Restoration of Order

The MacPro woes have gradually subsided, but a few things were weird, and it was bothering me that i’d never really got to the bottom of the problem. The weirdness was that privoxy wasn’t always starting at login (meaning i’d have to start it manually most days), clicking on a Java jar packaged application in the Finder was creating an archive instead of launching (meaning i’d have to start it from the command line with java -jar), and a bunch of application associations felt like they were missing.

Consequently i’ve been watching the system.log and trying to clean up the mess at startup / login. Don’t know if all OS X systems are like this but this one, which has run every O/S release and patch from 2007 until now, but it is a mess at startup. There is some stuff, such as ‘locationd’ that always logs an exception (because the machine doesn’t have a wireless card…) and a host of old agents / daemons controlled by ‘launchd’ that reference files or packages that no longer exist, use outdated plist syntax, etc. In short, it’s a mess.

Today i decided to try to get to the bottom of this message:

lsregister[148]: LaunchServices database store corruption detected.

Doesn’t sound good does it! A little man page reading, and surfing later:

lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

Good luck finding ‘lsregister’ it’s hidden in:


… obviously! After running that, and removing a bunch of old / redundant plist files from:


the startup / login time are noticeably improved, even application start times might be a little improved.

The moral of this story? Not really sure… maybe that periodic clean installs are as important on OS X as they are on Windows, but with the period measured in years rather than months.

Edit: Having got the bit between my teeth, i’ve been back and cleaned up a bunch of the messages in the system.log and kernel.log. Removing a bunch third party kernel extensions (PACE, VirtualBox, Cisco VPN, BRESinkx86, etc.) that have accumulated over the years. The output of ‘kextstat’ now contains no non-apple kernel extentions. Yay!



In order to fulfill a request for a high quality scan (more ragged trousered philanthropy on my part…) i’ve been looking at an old (01.09) of negatives and wondering how to do a better job of scanning them.

They are obviously over exposed, and have always scanned with a huge amount of grain. It has always seemed to be that it’s easier to rescue underexposed negatives when scanning, the opposite when printing. With some experimentation i’ve managed to badger Silverfast into giving me what, to me at least, is an interesting result.

Enoshima_0006Enoshima_0003Enoshima_0004 Enoshima_0005

Really like the feel of them now. An uneasy nostalgia.

Another situation where i fought with myself over whether or not to crop. There is nothing (?!) that annoys me more than un-intentionally off horizons, and yet i can’t bring myself to make the cuts!

Enoshima, Japan. January 2009. Hasselblad 503cw, CFE 80mm, Ilford SFX 200 @200, with an R72 Infrared Filter. Developed in Rodinal.

Think i’d like to print one of the last two… decisions, decisions.


Junk is the ideal product . . . the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy. . . . The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in junk.

— William S. Burroughs

Feels like it might apply more widely…


Darling Mason has posted a mixcloud playlist repesentative of Rective.

Rective, almost in the this form, is really a little bit older than the “late ninties”. However, having sat down to attempt to retell the story i’ve determined that i don’t remember the names of all the people and places involved… Jo? Euston? The Railway… yep, it’s mostly gone.

Also, i’m forever defeated by embedding in WordPress.


Starting with the obvious:

The last time i was in Berlin i’d just about reached German drinking age, which is to say i was fifteen or sixteen. This was a couple <cough> of years before the wall came down, and, i guess, it all changed.

My memories of that time are a little ‘hazy’. What i remember is a night out in Kreuzberg with Kai, his brother, and a japanese guy called Toshi. There was a nightclub with an entrance that was literally knocked through the wall of an abandoned building, a guy with no arms getting beer money out of a pouch around his neck, a couple in a kebab shop wearing bra’s and suspenders under open trench coats, rides through the city in Toshi’s vintage Benz listening to Joy Division, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins… i remember a flat in an Altbau, with hugely high ceilings, where all the ‘crockery’ was (stolen) chemistry (pyrex) glassware. Standing at the wall (probably at Müllerstraße, in Wedding) watching the guards watch us… wondering what they were thinking and probably wondering what i thought.The pictures from that time are of a young me with chubby cheeks, spiky crimped hair, in faded goth uniform and a waistcoat.

All in all, i suspect i thought i’d died and discovered that there was indeed a gothic heaven… It was therefore with some trepidation that i got on the ICE from Hamburg and made by my way back.

After arriving late on Friday night and checking into a business hotel in Tiergarten, Saturday morning found me walking through the Brandenburg Gate, and into ‘the east’. I don’t actually remember visiting any of the major checkpoints all those years ago, and was surprised to find myself a little giddy at the prospect… the rest of the day we spent wandering around Mitte, wondering at what was left of the old, and ridiculous amount of new. In the evening we went up to Prenzlauer Berg to visit the exhibition that had provided my excuse to return.

Sunday morning we wandered around Kreuzberg, from Kottbusser Tor, across the Oberbaumbrücke, to Warschauer Straße… It was somewhere around this time that it hit me just how crazy the whole Berlin ‘conflict’ really was – Germans shooting Germans for trying to cross a strip of land, or swim a river. Standing on the banks of the Spree really brings it home to you how close and arbitrary the borders really were. People dying, families and communities torn apart, and all for what?

The afternoon looking at Helmut Netwon’s White Women, Sleepless Nights, and Big Nudes didn’t do much in the way of providing clarity. If anything, they provide the ultimate contrast between a capitalist west still blissfully unaware of it’s limits and a socialist experiment gone wrong.

The city itself is a beautiful mess. Photographically it’s amazing. All at once managing looking decadent, dissolute, crumbling, renewed, effortlessly wealthy, and defiantly poor, both sprawling and dense. The faces, the languages, the looks, are all astonishingly varied.

[It’s obvious that there are a lot of americans / english around. They give themselves away by being far louder than everyone else in the most inappropriate times and places. Somehow it never seems to occur to them that they are the only ones exhibiting zero consciousness of their surroundings…]

All of which left me wondering why i was “slumming it” out in provincial Hamburg, with it’s tall, blonde, well mannered (if slightly aloof), wealthy, hanseatic citizens? The answer is that if i was ten years younger, and it was ten years ago (hey, why settle for less when you’re dreaming?!) i’d move to Berlin, live a little, and not worry too much about all the big city stuff that annoys me so intensely in London, Tokyo, Paris, etc.

It might still happen, it’s the most vibrant a city has felt to me in years.

“Ikea”, the Swedish for, “Hate”

Not really, but this has been an *epic* thing to build. Two meters wide, over two meters tall, and more screws than i dare to count. And, still three doors to go…

Still, after almost a year of living my clothes in a heap on the floor, i can now pick one of the highly similar black shirts up out of a draw. Progress. Guess we’re staying!