There may come a time when artificial intelligence takes over and we Mac users of yesteryear won’t be able to get our geek on the way we once did. Even in the era of point and click and touch, some of that geekiness has become a bit rusty.
I cut my computing teeth on CP/M systems before DOS, the Mac, and Windows, so I’ve been at home with Linux for many years. Linux on the Desktop isn’t here yet and may never arrive, but I have a collection of easier to use tools for Mac geeks. Here are few you might like because they work well and are priced right.
Apple’s latest iPad Pro television commercial has a young girl doing everything one needs to do on a computer– at that age– and asking a neighbor, “What’s a computer?” I understand, but it’s sad that some of the tools we early adopters cut our teeth on back in the day are not clearly visible or easily available for the great unwashed masses of point and click and touch users.
Enter Codinn Technologies suite of SSH tools. I have them all, I use them all, I like most of what they do– make it easier to use tools of the trade for users who don’t live, eat, breathe, or sleep in Terminal.app.
My favorite is SSH Shell which makes quick work of avoiding the black and white of Terminal, but still gets into a remote server with ease.
SSH Shel comes with dozens of useful and decidedly geeky features. If you’re not afraid of Terminal.app, then you’ll appreciate SSH Shell.
- Can manage multiple ssh sessions for different servers
- Automatically reconnect after disconnected by errors or waking up from sleep
- Remember and autofill ssh login passwords in OS X keychain automatically
- Able to manage private keys, and can remember / forget passphrases of private keys in keychain
- Servers can be imported from / exported as JSON file
- Integrated terminal is compatible with Terminal.app / xterm / iTerm2
- Able to compress SSH connection
- Support public-key, password, keyboard-interactive authentication methods
- Support Google Authenticator and Authy for two-step verification
- Support multi-factor authentication
- Can deal with DSA, RSA, ECDSA, ed25519 private key types
- RFC4716, PKCS#8 and PEM key formats are supported, compatible with OpenSSH
See? That’s a laundry list for SSH users.
Terminal.app itself has a few options but you need to know your way around what Terminal access does. SSH Shell comes with easily configurable settings, point and click themes, and at a price worth it for those of us who do not live in Terminal.app but need to go there often enough that we want more convenience.
Most of the computers I used in the early days had white text on black or, more frequently as the industry progressed, green text on black. Osborne 1, I’m looking at you!
Those days are gone and so are the scary screens. Check it out. Friendly, no?
Alright. Almost friendly.
The similarly priced SSH Tunnel adds an extra layer of security from your Mac to remote services, works with macOS Keychain, handles multiple accounts has all the geeky options you would expect. SSH Copy is more of a poor man’s sFTP app with limited features and a price tag to match, but it doesn’t replace apps like Yummy FTP Pro or the popular Transmit.
If you know Terminal.app already then SSH Shell is just a candy coated utility. But if you’re venturing into terminal and command line tools, it’s a good way to get started without all the spartan bleakness.