Category Archives: Tools

Add button to Finder for open iTerm or Terminal here

A very useful addon for Finder on Mac OS X is the cdto application. It’s a very basic gadget which helps you open a terminal in the current opened folder. When I am navigating through my filesystem for example browsing a folder of sourcecode or reviewing an extracted tarball you want to have a terminal with an shell opened at the current destination. This little tool helps you to do this. It supports iTerm2 and the default Terminal of course. Download it here.


finder with cdto included

Wireshark with XQuartz on Mac OS X Moutain Lion

Since Apple removed the X11 support you may faced some problems with X11 based applications. Wireshark is one of those applications which made trouble on my mac. To fix the problem you need to install XQuartz.

Download the lates Wireshark version and run it. It should come up with and selection window for your X11 application. Click on browse and navigate to your application directory. Open the directory utilities and select XQuartz. Now quit Wireshark using cmd + q and start it again. It can take a second but now your Wireshark should work with Moutain Lion.

CoRD a nice RDP client for Mac OS X

Searched for an alternative for Microsoft RDP client for Mac and found CoRD. It’s a nice free and open source tool for Mac and works fine unitl now.

Nice features are:

  • Bookmarks
  • All sessions in one window
  • Quick connection
  • Share folders

CoRD Application Screenshot Mac OS X

I will include a more detailed review of this nice tool when I have used it for a while.


iTerm2 a tool you must have

iTerm2 Logo








I was using iTerm since I bought my Mac and was very happy with the tool. It is stable and worked well for me. It has nice features like full screen mode on Snow Leopard but after the update to Mac OS X 10.7 alias Lion the full screen mode didn’t work anymore. I was looking at the SourceForge page of the iTerm project and saw it is not active anymore.

After some search through the Net i found that some more active guys have forked iTerm and named there project iTerm2. It is hosted on Github like the most projects I have reviewed the last time. They did a very nice job with there Lion integration and I hope they hold there speed and power in the future.

If you need a more comfortable Terminal application with features like:

  • full screen mode
  • drag and drop functionality which kicks asses
  • pos1 and end key functionality to jump to first or last letter you typed by <fn> + <left/right arrow>

you should review iTerm2.

Btw. I was thinking how cool it would be if I could copy and paste using drag and drop out of my terminal and reviewed the code to get into it and implementing it maybe by myself … but wow It was already implemented. It looks like it was implemented back in iTerm times but I never used the functionality but you should check it out it is awesome! Just holde <cmd> and for example drag a name of a file listed by ls to your finder, that’s it.

Here you can find iTerm2 on Github:

GitHub brings its own Mac client

GitHub became one of the most popular places for free and commercial software development the last few months. The market around the great DVCS Git initiated by Linux Torvalds became more and more popular. It is fast and fixes many problems for distributed code development by design.

A colleague of my gave me a hint that there is a mac client for GitHub which kicks asses. So let’s review this peace of software.

There is a nice tool called Tower which was my favorite to become my git client beside the console up to now. I used git as user the most time and up to now I hadn’t the need to buy Tower as long as there is no project using Git I am involved in.

But let’s have a closer look to the offline Mac client now. First download the App and install it into you application directory and run it.

Welcome Page GitHub for MacThis is the first screen you will see when you run the application the first time.

GitHub for Mac add your user data

Enter your git account login data or sign up for a free github account with this screen and continue.

If you plan to share an existing local git repository GitHub for Mac lists you all local git repositories it found in your home directory.

I didn’t share a local respository but created a new one for an existing example project.

If you have a paid account you are able to host private repositories as well. I only have a free account for open source and public code projects. I checked the ‘Push to’ checkbox to share this project.

Now the local repository was created in my home directory  ~/github/Victoria/

I copied the project files to the directory and the github client recognized the changes.

Add a commit comment which explains the changes in my case it was the initial import.

Click ‘Publish Branch’ in the right upper corner to sync the local changes to

Git is designed to work very well with branches and merging. Here I created a branch for experimental changes to my code and published it.

As you can see in the right upper corner while the client is publishing the changes is shows a process.

You can review your changes in the changes tab. Now we switch to GitHub where a friend of my did some review and made a change on my commited source code. This is a nice feature which GitHub provides. He sent a so called ‘Pull Request’ to me with his change. This means he want me to create his change into my branch. A very useful functionality.

Lets merge his ‘Pull Request’ into my experimental branch.

Back in the GitHub client for Mac i am now able to sync this change down to my local repository clone.

I hope this gives you a first overview what functionality this new GitHub client for Mac already has. I think in future releases this tool will become more powerful and makes the interaction with GitHub more easy.

Create iso file from CD/DVD on Mac OS X

On Unix like systems it’s easy to create an ISO image from an CD or DVD with dd.

You only need to know the device name of your CD or DVD device and a terminal.

If you don’t know the device name open a terminal and type:

drutil status

This shows you all of your active devices.

Now use the well known dd command to read all data from the device and write it 1:1 to a disk image.

dd if=<nameofyourdevice> of=<filename>

for example:

dd if=/dev/disk1 of=myiso.iso


SizeUp – window management tool for Mac OS X

With SizeUp I found exactly what I need for managing my application windows on Mac OS X.

One of my daily use cases where SizeUp helps me a lot is when I have open many iTerm windows with ssh shells. On my desktop there are often a lot of shells to different machines open and I am working parallel with them.

Irradiated Software also has an tool called Cinch which is the mouse driven version of a window management gadget for all who want to have the functionality know from Windows 7. It’s using active corners to arrange the windows.

But because I am more the keyboard user SizeUp fits better to my needs.SizeUp menu

As you can see on the screenshot there are short cuts for all functions. It is possible to split the screen into two or four sections, maximize or center a window.

Problem with rdp client on Windows XP

On Windows XP Professional installations I had a strange behavior with the mstsc rdp client.

After a while, the mstsc client expired and if I tried to start it the following message showed up:

mstsc error

I was pretty sure I didn’t installed a pre-release service pack on that machine. The problem wasn’t to fix by downloading the service pack and repetitive installation. After this I found an easy way to fix this issue by installing the new mstsc client version 7.0 from the Microsoft website.


Neubot – this project needs your attention

This week I came over a nice project called Neubot – announced by a IT news page. This piece of software will check the global network neutrality. I like free internet access and hope that you are able to support this nice project with some of your resources. The package is available for all big platforms and is easy to install and uninstall. The project collects data if your provider is shaping or blocking special traffic.

We are all part of this information driven world and we need to be sure that information is free and available for everybody. Today it’s the internet where people get together, let’s secure this nice place.

I hope we will see the results of this analysis and people take action to give more and more people free uncensored access to as much information as possible. And don’t forget to run a Tor gateways or bridges to help people in countries with censorship.


gliffy screenshotGliffy is a web based diagram software. If you are on a different platform than MS Windows you are maybe searching for a good diagram software like MS Visio.

The tool works with flash in your browser and allows you  to use it on every platform with flash support. You can share your documents with others and export them for your presentation. A professional version is available for JIRA and gives you more space and options to save documents an collaborate with others.

There is a huge amount of graphics you can use for different kind of diagrams. Network plans, rack visualization on much more. Take a look at this great tool.


The new version of Gliffy is no longer using Flash. Real good work. I am using the Gliffy Plugin for Confluence at work and it works quite well. The new development to make Gliffy working with HTML5 and JavaScript is very nice.