OS X Recovery Partition: Customizing With Different Apps

Originally, I wanted to use Casper Imaging  from the Recovery partition.  So this post is based off of this article and this feature request on JAMF Nation.  At the end, I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to add this app to the Recovery HD until JAMF updates it to 64-bit.  However, this process seems to work for other 64-bit apps.  The example I use in this walkthrough is Calculator.app. Continue reading “OS X Recovery Partition: Customizing With Different Apps”

OS X: Roll-your-own Malware Detection

[UPDATE 2014-10-20]: This tricks seems to cause high CPU usage in Yosemite, try using launchd instead.

[UPDATE 2014-10-02]: defend yourself from becoming a zombie courtesy of Mac.BackDoor.iWorm

[UPDATE]: Use this trick to fend off the new malware XLSCmd

Macs are not immune to malware.  Authors of malicious software often try to get a LaunchDaemon or LaunchAgent installed onto your computer in one or more of the following locations: Continue reading “OS X: Roll-your-own Malware Detection”

Automator: Scale Down Large Images From the Contextual-menu

Automator seems to be one of those unknown or ignored Apple-made apps.  But it is very powerful and can save you a lot of time.  It has also been part of OS X for a long time.


To save time by automatically scaling down images (while keeping the original file) to a pre-set size as opposed to manually editing each one.

Requirements For This Walkthrough


  1. Mac with OS X
  2. Large image files


  1. Automator workflow

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to navigate throughout a computer OS
  • Knowledge of basic computer terminology

Step-by-step Instructions

Create the Automator Workflow

You can also download a a pre-built workflow.

  1. Create a folder for the scaled-down images to go
  2. Open /Applications/Automator
  3. Create a workflow similar to the following: (editing the folder and size fields)jacob_salmela_automator_workflow_reduce_image
  4. Click File > Save
  5. Save as something like Reduce to 800×600

Use The New Contextual Service

  1. Right-click a large image file
  2. Click Reduce to 800×600jacob_salmela_resize
  3. Watch the magic happen

The scaled-down image will now be revealed in the folder you designated.  The original remains in-tact.  This operation can also be completed on many files at once.  In this example, the picture was 1.8MB and was reduced to 144K.

Enabling SSH in Single-user Mode on OS X

In my testing, I have found a way to enable SSH in Single-user mode (SUM).  So far, I have only been able to make outbound connections.  Even though the SSH service is on and the ports show as LISTENING , I still am not able to remote in from another machine.  But I can use the machine booted to SUM to SSH into another remote device. Continue reading “Enabling SSH in Single-user Mode on OS X”

Single-user Mode on OS X: Intrusion Detection System: An EFI Password Alternative


My Single-user Mode Intrusion Detection system works in two parts:

  1. a local script is deployed to all client machines
  2. a script runs via GeekTool every two seconds

Continue reading “Single-user Mode on OS X: Intrusion Detection System: An EFI Password Alternative”

Raspberry Pi and the “Say” Command from OSX: How-to Make Your Pi Speak-at-will

This Trick No Longer Works

Google has added a captcha to this service so it will no longer work. Continue reading “Raspberry Pi and the “Say” Command from OSX: How-to Make Your Pi Speak-at-will”