Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

Articles
About four months ago I declared bankruptcy -- of a sort. It was a kind of technological bankruptcy. This is the the tale of that decision but to find its roots I need to take you back to a time before I'd come to this realization. A time when, for me, technology could solve all of my problems. This goes back years -- though I'm not sure how many at this point. For some time I've been battling my way through the jungle of productivity tools. Apps, sites, systems, tricks, life hacks, [thought technologies](http://www.maxedmands.com/notes/2014/07/20/interesting-concepts.html), and anything else you can imagine. Early in 2016 I committed to picking a tool and sticking with it. The app I chose was [Todoist](https://en.todoist.com/web). This was far and away the best tool I'd used because…
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Server Hardening Strategies

Articles
Staying secure is a full-time gig. It doesn't matter whether we're talking a datacentre or your smartphone, there are always steps to be taken to keep your machines and your data as safe as possible. With the increasing popularity of virtualization for applications and services and the ability for people to "roll your own" cloud comes the need to secure those machines. This becomes increasingly challenging when you consider the fact that by their very nature these machines are constantly exposed to the Internet. ### Minimize Your Attack Surface **Don't install it unless you need it** One of the best things you can do to harden a server environment is to take a minimalistic approach. Don't install components that you think you "might need" somewhere down the road, or things…
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Think Different(ly)

Articles
In a recent conversation with [Knightwise][kw] we were musing that it doesn't seem that it's very long since we were both ragging on Dave to get off Windows and get a Mac. Today we're both seriously entertaining the possibility that our next primary computing device might be running an OS from Redmond. What changed? Has Windows gotten that much better? Yes. It's undeniably better. But we're also different. And Apple is different. I think when we switched to the Mac we saw it as the Valhalla of everything we were looking for. A better system with a unix terminal which would give us the best of both worlds: open source, and a first-class GUI driven OS. In a lot of ways the Mac hasn't progressed since the Intel transition. Sure…
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Creating Spaces in MacOS

Articles
[Virtual desktops][1] are an extremely useful feature of modern operating systems. It's a feature that provides some of the benefits of multiple monitors without the extra space or expense of adding more displays to your computer. Generally speaking the feature allows you to group together windows on one or more additional logical desktops without the need for multiple monitors. ![Preference pane for Mission Control][preference-pane]On the Mac this feature is known as "Spaces" and was [originally introduced][2] way back in OS X 10.5 "Leopard", and was integrated into the [Mission Control][3] preference pane a couple of years later. This merge into Mission Control works very well, as long as you know where to look — because the preference pane doesn't really tell you where it is or how to find it.…
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30 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To (part 3)

Reviews
![flickr-abletoven-rss-headphones](/media/blog-images/2014/abletoven-podcast-rss.jpg)In [part 1](/2014/04/30-podcasts-you-should-be-listening-to-part-1/) and [part 2](/2014/04/30-podcasts-you-should-be-listening-to-part-2/) of this series I highlighted the first block of 30 podcasts I listen to very regularly. I have listened to many of these since they began (often retroactively) and very much enjoy them. There are a lot of tech shows in here with a mix of science, food, history and popular culture mixed in for good measure. Today I bring you the final round of podcasts. I highly recommend you check out any of these great shows and subscribe to them if you're interested. ### Mac OS Ken This show is my day starter. Ken Ray brings together a concise short 10-20 minute podcast with a dose of "Apple news and news related to Apple news." Every weekday he rounds up the latest in…
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Bad Decisions

Articles
As someone who considers himself a technology enthusiast I take pride in my ability to know how best to apply technological solutions to everyday problems. Part of knowing how to do this is the ability to know what the options are and when to choose which option. Few decisions in technology demonstrate this abundance of options better than the selection process for a new computer. I have had a MacBook as my primary computer for the past 6 years. In that time, my first Mac has helped me to accomplish a number of goals. It has been my main machine for all of my technological pursuits. Pretty much Avery blog post and podcast episode I've produced was conceived of, written recorded and released on that machine. I has travelled with…
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Creating ISO Images from the OSX Command Line

Articles
A super fast way to create ISO images (or any kind of bit for bit copies) from the OS X (or linux, or unix) command line is to use the DD command. This isn't without it's risks since the DD command will duplicate byte for byte all data from one location to another, but once you've found the necessary information you can easily replicate data. I needed to create a copy of my Windows XP installation CD to use for setting up new virtual machines. Since it's quicker to install VMs from an ISO image rather than from the installation media I wanted an ISO of my CD. The built in OS X disk utility can make this work... in theory. My copy of disk utility (on Snow Leopard) didn't…
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Mac vs. PC :: Will my next computer be a Mac?

Articles
It's been about two and a half years since I made the switch from being a dedicated Windows user to [buying my first Mac](//kdmurray.com/2006/09/macbook-day-1/). I have really enjoyed my MacBook and wanted to take a few moments to discuss some of the differences and similarities I've found with the Mac ownership experience, compared to my earlier (and ongoing) experiences with the Windows platform. **Marketing and Markets** Both [Windows](http://blogs.computerworld.com/five_reasons_why_vista_beats_mac_os_x) and [Mac](http://www.tuaw.com/2008/03/24/why-the-mac-is-better-than-the-pc-crapware/) [enthusiasts](http://apcmag.com/15_reasons_macs_are_still_better_than_windows.htm) love to [evangelize](http://mac.elated.com/2008/12/12/10-ways-that-windows-is-better-than-mac-os/) their platform of choice.  It's human nature, we all want people to know how smart we are for choosing the best of what's available. As is often the case with most of these "[holy wars](https://www.google.ca/search?q=mac windows holy war)" the smaller market tends to be more vocal, and more likely to point out all the flaws in…
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