Tag Archives: iphone

Fixing “Trust this computer” Problem

I had a strange problem crop up on my iMac running Yosemite and both of my iDevices (iPhone 6, iPad 4). When I plugged either in, I would get a dialog on the iMac saying photos could not be imported because the device was locked. On the devices themselves, I would be asked to Trust this computer. This happened every. single. time.

In the system.log, there were error messages to the tune of:

11/7/14 7:16:52.086 AM usbmuxd[57]: AMDeviceConnect (thread 0x1002fe000): Could not connect to lockdown port (62078) on device 1076 - [long ID number here]: 0xe8000084.

Digging further, I discovered that there is a directory, /var/db/lockdown, that contains a plist for each device connected to the Mac over the years (and since I have been leading an iOS Dev Team for Ozmott, I had a lot of devices listed in there!) and it seems that, for some reason, changes were no longer taking. I am not sure why. There were no errors related to permissions or otherwise.

On the advice of a thread I found online after some extensive Googling, I removed the lockdown directory. Theoretically, it would be recreated by the system. However, it wasn’t. Now when I connected my devices, I got the following errors:

11/7/14 7:22:44.510 AM com.apple.usbmuxd[57]: WriteDataToPath unable to create file /var/db/lockdown//SystemConfiguration.plist.tmp: No such file or directory.
11/7/14 7:22:44.510 AM com.apple.usbmuxd[57]: CreateAndStoreBUID WriteDataToPath failed: No such file or directory

So, I created a new lockdown directory using sudo mkdir lockdown. Then the errors changed to:

11/7/14 7:27:09.767 AM com.apple.usbmuxd[57]: WriteDataToPath unable to create file /var/db/lockdown//SystemConfiguration.plist.tmp: Permission denied.
11/7/14 7:27:09.767 AM com.apple.usbmuxd[57]: CreateAndStoreBUID WriteDataToPath failed: Permission denied

The directory was owned by root (because I created it using sudo) and clearly needed to belong to the usbmuxd process. Directories belonging to processes are named for the process preceded by an underscore. So I executed: sudo chown _usbmuxd lockdown.

That worked. Plugging in my devices resulted in the same dialogs as before but once I told the iDevices to trust the computer, new plist files were created for each and subsequent connects/disconnects have not had the errors recur. We’ll see if this sticks over time but at least I know how to fix it, even if temporarily.

Update 18 December 2014: The problem routinely returns. After I leave my computer running for a day or so, the problem comes back. I haven’t needed to resort to the fix above as simply rebooting my computer fixes it. It’s safe to say that something I am running on my machine is responsible. Now for the sleuthing…

Update 15 January 2015: Solved! Thanks to this thread on Stack Overflow, I have a solution that works! When this happens, open up a terminal and type

sudo launchctl stop com.apple.usbmuxd

And it restarts the broken usbmuxd process and things are happy again.

Latest Article Published: Apple’s new Podcasts App

My latest article, Podcasts App Breaks Podcasts out of Music App, is now online over at TidBITS.com. In it I review Apple’s latest app, Podcasts. Quick preview: it’s very much a 1.0 application but has potential.

Great Article about Ozmott

There’s a great article about Ozmott in the Ticker, a Traverse City, MI publication. It does a great job of explaining what the app does and where we are headed.

A Leap

A Leap

Since we returned to New England in late 2005 I’ve been working as an IT Project Manager in Big Pharma. Three years at Pfizer, one at Merck, and then one more back at Pfizer again. I’ve learned a great deal and made many great connections and more than a few good friends in the process and I could happily continue on this path were it not for an old friend from college.

My current contract at Pfizer is a quick three month stint up in Cambridge, MA, my old stomping grounds from grad school. I don’t actually mind the commute, I’d recently become an Audible.com addict and I’ve “read” a great many books thanks to the drive. And I also got to see many old friends (and hopefully will see a few more before my last day next Friday). But because the contract is only 3 months, I started looking for my next contract almost immediately. I’ve learned in this line of work that you always keep looking for new work and that you make every effort to have the next gig lined up when the current one ends so you have no unpaid downtime. Last year it didn’t work out that well and I ended up having to leave Merck sooner than I’d wanted to start a high profile project at Pfizer.

Early into this process my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and was floored. It was Joe, a buddy of mine from college I hadn’t spoken to in something like 17 years (no, I am not counting that initial, “Dood! How you been?!” message that is mandatory for all Facebook reconnects). I answered and everything changed.

