Category Archives: tech

How-To: Headless transmission-daemon on OS X

As MacPorts is rather unhappy with Xcode 4.3 (understandably, with all those changed paths), I invested a fair amount of effort to get it recompile rTorrent (which I’d been running in a screen-session on my Mac mini). I got it work (xcode-select + setting the Developer-folder in /opt/local/etc/macports.conf to either “/Applications/” or “/”), but while searching around, I also came across Transmission‘s headless daemon and web-interface.

So, here’s how I built and configured the headless daemon on OS X (with Xcode 4.3):

  1. Get the source-package, e.g. transmission-2.50.tar.bz2
  2. Copy the source of libevent2 into “third-party/libevent” (“mv ../libevent-2.0.17-stable third-party/libevent” inside the Transmission-directory).
  3. Build via “xcodebuild -project Transmission.xcodeproj -target transmission-daemon -configuration Release”.
  4. Run the daemon so it creates its initial config in “~/Library/Application Support/transmission-daemon”.
  5. Edit the configuration in settings.json (whitelist, watchdir, ports, speeds, …).
  6. If you want to use the web-interface, copy its files: “cp -R web ~/Library/Application Support/transmission-daemon/”
  7. Re-start the daemon.

This worked well for me and I’m quite impressed with both the web-interface and Transmission itself.


I finally got around to a) updating my old WordPress-installation (after finding out spam-bots had already created custom folders on my installation) and b) uploading all my public code to bitbucket (as Mercurial repositories).
That includes my wavelet image compression library, its Mac OS X previewing GUI as well as WowPlot (including some fairly decent Objective-C WoWCombatLog.txt parsing). I converted most of those repositories from darcs (which in the case of my wavelet lib took about 3h to convert from darcs1 to darcs2 format), but on first glance they look alright.

Solid-State Drives and You

While solid-state drives (SSDs) seem to be all the rage in net-/laptops at the moment, most of their advantages (mostly negligible access times) also make sense for a desktop system, whereas their disadvantages (price / small size) are not as constricting as you can have multiple physical discs in a desktop system.
I’ve bought a 64GB SLC SSD drive in a 3.5″ SATA version for my Mac Pro and use it solely as an OS and applications drive, while my home-directory (where the bulk of my data obviously sits) is still on a normal, spacious hard-drive. The speed-up (in spite of Mac OS X’s already quite fast boot / application start-up times) is very noticeable.
The OS migration from the HDD to the SDD was very painless. I used Carbon Copy Cloner to copy everything but my username’s home directory, rebooted from the SSD, logged in as the user with administration privileges (which your everyday user account shouldn’t have) and changed the home-directory for my non-admin user (under System Preferences – Accounts – Right-Click on the account – Advanced Options – Home Directory).
Almost all applications (baring Xcode) cold-start approximately half-way through the first Dock-icon bounce and World of Warcraft flies with this setup. 🙂
If I didn’t need more than 64GB total space on my MacBook Pro, I’d also fit it with such an SSD drive without hesitation. But as it is, I need more space. Alas, when the next laptop is on the horizon I can definitely see myself shelling out for an SSD upgrade. Maybe mainboards should come with something like 64GB of on-board flash for use as operating system and application drive…

WowPlot 0.1.2

WowPlot has been updated to version 0.1.2, featuring the following improvements:

  • Added an option to automatically create new plots when splitting (by holding the Alt(⌥)-key).
  • Added new 2.4.3 combat log events (at least the ones I could find).
  • Removed PetFixers entries for Shaman’s summoned elementals (as 2.4.3 fixes this).
  • Added Fire Bomb spell to belong to Jan’Alai.
  • Updated Sparkle to 1.5b4.