Tue 08 September 2009
In our school environment, we had a couple issues with Google Earth's
default behaviors - here are my workarounds.
First off we have a student web proxy that works based on a whitelist
concept. So we have to allow any web traffic explicitly. With the help
of little snitch and ...
Thu 03 September 2009
There are times I need to create some easy to remember weak initial
passwords for students - here is a quick script
Note that these are not strong passwords as they are the definition of
dfile = '/usr/share/dict/web2'
Mon 24 August 2009
Even though we moved our email from OS X server to google apps for
education - we still manage our lists with a local mailman instance
(still on 10.4). However the web based interface for adding new members
can be a bit of a pain as it never seems to ...
Tue 18 August 2009
Sometimes you get in a situation where you are editing a long command on
the command line and you'd kill to be able to use your mouse to select a
word or option in the middle. This tip makes it a pleasure
First for me their was the discovery ...
Thu 13 August 2009
iLife and iWork can throw up an awful lot of update dialogs and welcome
screens for people who first launch them. For users on my network I
wanted to prevent those from coming up
There are a number of defaults that can be set to make these not appear.
Fri 07 August 2009
Tools are getting so sophisticated now - that they can be a distraction
for the lightweight or part time coder.
You can get lost in the ins and outs of git vs hg, choosing a database
and integrating with virtualenv.
Thu 16 July 2009
In my quest to automate the workflow of managing Macs at work, I wanted
a way to download disk image files from apple ahead of time - once
downloaded the next will be to integrate with my watched install project
from the previous post, and then auto lcreate the loadsets. I ...
Wed 15 July 2009
[update: project now on bitbucket]
There is often the need in a deployment scenario to repackage an
installer into some other format. This might be a [radmind]
transcript, a simple payload only installer package or perhaps just a
manifest of what exactly changed on the system.
Tue 14 July 2009
This is one of the most frequent utility routines I have in many (most?)
of my python scripts. Creating subprocesses in python is very flexble
and powerful, but a bit verbose. Sometimes you just want to run a
command and set a variable to the output.
from subprocess import Popen ...
Thu 04 June 2009
Sometimes doing tedious layout work in Illustrator is both time
consuming and hard on the wrists. In this post I show a quick example of
how one can script Illustrator very effectively
I work at a school where I'm involved in putting together our yearbook.
For several years now ...
Tue 02 June 2009
Despite vowing to stay away from Applescript as far as I can - sometimes
its the fastest way to save a little time
At work I'm involved in laying out our yearbook. Honestly a lot of these
pages are just quick photo montages. I've made these in both Illustrator ...
Mon 01 June 2009
The iTunes 8.2 update came out today with some curious details that,
when you squint hard enough, suggest that Apple is trying to lock out
the Palm Pre even before it launches.
John Gruber recently
the likely coming battle around Palm's ...
Thu 21 May 2009
One of the things Leopard changed from Tiger was who could add printers.
In Leopard only admins could manage printers - a change made apparently
because schools were complaining that non-admins were adding printers
they weren't supposed to. But then it turned out that there were just as
many cases ...
Wed 29 April 2009
This is probably only of interest to those of you that have to deploy
iPhoto over a slower (ie wireless) network.
_updated with corrections from comments_
The main application package for iPhoto 8 is over 300mb - of that 100+
is a Points of interest database, that contains information in many ...
Thu 09 April 2009
Ever since I had a Powerbook Duo back in the day - I've made a laptop my
primary machine. There has never been a sync solution that I have found
adequate - and with my current AL macbook - I'm happy with the
performance and memory. The only shortcomming is the ...
Thu 19 March 2009
Managing a large number of Macs at an institution often requires a
hodgepodge of tricks and tools. While Apple packages some useful stuff
os OS X server, many of the most useful things are hidden, created by
the community, or rely on OS X's UNIX underpinnings. One of the ...
Wed 11 March 2009
Deny hosts is a clever python script that will monitor your ssh log file
for repeated failed login attempts, and then add the offending hosts to
a system blacklist. While you can disable ssh entirely, or move it to a
different port, there are reason you may want to keep ...
Mon 09 March 2009
__9/2/2009 Updated to work with now longer Twitter ID numbers__
back when Jott was free I was one of several people who were using it to
get quick voice notes into
[OmniFocus](http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnifocus/) (OF). A
couple of limitations of the Jott solution was ...
Mon 23 February 2009
There are a has been a number of version control systems en vogue over
time, CVS, SVN, Git etc.
I try to keep up with them, use them where possible, but don't put
EVERYTHING I do in version control. Since I am on a Mac running Leopard,
I do ...
Fri 20 February 2009
After reading this [excellent tutorial on using
I've started to use it more especially when on remote ssh connections. I
wanted a way to invoke it automatically whenever I logged in, but only
for remote sessions (locally I ...
Fri 13 February 2009
While my primary Twitter usage is on my iPhone - I sometimes get behind
and would like to not have to catch up with 100 tweets at the end of the
day. I've had [Growl](http://growl.info/) installed on my machine for a
while now and figured it would ...
Tue 10 February 2009
I'm trying to squeeze the process of learning Django into my busy life,
but keep getting distracted by little projects around making the
learning easier, rather than actually messing with Django proper (That
should change soon). Anyway, while the official [Django
docs](http://docs.djangoproject.com/) are readable on ...
Tue 03 February 2009
### Background ###
As a busy father there are times during the day when I can not be glued
to the computer, but am free to listen to something on headphones (ie
doing dishes, cleaning the garage etc). Sometimes I listen to podcasts -
but sometimes I'm out of interesting ones. I ...
Tue 03 February 2009
I had recently done some work on one machine and wanted to install it on
The work relied on a number of libraries that I had downloaded and
compiled from source and at first I was thinking I would end up redoing
that on the other machine.
Sun 25 January 2009
Here are icons from three apps I use fairly regularly - seems like
purple is the cool color right now. Time for iTunes to change its color