Posts filed under ‘EuReKa’

On being a ‘Tweet’otaler

YES, I belong to this sensible group of people who have turned away from Twitter. Of-course, at this statement many of my Twitter loving readers would object and wag their fingers  . . . but I feel Twitter is nothing more than boring frustrating account of people’s day-to-day life, expressed that too in one liners for it has a character limit. Twitter not only limit you to post some trivial bullshit but mandates you and as a proof to this statement tweets like the ones below are often seen 🙂

“I went for a drive at 2:30 AM” !   ,

“Dosa tastes best with chutney only”.

I have only one advice for people with such tweets “Get a life ” and spare others as well because seriously nobody cares about it. I mean how can anyone express his feelings about anything within 140 letters and still leave an impact on the reader. Let me make it clear that I do not hate those who use twitter. Most people use Twitter casually since it is the next iteration of Facebook or Orkut . Terms like ‘scraps’ transformed to ‘tweets’ and ‘friends’ to ‘followers’. Log-in to either of these websites  and you see loads of “tweets” transformed to ==>  “Whats on your mind?”  … being updated every 15 minutes, where even household chores becomes your “Status message” !!

I don’t want to write on all the drawbacks of Twitter and sound like Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11) here but one thing is clear, Twitter will neither be missed nor it would replace blogs .

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

June 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

Snow Leopard-Bug in Terminal.app

Apple released Snow Leopard (10.6) with lot of refinements  and additional features to existing Applications. But as the saying goes in the software ecosystem “Lot of code means lot of bugs” and Apple did justify this by releasing  mega-patch to cover vulnerabilities affecting the Mac OS X. The Terminal.app has been one of my favorite and heavily used application and hence hidden bugs surface more often. The previous bug being on Tiger 10.4, legacy continues unfortunately on Snow leopard as well.

Now here is a scenario, Navigate to /Applications/Utilities and launch Terminal.app. Enter sudo su –  as shown in the picture. It would ask you for a password.

Terminal

Now without entering the password, Quit the Terminal

Screen shot 2009-11-05 at 2.56.05 PM

and boom ! … Terminal.app goes kaput, doesn’t even show the prompt and becomes useless. The only option to rectify this  is to restart the machine. Now how is that for a bug 🙂

Terminal2

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

November 23, 2009 at 6:50 pm 1 comment

Snow leopard-flavour of the season

Snow_Leopard

The cat family moves on, from 10.0 Cheetah to the latest 10.6 Snow Leopard being its seventh major release. Wonder if the next OS X would be named as Lion as that is the only one left in the cat family. Well… got to wait and watch. I have been using  Snow Leopard  for few days now and must say that there has been lot of refinements especially the Exchange support with auto discovery feature of Microsoft Exchange Server. The hype surrounded the OS X with Apple giving developer seeds only to people or companies with developer accounts, stopping people from disclosing information to public under Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Just days before its release the security world on the net went abuzz with rumors that Apple has quietly added a new  feature to scan software downloads for malware. Hmm… contradicting to what they actually advertise http://movies.apple.com/movies/us/apple/getamac_ads1/viruses_480x376.mov . Later it was found that Snow Leopard is protecting Mac users against certain file types. The plist file is located in the below path

/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist

Even though Snow Leopard is basically a glorified service pack of the current Leopard 10.5 it has lot more to offer.One can go through the technical specification in this link http://www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html. Finally coming to the most obvious question … Will Snow Leopard be a better OS than Windows 7? Only time would tell.

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

September 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

(Mac OS X 10.4)Bug in Terminal.app

I had a long overdue for a post in this category as hectic work at the office kept me at bay. But there was an interesting find that had to be posted, for i strongly feel that solution for this trivial yet hard to identify bug would help all those users who are still on Tiger 10.4.X and here is the flash back …

Couple of months ago I was working on some shell scripts and was trying to get a PID of Console application running on Tiger 10.4.11 with the below command and to my amazement i didn’t get the process id at all even though console.app was running !! After some struggle it came to behavior that was illogical, it never worked for the very first time i opened the terminal and then type the below command. Try executing different commands and then the below command would work fine. I tried many other options thinking some of my commands were wrong but with little success and neither did Google search helped. The same command was working like a charm on Leopard 10.5
PID=`ps -ax -o "pid" -o "command" | grep -i "/Applications/Utilities/Console.app/Contents/MacOS/Console" | grep -v grep | awk '{print $1}'`
echo $PID

Days went by and was still not able to figure out why the above problem was happening. But then i discovered a strange thing when i expanded the terminal . Check out the picture below,

Weird Space

If you open a new terminal, window resolution will be by default 80×24. That is it has 80 columns. so when you type the above ps -ax command, the output of this command will stretch to columns more than 80. So i probably think there is bug in Terminal.app on Tiger. If you expand the terminal for a bigger view after the ps -ax command, most of the output will be truncated and hence i wasn’t getting the PID. Phew … that’s a weird find but how about the fix?


