Recommended Mac Applications and their slow death

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...
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I have been using the Mac for years now, and had a Mac Stuff page on my various blogs. Seeing that the Mac is going through so many changes, and shortly there will be a locked down Mac App store, we may be going down the path of Windows and becoming a closed platform. So, I have removed my old page and decided to simply post it as a relic of the great 3rd party development that flourished over the last 5 plus years.

Recently Gizmodo wrote an article on the big problems with locking down an operating system where all the development must be approved by Apple. That includes very popular applications like bit torrent. Steve Jobs has done a great job making sure that only Safari is approved to be used on the iPhone, no porn, strict censorship(nudity, profanity, etc…), flash gone, rejection to any competitors from making apps on the iPhone platform. The list of problems with this type of platform are endless. Apple is telling you what you get to use, and making those choices for you. Shitty. Very shitty. This may very well be the only way to run a Mac in the next couple of years. I will be slowly converting over to Linux(probably Ubuntu or Mint), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still great Mac Applications out there! This list has been reposted from a couple of years ago, but all of the ones below still stand the test of time… Continue reading “Recommended Mac Applications and their slow death”

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KeepassX with Dropbox

I have always been one to experiment with different operating systems on my various computers. For the last 5 years I have been using a Mac of various types(iMac, Powerbook, Macbook, Macbook Air). I have in the last 6 months got a new job where I have access to a laptop I can use for business use only. So, I created a bootable USB Linux Distro(Ubuntu & Linux Mint off and on), and use the laptop for personal use now! haha.

But one of the problems with running a few different OS’s, is that my password management is suffering. I have Firefox save all my online passwords and I have been managing fine with their Weave Add-on. But recently it has been acting up(it is kind of in beta, so I won’t fault them too much) and not syncing as it used to. Could be the bleeding edge Firefox I am running in Mint, or not…

So, I have been hunting for a password repository that I can store it all and sync between my various machines and USB installs. After a bunch of research, I found this fantastic solution over at Lifehacker(one swell website I might add…).

The first thing you need to do is download and install KeepassX for either your Linux box, or your Mac. Then, you head over to Dropbox (what? You don’t have Dropbox installed yet? Shame…), and get it running on both installs. Just like mentioned in the Lifehacker article, you save your KeepassX database inside your Dropbox folder where all your computers have access to it.

But I am getting ahead of myself…Where are all my passwords? Well, honestly, they are all over the place. On my Mac, OSX saves all your Safari passwords inside Keychain. It works great with most Applications, but not with Firefox. So first, I needed to get all my passwords in one place. There are a few solutions out there to get your Firefox passwords into KeepassX directly, but one of them was a Windows install and I don’t do Windows. The other involved a bunch of work that I am just too lazy to do, and honestly would probably fuck up.

I decided to tackle this problem another way. Step by step…First, there is a Firefox Add-on that integrates your Firefox passwords directly into Keychain for OSX. I installed it in Firebox on my MacBook Air. Once I had all the passwords all in there(376, holy shit…), there is an Applescript that you can run that does the conversion of the Keychain database into a KeepassX friendly format. I followed the advice to manually selected Allow one at a time and it exported the resulting XML file to my desktop.

From Lifehacker follow these instructions…

Assuming you’ve already created your KeePass database, you need to move it to the Dropbox folder so Dropbox can sync it over the internet. I just selected File -> Save As, then pointed KeePass at my Dropbox folder. (Simple enough, right?) Now on any other subsequent computer, just open KeePass (or KeePassX for OS X or Linux users—which works just as well), select File -> Open Database, and point it to the synced KeePass database file that you added to your Dropbox folder. Assuming the step above went as planned, this file should already have synced to the Dropbox folder on all of the computers you want to sync passwords to. That’s really all there is to it. Any time you edit or create a new password on one computer, it’ll automatically sync to the other; all you need to know to access any of your passwords is one master password. There’s a small catch here: KeePass doesn’t automatically update your passwords when it’s open, so if you make a change on one computer and then make a change on the other without re-opening the new database, you’ll end up with a conflict. Dropbox handles conflicts well—that is, nothing will break and it alerts you of the conflict—but you may lose changes from one of your computers.

And that is it! You now have a permanent syncable password database on all your different OSX and Linux machines!

If you have found any other good solutions(i.e.- free!) for password management, leave a comment…

Favourite Mac Apps

I just created a new page with a bunch of my favourite Mac Apps. Check it out!
http://www.larrinski.wordpress.com/mac-apps

Mac vs PC vs Linux

Here is a great spoof on the Get a Mac commercials. Enjoy…

***Unfortunately wordpress.com is blocking this embedded vid***

The Onion is one great site. I wish I had the talent to come up with some of the stories they create day in and day out. Check out this story…

You Know What’s Stupid? Everything I Don’t Understand | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source:

Kind of reminds me of another Cectic comic…

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Do you have a backup strategy?

Most people that I know don’t back up their computers. I hear stories of people losing all their family photos, all the digital music they have bought, etc…You have probably been told to do backups, but haven’t listened! I have had 2 Hard-drives fail before, but didn’t lose anything because of backups.

superduperI use a great program on the Mac, called SuperDuper. I use it to do daily updates of all my media to an external Hard-drive. You can use it for FREE, or it costs $27.95. Their customer support is excellent as well! I lost my registration key, and I had someone respond to my email in minutes, helping me out. They just updated the software to be Leopard compatible.

If you have a Mac, and have Leopard, you can use Time Machine(Apple’s free backup utility), but SuperDuper does offer more features, and their support is fantastic. Here is an article on why you may want to use both.

Your hard drive will fail. It will happen at some point. So do yourself a favour, and go buy a big external drive, plug it in to your computer, and go get SuperDuper!

Trying out MarsEdit for my Blog.

I have been using WordPress for quite some time now, and love it’s flexibility. One thingmarsediticon128 that I find hard about it, is the Admin user interface. So, today I downloaded MarsEdit, by Red Sweater. It lets you create posts offline, edit existing posts, and gives me access to all my local media on my Mac. It also lets me play with text markups with keyboard shortcuts! That is huge…Once I am happy with the post, I upload it. It is that easy! Give it a try!

Here is a very well written review of Marsedit. It is very in depth, and acts as a good tutorial on it’s features.

ecto-blogging-clientAnother entry into the blogging arena is Ecto. It seems to have good integration with OSX media, and seems very feature rich. It is about $10 cheaper.

Both MarsEdit and Ecto have a free trial period. Try them both out and see which one works best for your workflow.

I will try to keep up with posts this week, but I fucked up a key on my keyboard on my laptop. Most of my content is researched on the laptop on my lunch break. So if you notice a wee slowdown this week, don’t panic…I see you Sawby, with the same worry in your eye, when Man U play Chelsea…

The fastest Vista laptop is a Mac!

I just had to post this one!! Over at PCWorld.com they tested the best of today’s laptops running Vista, and the Top of the heap was a Macbook Pro!!!Oh, the irony…

And Microsoft presents: