How to Extract Subtitles

lines with $ are commands

### install mkvtoolnix:
$ brew install mkvtoolnix

### list content of the mkv-file:
$ mkvmerge -i mymoviefile.mkv

### what will give you:
File 'mymoviefile.mkv': container: Matroska
Track ID 1: video (V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC)
Track ID 2: audio (A_DTS)
Track ID 3: subtitles (S_TEXT/UTF8)
Track ID 4: subtitles (S_TEXT/UTF8)
Chapters: 22 entries

### so the subtitle-tracks are number 3 and 4.
### extract all subtitle-tracks into a seperate srt-file / lang
### note: if this is an extraction from a BluRay, you may need to change the extension from “.srt” to “.sup”.

$ mkvextract tracks mymoviefile.mkv

How to *Completely* Uninstall Java from your Mac

I found instructions on Oracle's Java web site. However, they weren't complete. This post lists all the steps needed to completely remove Java from your Mac.

This link gives details on how to uninstall Java. The first bit is definitely necessary (snippet added below so you don’t have to visit another link):

Uninstall Oracle Java using the Terminal

Note: To uninstall Java, you must have Administrator privileges and execute the remove command either as root or by using the sudo.

Remove one directory and one file (a symlink), as follows:

  1. Click on the Finder icon located in your dock
  2. Click on the Utilities folder
  3. Double-click on the Terminal icon
  4. In the Terminal window Copy and Paste the command below:
    sudo rm -fr /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
    sudo rm -fr /Library/PreferencePanes/JavaControlPanel.prefpane

Do not attempt to uninstall Java by removing the Java tools from /usr/bin. This directory is part of the system software and any changes will be reset by Apple the next time you perform an update of the OS.

While these steps definitely help, they don’t completely uninstall Java, especially if you have multiple versions on your system that you didn’t know about (this was my predicament).

Going back to Terminal, type the following:

cd /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines

The first line is a “change directory” command. The next line is a “list” files and directories command. What you might see is this:

macmini~ sharon$ cd /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines
macmini:JavaVirtualMachines sharon$ ls

1.6.0.jdk is the old version that’s still sitting on my computer after going through Java/Oracle’s instructions for removing Java. This last bit is fairly simple. In the Terminal, type this:

sudo rm -rf 1.6.0.jdk

If you don’t have the same version I do, you can type sudo rm -rf, then type a space and the first number of the version you see sitting in that directory. Then, hit the tab button immediately after, and the full name of the item should automatically populate. Then, hit Enter. If you haven’t entered your admin password in a while, you may be asked to enter it again here.

I recommend a restart after you’ve uninstalled.

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to post your comments below. Thanks!

Save your iPhone Photos and Videos

Occasionally, I am asked to help with getting an iPhone to do “something” with a PC running Windows XP. This can be tricky, since (1) Apple’s iCloud Control Panel doesn’t officially run on XP, and (2) recently Microsoft stopped supporting XP. In answer to that, here’s my first in a series of steps on how to get your iPhone to communicate well with your aging PC.

Natively it is not possible to automatically save photos to your Windows XP machine, even if you’ve installed the iCloud Control panel as described here. But, there is a simple way to work around that: cloud services. Using something like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box will allow you to save files in one location and access them anywhere. In the case of Dropbox, there is an especially neat feature in which Dropbox will automatically save your photos to your Dropbox account, without you needing to do much more than the initial setup! Here’s how:

  1. First, you’ll need an account. Go to and click “Sign up.” Follow the steps to verify your information and your email address; you may be sent a confirmation, so be sure to check your email to activate your account.
  2. Next, install Dropbox on your computer. You’ll need to click the “Download” button in the top-right corner of that same page at You’ll then download a file to your Downloads folder entitled, “DropboxInstaller.exe”. Follow the instructions, including logging in using the Dropbox account you created in step 1. When you’ve done this successfully, you’ll see a folder titled “Dropbox” insider your “My Documents” folder. It will look something like this:
  3. Make sure you also have Dropbox installed on your iPhone. You can do that by visiting the App Store on your iPhone:
    Download Dropbox
  4. Open Dropbox on your phone, and you’ll see a window asking you to sign in:
    Sign in to Dropbox When you take photos, Dropbox keeps them safe for you. Signing in
  5. After signing in, you’ll see a window describing the feature you’re after.
    Each photo and video will be automatically uploaded once to your Camera Uploads folder.
  6. Click “Enable Camera Upload,” and you’ll be asked to give Dropbox permission to do access your photos.
    Dropbox would like to Access Your Photos
  7. In case you already had Dropbox on your iPhone and missed this feature, you can get to it by clicking “Settings” in the bottom-right corner and changing “Camera Upload” from “Off” to “On”.
    Camera Upload
  8. Additionally, I recommend turning on “Background Uploading”. This will make this feature further automatic. Whenever you change locations, Dropbox will check if you’ve taken any photos or videos and will upload them automatically. Touch the slider next to this option, and click “Enable” found in the top-right corner of the following screen.
    Background Uploading Dropbox can periodically start Camera Upload when your location changes. Dropbox needs Location Access to upload in the background.
  9. At this point, you’ll see a message, saying “Dropbox needs Location Access to upload in the background.” To verify that Dropbox has Location Access, you can check this under your Privacy panel inside your Settings. Open “Settings”, scroll down to “Privacy” and tap it, then tap on “Location Services”. Screen shots are included below.
    Settings Settings - Privacy Settings - Privacy - Location Services

That’s it! If you have questions, feel free to comment below.

iCloud for XP

With the help of this post, I've successfully installed iCloud on my Windows XP machine. Here's how.

With the help of this post, I’ve successfully installed iCloud on my Windows XP machine. Here’s how.

I’m including instructions on how to do this yourself. However, if you’d rather just skip straight to the install, I’m including both the altered iCloud.msi and iCloud64.msi files for download at the bottom of this post.

First off, you’ll need the iCloud Windows control panel. Next, you’ll need a file archiver; I prefer 7-Zip. Lastly, you’ll need Orca MSI Editor.

  1. Download all programs. Install 7-Zip and Orca MSI Editor. Don’t install iCloud just yet.
  2. Using 7-Zip, extract the file contents of iCloudSetup.exe You should see a file called “iCloud.msi” and one called “iCloud64.msi”, among many others.
  3. Using Orca MSI Editor, open either iCloud.msi (iCloud64.msi).
  4. In the editor window, you’ll see LaunchCondition in the left-hand column. Right now, it says “VersionNT = 600”. You want it to read “VersionNT = 200”. Make that change, and then save the file.
  5. Now, when you open iCloud.msi (or iCloud64.msi), you should be able to complete the install! If you need instructions, they’re on the Apple website.

Want to skip all the hacking and editing? Click below to download the files.