the codingmerc llc

application programming expert for hire

Convert ISO image to VDI Virtual Box disk image

Just as we can convert a USB disk to a VDI you can convert an ISO image to a Virtual Box disk image file (.vdi) In a Terminal window on your Mac OS X or Linux just run the following command $ VBoxManage convertfromraw disk-image.iso disk-image.vdi This should also work on Windows computers the same […] 03/15/2016

Add Let’s Encrypt root certificate to Linux

By following these few simple steps one can add the Let’s Encrypt  root certificate to the Linux certificate management. Create a new folder to store the root certificate by executing: $ cd /usr/share/ca-certificates $ sudo mkdir Now download the root certificate into the folder $ cd $ wget “” Lastly update the certificate management […] 03/14/2016

Clone a hard drive or usb disk to virtual box disk image (VDI)

It is possible to convert a hard disk or USB stick to a Virtual Box disk image including all partitions. After installing Virtual Box execute the following command in a Terminal window: $ diskutil list Take note of the disks listed. Now insert the disk you want to convert and run the above command again. […] 03/14/2016

Error PFTwitterUtils should be initialized after setting up Parse.

I’m developing an iOS app using the recently open sourced Parse SDK for iOS and receive the following error message: PFTwitterUtils should be initialized after setting up Parse. I had a look at the SDK source code and the assert made is that Parse is first set up using an application id and a client […] 02/25/2016

Find All Hosts On A Network

I recently came across the need to quickly see all hosts connected on my VPN network. I have some hosts on the VPN advertising services and some that don’t and I wanted to make sure that they are still connected. The easy way would be to ping them but that becomes tedious as soon as […] 02/10/2016

Unable to start CalabashHostStrategyProxy

If you are running Xamarin UI tests and receive the following error message: SetUp : System.Exception : Unable to start CalabashHostStrategyProxy You can fix the error by making sure that you do not run unit tests in the Xamarin IDE and for example Xamarin Test Recorder at the same time. There can be only one […] 02/01/2016

Enable Server Performance Mode on OSX El Capitan

In order to enable Server Performance Mode on OS X you need to use the serverinfo tool to tell the operating system to focus system resources on the installed and running server application. The catch is that with OS X 10.11 Apple introduced a concept called “System Integrity Protection“. This mechanism prevents the value to be […] 01/26/2016

SSH cipher RC4 removed from OS X 10.11 El Capitan

The fast (but broken and thus insecure) cipher RC4 has been removed from OS X with El Capitan. The ssh server does not allow log in with the -c arcfour option anymore. Instead you will receive an error message like: RC4 self test $ ssh -c arcfour localhost ssh_dispatch_run_fatal: Connection to ::1: no matching cipher found […] 01/20/2016

.well-known directory access prevented by Mac OS X Server Proxy update

The .well-known directory is part of several conventions for web services. I recently updated my 10.9 Mac OS X server version 4 to 10.11 version 5 and a whole lot of things changed under the hood. One of which is that now there are 2 apache instances running. One serves as a proxy to sites […] 01/12/2016

Catchall in OS X Mail Server

I only recently updated my Mac OS X to 10.11 El Capitan’s version 5. I ran version 4 very comfortably before but got worried about missing out on security related updates. One thing that broke for me after the update with the “catchall” functionality of the mail server portion. At first I thought that […] 01/11/2016


for iOS is a fancy clicker counter replacement. Beancounter is designed to replace not only one but multiple clicker counter at once. Track whatever you like directly on your iOS device. BeanCounter Features up to 16 counter fields on iPhone & iPod Touch up to 20 counter fields on iPad & iPad Mini select your […] 04/02/2013

Tic Tac Toe

is a simple game that dates back to ancient egyptian times. The Tic-Tac-Toe rules a very simple yet, the game holds a strategic level that is far deeper than it seem superficially. Tic Tac Toe Doodle Classic You can download and play Tic Tac Toe Doodle Classic from the iTunes App Store for free. The […] 03/11/2013

Twitter RSS Feed Proxy

scripts using Twitter API 1.1 can still generate RSS files for your own user timeline. Just download my version and replace the user data and the settings array with the appropriate values. You have to register your own Twitter app though. Twitter RSS Feed Proxy Download Download this PHP script: 02/28/2013

Real Racing 3

is a free-to-play racing game for iOS. It features real cars on real tracks for a very unique racing experience. After picking up the first 2 predecessors I literally couldn’t wait any longer to get my hands on Real Racing 3. The world-wide release date was scheduled for february the 28th though. However, if you […] 02/23/2013

Trick Dropbox DNS Filtering

with a CNAME domain entry. If you work at a place that filteres the famous Dropbox service or want to share files with somebody at a place that filters access to the dropbox website, this might be very helpful to you. If you have access to a domain name you could simply create a CNAME […] 02/06/2013

