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Everything posted by xKLAATUx

  1. thanks for the info. very cool.
  2. Everyone knows that$ su fubar<password>switches user over to, in this case, a user named fubar.However, this doesn't bring along with it fubar's user environment; so, for instance, if you have su'd over to fubar and an app you are using needs to write a file into /home/fubar/.kde file, then that app will not be able to do it because you are fubar but you are not in fubar's user environment.OK, so to switch over to fubar + fubar's world, you must do this:# su - fubar<password>Note the - (dash) between the su and the fubar Now you can do everything the user fubar would normally be able to do without any unexpected permission errors.(I have to thank Popey for that tip; he saved my life with it while I was flirting with postfix. I was amazed I'd never encountered that seemingly basic yet vital distinction in all the beginning UNIX books and courses I've taken........)
  3. It wasn't necessarily clear from all the blogs, but the "Chrome" EULA being criticized is indeed the same terms and conditions as the normal EULA for Google Docs, etc. If the EULA for Chrome has been changed, as of this posting the EULA for Google docs et al. remain same as always: 11. Content licence from you 11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services. 11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services. 11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and ( make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this licence shall permit Google to take these actions. 11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.
  4. hmm let's see... why do kids want to be on myspace at school. well, school is boring, school is unpleasant, teachers are stupid, other kids are mean, myspace is more interesting than school, schools censoring myspace is a form of oppression just begging to be circumvented, it's fun to hack around roadblocks stupidly constructed by a mindless system, public education is a scam, humans are social beings and the internet is creating a wider pool of social opportunities...... I could go on and on and on. If I were in school I'd try to get on myspace too. It's a no-brainer.
  5. I never liked Spotlight, the Mac search tool. I use it basically just to launch Applications when Quicksilver is not available. I always suspected it was not being accurate...or at least not relevant. And I've tweaked it and set up Do-Not-Search folders and so on and so on..but in terms of the concept of a Sematic Desktop, Spotlight just doesn't seem to be quite working for me. Today it really didn't work for me. Notice the discrepancy in the screenshots.
  6. I'm kind of weird about artistic integrity or whatever. I like it, even though I'm not necessarily convinced it exists all that much. But when someone suggested to me that If I Like Punk Music and I'm An Anarchist then I'd Love Rage Against The Machine, I figured, Ok, I'll try it.The real question is, does RATM pass the iTunes Store test?No, they fail. Rage Against the Machine.....but let your music be DRM'd and sold on the iTunes music store. No thanks.
  7. Doesn't windows come with DOS? What more from a shell would you want that DOS doesn't give you? But yeah, I've seen demos of cygwin and it seems like a lot of trouble for what ends up being a still fairly hacked-together approximation of *nix functionality. virtual box plus Linux would be so much more satisfying. I have also played around with some success with Qemu. Qemu VirtualBox For just getting a shell to play around with, try Slackware; it does not default into X so you can stay in the shell as much as you want.
  8. Not surprising; since the very beginning of the iPhone, Apple was acknowledging that their plan was basically security-by-lack-of-features. They should take back all the fancy features they've introduced since its inception and protect their customer base again. Come to think of it people can be easily give away important information via a simple phone call, so Apple may want to reconsider the iPhone's ability to make or receive phone calls.
  9. if it happens do we get to send up our own UAVs and have dogfights? we could argue that it would help keep the governments UAV in practise.
  10. that i've seen, most people's passwords are short and often only a single word; it seems the idea of a passphrase is foreign to most users. this method of taking note of the rows of the keys being hit is great and would really narrow down the possibilities. i'll have to try it for kicks sometime. then again, a lot of the users i'm talking about here are probably so unaware of security that they would probably jsut give me their password if i were to ask nicely for it.....
  11. if you can't get broadband connection to download a linux distro, either: 1. download a really small distro like slax (advanced users) or puppy (new users) or........ 2. go to a book store. a. locate either a book or a magazine on Linux that comes with a Linux disc in the back b. acquire book / magazine + disc c. install on computer or........ 3. go to an online ISO store and purchase a disc or flash drive with linux on it; they will ship it to you via postal service. hope that helps. I've done all three of those things and each one has resulted in good, clean linux fun,
  12. Are you literally asking how to recreate such a site with the same look and feel? Because if so, view the source code and see that they are using javascript along with a little inline css. If you are asking what app they used to create it, I would probably guess they hand-coded it. A really quick glance over the code doesn't give away any of the excess tags that Dreamweaver and similar apps tend to put in, there is no meta data identifying any particular app...probably someone sat down and coded it from scratch or from an inhouse template. But as someone else has said, it's not a terrible idea to simply email the webmaster or the company and ask your questions. It's not like site contains any deep dark secrets (or does it?) so they will probably answer any reasonable questions you have. Or they'll ignore you. But either way it doesn't hurt to ask. - klaatu
  13. I spent the last two days of last week trying to get a box set up as an email server. The problem with this server (non-Linux OS) was that apparently the GUI tools provided aren't really designed to...well, work. While you can set up Users and Groups through the GUI tools, apparently important functions, like creating a home directory for a user, is broken. Not that this is documented any where; in fact, evidence points strongly that the GUI tool WILL create a home directory. There's a button marked "Create Home Now" which, when pressed, says that "Home directory creation will be attempted on save", but when you click Save (by the way, that's a lot of clicking I've done for a very very common server task), no home directory is created. No sign of error, no warning...it just doesn't exist. You can reboot, you can log in as root, you can do whatever you can think of ... but the GUI Says No.The GUI's email server setup also seems to be broken. You can put check marks in as many boxes as you want, but it's not going to set up your server for email no matter what.Also, none of these GUI tools can be accessed via SSH as they are not written for X but for a proprietary GUI interface. Since I don't have physical access to the box, in order to attempt do this configuration, I had to VNC to the server and have a monstrous screenshare session to use the GUI tools.Long story short? Monday I came in with renewed vigour, sat down, and broke out some whtie papers on postfix. A simple SSH session, and I'm on the server. The postfix configuration was pretty easy, especially considering I'd never done it before. I don't pretend to know WHAT I did, but I read the how-to's and sort of get a feeling for what all the config lines were referring to. I plugged in the right information, and then issued the final sudo postfix start command and without much fanfare or eye candy postfix is up and running. I grab a port of one of my favorite email apps, pine, install it, start it up, and in no time I am sending and receiving email. All told, this only took a few hours, compared to the two days of trying to navigate through the GUI tools which, in the end, didn't even do the job they were expected to do.I'm no expert on setting up email servers or servers in general; I'm still very much a noob at it and I have a lot to learn. But let's face it, a server shoud be simple, sleek, and well-tuned. It shouldn't require a display to operate. It doesn't need eye candy. It just needs tools that work. It just so happens, I am finding, that the tools that are working best start with a GNU or end with a *nix (or *nux).
