Ramblings & ephemera

Evaluating software features

When developing software, it’s important to rank your features, as you can’t do everything, & not everything is worth doing. One way to rank features is to categorize them in order of importance using the following three categories: Required/Essential/Necessary: Mission critical features that must be present Preferred/Conditional: Important features & enhancements that bring better experience […]

My response to the news that “Reader, Acrobat Patches Plug 23 Security Holes”

I sent this email out earlier today to friends & students: For the love of Pete, people, if you use Adobe Acrobat Reader, update it. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2010/10/reader-acrobat-patches-plug-23-security-holes/ But here’s a better question: why are you using Adobe Reader in the first place? It’s one of the WORST programs for security you can have on your computer. […]

A vote for CrossOver

Let me recommend Codeweavers’ CrossOver, a commercial implementation of WINE that works on Linux & Mac OS X. It’s reasonably priced, & it makes setting up & configuring both WINE and the programs that run inside WINE much easier. Plus, the company is made up of good people, & they’re very upfront on their site […]

A solution to two-way task list syncing on a Mac & iPhone

I just published a page on my website about a solution I’ve found to an important issue: how to keep task lists on my Mac & my iPhone that are synced. I used to use The Hit List, but the developer’s failure to come up with an iPhone solution has led me to abandon it. […]

Linux Phrasebook in Russian

My book, Linux Phrasebook, which is still selling well & still just as useful today as when it came out in 2006 (& will be for another decade or two, given how consistent the Linux command line is), has been translated into Russian. You can find it at this Russian website, where I found out […]

SMS gateways you can use to get around high texting charges

Tired of high SMS charges? Use these SMS gateways, which translate emails & IMs into SMS text messages … for free (well, to the sender, anyway – the recipient still has to pay). And when recipients reply, those replies come back to the sender in the same format; in other words, you email someone, they […]

A fix for Apple Mail’s inability to search Entire Message

photo credit: Ti.mo When using Apple Mail, you should be able to search for a term in From, To, Subject, & Entire Message. However, today I could no longer search Entire Message. It was grayed out & completely unavailable. I found interesting info on the following pages, with the last being the most helpful: http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=6653445#6653445 […]

My new book – Google Apps Deciphered – is out!

I’m really proud to announce that my 5th book is now out & available for purchase: Google Apps Deciphered: Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop. My other books include: Don’t Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox Hacking Knoppix Linux Phrasebook Podcasting with Audacity: Creating a Podcast With Free Audio Software (I’ve […]

Preserve links after a website move with mod_rewrite

My blog was at http://www.granneman.com/blog, but I then moved it, after several years of living at its old address, to http://blog.granneman.com. I wanted to preserve all my links, however, so that someone going to http://www.granneman.com/blog/2008/04/20/after-a-stroke-he-can-write-but-cant-read/ would instead end up at http://blog.granneman.com/2008/04/20/after-a-stroke-he-can-write-but-cant-read/. To do this, I edited the .htaccess file in http://www.granneman.com/blog to read as follows […]

Mac OS X settings to reduce PDF sizes

From Adam Engst’s “Slim down your PDFs” (Macworld: 5 November 2008): Though few people realize this, you can reduce the size of PDF files using the Leopard version of Preview. To shrink a PDF file, open it in Preview, choose Save As from the File menu, and, in the Save dialog box, choose Reduce File […]

The X Window System defined

From Ellen Siever’s “What Is the X Window System” (O’Reilly Media: 25 August 2005): X was intentionally designed to provide the low-level mechanism for managing the graphics display, but not to have any control over what is displayed. This means that X has never been locked into a single way of doing things; instead, it […]

How to run a command repeatedly

You can use the watch command, but it unfortunately isn’t available for Mac OS X. At least, from Apple. Sveinbjorn Thordarson (great name!) has a version of watch that you can download and compile on your OS X box. It’s available at http://www.sveinbjorn.org/watch_macosx. Or, you can use this shell script: while true ; do foo […]

Dropbox for Linux is coming soon

According to this announcement, a Linux client for Dropbox should be coming out in a week or so: http://forums.getdropbox.com/topic.php?id=2371&replies=1 I’ve been using Dropbox for several months, and it’s really, really great. What is it? Watch this video: http://www.getdropbox.com/screencast It’s backup and auto-syncing done REALLY well. Best of all, you can sync between more than one […]

Fat footers

Jerry wrote this & sent it to a client; A fat footer is a means of showing secondary navigation, or showcasing primary navigation, or reinforcing selected pieces of your navigation. Here are some examples: On a long-scroll blog page, put some choices at the bottom: http://bokardo.com/ Put sales and branding at the top and navigation […]

Flush your DNS cache

Windows ipconfig /flushdns Mac OS X dscacheutil -fluchcache

Synchronizing Outlook & Google Apps

Plaxo http://www.plaxo.com (web-based) OggSync http://oggsync.com ScheduleWorld http://www.scheduleworld.com iCal4OL http://ical.gutentag.ch Google Calendar Sync https://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=89955

Remove EXIF data from JPEGs

ImageMagick mogrify -strip *.jpg JHead jhead -de *.jpg

What actions change MAC times on a UNIX box?

From Holt Sorenson’s “Incident Response Tools For Unix, Part Two: File-System Tools” (SecurityFocus: 17 October 2003): Various commands change the MAC [modify, access, and change] times in different ways. The table below shows the effects that some common commands have on MAC times. These tables were created on Debian 3.0 using an ext2 file system […]

Firefox: Open diverted links in background tabs

Two methods: about:config Change browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground to true browser.tabs.loadInBackground should already be set to true user.js // open diverted links in background tabs user_pref(“browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground”, true);

How to delete stuck files on Amazon’s S3

I use Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) to back up files, and I also use OmniGraffle, a diagramming program, on my Mac. This is a letter I sent to OmniGraffle recently that explains a problem with the interaction of OmniGraffle and S3. Start letter: OmniGraffle (OG) is a great app, but it has a serious, […]