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Portable TrueCrypt for Windows and OS X #

/misc | Sep 29, 2014

TrueCrypt and Mavericks #

/mac | Sep 29, 2014

TrueCrypt and exFAT #

These steps outline how to encrypt an entire external USB hard drive with TrueCrypt 7.1a and setup the filesystem as exFAT (for large file and read/write support under modern versions of Windows, OS X, and Linux). ANY EXISTING DATA ON THE USB DRIVE WILL BE DELETED!! Use at your own risk (and joy). Tested under Windows 8.1.
  1. Run diskmgmt.msc
  2. Delete any volumes on the USB drive so that the entire disk is shown as "Unallocated"
  3. TrueCrypt > Tools > Volume Creation Wizard > Encrypt a non-system partition/drive > follow the wizard through setting up desired password/keyfile
  4. Set Filesystem to none
  5. Click Format (after moving the mouse as instructed to increase entropy)
  6. Read warning and click Yes if you agree
  7. Wait for the encryption process to complete
  8. Mount the device in TrueCrypt (Select Device... > click on your encrypted drive > OK > click desired drive letter > click Mount > enter credentials > OK)
  9. From an elevated command prompt, run: format <drive letter>: /fs:exfat /q

Thanks to Rowan's blog post and Cal's attached comment.

/windows | Sep 29, 2014

Bash terminal: change color of directories #

and the current working directory path. Because blue on black is hard to read.

Change the color of directories in bash:

  1. If you don't already have an /etc/DIR_COLORS file, create one: $ sudo dircolors -p > /etc/DIR_COLORS
    (See Configuring LS_COLORS for information on multi-user options)
  2. Open /etc/DIR_COLORS in a text editor and change DIR 01;34 to DIR 01;33 to change the default blue to yellow. More color codes.
  3. In ~/.bashrc, change eval "`dircolors -b`" to eval "$(dircolors /etc/DIR_COLORS)"
  4. Reload .bashrc to see the result: $ source ~/.bashrc

Change the bash prompt's current working directory path color:

  1. In ~/.bashrc, comment out every line between:
    # set a fancy prompt (non-color, unless we know we "want" color)
    # Comment in the above and uncomment this below for a color prompt
  2. Uncomment the next line and change 01;34m to 01;33m. It should look something like this:
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;33m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '
  3. Reload .bashrc to see the result: $ source ~/.bashrc


/nix | Sep 28, 2014

MacBook: Disable the internal keyboard #

in order to clean it or cover it with another keyboard like the Matias Mini Tactile Pro or KBParadise V60. (With Shortcat installed, you'll rarely need to touch a mouse or trackpad.)

Disable built-in keyboard:
sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTCKeyboard.kext

Reenable built-in keyboard:
sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTCKeyboard.kext

(via XnavxeMiyyep)

