Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Nov 03 2009

HowTo: Find WiFi Passwords In Snow Leopard

Published by under Technology

One of the neat features that I used frequently in MacOS X Leopard & Tiger was the ability to use the wifi connection tool to get the passwords for wifi networks that you have already connected to.  Being a consultant I am constantly hopping networks and using different devices (Laptop, iPhone, etc.), plus I also often get requests from family as to what their wifi passwords are.

This handy password re-call feature was removed from MacOS X Snow Leopard.  Once you entered a password in the wifi connection dialog box you couldn’t go back there to retrieve it.  This is probably a security measure, as it didn’t require the user to enter a password to get at the wifi password.

Well, I have just figured out how to get at them again.  All the wifi passwords are stored in your Keychain.  You can access the information using the Keychain Access application that is located in /Applications.

Wifi Keychain

You need to look in the System keychain, there you should find all the AirPort network passwords for all the wifi networks you have connected to.  Just double click on the one you want to see and click the “Show password” checkbox.  You will be prompted to enter your administrator password before being shown the wifi password in plain text.

Enjoy :-)

10 responses so far

Jun 02 2009

Free WiFi – No Internet

Published by under General,Technology

On my way to bell ringing practice last night I happen to pick up a screw (easy tiger!) in one of my car tyres.  So during my lunch today I took the car into my local Target Auto Parts store to get the puncture fixed.

Whilst I was waiting I did what I normally do with my spare time and whipped out my trusty iPhone to catch up with Google Reader/Podcasts/Twitter/games.  I’m sure you can imagine my joy to find that there is a wifi access point at Target which is open to the public.  I’m sure you can also imagine my devastation to find that, once connected to the wifi network I couldn’t access the internet.

I spent the next 20 minutes playing around with the iPhones wifi settings, MobileTerminal and Safari trying to access the wireless router to see if I could “fix” it.  Result:  FAIL!

So here is a plea to all companies that require customers to sit around twiddling their thumbs waiting for you to get a job done:  please, Please, PLEASE, if you’re going to tempt us with an open wifi access point, please follow through and provide access to the internet.  It really doesn’t cost that much and we’ll be much happier to come back next time!

One response so far

Apr 08 2009

Getting Things Done By Location

Published by under General,Software,Technology

For several years now I’ve been trying to find a way of keeping on top of everything that I need to get done.  To be honest, I didn’t think I had a problem until I read David Allens book “Getting Things Done” (GTD).  It was whilst reading that book that I realised that I spend most of my time worry about what I need to get done and what I might be forgetting to do and not enough time actually doing things.

I’ve had several attempts at trying to follow the GTD methodology but so far they have all failed and I’ve reverted to just relying on the good ole grey matter to remember what I have got to do.  I’ve tried using software to help me – iGTD, Midnight Inbox, OmniFocus, Outlook, iCal, Google Calendar – but the problem with a lot of these is that they are either platform specific (I need my laptop with me) or are calendar based (a lot of what I need to remember is not date specific).

Other attempts have been centered around a notebook that I try to remember to take with me.  This has inevitably resulted in my failing to remember to take my notebook with me and therefore forgetting to update it what I have it to hand again.

I am now embarking on another attempt to follow the GTD methodology.  This time I’m resting my faith on a relatively new entry into the GTD software arena: TheHitList form a compay called Potion Factory.  A couple of nice features that I’m hoping are going to make this easier for me to get along with are:

  • iCal syncing (I have all my calendars synced – iCal, Google, Entourage, iPhone)
  • Repeating tasks (cleaning fish tank, mothly invoicing, etc.)
  • Timer (hopefully no more getting distracted!)
  • Future iPhone support (I may forget my notepad but I NEVER forget my iPhone!)

As great as this software is shaping up there is one striking feature that I think this app – and all other GTD apps – really needs.  Task Locations!  So I’ll go out to run some errands, get home and realised there was some else I could have got done because I was in the area but didn’t because I didn;t think of it whilst I was there – if I had a map on my iPhone of tasks in my current location I could get more done in less time.

TheHitList Task MapI’m not sure of how the iPhone app UI is going to look for TheHitList but I came up with a (very) rough Photoshop version of what the desktop app might look like.

