Alex Kaloostian

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


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An OS by any other name

Apple has a naming problem.

It’s not a big issue, certainly. It’s nothing that would cause strife or send Apple back to the good old “beleaguered” days. Buts its mildly annoying, and if Apple’s obsessive attention to detail has done anything for me, it has made me much more aware of mild annoyances.

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Network trouble in Yosemite? Me too. This might be why.

Why DNS in OS X 10.10 is broken, and what you can do to fix it

“For 12 years, the mDNSResponder service managed a surprisingly large part of our Mac’s networking, and it managed this task well. But as of OS X 10.10, the mDNSResponder has been replaced with discoveryd, which does the same thing. Mostly. Here are some strange networking problems we’ve observed since installing 10.10:”

Read the rest at ArsTechnica: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/01/why-dns-in-os-x-10-10-is-broken-and-what-you-can-do-to-fix-it/


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My favorite Mac utilities

Every time I teach an OS X class, I like to mention a few utilities I can’t live without. With the Mac App store coming, it will now be even easier to find and download apps.. and I wanted to take the time to review the apps that I cant life without at the moment. I hope you enjoy some of them too. So here are some of them, in no particular order:


You love OS X, but every once in awhile theres some little setting that drives you crazy and you wish you could change it. Like the TimeMachine backup interval time. Or showing invisible items in the finder. This Preference Pan collects dozens of secret settings in one clean, easy clickable interface. Free!

Proton Pack Server
An easy way to create .plist files for ASR Multicast streams. Free!

Visor
Hide your Terminal app and call it up with any hotkey you want. Free!

Monitoring of disks, network bandwidth, temperature, memory usage and more. $16 and worth it.

Diskwarrior
It only does one thing, but it does it better than anyone: repair your hard drive directory. For about $75, if you only use it once it pays for itself. This is on my Must-Have list.

Lingon

A very user-friendly way to write LaunchDaemons. Free.

A database of the speed & specs of everything Apple has ever made. Your mom wants to upgrade her 7-year-old iMac? This will tell you what speed RAM it takes. Free.
Batchmod
easily batch change file ownership & permissions with drag-and-drop.

Play WMV files on your mac with Quicktime. Free to play, $ to encode your own.
Pacifist
Crack open installer files and install just the components you want.

Play all those pesky video codecs QuickTime doesnt understand out of the box. Free.

I trimmed this list down to the IT-related apps I mention in my classes most. For a longer and more up-to-date list, see the “downloads” link at the top of the page.


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Archiving OD in 10.6 breaks Kerberos.

Here’s how to fix it.

Last year we discovered that OS X Server 10.6 has a teensy tiny issue where it corrupts the Kerberos passwords for all users when restoring an OpenDirectory archive. Yikes. I posted a script that will fix the issue, basically deleting all the Kerberos AuthenticationAuthority attributes for all users above a designated user ID and replacing them with a new password.

I have been shown a much simpler fix: If you have restored from an OD archive and your users can no longer authenticate with Kerberos, type the following in the terminal on your server:

sudo slapconfig -kerberize -f diradmin

Where “diradmin” is your directory admin name. Then authenticate with your sudo password and your diradmin password. This will generate a NEW Kerberos AuthenticationAuthority attribute for every user with their existing password. Thats it, no step 2. The only catch is, it also keeps the old, broken AuthenticationAuthority attribute; you’ll see both if you dscl. But it has been working beautifully for us so far.


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OS X Certification study app

I only just heard of this, and I haven’t tried it out myself yet, but SO MANY people ask me if there is a decent way to practice for Apple’s certifications tests, I’m posting it here. Peachpit has created their first (of many, they claim) study guide apps for iPhone/iPad. This one is for the Snow Leopard 101 course and features questions & answers right from the book, which should be similar in content and difficulty to Apple’s certification tests. Support Essentials. Check it out at the link below. $5.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/test-yourself-for-mac-os-x/id412646736?mt=8

  


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Reclaiming drive space and speeding up sleep on mac portables

Is your Mac taking too long to wake from sleep? Or do you have a MacBook Air with a small drive and you need all the storage space you can get? Leopard & Snow Leopard now save the contents of your RAM to disk before sleeping so if your computer loses power, you won’t lose the contents of memory. Here’s how to change it:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 1
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3

“0” is traditional sleep: the contents of memory will not be saved to disk, and power will continue flowing to your RAM, to maintain what’s in it when you wake up. If your computer loses power or your battery dies, you will lose all unsaved changes and you will have to re-boot your Mac.

“1” is hibernate mode: Memory will be saved to disk and power will NOT continue flowing to your RAM. This will take even longer to sleep and wake but your computer will use even less power when asleep. Note that the sleep image file on your hard drive will be as large as your installed RAM: if you have 4 GB of RAM, thats 4GB saved to your disk. That’s a lot if you have only a 64GB SSD.

“3” is now the default for laptops: this will keep power flowing to your RAM, and save the contents of memory to disk in case your power goes out.

After changing this setting (at your own risk! Don’t blame me if you lose unsaved changes when your battery dies!) You should delete the sleep image to reclaim that hard drive space. Delete /var/vm/sleepimage as an administrator and you’re done.

There are even more tricks you can apply if you read the man page for the pmsetcommand, for example, this setting can be configured differently if you are on a power supply or battery, and automatically switch, or you can disable sleep if a remote process is logged in, like screen sharing or ssh. Cool.