CategoryDesktop

How To Permanently Add An SSH Key To The Keychain In macOS Sierra

On versions of macOS before Sierra, all you had to do to add an SSH key to the Keychain was to run this command:

ssh-add -K keyname

macOS Sierra implements OpenSSH version 7.3p1, which makes this command behave differently. Using ssh-add -K results in the key being added only temporarily: after a reboot, you need to run the command again.

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Using a Comodo Free Email Cert In macOS Sierra

Comodo offer free email certificates, which is awesome as email is an inherently insecure method of communication. So, if you were toying with the idea of playing around with email encryption and signing, you have no more excuses now.

Getting the free cert to work on macOS, however, might be tricky if you don’t pay attention to a couple of things. Here are the pitfalls I have encountered in the process and how I was able to fix them.

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How To Build The Nylas N1 Email Client On Windows 10

After my post which explained how to build the Nylas N1 email client on macOS, here is the second post in the series which focuses on Windows 10 instead.

I had no shortage of issues and error messages trying to build N1 on Windows (and I wasn’t the only one, as the issues I opened in GitHub were often reproduced by others as well), but they all happened because I was trying to use an unsupported version of Visual Studio (2015 Community Edition, in my case) so here is all you need to do to be able to successfully build Nylas N1 on Windows 10.

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How To Build The Nylas N1 Email Client On macOS

I think Nylas N1 is the best looking email client out there at the moment. Recently, they decided to go subscription only, but you can still build the app and the sync engine yourself if you want, which is awesome :)

This guide will focus on how to build the Nylas N1 app (i.e. the email client itself) on macOS Sierra. It’s not a difficult task (far from it actually), it’s just that I did have my fair share of issues trying to find some cohesive and updated documentation on how to do this, so I hope this article will be useful to other people out there.

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Laptop Extremely Slow After Upgrading to Windows 10

This one was a real head-scratcher, it took me a lot of time to find out what was wrong and how to fix it. As usual, the final fix was extremely simple, but as it is unfortunately often the case when it comes to performance issues, this might or might not be the definitive solution for you.

The symptoms were these: an Acer E15 laptop had become extremely slow after upgrading to Windows 10 using the built-in updater provided by Microsoft (it was previously running Windows 8.1 with no particular performance issues, even if the CPU on this series of laptops is definitely not among the best in the market). So at least this was a pretty clear clue that something went wrong with the update itself.

I am talking about really bad performance: up to 10 minutes for a reboot and up to a couple of minutes to launch any application. Even writing something in the search bar took several seconds.

Looking at the Task Manager, I could also see that the disk usage was at 100%. The application using most of the disk was usually Windows Defender, although sometimes some other application would take this spot, so it wasn’t completely consistent.

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6 Beeps When Booting a Dell Studio XPS 8100

So this weekend I have experienced my first graphics card failure. When booting a Dell XPS Studio 8100 desktop PC, I started getting 6 beeps and no video at all. I immediately thought about either a RAM or a motherboard failure, but after a quick search online I quickly found out that this was actually a video failure.

This machine came equipped with an ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card, so the first thing I tried was using the onboard video on the motherboard, but once more I was getting the dreaded 6 beeps. It was only after some more digging that I found out that my configuration did not have onboard video :/

So the only option left was to replace the graphics card with a new one. The HD 5770 wasn’t the best graphics card ever made and it was quite power-hungry like other ATI cards, but it has served me well for quite a few years, even of intense use.

A couple of pictures for posterity, to remember what a beast this GPU was :D


How To Install VeraCrypt On Mac OS X

For those who don’t know it, VeraCrypt is the successor of the wildly popular encryption software TrueCrypt, whose development stopped a couple of years ago, apparently after the introduction of the BitLocker functionality in Windows 7 and 8.

The biggest advantage of something like TrueCrypt lied in the fact that it was multi-platform, unlike its Microsoft counterpart. VeraCrypt is also multi-platform (it’s available on Windows, Mac and Linux) and has an additional advantage over TrueCrypt, being open source which, for a Security product, is always good news (for those of you who are wondering, TrueCrypt wasn’t really open source as it had a very particular license, as you can read in its Wikipedia page).

Anyway, installing VeraCrypt on Windows is very straightforward (it’s the typical Next-Next-Next-Finish process), but if you want to use it on Mac OS, you need an additional piece of software to make this work (not that it makes the process any more difficult anyway, but still it’s good to have here for reference).

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Crucial’s Momentum Cache: The True Performance Results

On my gaming machine I have a 512GB Crucial MX100 as my boot drive (great drive by the way, great price/quality/performance ratio). The other day I launched the Crucial Storage Executive software to check the health information of the drive (all good by the way) and I noticed that I had not enabled an option called Momentum Cache.

If you look at the download page for the Storage Executive software, you see that this feature could allow you to increase the drive boost performance up to 10 times. Can Momentun Cache really improve your drive performance by this much? Let’s find out.

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How To Make Mac OS X Recognize exFAT Drives

If you formatted a flash drive with the exFAT file system on Windows and changed the default cluster size to optimize it for the type of files you will be using your flash drive for, you might have stumbled upon a Mac OS X compatibility issue.

Apparently, Mac OS X cannot properly mount an exFAT-formatted drive when the cluster size is bigger than 1024. So, if you want to use the drive without issues both on Windows and on Mac OS, so far there seems to be only one solution: format your drive with a cluster size no bigger than 1024.

This was tested on a fully-patched Mac OS X El Capitan install, so as of today, the issue still exists. Mac OS does not completely still support this file system, and the fact that Microsoft is keeping it effectively proprietary is certainly not helping.

See Detailed Disk Information From The Terminal On Mac OS X

I was already familiar with the diskutil command in Mac OS, which basically just returns a list of physical and logical partitions of drives connected to your Mac (both internal and external).

But today I found out about an even more useful command to see detailed disk information using Mac OS X’s Terminal: diskutil cs list.

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