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Wed, Jul 19, 2017 9:55 pm

OS X - Get File Info

On an OS X/macOS system, you may be able to determine a file's origin, i.e., where it was downloaded from, by right-clicking on the file, or clicking on it to highlight it and then hitting command-I (the command and "I" keys), in the Finder and choosing Get Info. If a "where from" field is displayed, you can see the URL from which the file was obtained if it was downloaded from a website. You can also view that information from a command-line interface (CLI), e.g., a Terminal window, using the mdls command.

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Sat, Jun 24, 2017 2:36 pm

Modifying search domain settins under OS X

If you would like to be put a system's name in your web browser, e.g., ajax, into your browser's address bar and have the system automatically append a domain name, e.g. example.com, so that the browser attempts to access ajax.example.com, even though you just typed ajax, you can modify the Domain Name System (DNS) search domain settings. To do so on an Apple OS X/macOS system, take the following steps:

  1. Click on the Apple icon at the top, left-hand side of your screen.
  2. Choose System Preferences then Network.
  3. Select the relevant network service, such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet, then click on the Advanced button.
  4. Click on DNS.
  5. Click in the Search Domains box and then click on the "+" at the bottom of that box to add a new search domain.
  6. Type the name of the search domain, e.g. example.com.
  7. Click on OK

You can add multiple domains; domains will be searched in the order you list them with the search starting at the topmost entry and continuing down through the list of domains with the search stopping when a valid name is found.

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Wed, Jun 14, 2017 11:02 pm

Installing Lynx with Homebrew

If you need a text-based web browser that doesn't require a graphical user interface (GUI), one alternative is the Lynx browser that is available for a variety of operating systems, including Linux, OS X/macOS, DOS, and Microsoft Windows. If you have the Homebrew package management software installed on a OS X/macOS system, you can use it to easily install the Lynx browser using the command brew install lynx.

Advantages to using a text-based browser such as Lynx, in addition to it not requiring a GUI, making it suitable to be run in a Terminal window, is that it doesn't support Adobe Flash, which makes it invulnerable to malware distributed through vulnerabilities in Flash. Also, because it doesn't support JavaScript nor graphics, it prevents tracking software that uses JavaScript or web bugs, aka web beacons, which can track your web browsing activities via small graphics files that will be invisible to you on a webpage, from being used to track your browsing activities. It does support HTTP cookies, though, which are also used by sites to track visitors, but Lynx will prompt you if you want to allow cookies for a site when you visit the site and has whitelisting and blacklisting capabilities. E.g., when a site tries to place a cookie on your system, Lynx will prompt you as to whether it should be allowed. You can choose from "Y/N/Always/neVer."

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Tue, Jun 13, 2017 10:04 pm

Determining the version of Firefox on OS X

If you wish to determine the version of Firefox installed on an OS X from a command line interface (CLI), you can open a Terminal window and use the command shown below:

$ /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox -v
Mozilla Firefox 45.8.0
$

You can also find the information in the Info.plist file found at /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Info.plist. The version number will be on the line following the "key" line for CFBundleGetInfoString and also after the "key" line for CFBundleShortVersionString .

        <key>CFBundleGetInfoString</key>
        <string>Firefox 45.8.0</string>

        <key>CFBundleShortVersionString</key>
        <string>45.8.0</string>

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Mon, Jun 12, 2017 7:22 am

Can't Force Quit Firefox

Firefox (version 45.8.0) became unresponsive on my MacBook Pro running OS X El Capitan (10.11.6). I killed Firefox by clicking on the Apple icon at the top, left-hand corner of the page and selecting Force Quit and then selecting Firefox in the list of running applications and then clicking on the Force Quit button.

Force Quit Applications - Firefox

I then restarted Firefox by clicking on its icon in the Dock. The icon bounced a few times and then stopped, so I assumed Firefox was now running. But when I tried accessing it by holding down the command while repeatedely tapping the tab key to cycle through the open applications, it didn't appear. Nor did it show up in the list of running processes shown by the Activity Monitor.

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Sun, Jun 11, 2017 2:39 pm

CPU Information for a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)

The sysctl command can be used on a Mac OS X/macOS system to determine some machine dependent (machdep) features, such as Central Processor Unit (CPU) features. E.g., the output of sysctl machdep.cpu run on a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) system with an Intel Core i7 processor is shown below:

