Category Archives: Computers

Mac OS X and Windows

Best Download Manager for OS X?

I’ve use two of the download managers currently on the market for OS X and they are both a lifesaver if you have a poor connection and want to download large files. Not only are they faster than a browser — they open multiple connections to the server which browser don’t* — but they resume incomplete downloads so they cope much much better with poor and failing connections.
They are … how can I put this … very similar. You could think they were different skins of the same product. iGetter shows the fact that it’s 10 years old (which is about how long it’s been saving my bacon), Folx looks more modern. They have different approaches to nagging non-purchasers: Folx distinguishes their free/pro versions, and requires a key-press to start a download. iGetter makes you wait for an increasing time when you launch the program.

They’re both downloadable for free trial or purchase.

iGetter from Presenta Software £18.27
Folx from Eltima Software £13.95
Folx family pack £27.95

* Because major browsers respect the internet standard which says client applications should not open more than 2 connections to a server.

Why do I have AWS free tier charges?

The short answer: you left a light turned on somewhere in the world. Turn them all off and you’re done.

The longer answer:

  • The AWS free tier covers you for one (1) machine running all month. If you leave one machine running all month, and then have a second machine running for a day, you will pay for that day.

How to incur AWS Free Tier Charges by Mistake

There are 2 easy ways to do this by mistake:

  • You are testing multi-server deployments. With 2 servers running, your free tier is just half the month. The second half of the month will cost you about $15+VAT. As soon as you turn on a second machine you risk overrunning your free tier quota. If like me you accidentally leave 3 or 4 machines switched on for most of a month, then your ‘free’ tier has suddenly cost you $50.
  • The second is that you have machines in more than one region. Your typical console view hides shows only one region so you can easily forget that you have machines switched on elsewhere in the world.

How do I stop it?

Turn off your machines with Right-Click — Terminate in the EC2 Management console.
If you’re repeatedly spinning up test machines, don’t forget to do this every-time you finish work.

Build mod_jk for centos

This post https://www.centos.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=33416 tells you everything you need to know. I’ve reduced it to a script:

#!/bin/bash
# Build the mod_jk apache tomcat connector from src tarball and install it
#
set -x
srcball=$1
if [ -z "$srcball" ]; then
    echo The source tarball was not given - expected something like \"tomcat-connectors-versionxxx-src\" to be passed as parameter
    exit 1
fi

pushd /tmp
    curl http://mirror.rmg.io/apache//tomcat/tomcat-connectors/jk/$srcball.tar.gz -O

    if [ ! -f /tmp/$srcball.tar.gz ]
    then
      echo $srcball.tar.gz not found in /tmp/. Couldn\'t build mod_jk
      exit 2 
    fi

    tar xvf $srcball.tar.gz
    cd $srcball/native
    ./configure --with-apxs=/usr/sbin/apxs
    make
    cp ./apache-2.0/mod_jk.so /etc/httpd/modules/
popd

Make OS X Spaces work properly

For years I have shunned Apple’s OS X Spaces as useless. I was excited about them for a good 2 minutes, which is how long it took to find out that if I had 2 spaces open, and I opened a browser in the 2nd space, then it flipped back to the 1st space. Completely not the point of having Spaces.
Until today. I found this setting in Mission Control:
OS X Mission Control when switching to an application switch Space setting
So I un-ticked it. Perfect. Now I can have a space for work, a space for homework, with browser and mail and other windows open in each space, and it no longer flips between them except I want it to.