Category Archives: Information Technology

The Onion Paywall

Update (2014/04/01):  This doesn’t seem to work anymore, check out this updated post, or see comments….

I’m not a big fan of advertisements. I’m also not a big fan of paywalls. Seeing as I do want companies to make money from their content, I’m a horrible person for finding ways around both these things. I’m worse because I’m sharing.

AdBlock for Google Chrome does a great job at removing ads from everything. However, the Onion paywall is still a problem. I’m also worried about how Canadian newspapers are about to begin paywalls. I had a workaround to The Onion’s paywall, that worked well, until a few months ago. With some Googling I finally found a solution. Once AdBlock is installed, click on the Adblock icon and choose Options. Click Customize, and click edit beside the manual section. Paste the following in and save.

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Oh no! iPhone

A few days ago I realized that I haven’t changed my iPhone password since I first purchased the device a year and a half ago. So I did what any normal person would do, I changed my password. After that I spent two days typing in my old password, getting rejected, and putting in the new password. No problem. I’d get used to the password.

I was out at the Horseshoe Tavern with two thirds of Daniel, Fred, and Julie, and a friend of Julie’s from Hot Docs1. I was using my phone, I was still entering the wrong password initially and then putting in the right one, and all was working.

Suddenly I put in my new password, and it rejected it. I put it in again. And again, and again, until I saw my phone was temporarily disabled. I tried my new password, I tried my old password. I typed it in super-meticulously and nothing worked. Sigh.

I can blame the phone and say that it’s the phone’s fault. It somehow corrupted the password and wasn’t accepting it, but we all know that it was most likely that I thought I knew the new password but confused it somehow in my mind, but I can’t see how I did that.

So in other words, it was probably my fault, but I want to blame the phone.

Eventually I got to the point where my phone was disabled for 60 minutes. They decided to go see a late show at the Bloor for Hot Docs. I was interested in the documentary, but decided my time was better spent going home and fixing my phone, so that I’d have an alarm clock to wake me in the morning.

When I got home, I logged into iCloud and remote wiped my phone. I then plugged it into my media machine, and let it sync. After half an hour of restoring from backup, I realized that it was restoring with a year old back up. That won’t do. I wiped the phone once again, and then I unplugged it. Turns out if you want to restore from an iCloud backup, you have to do it when the phone is NOT plugged into a computer.

I ran the iCloud restore, and it took a long time. It was pretty wonderful. Everything came down rather quickly. The restore happened faster than from the computer, which I don’t quite understand how that happens. It had to redownload all the apps, but it kept my screen layouts, and placement of all the apps and folders. However, if you’re going to restore your iPhone, make sure your iTunes account is up to date with the corrected credit card info. It wouldn’t download my apps that were attached to my Apple ID. It did deal with the multiple Apple ID situation quite well, and the work apps (Server Admin, Workgroup Manager, etc.) all came down no problem.

It attached all my settings, and all my content, all my iPhone photos, except for iTunes, and photos from my Aperture library, but those are all on my media machine, and ready to be synced.

The only thing missing is yesterday’s text messages, as the last backup was from yesterday morning. Other than that. I have my phone as I left it.

iCloud is pretty bloody awesome. Daily zero-effort backups are nice.

  1. A hot Hot Docs chick. []

Apple Wifi Menu

Apple doesn’t always like to document things. Did you know that when you option-click on the wifi menu it gives you this…

Another Day


I woke up this morning, it was around 3:30. I didn’t want to wake up that early but I did. So I put on my GSD1 hat.

I waited around until it was a reasonable time, and then I headed to the Passport Canada office in Scarborough2. After waiting way too long, they processed my paperwork, and OH YEAH! I’ll be getting a passport.

Apple Connect 2012

From there, I went up to Steeles and joined Apple Connect 2012 after the opening talk. I don’t really know what I missed, but oh well. What I do know I missed was breakfast, and after having lunch and dinner there… OH MY GOD! I was expecting shitty sandwiches and that kind of stuff like at other Apple events I’ve been to… but no, they’re pulling out all the bloody stops3!

The sessions I did go to were thus:

Apple Environmental Footprint
There was nothing else going on at that time, and my god was this a bloody boring speech. I really don’t care what Apple’s footprint is. It was long, boring, and *YAWN*.

