MrRoboto: Part 1— Automatic tunnelling on a Mac

After a hard disk failure that finally rendered MacBook Air #2 unable to boot (or even formatted so as to boot), I’ve set up its replacement MacBook Air, MrRoboto, to be as “automatic” as possible. Things should “just work”. This particular blog post is about automatic tunnelling. If you don’t know what ssh or a local/remote tunnel is, this post is not for you. It’s also aimed at Mac users.
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Oops… was that file important?

(Mac users only) Have you messed up an important system file that prevents you from running sudo to fix them? Or have you accidentally trashed some system files from the Finder that have broken the authentication system (that asks for your password when doing certain privileged operations)? Macs have two different systems for managing delicate operations — the system that powers the underlying UNIX-y bits and the stuff for nice Mac-y applications. The upshot is that you can sometimes perform brain surgery on your computer without any anesthetic: some problems can be fixed without rebooting into single-user mode. Continue reading “Oops… was that file important?”