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Snow in October

So yesterday and the evening before that we had a little bit of snow here in Reading. It’s very unusual to get snow here in October, so quite a novelty.

This is a photo I took with my phone from outside the window of my room here in Bridges Hall, on the university’s Whiteknights campus.

Snow at Bridges Hall

Information Management

All the time we get information thrown at us and managing that information so that you are in control of it and not the other way round can be a real challenge.

As you should know, I have recently started university. If there’s anything you can do that suddenly causes loads of information to be thrown at you, then that is it.

And it all adds up. A brand new email account with lots of stuff coming in, timetable information from multiple places, tasks to add to to-do lists and so on.

So I thought I’d take a moment to share how I’m dealing with some of this information and how I am using the technology available to me to have access to that information (hopefully) wherever I need it.

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AppleScript to enable SOCKS proxy on Mac OS X

Find this tutorial useful?

Well, I’m here at Reading University and one of the joys of living here in halls is using the wonderful internet connection, shared with many other download-happy students.

As well as the speed being quite variable, there’s also a greater security risk, especially when transmitting passwords over normal, unencrypted HTTP connections. To solve that problem, I SSH into my server, still sitting back at home and tunnel HTTP traffic through the SSH connection.

This creates a SOCKS proxy server on my local machine and I can push the Mac’s traffic through it. It takes a long time and is fiddly, however, to switch the SOCKS proxy on and off from System Preferences, especially when (as in my special case) you can’t use Leopard’s Locations feature.

The AppleScript applications provided below are a quicker solution. Launch the right app, type your password and the proxy is flipped on or off. Nice and simple and much less fiddly than messing around in System Preferences.

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