Trying Kaspersky

Following issues I’d experienced the other evening on my MacBook Pro with Sophos blocking access to the internet for my web browsers, I’ve decided to trial Kaspersky Internet Security 2020. Immediately I am already noticing one thing, my MacBook Pro is faster, Sophos was clearly impacting upon the speed of my machine and in no small way, things are feeling zippy despite my being on a SSD.

Installation was relatively easy process, though as I am on Catalina additional permissions seem to be required. Unlike reviews online were suggesting, I wasn’t required to restart my machine once settings were applied and setup was completed, I was able to continue using my Mac. The cost is completely reasonable at roughly $42, though I think the renew price is higher which is strange.

Nice to have a faster machine without having to shell out thousands to Apple 😆

When free becomes a PITA

It has been ten years since I made the decision at home to move from Windows to Mac. I had grown sick of the six monthly cycle of wiping my hard drive clean to re-install Windows and apps in order to regain my system’s performance [geek requirement!]. Back then I purchased myself a 15-inch MacBook Pro, by today’s standards it was HUGE, it came with a traditional hard drive, a superdrive (aka DVD burner) and the most minimal amount of RAM.

Another reason I enjoyed the move to Mac was one, rather stupid, experience I’d had after an install in 2002 when doing one of those six monthly re-installs. On this occasion I had idiotically forgotten to unplug from the internet, I wiped my desktop, spent the requisite time installing Windows XP and several application suites only to have malware self-install and take over my machine; you learn the hard way sometimes in life, don’t you. Whilst that was my only such experience, I grew sick of the constant need for annual anti-virus subscriptions, constantly shelling out funds to McAfee, Symantec or Kaspersky in order to protect my machine as Microsoft certainly wasn’t doing so out of the box.

Thus in 2009, I decided to purchase the MacBook Pro. Back then, