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Category: Technology

How to create a kill-switched VPN on Mac OS X with Little Snitch

In this post, I describe why, after years of using the wonderful Mac/iOS VPN product, Cloak, I’m experimenting with an alternative approach, that combines Private Internet Access (PIA) and Little Snitch. (2015-08-28 — As mentioned in an update at the end of the article, I’ve actually now switched back to Cloak, but using Little Snitch as the kill-switch.)

Why I switched from DreamPress to GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting

I recently switched from DreamHost’s DreamPress to GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting service. This article explains why, and discusses my experience so far. [Update: Since writing this article, I’ve switched away from GoDaddy, and now host my blog in a VPS at DigitalOcean. You can read about that switch, here.]

Using Tresorit to manage and share confidential data on a Mac

Earlier this year, I described how I used a combination of Espionage and Dropbox to share confidential documents among our family’s Macs. Unfortunately, that approach proved too problematic and I’ve since had to switch to a new approach—based on the Tresorit service—which, while not a perfect solution, does represent an improvement.

How to secure Mac and iOS devices with the Cloak or PIA VPN

A while back, I ran across an article (which for the life of me I can’t find now) in which the author meets with a computer hacker at a public location—a Starbucks coffee shop—and demonstrates the surprising amount of information he can collect by intercepting the traffic between the Starbucks public wifi and the locally connected customers. It is truly scary!

How to setup a WordPress site on a Mac mini running OS X Server Yosemite

I have an internet-hosted Mac mini running OS X Server, and recently decided to figure out how to host websites on it, and in particular, WordPress websites. After a few struggles and speed bumps, I finally got a site up and running, and wanted to document the process here, pulling together the various bits of information I compiled along the way.

The Odyssey of getting my data into Amazon Glacier

For years, I’ve been accumulating an archive of files at home on an external drive connected to a Mac mini. These are files that I do not expect to need in the future, but at the same time wouldn’t really be happy about losing—for example, snapshots of filesystems of computers I’ve retired, some source media, etc. All in all, the drive contains some 300 GB of data.

Simpler method of getting message-linked todos into OmniFocus 2

A couple of days ago, I posted an article detailing how to use Keyboard Maestro to create todos in OmniFocus 2 that are linked to original messages in Mail.app. Security-conscious Ben Brooks thought the idea was neat, but couldn’t give it a try, as it relies on the use of the OmniSync Server.

That got me thinking, and I came up with a simpler way to achieve the same thing—directly, without having to generate and send messages to the OmniSync Server Mail Drop.

Junk mail mystery — Nearly every message in Mail.app is being marked as spam

As I wrote about in the past, I host my email on a Mac mini with OS X Server, and on which I run Mail.app and SpamSieve together to provide a server-side spam filtering and rules-processing solution. While this setup works great for remote spam filtering and management, it is somehow causing a separate, irritating and confusing problem.

Reflections on my first few weeks of listening to podcasts

A few weeks ago, and way late to the game, I started listening to podcasts. Of the several I’ve heard so far, the ones I enjoyed have included Horace Dediu’s “The Critical Path“, Benedict Evans’s “Cubed“, Gabe Weatherhead and Erik Hess’s “Technical Difficulties” and Shawn Blanc’s “The Weekly Briefly“. The ones I’ve disliked have included John Gruber’s “The Talk Show” and Marco Arment’s “Accidental Tech“.

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on why I liked some and disliked others. This is mostly for my own benefit, since going through this exercise will likely reveal my motivations for listening to podcasts in the first place.

How to setup a roaming wifi network over ethernet with an Airport Extreme and Airport Express

In the past, all the devices in my home operated over a single wifi network—including four Macs, an AppleTV and several iOS devices. I’ve long suspected I was probably overtaxing the wifi, and listening to the recent “taming wifi” episode of the Technical Difficulties podcast inspired me to do something about it.