Fixing email search in El Capitan,

published at 5:03pm on 03/10/16, with No Comments

We’re going to file this under “pedestrian blog posts just so I don’t forget how I did something in the past.”

The Problem

When I upgraded my computer (from Mountain Lion!) to El Capitan, everything went relatively smoothly except that I lost the ability to actually search my email in Apple’s included Mail program. There were a number of suggestions I found online, many of which I tried, but the one that actually made the difference was to re-index my machine.

The Solution

The first thing I tried to do was to just erase and re-index my hard drive with:

$ sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/

but this gave me a “Indexing disabled.” message. The normal way of handling this is to add your entire hard drive to the “Privacy” tab in the Spotlight settings, but this did not seem to work. Fortunately, I know how to read nerd and did the following in a shell:

$ mdutil
Usage: mdutil -pEsa -i (on|off) -d volume ...
mdutil -t {volume-path | deviceid} fileid
Utility to manage Spotlight indexes.
-p Publish metadata.
-i (on|off) Turn indexing on or off.
-d Disable Spotlight activity for volume (re-enable using -i on).
-E Erase and rebuild index.
-s Print indexing status.
-t Resolve files from file id with an optional volume path or device id.
-a Apply command to all volumes.
-V vol Apply command to all stores on the specified volume.
-v Display verbose information.
NOTE: Run as owner for network homes, otherwise run as root.

OK, so this is good. There’s a flag I can pass to the mdutil program to have it turn on and off indexing for a particular volume.

$ mdutil -i on /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/
Indexing enabled.

Excellent progress! This time, running the “mdutil -E” command above actually kicked off the re-indexing process. It took a little while, but once it was done, search was restored to my Mail program.

Good luck with your mail woes!

Filed under: Technology, with No Comments

A Relative Calm,

published at 1:12am on 12/09/14, with No Comments

Protest up Broadway
Things were relatively calm this evening, at least for a minute, as protesters marched up the middle of Broadway against traffic. The police lead the way a few blocks ahead of the march, redirecting traffic, and follow behind with about half a dozen scooters and half a dozen vans with flashing lights, but no sirens.

This reminds me of the relationship that once existed between the NYPD and Critical Mass in NYC. It used to be that the NYPD would send a few scooters to escort the ride and keep the traffic disruptions to a minimum. They would keep the protest from stretching too long but would otherwise stay clear. That all changed right before the RNC came to town in 2004, when the NYPD decided to start rounding up as many riders as they could, sending in police in riot gear outside of St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery.

As I’m finishing this up, a helicopter hovers overhead and I hear sirens in the distance. Somehow, I think this peace will be short-lived.

Filed under: Observations, with No Comments

Sand in My Book Jacket,

published at 10:10am on 10/16/14, with No Comments

The book that I’m reading has sand in the front of the plastic sheath covering the book jacket. It’s from the library, and I’d heard about on public radio, went to the library website and put in a request and several weeks later, after I’d all but forgotten about it, I got a notification that the book was ready. The book is now overdue, and I’m frantically reading to get to the end, both so I can find out what happens to the story, and so I can dutifully pay my (hopefully no more than) dollar in fines.

This book went on vacation with somebody. There is sand trapped between the plastic covering that the library puts on the books to keep them tidy and the jacket itself. I can imagine the person before me, sitting on the beach, somewhere warm, maybe there’s a cocktail sitting on the table next to them, and they’re listening to the waves rolling in and out.

There are no waves here today. It’s raining, and the sound of the water outside is less rolling as it comes in and out off of the shore, and more a not-too-gentle, steady pitter patter of drops falling from the sky. The rain is coming in sideways, knocking against my window, wanting to come in.

Do you remember when library books had the names of all of the people who borrowed the book before you, stamped into the back cover? A violation of privacy, to be sure, and where, other than libraries, can you get that sort of privacy these days, but still, I miss seeing those names, feeling like I was part of a club. A club of people who touched this very book, who went on vacation, who left sand and rain drops on its cover.

The book was due back to the library yesterday, and I would really like to finish it now.

Your Face in Mine

Filed under: Personal, with No Comments

Removing the a PDF password on a Mac,

published at 1:03am on 03/29/14, with No Comments

I spent forever looking for how to do this tonight without having to resort to a) some shady PDF software and b) install ghostscript on my mac when I don’t have X11 installed. The following worked great:

  1. Install homebrew
  2. brew install qpdf
  3. qpdf –password=YOURPASSWORD-HERE –decrypt input.pdf output.pdf



Filed under: Technology, with No Comments

Happy New Year,

published at 5:12pm on 12/31/13, with No Comments

Actually, 2013 was a pretty good year. I made a lot of animated GIFs, I got a new job, I became somewhat bicoastal, and I started getting regular haircuts.

Next year, I’ll write more as well.


Filed under: Personal, with No Comments