  14. I'm in charge of a server sitting off in some building somewhere, and one of the primary means of accessing it for me, unlike most people administering a server, is NOT an ssh session but a VNC screenshare session. Why? Because all the tools built in to the server require proprietary GUI tools. The good news is that the GUI tools are pretty and make you want to lick the screen (or so the marketing tells me), the bad news is that they don't actually work. (No, I mean, they really don't work; they don't do what they appear to be created to do...they just shipped incomplete apps.)Figure 1 are my GUI apps. Server Admin is like iTunes for your Server Rack; it aggregates all your servers into one big window with lots of buttons and tabbed menus and pretty sparkly gelatinesque LED lights. You can start and stop services here, but don't try to use some of these services, because it turns out that they can't actually be configured through this app (in spite of having configuration options available).The Workgroup Manager is designed to organize the Users and Groups, but the "Create Home Button" doesn't work and you have to come up with a creative way around its state of brokenness. Different admins have different ways of solving the problem, so just ask around.Server Preferences is sort of a bastard child app that sometimes overrides other apps' settings, some times will not...there doesn't seem to be a definitive logic to when you must use Server Prefs vs. Server Admin; you just wait for the warning dialogue box and do what it tells you.And then there's the /Applications folder, which will almost certainly provide me with endless amounts of important apps for administering my server. See Figure 2 for all the powerful tools made available to me. My favourite so far:Front Row - the AppleTV-like front end allowing me to access all the media on my server. No, not over a network -- while I'm logged in over VNC. If I get too frustrated with the broken GUI configuration apps, I can just switch over to Front Row and enjoy watching a movie over VNC. Brilliant!DVD Player - although I don't have physical access to the server and can't put a DVD into it, I could, I guess, in theory, somehow watch a DVD, again, over VNC. Again, a solid addition to an already rock solid server OS.iTunes - in case I need to put mp3s on my iPod, via VNC.....without physical access to the box..... um, I don't know how that would work. i guess if I had a really really long cable. But also, I can listen to mp3s or internet radio...no, not streaming over my network as if this was a media server, because iTunes can't do that, but via VNC because the full-screen screensharing session just doesn't take enough bandwidth as it is.iSync - an all important app that no one knows how to use on the consumer version OS makes a much needed appearance on the Server OS as well. There's no bluetooth on this company's server models, so iSync won't do much for that, and again with no physical access I won't be using it over a cable either...but nevertheless, it's a good app to have installed by default.And who could ever live with the already annoying and pointless Dashboard app (the widget viewer that takes over your entire screen)? When I'm administering the server, I frequently want to trigger Dashboard to check the weather. Unfortunately the key binding for Dashboard doesn't work over the VNC session, but I can always just access it graphically. Well worth having on a server OS. Debian and Redhat, take notes!Yes, this is a good server setup I have here. I don't think I'll ever just open up a terminal and ssh into a server again. If I can't VNC with a full screenshare, I want nothing to do with it.