Long story short, I am joining Joe on a four month sprint to get a new service to market that is web-based as well as iPhone- and Android-based. I jokingly tell friends, “I’m going to write an app with a friend from college and get rich!” But the truth of the matter is that Joe has a killer idea and the months to follow are going to be intense and exciting.

So I am sad to be leaving Pfizer (again) and if this venture fails I may yet return a third time. But, I’m filled with optimism and I feel more alive now than I have in some time: I’m taking a risk with a large potential payoff and even though it is scary, it is also exhilarating and something I have desperately needed for some time now.

I never do New Year’s resolutions but I was inspired to do so this year. Ann and I have been pushing hard the last year or so to improve our lives. She’s started taking classes at RISD, I’ve returned to the theater, our son has crossed over from Cub Scouts to a Boy Scout troop, we’re renovating the house Ann grew up in, and other smaller projects as well. The one major area we had not touched was my career. I felt that I needed to push myself so I resolved to change things up, take some risks, and finally move forward instead of playing it safe as I had been. It only took a few weeks into the new year before the opportunity presented itself!

I don’t know what the future holds but I am excited to be taking an active part in it again for myself and for my family.

What’s really fun is figuring out what tools I need to manage a project working entirely on a Mac. At Pfizer and Merck everything was Windows and Sharepoint and Microsoft Project and Outlook. Those tools are all fine but now it’s MacOS X and Dropbox and OmniPlan and Mail.app and BusyCal. I’m playing with Basecamp, Campfire, and Backpack, I’m investigating Flow, and considering a number of other tools (especially ones that interop well with an iPad and iPhone). We’re experimenting with FaceTime, iChat video chat, Skype video chat, and even Xbox Kinect video chat (though that one is a non-starter for many reasons).

And, of course, my days are spent wrapping up my work at Pfizer and preparing the transition plans because, of course, once we were well down the road to making this a reality, they extended my contract. Between days working for Pfizer and nights planning the new venture and taking my son to Karate classes, Troop meetings and campouts, working crew for the latest Swamp Meadow Community Theatre show (Footloose), and helping back at the Pack as an Assistant Den Leader for the Bears I am pretty busy. But it’s a good busy and am having a great time.

So, that should explain why I’ve been so quiet on this site for a bit. And why I almost certainly will continue being quiet for the next while.

 

Reading in a Whole New Way

Kevin Kelly, an author I’ve long enjoyed reading (see Out of Control, a book that had a profound impact on my thinking about technology back in the mid-90’s) has written an interesting piece on the future of reading for Smithsonian’s 40th anniversary issue titled Reading in a Whole New Way. He makes a lot of very interesting and, I think, prescient points. He talks about the ubiquity of screens and that they will soon be watching us in turn. He says that reading will become a much more physical activity much like Tom Cruise’s character in Minority Report. These days, I read more and more on my iPhone using the Amazon Kindle app, iBooks, GoodReader, Stanza, and the Borders eBooks App. I have been having fun locating free books in pdf or epub format and getting them onto my iPhone to read. I am, for all intents and purposes, an advocate for eReaders. That said, I do not believe that the physical book is going to go away anytime soon. There is something about the feel and smell of a real book, the permanence of the physical object, and the simple fact that there are just some places you can’t or at least don’t want to bring a book (the beach comes to mind). As this next generation grows up into the digital world we inhabit and as their kids grows up, this will certainly shift more and more to screens from paper but I don’t think we’ll see the paper book go away. Not within my lifetime anyway. Perhaps when the technology is advanced enough, we’ll see objects that look and feel just like real books (pages and all) but that display digital content beautifully. Whatever your thoughts, Kelly’s article is a great read (especially online, using the new “Reader” capability of the latest Safari.) (Found via The Technium)

Project 365

Thanks to the free iPhone App Photo 365, I have embarked on a fun project to take at least one photo every day. I decided to keep this 100% iPhone relying only on the iPhone 3GS camera and a handful of processing apps including Best Camera, Photoshop, TiltShiftGen, and ColorMill. The app supports uploading to a specific album in Facebook, which if I understand Facebook’s privacy settings, is world-viewable, and I am also trying to get these up into a Flickr set as well but not daily as I don’t scrape the pictures off my phone into iPhoto that often. I’m learning a lot as I go through the process. For example, I am not trying to take pictures of beautiful things but rather am discovering how the mundane can be made interesting through composition and/or creative filtering. I’m 19 days in so I have a long way to go. It will be interesting to see how my eye changes as the year progresses.

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