TCPFlow – When you just want to see what’s going on, now.

Use Wireshark, they said, it’s awesome, they said.

Sure, ok but what if I just want to see what’s going on?  Enter TCPFlow. No, not as full featured as Wireshark, but neither is my brain when I’m in a hurry.

What’s the benefit? Follow along:

  • Download TCPFlow – there’s a prepackaged copy here
  • Figure out which network-interface has the interesting traffic (en0, etc)
  • Follow one of these examples:
    • sudo /usr/local/bin/tcpflow -c -i en0 host - Watches all traffic to
    • sudo /usr/local/bin/tcpflow -c -i en1 tcp port 80 - Watches all traffic on port 80

This is especially handy when troubleshooting smtp process, or directory server setup (before enabling ssl)

Learn more at:

SideTrash Lives again

For many years I’ve enjoyed SideTrash… but the way it’s posted only works on 10.6 and below.  I’ve posting it again in a way that works on 10.6+.

Why SideTrash?  Because it’s easier to drag a proxy icon to the trash in the dock, vs having to find it and delete it.

User Manual:

  1. Download from here SideTrash 1.2.dmg (2.4mb)
  2. Drag the SideTrash application to your Applications folder, etc
  3. Drag the SideTrash application to your Dock
  4. Take any file you’re looking at, and want to trash, and drag its proxy icon to SideTrash
  5. Close the file, knowing that wherever it was, it’s in the trash now.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 as often as you like.

I didn’t write this, I’ve simply repackaged and signed the code written by Paolo Portaluri.

The Chrome user switcher is dead. Long live the Chrome user switcher!

I’m a fan of Google Chrome.. it is, in fact, the only browser I recommend.

However, not everything is rosy in version 40/41- the new application switcher may look great, but it takes far more effort to use.

Thankfully, the hook is still there to bring back the old, fast switching via Command Shift M. Just click here and choose Enabled, then restart Chrome.




Update – April 20, 2015 – you can give the new Bookmarks view a similar treatment with:


Thanks LeRoy Dennison!

Chasing time – why Chronomate works, and the hunt for something more

As an IT professional, there seems to be no way around tracking time. Either you bill by the hour, and have to track time, or you work for a company which wants to know who’s been where when.  (I’m sure there’s something in between, but I’m not currently looking for a job.)

In any case, when I needed a time tracker, I looked at a lot of them.  ChronoMate won hands down. It’s fast (opens with option-spacebar for me) holds multiple timers, even connects to multiple FreshBooks accounts if you need to (I do).

What I didn’t know right away was that if you click the “Hist.” button, ChronoMate provides a fantastic view into your previous entries. I use this to reconcile my hours spent, and editing entries is a breeze compared to the FreshBooks UI.

So, if you use FreshBooks, this $20 mac app is a no-brainer. If you don’t yet use FreshBooks, you might find yourself starting a trial, even if only for a free account in which you can store your ChronoMate-tracked time.

ChronoMate History

This history button is a simple view into your logged time.


WordPress, ssh2, libssh and pecl – securely updating your WordPress plugins

I don’t want to run FTP on my webserver, sorry. WordPress can be convinced to update itself using SSH, but pecl install ssh2 is needed for it to work.

If you don’t want to fuss with pecl, there’s a plugin which can setup updates via ssh, but it involves configuration for each site in a multisite setup, and was more hassle than I wanted in my life. So it’s back to pecl, but I ran into an issue with precious little on the googles to help with this.

So, here’s the solution which worked for me…

apt-get install php-pear php5-dev
mkdir libssh2install
cd libssh2install
tar -zxvf libssh2-1.4.3.tar.gz
cd libssh2-1.4.3/
make install
pecl install "channel://"

Gave me a very welcome Build process completed successfully

Installing '/usr/lib/php5/20121212/'
install ok: channel://
configuration option "php_ini" is not set to php.ini location
You should add "" to php.ini

Looks like it worked!

Now we need to edit the active php configuration for your install, I did this:

sudo echo /etc/php5/cli/conf.d/20-ssh2.ini >
service apache2 restart

I got some of this information from this post by Henning Glatter-Götz, and he’s got the rest of the steps needed in WordPress are laid out  well.

So, here’s the hard parts of getting WordPress updating via ssh. Hope this helps you!


Across the Atlantic to South Africa

August 28th – I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Lee Balsdon with Apple Domination.

Lee’s spirit and determination is admirable, and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to learn more about the South African culture of Mac support and care.

I’ll be reviewing Watchman Monitoring from across the ocean. What a treat.

Are you near Capetown? Come join us and make the connection.

Fixing an old Digicert issue

Instructions for clearing expired DigiCert SSL certificate on OSX

* Visiting several sites, such as github, gravatar, twitter’s CDN results in “invalid certificate” errors
  1. Launching Keychain Access via Spotlight
    • ⌘-Space
    • Type “Keychain Access”
    • Hit return
  2. Ensure that expired certificates are visible by selecting”Show Expired Certificates” from the View menu
  3. Search for “Digicert”.
  4. Right-click the certificate with a red X and select “Delete DigiCert High Assurance EV Root CA”
  5. The certificate may not look removed until Keychain Access is restarted
  6. Restart your browsers
  7. If problems persist, confirming your OS is up to date may help.
You should once again be able to access the affected sites.



Removing an old Expired Certificate

Instructions and screenshots courtesy of Allen Hancock of Watchman Monitoring and Aaron Graves of WeSpire

MacTech VPN Presentation Notes


Here are my VPN related links


VPN Setup Guides


Slides?  Yes you get the slides – Contact MacTech Customer service if you need the link

Browser windows distract me – JoinTabs helps


BOOO too much going on – can’t think straight










ok, well, anything could get me distracted… but too many browser windows do for sure.

Given that I’m a chrome user, and have 4-5 profiles going, it gets hard sometimes to regain traction between open windows and tabs.

You’ve looked at this before, trying to regain ground against too many tabs…

Here’s one solution – JoinTabs (That’s for Chrome users only… if you have another solution, post it the comments?)









Wow how I miss Eudora, still (QuicKeys to the rescue)

Back in the day, not only did I have a configurable 6 minute delay on sending emails, but the keystroke to send email was Command E.

When I first looked at, I saw that the command to send email (Command Shift D) could have different meanings at different times, and decided right off that this was unacceptable.

QuicKeys is mapped to the menu command – Message Send, which means the only time I ever have to use Command Shift D is to resend a message from my sent folder.

The attached shows that I’ve done this 54,000 times since 2008 (on my primary computer) – I don’t think I could survive without QuicKeys, and am thankful for all the drama it seems I’ve missed.

Use QuicKeys?  Snag this shortcut here: Mail Send Command E

The next step would be to have a quickey disable Command Shift D totally – it can do that too.