OSOMac http://www.osomac.com Making your life easier, one App at a time... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:05:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Linode Introduces Hourly Billing http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/11/linode-introduces-hourly-billing/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/11/linode-introduces-hourly-billing/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:05:16 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1676 Finally Linode moved to hourly billing, following DigitalOcean‘s model (hourly billing by default, capped at the monthly price). I don’t see Linode moving more into DO’s territory: Linode’s cheapest instance costs four times more than DO’s, but it is also more powerful and only comparable to a similarly priced instance on DO.

Since I switched from Linode to DO, I missed the advanced console and admin tools provided by the former, not to mention the 8 virtual cores (not guaranteed, but available most of the time when I was using it); switching back is now a concrete possibility, the absence of hourly billing was the real show-stopper for me.

Introducing hourly billing. Now you can enjoy Linode services billed in hour increments, add services to your account without needing to pre-pay, and be invoiced at the end of each month only for the hours you used.

via Linode Blog » Introducing Hourly Billing.

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Imagine no SSL encryption, it’s scary if you try http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/10/imagine-ssl-encryption-scary-try/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/10/imagine-ssl-encryption-scary-try/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:13:28 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1672 Some sound advice.

To test a website, you do not need to put in the port number. The test will default to port 443 (HTTPS). So I was able to test Dreamhost.com by just using “dreamhost.com” in the form. At the time I tested, dreamhost had not updated to the fixed version of OpenSSL, and so the test reported it as vulnerable.

Here is the address of the test tool.

In case you wonder, osomac.com is not affected.

SSL Test

via Imagine no SSL encryption, it’s scary if you try | Agile Blog.

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Disqus is Testing a New Form of Advertising http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/10/disqus-testing-new-form-advertising/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/10/disqus-testing-new-form-advertising/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:37:28 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1668 At some point I was considering switching to Disqus for comments, now I am glad I did not. Also, I find it interesting how the explanation sounds defensive (and not clear).

Do not get me wrong though, I think it’s completely legitimate to try to monetize the huge community Disqus has built; I just believe there should be a way for website owners to switch to a paid plan and opt out from the ads.

For the last month, in very small numbers, we’ve been testing out a new advertising format: Sponsored Comments. We’re expanding that test based on early, promising results. So soon, it’ll be more likely that you come across a Sponsored Comment.

via Heads Up: We’re Testing a New Form of Advertising | Disqus: The Official Blog.

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How a Harvard Case Study About Apple Was Turned Into Manga http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/09/how-a-harvard-case-study-about-apple-was-turned-into-manga/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/09/how-a-harvard-case-study-about-apple-was-turned-into-manga/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:14:27 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1664 From the couple of frames in the article, the comic seems pretty well done:

In an effort to make its traditional case studies and management guides more relatable to a visually-driven generation of students, the organization has begun adapting some texts in the style of manga, the hugely popular Japanese comics.

via How a Harvard Case Study About Apple Was Turned Into Manga – At Work – WSJ.

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Adobe launches Lightroom Mobile for iPad http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/08/adobe-launches-lightroom-mobile-ipad/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/08/adobe-launches-lightroom-mobile-ipad/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:08:35 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1661 Can’t wait to try this. I am part of the small group of people who actually like Creative Cloud…

Adobe’s hotly anticipated Lightroom Mobile—the iPad version of its professional desktop photo management and editing software—has now arrived on the scene. But unlike Lightroom 5, you must be a Creative Cloud subscriber to use it.

via Adobe launches Lightroom Mobile for iPad, but you must be a Creative Cloud subscriber to use it – The Next Web.

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Not dead yet: Dutch, British governments pay to keep Windows XP alive | Ars Technica http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/07/dead-yet-dutch-british-governments-pay-keep-windows-xp-alive-ars-technica/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/07/dead-yet-dutch-british-governments-pay-keep-windows-xp-alive-ars-technica/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:21:37 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1658 Big organizations in general, government or corporate, are terrible at managing software and updating regularly. This said, a special mention should go to Microsoft, for making it so “simple” to upgrade…

On Wednesday, ComputerWeekly reported that the UK government agreed to pay Microsoft £5.548 million (approximately $9.1 million) for continued support of Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003 for all British public sector customers.

via Not dead yet: Dutch, British governments pay to keep Windows XP alive | Ars Technica.

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What Does It Mean to Be a Rich Entrepreneur? http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/02/mean-rich-entrepreneur/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/04/02/mean-rich-entrepreneur/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:46:10 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1654 Refreshing reading.

Put up a website, master conversions and BAM, your bank account will turn into an ever-skyrocketing balance.

Right? Except, it rarely works that way, even if you do what you do well, and build a following.

via What Does It Mean to Be a Rich Entrepreneur?.

