Archive for 'apple' Category


Munki Client Bootstrap

At work I’ve been automating my work as much as possible. One challenge I had was getting new and existing Apple computers configured. As most of the infrastructure is in the cloud I couldn’t use a Netboot server, and I didn’t want to deal with a DeployStudio workflow on a hard drive and maintain various images for different hardware. I’m using Munki and know bash scripting, so after a lot of testing and banging my head, I present this script.

Munki Client Bootstrap

You can read more about it at that link and how it works, and give it a copy if you find something like that useful. If nothing else you might find portions of it useful for your needs.

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Today Literature and Latte announced the anticipated release of Scapple, their “mind mapping” software that compliments Scrivener, my writing software of choice. To get an idea of what it can do for you, check out this video.

One of the motivating ideas behind Scapple was to create a simple-to-use tool to draw out connections and links between disparate notes containing characters, actions, items, or what have you in a manner similar to drawing on paper. What would be wonderful to see eventually is a tablet version that works with a pen, similar to Evernote’s Penultimate. Similar, that is, in it’s simplicity to draw the shapes and connections and have them converted digitally to format, synched to a cloud service, and editable elsewhere.

In the meantime, I’ve picked up Scapple and am excited to start trying it out. Maybe it will help me resolve a sticky plot situation I’ve found myself in with the current story, and even if not at least it will help me visualize the story in a way that words and outlines on screen can’t.

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Serious Apple Security Hole

There is a serious Java vulnerability affecting Macs (and Windows, but I’m concerned about Macs). It is simple enough to protect your system before it can get on any of your computers.

1: In Safari open Preferences, click on the Security tab and uncheck Enable Java.
2: In Firefox open the Tools Menu, choose Add-ons. In the new window go to the Plugins section and disable Java.
3: In Chrome open Preferences and go to the Under the Hood section. In the Privacy area click on the Content Settings button. In the new window click on the Disable individual plug-ins link. In the next new window disable Java.

This will prevent you from being infected. What will also help is to go to the Apple Menu and run Software Update. There is a Java update that will fix the security hole.

Unfortunately, if your machine is already infected these steps will not help. You may be infected if you were randomly asked for your computer admin password to install software (the software may have been called “Update”). See this F-Secure page on how to remove the problem manually.

Please run the updates and disable Java in all web browsers. It is possible that someone there might need Java running in their web browser, but for 99% of the population there is zero need for it.

UPDATE: 2011.04.09
There is a script you can download and run to check and see if you are infected. You can download it here.

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Book Covers for Technology

I really like the look of Twelve South’s BookBook iPhone, iPad and Macbook covers. I’m not sure if I like the iPhone version; creating one location for my iPhone, ID, credit cards and cash seems like a bad idea.

Still… book, leather, and all that’s missing is actual paper like the Moleskine case.

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Rory’s Story Cubes

Rory's Story Cubes iPhone App
Rory’s Story Cubes for iOS
I recently went around the web looking for writer’s tools for the iPhone. Not necessarily for writing applications but for tools to help the creative juices flow. My very favorite discover was Rory’s Story Cubes. It’s a simple idea. Take nine six-sided dice with a total of 54 different, iconic images on them, roll them (or shake them in this case), and tell a story based on the images you see. I’ve done this a few times with Rosa and the results were fun and creative, even for her when she told her stories. I can’t imagine how much fun a young kid would have.

If you’re looking for a way to break out of writer’s block, or simply give yourself a quick challenge, then I highly recommend Rory’s Story Cubes. I’m even tempted to get the physical dice and the expansion actions sets.

Here’s my quick story for the attached picture. Not the best, but I’m throwing this together as I write this post.

While playing around with Story Cubes I decided I wanted to tell you about them, but by phone was locked up with a password. What? I never put a password on my phone… Oh well, I thought, I’ll take care of the phone later. So I went home and wrote this story on my blog, and now you’re reading it.

Could be better, but you get the idea!

