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How to tell if Computrace is installed on a macOS system

Computrace Lojack for Laptops is a tracking application manufactured by Absolute Software.  The software runs on macOS, Windows, and even iOS.  This tool is used by large corporations for theft recovery and asset management. On Windows computers, the software is now embedded in the firmware of computers manufacted by Dell, Hewlett Packard, Panasonic, and Toshiba. Finding out if Computrace LoJack is running on a computer is quite easy.

Launch Activity Monitor and search for “rpc”.  If you see “rpc.net “and “rpc.geo”, the Computrace LoJack software is installed and running on the computer.  If the software is installed, it’s quite easy to disable.  Simply remove the following resources:


Restart your computer and check Activity Monitor again for “rpc”. 

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Tips Troubleshooting

Repairing More Than Standard “Repair Permissions” On the Mac

The easy way to reset or repair your home folder permissions is to use Apple’s resetpassword utility.  This GUI tool is summoned from the command line when booted from the recovery drive.  To use, reboot into recovery using “command-R,” launch the terminal and type “resetpassword”.

After selecting your user account from the dropdown window, you’ll see “Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs.”  Click this button to reset your home permissions to Apple standard.

If you need more control over this process or need to apply to another area of your drive, such as an external iTunes library, here are the equivalent commands used behind the scenes:

sudo chmod -R -N /Users/username
sudo chown -R username:staff /Users/username
sudo chmod -R 660 /Users/username

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Tips Troubleshooting Webdev

Controlling The Time Machine Backup Schedule

The MacOS X Time Machine backup schedule can be controlled manually by using LaunchAgents.  To use a custom schedule, turn off Time Machine in the System Preferences pane, then create your LaunchAgents specifying your desired time schedule.  The terminal command to trigger uses tmutil (as of 10.9):

tmutil startbackup—auto

According to Apple’s man page, this will: “trigger “automatic-like” back-ups similar to automatic backups that are scheduled by the system. While this is not identical to true system-scheduled backups, it provides custom schedulers the ability to achieve some (but not all) behavior normally exhibited when operating in automatic mode.”

This supersedes the previous method which called the backupd-helper: (10.5-10.8)

/System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/backupd-helper -auto

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Tips Unix

Pre-Authenticated Restart with FileVault Enabled

Many modern Macs allow the use of an authenticated restart feature. This function allows you to restart a Mac using Screen Sharing or Remote Login (SSH), even when FileVault is enabled on the remote Mac and to reboot a FileVault-enabled system without requiring an unlock during the next startup.

The following Terminal command restarts a Mac with FileVault enabled:

sudo fdesetup authrestart

More details are available on the Apple website.

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Unix

Teleport’s Elusive Preference Settings

At long last, I’ve found the elusive preference settings in teleport for controlling the switching behavior.  Previously in the normal settings tab, these options are now available on a per-host basis and only revealed when mousing over the external hosts in the layout pane.

Teleport Options

See the extremely handy preference for limiting the switching by requiring that the Option key be held down.

Teleport Options Revealed

Teleport lets you use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs.  When enabled, you move the cursor to the edge of the screen and the mouse “teleports” to a nearby Mac.  After teleportation, this mac is controlled by the same keyboard and mouse. As a bonus, the clipboard can be synchronized and you can drag & drop files between the two Macs.

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Troubleshooting

Awesome settings screen over at Timehop

While reviewing my settings over the at the amazing Timehop service, I came across this gem of a setting: “Cursing Level.”  I think I’ll stay with “a little.”


comment on this | posted in: News Webdev

MySpace is down

Way to go Myspace with the old-school messaging.  Love the sad face in the title attribute.

Our site has issues. Literally. W’re working hard to get things back in working order as quickly as possible.
-The Myspace Team.

Thanks to Peter for capturing this one.

comment on this | posted in: 404 News Webdev

Animated 404 Over at Spotify

...and we’re back with an exciting, animated 404 message from Spotify.  Make sure to click through to the actual page to see the little critter swinging from his teeth!


comment on this | posted in: 404 News Webdev

On Steve Jobs

From the my first computing experiences with the Apple ][+ to my current MacBook Air, Steve Jobs has inspired me.  Both my wife and I “grew up Apple.”  Nearly everyone who matters to me both professionally and personally has been influenced by his work.  His personality, conviction and attention to detail has been imprinted upon us all.  In his passing, I feel as if someone close to me has died, although I never knew him personally.

As I learned of the news on via an AP alert on my iPhone, I kept quiet not wanting to ruin the mood at the tech meetup I was hosting.  Secretly, I noticed that everyone in the room was receiving the news (from their Apple devices).  Finally, someone verbally acknowledged the news and silence fell among our group.  Gradually, murmurs and hushed conversation began, and slowly, our world of tech reluctantly moved on.

An era has passed and a historic luminary is gone. 

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

comment on this | posted in: Mac News

How to View the /Library after Lion Upgrade

After upgrading to MacOS X Lion 10.7, you’ll find that the system conveniently hides the Library folder in your home directory.  If you’re wondering how to view the /Library folder after the upgrade, here’s how.

Of course you can still view it by using the Finder’s “Go to Folder” feature.  Just type command-shift-g in the finder and enter:


But if you’d like to keep it visible all the time, you can change the hidden flags on that directory with the following command:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

update: I just noticed that Dan Frakes over at Macworld has posted a completely over the top 18 ways to view the ~/Library folder in Lion.  I think this hint is now complete.

comment on this | posted in: Mac News Tips Unix
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