If you ever need to combine all first pages of a bunch of PDF files into a single file you can use this script. Comes in handy to prepare train tickets for turning them in for tax returns. They come with two pages one of which is only the TOS which I don’t want to print to save the environment and resources.

I’m currently two days into the Advanced Architecting on AWS class and am looking forward to taking the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional Level exam later this month. Since I noticed there is quite some interest in this certification I want to use this blog post to discuss the sample exam questions you can download from AWS. If you haven’t figured them out for yourself you might want to try them first before continue reading as this post is a huge spoiler.

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Today I updated to OS X 10.10.4. I was really happy when I read through the change notes despite the fact that I actually shouldn’t have been as there were also a dozen or so fixes for possible unauthenticated remote code executions in several components of the system.

But I was happy because it was promised that they had fixed an issue which could lead to the system to stop responding under certain conditions. One of them was your computer being connected to a directory service. Check – my computer is member of an Active Directory domain. So I know some of those certain conditions.  Like trying to connect my Mac to the Internet via my Windows Phone’s WiFi Internet sharing. Or trying to login to my non-directory account first after boot without having logged in as directory user. Or sometimes when waking up from sleep. And some other conditions I could not find a pattern for. This can really be a pain especially when being somebody who is doing on-call duty and needs to be able to rely on the computer to actually work when servers are burning.

I cannot tell if the update works. I hope it does but my hope is limited though. And this is why I’m writing these lines. Because I just witnessed another thing that adds into why my fate in OS X is declining:

UpdateFail

Maybe I should start looking at Linux again…

I wonder what’s going on lately. Some bot-net is trying to brute force its way into my blog since a couple of days. Usually I couldn’t care less – I’m using a secure password and the default user is disabled. But it makes my security plugin flooding my inbox and I’m starting to get really annoyed by that.

Here is what I did to put an end to that. I added a few lines to the .htaccess to put an HTTP auth in front of the login and some more lines to deny access to the password file which lives in the document root so it is automatically included in the nightly backups:

The attacker has quite a bit of resources at hand. So far I didn’t see any multiple occurrences of IP addresses in the logs.