« Posts tagged Mac

Applications I Use 2: gfxCardStatus

Heres a little handy app that works quite well. Specific to Macs with Dual Graphics cards, normally the only way to change cards is to log out and log in again, after changing the preference under Power Settings. You have one for Power Saving and one for High Performance graphics.

Cody Krieger (@codykrieger) wrote a handy little App that will let you change Graphic Cards without having to logout, quite handy if you want to just muck about for a bit and then open up Team Fortress 2, or do some Video work.

So I present today gfxCardStatus.

As the Author writes:

gfxCardStatus is a menu bar application for OS X that allows users of dual-GPU 15” and 17” MacBook Pros to view which GPU is in use at a glance, and switch between them on-demand.

Most of the time it spends all its time just in my Task Bar sleeping showing which card I have enabled (i for the power saving low powered card, and d for the high-powered card).

It works quite well, sometimes you request a change and your machine won’t honour it straight away, normally this is down to another application doing something graphics heavy, so locking the control out.

One useful feature built-in is the ability to auto switch the graphics card in use based on the current power source.
Which I don’t personally use, but then I tend to hot swap between on/off PSU far too often.

I’ve a couple of options missing and some different settings available, but it depends on what model of Mac you have and the Graphics Card present in your machine.

All in all its quite a handy little app, and its Free. You can download it from http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus and start using it straight away.

Applications I Use 1: Caffeine

Because I don’t often have a lot to write about, thought I would start a new string of posts on Applications I use on a regular or semi-regular basis.

Today I’m starting with a little App that sits in my Mac Menu Bar. And Looks like a coffee cup.

Its called Caffeine and has a single function.
When enabled it stops the screensaver from running and the Mac itself from going to Sleep.


In addition to just enable/disable, it can be enabled for a 5/10/15/30 mins or 1/2/5 hours.

Quite a handy app if you are running something like a flash video that doesn’t quite trigger the no screensaver rule, or if you need to stop the screensaver running, and munching system resources, like video rendering. Or of course Power Point/Keynote Presentations.

There is nothing else to say about it really. It’s a handy little App with no little task and just sits there waiting to be enabled.

The odd person has had the odd issue with it, probably down to running other Power setting adjuster programs but it’s generally well reviewed in the App Store.

Its available in the Mac App Store and its Free.

MacHeist nanoBundle 2

So, its my first MacHeist!

I’ve been aware of MacHeist for a while, but since I now own a Mac I am participating.

MacHeist to me is a way to get software, on the cheap, as well as donating money to charity.

The apps available this time around are:

  • MacJournal
  • RipIt
  • Clips
  • CoverScout
  • Flow
  • Tales of Monkey Island
  • RapidWeaver

This as a bundle costs $260, but you get it all for $19.95, with 25% going to your choice of charity, or, as I selected, spreading it between all the charities listed on http://www.macheist.com/.

The Apps

MacJournal from what I can tell is just a diary, so something I’m not likely to use.

RipIt is DVD ripping, which could be useful when I want to rip something out for Motion Graphics, or making any animation type work.

Clips is a Clipboard manager, so keeps a history of stuff you have copied/cut out of a program for recall a old clipboard entry.

Coverscout, is a audio data fixer, ID3 tags for example.

Flow, is a FTP client, with decent inbuilt editing capacity as well as ready access to Web storage like Amazon S3, but lacks SCP support.

Tales of Monkey Island, is of course part of the Monkey Island series, tho 50,000 bundles need to be purchased in order to unlock it.
At the time of writing 17,250 bundles have been sold. Raising $84,979 for Charity.

Finally RapidWeaver appears to be akin to dreamweaver, thats also locked, its unlock requirements hidden for the time.

Not forgetting that Squeeze fell off the MacHeist truck last week as a free app, it compresses the folders you tell it to watch, in order to free up space on your system without making the files unusable.
Useful if your running short of space, I currently have it watching my Personal folder, it tells me it has saved just under 500Mb.

Most of my HD is full of VM’s and MP3’s, ignoring software so, they won’t get compressed much….

So if you have a Mac and don’t know about MacHeist, check it out, and if one of the app’s is useful to you, buy the bundle, and help some charities!

Mac Fun and Connecting to LSRfm.com!

So, I’m sat at home, having finished work last night, running Fruity Single handedly (the other tech broke his elbow before coming to work, and got sent to A&E bout 1am).

