Category Archives: Mac

HOWTO: Run Chrome in Incognito Mode on the Mac, with its own shortcut

Step 1, install Chrome.

Step 2 and the rest of them:

Open up your “Applescript Editor” App.

–> NOTE ** You can search for it by hitting command+space on the keyboard (aka, opening up spotlight) and typing: applescript editor ** <–

When it opens, select the: New Document button & paste in:

tell application "Google Chrome"
  close windows
  make new window with properties {mode:"incognito"}
end tell

Then click:  File/Export.

Change the File Format from “Script” to “Application”

Name the application, select the “Applications” Location on your system & run it.


corrupted or tampered with during downloading ???

Well, I guess it’s common now to see this when trying to install OS X. My example happened when I tried to install El Capitan, fresh (no upgrade) on a newly formatted SSD – and had me scratching my bean.

I got this:
This copy of the Install OS X El Capitan application can't be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading

People have identified the need to set the clock back via Terminal, right before you install the OS after boot-up.

I checked my time & it was spot on (although it thought I was on the Left Coast, which I’m not).

I COULD have ran the infamous date command (date MMDDHHmmYY), but elected not to.

I deleted the installer and downloaded El Capitan yet again. Guess what? It worked.

Here is what I’m thinking. If you download & set it aside for a while, you need to roll your clock back. If not, you’re good to go.

So if you don’t have the luxury of downloading the OS again, see what the time/date stamp shows up as and set the date back to a week later than that and you should be all set.

So, if you see this (for example):

But it’s April, 2016 now … run:
date 0401101016

Exit the Terminal App and try the install again.

cd ../../../ … ugh.

I picked a shortcut, called: aa

Then, in ~/.bashrc (my .bashrc), I created a function:

function aa
cd $(for ((i=0 ; i<$1 ;i++)); do printf "../" ; done)

This will allow you to ‘cd’ back X number of directories by issuing: aa X (where X is a number of directories you wanna go backwards).

So … say I’m in /var/www/html/ and I want to go back 2 levels to /var
I could:

$ cd ../../
$ cd /var
or now:
$ aa 2


[admin@linux1 html]$ pwd

[admin@linux1 html]$ aa 2

So handy.

Copy / Paste issues with Synergy?

Regardless of it’s cross OSes, or Windows to Windows … you may run into issues copying & pasting in either Server -> Client … or Client -> Server direction.

If you opened up the Server Log window, you may have noticed disconnects … but you don’t lose synergy connectivity (the lightning bolt stays attached).

If you’re running a server on Linux or Mac, then you can skip the next step – which talks about Windows config.

Grab WinSSHD from Bitvise ( & install it on the server. Ensure you allow port forwarding.

Once it’s running, on the CLIENT Side, use SecureCRT (or puTTy) & configure port forwarding to the newly installed Windows SSH Server.

Port forwarding with SecureCRT:

Once configured – on the CLIENT, login & fire up Synergy.

Enter ‘localhost’ for the hostname:

The established SSH connection will be the transport for port 24800 from the Client to the Server.

If using Mac or Linux, use command-line SSH to setup the port forwarding. Again, the Server must be configured to allow port forwarding:
# ssh -L 24800:localhost:24800 user@ssh_server

If setup properly, you’ll get your lightning bolt & all will be well. Since using this setup, I have not had a single issue copying/pasting between my two windows machines.


This started failing about 8 hours later & hasn’t worked since — even going back to older releases & up to the latest Betas.

It’s GOTTA be the x64 OS —

Apple Remote Desktop – Failing

FYI:  I’ve done this before – but this time, there was a problem.

So, I ran into a weird issue when trying to connect to a Mac via my ARD console.  I had the correct local user/pass – but it was failing – the now infamous box below.

I checked sharing in sys-prefs and my admin user was there & all appropriate perms were there as well.
I’ve been using this Apple discussion article for all the Remote Desktop configurations I’ve done (and that’s quite a few); in particular, I use this command:

/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ kickstart -activate -configure -access -on -users otech -privs -all -restart -agent -menu

After examining the Remote Management section again, I notice something.  “All users” is selected & my user, otech, is listed in the “Only these users:” section.

Moving the selection to “Only these users:” fixed the issue immediately & is reproducible each time.

Pioneer Blu-Ray drives & Energy Savings

I added a Pioneer Blu-Ray burner to my MacPro and after an hour or so, it to disappeared from Finder & SATA Bus scans began failing from Profiler.

Energy Saver’s “Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible” – directly impacts optical drives too.

Uncheck that option (like above) & your Pioneer drive will function normally & you won’t have any SATA bus issues.

There don’t appear to be any firmware updates to this drive, so I guess I’ll have to keep it that way.

Blu-Ray Ripping for AppleTV2

I purchased an internal Pioneer Blu-Ray burner for my Mac Pro, downloaded a copy of MakeMKV and the latest Handbrake.  I could have settled for just a Blu-Ray reader, but c’mon now.

I was ripping to a WD Green drive, but MakeMKV yelled at me for having too slow of a disk, so I decided to have it write to a WD Black drive — no more complaints.

Each movie from my collection took around 90 minutes to rip to MKV.  I pointed Handbrake to the first MKV file and waited another 50 minutes & it was an M4v.  Open it in iTunes, set the genre & it was ready for playing via the AppleTV2.

Cars and Wall-E were my first ones & they came out great.  My little girl loves them.

Schedule A Whitespace Secure-Erase


Caution – if you screw this up, you’ll lose everything.

OK, now that that’s out of the way — let’s say that I’ve determined that I’d like to run zeroes across the whitespace on my HDD weekly.

On my MacPro4,1, I’m running OS X 10.6.7 & found an easy way to do it.  My account has Admin privileges, so there’s no ‘sudo’, or password required.

I didn’t want to dive into Apple Script, so I fired up SecureCRT and used the bash shell to whip up a simple command-line execution of the ‘diskutil’ app. So, without further ado, here’s the simple script (made u+x) in my home directory /Users/otech, called


diskutil secureErase freespace 0 /Volumes/Test_HDD

Yeah. Simple. Oh Yeah – note the word ‘freespace’ above – über important.

Then, I added it into CRON (crontab -e), to be run on Friday nights (or early AM) at 0300.

0 3 * * 5 /Users/otech/

So, here’s the breakdown of the diskutil commands that I’ve selected:

diskutil <verb> <options>

‘secureErase’ – (verb) with (option) ‘freespace’ and (option) ‘0’ to the path of the Volume: /Volumes/Test_HDD (yours is different):

secureErase: Securely erase a disk or freespace on a volume
freespace: Tells it to just erase the freespace on a volume, NOT the disk
Level: 0 – Single-pass zeros
1 – Single-pass random numbers
2 – US DoD 7-pass secure erase
3 – Gutmann algorithm 35-pass secure erase
4 – US DoE 3-pass secure erase.

Now, yes – 0 is pretty weak and I could have selected one of the other options, but I didn’t.  For a 750GB WD Black drive, it took somewhere around 3.5 hours.  I wonder how long Level 2 will take.