$ sysctl machdep.cpu
machdep.cpu.max_basic: 13
machdep.cpu.max_ext: 2147483656
machdep.cpu.vendor: GenuineIntel
machdep.cpu.brand_string: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4870HQ CPU @ 2.50GHz
machdep.cpu.family: 6
machdep.cpu.model: 70
machdep.cpu.extmodel: 4
machdep.cpu.extfamily: 0
machdep.cpu.stepping: 1
machdep.cpu.feature_bits: 9221960262849657855
machdep.cpu.leaf7_feature_bits: 10155
machdep.cpu.extfeature_bits: 142473169152
machdep.cpu.signature: 263777
machdep.cpu.brand: 0
machdep.cpu.features: FPU VME DE PSE TSC MSR PAE MCE CX8 APIC SEP MTRR PGE MCA C
MOV PAT PSE36 CLFSH DS ACPI MMX FXSR SSE SSE2 SS HTT TM PBE SSE3 PCLMULQDQ DTES6
4 MON DSCPL VMX SMX EST TM2 SSSE3 FMA CX16 TPR PDCM SSE4.1 SSE4.2 x2APIC MOVBE P
OPCNT AES PCID XSAVE OSXSAVE SEGLIM64 TSCTMR AVX1.0 RDRAND F16C
machdep.cpu.leaf7_features: SMEP ERMS RDWRFSGS TSC_THREAD_OFFSET BMI1 AVX2 BMI2 
INVPCID FPU_CSDS
machdep.cpu.extfeatures: SYSCALL XD 1GBPAGE EM64T LAHF LZCNT RDTSCP TSCI
machdep.cpu.logical_per_package: 16
machdep.cpu.cores_per_package: 8
machdep.cpu.microcode_version: 19
machdep.cpu.processor_flag: 5
machdep.cpu.mwait.linesize_min: 64
machdep.cpu.mwait.linesize_max: 64
machdep.cpu.mwait.extensions: 3
machdep.cpu.mwait.sub_Cstates: 270624
machdep.cpu.thermal.sensor: 1
machdep.cpu.thermal.dynamic_acceleration: 1
machdep.cpu.thermal.invariant_APIC_timer: 1
machdep.cpu.thermal.thresholds: 2
machdep.cpu.thermal.ACNT_MCNT: 1
machdep.cpu.thermal.core_power_limits: 1
machdep.cpu.thermal.fine_grain_clock_mod: 1
machdep.cpu.thermal.package_thermal_intr: 1
machdep.cpu.thermal.hardware_feedback: 0
machdep.cpu.thermal.energy_policy: 1
machdep.cpu.xsave.extended_state: 7 832 832 0
machdep.cpu.xsave.extended_state1: 1 0 0 0
machdep.cpu.arch_perf.version: 3
machdep.cpu.arch_perf.number: 4
machdep.cpu.arch_perf.width: 48
machdep.cpu.arch_perf.events_number: 7
machdep.cpu.arch_perf.events: 0
machdep.cpu.arch_perf.fixed_number: 3
machdep.cpu.arch_perf.fixed_width: 48
machdep.cpu.cache.linesize: 64
machdep.cpu.cache.L2_associativity: 8
machdep.cpu.cache.size: 256
machdep.cpu.tlb.inst.large: 8
machdep.cpu.tlb.data.small: 64
machdep.cpu.tlb.data.small_level1: 64
machdep.cpu.tlb.shared: 1024
machdep.cpu.address_bits.physical: 39
machdep.cpu.address_bits.virtual: 48
machdep.cpu.core_count: 4
machdep.cpu.thread_count: 8
machdep.cpu.tsc_ccc.numerator: 0
machdep.cpu.tsc_ccc.denominator: 0
$

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Thu, May 11, 2017 10:38 pm

Firefox in Force Quit Applications, but not in Activity Monitor

Firefox stopped responding whenever I attempted to access a site. I could verify network connectivity to various sites with ping, but if I attempted to access a URL in the Firefox browser on my MacBook Pro running OS X El Capitan, Firefox (version 45.7.0) would not display any webpage. I've had this problem in the past; when it occurred, I would quit Firefox, sometimes using Force Quit Applications, which is available by clicking on the Apple icon at the top, left-hand corner of the screen and then selecting Force Quit and then selecting Firefox from the Force Quit Applications list of running applications and then clicking on the Force Quit button. When I did that today, I saw the message below as usual:

Do you want to force "Firefox" to quit?

You will lose any unsaved changes.

 

I clicked on Force Quit, but that seemed to have no effect. I closed and reopened Force Quit Applications and went through the same process numerous times, but no matter how many times I repeated the process, Firefox remained in the list of running applications that it showed.

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Sat, May 06, 2017 10:55 pm

Installing Homebrew on Mac OS X

Homebrew is a free and open-source (FOSS) package management system that is available for OS X/macOS systems. Homebrew makes extensive use of GitHub to expand the support of several packages through user contributions. The software was written by Max Howell in 2009; as of July 2016 there was a team of twelve developers maintaining the software. You can install it by opening a Terminal window and issuing the command /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)". I recommend putting the sudo command at the beginning of the command, so you won't be prompted so many times to provide the password for your account during the installation, i.e., sudo /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)".

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Mon, May 01, 2017 11:16 pm

Installing Wireshark on Mac OS X El Capitan

Wireshark is free and open-source software that provides packet capture and analysis capabilities. The software is available for Mac OS X/MacOS systems. An Apple Disk Image .dmg file can be downloaded from Download Wireshark. After downloading the .dmg file, double-click on it to open it. Inside the .dmg file you will see a .pkg file and a Read me first.rtf file.

Wireshark DMG file

Double-click on the .pkg file to start the installation.

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Fri, Mar 17, 2017 6:19 pm

OS X "arrange by" in column view

I usually have the OS X Finder set to display folders and files in alphabetical order by setting the view mode to arrange the display of files and folder by name. But sometimes I switch to view by size, etc. However, when I then switch back to view the files and folders in column mode arranged by name, Finder doesn't actually display them in alphabetical order, which is annoying.

I finally got to the point where the issue was so annoying that I felt I had to find a solution. I found Brett Taylor's HOWTO: Fix file sorting in Finder‘s column view on Mac OS X Lion article which provided a means to address the issue. Though the title for his article, which acknowledges Barney-15E's post at In OS X Lion, Finder will not "Arrange By > Name" in "Column view", references OS X Lion, I found the solution worked for OS X El Capitan (10.11.6) on my MacBook Pro.

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