Dealing With a Cold

Holy crap, what a crummy week. Caught a cold, saw productivity go down a bit, but was able to pull through without missing any work thanks in part to reading Eric Rescorla's blog post about "Managing the Common Cold". The guy is an engineer / security guru but he happens to post frequently about statistics and health, and in this case he's really on to something as he goes much further than the classic advice: "Oh just take a Tylenol Cold and stop whining":

  • Nasal sprays and pseudoephedrine for congestion: He recommends Flonase, which requires a prescription, but I've had luck this week with an OTC decongestant spray once a day (mindful of widely-reported acclimatation effects) and Advil Cold & Sinus. I feel kind of stupid for buying Advil, as it's just ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine, but it was recommended by a colleague; next time I'll go generic.

  • diphenhydramine hydrochloride, an antihistamine with sedative effects to help fall asleep: costs practically nothing in generic form. Quite effective.


The Absolutely Essential Software List for Mac Newbies

This is for my friend Jason Kealey, who finally got a MacBook Pro today. Welcome to the awesomeness of OSX :)

Newbies, here's the absolutely essential, grab-this-software-today stuff you want to go install:
I still haven't found a perfect image editor. I'm thinking of dropping the cash for Pixelmator, but even on a new MBP it feels a bit sluggish... I'm still wrestling with the decision while my trial period ticks down.

The fact that this list is actually pretty small for me means OSX is, really, quite a bit more functional out of the box than Windows. Bundling of software with an operating system can be a bit contentious, but I think OSX generally gets at least this correct.


Ask TUAW - Finding which processes own which network connections - Here, I'll Save You 30 Bucks

A good question popped up on Ask TUAW today:

Richard asks
I have recently noticed that I have a fairly constant upload of 14-16 KB/s going on in the background (I'm using iSlayer's iStat menus), even though I haven't initiated any upload. I'm not now running any online backup apps. I've checked in Activity Monitor, and can't see anything very out of the ordinary there, although evidently I've missed something. Is there an easy way to see which applications/processes are using the network connection? Or should I get Little Snitch? It's quite annoying to see that the network connection is being used, and being unsure about what is using it. It's potentially disastrous when I'm using metered connections!

Here's the answer TUAW gave:

Little Snitch ($29.95) is probably the easiest way to go. There's also another recently released net monitoring application called ProteMac Meter ($29.95) which might be worth checking out. I don't recommend Glowworm FW as I've had serious problems with it under Leopard and have found others reporting similar difficulties. It may be that the demos of one of these application will be enough to find the source of your unknown network traffic.

Ummm, let me save you 30 bucks and a download, dude, OS X has everything you need built in:

lsof -i

Lists open sockets. Output looks like this, presto!

Quicksilv 784 jpdaigle 253u IPv4 0x4baba68 0t0 TCP>host44.hrwebservices.net:http (CLOSE_WAIT)
SystemUIS 13716 jpdaigle 10u IPv4 0x431a880 0t0 UDP *:*
Mail 23859 jpdaigle 17u IPv4 0x51cb270 0t0 TCP>webaccess.hostedmail.net:imaps (ESTABLISHED)
Mail 23859 jpdaigle 18u IPv4 0x6d7d270 0t0 TCP>webaccess.hostedmail.net:imaps (ESTABLISHED)
Mail 23859 jpdaigle 23u IPv4 0x8587e64 0t0 TCP>webaccess.hostedmail.net:imaps (ESTABLISHED)
Mail 23859 jpdaigle 26u IPv4 0x58f8e64 0t0 TCP>webaccess.hostedmail.net:imaps (ESTABLISHED)
firefox-b 25763 jpdaigle 31u IPv4 0x703266c 0t0 TCP> (ESTABLISHED)
firefox-b 25763 jpdaigle 36u IPv4 0x9779270 0t0 TCP> (ESTABLISHED)