Error: This Should Never Happen

Imagine my surprise when I opened up Console yesterday and found this error message from Mail in the console.log:

Mail Error Message

I wonder what caused the error why the developer thought “this should never happen.”

Mac OS X Security

Preface and Disclaimer

This paper presents an overview of the security situation of Mac OS X. The purpose of this paper is to present security in a very easy-to-understand fashion. I firmly believe that there is an absurd amount of FUD about computer security in general, mostly propagated by vendors of antivirus software and their partners. In the case of Mac OS X in specific, it is very difficult to get accurate, non-sensational information about what the real security threats are. This paper began as a genuine effort to figure out, and then convey, what the real status of Mac OS X security is.

Please be aware that I am no security expert (nor am I a hacker), but simply a normal computer nerd with a passion for most things relating to computers and design. I have made every effort to consult the writings of security experts and convey accurate information. If any security ninjas out there find any inaccuracies, please let me know.

With the exception of the section “Out Of The Box Security and Additional Hardening Measures”, the entire report refers to Mac OS X 10.4 and prior versions. Where possible, I state specific versions of the operating system that I am referring to.

I’ve broken up this report into several pages because it is quite long. You can also download the report in its entirety in PDF format.


Changes 1.0

Changes is a new file modification application. Looks to be really nice. It’s Leopard only, so I’m going to have to wait until I upgrade to try it out.

I’ve been looking for a good application like this ever since I found my self writing a diff-based app in Automator to check for differences between my iTunes libraries. This one looks like it will do that and a lot more. It also integrates with my favorite text editor, TextMate. For the old school folks, it works with BBEdit as well.

Take Screenshots From the Command Line

There is a command for Terminal in OS X which allows you to take screenshots from the command line. Creepy creepy. Here is the format:

screencapture -x FileToSaveAs

The -x option tells it not to make the shutter click sound. There is also an -i option which triggers an interactive mode, although I’m not sure why you would use the Terminal to do that.

There is also a cute little tidbit in the man page for screencapture:

Screencapture bug in man page

Multi Safari

Apple has just released the 10.4.11 update for Mac OS X Tiger, which has two interesting tidbits. First of all, it lists “Improves compatibility when using OpenType fonts in QuarkExpress.” I would be really interested in knowing more about exactly what has changed here. Unfortunately, given how tight-lipped Apple usually is about these types of things, I doubt I’ll find out.

The second item pertains to Safari 3. Starting with this update, Safari 3 will be the default browser. Now, this is really great, but it introduces some problems with my workflow. If I install this update, how am I going to be able to continue to test my designs in Safari 2.x?

As it turns out, Michel Fortin has gone through the trouble of creating standalone versions of every Safari installment. So go ahead, jump on that update from Apple, then grab a standalone copy of Safari 2.