Silence Ringtone available for download

for your iPhone. You can use this silence ringtone to mute all incoming calls. You could alternatively block calls by specific contact entries only. In my contacts list I have an entry that collectively contains all numbers I do not wish to be bothered from. This can be telemarketers or people that simply don’t understand […] 01/08/2013

vFrame Head Mounted Display

is using GyroMote technology during development stages. I also created a little demo using Unity3D. Check out the following video showing Michael Donahue. He presents the proof of concept demo and vFrame mobile head mounted display prototype. Mike is the CEO of vFrame Inc. and a pioneer in the field of virtual reality technology: vFrame […] 01/06/2013

GyroMote Update 1.2

is bringing you some convenience options for fast-tracking your gyroscope related project development even more. What’s in the Update New User Interface: The user interface displayed is now using a resolution independent font so that it is readable among all iOS devices compatible and even more crisp and sharp on retina enabled devices. Lock Interface Orientation: The […] 12/19/2012

GyroMote the Unity3D remote gyroscope

(hence the name GyroMote) for iOS is a Unity3D remote designed for developers using Unity3D development environment. This app supplies live gyroscope information over WiFi to your desktop environment. This makes testing your application or game a lot easier. Instead of compiling your app to run on the mobile device every time you change the […] 11/30/2012

Flattr-Manager Update 1.2 Features

include Flattr subscription management and localization support. First language supported will be German as the vast majority of Flattr-Manager downloads have been made from the german App Store. Flattr Subscriptions Management The in-App Flattr button will be tri-state just as its web companion is. There will be no pop-ups though and you will be able […] 11/29/2012

Flattr Manager for iOS supports X-Callback-URL

as of Draft 1.0 (R2). You can use the X-Callback-URL compatible scheme flattr-manager:// to launch/check for the app on the iOS device. In addition you can supply parameters to the URL to trigger specific actions within the app. These will only be triggered if the user is logged-in in the app. If not, he will […] 11/03/2012

Flattr Manager

is an App designed for iOS devices. You can administer your account right from your iPhone. Flattr-Manager Features: See your incoming and outgoing activities Browse the Flattr catalog of Things by relevance, trend or overall clicks. Scan QR codes with your device’s camera. Create new Things on the go and even when offline. Edit […] 11/03/2012

Rich Text HTML Signature for Apple Mail on Mountain Lion

works a little different than a signature for Lion. If you don’t have your custom HTML ready yet, please go ahead and create one at this point. Please follow the article Rich Text HTML Signature for Apple Mail if you’d like some pointers or work with Lion instead. This is basically a recap of said […] 09/28/2012

Rich Text HTML Signature for Apple Mail

on Mac and iPhone is something I wanted to have for a long time. I knew the rich text signature feature somewhat exists on Mail for OSX Lion but I does not on the regular client for iPhone. There is an update for this procedure to get Rich Text HTML Signature for Apple Mail on […] 07/08/2012

The latest tuneFinity Update

brings you ATOM feeds for every search query. You can subscribe to the feed with you favorite feed reader or for example the Firefox bookmark subscription feature or do whatever you like to do with RSS Feeds served to you. 06/26/2012

tuneFinity displays related searches

with the latest June update just similar to the Google search result page. This is a rather minor update but a very useful when it comes to finding alternative results to your search query. 06/25/2012

tuneFinity features dynamic apple touch icons

with every search you make. The mid June update featured a mobile design for Todays update introduces dynamic home screen icons for every search result page that you bookmark. So when you searched for Amy Winehouse, you bookmark icon will actually feature an album cover with Amy Winehouse on it. If you look for […] 06/22/2012

tuneFinity goes mobile

with the mid-June update and delivers a style sheet file specially designed for mobile devices. It is currently focused on iOS devices like iPhone, iPod and iPad as I don’t have any android or windows mobile devices to test with, but it should do pretty well initially on those devices as well. The mobile page […] 06/18/2012

Zabbix: send eMail through SSMTP

using a script media type. Usually you have to use an unsecured SMTP server to send eMails as action in response to a trigger. I was reluctant to set-up a proxy SMTP server or the like as I was using ssmtp on the server running the zabbix_server instance. I put together a script in /usr/local/share/zabbix/alertscripts/zabbix-mail […] 06/17/2012


now hosts some public project repositories that I actively contribute to. The very first one is for w32notify. A Perl based command line utility for Windows environment to trigger command execution when certain file system changes occur. What is considered a change is determined by the options available. These options may be combined or one […] 06/10/2012

Select time slots

have become available starting July 2012. This is your chance to hire me. Feel free to submit your job offer. 06/08/2012

The TuneFinity Update from early June

brings you alternative search suggestions! I’ve been a little busy over the weekend. Now if your search term returns no results but is close to something that the engine has found before, it will suggest searching for this alternative and even preview the search results below. 06/03/2012

A shell loop over files with whitespace characters

is easy if you know this little trick. Usually, you could loop over files like this: for f in * do echo “$f” done But the loop will cancel as soon as it tries the first file with a whitespace character. This is because the shell uses the whitespace character as a field separator. You […] 05/29/2012

