Stop Check Point VPN Client Autostart

For some VPNs that I need to connect to, the required program is called Check Point Endpoint Security. One of the most annoying features of the application is that it starts up when your computer starts, and throws up the connect dialog immediately.

There is no way in the UI to disable the autostart. What you have to do is to go into the file

/Library/LaunchAgents/com.checkpoint.eps.gui.plist

and change the part where it says

 <key>RunAtLoad</key>
<true/>

to

 <key>RunAtLoad</key>
<false/>

Alternatively you can use the plist editor from Xcode and change the RunAtLoad setting from YES to NO.

Screenshot 2016-05-14 11.24.57

One major itch scratched. Thanks to my colleague SimonD for finding the solution.

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Programmatically Copying Files to Clipboard on OS X

After using the script I showed you in my post on command line zip for a while, we tried to scratch one more itch. We wanted to avoid having to manually copy the file to the clipboard, and wanted to see whether it was possible to have the script put it there.

We ended up using the osascript command to run some AppleScript. Here is the updated script.

#!/bin/bash
rm dist.zip
zip -r -x *cache* -X dist.zip ui api index.html
dir=`pwd`
osascript \
  -e 'on run args' \
  -e 'set the clipboard to POSIX file (first item of args)' \
  -e end \
  "${dir}/dist.zip"

The first lines is the old script that removes the existing zip file and zips up the content we want. Afterwards, we fetch the current directory (the full path is needed), and run the provided AppleScript to put it in the clipboard.

Another itch scratched 🙂

Window Manager for OS X

One thing that I found a bit difficult on the Mac was to arrange windows. Maximizing the window did not always work as I wanted it to, it was a hassle to arrange two windows side-by-side. In Windows 7, you can snap a window to half the display by simply dragging it to the edge of the display. I wanted something similar in OS X.

After a quick Google-search, I found several alternatives, quite a few commercial ones, but I wanted something free, so I tried out ShiftIt, and haven’t tried anything else since that. It did exactly what I wanted it to do, and more.

ShiftIt provides keyboard shortcuts for moving current window to any quarter or half of your display, move the window to the next display, maximizing, increasing and decreasing size, and centering the window. It is a tool that helps scratching another itch 🙂

A few notes about ShiftIt (and I think this applies to other window managers too). In order to allow ShiftIt to modify your windows, it needs to be allowed to use the Accessibility UI. The place where this happens has moved in OS X 10.9 and 10.10. So, if you get the following message:

ShiftIt Accessibility

You have to go into the following place, and check the box. NOTE! If the box is already checked, you might have to uncheck it, and check it again.

Accessibility settings

Command Line ZIP on OS X

To zip up files and folders for the distribution package I mentioned in my previous post, we use the shell script below. The same command can of course be used directly from the command line too.

#!/bin/bash
rm dist.zip
zip -r -x *cache* -X dist.zip ui api index.html

The key here is the zip command. The different options we give in to the command are:

  • -r for recursive, since we want to include subfolders too
  • -x to exclude things, in this case, the cache folder (located inside the api-folder)
  • -X to exclude extra file attributes, can’t remember if this was necessary, might be, since we target Windows
  • dist.zip, the filename to create
  • …. the files or folders to include

This has really sped up the deployment time, and also reduced a lot of frustration. Instead of hand-picking the files and folders to include, and manually copy over those files to the server, there is just one file that is created automatically by the script above. It did not take many minutes to research and implement, once I actually allowed myself to take a break and scratch this particular itch.

Font for readable code

I recently had a remote pair programming session with a colleague, and immediately noticed the readability of his code. I’m not talking about programming style etc, but of the actual font he was using. It was so crisp and clear and comfortable on the eyes. I immediately thought that I’d need to get me some of that.

The font in question is called Input, and is specifically designed for code. There are sans, serif and mono styles of the font. There is also a nice preview functionality on the page, where you can really tweak the font to your liking. You can even select your preferred style of ‘a’, ‘g’, and a couple of other letters. Of course you can also just download the complete font package.

Alternate letterforms and example of font.
Alternate letterforms and example of font.

Installation of the font is really easy on OS X. Just drag-and-drop the unzipped font package onto the Font Book application, and the font gets added to your system.

Installation of font
Installation of font

Try it out, it even makes spaghetti slightly easier on the eyes.

Elisa Viihde pages updated

Update 2015-09-19. The number of posts I have done on the subject of Elisa Viihde, Chrome, and VLC has grown, and it was becoming a hassle to update the old posts to link to the newest information, so I decided to create a separate page that will always hold the newest version of my extension and up-to-date installation instructions.

Update 2015-07-23: The way the stream is served out has changed, so the “Download” functionality of the version of the extension linked here does not work anymore. Please see my new post on the subject for an updated version of the extension.

So it seems that the entire Elisa Viihde pages were updated with new layout, new functionality, and new plugins. The new VLC plugin works on my iMac, so I can watch recordings in the browser. However, I still like the functionality provided by the full VLC client, so I decided to try and update my Chrome extension to support the new pages.

The extension provides icons both for opening the recording in the VLC client (providing that the ViihdeVLCLauncher is installed), and downloading the recording. Unfortunately the name of the downloaded file will be video.ts. I could not get around that. This is a screenshot of what the result looks like in the recordings list:

viihde_3_screenshot_list

And on the program details page:

viihde_3_screenshot_program

You can download the extension here.
Update 2015-07-23: Newest version of the extension can be found here.

Note, that this still requires the ViihdeVLCLauncher. The download of that and installation instructions for the extension and the launcher can be found in my first post on the subject.

Elisa Viihde helper extension for Safari

Update 2015-09-20: Apple has changed their development license, so you are not allowed to freely create Safari extensions. I will not be updating this extension any more, since I am not enrolled in the Apple Developer Program (which costs $99 per year). The newest Chrome version can always be found at my Elisa Viihde page.

Update 2015-05-28: Since I made this extension, the Elisa Viihde pages have been updated, so this extension does not work anymore. If I get any requests to update it, I might just do that. The Chrome extension is updated to support the new pages.

I decided to try to make an extension for Safari too, with the same functionality as my ViihdeHelper extension for Chrome (http://bit.ly/ISNizh).

This is how you install the extension:

Download the extension from unavailable. After downloading, double click on the downloaded file (ViihdeHelper.safariextz), and it will ask you whether you want to install it or not:

install

After clicking install, you can verify in the preferences view that the installation was successful.

verify

Now, when you log in to Elisa Viihde, and go to the page of a recording, you should see two new links below the title of the recording:resultDownload needs no explanation, but for the “Open in VLC…” functionality to work, you need to install the ViihdeVLCLauncher described in my post about the Chrome extension (http://bit.ly/ISNizh). Please follow the instructions there for that.

That’s it, and as usual:

Please try it out and let me now how it works out for you. It works for me, but I give no guarantees that it will work for you, and I don’t take any responsibility for any damage that may occur while trying it out.