How to Create Symbolic Links at the Command Line of Mac OS X

If you want to create and set a symbolic link at the command line in OS X, you will need to use the ln command with the -s flag (if you don't use the -s flag a hard link is set). You'll need to launch a terminal session in order to follow along.

How to Create a Symbolic Link

Here is the syntax for creating a symbolic link:

ln -s /path/to/original_file /path/to/symlink_file

After running this command the symlink will point to the original location. Depending on which directory you are setting up the link in you may need to sudo:

sudo ln -s /path/to/original_file /path/to/symlink_file

How to Remove a Symbolic Link

rm is your friend => but use it wisely:

rm /path/to/symlink_file

You can also use unlink:

unlink /path/to/symlink_file 


How to restrict access for a JIRA group or user to one project

My JIRA instance needs to include not only folks from within my organization but external contractors as well.  The challenge I had was how to restrict access for the external folks to only a particular project.

It's taken a bit of fiddling to get this figured out as it's not entirely clear in the Atlassian documentation. I think JIRA is an amazing product but there are times when I find the configuration of the system to be quite baroque.

Following these steps should allow you to accomplish the restriction goal and still have time for lunch.

  1. Create a contractors group.
  2. Add the contractors as members of the contractors group and be sure to remove them from the users group.
  3. Assign the contractors group to the users and / or developers project role in the target project.
  4. Assign the JIRA Users global permission to the contractors group. This assignment is needed since they are not members of the users group.

That should do it.  Do let me know if you find a more elegant way than what I've presented above.

Homebrew update fail

I was looking to upgrade my Scala installation and thought I'd update Homebrew before doing so. I got the following error message when performing the update:

mac-attack:~ ewilson$ sudo brew update
Checking out files: 100% (3246/3246), done.
warning: inexact rename detection was skipped due to too many files.
warning: you may want to set your diff.renamelimit variable to at least 1019 and retry the command.
Error: undefined method `to_sym' for nil:NilClass
Please report this bug:
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/update.rb:97:in `report'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/update.rb:95:in `each_line'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/update.rb:95:in `report'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/update.rb:18:in `update'
/usr/local/bin/brew:94:in `send'

Obviously not what I was expecting as brew is usually pretty reliable. After doing some FAQ reading I came across this command:

mac-attack:~ ewilson$ sudo brew doctor

The command provided me with some recommendations of configs, paths and symlinks that needed to be corrected. I followed the guidance and my issues were solved.

iPhone - Send SMS instead of iMessage

A friend of mine had purchased an iPhone a few months back and shortly thereafter had dropped it.  It was broken and unrepairable so she had to switch to an Android phone which was free (she was at the beginning of her contract with Verizon - full price iPhone was not an option).  

The challenge in the switch was the dearth of text messages from her friends who had iPhones. Their iPhones refused to stop sending iMessages because they had a previous conversation marked as iMessage.

It was maddening.  She was losing conversations and iPhone folks thought she was ignoring them.

Lo and behold there was any easy fix that was not readily apparent (after deleting contacts, conversations, recreating contacts).

All that was needed is for the iPhone folks to double tap on the iMessage (blue bubble) and a set of options appears.  One of those options allows you to choose "Send as text".  Do this a few times and you'll be good to go!

Stylesheet Limits Of Internet Explorer 6..9

One of my colleagues recently discovered that our site was not functioning 100% correctly (CSS styles not being respected by the browser).  After doing some investigation he found that there is a hard limit of 4,095 rules.  (Why there were so many rules on that page is another discussion).

You can find the mention of the rule limit on the Microsoft Support site.   It states the following:

This problem occurs because the following conditions are true in Internet Explorer:

  • All style tags after the first 31 style tags are not applied.
  • All style rules after the first 4,095 rules are not applied.
  • On pages that uses the @import rule to continuously import external style sheets that import other style sheets, style sheets that are more than three levels deep are ignored.

Note: IE 10 bumps up the limit to 65,534 rules.