Category Archives: Software

How to fix broken iCloud photostream sync on Windows

Symptom

  • Your iPhone is set to back up your photos to iCloud
  • iCloud on your Windows machine is configured to download your photos
  • iCloud isn’t downloading your photo stream.

Fix

  1. Open the Task Manager by hitting Ctrl+Shift+Esc
  2. Click the Processes tab
  3. Click Name to sort the processes by name
  4. Find the Apple Photostreams Uploader and Apple Photostreams Downloader processes. End both of them.
    • In Windows 7, these will be called ApplePhotostreamsUploader.exe and ApplePhotostreamsDownloader.exe
  5. Hold down your Windows key, and hit R to open a Run prompt
  6. Type %appdata% and hit Enter
  7. Open Apple Computer > MediaStream
  8. Delete everything in the directory
  9. Log out of your Windows account, and log back in (or just reboot, if you find that easier)
  10. Once you’ve logged back into your Windows account, open the iCloud control panel again
  11. If the Photos checkbox is empty, check it
  12. Click Options, and make sure the photo options are configured how you want them
  13. Click Apply

In a few moments, your photos should start downloading.

Notes

iCloud isn’t very smart about a great many things. Here are a few:

  • If you changed the location of your downloaded photos, it will redownload what it can, creating duplicates.
  • In the iCloud 2.x days, your downloads and uploads were usually split into a Downloads and Uploads directory, and you could change the directories if you wanted. That’s not true anymore. Instead, iCloud 3.x creates a “My Photo Stream” directory, and sticks your downloads in there. Anything you’ve shared with other people, or that other people have shared with you goes into “Shared”. If you want to push a photo from your computer to iCloud, put it into Uploads


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How to install iCloud on Windows Server

Symptom
iCloud sync stops working, or you get an error message on startup that says: The procedure entry point _objc_init_image could not be located in the dynamic link library objc.dll’ and will not start.

Cause
Apple has configured newer versions of iCloud (version 3+, I believe) to only work on Windows 7 or 8, but there’s no reason you can’t use it on Windows Server operating systems.

Fix
You’ll need about 3 minutes, and two utilities.

  1. Install 7-zip.
  2. Install Orca, a Microsoft-provided MSI editor.
    • Orca is bundled with the Windows SDK, and getting it out of that bundle isn’t straightforward, so I’ve extracted it, and zipped it up so you can get it as a standalone program.
  3. Download the iCloud control panel installer, if you haven’t already
  4. Open iCloudSetup.exe with 7-zip.
    1. Right-click it
    2. Select 7-zip > Open with 7-zip
  5. Extract the appropriate version of iCloud somewhere (usually this is iCloud64)
  6. Open Orca, and open the iCloud MSI you just extracted
  7. Go to the LaunchCondition table
  8. Change this line:
    • From: (VersionNT >= 601) AND (MsiNTProductType = 1)
    • To: (VersionNT >= 601) AND (MsiNTProductType = 3)
  9. Save and quit

You should then be able to install iCloud on your Windows Server OS using the MSI you just modified.

How-to: Use Mercurial with EditPlus

I use EditPlus for most of my non-Visual Studio development. I’ve recently begun extending its functionality to use it as a “lite” PHP IDE by invoking php.exe from the commandline and capturing the output. I’ve also begun using Mercurial as my version control system of choice, and wondered if it would be possible to invoke hg from within EditPlus.

Turns out you can, and it’s quite easy. I find it best to configure Mercurial with an existing set of tools. I’m doing a lot of PHP right now, so that’s where I’ve stuck it.

  1. Add Mercurial to your PATH Environment variable using the method I outlined in this post.
  2. In EditPlus, configure your user tools: Tools > Configure User Tools
  3. Add Tool > Program
    Add tool
  4. Fill out the field as displayed, making modifications to suit your preferences:
    EditPlus Mercurial preferences

Details

  • "$(FileDir)" is the EditPlus variable indicating the directory that your current source file resides in. I have it enclosed in quotes, because sometimes directories or filenames have spaces in them.
  • -v indicates that I prefer verbose output. By default, mercurial will only display output if there has been an error, but I prefer to see success messages as well.
  • -m indicates a commit message.
  • "$(Prompt)" tells EditPlus to display a dialog that I can type in. This is where I put my commit message. I have it enclosed in quotes so I don’t have to worry about spaces breaking the commit message. You may need to escape more exotic characters; I have not tested it.

Caution

This method commits the working directory that your source file is in. This may or may not make sense, depending on the directory structure of your project. If you are concerned about the integrity of your atomic commits, it might make sense to configure your arguments differently, or to commit using the commandline or TortoiseHg.

Here’s the output as I see it in my editor:
EditPlus mercurial output capture

Here is a log of the commit messages as viewed with TortoiseHg:
EditPlus TortoiseHg log file viewer