At work I’ve got a bunch of SSH logins across multiple systems. Now, I’ve got my password generator, and that’s been a big help, but I don’t want to have to go around entering passwords every time I want to log into a system, so I decided to set up SSH keys.

The only problem is that most of the tutorials out there only show you how to set up one identification key, which isn’t what I wanted to do. So I wrote a script that’ll generate the keys, copy it to your server, add the public key to your .ssh directory (or wherever you want to put it) and add the appropriate lines to the .ssh/config file.

All you need to run it is the username, server address and password. Then look forward to many happy years of not entering your password anymore. It’s licensed under the GPLv3, so feel free to change it how you want.

Download my SSH Setup Script 

I just got a Motorola v557 from Cingular. It’s great. I get reception, my headset works. The only problem is that my Mac doesn’t work with it. No iSync, no File Browser. It sees it, but it doesn’t talk to it. Hopefully Apple will produce a fix for this in a couple weeks. I don’t sync it that much, but I was hoping I wouldn’t have to write in every one of my contacts in by hand.

Update: An anonymous commentor clued me into the idea that I have to delete the pairing in the Bluetooth System Preferences pane after making the necessary modifications. I will try this when I get a chance, probably tomorrow, and I’ll let you all know how it works.

Thanks Mr. Anonymous Commentor!

Update: I’ve tried the suggestion from my anonymous commentor and it works! Well, sorta. Every string is being converted to hexadecimal. I’ll be looking through iSync to find out how to change the character encoding on upload. Fortunately, file browser works. If you’re out there Mr. Anonymous Commentor, any tips on how to get the phone to read an ASCII character as an ASCII character and not hex would be greatly appreciated. When it’s all said and done, I’ll be sure to post the solution here for all to enjoy.


After a really awesome comment from Lee, I found a solution to the character encoding problem. For everyone who’s got a v557 and a Mac, here’s what you need to add to your MetaClasses.plist file.

			"Motorola CE, Copyright 2000"+V557
			"Motorola CE, Copyright 2000"+V557

If you’d like to download the plugin, click here. After you’ve got it unzipped, move the folder to /Users/yourusername/Library

Update: Apple released iSync 2.2 yesterday (April 3, 2006) and it solved this issue. Don’t bother fiddling with this Hack, just go to Software Update.

Playlist: NBC, Apple announced iTunes TV show deal

NBC TV content available on iTunes includes Law & Order, The Office, Surface, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Monk, the Sci-Fi Channel’s production of Battlestar Galactica, and classics like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dragnet, Adam 12 and Knight Rider.

One less reason for me to have cable.

Update: This is one of the most popular posts on my blog, and I think I should update it for folks who come across it in the future.

Currently, I’m using Google Apps on my domain, and they’ve recently released a sync service that uses an Exchange server. This not only works with Address Book, but with your iPhone as well. Not to mention that you can share contacts between accounts on Google Apps. And you get Calendar syncing across devices. So that’s what I’d recommend for anyone coming across this post in the future.

One of the best included applications in OS X is Address Book. Not only does it allow management of people’s addresses, you can access them across the entire filesystem, share them via email easily, sync them with Exchange servers and access LDAP servers.

Unfortunately, the only way to synchronize or share your Address Book real-time is with .Mac. .Mac, for those who don’t know, is basically a glorified WebDAV and IMAP server system that Apple’s got integrated into OS X. It also costs $100 a year, a price I’m not going to pay for something that doesn’t offer PHP, MySQL, Perl, or shell and FTP access, like my beloved hosting company.

Unfortunately, this means I can’t share my Address Book with my wife without paying $200 per year. (Need two .Mac accounts.) Or can I? Since it’s just WebDAV, there *must* be a way for me to set up a proxy on my local machine to shunt requests to our Mini, which is running WebDAV that’s hosting our iCals.

It’ll take some looking into, but figuring this out will be quite the accomplishment, if it’s possible.

RemotesThe iMac

The new design isn’t that revolutionary. It’s pretty much what we saw before, but thinner. (Just like almost everything else from Apple these days.) I showed it to my parents and they could hardly believe that “that’s the whole computer.” The ‘wow’ factor doesn’t affect me much, cause I’m the guy who walks around with a Bluetooth headset in his ear.

Having a video camera integrated with the computer makes it the stereotypical “sci fi TV.” You know the scene: Our hero walks into his cabin, pushes a button on his remote and his TV turns on and starts a video call with one of his buddies. Well, the iMac is that TV. At least it’s a step towards that.

Front Row is probably the most revolutionary feature in the new iMac. All your pictures, all your music, all your movies, and a DVD player is accessible from one little remote, with six buttons, from up to 30 feet away. And it really showcases Apple’s design philosophy. First off, things don’t have to be dragged anywhere to make them work. If a song’s in your iTunes library, it’s accessible. If a photo’s in your album, it’s accessible. If you bought or added a video to your iTunes library, it’s accessible. (They might have to rename iTunes after today.)

The iPod and iTunes

This is one of the biggest changes in the history of modern content, but not for the reason you’re thinking. Sure, being able to buy a TV show or music video or animated short to watch on your iPod is neat, but the real story here is video podcasts. If you’ve got the money for bandwidth, or Apple includes BitTorrent, you can roll your own TV show. Am I the only one who sees this? If Wil decides he wants to start acting again, he can go buy a DV camera, fire up iMovie and attach it to his RSS feed. Then someone subscribes to the feed in iTunes, and can watch it on their Mac or their iPod. No networks.

I don’t think, however, that TV show downloads will be very popular. TV shows are transitory things, even if they’re ultra popular. I’m not going to pay $1.99 for a TV show I’ll watch once. I think it would be better if you could pay $20 and get a ‘season pass’ for a show, and they’re automatically downloaded as soon as they become available. It would be cheaper than downloading things piecemeal, and people would be more willing to pay for TV that way than buying things one at a time.

It’s the “Long Tail” of the media.

So this is a pretty big development in terms.

If you take the time to install Developer Tools with your Tiger installation you get some pretty cool stuff. One example is the pre-built examples of using CoreImage with Python. If you have Developer Tools installed, go to /Developer/Examples/Quartz/Python. You’ll see a bunch of files with a .py extension. One of my favorites is called Download a text editor like TextWrangler or SubEthaEdit and take a look at them. To use it, find a PDF you want to add a watermark to and open up the Terminal and type

python /Developer/Examples/Quartz/Python/ --text='Some Text' --font-size=48 --color=255,0,0 /path/to/your.pdf ~/test.pdf

Hit enter and sit back. Once you get a command prompt back, look in your home directory and you’ll see a PDF. If you open it you’ll see your example PDF, but with “Some Text” printed down the right side.

This is only one example of the cool stuff you can do with Python and Quartz, but it’s neat to have.