Tweak Your Launchd With Lingon

Thursday, July 31, 2008

In a previous post I showed how to write some custom firewall rules, and use a hack to get it to load automatically. With Leopard the hack to load it broke.

In steps a great new app for the system tweaker called Lingon (http://lingon.sourceforge.net). This handy little app lets you configure plist files and install them with just a few clicks.

Just select new, give it a name, give it a command to execute, select from a list of options how you want to to run and away you go. It even has an expert mode to dig deeper.


WordPress iPhone App

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just trying out the new iPhone WordPress application. I must say that it seems really slick.

The interface seems nice to work with, and if you’ve got the hang of the iPhone keyboard (ie. trusting the auto correction) it is a nice way to keep a blog going.

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Password Free Logins Over ssh (Part 2)

Friday, March 30, 2007

In the last post I suggested you add a passphrase to keep your private key secure. The problem with this is that now you have traded entering a password for entering a passphrase which is most likely longer. Doesn’t seem like such a great trade off.

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Stateful OS X firewall

Monday, March 26, 2007

In the interest of security in depth, you should be running the firewall on your OS X system. I know, I know there are so few vulnerabilities on the Mac. That doesn’t mean that nasty stuff still doesn’t happen.

If you are feeling that the standard firewall settings aren’t quite good enough, you are in luck, OS X comes with a serious firewall, IPFW.

To go with the fancy new trick mentioned in the previous post, I thought you might like to have a basic IPFW firewall to get yourself going. As always I recommend checking man ipfw for more information.

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Automatically Load OS X Firewall Settings When Your Location Changes

Monday, March 26, 2007

Recently I changed my custom IPFW firewall settings on my laptop, making them specific for home and work networks, switching between wireless and ethernet. The problem was I needed to figure out how to reload the firewall script whenever the state of the network changed.

It turns out that Darwin has a special way to handle this. It uses a daemon called configd to monitor the state of the various services running. configd uses XML files located in /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/ to manage its configuration.

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Speed Up Mail.app

Monday, March 26, 2007

My 4+ gigs of email were making Mail.app slow, but I found a great tip over at Hawk Wings (a great site for mail related tips) for cleaning up the databases the Mail.app uses to speed things up.
Basically it involves:

Quit Mail.app

From the Terminal type:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/Envelope\ Index

When sqlite3 comes up enter:
vacuum subjects;

It will go away and churn for a few seconds to a few minutes and when it is done restart mail and it should be faster.

A script that automates this and more info is available at http://www.hawkwings.net/2007/03/01/a-faster-way-to-speed-up-mailapp/


In search of the bluetooth mouse: The Mighty Mouse and the Logitech V270

Monday, March 26, 2007

With plugging in my USB thumb drive and my iPod I found myself running out of USB ports. I went through a couple of different miniature hub tries but found it all a hassle. So I landed on the concept of going with a bluetooth mouse to free me of cable tangles (those with cluttered desks will hear me) and to properly ration the USB ports.

Being happy with other Apple products I walked around the corner to the Apple store and picked up a Bluetooth Mighty Mouse. My first impression was that it seemed a bit awkward, but it did look cool so I tried to work with it.

Right away I started having issues with the right click working properly. Since Apple is still obsessed with the concept of a single button mouse in form if not in function, they have created a mouse that relies on sensing very slight pressure differences across the mouse. I found some posts online that had tips about lifting you index finger completely off the mouse when right clicking, but even that didn’t make it work right and who the hell wants to work like that anyways.

So after about a week and a half I took it back and picked up a Logitech V270. For those who like a smaller portable mouse, the form factor is good. It doesn’t have the comfort of the MX series devices nor the comparable Microsoft assortment of mouses, but there aren’t a lot of options for bluetooth. Which brings me to another point, wireless does not mean bluetooth, so check the packaging.

The V270 connects and reconnects to my MacBook Pro without hassle, although if you leave it for long enough there is a brief hiccup while it powers up and reconnects. This is unlike the Mighty Mouse that didn’t seem to want to connect seamlessly.

The one problem that I did have was the mouse speed. Using the mouse preference pane left me with a mouse that was either too slow or too fast. There are options like USB Overdrive, et. al., but I didn’t want the additional clutter.

So I went with using the command:
defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.scaling -float .05

That seemed to give me the feel I had before with my previous mouse.