  15. Lots of variables affect a man page; how is the program structured? how will the man page be structured? how detailed will the man page be? Not always easy to read, and not always terribly helpful, a man page is nevertheless your first stop when you're trying to figure out an app.So, let's examine the typical structural elements of a man page so that we might be able to read them a little bit easier.section: NAMEThe first portion is the NAME of the program, which you will already know, having typed in man <name>...but what you may not know is the exact function of the program. Ideally, the NAME field will provide a helpful description of what the command does. Examples: NAME strings - find the printable strings in a object, or other binary, fileNAME netstat -- show network statusNAME SSL - OpenSSL SSL/TLS libraryThose all seem pretty clear, right? Look again! The last one, for SSL, is one idiosyncrasy of man pages: some man pages are not about applications. Some man pages are for libraries, which are important for some people to know, but it may not be what you are looking for. For instance, if you'd been told by your boss to set up an SSL key and request for a server, you might sit down and logically type man SSL just to see where to begin. Trouble is, this is a library that helps the SSL process work -- not the program you need to use to generate the key. The program you are really looking for is openSSL but to the untrained eye, this man page would be as good as any for information about SSL, and you'd end up being quite consfused.So how would you know this was not the right man page? Well, the word "library" from now on will tip you off, right? But also notice that at the very top of the man page, the ssl has a (3) after it. This indicates that it's from section 3 of man pages, and section 3 happens to be reserved for Subroutines.... so you'd know that SSL was not the primary command you're looking for.What you would then do is scroll all the way down the man page (if your terminal recognizes vim commands, use control-F, or simply type a capital-G) and you'll see a SEE ALSO section. This lists a man page you should read called openSSL(1).....and, you guessed it, the (1) denotes a General Command.... So you'd hit Q to quit the man page, and type in man openssl to read all about openssl....for all the good it will do you.section: SYNOPSISLet's continue with the openSSL example, because it's a fine example of a very complex program with good documentation that is nevertheless practically useless to someone who doesn't know what SSL is or how to use it...The SYNOPSIS section is where the man page tells you the order in which you are supposed to string together various commands and options. openSSL, for instance, is the big umbrella command under which a number of different and significant other commands reside. This is why in its synopsis it shows this: SYNOPSIS openssl command [ command_opts ] [ command_args ] openssl [ list-standard-commands | list-message-digest-commands | list-cipher- commands ] openssl no-XXX [ arbitrary options ]To which I say.....WTF????OK, so what it's telling us here is that to use this application, you first enter the name of the program -- simple: opensslthen you enter the "command" which can be found lower in the man page listed under the "command" heading: STANDARD COMMANDS asn1parse Parse an ASN.1 sequence. ca Certificate Authority (CA) Management. ciphers Cipher Suite Description Determination. dsa DSA Data Management. gendsa Generation of DSA Parameters. genrsa Generation of RSA Parameters.I abbreviated that for sake of space; there are a lot of commands available under the openSSL application. Which one do you use for what you think you are trying to do? This is where many man pages fail; they are not always (or often?) written for someone completely new to the command. In many ways, you must know what you need to have happen and even know how to do it, you just need some clarification on the exact sytax or spelling of the command. This means that when someone says "RTFM" what they really mean is "Read a Few Books on the Subject and Then Google for It and Post in Some Forums and then Give Up and take a College Level Course".But let's assume you're familiar enough with, say, the theory of SSL and maybe you've listened to my openGPG tutorial and are therefore familiar with the idea of keys and things like that. So we'll wade through this openSSL stuff.So, the way I like to think of most commands is kind of in a DOM tree format, or if you were an English major like myself, in a traditional Outline format. A little something like this: CLI Program Name Command 1 Option 1_1 Arguments Options 2_1 Arguments Command 2 Option 2_1 Argumentsso in the openSSL example: openssl # =CLI program genrsa # =command 1 -rand # =command 2 ../fu.pdf # =option 2_1 :.../bar.txt # =option 2_2How do you know what commands to string together and how they want their options to be given? Well that's the RTFM part of the equation, and this man page isn't going to let you in on that secret. Some do. Let's look at the tar man page, which I think is a really well written man page (thank you, FSF): EXAMPLES tar -cf archive.tar foo bar # Create archive.tar from files foo and bar. tar -tvf archive.tar # List all files in archive.tar verbosely. tar -xf archive.tar # Extract all files from archive.tar.Wow, examples!? What a concept. How much clearer could a man page be? Another cool thing about many FSF man pages are that they offer additional manual information as a textinfo file: SEE ALSO The full documentation for tar is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and tar programs are properly installed at your site, the com‐ mand info tar should give you access to the complete manual.Suddenly the term "RTFM" is starting to mean something.But some man pages aren't as pleasantly assembled, and such is the case of openSSL. Fortunately, there is a trick to issuing CLI programs a little bit at a time, which will render feedback from the program, giving you hints toward what it needs next.For instance if we enter: openssl genrsa -randthen we get this response: usage: genrsa [args] [numbits] -des encrypt the generated key with DES in cbc mode -des3 encrypt the generated key with DES in ede cbc mode (168 bit key) -aes128, -aes192, -aes256 encrypt PEM output with cbc aes -camellia128, -camellia192, -camellia256 encrypt PEM output with cbc camellia -out file output the key to 'file -passout arg output file pass phrase source -f4 use F4 (0x10001) for the E value -3 use 3 for the E value -engine e use engine e, possibly a hardware device. -rand file:file:... load the file (or the files in the directory) into the random number generatorthis is a lot of information, some of it is important, some of it isn't. It does tell us, if we're familiar enough with encryption, that we have the option to encrypt the key with -des3 (168 bit key). Well, more bits are better than fewer bits, right? so we'll throw that in the mix.Also, it tells us HOW the -rand switch wants to be formatted as well as what it does. It says right at the end of the above code block that -rand wants the filenames separated by colons; and that the purpose of this switch is to load files into the random number generator. Again, if we're familiar enough with encryption to understand that computer can't really be Random, we can see that openSSL attempts to use unexpected files from you, an irrational and spontaneous human, as the basis for generating a number. So we can throw that into the mix too: openssl genrsa -des3 -rand fu.txt:bar.pdf:fubar.txtAnd this would generate a key, ask for you to enter a passphrase, and deliver the key to standard output; ie, it would dump the key out onto your screen.Again, if you know about openSSL or just the whole key thing in general -- enough to know that you need to preserve thsi key, you might copy and paste this key into a text file and dump it somewhere useful. But if you to do that, you'd probably surmise that this is more efficient: openssl genrsa -des3 -rand fu.txt:bar.pdf:fubar.txt > /usr/local/apache/conf/ssl.key/klaatuwebserver.keyAnd you'd be done, in theory! You've successfully decrypted a man page.Well, almost.I can't find anywhere in the openSSL man page how to set the key to be 1024 rather than the default 512 bits long. This is, for me, where Google and Research come into play. If you read up enough on openSSL -- especially if you're purchasing a certificate from Verisign or Entrust or NigerianCertsIncorporated