And then sleeping, (hmm sleep)

I find the need to connect to my FreeBSD VM, which is running on my Vista Laptop, which is in the LSRfm.com Office.

Its worth noting that the FreeBSD VM is running its networking as a NAT, so has its own IP address, so the Vista Laptop as a machine has two IP’s.

Standard SSH Tunnelling for the win!

ssh -p <open external port> -f bcarlyon@<lsr office domain> -L 1313:<internal IP of the VM>:22 -N && ssh -p 1313 bcarlyon@127.0.0.1 && kill `ps aux | grep <lsr office domain> | grep -v grep | awk ‘{print $2}’`

Breaking the command down.

Open the tunnel to the office (I like using 1313 and upwards for local ports, 13 is my lucky number).

-p specifys a port, as @katie_server, the machine I am SSH-ing to initally is port forwarded from the LSRfm.com Firewall.

-L sets up the local port

-N executes no command and puts that SSH session into the background.

Then open a ssh session thru that local port

When I exit the SSH session, the grep command kills the Tunnel, but only ssh commands for the lsr office domain.

grep -v grep makes sure that the grep command is exculced from being killed.

I discovered that the awk ‘{print $2}’ was outputting all the matches and thus kill killed them all which is a bonus, see next.

So I decided to setup Foxy Proxy on Firefox, so that I can route all my network traffic that match a lsr office computer, in this case http://192.168.0.*

So my Firefox now uses normal Internet unless accessing a LSRLocal Ip Address, at which points it routes it thru the socks proxy.

That socks proxy being a SSH tunnel to LSR office:

ssh – p <external port> -f bcarlyon@<lsr office domain> -D 1314 -C -N

-D sets up a dynamic, routes all traffic that goes thru 1314 to its relevant port on the outside or internal internet.

So if I wasn’t using FoxyProxy patterns and was routing all my network traffic in Firefox thru the Socks Proxy, then I can access the whole of the internet thru the tunnel, rather than use -L for a local/specific computer.

-D can be used with PuTTY, say if you wanted to listen to Pandora in the UK and happen to have SSH access to a server in america, or if you wanted to use IRN, which is IP Locked, in LSRfm.com’s case to the LSR office.

So now by alias-ed command for my mac, called freebsdvmnet reads:

ssh -p <ext. port> -f bcarlyon@<lsr dom> -L 1313:<VM IP>:22 -N &&
ssh -p <ext. port> -f bcarlyon@<lsr dom> -D 1314 -C -N &&
ssh -p <ext. port> -f bcarlyon@<lsr dom> -L 1315:<VM IP>:80 -N &&
ssh -p 1313 bcarlyon@127.0.0.1 && kill `ps aux | grep <lsr dom> | grep -v grep | awk ‘{print $2}’`

So,

Open ssh tunnel, to LSRfm.com, thru Katie, into FreeBSDvm (running on Vista Top (Hannah).

Open ssh tunnel for internet access

Open specific Tunnel for FreeBSDvm

Open SSH session thru tunnel to FreeBSDvm

KIll it all, when I exit the SSH session thru the Tunnel.

Given my FoxyProxy setup, the Specific Port 80 Tunnel to the FreeBSDvm is not needed. (I discovered FoxyProxy Patten Matching after writing the command).

So after all this I thought about connecting to the LSR File Server (lsr-fs) thru the tunnel. Initially trying a standard SSH tunnel on port 139, I find that smb://localhost:port/share/ the use of localhost is disabled in current OSX.

Brief Google Later: http://blog.newsyland.com/mac-os-x/leopard-broke-smb-tunneling

Choices Choices.

sudo ifconfig lo0 alias 127.0.0.2 up

Seems easiest, but I find myself using, the main instructions.

Create a ssh tunnel overwriting port 139, then smb://localhost works fine, (but seriously why disable the localhost loop back in the first place)

sudo ssh -p <Ext IP> -f bcarlyon@<lsr dom> -L 139:127.0.0.1:139 -N

The Blog Advises routing 445 too.

Both are privileged ports so need Sudo.

So some terminal use as directed by Newsyland Blog = Win

So that is what I’ve done this morning, some ssh fun and accessing the File Server as if I was in the office.

Next to see if it works on Windows, this is gonna be useful for general use, (and stopping my Apache server needing .htaccess Rules to stop people accessing it) and for Student Radio External Broadcasts!

AND YES I STILL NEED TO FIX MY BLOG STYLE!!!!

My new toy

🙂