Drobo will not mount in Finder

I have a Drobo with 4x2GB disks installed to hold all my stuff. ALL my stuff.

The other day, I connected to Drobo in order to execute a TimeMachine backup. Drobo came up green yet Finder did not mount it. I heard rumbling noises and knew that something was messing with it. I just was not sure whether it was Finder or the Drobo’s firmware itself.

DiskUtils could not access the disk. Big panic. Called Drobo support and was surprised by their shallow “do a repair” reply.

I stumbled upon the following procedure by poking around and taking chances. I was “this far” from writing off 3TB of photos and projects, so I felt I had nothing to lose. Please note that in no way can I guarantee that this will help you, but it worked for me:

1. The rumbling noises that I heard when I connected the Drobo to the Mac were due to Finder trying to mount the disk but with running FSCK prior to doing so. The rumbling was probably due to a screwed up MBS.

Disk Utils was hampered as long as Finder was messing with Drobo, so I killed it:

2. Looked for any disk-related tasks by ‘ps ax’ in terminal.

3. Killed those tasks using ‘sudo kill -9’

4. That left the Drobo in the exact state I wanted it: Unmounted and left alone

5. Ran DiskUtils and chose to Repair the disk. I got a reasonable progress bar (as opposed the infinite one when I ran DiskUtils while Finder had stuff going on). It took over 12 hours to repair. Be patient!

6. Used the Mount icon in DiskUtils to mount Drobo.

7. All good, happy.

So now what? A backup of a backup on S3? Is there no end to this cycle?


Quickie – ssh dynamic port forwarding to avoid unsecured public networks

You’re in an airport, and there’s free wifi (you’re obviously not in the US…). You want to connect but are worried about someone sniffing your connection. You’re rich, so you have a remote box with ssh access to it.

The solution is to ssh into your remote box and forward all your traffic to it. It will be your secure proxy for your session.

Easy to do:

Open a terminal and issue:

ssh -D 8888 remote-host

This will start port dynamic port forwarding to the remote-host machine.

Then, set up a proxy on your local machine to proxy all localhost traffic to port 8888.

On the Mac, it looks like this:


Presto, as long as the terminal is open with the ssh -D command running, all your internet communications will pass through to the remote-host using the secure socket connection.

Weekend warrior – MacRuby and rSpec, Mac OS X Lion, Xcode V4.3.2

Inspired by the recent buzz over RubyMotion, of which I am a proud licensee, I wanted to play a little with MacRuby just to get into the swing of things.

After deciding that doing so was more worthwhile than to mow the lawn, I set out to see what it took to start a project in MacRuby with rSpec support as a basis to start work.

MacRuby’s article got me started, but did not work because the test target could not find the framework that I wanted tested. I don’t know why, since I (sort of) follwed the instructions there. I say “sort of” since the article shows screen-shots of an older Xcode, and even though I thought I set things correctly in my version (Xcode V4.3.2), it still would not build. Also, I am on Mac OS X Lion and that may have had something to do with it.

After realising that if I did not continue trying, a certain member of the household would make me mow that lawn, Google found another article here by Steve Madsen.

It too looked promising, but again, needed tweaking to get working in my environment. It’s thanks to Steve’s post that I managed to get it working.

Here were my steps:
a. Create a new project in Xcode (or use an existing one that you want to rSpec)
b. Install MacRuby
c. Follow Steve Madsen’s instructions

At that stage it still did not work for me, but that was because of a misunderstaning that was clarified quickly enough:

Steve’s screen-shot for the scheme settings on the Specs framework is cut off and does not show the “Expand Variables Based On” setting, so $(SRCROOT) was never expanded for me. I replaced it with an absolute path (ugh) and it worked, so I knew something was not picking up that macro. The solution was to give a value to that drop-down, as shown in the screen-shot below.

If, like me, you’re on Xcode V4.3.2, you might find the following screen-shots useful (just refer to them as you follow Steve’s post):

a. Build settings:

b. Scheme settings:


You cannot imagine the joy of seeing Ruby code drive an Objective-C framework testing session using rSpec in Xcode.

Now to that mower…