rm vs. Time Machine

Public Service Announcement: if a Time Machine backup fails, it will leave behind a file with an extension of inprogress. (It’s actually a folder.) If you have a hard time deleting it, do not use rm! It will erase files from all backups, instead of just the one in progress. Instead, trash the inprogress file from the Finder and Empty Trash as usual. It might take a while, but it will Do The Right Thing.

You could also leave the file alone and just try to backup again; Time Machine will clear out the failed inprogress file when the next backup succeeds.


From Effective UI:

The point of software isn’t necessarily to engross your users in the experience of using the software, it is to keep them focused on the ultimate goals they’re trying to accomplish in using the software, rather than on the actual use of the software itself. […] To be truly and unobtrusively useful, software must clear the straightest, most frictionless path to the accomplishment of the user’s goals.

Effective UI is a very good book, one of the few instances where a discussion of UI (or UX, “user experience”) doesn’t drive me up a wall. This is…

Z shell

Failing to keep up with my (bi)weekly postings, I return nonetheless to post something of interest to fellow developers. This post is on my latest Unix-shell-of-choice, the Z shell (zsh).

For a long time I was a bash user, actually since a little after the switch from tcsh to bash in Panther. Bash (the “Bourne-again shell”) is useful and dependable and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not, something I felt tcsh (and the C shell family in general) was occasionally guilty of. But I got fed up with the context-insensitive completions and uncustomizable keyboard shortcuts, at about the same…