Lion: Where is my server?
The title made me think of this. This was a discussion mostly of where to find pieces of Lion Server that aren’t preinstalled like it used to be. The vast majority of this was pointing us to the binary for MySQL or how to enable FTP on a server4. Those things weren’t that interesting, what was were the items that he had to take out of his presentation, because since the release of 10.7.0 and the release of 10.7.3, it is not easy, and builtin.

Lion Open Directory Update
Open Directory is an authentication protocol which Macs can use to authenticate to a server. It’s a decent system, has some advantages, though, honestly it would probably be more accessible to use Active Directory, but I do not. The presenter was a programmer for the OD services. Apparently the rewrote it from the ground up and she gave a very technical and detailed examination of the services. It was interesting, but barely useful.

Certificates and PKI: Concepts and Lab
This was my favourite of the talks, mostly because of Arek Dreyer.  He is very animated and he seemed to be genuinely excited about the subject. It was an excellent two hours. We had a lot of information thrown at us, both technical and practical. We had a chance to actually play with the self-signed certificates that are default to Mac OS X Server.

I missed two sessions, as they conflicted with others, including one from Mobile Iron a third party company who make a Mobile Device Management solution. Apple just released one called Apple Configurator, which I’m looking forward to playing with along with a cart of iPads. I just worry about the fact that the app seems to be thinking the iOS apps should be volume licensed, when there is no volume licensing for Canada, yet.

The other session I missed was Intro to iOS Development. I’m a terrible developer, and honestly don’t care.

After a tasty tasty dinner, I went to downstairs to the main event room where I wrote a test for certification. OS X Support Essentials 10.7 Exam was the test, and I passed! WOOO! That makes me an Apple Certified Support Professional, whatever that means. It’s a certification that will last until Mountain Lion is released in the summer. These exams were built into the cost of the event, so I took it on a whim not expecting to pass, and without having studied, but WOO HOO I passed5!

There’s many more tests I can take tomorrow, but I’ll only be able to take one more. I can go with OS X Server Essentials 10.7 Exam  which will make me an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator. That will be a much harder exam, which I could probably pass with study, but I haven’t studied whatsoever. I could at the least read the 30 page Exam Preparation Guide.

They also have exams for Final Cut Pro X and Aperture, which have very little actual worth in the real world, I use these apps nearly constantly. They have a Level One and Level Two for FCPX, and I know I wouldn’t get to level two with my knowledge, and wonder about Level One. As for Aperture, I’m sure I can pass it in my sleep. So I don’t know which I should opt for.

Bow ties are cool

In additional to all the fun I had with Passport and AC12, I also sent an email to Wickham House Brand who have a bow tie of the month club. I signed up for three months starting in February and have yet to receive my first tie. I was kinda worried, so I sent an email. I was told it should’ve arrived last week (but I didn’t say I was in Canada, and he answered from his iPhone, so he might not have looked my order up), he suggested I contact him again at the end of the week if it hasn’t arrived.

I got home from AC12 and checked my mailbox, which had been empty every day for the past two or three weeks. There was a notice from Canada Post in there. I checked the notice and saw that Shoppers was open for another 3o minutes. I headed down the street, and got a package, which was too big for a bow tie. sure it was flat, but it was about 12″ squared. I looked at the return address, and it wasn’t from the United States, it was from Halifax… WHO WOULD BE SENDING ME SOMETHING FROM HALIFAX?!?! Then I saw the name on the return address, “Mike O’Neill.”

It was Mike O’Neill’s new record! Hooray! I had figured it would come from owner Dave Ullrich, who lives a few blocks away from me in Toronto6.

Sad there were no bow ties, but WOO! MIKE O’NEILL.

Man I’m tired.

  1. Get *expletive deleted* Done. []
  2. Eww, Scarborough. []
  3. Food did not contain blood. []
  4. which is omitted for good reason, use SSL. []
  5. Students, don’t follow my example. []
  6. I’ve seen him in the street a few times, he never noticed me when I waved. []



Please tell me I’m not the only one who shouts out “ARR!” like a pirate when I use rsync.

ARR, sync matey!

The sad thing is that this wasn’t the only time I was shouting “ARR!” Apparently whenever I use Final Cut Pro X and need to use the Range Selection tool, as I’m pressing the “r” key, I of course need to shout “ARR!”

Now it’s time to cut the blooper reel, because you can’t let your boss get away with saying, “and really get dirty.”

