How to bypass Mac OS X’s Gatekepeer and run arbitrary programs as a non-admin user

Gatekeeper is Apple’s name for a feature in Mac OS X that prevents a user from opening certain programs based on a few different security preferences. (Under the hood, it’s actually part of Mac OS X’s security assessment policy subsystem, which you can manipulate from the command line with the spctl command if you have […]

How to: Securely configure Mac OS X for network packet sniffing with Wireshark

If you’re anything like me, you often run into a computer problem or five that could be diagnosed more quickly by taking a peek at activity on the network. The best general purpose tool for inspecting network activity has gotta be Wireshark. It’s an industry-standard, open source packet sniffer that you can use for fun and profit. But on many Mac OS X builds, the default configuration for packet capturing is less secure than it ought to be. Here’s how to fix that on your Mac.

How to use Tumblr as a web host for a blog you FULLY control, without paying anything

If you’re not a computer nerd, buying web hosting can feel like buying a house. Or, worse, like buying a car. Or, even worse than that, a new computer.

It doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, most people who want a simple blog or website don’t even need to buy web hosting in the first place. And, this is the kicker, if you do end up buying web hosting, sooner or later you’ll realize that you’ve invested your whole identity, or your business, or whatever’s important to you, in a place that you don’t actually have any control over, and can’t easily leave. Backups will become important, but they’re gonna be a massive headache. You may find yourself hitting resource quotas, or your credit card will be charged for hidden and contract “renewal” fees or some such bullshit like that, none of which you were told about when you signed up. And, worst of all, you could find yourself digitally gagged, censored, or even outright banned just because someone else on the same “shared server” you were assigned was behaving badly.

Fuck. That. Shit. And, more to the point, why on God’s green Earth would you pay to be subjected to such bullshit?

With just a little bit of patience, enough computer know-how to understand how to click a few download links and move files from one folder to another, and a willingness to read this post, you can avoid every single one of those frustrating web host experiences, all while ending up with seamless, automatic backups of your entire blog, the ability to legally dodge shitty censorship and corporate contracts alike, and the ability to easily participate in the ever-expanding social media frenzy without spending hours managing all your different accounts manually. And did I mention it’s free?

Read the full post, it’s worth it.

Play “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” on Mac OS X 10.6 using Dolphin with heat distortion fix

Download Dolphin 3.5 with WindWaker bugfix for Mac OS X 10.6 Intel If you’re running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard but wanted to play The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, you probably ran into this very annoying “heat distortion” bug: This issue actually crops up in two ways throughout Wind Waker. The more […]

One Minute Mac Tip: Open multiple Tor circuits in the new TorBrowserBundle 3.5 for Mac OS X

Earlier this month, the Tor Project released a new version of the Tor Browser Bundle, an easy-to-use anonymity-enhancing Web browser. In a previous post, I discussed how to use the Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) for other applications on your computer, such as Safari and even Mail.app. This post has updated instructions for doing some of […]

HowTo: Use Tor for all network traffic by default on Mac OS X

Recently, I had the gratifying experience of doing some political work that earned me a bunch of hate mail and some threats of physical violence. It had already gotten to the point where I was being harassed by a self-described “Internet stalker” who would call up venues I went to and get the employees to […]

How to spoof your MAC address on Mac OS X (for reals)

Update: For users of Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion), a much easier solution called SpoofMAC exists as a set of Python scripts. (via) One of the oddities of Apple’s Mac OS X platform is that some things that should be easy are obtusely difficult, and remarkably so. Changing the hostname of […]

One Minute Mac Tip: Sniffing Wi-Fi traffic and capturing packets with the built-in airport utility

Many Mac OS X users lament the lack of sophisticated network analysis tools, often prevalent and seemingly prolific on Linux systems. What many don’t know is that Mac OS X comes with a built-in command-line tool to do all sorts of nifty things with Wi-Fi networks, from packet capture (traffic sniffing) to scanning nearby networks’ […]

HowTo: Use Rules to Automatically Manage Email in Apple Mail

After recently moving to San Francisco, I joined the San Francisco Freecyclers’ Network. Freecycle is a really cool set of local groups who prefer to give away items to people who want them instead of throwing them away into the trash. The group uses email to connect people who offer items and those who want […]

One Minute Mac Tip: Create an encrypted disk image to store confidential files

Nary a day goes by when I don’t use my computer for some extremely personal stuff. I would consider it a Very Bad Thing if some of this information (my bank account details or private SSH keys, for instance) fell out of my control. Everyone has sensitive files that they keep on their computer and, […]