Encrypt and decrypt .zip files on Mac OS X

I just needed to compress and encrypt some files on Mac OS X. The following command does that:
zip -ejr TARGET SOURCEFOLDER
This will ask for a password (twice to confirm it), encrypt and compress the sourcefolder and put it into a file named target (and auto add the .zip extension).

To unzip it do this:
unzip SOURCE -d TARGETFOLDER
This will ask for the password, decrypt and uncompress it into the targetfolder.

Backup because only the paranoid survive

I first heard the quote “only the paranoid survive” about 1999 or 2000. But it’s only recently I’ve heard the full quote. Which is:

Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.

For more Quotes from Andy Grove visit this quote page.

This thinking applies to so many things, but one I often apply it to is backups. Yes the humble yet oft forgotten backup.

Just because everything is working, and going along swimmingly, we become complacent, we forget or put off doing a backup of our files, our photographs etc. This is when we most need to do our backup, so that when a problem arises, we have that backup to go to.

Thus (and this is the question that prompted me writing this) is “what do I use to backup?”.

I use both Dropbox and Backblaze. You may think they both serve the same purpose. They don’t.

I use Dropbox to make files available to myself across all the platforms I use, and I use it to share files and folders with others. In a sense it backs up my data, but that’s not what it’s there for.

To backup my data, workfiles, photos, music and emails I use Backblaze. Backblaze quietly sits in the background and backs up everything. Those files don’t have to be in my Dropbox folder to be backed up. It’s the easiest, cheapest and most effective offsite backup solution you can implement.

If you aren’t paranoid about losing your files, you don’t need to do anything. If you are, and I am, you need to start backing up. You’ve got no excuses. Complain to me and it’ll fall on deaf ears.

Do you use the Apple FireVault to encrypt your drive?

Do you use the Apple Mac FireVault?

I’m not. At least, not yet. Given the warning it gives prior to turning it on I’ve not yet turned it on. Should I? or should I not?

This is the warning that appears:

WARNING: You will need your login password or a recovery key to access your data. A recovery key is automatically generated as part of this setup. If you forget both your password and recovery key, the data will be lost.

Your thoughts/input/experience appreciated.

So you bought an Apple computer…

I know two people who have just bought themselves new Apple Mac computers, one a behemoth desktop, the other a 15″ MacBook Pro. Both have been immersed in “Windows World” and are essentially new to the Mac OS (one did have a Mac years ago).

So, where to start?

Here are my initial tips:

  • Be prepared for some frustration. It doesn’t work the way you’re used to. Yes, it’s change. It’s worth it, you’ll be more productive, I am.
  • The keyboard and the trackpad are your friend. More than you know. Learn the ‘gestures’. single tap on the trackpad is a left click, two finger tap on the trackpad is a right click.
  • Get in the habit of pressing the ‘Option’ key. You’ll suddenly find extra options.
  • Use COMMAND-SPACE to start Spotlight. Use Spotlight.
  • Use Google Chrome as your browser.
  • Working with words? do your drafts in ByWord. Power tip: learn Markdown.
  • Working with programming code? use TextWrangler.

That’s a start. I’m sure they’ll have more questions yet.

Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

As a recent convert to the Mac OS X platform (I bought a Mac Book Pro), I’m loving OmniOutliner for creating outlines and documents, with one small annoyance. The default keyboard shortcut isn’t easy enough for me to use to move items up and down the outline list.

So when I found this article Alternative Options and Shorter Shortcuts I saw that using the same method I’d be able to ‘re-map’ ⌘↑ and ⌘↓ to move items up and down the list. And it’s worked. ☺