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Sysinternals surrogates for macOS #

Jonathan Levin (the author of a trilogy on macOS and iOS internals) generously offers a plethora of tools (many of them with source code) for digging deeper into your system, including:

See also fseventer - FileMon for OS X.

/mac | Jun 05, 2019

macOS downloads and checksums #

/mac | Jun 04, 2019

More haste, less speed #

良寛打毬の図

A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly, "I am devoted to studying your martial system. How long will it take me to master it?" The teacher's reply was casual, "Ten years." Impatiently, the student answered, "But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice everyday, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?" The teacher thought for a moment, "20 years."
Zen Kōans

Men fated to be happy need not haste.
Chinese proverbs from olden times, Peter Pauper Press

At the thought that it wouldn't be long before she saw Professor Hora again, Momo's courage revived. "Please," she said to Cassiopeia, "couldn't we go a bit faster?" "MORE HASTE LESS SPEED," came the reply, and the tortoise crawled on even more slowly than before. Yet Momo noticed, as she had the first time, that they made better progress that way. It was as if the street beneath them glided past more quickly the slower they went. That, of course, was the secret: the slower you went the better progress you made, and the more you hurried the slower rate of advance.
Momo by Michael Ende, translated by J. Maxwell Brownjohn

/misc | Jun 02, 2019

Ignore HP's instructions for opening their Pavilion All-in-One - 24-b029c (Touch) #

HP generously provides an embarrassment of manuals for the 24-b029c, including a PDF entitled Hard Drive Replacement Instructions (cached copy) which is guaranteed to cause acute embarrassment and perhaps even irreparable harm as you and a friend struggle to follow them faithfully.

On page 2, we find:

To remove the rear cover, remove the two screw covers (1) and two Phillips screws (2) located in the bottom of the cover.

which sounds straightforward enough.

Any lingering doubt that the screws should be completely removed vanishes as we read on page 3:

Align the rear cover with the computer and press it down until it snaps into place (1). Replace the two Phillips screws (2), and then replace the screw covers (3).

However, you would be extremely ill-advised to follow those directions, as the screws are not designed to come out at all.

Mad props to the folks at Up & Running Technologies for sharing the correct technique, which is to simply turn the screws slightly counterclockwise until the screen pops up. You can then use a plastic pry tool to finish the job before slowly and gently lifting the back cover up, starting from the bottom (the manual did get something right: mind the ODD cable running along the top).

/misc | May 28, 2019

Cracking FileVault 2 (HFS+ or APFS) #

posted to the docs section.

/mac | May 27, 2019

Intelligently resize landscape & portrait photos #

along their long edge with the cross-platform XnView MP: Tools > Batch convert... > Actions > Add action > Image > Resize > Mode > Longest side. (In Lightroom: File > Export > Image Sizing > Resize to Fit: > Long Edge.)

UPDATE: I had completely forgotten about the tiny and handy Resize 2.6, which allows batch resizing by percentage, height, width, or maximum dimension while maintaining aspect ratio; it's been listed on the graphics page for ages.

/misc | May 10, 2019

Scan local Mac for known vulnerabilities #

Scouring the web for a macOS analog of Windows Exploit Suggester - Next Generation (WES-NG) (mentioned recently), I stumbled onto Howard Oakley's Scanning your Macs for security problems with Nessus.

Agreeing wholeheartedly with his assessment ("Installation is a bit fiddly and left me with a feeling of discomfort. The installer which you download is but the start of the process: this eventually takes you through to the Nessus web interface, which then downloads further and unspecified packages and installs them somewhere. For a security tool this is worryingly opaque and obfuscated, and I cannot see any convincing reason for having to do it that way."), I opted to install Nessus in a virtualized instance of the target Mac and run it against just 127.0.0.1 to find known vulnerabilities.

As Howard observes, the Basic Network Scan is anything but:

Nessus scan results

/mac | May 09, 2019

"Is nothing sacred?!" #

Do You Capitalize 'God'?

The name or title of any specific deity is capitalized just like any other name, so when "God" is used to refer to "the one God" (in other words, in any monotheistic religion), it is capitalized.

For example, you'd capitalize "God" in these sentences:

When referring to gods in general, though, or when using the word "god" descriptively, keep it lowercase:

The same rule holds true for Yahweh, Allah, Zeus, and the names of gods in other religions. They're capitalized.

I get it – you're an atheist. You should still capitalize "God"

You've said it a thousand times, and I get it: You don't believe in capital-G God any more than I believe in Tinkerbell. That doesn't change anything. (See what I did there? I don’t believe in an entity named "Tinkerbell." But since it is the proper name of a, yes, fictional character, I capitalized it.)

...

When you don't capitalize a proper name like God's, you're violating a fundamental principle of grammar.

You heard me right: grammar! You don't want to violate the laws of grammar, do you? I mean, seriously: Is nothing sacred?

/misc | Apr 30, 2019

iPhone's Phone app frozen? Respring. #

iPhone's Phone app freezing frequently? Rather than restarting (tedious and time consuming), respring by toggling bold text:

  1. Settings > Display & Brightness
  2. Toggle Bold Text
  3. Tap Continue when "Applying this setting will restart your iPhone" appears

iOS does not actually restart; only SpringBoard.app is restarted (similar to relaunching Finder.app in macOS), which generally unfreezes Phone.app as well (in some cases, toggling Airplane Mode may also be necessary).

/misc | Apr 30, 2019

Random harvest #

/misc | Mar 26, 2019


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