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Build a Cheaper, Customizable Alternative to Apple’s Mac Pro http://www.osomac.com/2014/03/25/build-cheaper-customizable-alternative-apples-mac-pro/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/03/25/build-cheaper-customizable-alternative-apples-mac-pro/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:23:01 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1651 I really don’t see the point of this, beside wasting a considerable amount of time and being able to boast about it. If you build such a machine you’d better go with Linux or Windows; the real advantage of OS X is in the tight integration between hardware and software.

Apple’s Mac Pro, the sleek and shiny trash can from outer space, is certainly a feat of engineering. It also costs $3,000. If you want to build a comparable machine yourself, you can save a lot of money by going with a Hackintosh.

via Build a Cheaper, Customizable Alternative to Apple’s Mac Pro.

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Breathing new life in my Mac Pro http://www.osomac.com/2014/03/24/breathing-new-life-mac-pro/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/03/24/breathing-new-life-mac-pro/#comments Sun, 23 Mar 2014 22:51:45 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1637 Although I enjoy iOS and use my iPhone and iPad Mini very often, my main computing device remain my Mac Pro. I used to mostly use a laptop before making the switch, but I mainly use the computer at home and I have been extremely happy with the Mac Pro since I bought it, end 2010. I also have a Macbook Pro 15, which I have bought to be able to test on a retina display. Although I love the retina display and the 512GB internal SSD (which is insanely fast), I mostly use the MBP when I travel. The main thing that I love with the Mac Pro is that I can keep it running 24/7 without any problems, and that no matter what tasks I throw at it, I have never ever heard the fans.

I am still happy in terms of performance, but sometimes I feel constrained by the memory and storage speed. My boot disk and home directory are stored on a Fusion Drive, made by a relatively old 120 GB OWC SSD, and a regular 1TB hard disk. Possibly because of the age of the SSD, and maybe because I have never wiped it out, I don’t get great performance out of it; it’s nowhere near the MBP native SSD, and actually comparable to a regular hard disk. So I have decided to rebuild the fastest Fusion Drive I could imagine, and I have ordered the following (from OWC):

  • Mercury Accelsior E_2: this should be the fastest possible option, as it is directly on the PCI bus and is not constrained by the SATA controller; I ordered it with 240GB;
  • WD VelociRaptor: one of the fastest HD available (10k RPM), with a 5 years warranty on top of it.

I have done some tests, though nothing very fancy, before and after creating the Fusion Drive:

OWC Mercury Accelsior 2 stand-alone

OWC Mercury Accelsior E_2 stand-alone

WD Velociraptor stand-alone

WD VelociRaptor stand-alone

Even the hard disk by itself is considerably faster than my previous Fusion Drive. Now, after cloning the previous boot drive on this newly created Fusion Drive, these are the numbers. All tests are done using a 5GB file.

Fusion Drive

Fusion Drive

My previous Fusion Drive was in the range of 120MB/s, for both read and write operations.

In the past I have read some stories about a self-made Fusion Drive not optimizing the data and never moving often used data from the HD to SSD. Just to be sure, I have done the following test:

  1. After selecting a big file (several GBs) and making sure it was on disk (using a tool like iStat Menus it is easy to see whether the activity is on the SSD or the HD);
  2. I have read the file, timing the operation (from command line, something like: time cat big_file >/dev/null): this took roughly 8s, and I saw activity on the HD;
  3. Repeating the same thing took less than half second, and this is expected because the file is cached in RAM; still, I repeated the command some 20 times, to cheat the OS in believing I used the file often;
  4. I let the machine run for several hours while I went out for lunch, to allow the Fusion Drive to do its magic, and to let the cache forget about that file;
  5. I repeated the command above: this time the operation took only 2s, and I could see activity only on the SSD.

This is sufficient to convince me that the Fusion Drive optimization works as expected.

On top of this, I have bought 16GB of DDR3 ECC RAM, to get to a total of 32GB, which should make my life in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Illustrator easier.

The total bill wasn’t exactly cheap, and I did consider stepping up to the new Mac Pro, but that would have been an absolute overkill for what I do. Moreover, I would have had to completely redesign my backup strategy and disk-space allocation.

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Stored Hashcash http://www.osomac.com/2014/03/19/stored-hashcash/ http://www.osomac.com/2014/03/19/stored-hashcash/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:43:05 +0000 http://www.osomac.com/?p=1634 Interesting post proposing a workable solution against spam and DDoS attacks. Again, this is stemmed from Bitcoin and the approach is not so different from what was proposed in this article on crowdfunding.

The brilliant idea behind Hashcash is to replace a monetary postage fee with a computational postage fee. In order to send an email, the sender first has to solve a math problem. Legitimate activities suffer an indiscernible delay, but illegitimate activities that require massive volume are hobbled.

via Stored Hashcash | chris dixon’s blog.

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