Tag Archives: mac


This is an actual question I encountered in an Amazon phone interview in November 2013. You are going to design the money changing algorithm for a vending machine. That is, after any purchase, the machine makes change to users with a combination of coins. And the machine only have 3 types of coins: nickel (5 cents), dime (10 cents) and quarter (25 cents). Coins with higher values are preferred in the change.


Well this is actually a simple question, I could just fill the sum from the highest value coin to the lowest. However I chose to use a simplified version of knapsack algorithm. Whatever, they both works.


# coin values
coins = [25, 10, 5]

# simple solution for this problem
def simple_solution(sum):
    combination = []
    for coin in coins:
        for i in xrange(sum / coin): combination.append(coin)
        sum %= coin
    return combination

# result: [25, 25, 10, 5]
print simple_solution(65)



What’s happening

One day, when I opened up terminal as usual, it showed [Process completed] and just terminated. I could not type any thing, run any scripts and work on my project. Even worse, this made me unable to install programs into my computer because many installations need to run shell scripts. Okay, I searched over the internet and there was no solution for that. I even peaked many parts in the Mac OSX system to see if there were any mis-configuration, of course nothing helps. After all, I though if there is nothing wrong, it must be  something done with my /bin/bash. And after I upgraded my bash, my lovely terminal came back!

[expand title=”Let’s fix it” tag=”h5″ trigclass=”arrowright”]

Change shell’s default execution

The truth is, when you open terminal, it execute /bin/bash. As it is not working now, we need another environment for us to execute stuff. Open “Terminal->Preference”, and change “Shells open with” manually to “/bin/sh”.

Change What Shell Opens

Update /bin/bash

Now we are going to download the latest version of bash and replace the old one. Open up a new terminal and now you are able to execute commands. Copy and paste the following codes into the terminal, they will automatically handle everything for you.

	curl -LO
	tar zxvf bash-4.2.tar.gz
	cd bash-4.2
	./configure && make && sudo make install
	chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash {user_name}
	sudo bash -c "echo /usr/local/bin/bash >> /private/etc/shells"
	cd /bin
	sudo mv bash bash-old
	sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/bash bash
Once done

Go to “Terminal->Preference” again and change :Shells open with: back to “Default login shell”. Enjoy!


[expand title=”Detailed explanations” tag=”h5″ trigclass=”arrowright”]

What I did?

Okay, I admit that I did something to the system sometimes ago. I was doing some experiments on “sandboxing” and played with “chroot jail” stuff before. That is, I need to create an environment with restricted support to the program I run. So I wrote a sandbox, configured it’s root to a ‘secure’ place (anywhere not the actual root), and copy essential executables to that new root. Well, so far I think I didn’t do anything harm to the system, but I might corrupt the /bin/bash when I copied it to the sandbox root.


Shell will run the following files before letting user to do anything. Check everyone to see if there are any misconfigurations.

  • ~/.bash_profile (for /bin/bash)
  • ~/.profile (for /bin/sh)
  • /etc/profile (for /bin/sh)
  • /etc/bashrc (for /bin/bash)
  • (google for more)

To play with, add some echoes to see if they works. Btw, I love nano more than vi, so try out “sudo nano /etc/bashrc”.

Playing with Shell
Another thing

The code above updates your bash to version 4.2. To check if there is any new version, go to the ftp.



Caffeine has been a very useful app to instantly disable or enable the screensaver on mac. At least for me, I am using multiple computers in office and all of them except the one I am using will usually get idle. Getting into screensaver, however, is bad sometimes especially I was reading from that screen and type things on another screen, and not to mention the password input after the screen lock. Well anyway, I highly recommend it.


On mac, we can install it easily with the app store.


But in ubuntu, it is not available on the software center. But you can still get it through command line. Turn on terminal and input the following one by one.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:caffeine-developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install caffeine

To begin with, we need to understand that in the HTTP protocol, browser send its identity called user agent to the server to request the wanted webpage. Every browser has its only unique user agent value, and therefore we can check that value to identify the user browser. So, first we have to take a look at some examples of user agents of mobile devices.

iPhone user agent

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543a Safari/419.3

iPod Touch user agent

Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3A101a Safari/419.3

iPad user agent

Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B334b Safari/531.21.10

Android user agent

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 1.1; en-gb; dream) AppleWebKit/525.10+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0.4 Mobile Safari/523.12.2
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.1; en-us; Nexus One Build/ERD62) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/530.17

BlackBerry user agent

BlackBerry9000/ Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/120

After all, in programming, we gather these data to do the checking. First in JavaScript:

if (/(iPhone|iPod|iPad)/.test(navigator.userAgent)) {
    /* This is iOS */
if (/Android/.test(navigator.userAgent)) {
    /* This is Android */
if (/BlackBerry)/.test(navigator.userAgent)) {
    /* This is BlackBerry */
if (/(iPhone|iPod|iPad|BlackBerry|Android)/.test(navigator.userAgent)) {
    /* This is one of the mentioned mobile device browsers */

And this is how it works in PHP:

if (preg_match('/iPhone|iPod|iPad/', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) {
    /* This is iOS */
if (preg_match('/Android/', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) {
    /* This is Android */
if (preg_match('/BlackBerry/', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) {
    /* This is BlackBerry */
if (preg_match('/iPhone|iPod|iPad|BlackBerry|Android/', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) {
    /* This is one of the mentioned mobile device browsers */

I know it is troublesome, tedious, or just like hell. Apple has his own way to do a common task. Very often, we need to use the autocompletion in IDE to assist coding so we do not need to memorize the billions of function names. In Eclipse, everything is automatic. A list of function names linked together with descriptions next to it pops up as soon as you type. In Xcode, where is it? Yes, you need to press shortcuts. For the completions, press “control + space”. But, where are the descriptions? It’s called “quick help”, press “control + command + ?” to open it. Look at the figure then you will understand. Good luck for your fatigued fingers.

To merge 2 entirely unrelated branches or projects, we need to specify 0 as first revision in revision range. Turn on terminal (in Mac) or cmd (in Windows) and get to your project folder. Merge with the following shell script. merge -r0..-1 means to merge from revision 0 to the latest revision.

bzr merge [other_branch_location] -r0..-1

It is very disappointing that the League of Legends for Mac is closed after 6 Sep. It is really sad to see the compulsory close button after opening the LoL as shown in the below screenshot.

Luckily, there is a way to make the game working again temporary. Technically, as the game is a transplant from Windows with the emulator tool Wine, the whole thing is just running a Windows program in Mac environment. Therefore it is possible to put the files of LoL in Windows back to Mac to trick the server that I am using Windows. Of course, please take your own risk to do the following steps. =]

Step 1: Download the Windows version of LoLLauncher.exe here.

Step 2: Replace the LoLLauncher.exe with the downloaded one under
/Applications/League of

Step 3: Relaunch the LoL and now you are able to update your game! Hope this fix would last longer! =]

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