Spotify update – an entire post of sarcasm

March 12, 2015 1 comment

Spotify logoHey Spotify, nice job on the latest update to your client on Macs – UI freezes for several seconds when doing complicated tasks like changing to the next song, changing volume and so on; moved the useful now-playing list to an obscure icon, and ditched that easy way to see what the current song is by right-clicking on the app icon.

Can’t wait for the next update where you disable the ability to play music – no one uses that function anyway.

Categories: Thoughts Tags:

MacBooks and ports

March 10, 2015 1 comment
The new MacBook

The new MacBook

The big news from Apple’s announcement of the new MacBooks today is the single USB-C port. This could be the beginning of the end for not only MagSafe power connections, but thunderbolt too (although presumably Thunderbolt will remain on high-end devices such as the Mac Pro since it has 20Gbs of throughput compared to USB3’s 5Gbs).

Using USB-C connectors looks like it might finally enable single-cable docking station like functionality for Mac laptops, either through canny third-party manufacturers offering USB/display hubs and chargers or through display manufacturers offering one-cable USB-C connections that can charge your computer, pass audio/video to the screen and offer USB/Ethernet hubs too. For example, the Thunderbolt Display may end up being a USB-C Display instead (5K let’s hope!).

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Shellshocked

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

I have a couple of servers running Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS that are not getting the new release of bash that resolves the shellshock bug through the standard update mechanism apt-get.

The solution is to download the package and install it manually.

  1. Download the package from
  2. Run the following command to install it:
    sudo dpkg -i bash_4.2-2ubuntu2.5_amd64.deb
  3. You can run the following command to see if you are vulnerable – no output is good!
    x='() { :;};echo Vulnerable!' bash -c true
Categories: Linux

Apache ProxyPass to the rescue for firewalled ports

September 24, 2014 1 comment

When trying to make a web-utility I look after with its own TomCat server available to the public web from a server with only http and https ports accessible through our firewall I stumbled on Apache’s ability to proxy pages internally. This lets me give public access to a web server running on a port that is not open to the public by getting Apache to pass the content back through the publicly available port 443.

This is how it works:

ProxyPass /foo
ProxyPassReverse /foo

Will mean going to will show that URL but actually show content from

Or in my case:

ProxyPass /
ProxyPassReverse /

Will mean going to actually shows content from the web server on the same server running on port 1443. Very handy!

Categories: Open Source, Web, apache

iTunes Store sectioned in Yosemite

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment

iTunes Store breadcrumbsThe iTunes Store in the version of iTunes (12) that comes with Yosemite is now sectioned into the Music/Movies etc and you can’t seem to get to the normal landing page that incorporates all types of media the store sells.

This can be a pain if you do like me and check in periodically for all the free content – you would have to go to each individual section.

The workaround is – scroll to the bottom of a section page in the Store and you’ll see the breadcrumbs navigation – and you can click on the top-level iTunes Store there. As soon as you switch a section in iTunes the relevant section will load again though.

Categories: Apple, iTunes

Cryptic tagline for September Apple event

August 29, 2014 1 comment

AppleApple have issued invitations for an event in September that most are speculating is for the iPhone 6 and/or possible wearable computing device (iWatch?). Its cryptic tagline of “Wish we could say more.” may suggest something to do with speaking such as Siri, which would probably go some way to reinforce rumours of Apple announcing some wearable computing hardware.

Categories: Apple

Raspberry Pi Digital Signage

April 16, 2014 1 comment
I recently helped out the Dunedin Gasworks Museum with creating their digital signage system using a Raspberry Pi.  The aim was to create a system that was very easy to use and update the content, but at a low cost.
I initially looked into creating a presentation in LibreOffice and auto-playing that – but there were a number of issues with trying to automate a presentation:
  • There’s a considerable delay when starting a presentation in LibreOffice whilst it loads.
  • The editor window always appears first before the presentation starts, which doesn’t look very good.
  • Slide timings mean the presentation advances through slides automatically, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to end the presentation automatically (without clicking the mouse).
In the end it was a lot easier to simply run through files in a folder on a USB stick, and display them (depending on extension – video/image etc). If the slideshow folder is not present on any USB device the system will drop to a login screen (so system changes can be made for example).

Read more…

Categories: Linux Tags: , ,

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