OS X Mail: Create HTML-formatted Auto-response With AppleScript and Rules

Do you respond to a lot of emails with the same or similar content?  You can use Apple’s Mail app to do this for you automatically with some AppleScript and email rules.  Hopefully, you already know about the privacy glitch associated with Apple’s Mail program and Spotlight and have disabled the indexing of your emails.  If not, do that now.  Then, follow the instructions below. Continue reading “OS X Mail: Create HTML-formatted Auto-response With AppleScript and Rules”

Reduce And Resize Dropbox Camera Uploads Automatically With Hazel

I usually use my iPhone to take pictures for my Website and then upload them via the Dropbox app so they appear on my computer.  This is a nice feature, but the photos are way too large to use on a Website.  Instead of opening each one in Preview, scaling it down and saving it.  I created a Hazel workflow that does this for me automatically.  It then copies the original file to the Photos folder. Continue reading “Reduce And Resize Dropbox Camera Uploads Automatically With Hazel”

OS X: Scripting “Needs Access To Assistive Devices” Accessibility

Some app needs access to assistive devices.”  This message appears on a lot of software starting in Mavericks and Yosemite and is slow to fix without scripting it.

If you are a systems administrator and have thousands of computers to deploy this app to, do you really want to manually walk through six steps on every computer you need to do this for?  That will take a long time and a lot of manual work. Continue reading “OS X: Scripting “Needs Access To Assistive Devices” Accessibility”

OS X: Bulk Rename Computers That Are Being Repurposed

Whenever I get a bunch of new computers and phase out some old ones, I typically want them to have the same name.  Since I do not want duplicates, I just prepend (or append) “Repurpose-” to the computer name.  Then, I can name the new computer with the same without any conflicts.  Finally, I update the JSS record of the computer to change it’s building to “Recycled.”  Below is the script I use to do this. Continue reading “OS X: Bulk Rename Computers That Are Being Repurposed”

Use TextExpander To Run Shell Scripts

TextExpander is great for saving time writing repetitive text.  However, I recently discovered that you can also run scripts via a TextExpander keystroke.  To do this, create a new snippet and choose Shell Script as the Content type.  Then type your script in.

In the example below, I create a simple script that makes the computer talk, so I know that the script works.  All I need to do is type ;script and then Tab and it will make the computer run my script. Continue reading “Use TextExpander To Run Shell Scripts”

More Minnesota Testing Woes: Scripting MN ACT Compass Test

While not nearly as awful as Pearson’s TestNav, the Web-based MN ACT Compass Test still requires manual intervention before students are able to test–enough that some scripting is warranted.

The technical requirements are much better than Pearson’s, but this test requires that each workstation needs to be registered before anyone can take a test on it.  So imagine if you wanted to test 100 students.  Each of them need a computer.  Before they can test, the technical staff needs to: Continue reading “More Minnesota Testing Woes: Scripting MN ACT Compass Test”

Scripting Pearson’s TestNav on Windows Using Python

Getting Pearson’s Web-based TestNav to work on OS X was challenging enough, but getting it to work on Windows is also difficult.  Fortunately, Windows can run Python–even though it isn’t installed by default like OS X.  And Python is great for scripting and automating mundane tasks.  Pair that with some Group Policy Objects (GPOs), and you have saved yourself a lot of time! Continue reading “Scripting Pearson’s TestNav on Windows Using Python”

Detecting Wirelurker Malware

[UPDATE] It appears the command and control infrastructure has been neutralized.

Palo Alto has already written a script that will detect the Wirelurker malware.  It basically scans for the files known to be malicious.  Just download the script and run it from Terminal:

curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PaloAltoNetworks-BD/WireLurkerDetector/master/WireLurkerDetectorOSX.py</code>
python WireLurkerDetectorOSX.py

Continue reading “Detecting Wirelurker Malware”

Managing GarageBand Loops At the Command Line

GarageBand has a lot of royalty-free loops and additional content that’s not installed by default.  If you are a Mac admin and need to deploy GarageBand and/or Logic, you don’t want every client to have to download the additional content when it is first opened.  It is much better to deploy the content during imaging. Continue reading “Managing GarageBand Loops At the Command Line”