Fastest and Easiest Way to Sync Sites in FileZilla on your Mac via Dropbox

FileZilla So I’ve been a long time user of FileZilla and awhile back I looked into how to share my site list across multiple machines and one method many people were doing was storing their application settings on Dropbox by modifying their fzdefaults.xml to point to a location under your Dropbox folder.

I’ve been using that method for quite some time and it generally works well. I do hit into a couple issues.

  • Besides syncing just my sites, it also synced other application settings (e.g. window size, last location) and when you have monitors with different resolutions, it starts to become annoying.
  • I ended up with a file conflicts whenever I had FileZilla running on multiple machines at the same time. Typically it was filezilla.xml and queue.sqlite3 that would end up having conflicts.
  • Because fzdefaults.xml was stored in the Application (/Application/FileZilla/Contents/SharedSupport/) and not in the user settings (~/.filezilla/), whenever I upgraded FileZilla to the newest version, it would overwrite my fzdefaults.xml file and I would have to go and fix it every time.

What I decided to do instead was create symbolic links to the files I want to sync. The only 2 files I think that matter are bookmarks.xml and sitemanager.xml.

  1. Quit FileZilla.
  2. If you’ve created/modified fzdefaults.xml in the past, back up and delete that file.
  3. Create a folder inside your Dropbox folder to save your FileZilla settings to (e.g. ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/).
  4. Move your existing bookmarks.xml and sitemanager.xml that you want to share from ~/.filezilla/ to ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/. You may need to do this inside a terminal.
  5. Create symbolic links for those 2 files:
    ln -s ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/bookmarks.xml ~/.filezilla/bookmarks.xml
    ln -s ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/sitemanager.xml ~/.filezilla/sitemanager.xml
    Once again, you’ll need to do this inside a terminal.
  6. Start FileZilla and make sure everything is working.
  7. Create symbolic links similarly for the rest of your computers.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-11-27

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-11-20

No Simple Solution To Convert Analog Computer Speakers to Accept Optical / Digital Input

Logitech X-530 Speakers

After switching to the Mac mini, I haven’t been fully utilizing my 5.1 speakers. The Mac mini only supports stereo mini and optical outputs and my Logitech X-530s are analog computer speakers. Currently, only the L/R speakers are enabled and I wanted to remedy that.

First I tried looking for some cheap surround sound optical speakers, but hardly anyone seems to make them these days. Back in the day, there were Creative Soundworks, Klipsch, and Logitech. The only one I found was the Logitech Z-906, which many reviews are saying aren’t as good as its predecessor, the Logitech Z-5500. Either way, the Logitech Z-906 costs ~$300 and for that price, I might as well go for a real receiver.

Second, I tried to see if there was any device that would take optical input and output surround sound. Apparently these devices aren’t exactly that popular. I did find 2:

They cost about $60-80 and are made from brands I’ve never heard of. The build quality from the pictures also look rather crappy.

If I were indeed going to get a receiver, I wondered if I’d be able to reuse my existing speakers. Was there something that would convert 3.5mm stereo mini / RCA to regular speaker wires. Apparently a quick search showed me how stupid I was for thinking that. I forget the terminology they used, but it had something to do with computer speakers being powered and you may end up damaging your hardware if you ever mix them.

I wonder if a home theater setup for my computer will be overkill… Then again, I sit in front of my computer multiple magnitudes more than I sit in front of my TV. Hmmmmm… I don’t really need something that fancy. I’m currently looking at the Onkyo HT-S3400 (Newegg / Amazon), both which have it for $260 and appear to be the lowest it’s been (price comparison).

Getting Around Incorrect Password When Trying to Enable SMB on Mac OSX

So with my files halfway transferred, I began to setup file sharing on Mac OSX Lion. Things were pretty straight forward. Go to Sharing; enable File Sharing; add the directory I want to share; modify the access rights. To enable SAMBA, I just had to go into Options… and check Share files and folders using SMB (Windows) and select the Windows account(s) I want to have access to the file shares.

My HTPC uses a different login and I wanted to add a sharing only account to the access list. Simple enough. Click the + button and set the username and password and also enable it for SMB. But then I kept getting this error:

Mac OSX SMB Incorrect Password

To enable file sharing using SMB for “login”, enter the password password for that account.

Incorrect password

I’ve double checked to make sure I had the right password and even tried deleting the account and creating a new one, but couldn’t understand why it kept thinking my password was incorrect. One thought was maybe sharing only accounts couldn’t have SMB access? So I started searching for a solution online. A couple people seem to have hit into this issue, but no one seemed to have found a solution.


