Some geeky things

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Some days are interesting not just because something special or unique happens but because of the little things.

SSH tunneling

At work I tend to collect little snippets of code or wisdom about Mac OS X administration in a folder called "Mac OS X Research". The folder's not organized in any special manner but I just happen to remember that I've put something there for later.

Yesterday, I pulled out a print from a post to the MacEnterprise list that I thought was interesting at the time and wanted to try. One of my users was complaining that after moving (and moving to a different network segment) he was no longer able to print to his printers, even after setting them up again.

I suspected he had probably connected to the local Windows print queues like a few folks have done before. These print queues are not properly configured for Mac clients. Protocol forbids me from connecting to his computer without his allowance while logged in but I wanted to see if I was right.

I ran this little command from that MacEnterprise message in the Terminal (replacing "user@remoteHost" with my login credentials and the address of his computer):

ssh user@remoteHost -L 2000:127.0.0.1:631

This ssh tunneling command allowed me to view his CUPS control panel from my computer, even though it is accessible only to "localhost". While browsing his printer settings I was able to see "smb://" connections, which means, yes indeed, he was connecting to the local Windows print queues.

remotecups.jpg

SSH tunneling

While perusing Twitter this morning I saw a reference by a tech blogger that I follow about Blippy, a social website whose premise is to show others what you are buying in real time. Order a NetFlix movie or charge something on your credit card and others can see what you bought and how much you paid.

I was curious about how it worked, so I signed up. The first thing you have to do is add accounts and this is where I stopped cold. For example, if I wanted to connect to my Wells Fargo debit card I had to provide my user name, which is my social security number, and my online password to allow Blippy to monitor my activity.

My reaction?

blippycomment.jpg

VirusBarrier X6

Intego has updated its VirusBarrier product from X5 to X6 and it now includes firewall, anti-phishing and anti-spyware support along with permission to install one license on two computers.

Since I believe Macs should be good network citizens, I run antivirus software and have it set to check daily for updates. I'm experimenting with the new features incorporated from their old NetBarrier product and we'll see how long I can stand being prompted to allow various applications access to the network (I've set the settings pretty high).

The only problem so far is that I renewed my virus definitions subscription back in October for two years. Even though I provided my X5 serial number for the upgrade, I'm only seeing one year of definitions support. Interested in seeing how Intego responds to my E-mail message about this issue.

 

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