Archive for the ‘OS X’ Category

For various reasons, I’ve found myself needing to decode email file attachments in base64. (It’s ugly and involves mailx. You don’t want to know.)

Here’s how to do it:

openssl base64 -d -in infilename -out outfilename


I’m here with a couple hundred other iPhone people, even more devices and an unlimited supply of beer. Yes, we have been promised beer. I have even been promised vegan pizza. Adobe’s office here is very nice, we are in the atrium/cafe area that has both a cafeteria and coffee bar setup. The NDA situation has been skirted by having a quarantine zone for discussing non-public topics. The overall effect for me is something of “WWDC Lite,” there’s a lot of “Didn’t I see you at WWDC?” going on.

I’m working with two other people on an application to share address book contacts by passing them through a back-end server. It’s not especially elegant or complex but it’s an interesting problem and not too technically challenging. We are all at about the same level as far as Cocoa and iPhone programming goes, which is to say we all write code in other languages but are feeling seriously out of our element. I’ve gotten as far as requesting a document from a URL and after dinner I’m going to start parsing it.

So apparently Apple is giving MobileMe subscribers an I’m-Sorry present for putting up with the launch mess, a 30 day extension. I haven’t seen an email myself yet, but people have reported getting a message saying as much. This knowledge base article confirms it.

I’m supposed to be eligible, as I signed up before the 15th.

I’ve gotten the home laptops set up and talking to MobileMe, as well as the phone. Aside from sometimes slow web stuff, the biggest problem I’ve had was in getting my address book correct. I tried to import a bunch of vcards from the web interface, expecting it to prompt me to resolve duplicates like AddressBook does. Wrong.

I had to sync the mess back to a laptop and fix all the dups by hand from the actual application. (I think the only remaining oops is where I accidentally merged cards for two people with the same name. Will clean that up Monday by getting fresh copies from the office.)

There is a bit of weirdness in that the mail application, when I set up my account, insists there is a account. I don’t have a address, so when I tried to send a message with the incorrect smtp settings it balked. I see there is a new MobileMe software update waiting for me, so presumably that will fix a couple of things. (Like how System Preferences doesn’t actually seem to know about MobileMe yet, although it still works as .mac.)

The general consensus online is Epic FAIL.

Well, sorta.

I was able to use the .mac key just fine, basically MobileMe is .mac with some new chrome. I wasn’t able to get a .mac address as well but now I have my spiffy new address. What I’m going to do with it, I haven’t decided. I’m doing this for the other sync stuff right now, with the option to use their IMAP if getting ours set up continues to be a headache.

But boy is webmail slow. Response on all the web stuff is sluggish at best, and I’m talking from my computer. I haven’t even tried setting up my phone yet.

I went by the Apple Store last night, having heard that Mobile Me was up and running. They told me no retail packages would be available until Friday. Well, since the .mac transition page said that I could still activate with a .mac code, I got one of those instead. I had to ask for it, but they had them.

I don’t really like going to the Apple Store, the downtown San Francisco store is a tourist destination so it’s always packed. But for small things it’s cheaper and faster to just go there. I walk past all the time anyway.

So now I have a .mac box (unopened) and the service is still down, even this morning. It appears I could sign up for a free trial of Mobile Me, but I really don’t care about free or not. I can always take the package back and swap it out, but I was hoping to avoid a second trip to the store.