or some trustworthy place like that, you'll probably come across helpful information on their site, and you'd eventually learn that you can add a bit length switch in the command like so (note the addition of 1024 just before the redirection): openssl genrsa -des3 -rand fu.txt:bar.pdf:fubar.txt 1024 > /usr/local/apache/conf/ssl.key/klaatuwebserver.keyAnd THAT would be a pretty well constructed, complete openSSL command. Took us long enough to get there, I know. I think a few examples would be a great addition to the openSSL man page, an many man pages but maybe its just me.section: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED??So, we've learned a few important things:1. some man pages are just inadequate, sometime because you don't know enough to be trying to do something as advanced as you are trying and need to study some more, and other times because its badly writtena. you can email the author of the man page a revision of the man page if it is really bad and you can do better; s/he might not take you up on the offer, but then again, s/he might!2. man pages do tell you the structure of a command. you may not know what you need to put in, but once you do know, you will know in what order the CLI program wants it all in.3. man pages tell you what options are available for a CLI program4. sometimes it's easier to read a man page as a normal text document in a traditional word processing app. To get a man page into .txt form, just do this: man mplayer > mplayerManPages.txt5. Taking a command a little bit at a time will hint you along to completion.6. research and studying are your friends.section: CONCLUSIONThis stuff can get complex. Better stay on Windoze or Mac. Avoid this Linux and Unix and BDS stuff at all costs. But if you must do *nix, enjoy the addiction!
  16. Documentation, for me, is a really important issue. You can see how as computer programmes become more complex and specialized to certain markets, how vendors are intentionally not documenting the application, so that third party vendors are then able to sell the "missing manuals" for an additional fee.There's an argument that could be made that technically the software company does not have an obligation to teach people how to use the program; instead theirs is to document what exactly it does, rather than how it is done. I do not agree with this for two reasons; firstly, because often people have paid too much for the software in the first place and deserve to learn how to use it for that price, and secondly because documenting how to use the application really is part of documenting what the application does, since the Results is the reason for the software's existence (that is to say, no one buys a software because it is ABLE to do something but in order to get something done BY it -- it's why we have Save, Print, and Export buttons).Many forms of documentation are guilty of this kind of thing, not just the manuals of proprietary software applications. Some *nix man pages are horribly written, without any clear indication of what the program actually does, giving instead a list of all the obscure options people can use on an application they know nothing about. Online tutorials sometimes do the same thing, assuming that the reader is pretty much exactly where the writer is, using jargon and shortcuts that would bring a noob following along to a grinding halt.I do the same thing in some of my tutorials sometimes. I try not to, but it's an easy trap to fall into.And there's the question of how far back must the author of a manual or tutorial regress to ensure that the reader is with them. Do I have to start simply how to launch the application? or must I tell the person how to turn their computer on, or maybe give them buying advice first, and so on and so on to further levels of absurdity.Realistically, a few steps of regression is all it takes, depending on what kind of tutorial is being written. If it's a tutorial on advanced color correction in Blender, then I must assume that the user has progressed in Blender enough to have edited some images together. I should NOT assume that they have ever used Blender plugins or the node compositing window.Just imagine opening a man page that read a little bit something like this.......(this is not a real man page but an example I made up, inspired by many real ones I have been subjecteded to) Gamma and Luma Curve ToolAdjusts the gamma and luma of an imagecurve [in file] ... [options] ... [out file]-k adjusts the knee-s adjusts the shoulder-i use IRE values only--cont (contrast) is the multiplier for the value and expands the signal the center. If contrast is set to 0, there is no effect. When contrast is 256 all values are multiplied by 2 (twice as bright). If the contrast is 512 all values are multiplied by 3. If cont = k*256 for some integer k (and zero gain) then Y becomes Y + k*(Y-128) (idem for the chroma). Although it is possible, it doesn't make sense to apply this setting to the luma of the signal.OK while I'll admit that that makes a fair mount of sense to me, i personally doubt someone new to the process will get much information from that. What most users who really want to use it would hae to do is to map out a study plan for themselves with notes "find out what gamma is, find out what luma is, what's a knee and shoulder, what is IRE and how do I use it" - to say nothing of the question of what kind of values are we looking for here? percentages of IRE? the exact IRE you are aiming for? and wtf is all that stuff about contrast??Yes, the above man page documents accurately what the tool does and i can absolutely see it being a good rereference page (maybe man pages should be renamed "ref pages"?) for people who already know how to use the tool, but as far as proper documentation goes, it's not helpful at all.Good documentation -- for a good example, see the Image Magick software package. It's a CLI tool for image adjustment an even generation. That in itself is bizarre enough but to make matters worse there are 5 or 6 little apps within the Image Magick umbrella. Yet the man pages are informative and clear, and EXTRA documentation for people very unfamiliar with the program, is available as local .html files that can be easily viewed in any browser. It's the kind of documentation that you would, these days, usually have to pay $30 dollars for, or if you were crazy and bought the version of the book with the "Free Software Inside!!!!!" cd tucked in the back, you'd pay $50.Someone is obviously using these tools. So someone knows how to use them. And one of those people, who uses the software and knows it, is able to write proper documentation -- even a poorly written, grammatially incorrect document is a good start! To use the software we are working so hard to create, to say nothing of promoting its prolifieration, we MUST document and we must document WELL.Think of this -- given the choice between a well-documented proprietary software and a poorly documented free software, people will choose the proprietary. They may have to steal the proprietary software via a warez site, and they may have to pay $30 for the manual at their local book store, but at least they can learn it. If there is no such recourse for free software, then you can't possibly expect people to invest their time in trying to figure it out.Super Positive Winning Examples from our Free Software effort:Inkscape - between its own documentation and the absurdly prolific http://screencasters.heathenx.org tutorial site, inkscape has a lock down on howtos. Besides that, its a rocking app. Eat your heart out, Adobe.Blender - most of this is quite well documented and many tutorials are available on it. It is a very pro-level app, but I dont see how there is any more documentation on it than, say, Shake or Motion. There is a bit more on Final Cut by comparison, but Blender is still emerging as a video editing solution.GIMP - lots of tutorials, well documented app...but you know that when you are in the bookstore and you see a GIMP instructional book on teh same shelf as the Photoshop Classroom-in-a-Book series, that the GIMP has definitely arrived.Image Magick - very good, and logically laid out, documentation for new and experienced users alike.and so on and so on. I'm sure there area others but these are the ones I have most experience with.The point is, long live proper documentation! Read it, write it, correct it, contribute to it, make it easily accessible and tailor it to different user level needs. It's important!
