Fixing an endless ‘The Messages database is being upgraded’ dialog box 

After a rocky day, I rebooted my MacBook Pro last night, and when I went to open Messages, I was greeted with this error message:

Messages is updating…
The Messages database is bring upgraded, please wait while it finishes or Quit Messages and relaunch it later.

Comma splice aside, I let it this sit overnight, with no change this morning. Clearly something had happened to my Messages.app database, but it didn’t seem like it was going to fix itself. Here’s what I did to get the app going again:

  1. Quit Messages
  2. Kill the IMDPersistenceAgent process via Terminal with killall IMDPersistenceAgent
  3. Searched my user Library > Messages folder for anything with Messages, iMessage, or iChat in the name and deleted it.
  4. Emptied the Trash.
  5. Cleared the preferences cache by running killall cfprefsd in Terminal
  6. Restarted the Mac.

After this, opening Messages brought it to the setup screen. I logged back in with my accounts and am now off to the races. While I don’t like that Messages imploded, at least it was fixable without major surgery.

Creative Cloud nuking hidden folder content →

Backblaze support:

We’ve encountered an issue on the Mac where Adobe Creative Cloud appears to be removing the contents of the first hidden folder at the root of the drive, in alphabetic order. By happenstance, the first hidden folder on most Backblaze customer’s internal drive is the .bzvol folder.

WTF, Adobe. This is why we can’t have nice things; I guess this is a vote in favor of enforced sandboxing on the Mac.

Happiness is a podcasting family →

Myke Hurley, writing at iMore:

The fact that we have computers in our pockets now — on our person at all times — means that we are all just a tap away from each other. And since we have hosts who live all over the world, there’s someone online at practically any time of the day or night. That’s powerful, and that’s why I love my Apple devices. They not only help me do my work in a practical sense; they also help me stay connected to the people that are most important in my life.

Having my co-founder six time zones and 4,300 miles away isn’t as hard as it may seem. With things like iMessage, FaceTime, Skype and Slack, Myke and I can communicate with each other and our hosts no matter where we are. Relay FM wouldn’t be possible without the technology we use everyday. We do deeply enjoy the handful of times we see each other a year but it hasn’t stopped us from running a growing business from different continent.

The best part is that you’d never know it looking at what we’ve been able to accomplish. Our company could only exist in the 21s century, and I think that’s pretty cool.

Remember the Milk gets giant overhaul →

Remember the Milk was the first task manager I ever used. Like Gabe, I used Remember the Milk for years. I upgraded to their Pro service way back on July 24, 2008 and have close to 6,000 completed tasks logged there.

The service fell behind, though, and I moved on, but now, it’s back with a huge update. With an all-new look and new apps, the service offers features found in other systems, including start dates, task sharing, subtasks and more. Remember the Milk had things like plain-English parsing and amazing search operators well before anyone else, and these have been updated as well.

Even with these updates, I’m not sure Remember the Milk is powerful enough to handle my task needs, but I’d be lying to say I’m not tempted to give it a run.

Day One 2 released →

Day One 2 is now out as a new, paid upgrade to the excellent Mac and iOS journaling app. The new version supports multiple photos per journal entry, multiple journals and a more powerful filter system.

I’ve been using the betas for a while, and have been impressed. Day One has been a constant on my iPhone’s homescreen for years, and I’m happy to pay again for an app that means so much to me.

Here’s a bit from Jake Underwood’s review at MacStories:

Day One 2 has all the possibilities of bringing home as many awards as its successful predecessor. It’s a carefully crafted app that took what made the first iteration so loved while transitioning it to a new piece of software with useful and exciting changes. On any and all platforms, Day One 2 shines at being an example of what premium software feels like.

I couldn’t agree more.

The Mac app is currently $19.99 and the universal iOS app is $4.99. This is half-off for a week, so go download them and get to journaling those important moments.

f.lux responds to Apple’s Night Shift 

The developers of f.lux, responding to Night Shift, the iOS 9.3 feature that’s … uh … very much like their app:

Today we call on Apple to allow us to release f.lux on iOS, to open up access to the features announced this week, and to support our goal of furthering research in sleep and chronobiology.

As we continue to innovate and improve upon our ideas, we remain hopeful that we will have the opportunity to offer our best, new work to everyone who wants it. We’ve learned that people’s lives, biology, and everyday routines are incredibly, wonderfully different, and these differences must be embraced. There is not one right answer for everyone, so we are committed to making software that’s ever more adaptive and responsive to each individual’s needs.

In many ways, this f.lux/Night Shift thing is pretty similar to other examples of Apple moving into a space defined by a third-party utility: Reading List vs. Instapaper; Dashboard vs. Konfabulator; Sherlock vs. Watson.

In each of these examples, Apple introduced a system-level feature that duplicated (to varying degrees) the functionality of a third-party app.

The big difference is that f.lux can’t operate on iOS. Night Shift will be the way users can change their screens’ color temperature at night because it’s the only option. In that sense, I don’t think f.lux has been Sherlocked, at least in the traditional sense of the word.

I don’t think that’s going to change, and it doesn’t really hurt f.lux. If anything, this may help the app. Users who fall in love with Night Shift and look for it on their computers. F.lux can be there, waiting with open arms.

At least until Night Shift comes to OS X. Then everyone will be playing hardball. It’s not hard to see that the makers of f.lux want in on iOS as a hedge against being Sherlocked on the Mac.