Alex Kaloostian

Apple Certified Master Trainer | Systems Integrator | Video Editor | Motion Graphics Artist


Home netwokring & file management event

This Wednesday I’ll be hosting another open house at our Cambridge office. The topic: File Sharing and File Storage for Home & Small Businesses.

We will be talking about the best and easiest ways to protect your data in Snow Leopard AND new features in Lion, including:

  • FileVault
  • Disk images & archives
  • Backing up with Time Machine
  • The rsync tool in the terminal
  • Setting up a local private network
  • AirDrop
  • Choosing the right storage device
  • RAID
And a demo of a Drobo S system live & in the flesh. There will be networking and refreshments and plenty of parking at that time of day, so wont you come down? Please RSVP so we know how many to expect.
Future Media Concepts
1 Kendall Square, building 300, right above Friendly Toast
6 PM

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Boston Open House THIS THURSDAY!

This Thursday evening I will be presenting at our Boston office’s open house. Our past open houses have had, let us say, lackluster attendance, due in part to bad luck, bad weather and bad promotions. I am excited for this one, so I convinced our Powers That Be to make it FREE.

Whole-house media streaming with Apple. This Thursday at 6 PM

I will be discussing how to set up a whole-house network and stream movies, music, podcasts and photos all over the place with Apple iTunes and some fantastic third-party apps.

  • Creating a home media server
  • Downloading, ripping DVDs and storing media in iTunes
  • Accelerating your media conversions with the Turbo.264
  • Searching and editing metadata
  • Streaming to Macs, PCs and Airport Express
  • AppleTV: What is it?
  • Controlling it all: Universal remotes and the iOS Remote app
  • Streaming from iPhones and iPads with Airplay
  • Streaming media BACK to your iPhone or iPad with third-party solutions

Don’t make me stay late after work for nothing. I’d love to see you all here. We’re at 1 Kendal Square Cambridge, upstairs from Friendly Toast. Street parking or plenty of lots nearby, and minutes from the Red Line. The presentation starts at 6:00. Please email me if you are thinking of coming so I can get a heads up and order some food and such.


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Server 10.6.8 might have a bug

You didn’t blindly upgrade your server within 2 days of a new update, did you? 🙂 I’m hearing reports that OS X Server 10.6.8 has a bug that will kill your CPU performance. Best not to upgrade until a fix is found. For those of you who have already upgraded and you’re finding your CPU maxed out, try force quitting the hwmond process.

The client version appears to be fine.

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I heard theres a Mac virus! Should I be scared?

I guess it’s about time I weighed in on this MacDefender business. I’m not going to bother recapping the story- Google “MacDefender” and you’ll get a million news articles about it.

MacDefender is not exactly, technically a virus, but it can still do some pretty awful things if you are careless and install it. One reason Macs are safer than Windows, is because malicious software must run to infect your computer, and the Mac doesn’t allow software to install itself or run without your permission. If you surf the web with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, iCab or any other third party browsers, you’re fine. Unfortunately, Apple’s own web browser, Safari, has a STUPID, STUPID feature that lets application packages automatically download and install themselves.

First, if you’re on 10.6 Snow Leopard, you should be up to date with 10.6.7. If you’re not, go to Software Update and get it now. I’ll wait. Okay? Now, if you’re on 10.6.7, you should download the latest security patch. Open Software Update again and go get it. I’ll wait.

The latest security patch for 10.6.7 includes a new checkbox in the Security System preference, which will update your Mac’s list of known attacks and prevent them from being downloaded. Go to the Security System Preference and make sure its on:

Unfortunately, this is only as safe as the updated list. Attacks can still come out and get you before Apple finds out about them and updates the list. To be really safe, you should’t allow your web browser to install ANY apps without your permission.

If you’re on a Mac, and you use Safari, open your Safari preferences. Click the General tab, and disable Open “safe” files after downloading.

There we go. No need to panic. And remember: constant vigilance! If some web site pops up and offers you free protection software, be suspicious! You wouldn’t accept a flu vaccine from some stranger on the street giving them away for free, would you?

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Doing more with the Mac command line

Between the Mac App Store and Amazon’s new Mac Download store, Macintosh graphical apps are suddenly getting a lot of attention, but most people don’t know there has long been a rich community of developers creating open-source apps for the Mac command line.

Here is a screenshot of Mac OS X’s built-in process monitor, top:

Useful, but not very user-friendly. Now, here is the free app htop:

Now we’re talking! The only thing is, it has not aways been easy to find these apps, or install them. Until the MacPorts project. MacPorts will let you search for command line apps, get info about them, download them and install them all in one place. It will even download and install any dependent tools first. There are disk utilities, calendar apps, games, even a command line Twitter client.

  1. Check your Utilities folder to see if you have X11 installed. If not, you can install it off of your OS X DVD.
  2. Install the Xcode developer tools. These can also be installed off of the OS X disk, or you can download the latest version off of the Mac App Store for $4.99
  3. Go here and install the MacPorts app. Thats it!

Here are some other useful resources for learning more about the Mac command line:

Mac command line A-Z
Lifehacker’s command line tricks
More Lifehacker command line tricks
Useful command-line tools: Softpedia 

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Kerberos resources

Here’s a really entertaining, and informative article about the behind-the-scenes workings of Kerberos… well, as entertaining as any article about Kerberos can be.

Honestly, though, it really is an easy read, and it does a great job of explaining what is going on in a step-by-step way… and why all of it is going on. A good, short read.

Here is an Apple-produced video that shows all of this behavior

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Authenticated LDAP binding has changed in OS X Server 10.6.3

In the 10.6.3 version of ServerAdmin, the checkbox to REQUIRE authenticated binding to your OpenDirectory master is gone. You can USE authenticated binding, but not REQUIRE.

Here is the command to require auth. binding via the command line:

sudo slapconfig -setmacosxodpolicy -binding required

See the knowledgebase article for more info.