TeX is Huge

Posted Tue 15 April 2014 10:47 under category tech

I was installing MacTeX on my MacBook Pro today and had an amusing realization. First, some background: for those of you who don't know, TeX is a phenomenal family of typesetting programs originally written in 1978 by two of the giants of 20th Century computer science, Don Knuth and Guy Steele. Most people now use it in conjunction with a slightly more modern set of extensions called LaTeX released in 1981 or so. I used TeX/LaTeX to typeset several thousand pages of homework and other assignments in college.

Now, in early 2014, the download for the OS X ...

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Alfred + dc

Posted Thu 03 April 2014 11:57 under category tech

I use Alfred 2 a lot on OS X in order to get things done. It doesn't completely change how I use the operating system, but it comes close. However, one of my pet peeves about it has always been that the built-in calculator is pretty terrible (even with the "advanced" equals-sign calculator). I realized this morning that I could fix this, and, lo, the dc alfred workflow was born.

It just takes its input and runs it through the dc command-line utility, giving you a fully-programmable RPN calculator. It's not quite as great as PCalc, but it ...

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Interesting SSL Issue

Posted Mon 24 March 2014 22:54 under category tech

Shortly after I upgraded to OS X 10.9.2, I was connecting to battle.net, and I got an SSL error. At the time, I didn't think anything of it (after all, sites have bad SSL certificates all the time). However, I noticed it again today when looking at the page for Reaper of Souls, and decided to look into it again. When I did, I found something very unusual: my system has a second copy of the DigiCert root CA certificate in the "login" keychain. For those of you who aren't familiar, OS X uses a ...

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Rawr, Lion

Posted Sat 23 July 2011 19:33 under category tech

Mac OS X Lion If you've read any kind of tech news in the last few days, you might've noticed that Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is out. I wasn't going to upgrade for a while, but then it launched and I did. So I've been using Lion for a few days now, and I thought I'd join the endless ranks of people on the Internet talking about Apple's latest big cat. I'm not really going to be much competition for the real tech writers, so if you want to learn nearly everything about Lion, I recommend making a pot of tea and sitting down to John Siracusa's latest tome. Otherwise, read on to see what I think of the new features.

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*nix Tip of the Day: Dynamic DNS

Posted Fri 18 December 2009 16:29 under category tips

Bonjour logo

It's nice to have DNS records for all of your computers. It's a giant pain in the ass to remember IP addresses, especially if you're on something like a cable connection, where the IP address is dynamic (but only changes every month or two). Now, you could go ahead and use DynDNS or No-IP or something. But those are lame. You have to use a subdomain of one of their domains, and you have to use their software to update. You might be wondering if there's a better way. Well, there is. Standard DNS supports updating, it turns out. In BIND, this is managed through the allow-update parameter. I had some free time this week after I finished finals, so I went ahead and set it up, along with the other trimmings required for Wide-Area Bonjour. It's cool, so I thought I'd post a bit.

The most important resource for all of this stuff is dns-sd.org. Aside from a couple of minor errors that I corrected and an update for OS X 10.5+, this Tip will be based off of the guides from that site. So credit to them.

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OS X Tip of the Day: Twitterific and QuickSilver

Posted Mon 12 January 2009 20:54 under category tips

There are a few tips online as to how to use Twitter and QuickSilver together, but they're lame. Particularly because they send your Twitter password over a nice non-https connection. And because I don't like to have to choose between getting prompted to grant access to my Twitter password every time I post from QuickSilver and granting all AppleScripts free access to my Twitter password. So I decided to leverage Twitterific's AppleScript support and write the following quick AppleScript:

using terms from application "Quicksilver"
    on process text t
        tell application "Twitterrific" to post update t
    end process ...
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