Napkin Diagrams

Engineering, Technology, and DIY

Protect Your Sensitive Bits: Mac File Encryption

There comes a time in every boy’s life where he starts to become a man. He’ll notice many changes physically and mentally, as well as in his filesystem. School reports and LOLCats take a back seat to adult life, with tax reports and business documents. With the increased importance and sensitivity comes the desire to protect the new found information. On a Mac, there are a few easy, built-in options, as well as a range of third–party apps.
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Extend Yourself

Long gone are the days of only one browser choice, and they have been for a while. Today there’s a number of viable options, including IE 8, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. All have their perks and drawbacks, with the matchup complicated even further by an array of extensions. Some love the barebones vanilla installations, while others opt to arm their browser to the teeth. I’m somewhere in between, opting for a small list of useful utilities, without any frills or worrying about rare and unique situations.

Browser Name: Chrome for Mac 6.0.472.25 dev
OS: Mac OS X 10.6.4

  • 1Password Extension – Link and Instructions
  • Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer (by Google) – Link
  • URL Shortener – Link
  • Google Calendar Checker (by Google) – Link
  • Google Mail Checker Plus – Link
  • Google Reader Notifier (by Google) – Link
  • Google Voice (by Google) – Link
  • Google Wave Notifier Plus – Link
  • Stop Autoplay for YouTube – Link

What setup are you using?

Lucky Number 7: Winning the New Windows

While browsing Twitter, I came across this tweet from Zaxy:

Why should you upgrade to Win7 on your PC? Tweet us 1 reason w/ #ParallelsLovesWin7 for a chance to win a copy of Win7 via @parallelsmac

Now, for context, when not using my Macbook, I was a diehard XP Pro user. Years of tweaking, customizing, and optimizing had left me with a powerful, efficient XP desktop that handled both gaming and productivity like a champ. It would take something special to make me upgrade, and even more so to consider it for my Macbook.

Vista was not that something. There’s not need to rehash that debate, so I’ll leave it at that. Windows 7, however, is a different story. From what I’ve read, and the times I’ve gotten to use it, it is exactly what I wanted in the next iteration. Clean, snappy, and just an overall better experience. The reason I decided to tweet about for the contest, and one of my biggest issues with Vista, is how much better Windows 7 is at memory management. With that huge obstacle out of the way, among others, I was ready for an upgrade.

A little while ago, I get a tweet from Parallels, informing me that I’m one of the winners. And there was much rejoicing! I even got a nice little writeup on their blog.

Today is a very good day.

Thanks and Links:

Pressure Drops In Pipes: Part 2, Series and Parallel

This is Part 2 in a series on pressure drops in pipes. Part 1 covered the basic concepts and equations (1-4b). It is recommended to read that before proceeding, or to have it open along side this article for reference.

Symmetrical Parallel Pipes

Figure 1. Liquid flow branching into two symmetrical pathways before rejoining.

A single pipe is not usually sufficient to solve a real—life problem. Instead, systems of pipes, often quite complex, are used to achieve all desired results. The math, as a result, becomes more difficult, but where would be the fun if it was easy?
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Dream Job or Career Hell: Top 200 Job Ratings 2010

Now that the New Jersey Collegiate Career Day has come and gone, with opportunities in all manner of fields (although fewer presented for engineering that one would have hoped), it would be interesting to look at how people rank various positions. Have the once highly sought after careers retained their crown, or is the public opinion changing? A recent survey published by aims to shed some light on the matter.
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Pressure Drops In Pipes: Part 1, Basics

Stack of Pipes

A a fluid flows through a pipe, it will experience a natural pressure drop due to several factors. Friction is a major player, which itself involves flow velocity, pipe dimensions, and possibly internal pipe roughness. Height changes across the length of a pipe also contribute to pressure drops. Any and all fittings, coupling, et cetera will account for a part of any drops as well, although less so than the former two. Pressure drop can be related to head loss, a way of measuring the energy drop, with Equation 1, where ΔP is pressure drop, ρ is fluid density, g is gravity, and Δh is height difference.
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The Engineering Code of Ethics

Ethics play a major role in every engineer’s life. Being an application driven discipline, one in which people will deal directly with the end products and processes, following such a code is essential for safety and success. While obtaining a professional engineering license is a symbol of commitment to these ethics, and indeed to the highest standard in all aspects of engineering, it does not mean that the unlicensed are free to do as they wish. In fact, each particular field has their own established code that all must follow, from the recent grad to the senior member.
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2 Computers, 1… Speaker Set

Venn Diagram of Mac intersecting Windows with speakers
Computers and laptops have become cheaper and cheaper over the years. It has reached a point where it is not uncommon for a person to have more than one. Whatever the specific situation may be, the audio hardware setup will get a bit tricky. Computer speaker sets have only one input; unless one wants to shell out for multiple sets or a nice receiver system, the only solution is to continuously move the plug. For some, the access to all ports is easy enough that such a simple solution is sufficient. Most of the time, it would become irritating very quickly, especially if one has to alternate back and forth frequently. What is a man to do?
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Get a Job, You Lazy Bum!

Career Fair Attendees
Are you a college student or graduate? Are you in or around New Jersey? Do you find yourself often saying to a roommate, “We’ve got no food, no jobs… our pet’s HEADS ARE FALLING OFF“? Well, cheer up, buckaroo. It’s almost the 2010 and with that comes new opportunities:

The New Jersey Collegiate Career Day

When: Thursday, January 7, 2010 — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Rutgers University, New Brunswick (Map + Directions) — Brower Commons & Student Center
Parking: Rutgers Athletic Center, Livingston Campus — 83 Rockafeller Rd, Piscataway, NJ (Map + Directions)
(shuttles will be running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Attire: Business. No backpacks, etc.

More info and employer lists after the jump.
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Tunnel Your Way to Secure Freedom with SSH & SOCKS5

Data Tunnel
Sometimes the normal method of connecting to the internet simply isn’t enough. Firewalls, bandwidth limits, and insecurity really rain on one’s parade. There is hope, however, for addressing all of these issues with one simple technique:

A SSH & SOCKS5 Tunnel

The nitty gritty details of these two protocols is beyond the scope of this blog post, and so only the general concept of each will be given. SSH, or Secure Shell, is a way of connecting two devices with an encrypted connection. It’s quite a useful little protocol, allowing one to run programs remotely, transfer files securely, and more. SOCKS5 is the protocol that will allow network traffic to be sent through the SSH tunnel. Unlike a standard HTTP proxy that one may find on the net, SOCKS5 can handle more than just browser traffic.
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