PID=`ps -ax -w -w -o "pid" -o "command" | grep -i "/Applications/Utilities/Console.app/Contents/MacOS/Console" | grep -v grep | awk '{print $1}'`
echo $PID

see those “-w ” twice .. well if you man ps command you will know it. After this small tweak in the script everything works fine !

man ps

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

June 25, 2009 at 12:23 pm Leave a comment

Metadata of Images

Have you posted an Image or 2 on the Internet ? Of course … Who doesn’t nowadays. Everyone is hooked to at least  one social networking site. Be it the popular Orkut and FaceBook  or  Web-blogs all have images of all types.

You might ask me … So What ?? Well i would be more than happy to answer that.  Did you know that when you take a photo with a digital camera, a truck load of background information is embedded into the file called Exchangeable image file format (EXIF   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchangeable_image_file_format) metadata, including when the photo was taken, the make and model of the digital camera, the exposure, shutter speed, lens focal length, whether the flash fired, and some other interesting tidbits. Sure, if you have nothing to hide about ,then you should not be worried but still why give away more information ?

Digital cameras save JPEG (.jpg) files with EXIF  data and  Camera settings and scene information are recorded by the camera into the image file. Believe it or not, Preview application on Mac OS X can display all this EXIF metadata — you just have to know where to look.To see the EXIF data for the current image, just press Command-I, then click on the Details tab, and if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see a header for EXIF Properties, along with the full scoop on your image.
check the below image that i had taken for its meta data.

This is on Leopard 10.5

generalinfo

nandimoriinfo

This is on Tiger 10.4.10

nandimeta

OK, all said and done … but how can i remove or clean Up the image you want to upload ? No need to get paranoid, you got lots of applications on Windows but i am surprised to see that there not even one good application on Mac . The closest that i could been in getting a tool was SnapCleaner 1.3 and that too its not free !  This application didn’t work for me and hence i wouldn’t recommend it at all. For Windows you can use this small application called JPEG & PNG Stripper
You can also use this website  http://camerasummary.com which is an online EXIF data extractor that provides information.

Next time you have personal photos and want to upload it on to the web especially social networking sites … TAKE CARE !

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

April 15, 2009 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

Your MacBook against THEFT

Has the fear of your Mac Book stolen … gripped you at-least once? Well, One of the common fear’s for all those fortunate people who own mobile gadgets, especially the beautiful Mac Books – is THEFT . None can take his eyes off this notebook and if you are one those unfortunate people, sure would have itchy feeling in your hands. But have you ever wondered if Apple ever had any protection plan for Mac Books?

Mac Book Air

“Beginning with the PowerBook G4 (12-inch, 1.5GHz), PowerBook G4 (15-inch, 1.67/1.5GHz), PowerBook G4 (17-inch, 1.67GHz), and iBook G4 (Mid 2005), Apple portable computers feature a Sudden Motion Sensor. Intel-based Apple portables such as the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air also make use of the Sudden Motion Sensor.” This is text written in Apple website.

Navigate to “About this Mac” by clicking on the Apple symbol on the top left corner of the screen in your Mac Book and click on “More Info…” and you see

sensation

Sudden Motion Sensor is designed to detect unusually strong vibrations, sudden changes in position or accelerated movement. If the computer is dropped, the Sudden Motion Sensor instantly parks the hard drive heads to help reduce the risk of damage to the hard drive on impact. If you want in depth understanding about Sudden Motion Sensor visit http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/chapter10/sms/

There are many applications which make use of SMS ad protect your Mac Book.

1. LockDown – Anti theft system for mac is a Mac security application built from the popular iAlertU. Once your alarm has been set off, your computer will sound a loud alarm and prevent the system from being muted or put to sleep. http://www.foozoodesign.com/lockdown.html

2. iAlertU – AlertU is the first of its kind alarm system for your Apple MacBook computer.  Basically iAlertU is a car alarm for your Apple Mac. iAlertU uses the built in sudden motion sensor (SMS) device to detect movement of your Apple MacBook and triggers an audible and visual alarm.http://www.slappingturtle.com/home/

3. BumpAlarm 0.9 -BumpAlarm is a program that uses the motion sensors in Apple’s new Powerbooks to trigger various actions when motion is detected. It can be set it to automatically play a sound file, send an email alert, or run an applescript.http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/17684

SMS can also be a source of entertainment to some extent and here are few applications which you can check out.
1. SeisMac —> http://www.suitable.com/tools/seismac.html
2. MacSaber —>http://blog.isnoop.net/2006/06/22/macsaber-11-attack-of-the-backlight/

I actually installed MacSaber and it was fun to play with.

mac-saber
3. Slapbook 0.65 —> http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/22148
4. Liquidmac —> http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/games/simulation_and_sports/liquidmac.html

Have Fun!!!

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

April 3, 2009 at 12:46 pm Leave a comment


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