. And while the machine appears to be working better now, I still see a raft of the following errors:

kernel ALF ALERT: sockwall_cntl_updaterules ctl_enqueuedata rts err 55 

Googling only turns up other people that are similiarly mystified. This error was in the system.log before I reinstalled, and is in there now, even after doing an erase install.

But again, the machine appears to be functioning correctly now. Many of the earlier problems were missing dylibs, other weird failures to load. And so it makes sense the reinstall corrected stuff. I’d still like to know about these errors tho.

Update 2: A buddy of mine pointed me to this page. I hadn’t seen that particular page, but I had seen some other things that were suggesting printer sharing might be the culprit. So since it was certainly the culprit for that guy I thought I’d try it on mine. Turned off printer sharing, reboot, no errors. Try again, still no errors. Turn printer sharing on, reboot, errors. Reboot again, errors. And tried that a few times to confirm and sure enough, printer sharing seems to be involved in the generation of this error.

I’m not sure if it’s truly an error or an issue to contend with, but I thought it’d be worthwhile to report to Apple. I have filed it as RADAR 6576309 with Apple.

Meantime, the machine appears to be working now, after the nuke & pave install. Things seem to be back to normal and functioning fine. In fact I have noticed that connecting to the machine via AFP from other machines is a bit faster now. I wouldn’t be surprised if because some of the old NetInfo-based SharePoints stuff was blown away (and seems to be not needed now) if that helped things a bit.

Update 3: (4/28/09). Apple DTS just replied to my RADAR report with a brief reply:

ALF ALERT: sockwall_cntl_updaterules ctl_enqueuedata rts err 55 is harmless, you should ignore it.

Well, there we go.