• OS X Server Globe
    Tech

    [OS X Server 5.x] httpd.conf location

    The httpd.conf file controlled by the Server.app is stored at

    /Library/Server/Web/Config/apache2/httpd_server_app.conf

    If you happen to update PHP or other Apache modules through non-Apple methods (e.g. homebrew), then this is where you add your LoadModule and FilesMatch arguments.

    You MUST restart the web server through the Server.app for changes to load. apachectl graceful will not load the changes in httpd_server_app.conf.

    #This article is in response to “Update PHP on OS X Server 5.x”.

  • Lets Encrypt & Certbot
    Tech

    Certbot, HTTPS, and Timeout Error

    If you use Let’s Encrypt as your SSL certificate authority, it is paramount that you implement an automatic certificate renewal procedure.

    Very helpful tutorial from Mac Strategy – How To Setup Let’s Encrypt For OS X / macOS + Server 5.x

    When setting up or renewing your SSL certificates, you may encounter a problem with certbot giving you the following error:

    Timeout, https://www.example.com (http-01):
    urn:acme:error:connection :: The server could not connect to
    the client to verify the domain 

    This may be happening if you ONLY have the HTTPS version of your website configured OR if you use http::REDIRECT to redirect to HTTPS without letting the GET request connect to a HTTP version of your site.

    certbot, as default, can only validate your website via HTTP on port 80. The easiest solution would be to provide an HTTP version of your website. This may be less than ideal for many setups where port 80 is inundated with DDoS attacks – so it seems.

    In reality, if port 80 is served by the same software that serves port 443, having port 80 open does not increase the amount of risk. Rather, it is a reminder that one should not rely on the illusion that HTTPS alone will prevent a hack. Your website design should be more resilient in that it would protect against ALL web based attacks.

    A message from Let’s Encrypt regarding Port 80: Best Practice – Keep Port 80 Open

    So open up port 80, setup your webserver to answer to HTTP requenst, and renew your Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates using certbot. And go add some security features to your website while your at it.

    For WordPress sites like this, you can use the WP Force SSL plugin to reroute all HTTP request to HTTPS via script. That means, any non-Wordpress request like certbot’s will be processed via HTTP.

  • DirecTV
    Tech

    [iOS] Cannot login to DirecTV as TV Provider

    If you’re a DirecTV subscriber and trying to watch TV shows on iOS/iPad OS/TV OS, you may have encountered an error when trying to log into DirecTV. Individual channel apps may ask you if you want to Link your TV Provider to the app and if you select “Yes”, you will be presented with a login screen for DirecTV.

    Unfortunately, the API version of the login screen has some kind of error (probably an encryption mismatch) and will give you an error saying

    That User ID doesn't seem to work here. Please sign in with a different ID. Care Code 205.4

    You should FIRST check that you have the correct user ID and password by logging into your account page at DirecTV.com. If that works, then the problem is with the interface between your iOS device’s API and DirecTV’s auth server. You can circumvent the API by logging in via web…

    You have to select a TV Provider that is not DirecTV and NOT log in. I chose AT&T U-verse then backed out of the setting screen. This will leave your TV Provider setting blank. Then when an individual channel app asks for your TV Provider info, you can select DirecTV and you will be presented with a clunky web-base login page instead of the sleek API screen.

    Login.

  • Office 365
    Tech

    How to change the UI language for Office 365 for Mac OS X when it’s stuck

    THE PROBLEM: I finally took the plunge and subscribed to Office 365. Once installed, I noticed all the User Interface (UI) was in Japanese. There was no setting in each Office applications’ Preferences and also made sure that US English was chosen in OS X’s System Preferences > Language & Region > General. I had used the Japanese setting before, so I made sure to delete that from the list and restart the computer. I even deleted my Japanese input method from the Keyboard Preference pane. To no avail, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint UIs were stuck in Japanese.

    THE CAUSE: If you’re a long time Mac user like me, you have probably migrated an old OS X account from computer to computer – preserving the users’ preferences through many versions of Microsoft Office. And if you’ve worked for a foreign company, you probably have installed a non-native language version of Office once before but uninstalled it since then. Your computer might have been setup by the company IT in a foreign language, then your account was created in English. In scenarios like this, “smart” installers like the one for Office 365 for Mac might picked up the scent of the foreign language files and presented you Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in that foreign language.

    THE SOLUTION: You can fix this by forcing the individual application to re-remember (or forget) it’s UI language.

    1. Open System Preferences > Language & Region > Apps pane
    2. If Word/Excel/Powerpoint is not listed, click the “+” button to add it.
    3. From the dropdown list, choose the language it’s currently showing (in my case, Japanese). Keep System Preferences open.
    4. Open the application, then Quit it.
    5. With the application closed, now choose the language you want (in my case, US English)
    6. When you open the application again, it should be in the language you want it to be in.
    7. One step further: If you’ve chosen the same language as the System’s default language, you may delete the entry from the list using the “-” button.

    This is a much safer solution than to delete the lproj folders from the Contents of the application or executing Terminal commands against the plist files.

  • Fujitsu Scansnap S1500M
    Tech

    Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M/S1300 vs OS X Catalina

    With the upgrade to OS X Catalina’s 64-bit environment, ScanSnap Manager, the heart and soul of the system is no longer usable. The new 64-bit ScanSnap Home software is not compatible with the older scanners.

    Your choice is to:

    • Junk the old scanner and get a new one (expensive)
    • Use 3rd party 64-bit scanning software like VueScan or ExactScan (clunky)
    • Keep the older 32-bit compatible OS X running until the day you buy a new scanner (dangerous)

    Although choice 3 sounds like a bad idea for security, there is a way to get around this:

    • Load OS X Mojave in a virtual machine (Parallels/Fusion)
    • Designate an old Mac as a scanning station

    If you’re a hoarder holding on to an old ScanSnap, you probably have a end-of-life Mac being used as a dumb station for listening to LIVE Lo-Fi Beats on YouTube. You can designate this machine as a scanning station. You might even have an older printer that still works that you’re not willing to throw away. This Mac will also be your print station! Just remember, this Mac will soon be a security issue, so make sure you don’t leave anything on it.

    Of course, if this doesn’t inspire joy, Marie Kondo it and just get a new scanner.