Potential fix for macOS Catalina Apple Music and TV+ login issues

** Update 28 April 2021: I experienced the same(?) bug again today on a new M1 MBP with macOS 11.3 and was able to resolve the problem with the steps described below.

It has been a long while since I wrote something on this page. For the past days, since I upgraded my MacBook Pro to macOS Cataline 10.15.1, I have been struggling with a very annoying issue. I have not been able to log in to the new Apple Music and Apple TV apps to enjoy the subscription services that I pay for. I have now found a solution that is a good workaround for me so I want to share this with the internet and other people who struggle with the same problem as I did. No re-installation or new account creations is required!

Continue reading

Time based access control with iptables, cron and at

Until today I handled scheduled internet access for my daughters devices via my Apple AirPort Extreme that is configured as a bridge between my wired and my wireless network at home.

This setup has worked flawlessly for quite some time. There is one catch to this set up though. Each time I want to make an exception to the time based internet access rules I need to reconfigure and restart the AirPort Extreme. The restart takes a minute or two during which there is no wireless network for anyone at home. I guess that you can relate to the sheer panic that occurs in our home during that time.

The router/firewall/server/etc that I run at home is a Ubuntu 16.04 box running on a physical machine with two network cards. This machine now handles the time based internet access.

I decided to use iptables, cron and at in a small shell script, that you can find at the end of this article, since they are all proven tools that I am familiar with.

Continue reading

How to block unwanted ads and malware in all applications

*update: Wednesday, 2 March 2016. Switched back to the hosts file from http://someonewhocares.org/ because that one has a more adequate size and therefore much better performance. The file from hosts-file.net uses to much memory if you run a local resolver on your machine.

*update: Wednesday, 17 February 2016 rewrote the script with additional error checks after comment from Peter. Now there is only one script with the hosts file from http://hosts-file.net

*update: Tuesday, 16 February 2016 added another script that also cleans OS X 10.11 DNS caches and uses an even more extensive hosts file from http://hosts-file.net

Recently I compared adblock+, ghostery and a bunch of other ad blocking software in the browsers that I normally use. Most of them blocked ads really well but unfortunately all of them added quite a lot of additional CPU and memory overhead. So, despite the fact that these programs help me to speed up my browsing experience by eliminating advertisements they still slow down my browsing experience.

Continue reading

Check for available patches in Ubuntu via cron

I have been thinking about writing a small script that checks if there are available patches for my machines for a long time. Never got around to do it until today and it proved to be easier then I thought.
Just add the following script to your cron-tab and the system will send you email when there are patches available for your system.