Cleansing fire?

Two fun things happened yesterday:

  1. Seattle got very rainy, and my storage unit flooded
  2. I finally got fed up with the accumulation of macOS user account cruft and did the account-swap fandango


The flood wasn’t too bad, it was just like an inch of water on the floor. But I had stuff actually on the floor…

Fortunately the only things which got badly damaged were things I meant to get rid of anyway (namely a bunch of old cardboard boxes), and I took the opportunity1 to finally rearrange stuff so that things weren’t directly on the floor, using a furniture dolly for some stuff and an old unused Metro shelving shelf for the rest.

I did have a box of CDs and a box of DVDs on the floor which got some water in them but I don’t think the water went up high enough to damage anything, and at worst there’ll just be some water damage on the booklets and tray liners and whatever. It’s worthless old optical media I only keep around for legal reasons anyway. Well, okay I also have a couple of rare-ish/collectible things in there and hopefully they weren’t in the two boxes that were on the floor.

I also had a bunch of empty instrument cases which got slightly dunked. Tomorrow I need to go through them and properly dry them out. But they’re all hard cases and are meant to protect instruments from things like weather, so I’m not too worried.

Anyway, my storage unit is way better-organized now. I also saw inside my neighbors' units, which are all way nicer than mine. They have lights, and a lot more space! I feel vaguely robbed by that. I’m going to see if I can at least get some lighting in mine.

macOS stuff

My main user account has been accumulating all sorts of weirdness, much of which came from what seems like bad settings migrations into macOS Big Sur. All of the weird stuff that was happening didn’t happen in a test account I set up, and it was all stuff that made no sense, so I ended up just swapping accounts around.

The easy approach:

  1. Create a new admin account called swapout

  2. preserve all of the dotfiles you want into a file called dotfiles.tar.gz with something like:

    tar czvf .ssh .gitconfig* .zsh* .bash* .cisco .anyconnect dotfiles.tar.gz

    adding in whatever other dotfiles you think need preserving

  3. Log in as that new user

  4. In terminal, do something like:

    mkdir olduser-stuff
    mkdir old-library
    sudo mv ~olduser/Library/* old-library
    sudo mv ~olduser/* olduser-stuff/
  5. In System Preferences > Users & Groups, select the old account, click the dangerous little - under the accounts list, choose “delete all files,” then wait for the old account to disappear

  6. Recreate the old user account

  7. In terminal, move all the stuff back:

    sudo mv olduser-stuff/* ~olduser/
    sudo mv old-library ~olduser/
  8. Log back in as the original user, set up iCloud etc.

  9. In terminal, tar xzvf dotfiles.tar.gz

  10. Restore any critical application stuff from old-library into Library/. Only do this for things which are a gigantic pain in the butt to reconfigure though; definitely don’t move EVERYTHING back in (otherwise you’re just back where you started).

    Examples of things to restore manually:

    • Restore your fonts by opening Font Book and then doing File > Add Fonts... and then selecting old-library/Fonts

    • Um, lots of other stuff too

Anyway things are running a lot better now and I really should have gone to bed like 3 hours ago

oh also poetry proved a lot easier to set up again than pipenv, I’m so glad I switched all my stuff to it a while ago


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