HACKED!

So around January 11th, 2018 I visted my website and was presented with:
OH NO!

I then spent the next day Googling all sorts of things. Besides how to fix it, also why or how it happened.

I found out I’d have to register my site with Google and request a review once I resolved the problem. Through various links and searches, I found that a script was the culprit.

Logging in via FTP and looking around my shared hosting directories I found that this wasn’t just limited to my site, although this was the first site that I received this MALWARE error. PHP files had been updated to load this script with the visitor unaware it was even happening.

The other sites hadn’t been kept up to date and have since become abandoned by their owners for one reason or another. Some were just banner pages that simply pointed their visitors to Facebook or somewhere else. Others had fully blown installations with hopes of a bright future employing all sort of bells and whistles that third-party plugins provide, although left untouched with no updates applied.

So the sites that were beyond an easy quick fix, I simply deleted them. I put HTML Pages in their place. I decided I would only leave those installations that were being maintained on the server. Why have a full-blown CMS run a simple one-page site? The files that had been altered could have been anywhere and my goal was to repair mine and prevent it from just happening again.

So, the sites I myself maintain and monitor have been fixed, updated and protected. If yours was one of those that I replaced with simple HTML, now you know why.

iMessage solved and Jim finds joy with his Hackintosh

So there were a couple things tried to get iMessage working.  This post on tonymacx86.com is where I started.  I will admit, I didn’t follow the instructions completely.  I wanted to fill in the gaps that I didn’t have cause I have a working installation and just installed days worth of software so didn’t want to bork it all up for something I’ve been living without for years now.

But it was this post on reddit that clued me into an essential piece I was apparently missing.  “Board Serial Number” … I got that in there and iMessage now works a treat.  The original post covers this.  I just think the simplicity of the reddit post cleared things up for me.  It also has you delete all your old Messages – maybe they contain something that causes iMessage to regress?

That’s the thing about a Hackintosh.  If you buy the suggested hardware, it should “just work.”  When it doesn’t, there’s something you’re missing and you just don’t know what it is.  I mean if you’re not a systems engineer on Cupertino’s payroll that has all the answers.  And it can be very frustrating.

This brings us to Jim’s solution.  Seems the motherboard series he purchased required the installation of a particular Clover thingamahbob.  Once that was installed, “BOOM” as he said, everything started working.  After that solution, he moved on to his individual problems and fixed them one by one.

Again, if you’ve got the time and patience to work these things out.  Sometimes wait for answers.  It most definitely pays off in the end.

macOS Sierra finally on the Hackintosh!

So I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to macOS Sierra. 10.12.4 and then the next day they released 10.12.5.  I think I tried once before to upgrade, but maybe it was to El Capitan?  I’m not entirely sure, but regardless, whatever the install did, I ended up having to flash my motherboard’s BIOS in order to get back to Yosemite.

Because the newer versions switched to Clover from Chimera as a bootloader, I decided to go with a fresh install rather than an upgrade.  For whatever reasons I had problems in a prior attempt, this Sierra went on without any problems.  The hardest thing about it was acquiring all the software I’ve amassed and getting the serials, registration and everything from the developers websites, etc.

Some plugin companies I think counted this as an additional activation whereas some didn’t.  I guess it depends on how they do what they do.  Also, Apple’s Keychain in the Cloud is wonderful.  Anything in Safari – all the usernames and passwords were saved and it wasn’t like it was all new compared to Firefox where I had to figure all that stuff out or have passwords reset or sent by email.

Biggest thing for me? iMessage!  I haven’t had iMessage in a very long time due to whatever Apple did to their network.  It’s still kind of wonky at this point, but working all the same.  I can’t seem to talk to immediate family, so I don’t know if that’s an AppleID thing or what.

Anyway, this Hackintosh has been great since I built it (however many years ago on whatever operating system).  It’s been like a real Mac in every way.  The only thing that changed along the way was I decided to go to 4k and that required a beefier video card.  That video card requires a driver in order to run.  I found out the hard way that if Apple releases a new version of their operating system, I have to wait until I’m sure there is a new Nvidia driver available.  First couple times I just edited the version number in the Nvidia driver, but now I just wait.

What made me do it was my son Frank upgraded to Sierra on his Macbook Pro so I created the boot USB to go forward but have been putting it off until I didn’t need my computer for work. Then my oldest, Jim bought/built a Hackintosh and was having issues with it.  I thought that installing it on mine may help in me being able to help him with issues he’s been having getting all the stuff to work.  Unfortunately, my success is still seeing him suffer.  I had him bring the machine over and I installed everything from scratch and got the same results he did.  I suggested he get in the forums and read and possibly post if he finds no joy.  This is by no means to deter anyone from the Hackintosh experience.  I couldn’t be happier.

I’m back!

After years of being “down” the blog site is now back up!

About 3 years ago I switched all my hosting to Bluehost.Com and shortly thereafter a couple of my WordPress sites stopped working. Namely mine and my father’s. Shortly before my father’s death he had asked if I would get his website up and working again. I spent a good amount of time trying to make this happen. Through a Bluehost LIVEchat, I told an employee that their PHP was broken on my hosting account. He assured me this was not the case but I could neither get my site or my father’s working, even with a fresh manual install of WordPress or even through their script install of WordPress. He basically hung up on me telling me to stop stating that their PHP was broken.

Needless to say, I gave up during that time of trying to get the sites working although there were countless other WordPress sites working within my account.

