I Can't Change My Passwords Just Because There Was a Site Compromised!

There's a news story about some Russian group that has amassed a database of 1.5 billion IDs/passwords. We're all supposed to change our passwords, just in case our data was stolen from an insecure host. Can't. Not feasible unless somebody pays me. A lot.

I have 574 passwords in my password manager. 51 of them are "critical," meaning that they either provide access to

Why I Use Chrome Instead of Firefox

I don't use Safari (much) because it doesn't "pin" tabs. I often have a lot of tabs open, and pinning high-use tabs is helpful.

I don't use Internet Explorer (much) because I run on Mac and Windows, and there is no (recent) IE for Mac.

Google 2-step / two-factor authentication

I set up Google 2-factor authentication for some of my accounts. Some useful pointers:

Death and the Devil is Monty Hall

A man died. He had lived a bad life, so he went to Hell. Upon arrival, he went through orientation with a minion. At the end of orientation, the minion explained that there were three doors, and that the man could choose which fate would be his for all eternity.

Door number one was opened, and the man saw people in agony, being boiled in oil. "No thanks," he said.

Door number two was opened, and he saw people having their skin peeled from their bodies. "Ouch! No thanks," he said.

I Want My Data Proteced From Device Failure and Provider Failure, Securely

My laptop failed recently. I had a backup. The backup was good, but I still couldn't get to my data for about 3 weeks. First, there was the week while my laptop was sorta failing and I was figuring out that it was a hardware problem and not a software problem. Then there was the week while it got shipped to be repaired. Then there was a day while it got repaired. Finally, there was the 5 days for it to get shipped back.

bbcp

bbcp is a handy cp (copy) command that works across the network. It runs about 3x faster than Finder for large binary files on my home wired LAN.

bbcp -P 10 filespec filespec2
  • -P 10 says to give status every 10 seconds
  • filespec = user@host:filepath

See handy tips at http://pcbunn.cithep.caltech.edu/bbcp/using_bbcp.htm

MacBook Pro Video Repair - Success

The discrete graphics subsystem on my early 2011 MacBook pro failed. (See I Hate My MacBook Pro.) I sent it to PS3Specialist to have it "reballed."

Formatted Office Documents

I recently had a hardware problem with my Mac. Effectively, I was without a laptop for 3 weeks. This has left me contemplating the fallibility of computers, and seeking a solution.

I'd like to be able to edit my files on one machine and, if it fails, just pick up at another machine where I left off. I'd also like to have local, editable files, to protect me agains some online provider suddenly disappearing, and I'd like to be able to read these files in 50 years. Tall order...

Rebuild Mac OS X Mavericks Launchpad

I found this on the web somewhere. It does NOT work for applications added by VMware Fusion.

  • Navigate Finder to ~/Library/Application Support/Dock
  • Delete all *.db files in that folder
  • Restart your Mac

OS X will rebuild the Launchpad from your Applications folder

Manually Download and Install VMware Tools

The automatic VMmare Tools install is convenient. However, I needed to run Ubuntu 14 as a guest with an old version of VMware Player (because it is the standard, at my employer). The old Player would not download a Tools that was newer than the Player.

The packages appear to be at https://packages.vmware.com/tools/esx/latest/index.html

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