How to force a copy in Mac OS X when Finder freezes


Soon after getting my shiny new Mac, I wanted to transfer all of my music to the laptop. I have my music stored in a few different places (my work computer, home computer, and iPod), but while the music is identical in all locations, it’s also not in Mac’s favourite format. That is to say, it’s not where iTunes can magically whisk it into its happy bosom. I use Rockbox on my iPod, and both desktop computers have Linux.

Rockbox allows an iPod to essentially be used as any other external storage device, with all the music just sitting in folders; most of my stuff is in FLAC or MP3 format. Upon plugging it in and trying to copy everything over in Finder, however, it just stalled after a while and I had to Force Quit Finder.

So I mounted my Music file over the network from my desktop computer. I got further doing it that way, but eventually an error appeared. Usually it claimed that a file already existed, which is kind of silly since I was copying onto a vanilla Macbook!

Thankfully, Mac OS X is built on a Unix core of terminal goodness, so I went into the Utilities (Go –> Utilities) and opened the Terminal. From here, you can use a command to copy everything from the source location to your destination, forcing it to blow past errors and recreate files when necessary.

To do this, use the following code:

cp -RfXv /root/source/* /Users/username/Music

Of course, you can change the source and destination as necessary. Let me explain the different options used in that line of code.

  • cp is the command for copy in the Terminal.
  • R is for Recursive, and will force the copy command to not only hit folders, but all of the subfolders and items within.
  • f forces the command to copy everything without stopping for errors.
  • X tells cp to overwrite existing files
  • v puts the command into verbose mode, so you’ll see a scrolling list of the files being copied. This way, you can be certain that it’s humming right along.

For my source, I had connected to my Music folder on my desktop using Samba, so it was /Volumes/music. And of course, you’ll need to replace “username” in the target with your own Mac username.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below. I’ll do what I can to help 🙂

Cut Out the Distractions


The hardest part of writing for me is to cut distractions out of both my workspace and my mind itself. Last Saturday, when I decided I was properly inspired and ready to write, it quickly became clear to me that my desk was simply too messy, so I cleaned instead. Then I blogged. Then I played WoW.

The screenshot above is of an epic poem I’m working on in Scrivener, a fantastic word processing program that I need to write a review for ASAP. One of the neat features of Scrivener is the ability to shift into full screen mode and cut out all the distractions in the background. I turned down the opacity so you can see what I’ve got in the background there, and it’s easy to see how I might have trouble focusing if I didn’t normally keep the rest of the screen blacked out: iTunes, Adium (instant messaging), iPhoto, etc.

My brain needs a bit of distraction to produce, to be honest, but it depends on what I’m working on. If it’s a research paper or an essay, I have to have music in the background. This distracts the creative portion of my brain, allowing me to think more linearly and logically and just bulldoze through the words I need to get on the page. But if I’m writing a creative piece or a poem, I have to have silence or I can’t hear myself think, narrate, or compose.

I like to have the window next to my desk open (or rather, the blinds open) so I can glance outside while working; having something to occupy my eyes sometimes helps my brain meander on its own, when staring at a blank page or desk would cause me to look inwards too much and stall.

There’s a fine line between having too many distractions and having just enough (and just the right ones) to keep myself going. What distractions help or hinder your work?

Hey There, Delilah

I don’t listen to the radio much, so I’d never heard this song by the Plain White T’s, but I guess it’s played a lot. That’s probably because it’s one of the only good songs by this band, but that’s OK; the song is fantastic, heartwarming…

And, of course, reminiscent. I haven’t thought of Delilah in years. Not the one the singer is writing about, but a girl I met my senior year in high school. She was adopted by a man in my (first) church. Delilah was a troubled teen who had bounced from home to home as parents gave up on her and shunted her along; a pretty girl with curly red hair and freckles across her nose, and actually a pretty good kid. We talked at various church events and got to know one another, finding something in each other we could both identify with. Delilah wasn’t necessarily a good student, but she did what she could, and she cared about others and was generally nice. I never understood what the other parents had against her.