To fix this, instead of creating the new account inside the Sharing window, go to Users & Groups and create a new Sharing Only account there. It requires the same fields, but when you try to enable SMB for that account, you won’t get the “incorrect password” message anymore.

Hope this helps!

Project Get Rid of PCs

So Project Get Rid of PCs is officially underway! I decided I had too many computers running in my house and 2 of them are just fancy file servers. Now that I switched to a Mac mini, my Windows desktop has become nothing more than my video encoder / Quicken host, which I plan on converting to a VM.

Unofficially, this is also called Project Conserve Energy (for those who might not share my opinion on Mac OSX, you must at least agree conserving energy is good). I’ll be able to power down 3 full computers (hosting a total of 12 HDDs running 24/7) and replace them with 4 power-saving external USB drives.

I was initially planning to start this project during holidays, but with the floods in Thailand and the expected hard drive shortages, I decided to get them before the price was blown out of proportion. Costco had a coupon where the Western Digital 3TB drives would be $20 off and when SlickDeals reported the final price was $110, I decided to bite.

Even though Costco’s coupon showed a limit of 5 per customer, they had a sign up that said limit 2 due to the flooding in Thailand. SlickDeals did report you can actually bypass the limit as long as it’s only 2 per transaction.

Anyway, I pulled Derek along since these hard drives were going to come out of’s budget, but was sad to find out that Issaquah was sold out of them. Their computer showed 6 in stock, but probably in people’s cart. The told us that Kirkland still had ~30 in stock and Derek was cool enough to take a side trip to Kirkland Costco. We each picked up 2 and my original estimation of ~$500 came pretty close. I had altered my estimated cost to ~$600 after I heard about the flooding in Thailand.

Western Digital My Book Essential 3TB External USB Drives

The plan was to have 2 sets of mirrored drives (RAID 1) and as Ryan has painfully found out, it’s impossible to use the Apple software to raid 3TBs. I went ahead and installed SoftRAID and setting up the arrays was really easy.

External USB Drive Setup

Now comes the long part of moving all the crap off my existing file servers onto these external USB drives.

Google Testing Out New YouTube on Chrome?

To back up the story a bit on why I was using Chrome, Derek has convinced me to abandon Adobe Flash a long while back and so far it’s worked out pretty well. I use Firefox as my main browser, but in the small chance that I need to use Flash (e.g. a particular YouTube video that doesn’t have HTML5/webm support yet), I switch over to Chrome, which comes with Flash support built-in.

So last night I noticed a big change in YouTube’s UI:

YouTube on Chrome

But was shocked to find out they reverted back today:

YouTube on Firefox

Turns out if you’re using Chrome, you get their new shiny unified (Google Plus) interface, but if you’re using any other browser (so far I’ve tested Firefox and Safari), you get their old look.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-11-13

New Anime Season!

This anime season actually has a lot of promising series. I typically use reviews from Random Curiosity as well as user ratings from aniDB to determine which series I’ll try watching.

This season had quite a few picks. I’m only about 2-3 episodes in for most series.


Fate/Zero This was actually my most anticipated series of this season. I was a huge fan of the original Fate/stay night. There’s a holy grail war and magicians summon heroes of the past and whoever wins gets their wish granted.

This is actually a prequel retelling the story of the previous holy grail war. The only 2 heroes that appear in both series is Arturia Pendragon and Gilgamesh. The remaining heroes look really fun and you get a glimpse of how Emiya Shiro came about. You also get to meet the kid-version of the magicians of the next holy grail war.

So far the battle scenes are excellently animated and the story is really fun.

Verdict: must watch
Resources: Random Curiosity / aniDB

Persona 4 the Animation

Persona 4 the Animation I believe this series was derived from a video game. If not, it has a very strong feeling like it should be. High school students get sucked into this mysterious world, where they have these cards they can activate that they can control to fight other monsters.

For the first few episodes, you gather your team, and learn how the alternative world works. I got rather bored after the 2nd episode. Maybe I’ll have more context if I’ve had played the video game, or maybe the story will speed up after the introduction. I’ll probably revisit this again when the series completes.

Verdict: skip for now
Resources: Random Curiosity / aniDB

Chihayafuru (ちはやふる)

Chihayafuru The animation was extremely beautiful, but the character design just weirded me out. Even the guys in this series look like girls. Definitely a shoujo series. It follows a girl who wants to get good at some poem matching game, something I don’t really have any connections with, so this series isn’t for me.

Verdict: skip
Resources: Random Curiosity / aniDB

Guilty Crown

Guilty Crown Initially I thought this was going to be another mecha series (think GUNDAM), but so far it looks way more fun. A virus was released in Japan sometime ago the apocalypse occurred. They eventually found a vaccine and things are starting to return to normal.

