Oct 06

I’m always getting clickbait about a security vulnerability with Apple, or a new virus or something. Pretty much all of them are irrelevant to the average user. But this one is something to be aware of, not because it’s particularly nasty, but becuase it’s so simple to do. This is the kind of hack your teenager next door neighbour will try to use on you to steal your Apple login details. It’s actually very easy to pull off.

When I was on work experience at the CSIRO in year 10 I was quite bored. We were given the lowest level access to their computer system and not much work to do. So I wrote a very simple program that tricked my supervisor into typing in his login details. This gave me the highest level access possible into the CSIRO computer.

Now I immediately told him what I did, it was after all just for a bit of a challenge. He didn’t believe me. I showed him how I did it, and, well, he was not impressed. So, believe me, this is the kind of thing a teenager does for fun. It’s the challenge of it.

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Sep 03

The free dropbox plan comes with 2GB of data. If you invite someone new to dropbox, both they and you get an extra 500MB, up to 16GB for free.

If you’re a first time dropbox user…

Use this link to get an extra 500MB. (I get an extra 500MB too!)


If you are an existing dropbox user:

Open dropbox.com in your browser and login.

Click on the icon at the top right of your dropbox and select ‘Settings’

Select ‘Plain’ then scroll down to ‘Invite a friend’

Each friend who joins will add 500MB to your account!

Dec 08

I wanted to print a large Christmas banner and the printer wanted an image file (png or jpg). Our file was in a pdf format. I needed to convert the pdf file to a very high resolution png file so that it would look good on a large banner. Here’s how to do it using Apple’s built in Preview app.

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Sep 18

This article is a bit technical. I have an office at home but I wanted to be able to log into the church computer to control it remotely, upload files, and also print to the printer there. Here’s how to do that.

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Apr 16

An apology to international readers – some of the details in this post apply specifically to Australia, although there will be principles here that you can apply. I live just 5 km line of sight from a regional Australian city and our internet comes by ‘fixed wireless.’ Fixed wireless is essentially a dedicated 4G connection with a local directional antenna. The problem is that most of the towers are oversubscribed, and upload and download speeds are very poor. (5Mbps down and 1Mbps up).

My experiment

For the past 3 months I’ve been experimenting with various configurations of 4G carriers and modems to tweak the maximum speed I can from the 4G data network. The results have surprised me!

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Oct 12

I have been upgrading RAM in Apple computers since my first Mam, an LCIII, back in the 1990’s. I’ve pulled apart iPods to replace the battery, I’ve pulled apart iMacs with their glass screen and I’ve changed the hard drive and screens in macbook pro’s. But the hardest gig yet was changing the memory in my 2018 Mac Mini.

After my first attempt I rebooted my Mac to discover that one of the RAM modules was not working. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. I needed to pull the whole thing apart again give the RAM modules a jiggle and then reassemble the Mac mini. Read on to find out more about my experience!

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Apr 16

Last month I described a bug in Apple Pages which caused Pages to place hidden color information in greyscale documents. This is fine if you are printing at home but if you take those documents to a commercial printer you will be charged at color copy rates instead of black and white. At our local Officeworks store this means paying 65 cents per page instead of 8 cents.

Today Apple support contacted me to say that they are very sorry but that this is not a bug. It is the way the software was designed. Apple Pages cannot print a greyscale document. It can only print in color. They suggested that I could put in a ‘feature request’ to request that Pages print in greyscale.

This is outrageous. Apple in its software clearly gives the impression that it is printing in greyscale. When users discover the extra costs they have been incurring this potentially opens Apple to litigation. The color selector tools in Pages are clearly misleading. Let me explain.

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Mar 18

I’ve never done a movie review before, but this looks great. It’s the story of some people who left Apple and tried to invent a smartphone… and failed… but paved the way for lots of other technology. Looks very interesting.

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