The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, May 02, 2011

What's this red stuff here? … oh, it's catchup.

Yeah, it's been awhile. I just haven't felt like posting since … oh … it's been since early January.



Work at The Corporation has been a series of long periods of intense bordom punctuated by short bursts of sheer terror (in other words—“hurry up and wait!”) as we've been going through a testing phase (more on that later). Meanwhile, my current private “project du jour” is dealing with email. More specifically, working slowly towards indexing a rather large archive of email I've collected over the past fifteen years (and more on that later as well).

Also, Hoade and his lovely wife Ann survived the terrible tornadoe that ripped through Tuscaloosa a few days ago with nary a scratch. Their house, however, did not survive (much like large portions of Tuscaloosa didn't survive). He's also coming down to Lower Sheol to visit; his plans made a few days before he and Ann lost their house. The plans are still on and it'll be nice to see him again without falling into a cactus plant.

“He's one of the old gods! He demands sacrifice!”

Another day, another Mac OS-X automatic update.

I'm growing leary of Mac OS-X updates. I'm also growing leary of Apple in general. I'm not saying I refuse to use their products–heavens no! Chez Boca is slowly turning into Apple territory with one Mac mini, A Mac laptop, an iPad and two iPhones. The computers just work (and give it time Bunny—you'll get use to the interface, trust me).

But I get the feeling that doing anything a bit out of the ordinary is punished, for Steve Jobs is not a kind and loving god—he's one of the old gods! He demands sacrifice! His way, or no way.

The only change I've made to the system is to have syslogd forward its logs on the Mac to my Linux system (and to do that, I had to figure out how to edit /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/, which is a binary file, to add one command line option to syslogd when it starts) and the last time my Mac auto-updated (last month) it completely overwrote my changes and I lost an hour trying to remember how I initially set it up and troubleshoot why it wasn't working properly.

Thanks, Steve.

More troubling though, are some of the logs I'm seeing from the Mac. Such as:

fc00::3 | /usr/libexec/taskgated | user debug | May 02 15:48:15 | no
system signature for unsigned /Applications/[18605] 
(pardon the rather unorthodox output from my syslogd)

The only executables that are thus logged are those that I compiled, or have been downloaded off the Internet (like Firefox for instance). The man page for taskgated says this:

taskgated is a system daemon that implements a policy for the task_for_pid system service. When the kernel is asked for the task port of a process, and preliminary access control checks pass, it invokes this daemon (via launchd) to make the decision.

which doesn't reassure me all that much. Also, given the control that Apple exerts over the iPhone and iPad software ecosystem, how long until Apple starts tightening its grip over the software echosystem of the Mac?

Okay, I doubt they'll go so far as to remove the ability of third party applications from running on the Mac, but still … if I have to worry about every update reversing changes I've made to the system …

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