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{ Category Archives } Computers

Damn, the price of success is ugly….

For a very long time Mac OS X was very, very safe. Still no known viruses today, and very little malware, mostly exploiting Java, Flash, or SilverLight. That was due to two huge advantages: 1) a vastly more secure operating system than Microsoft Windows, and 2) a tiny user base not worth targeting with slimy […]

Initial Yosemite (Mac OS X 10.10) testing results: Don’t do it!

Wow – Yosemite (Mac OS X 10.10.1) still sucks, completely. I can install Yosemite to an empty drive fine and start from scratch. That mostly works, though it makes my mid-2007 iMac (2GHz, ATI Radeon 2400, 4GB, 250GB SATA) run very slow and I hate the way it looks. I cannot successfully run Migration Assistant […]

AppleTV 2nd Generation and SHSH Blobs

I am a huge Apple fan, and I have three 2nd generation AppleTVs that I use to watch streaming media in different rooms of my house. I have hacked them all so I can stream a wide variety of formats and stream directly from a large SMB file share I have. I also like checking […]

The slow death of POP3 and services that still use only POP3

Way back in the early 1990s there was an awesome new way to use whatever email client you liked with your email service, so long as both the email program and the server used the same version of the Post Office Protocol, also known as POP3. This was awesome, in the early 1990s. We only […]

Hacking AppleTV for easier text entry

I just updated all my 2nd generation AppleTV’s and to save the current firmware blobs and then re-applied the Seas0nPass jail-break for v5.3 to install XBMC again. Each time I do this (roughly each time Apple offers new AppleTV software) I have to re-enter my AppleID and password through the painfully cumbersome TV remote and […]

Selenium browser automation makes testing websites easy

Selenium is a Firefox plug-in that lets you record your web activity and save those actions as a script that you can then play back over and over again measuring and timing the results. It is very useful for testing web sites. Simply install the plugin, start the Selenium IDE (Tools/Selenium), point Firefox at the […]

Sublime Text 2

Every now and then you run into a new solution or tool that revolutionizes the same work you have been doing for ages. As a UNIX and Linux Systems Administrator I edit a lot of text files, and vim has been my text editor of choice for decades. Well, I still use vim habitually, but […]

Max OS X Keyboard Tips

Mac OS X Keyboard Tricks: Use the Command (⌘) key (aka: splat or apple key) like you would a Control key in Windows (⌘c copies, ⌘v pastes, ⌘ Tab to switch between running apps, ⌘~ to switch between App WIndows inside one App) ⌘ Space brings up Spotlight Search with actually works wonderfully, Command-Space-Mai-Return starts […]

Clustered SSH can be very useful to sysadmins

This is not new, but it is surprising how stuck we all can get in old habits, and we can miss out on some real time-savers. One such time-saver for systems administrators or anyone who must frequently run the same commands on several hosts is clustered ssh, some scripts for your desktop/laptop that allow you […]

Taming iTunes 11

I am less than thrilled with iTunes 11, and am trying to figure out how to use it for all the same functions I enjoyed with earlier versions of iTunes. A lot of this is simply look and feel and slowly growing accustomed to new style and process, but in the interim I can make […]