This example is showing the Today list selected and the map with the number of tasks for today on their locations.  If you  had general list selected it might show the tasks for today in red with tasks in the future fading through to grey for tasks without a specific date.  With this type of functionality you’d be easily able to see if you’re going to a location for a specific task whether or not there were other things in the area you could do at the same time.

4 responses so far

Sep 03 2008

VMWare Fusion 2 RC

Published by under Software,Technology

I’ve finally upgraded VMWare Fusion on my Mac to the latest release candidate for version 2. I had been holding out for the final version but I got tired of waiting.

The main reason for upgrading was that I’m using VMWare Fusion for running Windows 2008 Server on MacOS as my work development machine. The downside of using VMWare Fusion 1.x is that whilst 2008 server will run very happily, it doesn’t have support for audio.

Normally this wouldn’t both me as I normally watch BBC iPlayer, YouTube, etc. under MacOS. However, I’ve been doing some SharePoint research and watching a lot of SharePoint related screencasts and it has been really awkward flicking between watching a screencast on one virtual desktop and trying out code on another – I didn’t want to use Unity because I like my development desktop to be free from clutter and my MacOS desktop is very cluttered.

I also wanted to try VMWare Fusion 2 as it says on the tin that it is much more resource efficient. When you’re running MacOS native and two or three VMs, you need to start thinking about what effect that is going to have on performance. I’ve been tweaking CPU and memory settings on the VMs to the n’th degree but my system still drags when starting and stopping VMs… maybe a new MacBook Pro will be required ;)

2 responses so far

Jul 10 2008

SharePoint Link List – Part 3

Published by under Programming,Technology

These are a selection of list of links that I acquired on a recent SharePoint developer course with Patrick Tisseghem of U2U.  This is part 3 of a 4 part series:


Windows Workflow Foundation
An introduction and kick-off point for developers wanting to get started with Workflow Foundation.

Custom Workflow Activities
A set of handy SharePoint workflow activities for people that don’t want to get their hands dirty creating their own custom workflow activities.


Microsoft search services
Information on the Microsoft Search Server family of products.  Aimed more at decision makers than developers.

MOSS Faceted Search AddOn
A most excellent add-on for the MOSS search system.  Allows for quick and easy refining of search criteria.


Silverlight for Sharepoint BluePrints
Demonstrations of how Silverlight can be used with SharePoint.

Vertigo – FamilyShow
Example of using Silverlight in SharePoint

Deep Zoom Composer
Nothing to do with SharePoint but a very cool application.  Useful if you want to embed a Deep-Zoom show in SharePoint ;)

No responses yet

Jul 09 2008

SharePoint Link List – Part 2

Published by under Programming,Technology

These are a selection of list of links that I acquired on a recent SharePoint developer course with Patrick Tisseghem of U2U.  This is part 2 of a 4 part series:


STSAdm extensions
A set of extensions to STSAdm.exe that make just about any SharePoint administration task a piece of cake.  The extensions are packaged as a SharePoint solution package (.wsp) and are installed with the STSAdm.exe utility itself.

Sharepoint Project Utility
A utility for VS developers for creating the standard directory structures and default files for various SharePoint development scenarios.  Requires the installation of the DX Core VS addin.

VS2008 Sharepoint Extensions
A set of projects and project items for VS2008 for SharePoint development.  My initial investigation suggests that these may be geared more towards MOSS2007 than WSSv3.

Event Receiver Management – El Blanco
Allows management of event handlers to specific lists, libraries, etc.

Application Pool Manager
System tray access to IIS Application Pool tasks.  Runs on the machine that SharePoint is installed on.

Fiddler – HTTP Debugging
Useful tool for finding FrontPage rpc calls for uploading and downloading documents.

Expresso Regular Expressions
Wonderful utility for developing and debugging .Net regular expressions.  Once you’ve created and tested your regular expression, Expresso can generate stub .Net code to get the regular expression into your project.

Caml Query Builder
I’ve not had any experience with CAML yet but I’m sure I’ll be using this tool when the time arises.

Word Content Control Toolkit
Assists with binding xml embedded in a Word 2007 docx file to controls in the Word document.  Useful for generating Word documents containing data from SharePoint.

SmartPart for SharePoint
The SharePoint web part which can host any ASP.NET web user control. Create your web parts without writing code!

