The price of a working computer on the "free" Windows 10? Two hours out of your life and storing all of your files on Microsoft's servers.
We've recently upgraded our computer stock with a bunch of new (old) Mac Pros. These are the last computers which Apple built which can be upgraded (storage, memory, GPU, CPU in order of complexity). So I've updated our guide on deploying new Macs. I've often been asked about our special sauce for securing Macs and deploying them quickly so I've publishing this as a starting point for others.
Despite the title stating that this covers how to set up a Mac securely on OS X, it hasn't really been possible to secure a Mac since the App Store came into being (OS X 10.6.6 I believe). OS X 10.5.8 may be the last really secure full version of OS X ever created. Coincidentally Apple joined Prism in 2012.
Still one can make a good effort to make one's computer far less chatty. If you really want to be secure, don't use the app store at all and download your OS X updates. If you want to be a little bit secure, you have to avoid iCloud completely. Just ask the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence how iCloud turned out for her (I had no idea she was so sexy until those pics showed up).
As some may remember, my favourite music service is Pandora (Deezer used to be a close second until they removed the "Hear This" feature). I listen to a lot of new music and discovery is important to me. That doesn't mean I want to explore a lot of genres I hate. There's a lot of good music in the world (in the sense of appealing to me) and I'd like to spend as much of my life as possible discovering those artists who will change my life for the better.
Pandora gets you there faster than anyone else. I'm currently listening to Carla Bruni radio. I only like Ms. Bruni's music about a 7 out of 10 but Pandora offers a mainly French female singer diet (way too much Ella Fitzgerald at first), leading me to discover four or five artists I didn't know. Pandora is also low-maintenance (it keeps playing without requiring adjusting playlists) and lets you tune your channels to your own tastes (no more Ella Fitzgerald much less Bossa Nova, lots more Indila, Andrea Lindsay, Thievery Corporation and Coeur de Pirate).
Anyone who owns more than two Macs know it's a real convenience to be able to use target mode for transferring files. You just restart your MacBook Pro and hold T down and you're in Target Mode. This lets you copy files on and off the target computer as if the disks inside it were external drives.
The issue lately though is that MacBook Pro's when in Target Mode make a terrific amount of noise:
I have a new Santa Rosa MacBook and when started in Firewire target disk mode, the fan runs at a high rate all of the time. This is even when there is no disk activity. Is this normal?
Foliovision is in the web design business. Often enough we have to shoot a full length screenshot of a website. There are three utilities we normally use in order.
- Layers. More for fancy documentation, the full page webpage screenshot functionality is great and works with Safari, Firefox and some other browsers (not Chromium though).
- Netfixer. From ShinyFrog, neglected, badly named but quite brilliant software.
- Paparazzi. First on the scene, disappeared for a long time without regular maintenance. Back with a glistening new icon and sharing cookies and webkit with Safari.
All of the above work on OS X versions at least as far back 10.6.8
The challenge: keeping my IP address up to date
I recently wanted to find a way to keep dynamic DNS updated for a smart DNS service at home (to keep MOG, Pandora and LastFM running without using the hassle of a VPN). It turns out my home DSL router's IP address changes all the time and I was updating my DNS mapping service multiple times per day.
It was a bit of a hunt to find a suitable dynamic DNS solution as dyndys.org went (expensive) paid at $25/year recently. After looking at some of the competitors, I finally chose DNSmadeeasy to avoid creating managing more logins. We already have work accounts and DNSmadeeasy includes dynamic DNS with every name in your account (fabulous value if you need a lot of dynamic DNS). If you are looking for free dynamic DNS, the amusingly named http://afraid.org appears to be the last good free solution operating.
While on Afraid.org's site, I found a nice quick Bash script which could be customised for DNSmadeasy. Unfortunately I couldn't get Curl to work well in bash, with DNSmadeeasy's update command failing (personal data removed) even with -d data variables or with a simple http command:
The Witopia Personal VPN is a great value, but watch out for tech support issues with WiTopia Pro OpenVPN SSL account. Same fast speeds on both.
So for non-programmers, here's how to get Textile editing working on BBEdit. Review of other OS X textile solutions.
I just found a great little utility to test backup systems.
These are the sorts of things you won’t notice until you’ve lost your original and for some reason your Aperture or iPhoto library won’t run properly anymore.
Of course, even a defective backup is better than none.
Just ran into a time consuming hiccup trying to work with a Clone CD Image. I hope the rather detailed explanation below will help someone else deal with a Clone CD Image faster on his Mac.
I’d downloaded a 600 MB disk image to use with Parallels. The disk image came wrapped in a .rar format.
Unpacking the .rar file was very difficult.
- StuffitExpander crashed
- Forklift couldn’t handle it
- Archive Utility just wanted to compress it further.
Finally I was able to unpack it with IAarchiver, slowly but certainly.
After unpacking, I was offered a directory with three files in it:
I had no idea Windows used the archaic Mac .img format. It turns out that Windows doesn’t. What I’d inadvertently downloaded is what is known as a Clone CD image. I was unable to mount it on my Macbook. No known solution or software for Mac OS X can handle Clone CD images. BIN and CUE files are no problem, but CCD files – there’s nothing out there.