  17. to change PATH in OS X: $ cd ~ && vim .profileIn vim (or you can use nano if you want), add to the .profile document: export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH...or whatever directories you are trying to add to your path. (the /opt/local/bin stuff is helpful becuase if you're running MacPorts like I am, you can just type in the name of the ported app you are trying to launch and it knows where to look.)That's it. You'll have to close your current terminal window in order for this to kick in.
  18. Spewing forth more grumpiness about all things Apple... For a job I have a .mac account. No really, I do! I'm not paying for it but am advised to use it to transfer files to other people on the production crew (why we can't just use normal ftp is beyond me). So anyway, I use that email account to keep in touch with the people on the production (or post production, as the case may be) -- until the dark day that Apple decided to switc their service from ".mac" to "mobileMe".MobileMe is some kind of more-web-2.0-than-web-2.0 interface and was not in any way finished before it was released. The site is practically unusable on a Mac, and it's completely useless on Linux. Why? Because mobileMe checks what you're running, and so unless you disguise yourself with User Agent misinformation, you're not getting into your account from your Linux box.So when I first discovered this, I decided to go ahead and identify myself as another OS, and I chose Vista; logically that would be the one OS that Apple would discriminate against the most, right? They're classic arch enemies, everyone knows that. PC vs Mac and all that.Um, no, actually, Vista + IE 7 is fine. MobileMe licks that. Lets you right in. Linux OS with the kHTML based Konqueror? doesn't like that. Linux OS with Firefox? doesn't like that either.Bad decisions, Apple.In case you think I'm just ranting uselessly because I have betrayal issues with Apple, please don't just take my word for it. Refer to Apple themselves, who in an unprecedented move, is now blogging about the status of MobileMe, conceding that in fact, it's not ready for publc use yet:http://www.apple.com/mobileme/status/What's the worst part about this? Is it that they are discriminating against Linux? No. Big deal, what Linux user aside from me will ever go to mobileMe with the intention of signing in to use its services? (and no, even I won't be doing that any more in spite of what my fellow workers are saying; I'll just have all the mail forwarded to another address and use an ftp server and everyone else on the team will just have to learn how to get their Mac to talk FTP)Is it that Apple seems fine with Vista users over Linux users? Nah, who cares? Let the Vista users sign in freely; what's the difference between one Proprietary OS and another, really?The worst thing is that this shows a little about how Apple regards its customers. The .mac online service is sold as something that someone can use as their all-in-one online solution; email, webspace, and various media services. It costs money. The post production team I'm working with was relying on those services for a smooth workflow. It kind of hurt a little when all their email aliases disappeared on them. It also hurt when their email just went down at critical moments. It really hurt one guy when he had to re-install his entire OS because his OS refused to believe that the webDAV "iDisk" that he was paying for was actually his (he had to keep signing in as a guest, but then could only access the folder with guest access). But what hurts most of all, I think, is the realization that the data they are working really hard to produce, is in the hands of, and at the mercy of, this service. Something tells me we'll be migrating from that particular solution...