MacBooks Pro and Windows 7

I recently purchased some MacBooks Pro. Unfortunately at work we’re still using Mac OS X 10.6, as 10.7 isn’t very good in an Open Directory environment. Fortunately the newest MacBooks can have 10.6 installed on them. I used NetRestore to image the computers, and all was good. Except 11 of these computers were going to be used with Hebrew users. You might not know that Hebrew is written from right to left, and sadly Mac OS X is not the most friendly with right to left languages. So I needed to run BootCamp.

Here’s the problem. You launch 10.6’s BootCamp and it says that it can’t run on that generation of MacBook. Then you boot off of a 10.7 drive, and it says BootCamp can only run off of the internal drive. Bugger.

So here’s the solution:

  1. Booted off an external drive, partition the internal drive, and make the second partition FAT32.
  2. Reboot off of a Windows 7 install disc.
  3. Reformat the drive as an NTFS drive. Don’t continue with the install.
  4. Reboot into Target Disk Mode. And connect via Firewire or Thunderbolt to another computer.
  5. Launch WinClone and restore your previously saved image to the NTFS partition.

That’s how I did it for some machines, others I used Clonezilla, which basically does the same thing, but over ethernet, and more difficultly. A lack of GUI makes a basic CLI knowledge essential.

I did have one machine with a problem. It wouldn’t let me install Windows on it. The partition didn’t seem to be acceptable. So I reformatted the drive, and reimaged the Mac OS X side, and it worked.

SOPA & PIPA (An open letter)

To: John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
cc: Steven Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament St. Paul’s
Peter Kent, Member of Parliament Thornhill

Minister Baird,

I’m writing to you this morning as a technology professional. I am the IT Manager for *insert school name here*. As you’re aware, technology plays a large factor in the lives of our children. They are growing up and watching the world change all around them. The children in our school are fortunate enough to have easy access to desktop and laptop computers, as well as tablet devices for them to use within school. In their home lives most of them have access to computers, tablets, smartphones, and the list of devices connected to the Internet is ever increasing.
The useful of this global community of ideas and knowledge is only useful as a dynamic community-driven platform of innovation. The United States Senate and Congress have each tabled separate bills which threaten the open Internet as we know it. These bills Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are well intentioned acts meant to stop piracy, sadly anyone with knowledge of the core framework of the Internet will know that they are unable to accomplish their intended desires. While they are unable to stop unlawful piracy, the legislations do further damage by limiting innovation and tying the hands of smaller startups, preventing the Internet from evolving, preventing ideas from growing, and preventing community-driven content from flourishing.
As Canadians we have little say in the internal politics of foreign nations, but when a law is tabled which affects the wider world, Canada must standup. Canada must use its voice with our best friend, our closest ally, and our largest trading parter. Canada has a voice through the Ministry of Foreign affairs, and Mr. Baird, I hope you use that voice. Speak out against PIPA & SOPA, stand up for Canadian innovation, and global community.

Adam M. Anklewicz
I.T. Manager
*insert school name here*


I defriended someone on Facebook earlier this week. I then thought about defriending a few hundred people. Instead I opted to delete every picture I’ve ever posted to Facebook, I untagged myself from every photo I was tagged in. I removed any and all information about me from Facebook. It felt nice.

From there, I deleted all my tweets, thanks to TweetWipe.

I deleted my accounts from a handful of other websites.

I’m not sure what I want to do with this space, but I think I’ll leave it as it is for the time being.


iPhone Ringtones

Time for a non-Rocktober post.

I’ve made some ringtones for my iPhone, and I thought I’d share. Yes I’m infringing on some copyright with these, but I hope the BBC, Nintendo, Stephin Merritt, Apple, and the TTC will forgive me.

The Magnetic Fields – “BBC Radiophonic Workshop”
Doctor Who Theme (Christopher Eccleston era)
Doctor Who Theme (William Hartnell era) 
Super Mario Bros. coin sound
The Magnetic Fields – “One April Day”
Sloan – “Cheap Champaign”
Tetris music
TTC door chime 

#Rocktober 30 volume 13: iOS 5

This month I turn 30. To mark such a remarkable event, I’m spending every day of October drenched in awesome-sauce.

I upgraded to iOS 5, and spent much of the time playing with new features, and found out that you can now customize text-tones, something I’ve been wanting for quite some time. I made a couple new text-tones, one is the QUACK from the System 7 sound set, the other is the sound made in Super Mario Bros. when one collects a coin.

Okay, this was a cop-out Rocktober event… sue me. Bitches!