General

How to Mount an SSH Location Using a GUI on Mac OS X 10.9

I really enjoy the command line because of how powerful and useful it is. However, a lot of tasks can be simplified with GUIs. Also, some people aren’t comfortable with the command line. This article will guide you through the process of mounting an SSH location using a GUI on Mac OS X 10.9. This was tested on Mac OS X 10.9.2.

First of all, why would you want to mount an SSH location? This will allow your applications to treat an SSH location as though it’s connected to your computer like a flash drive or external hard drive. Very useful!

Step 1: Install FUSE for OS X (OSXFUSE)

Go to the FUSE for OS X homepage and download the latest stable release of OSXFUSE (2.6.4 at the time of this writing).

When you get to the “Installation Type” stage of the installation process, be sure to check the “MacFUSE Compatibility Layer” checkbox. This is important. This will place files in the /usr/local/lib/ directory, which is needed in order for Macfusion (the app you’ll install in step 3) to work. This is what the screen with the checkbox looks like:
OSXFUSE

Step 2 (Optional): Install XQuartz

All of the SSH servers I need access to are set up to allow me to log in with my SSH key instead of a password. I actually prefer it this way. If you can’t or don’t want to set that up on one or more of the SSH servers you will be mounting, you will need to download and install XQuartz in order for your passwords to work. See this issue for more information.

Step 3: Install Macfusion

Go to the Macfusion homepage, download the latest stable release of Macfusion (2.0.4 at the time of this writing), unzip it, and move it to your “Applications” folder (or wherever you want it).

Step 4: Add Your SSH Servers to Macfusion

When you first open Macfusion, you will get a dialogue box saying that the macfusion agent process is not started. It will ask if you would like to start the agent. Check the “Start agent automatically on login” checkbox if you would like and then click the “Start” button.

Click the “+” dropdown menu in the bottom-left corner and choose “SSHFS”.

The “SSH” Tab

Macfusion-SSH

Fill in the information in a similar way to how I have it above. In my case, I left the “Password” field blank. See step 2 for the reason why.

The “SSH Advanced” Tab

Macfusion-SSH-Advanced

Make any adjustments that you need to on this tab.

The “Macfusion” Tab

Macfusion-Macfusion

Mount Point: The default mount point will be “/Volumes/Some Server” (or whatever you named your server). If you want to change that, you can type “/Volumes/Whatever” in this field, but if you do that, be sure to not have a trailing slash or it won’t mount correctly.

Volume Name: If you want the icon for your SSH mount to have a different name than what you named the server (“Some Server” in my case), type something into this field.

Make any further adjustments that you need to on this tab and then click the “OK” button.

That’s it! Now you can click the “Mount” button and your SSH location will be mounted. Click the “Unmount” button when you’re done.

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How to Manage Your Finances for Free on Your PC

Managing your finances on your computer can be extremely helpful. For example, if you write a check to somebody and they don’t deposit it until a few weeks later, you may forget you even wrote the check. Also, debit card transactions can sometimes take a few days to appear on your online bank statement. Even when they do appear, if the transaction is at the stage where it hasn’t cleared yet, the amount might not be accurate. This is often the case with transactions at restaurants (usually due to the tip) and gas stations. These scenarios can all lead to NSF fees. Paying fees to a bank because you weren’t responsible with your money is the same as flushing your money down the toilet, and nobody wants that!

What if you want to track where your money is going? Or what if you’re trying to plan ahead and want to know how much your electric bill was for a certain month last year so that you’ll have a rough idea of how much it’ll be for that same month this year?

You can see why managing your finances on your computer is a good idea. There are so many reasons to do it, and with a free application like Money Manager Ex (comparable to Quicken or Microsoft Money), there’s no reason not to.

Here is a tutorial video I made on how to use Money Manager Ex:

Crash Course on Screen Resolutions

There are two important things to know about screen resolutions:

  1. The higher the screen resolution, the smaller things appear. Think of high resolutions as “zooming out” and low resolutions as “zooming in”. The follow two pictures illustrate several common screen resolutions and how they appear in relation to each other:

    Common Screen Resolutions for Full Screen Monitors:

    Common Screen Resolutions for Full Screen Monitors

    Common Screen Resolutions for Wide Screen Monitors:

    Common Screen Resolutions for Wide Screen Monitors

    As you can see, the high screen resolutions can show a lot more on the screen than the low screen resolutions.

  2. Many programs and websites are designed for screen resolutions of at least 1024 x 768. If your screen resolution is lower than 1024 x 768, some programs will be much more difficult to manage because you’ll have to scroll horizontally in order to see all of the menus. Some programs simply won’t show all of the menus if your screen resolution is too low, effectively making it so you can’t use all of the program’s features! Websites are like this as well. So even though 640 x 480 may seem like a good screen resolution for people with poor vision (because it looks like the monitor is zoomed in), it can also be bad in that it can make certain programs and websites difficult or impossible to use. It really just depends on what programs and websites the person uses. My recommendation for people with poor vision is to get at least a 22″ wide screen monitor and set the resolution to 1440 x 900. This way, programs and websites will look the way they should, but things will be big enough for people to not have to squint to see.

Want to know what your screen resolution is? Check out WhatIsMyScreenResolution.com.