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Doug’s Holiday Mix 2010

It’s that time of year again and I’ve thrown together a compilation of some of the music I’ve been listening to this year.

Doug's Holiday Mix 2010 Cover ArtI Got It (What You Need) – Galactic
Ain’t No Easy Way – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Felicia – The Constellations
99 Problems – Hugo
Flathead – The Fratellis
Paris (Ooh La La) – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Static Mind – Girl In a Coma
Daylight – Matt & Kim
Things You Think (feat. Pomplamoose) – Ben Folds and Nick Hornby
Melancholy Astronautic Man – Allie Moss
De Momento Abril – La Bien Querida
When My Time Comes – Dawes
Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Fireflies – Owl City
Mentiras – Los Amigos Invisibles
Bang Pop – Free Energy
Stars and Stripes – Rogue Wave
Junebug – Robert Francis
Fader – The Temper Trap
Kill Me Carolyne – The Whigs
Answer to Yourself – The Soft Pack
Tangled Up With You – The Mumlers

You can see what there is here (and hopefully the link works; Apple’s links are odd these days).

1 Comment | Catergorized: apple  audio  life  memories


Augmented Reality

Quest Visual has created an application for the iPhone that will, on the fly, translate English to Spanish, or visa versa. You should really check out their demonstration. The translation is very far from perfect as it is, at least right now, doing a straight swap word for word. Even still, the technology is pretty freaking amazing, and as the font recognition improves and the translation algorithm improves… Pretty soon we’ll be able to wear special glasses with a miniature camera and move anywhere in the world with instant translations right there, overlapping what we’re seeing. Augmented reality. Between that and using your iPhone to correct for color blindness it’s pretty amazing what is coming down the pike.

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Scrivener 2.0 Coming Soon

матрациMy favorite writing tool in the world, Scrivener, is getting an upgrade. I’ve used the program for years to do anything from writing stories to an employee handbook. There are two great articles describing what the new Scrivener will and won’t have. On the “will have” side is better overall integration of the documents, corkboard and outliner. Each one has key improvements as well (I’m very curious about corkboard’s freeform mode and the commenting and footnotes for documents).

Some of the key things that will not be included are a timeline function, mindmapping or a Windows version (though there are random hints that the last might not be true). Honestly, I don’t mind that there isn’t a timeline even though it seems like this would be an easy thing to code. As for mindmapping or a Windows version, not a bother at all. It will keep the code base easier for the developer, too, and keep the application from turning in the bloated wreck that is most word processing/writing packages out there right now.

(A thought just occurred to me to try and figure out how to create a timeline with either Document Notes, keywords or corkboard summaries, export to a file and import it to my favorite timeline application, Timeline 3D. Must investigate).

For a full list of features just follow the links in the first paragraph. The “will have” link is particularly interesting as it include screenshots giving a tantalizing taste of what is to come. At a mere $45 (for v.2) Scrivener is a great deal. If you have a Mac and aren’t sure, go get the demo of the current version and give it a spin.

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MacHeist nanoBundle 2

For those of you interested in trying out new kinds of software on the cheap for a good cause, MacHeist is having their second nanoBundle sale. Featured are MacJournal, RipIt, Clips, CoverScout and Flow, plus if enough people purchase this $19.95 bundle, Tales of Monkey Island and RapidWeaver. While I haven’t used all the software I’ve gotten from these bundles in the past, usually the bundle costs less than most of the applications listed individually. In other words, a pretty good deal!

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Holiday Music

I haven’t been terribly active lately. Uninspired for much of the time (to write, not for many other things!) and busy. It’s the holiday season! So here’s a quick blurb that Apple is releasing a holiday music sampler for free. Go get it!

While you’re at it, you might want to pick up the new A Very Bootie Christmas, a collection of holiday themed mashup music. I haven’t listened to the new one yet, but the 2006 version was amazing.

Comments Off on Holiday Music | Catergorized: apple  audio
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