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 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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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.

Continue reading Cannot Open File “For Some Reason”

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 14.49.30.png

This is a great example of what error messages should not look like.

This same file can be opened without issues using Microsoft Office, LibreOffice and even OpenOffice.

In my experience, has quite a few issues dealing with very large files. I was once working on a 10.000+ line file and I was dragging a simple VLOOKUP. It took 2 hours to get to a RAM usage of 11 GBs, before ultimately crashing without completing the job.

Perhaps this file is again too big for it, and this is the “reason” mentioned in the error message. Still, it would be nice to know if there is something we can do to take care of issues like this, without resorting to another office suite.

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