One response so far

Jul 08 2008

SharePoint Link List – Part 1

Published by under Programming,Technology

These are a selection of list of links that I acquired on a recent SharePoint developer course with Patrick Tisseghem of U2U.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series:

Articles & Blogs

SharePoint Developer Site

John Holiday

Ted Pattison Group Downloads
A host of utilities, demos and articles.  Also, check out the rest of the site.

Ideas & Solutions, Etc.
A host of handy hints & tips.

Content Deployment
A guide to website content management and deployment using SharePoint.

OpenXML Developer
Not really SharePoint specific but a developer site for working with the office documents OpenXML standard.  Useful for developers wanting to tie SharePoint data into Word documents (see Word Content Control Toolkit in Part 2 – Utilities).

3 responses so far

Jun 20 2008

Errors In Google Maps For Guernsey

Published by under Technology

I’ve just been playing with Google Maps for Guernsey again and I’ve noticed a few discrepancies.  Firstly, Google doesn’t seem to have any information regarding one-way roads in Guernsey.  This means that although the driving directions will give you the shortest route, the route may take you the wrong way down a one way road.  This is quite significant around St Peter Port where the roads are narrow and twisting and, if you’re not familiar with it, not being able to follow directions can get you hopelessly lost.

Another, possibly more significant error, is that there is at least one missing road, possibly more:

View Larger Map

Strangely, Yahoo Maps has got both the missing road and the one-way information. Yahoo it seems is using Navteq sourced data whereas Google is using data from Tele Atlas. I’ve just submitted the information to Tele Atlas about the missing road, but I’m damned if I’m going to submit all the missing roads corrections.

No responses yet

May 20 2008

Is Microsoft About To Buy Zend?

Published by under PHP,Programming,Technology

Microsoft has been trying to make itself F/OSS friendly recently.  From agreeing not to sue open source projects to working to provide a bridge between it’s proprietary source management system (TFS) and the much loved open source alternative SubVersion.  Microsoft seems to be trying its best but still appears to be keeping open source at arms length.

The question is: is Microsoft ready to get into bed with open source itself.  Enter Zend.  Zend is an Israeli company that has grown up around the open source scripting engine PHP.   Previously Microsoft announced that it would be working with Zend to provide better support for PHP under Windows Server.

In the last day or so it has become apparent that Zend is laying some of it’s staff. Erick Schonfeld has speculated that this may be to make Zend more attractive to a prospective purchaser.  With Microsoft on the verge of finally to a deal to buy (some if not all) Yahoo, it may Zend may also look attractive if Microsoft is to continue supporting the applications that Yahoo has running on PHP.

There is also the long awaited dynamic language support for .Net.  Maybe PHP could be leveraged to bring more hobbyist developers over to the .Net platform.  Obviously there is the question of getting the .Net framework ported over to alternative operating systems, however Silverlight has demonstrated that they might not be adverse to that idea.

Of course, Oracle has also previously shown an interest in PHP and it would sit nicely alongside MySQL, which that previously purchased.  And then there is IBM, who also seem to be embracing open source as their extensive use, distribution and support of Java show.

No responses yet

Apr 23 2008

TeamCity Over SSL

Published by under Technology

Following on from my presentation last night on TeamCity, I’ve been trying to configure our installation at work so that it can be accessed by our developers in the UK.

The first problem is punching a hole in the firewall.  This was done easily enough by our network admin, however it had to be done a different port than normal as the default port was already being used.  Next, this port had to be configured in the Tomcat server.xml file.  One of the clear things I discovered whilst changing the port setting is that it is possible to have both HTTP and HTTPS access to TeamCity at the same time on different ports.  This meant we could keep the old internal HTTP port for local developers and set up the external port as HTTPS for our developers in the UK.

Setting up HTTPS meant creating a certificate for Tomcat.  It was easy enough to create a self signed certificate using the TeamCity documentation and the Tomcat documentation.  The Tomcat documentation also includes information about importing a third party signed certificate.

One thing to note about the self-signed certificate is that you can only import the certificate in Internet Explorer for future visits to the site if the value given to keytool for “What is your first and last name?” is the domain name used to access the site.  This one had me confused for a while.

No responses yet

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