  19. I've submitted this to Apple through their "feedback" webpage, although I couldn't quite find a completely accurate category for it, and I certainly won't be hearing back from them about it, so I'm posting it here as well because it annoys me, and I'm tired of people telling me OS X is perfect.Bug: When an application is installed as Admin User, and launched for the first time as Normal User, the application continues to ask whether User is aware that it was downloaded from the Internet every time the User opens the app.To Replicate:1. Log in as Admin User (the true Admin; the first user you created when you opened the computer)2. Install an application; Firefox, Adium, Cyberduck, Inkscape, Gimp...whatever.3. Do not launch those apps.4. Log out Admin User, Log in as a normal Non-Admin user5. Launch one of the apps you've downloaded. It will warn you that it was downloaded from the Internet.6. Close application. Re-launch. Same warning dialogue box.7. You can repeat this for weeks on end; the dialog box will never remember that you are fine with the origin of the application.8. Log out Normal User, Log in Admin User.9. Launch an app, OK the warning dialog.10. Log out Admin, Log in Normal. Launch app. No more warning dialog.This is not a security "feature" but a bug. A feature would be to present the User with the warning, and then the opportunity to Authenticate as someone with Administrative Privileges and make the dialog box go away for ever. No, this is a problem with where the system is trying to save the preference file dictating whether or not that application has been launched before. They need to adjust that, or else provide a secure way for the User to OK the app. Remember the old Apple ad in which Apple makes fun of Windows for having constant warnings -- "Accept or Deny" -- all the time? Well, this feels a lot like that.I tried taking informative screenshots but only just now realised that there is no date in the Mac OS X time/date display. (OS X's only been out for five or eight years or whatever...and I still can't get used to the fact that they don't give you an option to put the date in the time/date bar.....!)Three weeks agoTwo weeks agoand it's still there this week...
  20. cool tip with http://maketecheasier.com/ubuntu-how-to-ex.../06/30#more-508glad you're finding Linux easy! That ought to put an end to a few myths. I guess if one is a techy person, then it doesn't matter whether they're running Mac, Windows, or Linux; could it be that being a hacker transcends the OS? Well I draw the line at introspection and philosophy, so I'll stop while I'm ahead.
  21. HOWTO set up Dynamic DNS to your Linux BoxHOWTO Make Your Mac a Web ServerI've posted two Dynamic DNS howto's on a site, with lots of screenshots so it's pretty easy to follow. Neither are completely perfect but together they give a pretty good overview of how to do the whole dynamic dns thing. An HPR episode covering the Linux tutorial is forthcoming, as well.They're really basic, too; it's just that I know nothing of networking and just figured this stuff out. I'm sure someone out there will find this useful (unless I really am the only person who didn't know how to do this already).One was done on my Linux box, on how to set up Dynamic DNS so you can SSH to your home computer from where ever you are. This tutorial resulted in my desire to...SSH to my home computer from where ever I happened to be.The other is how to put your computer on the world wide web...which I didn't want to do with my own computer because I don't know enough about security yet to subject my own data to the internet. The answer? subject a computer at work to the internet! So all the screenshots on the Howto Make Your Computer a Web Server were taken on a Mac at work, and in fact relies heavily on the fact that in OS X Apache is already installed. On a Linux box, were I to ever try this, I'd isntall Apache with the Linux Reality Home Server mini-series close at hand.Enjoy. Hope it helps some noob out there.
  22. Thanks for the comment.No problem. Linux is, as I'm sure you know, ridiculously powerful...it just sometimes takes either learning a new application or set of applications to get the job done, a shift in how you're looking at how to accomplish something, or just knowing what and who to ask about something.Being on day 12 of using Linux is kind of a wonderful and horrible place to be but we were all there once (or twice). Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions if you need help. I think one thing to do, and probably this has been said before about Linux and other things, is to forget what you know about computing already. I find still that the more I do that, the quicker I pick up new tricks in Linux.And good choice to listen to "Going Linux". That show is essentially the new "Linux Reality"; a great show about really practical things. It's really a helpful show and I highly recommend it to anyone learning or using Linux.
  23. some day, i know this is going to be really really useful. and on that day, i will forget completely where I saw this post. : / good job, nevertheless.
  24. ChrisInDallas in IRC asked me in what way Leopard was broken. I told him I'd have to write a blog about it because the answer would be too long. This is the beginning of that blog post; although I know it will be something that will grow over the course of a few days, as I see past all the hacks I or other people have had to do in order to unbreak it.Where applicable, I note whether I have filed bugs on the complaint.How broken is Leopard? Well, people use it everyday and are happy with it, so I guess not really that badly. On the other hand, the next OS X release is called Snow Leopard and is by Apple's own admission at WWDC basically one big bug fix. In other words, this is the "real" Leopard. I gather that the current one was just an anti-Vista thing. Snow Leopard will feature bug fixes PLUS it will be 64-bit. Oh wait, I thought the current one was advertised as 64-bit? Well, it was...but this time it's actually going to be 64-bit.Virtual Desktops At first, using this is pretty nice, because you think - finally, even though I have to use a Mac for this job, I can at least have Virtual Desktops! But after a few days, you start getting the feeling that Apple just basically saw the Virtual Desktop thing on someone's Linux box, didn't really try it out themselves before borrowing the idea, and shipped it. Forget about X11 non-integration, their Virtual Desktops can't even handle its own native Cocoa space. Clicking on an icon in the dock will zip you away to another desktop whether you like it or not...seemingly at random, too. Actually it apparently bases the location of the app on where your last click was in that app. So if I have a file manager window ("Finder") open on Desktops 1 and 3, if I was last in desktop 3 but now am in Desktop 1, and I click on the Finder thinking it will