TrueCrypt for Mac OS X

I made an interesting discovery today regarding the cross-platform use of the TrueCrypt software package. I created an encrypted partition on a thumb drive on a Windows box. This partition used the NTFS file system. But when I mounted this partition in Mac OS X as a non-root user I didn't have write privileges. However, if I created a partition under Windows using the FAT32 file system then I would have write permissions under Mac OS X. My guess is that because FAT32 lacks the extended file attributes needed for per-user permissions.



I've come up with a new, math-based system for breeding the world's cutest cats.

Begin with a breeding set of cats. Rank each cat's cuteness based on a fixed set of criteria. This data is formatted into a matrix. The set of matrices is then calculated for their Eigenvalue.

Now select cats whose cuteness measurements most closely match the Eigencuteness values. From their kittens calculate new Eigencuteness values, a new Eigenvalue overall, and repeat. Eventually you'll have a cat that approaches optimal cuteness!

This approach also accommodates for changes in taste because the Eigenvalue can shift over time.


Find Your MAC Address: Nintendo DS

I was going to do another one of these mini-tutorials on how to find your MAC address for the Nintendo DS. Turns out there's no way to do this with the firmware that ships on the DS. Only certain games that allow you to play across the Internet will give you the MAC address. If time permits I'll try to find a list of those games and post it here.

Replacing Your Verizon Router

I recently made the switch from Comcast cable to Verizon's FiOS service for my home Internet needs. For Comcast my Linksys BEFCMU10 cable modem worked fine for seven years. I don't think you can even buy one of those new anymore. However, Verizon foisted a different wireless router off onto me, the ActionTec MI424WR.

A generic home network router will have five Ethernet ports on it. One port will be for the WAN while the other four are for the LAN. In this case we'll have two such routers. We want our router to be the main one with the ActionTec behind it. Because routers are layer 3 devices we'll need to set up two different IP networks. These network addresses can be anything not publicly routable. For this example our two networks are and

We'll call our two routers A and B. Router A will be the one that connects to the ISP. The WAN address on A is determined by the ISP (usually via DHCP) so we can ignore that. The LAN addresses on A will be given the range. Router B's WAN port will connect to one of the LAN ports on A so it will have to be something like The LAN ports on B belong to the second network so their range is

In this example our settop box only talks to router B. So the box will likely have an address like This way you can use your own, better router while keeping basic TV functionality with Verizon FiOS.


New Year: New Game

I've been playing a game I made up. You know how every store with a credit card payment option now has those electronic pen signy things? You know how your signature never looks like your signature? Well, my game is that every time I have to sign own of those I sign it in a completely different way. Sometimes I hold the pen likes its a giant novelty Crayon. Other times I use it to paint my signature on like a great artist. This is all because its totally irrelevant. No one looks at the signatures and they aren't digitally checked. So what's the point? Have fun!


Finding Your MAC Address: Nintendo Wii

First, start off in the Wii's Main Menu where all the various channels are displayed. In the lower left-hand corner is a round button labeled Wii. When you hover over it the tooltip is "Wii Options". Start by clicking that button.

Now you have two big options to choose from. Select the one on the right, Wii Settings.

In this next menu you'll start out with a tab at the top labeled Wii System Settings 1. There's also a series of three rounded rectangles numbered 1 through 3 at the bottom right-hand corner. You'll need to press a right-pointing arrow button that's on the right-hand center side of the screen. Now you're in the aptly named Wii System Settings 2 tab. Choose the Internet option.

At this point you only have three choices. Pick the middle one, Console Information. And there is you MAC Address. Its just a series of twelve hexidecimal characters where pairs of characters are seperated by dashes (unlike the colon seperators for the iPod Touch). You can safely ignore the LAN Adapter MAC Address so long as you're only interested in the Wi-Fi networking for the Wii. The first half of your MAC address should be "00-21-47".

Finding Your MAC Address: Apple iPod Touch

If your wireless network hub is set up with a MAC address filter/white list then you'll need to collect all the MAC addresses from your new toys in order to get them connected.

First up in this series on finding MAC addresses is the Apple iPod Touch because its near and dear to my heart.

From the Main Menu of the iPod you want to choose the Settings option. By default this will be in the bottom right-hand corner. The icon is a series of metal gears.

Choose the General option, which is the third from the top and at the top of a contiguous list of options.

Now, choose the About option. Scroll to the very bottom. The second to last item in the list is Wi-Fi Address, which is just the MAC address for the 802.11 network device. The value itself is a string of twelve hexidecimal characters with colons between each pair of characters. It looks something like: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx where "xx" are two hexidecimal characters. The first half of the string should actually be "00:22:41" because all Apple devices should start with the same substring!