Posts Tagged ‘Debugging’

Running XCode projects on a device without a developer account in XCode 7

June 19th, 2015

One of the announcements at WWDC 2015 was that developers would be able to test apps on devices without a paid Apple developer account in XCode 7. I was just about to drop $99 on a developer account so I could test a personal project on my devices. So, I decided to dig in and figure out how to do this.


  • You can’t do this if you have any developer accounts in XCode. This makes sense, really. If you have a developer account, then you can already test your projects on a device and you don’t need to do this.
  • If you follow the steps below, your accounts will change across ALL versions of XCode on your Mac. So, if you need to keep your developer accounts in XCode 6, do NOT follow these steps.

Now that you’ve been properly warned about the ramifications, let’s get started…

Step 1: Download XCode 7 beta. Please note that XCode  7 beta is still pretty rough and you may need to go back to XCode 6 for certain things.

Step 2: Remove any developer accounts in Xcode. Open XCode Preferences and go to the accounts tab. You can’t have any accounts in here that are connected to any Apple Developer accounts. This means that you can’t have a paid developer account, but it also means that your Apple ID can’t be part of any free developer accounts (like Safari development). If there are any developer accounts in here, you need to delete them. The easiest thing to do is simply delete ALL of the accounts listed in here, then add them back in later as needed.

Notice how the Apple ID I’m using says “Free” under the iOS and Mac headings:

Step 3: Open an Xcode project and connect your device to your Mac.

Step 4: Check your project build settings. Choose your project target in your XCode project settings and go to the Build Settings tab. Make sure that your Code Signing is set to iOS Developer and your Provisioning Profile is set to automatic.

Step 5:  set target device in XCode as shown:

Step 6: Run the app from Xcode

Step 7: Choose the account you want to use. If you deleted all of your accounts in step 2, you will be prompted to sign in with an Apple ID. Again, you must use an Apple ID that is not tied to a developer account.

Step 8: Apple may prompt you to fix issues with your certificate or provisioning profile. If this happens, click the “fix issue” button and let Xcode handle it for you.

If this process fails for any reason, here are some other things you can do:

  • Open Keychain Access on your Mac and delete any development certificates in here. I had some old, expired certificates in my keychain and deleting them cleared up some problems.
  • Go back to XCode preferences and check that the Apple ID you used is not connected to any developer accounts
  • Worst case scenario: remove all accounts from Xcode preferences and create a brand new Apple ID with a new email address. This should force XCode to use a free account.

Just like any normal Xcode provisioning, it sometimes takes a little fiddling around to get it working. If you find any other tips, leave them in the comments.

Good Luck!

A Brief Lesson in Email Spam

August 21st, 2014

I received an urgent support ticket yesterday from a client’s hosting provider. It said that email spam was originating from our client’s website. It was the typical email that most people refer to as a “Nigerian email scam” or a “419 scam.” Here’s the email:

Dear Friend,

Greetings in the name of God,Please let this not sound strange to you
for my only surviving lawyer who would have done this died early this

I prayed and got your email id from your country guestbook.I am Mrs Rose
Holtsbery from London,I am 58 years old,i am suffering from a long time
cancer of the lungs which also affected my brain, From all indication my
conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that,
according to my doctors they have advised me that i may not live for the
next two months,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very
bad stage.

I was brought up from a motherless babies home was married to my late
husband for twenty years without a child,my husband died in a fatal
motor accident Before his death we were true believers.Since his death I
decided not to re-marry,I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited
all the sum of 10million dollars with a Bank.

Presently, this money is still with the bank and the management just
wrote me to come forward and claim my money because they have kept it
for so long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to
receive it on my behalf since I can not come over because of my illness,
or they get it confiscated.

Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital here in Switzerland where I
have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. My doctors have
told me that I have only a few months to live.It is my last wish to see
that this money is invested to any organization of your choice and
distributed each year among the charity organization,the poor and the
motherless babies home.

I want you as God fearing person, to also use this money to fund
church,mosque, orphanages and widows,I took this decision before i rest
in peace because my time will soon be up.

As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of my
Doctor Legal practioner(lawyer) who will issue you a letter of Authorit
y that will prove you as the new beneficiary of my fund.

Provide me with your information so i can send it to the bank as the new
beneficiary and issue you a letter of authorization.

