Good stuff to know: secure coding

October 7, 2016

Nip the problems at the bud – design and coding – because dealing with exploits later will cost much more.

Macbook Pro (6,2) with rebooting/crashing nvidia problems

January 24, 2016

This may be the late 2010 model, which was fine until I upgraded to Mavericks in order to keep up with Guild Wars 2. The reboots occur when something gets poked in the nvidia software, it seems. It was past the period when Apple offered to replace hardware for free. In the end, my solution was to downgrade to the original Snow Leopard and forego upgrading past 10.6.8.

At first, it seemed like gfxcardstatus was enough to keep things going, but there were occasions when GW2 or minecraft would get away with going back to discrete graphics mode, and it would reboot again. Didn’t help if I was running from Windows 8.1 either, via bootcamp. Newer graphics drivers meant exposing those chip defects, particularly in using minecraft or Neverwinter online. Attempted one suggested fix to force Mavericks to overheat with a wool blanket or a sealed laptop bag, which should have made it shut down while on integrated graphics, after which one was to remove the discrete graphics drivers and rebuild the metadata of drivers. Too much hit and miss, always missing. Downgrading, while a bit of a hassle, was the best solution for me.

DHCP dilemma: Netgear CG3000-STAUS has no DNS option

December 29, 2013

So, short of setting up static DNS (OpenDNS for me) on each device, what can I do?

I need another device that provides DNS, one that is always on when the router is, so nothing high-powered. Maybe a new switch to upgrade my 100Mbps one.🙂 Or replace my current switch with my retired Linksys WRT54G, used without wifi purely as a switch — with DHCP enabled on a static DNS setting. But will it let me set a default gateway? Maybe if I flash the firmware with DD-WRT.. Could be interesting just to try it anyway.

Why does it matter? Because OpenDNS is an inexpensive and reasonably effective way to restrict my Internet traffic (for the whole family, away from undesirable websites).

Mac OS 10.5.8 — X11 quit unexpectedly

December 25, 2013

Seemed to happen when X11 (XQuartz) launches right after I start my terminal. The crash report would say something like this:

Reason: Incompatible library version: X11.bin requires version 15.0.0 or later,
but libpixman-1.0.dylib provides version 13.0.0.

The same message appears in Console Messages.

Solution was simple:

# sudo ln -sf /opt/local/lib/libpixman-1.0.dylib /usr/X11/lib/libpixman-1.0.dylib

This is probably due to mistakes I had made in installing mac ports or X11 (which was installed before ports). In case someone else had made similar mistakes, this one works for me. The bug tracking page I found on it suggests that this isn’t an inherent problem of X11.

/etc/hosts and dnsdomainname

July 10, 2013

The order matters in /etc/hosts as far as dnsdomainname is concerned. As man hosts says,

IP_address caconical_hostname [aliases..]

I was wondering why munge was complaining about being unable to resolve my host name, despite it being available via DNS (both forward and reverse) and the correct (so I thought) entry in /etc/hosts. The solution appears to be that dnsdomainname resolved, which required the correct order in /etc/hosts.

Stupid things we did (hopefully not anymore) at the Data Center

April 29, 2013

Yep, I’ve done some of these stupid things in my former career as a systems admin, especially in the early days back in the 90s and early 2000s. I would like to think that I’ve outgrown the attitude underlying these ..

[Source: TechRepublic (]

Can’t find the recovery file for Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows XP?

February 26, 2013

This support document from Microsoft tries to cover all bases, and was very useful. When my son encountered this problem, there was no recovery file to be found when using the usual route (File > Recent >  Recover Unsaved Documents), which expected the files (type: Unsaved Files) to be in his account’s Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\UnsvedFiles. How was it found?

  1. Trying something from the support document, I went to the Recycle Bin, changed the View into Details so I get a list with the date and time, then sorted the list by date and time.
  2. I found an Autosave file that was modified today, right-click and Recover — but unfortunately, I had no idea where it went because I did not first check its original location that appears when you hover the mouse/cursor over a deleted file.
  3. I used Windows search (Start > Search) with part of the filename I remembered, ‘Document1,’ and it was found, and it wasn’t in My Documents or any of its subfolders.
  4. Anyway I copied it back to My Documents and double-clicked to open it, which Word did in readonly mode. Just had to Save As another filename and it became a regular Word document.

Reading epub from iTunes

February 25, 2013

I couldn’t work out how to read the ebooks downloaded via iTunes, until I came upon this much appreciated post from user PAS-MacBookPro:

“Install Adobe Digital Editions. Drag the icon for the book to the desktop. Double-click the resulting icon (it will be an epub file). Adobe Digital Editions will open and you can read the book. It’s a bit cumbersome, but it works.”


New Zero-Day exploit with Adobe Acrobat Reader

February 14, 2013

This appears in ZDNet on Feb 13: “Security researchers are warning users not to open PDFs from unknown sources in Adobe Reader after finding a PDF zero-day being exploited in the wild. Researchers at security firm FireEye claimed on Tuesday they had seen the attack PDFs successfully exploit the latest versions of Adobe’s PDF Reader for Mac, Linux and Windows.”

MMC and SD card problems on Macbook Pro

January 1, 2013

JoesRandomStuff at YouTube has a very simple fix: don’t insert the card all the way in. I’ve tried it on a PalmOne (yeah, old stuff) MMC card and it works exactly as the posted fix says it would.

Gotta admire these simple fixes that probably just needed a little daring and curiosity (which I completely missed)!🙂