You follow a boy that somehow gets mixed up with terrorists and obtains a DNA/gene altering drug that allows him to pull out voids (weapons/objects) from people. The weapons are definitely interesting and fun and the battle scenes are always a delight to watch. The main character is a bit wishy-washy, but it looks like he’s finally becoming more determined.

Verdict: watch
Resources: Random Curiosity / aniDB

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ (ラストエグザイル-銀翼のファム-)

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ I was a big fan of the original Last Exile series and this new one doesn’t disappoint. It’s funny though, cause I don’t really remember much of the original series at. I had to actually Wikipedia it.

The only character you see so far that was from the original is Dio, which you weren’t sure survived or not in the previous series. You still have the the elements of air ships and battles which are always cool to watch.

The series begins with a nation trying to take over the entire world. You follow an orphan who grew up with pirates. When war begins to break out, she helped rescue the princess, and now she’s determined to get her nation back.

Verdict: must watch
Resources: Random Curiosity / aniDB


UN-GO This is a new detective series and I’m just not a fan of it. Not enough time is spent investigating and allowing the viewer to make the same deductions. And there’s this weird lady/alien that can transform to force someone to tell the truth? Then there’s this weird back story of how these revelations have to be kept secret in order to maintain peace, so the truth is never revealed to the public…

Verdict: skip for now
Resources: Random Curiosity / aniDB

Mirai Nikki (未来日記)

Mirai Nikki This show had a lot of promise, but I just can’t get myself to like the main character, which is always a bummer and a sign that I won’t enjoy the series. It had elements set up to be an awesome psychological thriller (e.g. Death Note), but I just find the main character annoying.

You learn that there are 10 or so cellphones that contain diaries of the future, but what they contain is different for each of the participants. The main character’s future diary contains what happens around him. Another character’s future diary contains what happens to the main character, and so on. God has said the only person remain standing will take his place and become God.

So some go off trying to kill the others, while others team up to prevent from being killed. They all have some clue of what will happen in the future and can change the future based on what they know. The premise just sounds amazing, having to outsmart the others based on what you know they know.

But I just can’t get over the fact the main character is annoying!

Verdict: skip for now
Resources: Random Curiosity / aniDB

iPod nano (1st Generation) Replacement Program

I just got the following email from Apple:

iPod nano (1st generation)Dear iPod nano owner,

Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.

This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.

Apple recommends that you stop using your iPod nano (1st gen) and follow the process noted below to order a replacement unit, free of charge.

Note: This battery issue is specific to the iPod nano (1st gen) and does not affect any other iPod.

Replacement Process

You may order a replacement unit via the web. Click here to begin.

Your iPod nano serial number will be checked to verify that it is eligible for this program. You will receive a replacement unit approximately 6 weeks after we receive your current iPod nano (1st gen).

If you have a personalized iPod nano, you will receive a non-personalized replacement. Make sure to use iTunes to back up any data on your current iPod nano before sending it in for a replacement unit.

Additional Information

Identifying an iPod nano (1st gen):

  • It has a black or white plastic front and a silver metal back – later iPod nano models have a metal front and back.

If you need assistance with placing an order, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) and bring your iPod nano with you for serial number validation.

Your replacement iPod product is warranted to be free from defects for 90 days from the date of service.

Thank you for participating in this program.



I still remember the day Apple announced the iPod nano and I knew I wanted it. I just started working at Microsoft for a couple months and the deal hunter in me still didn’t purchase things at full retail price. But it was SO tiny! When I found out that Microsoft got a discount with Apple, I pulled the trigger the same day.

These days I leave it in my car as my source of music, which works out well because it’s so tiny.

Not only am I surprised that Apple is still supporting this device given that it’s already over 6 years old (released in 9/2005), but that they actually have spare 1st gens to replace them with. Maybe they’re just replacing the batteries, but if that’s the case, it might just be cheaper to replace them with the current or previous generation iPod nanos. I guess having reports of 1st gen iPod nanos bursting into flames will always be bad PR.

Looks like you’ll have to ship the old one back in order to get the new one.

Thank you.

Your request has been submitted.

Apple will send you a box with shipping instructions to mail your iPod nano to us. Apple will then send you a replacement iPod.

Please save a PDF of this page for your records. You can check the status of your request via Check My Repair Status using your Repair ID, shown on the left of this page.

Update: It’s been confirmed by Mashable that the replacements will be 1st generation iPod nanos. Now I’m really curious how they still have stock!