Below is the information needed from you:<

FULL NAMES:__________SEX: _____ AGE: ______MARITAL
STATUS:_______________COUNTRY: ______
CONTACT ADDRESS: ________________________PHONE NO#___________FAX

Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein.Hoping
to hear from you soon.

Mrs Rose Holtsbery

I had no idea where to begin solving this issue, so I called Rackspace, the hosting company. The support folks confirmed that the email was originating from the server and ran some diagnostics to locate the source. We quickly found the problem and I got an education in spamming…

On the client’s website, there is a folder cleverly named “uploads,” which stores all images and documents uploaded through the content management system. Some lazy web developer (me) had set the permissions on the folder to 777. What this means is that basically anyone has read/write privileges on this folder. Scammers use bots (automated scripts) to crawl the web looking for open folders like this. When they find one, they attempt to write a simple PHP script into the folder. This script is the spam mailer, but it uses your server to do the dirty work. We found a script named “isunn.php” in the uploads folder. If you navigated to the file in your browser, it looked like this:

Click on the image to see a larger version:

Pretty slick. It’s basically an email spam GUI. You simply enter the details, including the number of people you want to email and hit the SEND button. Easy peasy.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting to get a brief education in the mechanics of spamming. And the lesson is: don’t ever set folder permissions to 777 on your web server.

Using Intellij IDEA for Actionscript Development

May 30th, 2013

I’ve been a die-hard Windows guy for a long time, but this year I switched to using a Mac so I could learn some iOS development. Since I made the switch, there are a few PC-only programs I miss. One of them is FlashDevelop – which I use(d) for all of my Flash/Actionscript work.

Flash is dying – that’s a fact. Not many new projects are being built in Actionscript these days, but I still get some Flash work trickling in now and then. I’ll also have a need to maintain or update older Flash projects for a few more years, so I need a good Actionscript IDE on my Mac. I tried running FlashDevelop on Parallels, but there were a few nagging problems with it that made it less than optimal. After doing some research on Actionscript IDEs for the Mac, I settled on Intellij IDEA. I was already using PHPStorm and I liked it a lot, so I thought I would give Intellij a try.

It’s been a great IDE for AS3 work. I like it almost as much as FlashDevelop, but the documentation is lacking a bit. Figuring out how to tweak the project settings was a hassle, so I made a video tutorial showing how to set up an Actionscript project in Intellij IDEA:

BTW, Intellij IDEA is an awesome all-around IDE that is definitely worth the $200 license. I use it for basically everything. Check it out for all of your HTML, CSS, javascript, PHP, Ruby, Rails, and JAVA needs.

How To Use Firebug to Fine-Tune Mobile Website CSS

February 28th, 2013

If you are doing front-end web development, you likely use Firebug. It’s a Firefox browser extension that provides all the basic tools you need to debug a website. Development tools in all of the modern browsers are based on the gold standard set by Firebug.

One of the most common uses of Firebug is to make changes to your CSS in real time. You can experiment with different styles until your layout looks right, then simply cut and paste everything into your stylesheet.

This works great for desktop browsers, but mobile browsers don’t have development tools. If you want to debug your mobile layout, you need another browser extension that allows you to switch the user agent. There are a number of good ones out there. I’m currently using User Agent RG for Firefox. Once this extension is installed, you can change the user agent string by going to the “Tools” menu and choosing “User Agent.” Simply choose a mobile device and you can get an idea of what your site looks like on a mobile device.

It’s important to understand what the user agent switcher does (and doesn’t do). What it does is tell the browser the type of device that you are using to browse the web. The Firefox plugin basically lies and says “I am using an iPhone” (or whatever). If you have a mobile version of the website, that version will be displayed.

What it does NOT do is make Firefox act like Mobile Safari, or any other browser. If there are browser-specific layout issues, you will not be able to see them with the user agent switcher. Luckily, mobile device browsers are fairly standards-compliant, so very few CSS issues are browser-related. Browser-specific issues like HTML5 video issues (*cough* Mobile Safari *cough*) still need to be debugged with that browser.

The other thing that user agent switching doesn’t do is resize your site to mobile browser dimensions. To get an accurate sense of how your site looks on a phone or tablet, you will probably need set a body width in your CSS:

body {
    width: 320px; /*older iphone width*/

This way, you can lock it to the dimensions of the device you want to test and tweak the CSS with Firebug to fix any layout problems.

This has been the quickest and easiest way I have found to fix mobile-specific layout issues. Good luck!