iMac
Geek

Force logout Mac users

Yet another one of those write this down Jan, it will come up again posts. There’s almost certainly a better way to force log out absent users on a Mac but heck, this works for me.

To kill off all the processes of a user named joe who’s left logged in but used the user switcher, open up the Terminal app and run these commands.

sudo su -
ps aux | grep ^joe | awk '{ print $2; }' | xargs -I{} kill -9 {}

In my kitchen is the community iMac and I have set up accounts for my whole family. Sometimes people come over and forget to log out but used fast user switching to go to the login screen or a different user.

That’s not too bad, but some software combinations I’m running often take up lots of CPU needlessly. Yes, Firefox and Adobe Flash I mean you. The whole iMac becomes slow and unresponsive.

That makes for a sad Mac. More importantly at 5:30 AM it makes for a sad me. As long as you know Joe’s user id then this will zap all of his processes and log him out as a result.

If some of those processes are stubbornly cling to life then rinse and repeat.

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Geek, Humor

My subconscious at work?

I’m beginning to believe my subconscious has developed super powers. I am jonesing for a new smart phone that works better than my antiquated iPhone 3G. Given the age of my phone that’s not a tall order.

To help me in that direction, my subconscious has disabled the ability of my phone to vibrate when someone calls me. I don’t know how I managed to do it but the phone does not shake anymore.

I dislike my phone ringing but (obviously) don’t wish to miss calls. I’m going to do the factory reset of the phone to see if that fixes it. I remain hopeful since I’m not quite ready to get a replacement.

This is not a new ability for me. I’ve been jinxing electronic equipment since my Dad had a TRS-80 Model I. But I now work in a field where this is not a desirable trait so it must be I am doing it subconsciously again.

Since I’m looking for a new phone I’ve been gathering information. Did you know that you cannot surf the web while speaking on Verizon’s network using an Android phone? I had heard that but thought that was just a rumor. Apparently it’s a CDMA limitation, but more information is needed. I’ve also read that while using LTE that limitation is gone.

I’ll take another look at T-Mobile and Sprint just to see if their networks are up to par. In the meanwhile I will continue to be impressed with my latent super powers.

P.S. No, I have not lost my mind, and yes I am kidding about the super powers. The phone is still broken though.

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Family, Geek

And now an iMac

I have way too many PCs in my house, but a couple of them have been elevated to “must have”. The notebook in the kitchen had become indispensable, like coffee in the morning.

My morning wake up routine became

  1. Drink coffee
  2. Check my e-mail
  3. Check out my social networks
  4. Do a little sysadmin on my servers
  5. Drink some more coffee

And all from my kitchen notebook. But the HP notebook was overheating and automatically shutting down on a routine basis. As a result Lily and I thought “why not replace it with a Mac book?”

Once we got to the Apple store we realized that the iMac was more bang for the buck, and the small kitchen notebook never moved from its place. We now have the 21.5 inch iMac cheerfully sitting on my kitchen island and I’m writing this up on it now.

We selected an iMac because the kids use them in school and more importantly, I just want the thing to work. It’s pretty straight forward and after I ran the software updater a few times I was up to date on all the patches.

It’s got a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. The mouse was easy to get used to (it’s a Magic Mouse after all) but the keyboard makes me do an occasional double-take. There are no insert or page down/up keys and while the chiclet keys are not small, the overall size of the keyboard is.

Adding my network printer to the iMac was a breeze. Once it found the printer on the network, all I had to do was confirm that I wanted to install it.

Overall I’m really pleased with it. Everyone likes the iMac and the display looks great. The only thing that I’ll need to do is find the equivalent versions of the software I use. I’m mostly a Notepad++, PuTTY, and Firefox user so I should be able to find Mac equivalents.

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Geek

The iPad is announced! I just don’t don’t get it

With some fanfare the iPad was announced today. And if I am reading it right, it’s like an iPhone but big and fat.

I don’t get it.

It’s an iPhone without the phone. It does not multitask.  So while you are using it as a ebook reader, you can’t keep any instant messenger sessions in the background.  You can probably play music, but no streaming music via the wifi.  You can probably still cut and paste, but no switching ssh sessions ’cause that will make the ssh app to exit.

What’s the appeal again? Seriously, who will step up with a really useful little tablet? I’m hoping ASUS or MSI will deliver something that I actually want. I already have an iPhone.

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Geek, Software

Looks like I'll need to try iTunes again

I don’t like DRM. It’s not an effective control since you can almost always convert the protected media into an unprotected version.It treats paying customers like trash and is meant to keep the fish swimming in neat little lines.

That’s why I buy all my online music from Amazon. I’m not an Amazon fan exactly, I just think that Apple is pandering to the music factory. The integration with my iPhone is broken so I buy music via the web and run iTunes and add the new files to my collection. There is a Firefox plugin but it works sporadically and I gave up on it.

Recently Apple relaxed their DRM.  Your account is still stamped on the downloaded music, but most of the songs are no longer encrypted. That means I can play that music on Linux, my XBox 360 (I think), etc.  For a not huge fee you can convert the songs in your collection from encrypted .m4p format to .m4a format.

It’s a start and I’ll give it a shot and pick up some tunes.  I’ll believe Apple’s iTunes Store is really “open” when the Creative MP3 player can plugin and sync using iTunes.

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