reveal the Finder window there on Desktop 1....no, it will throw me over to Desktop 3 because that's the instance of the Finder that received the most recent click.Other problems include not being able to prevent applications from whisking you away to another desktop; if you're typing in one application and, say, Safari completes a download and wants to tell you about that, you will simply be interrupted, taken over to the Space that Safari is notifying you in, and you have no way of preventing that.Et cetera.Your Vista Flavoured Warnings Have ArrivedPop up dialogue boxes (that steal your window focus, naturally) notifying you that an application was downloaded from the internet - are you sure you want to run it? Well...yes, I want to run it, just like I wanted to run it yesterday and the day before and the day before that. When will it stop notifying me that I downloaded Firefox and Adium and Gimp and CyberDuck and Audacity and all the Free Software I use at work - from the internet? Where is the little preference box that makes this nonsense stop? And why isn't my FIRST acceptance of this notification being logged in a .plist somewhere?ACLThis is not well documented yet, but Apple is using an ACL structure for its files now - akin to SE Linux. It's very low-level code controlling access to files, superceding (or preceding) regular Unix File Permissions. This doesn't seem like a problem until an innocent user backs up their system with the much touted TIME MACHINE and then attempts to restore. Quite often all will go as expected, no problems. But for some people (myself included, but also a friend of mine, and a few other cases online that I've seen) the attributes of the ACLs will insist that the new computer setup just does not have permission to do anything with those files. The solution seems to be to enable root, log in, move the files around, get the attributes re-assigned, and then you're good to go...but doing this recursively through your entire backed up system is no small task. Hopefully this won't ever happen to most Leopard users because it's a real pain. No bugs filed yet, as I feel more regression and research is required.FinderAs a File Manager, Finder is a no better than, say, Nautilus (just kidding, Gnome fans). Seriously, it does not compare to Konqueror. To be fair, little does - that's why Konqueror is Konqueror...but this Finder thing has been around for a LONG time and even the Mac community has banded together to insist that it improves. Don't believe me? Google "fix the finder" or "fix the fucking finder" and see how many hits you get. Some examples, some old some new to show just how long this has been going on:http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/FB94...6D7C658A01.htmlhttp://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=215412http://alek.xspaces.org/2005/05/04/FTFFhttp://www.macnightowl.com/2006/06/the-leo...rface-for-real/http://www.shoulddothis.com/suggestion_details/1051http://joechip.net/brian/2006/11/27/ftff-m...fucking-finder/http://theappleblog.com/2007/04/09/hey-app...button-already/Some of the better points:The GREEN button...what is it supposed to do? because it doesn't seem to do anything consistently. It seems like a "re-size my window to any random dimension" button.FTP support. I can browse my webDAV volume with one click (the $100 iDisk) but not an FTP server? Um, stupid. Solution here.Stop making invisible files! Having been through teh moving-away-from-Mac-to-Linux thing, I know first hand now just how much meta data OS X litters your stuff with. And you know what? I'm not talking about just a little here and there, I'm talking about A LOT of extra data. Going through my data now on an XFS volume, I have freed up almost a quarter of the drive just by doing an rm -rf ._*And so on...X11 This is a well-known and now mostly solved problem, but OOB Leopoard featured a very broken (as in, would not launch, would not do what it is supposeed to do) X11. My take on the situation was always that Apple seems to think it's fine to take credit for Free Software in their system, because they advertise it like it's features that they may as well have invented, but when they break a Free Software element, they are quick (and they were, read the X11.apple mailing list) to disavow themselves of any responsibility. Nice position to be in; you take credit for the stuff that works and blame upstream for the stuff that doesn't.QuartzWMThis is that resource-hungry but ever-so-marketable graphic layer that's flopped on top of all that pure, beautiful Unix code. It's the public face of the Mac. It is the QuartzWM (window manager, plus Dock and Dashboard). The Finder is, strictly speaking, the File Manager, even though most Mac users kind of interpret it all as the same thing, which makes sense because it all feels like the same thing...but I digress. QuartzWM cannot be turned off. You can move components of it from the /System/Library and it will prevent the Dock and Dashboard and Desktop from functioning, but you still can't get away from that Cocoa layer. (Yes, super-geek, you can boot into Single User mode but everything's turned off so you won't be networked any more so have fun reconstructing your system with GNU tools and fw-cutter drivers and so on).X11Did I say this issue was fixed? Well, it is, but X11 has always been very tenuously integrated. To this day, running an application within the pure Unix environment that is X11 on a Mac requires fancy Cocoa (obj-C) and QuartzWM wrapping. And it doesn't always work very well. Focus-stealing problems abound. Apple's Virtual Desktops still don't understand X11 and will just change desktops randomly while you're working in GIMP or Inkscape or whatever X11 app you're sporting. The xterm, which I frequently use instead of the Cocoa Terminal.app (simply because I always have X11 open anyway) does not share a clipboard with the rest of the system, so copying and pasting into it is basically not possible. Dragging and Dropping is of course out of the question. Quitting an X application from the QuartzWM often causes minor crashes. Honestly, it's almost easier to just install VMware or Parallels and run your Unix(-like) OS in a VM instead of dealing with the way Leopard does(n't) deal with X11.LibrariesThis is one of those things that you don't hear complaints about from your average Mac user, and admittedly this is a pretty specialized problem...but it's indicative of deeper problems, I think. Here's a quote from codeSpeak.net:Apple regularly ships new system releases with horribly outdated system libraries. This is specifically the case for libxml2 and libxslt, where the system provided versions are too old to build lxml.While the Unix environment in Mac-OS X makes it relatively easy to install Unix/Linux style package management tools and new software, it actually seems to be hard to get libraries set up for exclusive usage that Mac-OS X ships