3 cross-platform email tools #

/misc | Jan 10, 2022

"Now what could've given them that idea?" #

The mainstream media continues to gaslight the public with stories like this one from AP News on January 4, 2022 titled Why are so many vaccinated people getting COVID-19 lately?:

"People might mistakenly think the COVID-19 vaccines will completely block infection, but the shots are mainly designed to prevent severe illness, says Louis Mansky, a virus researcher at the University of Minnesota."

Whatever could've given people such a mistaken impression?

/misc | Jan 04, 2022

Capture and decrypt SSL traffic #


Get SSL session keys

  1. Quit Firefox
  2. export SSLKEYLOGFILE=~/Desktop/sklf && open /Applications/Firefox.app
  3. sudo tcpdump -i en0 -s 0 tcp port https -w ~/Desktop/capture.pcap
  4. Browse to desired HTTPS site in Firefox

Load SSL key log & packet capture files into Wireshark

  1. Wireshark.app → Preferences... → Protocols → TLS → (Pre)-Master-Secret log filename → Browse... → ~/Desktop/sklf → OK
  2. File → Open → ~/Desktop/capture.pcap → Open

Search & export text

  1. Edit → Find Packet... → change "Packet list" to "Packet details" and "Display filter" to "String" → enter desired search string into box labeled "Enter a display filter ..." → Find
  2. Right click highlighted result → Copy Bytes ...as Printable Text → pbpaste



/mac | Jan 03, 2022

Preview in macOS Catalina cannot save some PDFs, #

returning errors like "The document 'foo.pdf' could not be saved as 'bar.pdf'." and "The file couldn't be saved." Previous and succeeding versions of macOS/Preview do not suffer from this bug, saving the same PDF file without complaint, albeit with significant bloat even when simply duplicating:

Preview's "Export as PDF..." or the print dialog's "Save as PDF" are often cited as solutions, but those methods resulted in the largest PDFs of all, at 974KB and 975KB respectively.

Iman Mahmoudinasab's unjustifiably-low-scoring answer on Ask Different contained the necessary clue: "Another common reason for this issue is the PDF file is password protected." Rather than relying on the recommended cloud-based service ("Try 7 days free"), I used qpdf:

% qpdf --show-encryption in.pdf
modify document assembly: not allowed
modify other: not allowed
modify anything: not allowed
% qpdf --decrypt in.pdf out.pdf

The resultant PDF (which could be freely duplicated, saved, etc.) was actually smaller than the original, at just 269KB.

While Acrobat PDF owner passwords are easily bypassed as in this case, user passwords require decryption:

The standard security provided by Acrobat PDF consists of two different methods and two different passwords: a user password, which encrypts the file and prevents opening, and an owner password, which specifies operations that should be restricted even when the document is decrypted, which can include modifying, printing, or copying text and graphics out of the document, or adding or modifying text notes and AcroForm fields. The user password encrypts the file, while the owner password does not, instead relying on client software to respect these restrictions. An owner password can easily be removed by software, including some free online services. Thus, the use restrictions that a document author places on a PDF document are not secure, and cannot be assured once the file is distributed; this warning is displayed when applying such restrictions using Adobe Acrobat software to create or edit PDF files.

/mac | Dec 28, 2021

Run Tiger, Leopard, or any Mac OS X PowerPC version on M1 #

posted to the docs section.

/mac | Nov 21, 2021

Drag and drop files onto batch script to add file extension #

Appends ".jpg" to files dragged and dropped onto the saved script's icon:

@echo on
for %%I in (%*) do ren %%I "%%~nI.jpg"

From Microsoft's 'for' documentation:

Simple, but perhaps a trifle cavalier, without any sanity checks or filetype awareness. By leveraging exiftool, we can improve on things a bit:

@echo on
for %%I in (%*) do exiftool.exe "-filename<$filename.$filetypeextension" -r -ext . %%I


/windows | Nov 20, 2021

Make your needs few and your wants fewer #


/misc | Nov 18, 2021

Excel VBA: Intermittent "PasteSpecial method of Range class failed" error #

Proposed solutions abound for "Run-time error '1004': PasteSpecial method of Range class failed", which, intermittently yet relentlessly, plagued an XLSM spreadsheet when pasting user-selected rows via VBA.

Buried in a previously 0-rated Stack Overflow question and answer pair, PASUMPON V N graciously unveiled the mystery:

Since you are copying large amount of data, you need to clear the memory after...pasting the values.

Please use the below code at the end of pastespecial line

Application.cutcopymode = False
Application.cutcopymode = True

It appears that the second line can, and probably should, be excluded:

Application.CutCopyMode = True either does nothing at all or it does the opposite of what you think it does.

/windows | Oct 28, 2021

Monterey: "A required firmware update could not be installed." #

If you've replaced the Apple SSD in your Mac with a third-party model and attempt to install Monterey, you may receive an error like:

To resolve, reinstall an Apple SSD, install Monterey, reinstall your third-party SSD, and install Monterey:


/mac | Oct 27, 2021

Decode hundreds of file formats and convert or extract content #

Deark is a portable command-line utility that can decode certain types of files, and either convert them to a more-modern or more-readable format, or extract embedded files from them. It also has an option (-d) to display detailed information about a file’s contents and metadata. It’s free and open source.

The demo digs through Inception-like layers in fbm-1.2.tgz to identify and convert a Sun raster image to PNG.

~250 formats, from obscure (BMI, TN3, etc.) to common (MP3, PNG, etc.), are supported:

/nix | Oct 22, 2021

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