Recover from a ‘Library is locked’ iTunes error

Ran into this on Nicole’s new laptop.

iTunes lock error

The reason was because I had used cygwin rsync to copy over our documents from the old laptop and the iTunes Library.itl file ended up getting marked as read-only. has this page on the top: Recover from a ‘Library is locked’ iTunes error

However, all I had to was simply clear the read-only attribute on the iTunes Library.itl file and that seemed to do the trick.

Vista Junction Points

Nicole has a new laptop with Windows Vista and it’s been a bit of an adjustment. One thing that has been a bit confusing is that Vista has changed some of the familiar folders like “Documents and Settings” (“Users” is the new preferred location and I have to say that I like the new name much better, since it’s intuitive, short, and doesn’t have spaces). Some of the old folders are still present in Vista but they’re not actually folders. Nor are they shortcuts or symlinks. They’re “junction points”, which are sort of the Windows analogue of Unix symlinks and they’ve been present for a while in Windows, but not used so much until Vista arrived.

Bob Kelley at has a nice little description of the junction points in Vista and how to use the dir /al command to see them.

Solving rsync hangs with Cygwin

I was using Cygwin rsync on our two Windows laptops to copy our files over from the old laptop to the new laptop. Invariably, the rsync would copy a handful of files and then hang. Restarting the rsync would copy a few more files and then hang again. Searching around on the Web, I found a lot of people complaining about Cygwin rsync hanging and not a ton of helpful information, but a few bits here and there that suggested that the problem was limited to using rsync over ssh and that rsync to a rsync daemon works better. Probably the most helpful page I came across was this page (which I actually found after I had fixed the problem, while looking for a good link for this post).

Well, I tried it and yes, running an rsync in daemon mode on the “server” completely solved the problem. You can set up an rsync daemon as a Windows service using a command like this:

cygrunsrv --install "rsyncd" --path /usr/bin/rsync --args "--daemon --no-detach"
  --desc "Starts a rsync daemon for accepting incoming rsync connections"
  --disp "Rsync Daemon" --type auto

You also need an rsyncd.conf file. I actually already had one because I had previously installed a modified Cygwin rsyncd package from the backuppc project. I did run into a problem with that though because the rsync.exe in that package conflicted with my installed Cygwin (cygwin1.dll versioning problems I suspect). So I ended up modifying the rsyncd.conf to use cygwin paths instead of Windows paths and then used the regular cygwin rsync.exe.

Interestingly, neither the rsync FAQ nor the Cygwin FAQ mention this problem.



Shup is a free multi-host file uploading, image editing, and collaboration tool for Windows. With it, you can quickly share your screenshots, images, and other files by turning them into web links.

Not only can Shup upload many kinds of files, it can also upload to many different hosts:

I’ve tried it and I’m finding it to be a remarkably fast way of taking a screenshot and uploading it to Flickr.

Photos of installing ReactOS in a VM

ReactOS® is an advanced free open source operating system providing a ground-up implementation of a Microsoft Windows® XP compatible operating system. ReactOS aims to achieve complete binary compatibility with both applications and device drivers meant for NT and XP operating systems, by using a similar architecture and providing a complete and equivalent public interface.

Some screenshots I took of installing and running it in a VMware virtual machine.

Mounting an .iso file in Windows

As a frequent Linux user, I take for granted that I can take a .iso file and mount it and poke around in the contents. The so-called loopback mount, despite its confusing name, is nonetheless incredibly useful and available “out of the box” with any decent Linux distro.

OS X can even more easily peek inside .iso files (and other kinds of disk images) using Apple’s Disk Utility, bundled with the operating system (or command-line afficionados can use a command called hdid).

Windows, surprisingly has no way to do this out of the box, though there are various programs that claim to do it.

I had luck using a freeware program called Virtual Clone Drive, which I discovered at this page.

Simple, effective, and free.

Virtual Clone Drive