- When a file is being copied or moved, if it’s replacing another with the same name, the info on both files (such as size, last modification date, etc.) should be shown (Thanks to Bruno Rodrigues for pointing this to me, even Windows does this!);
- When ejecting a volume, if the command is refused because files on that volume are being used, the list of applications using the files in question should be shown, so we don’t have to hunt down every single one to safely eject a volume.
Category Archives: Mac OS X
This brief tutorial will teach how to mount the entire filesystem of a fixed Mac computer connected to the internet through encrypted SSH so it shows up just like a network drive on any Mac you want, through any internet connection.
I’ll be talking about the host Mac (the one where the original filesystem resides) as host, and the moving Mac as the client, where the remote volumes will be read/written from.
- Make sure you have admin privileges on both the host and client computers (although running your main account with admin privileges is not advised);
- Make sure that on the host machine that you’re either connected directly to the internet and have TCP port 22 not firewalled or you have privileges to reconfigure your internet router to re-route port 22 requests from the internet to the host computer;
- Make sure that you can access the host computer from the internet, either by having a fixed IP address (not normal on domestic aDSL or Cable connections), or by using a free service such as DynDns.org (this explanation goes beyond the scope of this howto – search for the solution for your own router or Mac on the internet);
Procedures on the host machine:
- On System Preferences, under “Internet and Network” you’ll find the “Sharing” icon, click it;
- Under “Services”, turn “Remote Login” on – authenticate yourself as necessary beforehand if needed;
- Open a terminal window on the same machine, and type ssh email@example.com to test if in fact the SSH service has become activated – follow the instructions;
- If the computer is connected directly to the internet, also under “Sharing”, you’ll find the firewall tab, click on the allow column for “Remote Login – SSH”;
- Or if you’re connected to the internet through a router, you’ll have to look for port mappings or something equivalent on the router, to relay all internet requests for port 22 from the internet to the host computer (this explanation goes beyond the scope of this howto – search for the solution for your own router on the internet).
Procedures on the client machine:
You will need three pieces of software:
- MacFUSE – obtainable here;
- sshfs – also obtainable here;
- MacFusion – a wrapper to make everything more user friendly, obtainable here, make sure the version you’re downloading is compatible with the core version of MacFUSE you obtained (as I’m writing this, everything is a bit under development, so there are incompatible beta versions floating around)
- Install MacFUSE and reboot, followed by installing sshfs and MacFusion (which in theory don’t need a system restart to work);
- On a terminal window on the client, outside from the host‘s LAN (i.e., connected through the internet) test first if you can SSH to the host machine, by typing ssh firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you can login into your account, the next step is to fire up MacFusion (which should be located in your Applications folder of your client machine
- MacFusion is really simple – preferences are resumed to setting MacFusion to startup itself at boot, to check for updates to itself on Startup, and what to do when the client Mac goes to sleep and resumes.
- The only thing missing now is to add, if you wish, the host computer to MacFusion’s favorites list – you’ll have to supply the name (whatever you wish), the server (without any “http” or similar prefixes), the Port can be left at 22, you can change the Server Path to / if you want for instance to access the “Volumes” directory to access any external disks that specific user has access to, and the most likely authentication method you’ll be using is “Password”.
- The first time you try to mount (connect to) to the host‘s filesystem from the client machine, MacFusion will even be nice enough to give you the option to store the password in the Keychain – this is up to you, if you trust you computing space enough to store passwords or not.
This is it! If everything worked, you’ll have a brand new volume on your desktop, that works exactly like a local LAN drive, with the permissions of the user you logged yourself as. Now you can do backups remotely through the internet, do anything you could do with a local LAN drive, but through a fully encrypted tunnel, and just limited by both the upstream and downstream speeds of both the host‘s and client‘s machine internet connections.
…it means that the latest matsu home move has been successful. Matsu is running in the original XP install, but now running under VMWare Fusion on my Mac Mini, meaning that I’ve shutdown my last Windows non-virtual machine. I’ve been meaning to do this since the first of Fusion’s beta releases, but it was impossible (or very difficult) to do it, as the first release didn’t support ethernet bridging of the Airport (wireless) connection. This latest version seems a little faster, and it also adds support for DirectX, and even Vista will run on it.
- Close mail.app
- Backup your mail
- Open a terminal window
- Go to your mail directory with cd ~/Library/Mail
- Start SQLite (which is installed by default) with sqlite3 Envelope Index
- Clean up your mail DB with vacuum subjects;
- Wait for the sqlite prompt to reappear
- Exit SQLite with ctrl-D
- Open mail.app again and enjoy the improved speed!
While working today, I noticed that my computing space has become increasingly more “onion like”, with layers upon layers of systems. Here’s a screen capture of my personal daily workspace.
The primary display is the MacBook’s LCD (1440×900) and the secondary display is an external LCD (1680×1050). I’ve resized them to the same size for clarity.
The main display is the normal desktop, with Firefox, iCal, Adium, a terminal window, etc. Things get a bit more layered on the second display. On the foreground you can see a Windows install running on VMWare Fusion locally, running Mapsource. Behind that on the left, it’s a Remote Desktop connection to my home Windows server, with another Windows install running on it (it’s the WAMP where matsu is served from). And finally, behind all windows, on the right, is a Citrix connection to a Reuters hosted platform. It’s amazing what I’ve seen in the evolution of computing since 1983, from my first computer until today…
VMWare has opened their Mac OS X virtualization product to beta-testers. It’s named Fusion, and it allows (on Intel Macs) to run VMWare virtual machines (virtual machines, for who doesn’t know, are the images of entire computers that can be run as applications inside other operating systems). I’ve almost completely switched to Mac OS X, and one of the applications that I need (promised by the end of 2006 for Mac OS X by Garmin….) is Garmin’s Mapsource and Wep Updater, so I can mess around with my GPS receivers. I’m happy to say that it works! Although everything is not working as I wanted (bridged ethernet on the Airport connection, for instance), it’s pretty slick. After installing the VMWare tools on the virtualized OS, it works just like an application, to the point of the client desktop (in a Windows XP install) resizing seamlessly when you resize the VMWare window. Give it a try, it’s a great way to experiment with new and strange OSs without doing anything strange to your computer.
Apple has launched the fabled and almost mythical iPhone, with specs that impressed even me. But the most intelligent move on their part was partnering up both with Google and with Yahoo for different things – and not getting “married” with anyone for now, on the internet side of things (they have an exclusive partnership with Cingular for the cellular connectivity). Very smart.
And yes, I want one… Looks like it’s only going to be available for Europe (3G?) by the end of the year. Oh well.
Here’s the solution to bring back the hold-clicking action (click and hold to bring up the context menu) now disabled by default on Firefox 2.0 (it was enabled by default on previous versions):
- On the location (address) box, type about:config (this will bring up a list of all configurable settings)
- On the filter box, type click_hold – this will single out the ui.click_hold_context_menus setting, which has false under the value column
- Double click the ui.click_hold_context_menus line to turn false into true
- Close and restart Firefox, click holding will now bring up context menus
Having the option of:
- double clicking to open an application (how many times have you opened an application by mistake when you were trying to switch to the one next to it?)
- hiding an application that has focus when you click its dock icon (very useful to check hidden windows without having to command-h them hidden again)