Then when Bluehost sent me the email stating that my account was about to expire (I paid for 3 years in advance), they wanted to charge me over twice the amount that they originally charged me, so it was GOODBYE BLUEHOST. I went with Hostgator. Now all 56 sites are working including my father’s, but unfortunately it wasn’t until after he had passed.

Not waiting for Mac OSX Mountain Lion 10.8

I just upgraded to Mac OSX Lion 3 months ago after waiting for whatever reason to upgrade. I decided this time that I was gonna be one of those people that upgraded as soon as the new version was released.

I didn’t camp out in line or anything to get the new OSX Operating System, I simply downloaded it and ran it.

The only weird thing about the upgrade was that when the machine rebooted into doing the installation, the brightness on my 17″ MacBook Pro was turned what seemed to be all the way up. The brightness keys didn’t turn it down, so the whole time the screen was really really bright. Other than that, everything smooth as the Lion upgrade. Only thing required was the waiting. Waiting for the download of the 4+ gigabyte installer and then the time it took to install.

The install itself got to one point and said 5 minutes left and then jumped back up to 20 minutes left. I thought it hit a snag and was re-installing Lion or something as I have an Early 2008 MacBook Pro which is supposed to be compatible with Mountain Lion but FUD said otherwise.

My other concern was running Avid Pro Tools 10.2 under Mountain Lion and I’ve fired it up and ran some sessions through it and all seems to be fine.

I did this on my secondary system which I hardly boot into, but will have to see how it works out and then install on my main HD. To be honest, the only thing I’ve noticed is the Notifications in the top menu bar (of which I’ve had none) and the addition of Reminders and Notes in the dock.

proftpd borked after portupgrade with mysql option

My gosh! Try to stay current but shoot yourself in the foot much?

portaudit does the wondrous job of letting me know port vulnerabilities each and every day … We like “0 problems found” to be returned in our daily email, yes? So when there is ports that need to be updated, I usually give it the ol’ portupgrade -aRr to cover everything.

In this last update, proftpd went and modularized everything. I noticed this because I have one server utilizing the MySQL version so as to easily handle virtual users and provide temporary accounts to transfer music files for the studio. So I figure how I have to update the conf file with the proper settings to get proftpd running. Finally when it is happy, logins are failing and I don’t know why. I find in /var/log/messages that there’s a chroot problem … Tracking this down shows that I need to update my FreeBSD version due to this security vulnerability that proftpd is detecting.

Now off to the make buildworld and some hours of compiling. Can’t just build the kernel. Blast!

Rails 3.2.6

~$ rvm install 1.9.3-head

No bison!

~$ rvm requirements

I was on XCode 3 (from Snow Leopard) – Need minimum 4.1 for Lion – NO 4.3!

XCode 4.3.3 from App Store June 12, 2012
XCode Command Line Tools (Pref->Downloads)

rvm says DOWNGRADE XCode 4.3! (If problems)

~$ rvm install 1.9.3-head

No autoreconf!

install homebrew (because of autoconf)
brew install automake

~$ rvm install 1.9.3-head – worked!

rvm use 1.9.3-head –default

gem install rails

Upgraded to Mac OS X Lion finally …

Mac OS X Lion Finally upgraded to Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3 from the App Store. Conflicting reviews and horror stories. My main concern was that Pro Tools 10.1.2 would work with it and that’s sort of the reasons for the Pro Tools updates was Lion compatibility …

I found that I really wanted the ability to share iCal with my wife, computer and iPhone so I needed Lion’s iCloud integration for that to keep it simple … Right off the bat I found this to work flawlessly and I also haven’t had any problems with Lion to speak of until … now …

This is why I decided to update my bLog here since there hasn’t been an update in a while and that I am having this problem right now with Lion. Things do seem to have slowed down. It’s not completely clear as to why and there could be several theories … A plugin I used with Pro Tools called muteTone decided to hang Pro Tools when trying to remove the plugin … I only need it for tracking and then I can remove it … This is used for 3rd party interfaces and Pro Tools inability to control input monitoring via their software (which every other DAW has and always had).

To attempt to fix the muteTone issue, it’s possible that I messed with some MIDI settings that had been moved out to the “Incompatible Software” folder when Lion installed. I followed Avid’s advice to install the Pro Tools 9 drivers for all hardware … I have since removed it, but I also used the MIDI driver update from Avid, and I think that may not have been necessary … Regardless, all MIDI stuff works, just not muteTone … (I had been working with the author of the plugin to try to fix) … The current state is that muteTone can be removed if it’s deactivated first … He suggested I live with that until the AAX release. “AAX” is Avid’s new plugin format. muteTone is free …

Also, NeoOffice needs to be upgraded for Lion … The only upgrade for Lion requires that I pay … I don’t want to pay for NeoOffice … I have Pages … I use NeoOffice to open files sent to me by those that are not keen to Mac … I have been Microsoft Windows free since 2008 and have NEVER looked back … Simply the worst form of software ever ruined by many individuals … That poor guy that stopped when Bill Gates handed him $50K should have continued to develop his own system … Anyway, NeoOffice informs me that if I continue to use the current version that I should save often in anticipation of the program crashing … Since I don’t care if it crashes, I’m good … But, maybe loading it adversely affects my pleasantly running system? Only time can tell …

So in conclusion, it’s just like any other computer issue … The person running it has a lot to do with how well it runs … Decisions by the operator affect how system stability is maintained … I do think I need to get a beefier system … I’m typing this entry via the first Mac I bought … Running the latest software and chugging along just fine, but I think maybe I deserve a little zippier Pro Tools and graphics stuffs …