iTunes Store died for me, error -50

My iTunes has been pretty much screwed these days with the notification message:

One Moment Please.
Connecting to the iTunes Store.

If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or Windows Task Bar.

So iTunes does not itself know it is in iTunes. Very philosophical.

I tried logging out of my iTunes account and cannot log in back. I can log in using iTunes for Windows on my Windows machine but not iTunes for Mac. I have also reset everything in Safari.

Signing in to iTunes give me the following:

[iTunes We could not complete your iTunes Store request. An unknown error occured (-50).]

I can’t use iTunes Store any more and Apple Support doesn’t seem to have a similar problem listed.

[UPDATE: I resolved the issue.]



Okay actually, I sort of solved it accidentally a few minutes after I write this. I just randomly delete some files that says iTunes such as the cache and I chanced upon the right file to delete.

There appears to have been some problems with iTunes preferences. I don’t exactly know which particular setting is incorrect; I don’t recall editing my preferences in the past couple of months.

Anyway, I deleted the preferences file. Mine is found in:

[code lang=”bash”]/Users/kahwee/Library/Preferences/[/code]

This causes iTunes to launch the set up wizard for iTunes where you have to click through all over again, as if it is a new installation. But that’s fine for me, I hardly customized my iTunes anyway.

And the iTunes Store is working again. Damn.

How to make Firefox address bar faster

Firefox’s address bar, also known as the Awesome Bar, stores all sorts of awesome information in a SQLite database. The SQLite database slowly starts getting fragments and the Awesome Bar just isn’t as awesome if it gets all laggy. To solve this, you can vacuum the SQLite database that Awesome Bar used.

Go to Tools, then Error Console. And copy the following:

[code lang=”php”]Components.classes[ “;1” ].getService( Components.interfaces.nsPIPlacesDatabase ).DBConnection.executeSimpleSQL( “VACUUM” );[/code]

And paste and click on Evaluate:

Vaccuming Firefox in Error Console
Vaccuming Firefox in Error Console

The browser probably freezes for a few seconds and the address bar feels faster.

[via MozillaLinks]

CakePHP 1.2 and PHP 5.3 doesn’t play nice

I just upgraded all the software only to discover PHP got upgraded to 5.3. That’s fast, PHP 5.3 isn’t out too long ago and it’s in the Macosforge repository. Even the CakePHP update released on August 9 did not include PHP 5.3 compatibility.

Perhaps it’s time to update the CakePHP requirements and be indicative of the lack of support for PHP 5.3.

Now the library is throwing deprecated notices all around “Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in…”. Also there is a PHP warning:

[code lang=”php”]PHP Warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system’s timezone settings. You are required to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected ‘Asia/Singapore’ for ‘SGT/8.0/no DST’ instead in…[/code]

To stop the deprecated notices, I had to modify Cake’s core, not something I like to do.

I added the line “error_reporting (E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED);” at the top of /cake/libs/object.php. I also updated /cake/libs/configure.php by changing “error_reporting(E_ALL);” to “error_reporting (E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED);”.


This doesn’t solve the problem exactly, it just suppresses the deprecation notices so I can continue working. For a PHP 5.3 compatible CakePHP, you’ll need to use CakePHP 1.3 which currently isn’t stable. I’ll definitely be trying it soon but in the meantime I’ll just have to suppress error reporting.

Update: jdbartlett commented on a better way:

[code lang=”php”]if (defined(“E_DEPRECATED”)) error_reporting(E_ALL ^ E_DEPRECATED);[/code]

If youโ€™re not doing any debugging, you can add the above code to the top of /app/webroot/index.php and suppress the error messages without editing the core. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks jdbartlett! You saved me time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Google App Engine and the color purple

Ahh, my eyes:

Google App Engine and the color purple

(Google App Engine and the color purple.)

This is what happens when you make a mistake in the helloworld demo. You get purple as a punishment. App Engine’s pretty cool, my only complaint is: Why can’t I quit the dev appserver with CTRL+C?!

It’s annoying and I have to re-navigate through if I want to restart the server. The solution is, well you don’t. As in, you don’t restart the server at all.

Microsoft translates Barack Obama to Rudy Giuliani

Try translating Barack Obama from English to German in Windows Live Translator and you get this:

Microsoft translates Barack Obama to Rudy Giuliani

Windows Live Translator is powered by Microsoft Translate.

It appears that Microsoft don’t do a basic dictionary translate and perform a more contextual-based translation and matches information available online to aid the translation. It’s an interesting approach; it fails interestingly too.

Funny error messages in Unix

You could try these unix commands if you’re really bored. It probably works on Ubuntu too.

[code lang=”bash”]% “How poorly would you rate the Unix (so-called) user interface?
Unmatched “.

% rm congressional-ethics
rm: congressional-ethics nonexistent

% ar m God
ar: God does not exist

% [Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
Missing ].

% ^How did the sex change^ operation go?
Modifier failed.

% If I had a ( for every $ Congress spent, what would I have?
Too many (‘s.

%make love
Make: Don’t know how to make love. Stop.

% sleep with me
bad character

% got a light?
No match.

% man: why did you get a divorce?
man:: Too many arguments.

% ^What is saccharine?
Bad substitute.

% (-
(-: Command not found.

% sh

$ PATH=pretending! /usr/ucb/which sense
no sense in pretending

$ drink <bottle; opener
bottle: cannot open
opener: not found

$ mkdir matter; cat >matter
matter: cannot create[/code]


My favorite is:

[code lang=”bash”]% man: why did you get a divorce?
man:: Too many arguments.[/code]

God save the Wikipedia

Opps Wikipedia went down!

Wikipedia downtime error page

Our servers are currently experiencing a technical problem. This is probably temporary and should be fixed soon. Please try again in a few minutes.

You may be able to get further information in the #wikipedia channel on the Freenode IRC network.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organisation which hosts some of the most popular sites on the Internet, including Wikipedia. It has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to help, please donate.

Okay to help Wikipedia from the downtime you can erm donate.

[Edit: It’s up.]

Funny Chinglish – Translate server error

I think it’s great that everyone these days is making an effort to translate things to another language. Globalization’s really happening, so are mistranslations:

Translation server error in restaurant


Erm, it’s the thoughts that counts right?


[Apologies to the previous post error, it’s a strange WordPress bug’s fault. Not me not me!]