in an older version. Alternative distributions (like macports) install their libraries in addition to the system libraries, but the compiler and the runtime loader on Mac-OS still sees the system libraries before the new libraries. This can lead to undebuggable crashes where the newer library seems to be loaded but the older system library is used.OK, so my dad doesn't care about this. It's probably not gonna effect his iPhoto or iTunes (well unless he tries to download a fancy Python-based plugin, I guess). But for some of us (myself included) this is actually a problem that appears regularly enough to require interesting workarounds.XcodeOK this isn't broken, but I wanted to mention it because I saw a surprised blog post from a developer about this and it made me chuckle a little. Apparently not everyone realizes that Xcode, the Apple developing platform, is an IDE for ONLY Cocoa programs. (Well, there are some exceptions; you can write the code in Xcode but your GUI set is limited to the Cocoa Interface Builder.) So don't open up the Dev Tools on your new OS X machine and expect a full-featured, flexible IDE like Eclipse...heck, or even like emacs. No bugs filed.CompilingIt's hard to compile stuff written for other *nix systems on a Mac, just warning you. Again, not broken...but Darwin is not the BSD kernel. It is not the Solaris kernel. And it certainly isn't the Linux kernel. No bugs filed, because it's not a bug. I guess I could enter it in as a Feature Request to change what kernel they use...File SystemsApple will be supporting ZFS soon (that's one of the new features of Snow Leopard), but until then the File System support is a joke. Microsoft and Apple are OK to use, but both their File Systems are arguably really bad! I hate the vfat format..seems like a bad joke...and HFS+ has broken down (lost contact with its journaling components, or just ditched it header files for no reason) too often for me to trust it. This is why you don't see REAL mass storage using these formats! So why shouldn't I be able to just pop in a drive formatted as XFS or ext4 or whatever, and have the Mac read it? No good reason, and the fact that I can't weakens the platform. For a while Mac seemed to have some support for UFS, although I could never get that to work...and then they had read support for ZFS...apparently in Snow they'll have it all...but only for ZFS. That's one file system out of quite a few good ones out there. That's a bug, in my mind, not just a feature request. No bugs against this from me, yet...SpacesWhy isn't Spaces -- their virtual implementation of virtual desktops -- turned on by default? EVery time i install OS X I have to go and set up Spaces?? It was a hugely advertised feature of the release, but it's not actually on OOB. Bugs have been filed.Remote Set UpI pity the sys admin (great or small) who has to install Leopard onto multiple machines. Managing this OS remotely was just NOT in the design. Sure they have Apple Remote Desktop, and sure that does some things remotely. But not that much, and to this day even Mac supporters who have to administrate OS X networks - for real - have issues with the lack of remote administration. And no, OS X server release does not fix most of these issues. Remote management of the server is also fairly well broken, to the point that physical presence is necessary for a lot of important administrative tasks. Many bugs against this have been filed, not by me but by others.Remote Set UpThis has been fixed but there are discs out there that were packaged before the fix, so it's worth noting. The initial run of Leopard featured a bug that would in some cases reset the administrator's password to an unknown value when upgrading to Leopard. The only fix to this, once it has occured, is to boot from the installer DVD, enable root, log in as root, and change the administrator's password.Compression ToolControl-Click on a file in the Finder and a contextual menu offers to compress it into a zip file for you. The problem? it generates an invisible file called ._MAC OS X or something like that in the archive along with your files. Not a big deal, right? Well, not until it crashes someone's Windows or Linux box. Not that it does crash other systems reliably, but it has happened enough times to me that just .tar.gz from an xterm when possible. (It's not always feasible, depending on where the files are being posted, though; some servers I deal with at work won't allow .gz or .bz2 files so I have to .zip). Bugs have been filed.Insert New Drive == You Must Mean Use This Drive as Aa Backup DriveHelpful prompts are great. I think they're really user-friendly and actually make an OS feel polished, like the programmers were really thinking of the User when they implemented something. But this is ridiculous; I plug in a drive that OS X doesn't remember, so it wants to either Initialize it (ie, erase) or it wants to use it as a Backup Drive for Time Machine. Can't you imagine a number of times that you might want to insert a drive NOT for the purpose of using it as a dedicated backup drive? But with just one click you can turn an empty drive into a Time Machine drive -- it won't kick in right away and you can deactivate time machine, but the computer still sees that volume as a time machine volume, whether you like it or not. Yes, you can reset everything and undo stuff with a bit of effort, but it's a pretty nice annoyance. (See the Vista-Like Dialog Boxes complaint above.)The good news:Really solid solutions for ALL of this can be found here or here or here.
  25. I have to say that running Linux on a Mac laptop isn't necessarily the greatest way to run Linux. It's the best thing to happen to the Mac in its lifetime, I'm sure, but it's just not terribly pleasant for a few really minor reasons.There's no physical right-click. This is kind of Linux's fault for implementing the whole Right-Click thing, but it's also the Mac's fault for not just slitting the stupid trackpad button into two-halves already and providing for a right-click.Broadcom. These are the wireless cards Satan sent ot Earth to curse mankind, and for whatever reason, Apple uses them in their Airport-branded cards. Not only are they not versatile cards but they also don't have open drivers. Depending on how new or old the Broadcom chip is, it may be really hard or fairly easy to get it working.Keyboard. This might be a PC vs Mac thing that carries over into Linux vs * but after you get used to having thngs like "Insert" and "Print Screen" and useful keys like that on Linux, you start to miss them on a Mac running Linux. The Insert key especially makes it really easy to paste things into your terminal, so I miss that when I'm on a Mac using Linux.I think that's it. Otherwise they're great machines. I need to test drive A LOT more laptops with Linux before I start championing any platform for the job....although I will say my eeePC is pretty nice.