Ramblings & ephemera

Talk about Markdown to SLUUG this Wednesday

I’ll be giving a talk to the St. Louis UNIX Users Group next Wednesday night about Markdown, a tool I absolutely love. You’re invited to come. Please do – I think you’ll definitely learn a lot. Date: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 Time: 6:30 – 9 pm Where: 11885 Lackland Rd., St Louis, MO 63146 Map: […]

Steve Jobs, genius

From Stephen Fry’s “Steve Jobs” (The New Adventures of Stephen Fry: 6 October 2011): Henry Ford didn’t invent the motor car, Rockefeller didn’t discover how to crack crude oil into petrol, Disney didn’t invent animation, the Macdonald brothers didn’t invent the hamburger, Martin Luther King didn’t invent oratory, neither Jane Austen, Tolstoy nor Flaubert invented […]

My favorite iPhone apps

Someone on a mailing list asked for a list of our favorite iPhone apps. Here’s what I said: Reeder is the best RSS reader (tied to Google Reader, natch), bar none. Articles presents Wikipedia beautifully. Dropbox is an essential for the reasons Martin gave. Echofon is a great Twitter app, especially since it syncs with […]

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. […]

How security experts defended against Conficker

From Jim Giles’ “The inside story of the Conficker worm” (New Scientist: 12 June 2009): 23 October 2008 … The dry, technical language of Microsoft’s October update did not indicate anything particularly untoward. A security flaw in a port that Windows-based PCs use to send and receive network signals, it said, might be used to […]

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 […]

Steve Jobs on mediocrity & market share

From Steven Levy’s “OK, Mac, Make a Wish: Apple’s ‘computer for the rest of us’ is, insanely, 20” (Newsweek: 2 February 2004): If that’s so, then why is the Mac market share, even after Apple’s recent revival, sputtering at a measly 5 percent? Jobs has a theory about that, too. Once a company devises a […]

Vista & Mac OS X security features

From Prince McLean’s “Pwn2Own contest winner: Macs are safer than Windows” (AppleInsider: 26 March 2009): Once it did arrive, Vista introduced sophisticated new measures to make it more difficult for malicious crackers to inject code. One is support for the CPU’s NX bit, which allows a process to mark certain areas of memory as “Non-eXecutable” […]

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 […]

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 […]

I for one welcome our new OS overlords: Google Chrome

As some of you may have heard, Google has announced its own web browser, Chrome. It’s releasing the Windows version today, with Mac & Linux versions to follow. To educate people about the new browser & its goals, they release a 38 pg comic book drawn by the brilliant Scott McCloud. It’s a really good […]

Flush your DNS cache

Windows ipconfig /flushdns Mac OS X dscacheutil -fluchcache

Remove EXIF data from JPEGs

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

Great email sig about operating systems

Saw this in an email sig: Microsoft: Where do you want to go today? Mac OS X: Where do you want to go tomorrow? Linux: Are you coming or what?

Where we are technically with DRM

From Nate Anderson’s “Hacking Digital Rights Management” (Ars Technica: 18 July 2006): The attacks on FairPlay have been enlightening because of what they illustrate about the current state of DRM. They show, for instance, that modern DRM schemes are difficult to bypass, ignore, or strip out with a few lines of code. In contrast to […]

Apple iTunes Music Store applies DRM after download

From Nate Anderson’s “Hacking Digital Rights Management” (Ars Technica: 18 July 2006): A third approach [to subverting Apple’s DRM] came from PyMusique, software originally written so that Linux users could access the iTunes Music Store. The software took advantage of the fact that iTMS transmits DRM-free songs to its customers and relies on iTunes to […]

Differences between Macintosh & Unix programmers

From Eric Steven Raymond’s “Problems in the Environment of Unix” (The Art of Unix Programming: 19 September 2003): Macintosh programmers are all about the user experience. They’re architects and decorators. They design from the outside in, asking first “What kind of interaction do we want to support?” and then building the application logic behind it […]