My backup failed. Uh oh. Houston, we have a problem. Customer support still works but requires a few more clicks, and good choices in software purchases.
Take for example, backups. I have SuperDuper! running on a small Mac server, and I use the built-in scheduler to do overnight backups to an external disk.
This morning I check in to work and notice that SD is still running. I think. It’s not frozen, it’s not dead, it’s not killing the server in a wanton orgy of CPU usage.
It’s just there. Maybe running very slowly. SuperDuper! has been rock solid so maybe something else is amiss. Since it runs overnight, maybe I missed something.
I check the logs and see where it’s last been but that doesn’t tell me where it is now. So, I close down SD and fire off a note to Shirt-Pocket with a detailed description of what went wrong.
A little while later I get a note back, with a small string of commands to enter to see which files SD was working on when it decided to go on spring break.
Of course, that required that I fire up SD again, wait for it to hit that location of quicksand on my little server, and check to see wassup wi dat!
What was up was the firewall log.
Normally, the log is about 50 megs a week, and gets gzipped automatically.
For whatever reason, Mac OS X had decided it didn’t need to gzip that particular firewall log.
Instead of being around 50 megs, it was almost 7 gigabytes in size. SD was still copying, albeit slowly. What was the response from the SuperDuper! guys? Super. Quick. Knowledgeable.
One of my favorite locations in the Mac web world to find hints and tips and tricks that are useful, beneficial, and free, is MacOSX Hints. You won’t believe the good stuff you find there.
For example, setting up my little Mac server wasn’t too difficult, but I wanted to make access to mail and other applications secure for users to login. That requires an SSL certificate.
SSL certificates cost money. Sometimes hundreds of dollars a year. If I were a business, I could spring for the money, but this is a family and friends affair, so money IS an object.
Mac OS X Hints to the rescue. I found a way to let your Mac create its’ own SSL Certificate at no charge. Remote logins and email can be secured using your own Certificate.
It works exactly like the expensive certificates except there’s a pop up warning when the browser logs in which says this is not an expensive Certificate (or something like that).
A sharp-eyed Mac360 reader came up with a simple, though partial solution to a potential problem for Macs. Viruses and Trojan Horses.
Yesterday’s trojan horse scare got us to thinking.
Are there fixes for a problem that hasn’t happened yet? Apparently there is. If you click to the right place.
The folks at MacSlash came up with a nice fix for the Mac OS X Leap A trojan horse.
I’d never used Folder Actions in Mac OS X so the solution was a first for me. Remarkably, it works and gives me an extra warning when a folder has been modified. It’s not the end-all, be-all, but it’s something new that works.
Another Mac360 reader asked if there was a way to filter out email messages that may contain a virus or trojan horse, provided you know the name of the file. In most cases, once a virus or trojan hits the streets, we’ll learn the file name quickly.
Last night I created a file using the name of yesterday’s Leap A trojan horse, then mailed it to myself. In Apple’s Mail, I opened Preferences and set up a filter that looked for an attachment with that name, and changed the color of the message in Mail.
When I downloaded my Mail, there it was; highlighted and ready for deletion. Mail had captured my attached file.
In most cases, tips, tricks, and quick fixes are all around us. We’re just required to do a little clicking to get the fix and learn the trick.
Got a quick tip, trick, or fix? Share it with Mac360 readers.