/mac | Sep 27, 2014

Batch download and embed album cover art #

If you have a huge MP3 collection and just want to batch download and embed cover art without verifying each cover individually (and iTunes' "Get Album Artwork" is insufficient*):
  1. Download and install Mp3tag
  2. Download DisCoverArt and unzip contents to the Mp3tag program directory (e.g., C:\Program Files (x86)\Mp3tag)
  3. Open an elevated command prompt and cd to the Mp3tag program directory
  4. Run regsvr32 custommsgbox.dll and click OK when the success dialog appears
  5. Open Mp3tag
  6. File > Add directory... > navigate to your music folder > Select Folder
  7. Create a new tool:
    1. Tools > Options > Tools
    2. Click the New (yellow star) button
    3. Name: DisCoverArt Google 300x300 Artist+Title NoQuotes
    4. Path: Browse to the Mp3tag program directory and select DisCoverArt.exe
    5. Parameter: "%artist%" "%title%" -discomusic.com 0 1 300 300 jpg 1 1
    6. Check "for all selected files" > OK > OK
  8. Create a new action:
    1. Actions > Actions (you need to select at least one song in the main interface for this menu item to be available)
    2. Click the New (yellow star) button
    3. Name of action group: Save Coverart
    4. Click OK > click the New button again
    5. Select action type: Import Cover From File > OK
    6. Format string for image filename: %artist% - %title%.jpg
    7. Import cover as: Front Cover
    8. Check "Delete existing cover art" > OK > OK > Close
  9. Right click on column header > Customize columns... > check "Cover" > click "Move up" until it is at or near the top of the list
  10. Click the Cover column to sort
  11. Select all files without an entry in the Cover column (the author recommends selecting no more than 300 at a time to avoid problems)
  12. Right click on highlighted files and click Tools > DisCoverArt Google 300x300 Artist+Title NoQuotes
  13. Wait for all console windows to close
  14. Actions > Actions (Quick) > "Import cover from file" > OK
  15. Format string for image filename: %artist% - %title%.jpg
  16. Import cover as: Front Cover
  17. Check "Delete existing cover art" > OK > OK
  18. File > Save tag > OK
  19. Close Mp3tag
  20. Getting the artwork to show up in iTunes:
    1. Open iTunes and click "Albums"
    2. Edit > Select All > Right click > click "Uncheck Selection" (album covers will appear)
    3. Edit > Select All > Right click > "Check Selection"
Another option is to download cover art with Album Art Downloader and embed with Mp3tag:
  1. Download and run Album Art Downloader
  2. File > New > File Browser...
  3. Enter path to music directory under "Search for audio files in:"
  4. Click Search
  5. Click Options...
  6. Click "Automatically download and save the first result that meets set criteria"
  7. Click "Select all albums with missing artwork"
  8. Click "Get Artwork for Selection..."
  9. Click "Download and save results automatically"
  10. If desired, change minimum required image size to 300 px and allowed cover types to Front
  11. Click Start
  12. When the process is complete, embed the album art with Mp3tag by starting with step 14 above. The only change is in step 15, where you'll need to use Folder.jpg as the format string.

* On a related note, cover art obtained through iTunes' "Get Album Artwork" is not embedded within files by default. To quickly embed all such artwork, the fastest and simplest tool I've found is the $5 iCoverArt (via the "Embed Downloaded Artwork" function). The free and open source iTSfv looked promising, but kept crashing in a clean Windows 7 32 bit virtual machine, even after installing the required .Net Framework.

/windows | Sep 10, 2014

Hard keyboard carrying cases #

for 60%, 75%, or tenkeyless mechanical keyboards are back in stock today at KeyChatter (thanks Aaron!). Options include various pockets, handles, closures, and colors. Made in the USA. See also this recent discussion on /r/MechanicalKeyboards.


UPDATE: New thread in /r/MechanicalKeyboards, including a coupon code.

/misc | Sep 07, 2014

Mount floppy images as drive A: #

with ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver (thanks again for the tip four years ago, Claus!). Even if A: is assigned to another device, ImDisk VDD can force reassignment (no need for the aforementioned ReMount).

(Virtual Floppy Drive 2.1 looked promising, but even with ReMount I was unable to force the drive letter assignment ("Source volume mount point 'letter' is invalid - abort").)

/windows | Sep 07, 2014

Create an image file from floppy disk #

or write an image file to floppy disk with RawWrite: * dd can of course be used instead of RawWrite for creating and writing floppy images (among other tasks); here are a few examples from the author's site:

/windows | Sep 07, 2014

Map a USB floppy drive to A: in Windows XP Mode #

  1. Connect USB floppy drive to Windows 7 host
  2. In XP Mode, click "USB" in toolbar at top and then click the entry for your USB floppy drive. It will be connected as B: by default.
  3. Download and run Uwe Sieber's ReMount from the command line:
    C:\>ReMount.exe -s b: a:
  4. Your USB floppy drive is now assigned to A:. This assignment appears to be permanent (unless changed with ReMount)
See also:

/windows | Sep 07, 2014

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