My favorite spare time activity

is photography. I showcase some of my pictures on my own photo blog: It is in german though and beware when taking a look, some of the images are considered Not-Safe-For-Work in America! foto |fo·to|nounIn german, a photo is translated to: ein Foto. michen |mɪçn̩|nounA word play on it’s own, derived from my first […] 05/28/2012

Keyframes in H.264 videos encoded with mencoder

using the X264 library are not inserted automatically. Why is this important? Well, it is not per-se, but for example if you want to start playback of a video file that is only partially copied/downloaded, the file needs to be interleaved with keyframes (at a specific interval). Apple’s recommendations for Quicktime compatible MP4 videos for […] 05/25/2012

The May update

speeds up the average page loading time to less than a second(!) according to Google webmaster tools. The improvement is made with a rewrite of the disk caching logic. Some parts of the page are now rendered completely static with further optimization using HTML, CSS and JavaScript compression. In the chart above, pay special attention […] 05/24/2012

is a microstock site by Yuri Arcurs Photography that launched on May 1st, 2012. On you can get royalty free images and stock photos. They offer a lot of different scenes, styles, keywords and topics to choose from. The site features an extensive search page and suggestion algorithms. If you are not completely satisfied […] 05/23/2012

Embedding Vimeo in WordPress post or page without a plugin

is fairly simple as soon as you know how. This should not only work for Vimeo but for all videos that WordPress can automatically embed like YouTube, etc. Go to your blogs dashboard > Settings > Media and tick the Auto-Embed box. Embedding Vimeo Videos WordPress can automatically embed Vimeo videos centered but it is […] 04/05/2012

Upgrading Macports to use XCode 4.3.2

can be a chore. To cut to the chase, you definitely want the “Command Line Tools” to be installed in addition to the XCode download from the App Store. I just upgraded my XCode installation to the latest Mac App Store version and naturally macports broke. So I updated it to the currently latest version […] 04/02/2012

TuneFinity supports Open Search

so you can start searching in an instant. Just visit once and your browser bar will suggest searching TuneFinity for Music from there on. You don’t even need to go to the site first anymore. You can add it to your search providers in the Firefox browser search field as well. It uses the […] 03/27/2012 takes flight

and works perfectly well with Google on the AJAX result pages and even the webcached pages. Also the self sustaining aspect of the free and the popular pages plays out very nice so far. There are still some glitches with html entities on the random redirection but given some time I will figure that out. 03/26/2012

legacy file systems

have some very specific restrictions… Kids, you may not be aware of this but there have been times where people used file systems that where limited to a maximum file size of 2/4GB. Exactly; not even enough to contain your favorite DVD image or average BluRay rip… When installing a virtual machine on such a […] 02/02/2012

Flattr WordPress Plugin version 0.99.1 released

and available for download. The new plugin version has been tested on a number of single- as well as multi- author blogs and single-/multi-domain installations. If the former version worked well for you, you might want to skip this update. If you had oAuth problem to re-authorize your blog against the Flattr app, please give […] 02/02/2012

new Flattr WordPress plugin includes setup wizard

to make it easy to set up a Flattr app connection. It will run a several steps set up process so you can easily connect to Flattr. It is virtually a boiled down fix to all the feedback I received about the plugin. It will check for certain features that your blogs installation must support […] 01/30/2012

The CodingMerc LLC supports the Open Internet

Please join and oppose #SOPA. I’m a little late but I added the littler banner on top of this theme to show flag against SOPA and #PIPA. You can sign here and here. Thanks. 01/23/2012

Blog theme version 1.0

is uploaded today. I finally found the time to put some effort into creating my own WordPress theme for this blog. It is a very minimalistic two-color fixed-width approach featuring my current favorite font Droid Sans. The functionality will be extended as needed or requested but will still focus on a bare minimum design. 01/07/2012 goes public

and is in early testing stage. It aims to be the fastest and most comprehensive digital music download search engine. This service does not provide any download information itself. It rather uses so called application programming interfaces to the largest download stores like Amazon MP3 Store or iTunes Music Store. Intelligent storing methods and an additional caching […] 01/01/2012

Cloud transition

is in full swing. By the end of this year all clients have been moved to the cloud operating center and the first host I ever rented will be finally shut down after almost 10 years of (error-prone) operation. This box in particular had a lot of learning-by-doing effect attached to it and has almost […] 11/28/2011

The CodingMerc is running on Red Bull

and this is what it’s look like if you get a deal on some liters of the precious soda that helps through crunch-time and night shifts in the trunk of my hybrid: Click the image for a even more impressive view. 10/23/2011

Get social

and follow me on Twitter @thecodingmerc or fan me on Facebook. Never miss an update about upcoming features, new services or interesting projects. Anyway you decide, both social platforms are updated with mainly the same content, so you don’t miss out if you just go with one of them. 09/17/2011

Yuri Arcurs Photography

was hiring my expertise for project Yuri Arcurs is the world‘s number one selling stock photographer and one of the highest earning photographers in the world. In 2010, PDN magazine, voted him as one of the top most influential photographers of this decade. Read more about Yuri… 09/09/2011

The blog

has been set up and is running fine. Small updates about projects and stuff will be published here. 09/07/2011

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