Dec 30

truecrypt plus automator equals encrypted disks

 

Though OS X’s disk utility is fully capable of encrypting files, there are some instances where you may need to share encrypted volumes across platforms.  In this situation truecrypt is a compelling solution.

The problem with truecrypt on a mac, however,  is that the encrypted volumes must be manually mounted before you can utilize them.  This amounts to opening truecrypt, locating each volume, and mounting each disk every time you login.  If you’ve got half a dozen volumes scattered about, truecrypt becomes more of a obstacle and less a tool.

Fortunately, there is a very straightforward way of automatically prompting you for each of your encrypted drives’ passwords and mounting the disks at login.  All that is required is some very simple automator magic.  Step through this process and all you’ll have to worry about is remembering the passwords you’ve used for each of your encrypted volumes.

 

1 ) Prerequisites.

Obviously you’ll need to install truecrypt.  Automator is installed on every mac by default, so you should already have that available.

You’ll need to find the path to the trucrypt application (the default is /Applications/TrueCrypt.app )

You’ll also need the paths to each of your encrypted volumes.  In this example my volumes are at /Users/James/Installs/test and /Users/James/Installs/test2.

 

2 ) Open up automator (the icon looks like a robot holding a chrome pipe) and choose the “Application” template.

Automator Pick Workflow Template

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 ) Find the “Run Shell Script” action (by typing “run shell script” in the search field), and then drag it to the main workflow.

Drag Automator Action to the Workflow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 ) In the Run Shell Script Action, add the following lines, substituting /Users/James/Installs/test and /Users/James/Installs/test2 with the location of your encrypted volumes.

/Applications/TrueCrypt.app/Contents/MacOS/TrueCrypt –mount /Users/James/Installs/test

/Applications/TrueCrypt.app/Contents/MacOS/TrueCrypt –mount /Users/James/Installs/test2

Shell Action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 ) Save the workflow as an application.

saveasapp.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 ) Open “System Preferences” and select “Accounts”.

systempreferences.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 ) In the accounts window select your account in the left table, select “Login Items” and then click the “+” button.  A window will pop up and from this you will need to locate the application you just created in automator.

loginapps.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 )  After you’ve selected your application, it should appear in the list of items under “These items will open automatically when you log in”.

selectedloginapp.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 ) That’s it!  Test it out, and if you did everything correctly you’ll be prompted for passwords to each of your encrypted volumes the next time you log in.

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Dec 29

facebook.jpg

 

This is a list of facebook rules that everyone over 25 should look over before their next post.  Let the frequency of offenses against rules 1 – 6 be a guide to your level of narcissism, and your frequency of offenses against rule 7 & 8 be a relative measure of how many people who block you or are considering de-friending you.


Rule 1 ) Don’t post lyrics to songs.

Why?  Because nobody cares about your dumb country/pop song about not giving up, or how tough you are, or whatever.  You may find that certain lyrics are inspiring, but also keep in mind that you are duller than your peers.

 

Rule 2 ) Don’t post about how you’ll “be back later” (bbl) , that you’re “back now”, that you’re “signing off for the night”, or any other real time information.

This tells everyone that you have no life.  Everyone now knows that you stare at Facebook waiting for anyone to acknowledge your existence.

 

Rule 3 ) Don’t tell us what song you are listening to at the moment. Note: This is different than a recommendation that someone check some band out.

The frequency of what you tell everyone what you are listening to is inversely proportional to how much anyone cares what you are listening to.

 

Rule 4 ) Don’t post (or let apps post) information about the games you play online.

Revealing that you play farmville and have a surplus baby calf adds no value to anyone’s time on Facebook.  In fact, revealing that you play a lot of online games is akin to telling everyone that you don’t have any useful or interesting hobbies.  Nobody is impressed with your virtual farm; it’s just a bunch of numbers in a database somewhere.  Your children will defecate on your grave when they learn that all they inherited was the deed to your Farmville farm.

 

Rule 5 ) Don’t post about how you’re “bored”.

Like letting everyone know how much time you spend playing games, talking about how bored you are telegraphs to everyone that you aren’t capable of finding uses for your skillset.  You might as well post “I’m useless” on your wall.  If you are bored, please come over to my house and organize my garage….problem solved.

 

Rule 6 ) Don’t post “cliff hangers”. i.e. don’t post something like “The worst thing ever just happened.”

Posting a cliff hanger is essentially the same as posting “I’m an attention whore”.  Post enough of these and you can be sure that people are rolling their eyes when they write “Are you O.K., what happened?”.

 

Rule 7 ) Don’t post about politics.

Unless you are trying to reduce the number of friends you have (a perfectly valid goal if you’ve got friends who violate the above rules) you’re not going to convince anybody of your point of view on Facebook.  The reality is that you jumping on your soapbox does more to convince everyone of your insecurity in your opinions/beliefs.  Being an uber-liberal isn’t very convincing when you don’t actual work for living (school isn’t work, btw).  Likewise, being mega-conservative isn’t very convincing when you’re sucking off of Uncle Sam’s teat.

 

Rule 8 ) Don’t post about your atheism.

Yes, we all know you think the old testament is violent, that all of the major religions are the same, and that you think it’s all a fairy tale.  Trust me, everyone who has had the misfortune of inviting you to a party knows about it.  Try to think how many times you’ve been asked about your beliefs versus the number of times you’ve shoehorned it into a conversation.  Yeah….nobody cares on Facebook as well.

 

Violation of rules 1, 2, and 5 are mortal sins, btw.

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Dec 18




This is an unboxing and short review of Henge Docks’ Docking Station for the 15-inch MacBook Pro (version B). Overall I think this is a great product if you want to de-clutter your workspace and don’t mind not using your laptop’s screen. It is a little spendy at around $65, but alternative MacBook Pro docks are much more expensive.

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