Her adopted dad had been serving as legal guardian for another teenager he adopted. He had two biological children of his own, neither of whom had reached prepubescence yet. I think that was the biggest problem, to be honest. She and this other kid were both normal teenagers, but the dad didn’t know what to do with teens. His sons were still in the young, always-listen-to-your-daddy stage where they never disobeyed or anything. I don’t know what he expected from his adopted children, but his reactions were less than Christian.

I won’t go into the story, because it’s pretty minimal. Delilah and the other adopted teen didn’t really do anything major*; if they had been my kids, I would have shrugged it off and been rather proud of them, to be honest. But because they had disobeyed him, even in such a minimal fashion, he disowned them and ended the adoption (whatever that process is called). Kicked Delilah out of his house.

I had begun to look up to this man as a father figure; his own dad had been a jerk so he could understand where I was coming from pretty well. But he was no better for his experience; he had turned into his old man. Delilah was broken after that. She became cynical, anti-Christian, stopped coming to church… I haven’t seen her but once or twice since she was kicked out of her adopted father’s home, and that’s been five years ago now.

I wish we could have remained friends… there was no way to contact her as she didn’t have a home or phone or anything. I offered for her to live with us, and my mom agreed, but Delilah was too proud to accept the charity. I wonder where she is now.

Post about this topic, but with a moral/religious conclusion, over at the FnC Blog.

It’s not like he’s the only Christian to get angry and do something rash. We all need to pay close attention to our (re)actions so we treat others in a more Christlike fashion… but more importantly, we need to think about our reactions in advance. We need to be reading the Bible and praying and putting ourselves mentally into situations we might encounter so we can figure out how we much response to those situations. We need to discipline ourselves faithfully so we might act in good faith. If we do not do this in advance, our emotions will get the better of us and we will fail. We’ll fail our friends and family, our sons and daughters, our parents and selves. We can do better than this.

He should have done better…

*Long story short: The adopted son needed a ride to the bus station because he had enlisted and had to be on the next bus to head off, and Delilah gave him a ride even though he was grounded.

Full of muffiny goodness

I took a nap as soon as I got home yesterday, then woke up at 6:45 and went straight to the church for FnC. After a good night’s sleep (probably 12 a.m. to 7 a.m.), I feel significantly better, even though it’s rainy today and I forgot my umbrella at the church last night.

I discovered Scatman John recently and have been a bit obsessed… though it’s really only this song that I like. I’m thinking about playing it at the wedding (during one of the band’s breaks… did I mention that we’re going to have a live band?). Think other people would dance to it? I would, though I don’t think April’s really into this type of music…

I’ve been wondering lately how normal people write. That is to say, a couple of years ago, I was writing all the time. I always had something to say, and I was more creative, and I felt compelled to get everything out, everything down. Now, I’m happy and content, and I feel absolutely no motivation to write. Not the way I used to, anyways. I once read that the best poetry is written after the fact, when one can look back without the over-burdensome emotions of the moment and reflect on a time or event calmly. Part of the issue, I suppose, is that I just don’t have much time to write, but most of it is that I don’t feel inspired.

When I do have something I might write about, I’d rather talk with someone. That’s another aspect to the dilemma: Anything I might write about, I end up talking over with April. I bounce ideas off her and explore myself through conversation, rather than writing and introspection.

I’m going to close here. Read on for my latest entry on the FnC blog, which relates how my relationship with God is changing into something familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time.

Continue reading


Prayed, played djembe, worshiped, prayed, spoke, prayed.

Good time tonight. I’m exhausted–my day started at 7 a.m. and is just now coming to a close 15 hours later–but it has been good.

Skipped out on bowling so I could write a story. Being me, I’ll do it tomorrow… somehow… before my 5:30 night class. The upside is that only 4 of us are creative writing majors, so just about anything I do will be better than acceptable.

Also, I’m just not that big a fan of bowling… but I have proposed that sometime soon we go rock climbing at Petra either on a Tuesday night or on a weekend. Expect that soon.

Goodnight everyone. Love you, love God, love djembe, and I love my April. Can’t wait until tomorrow.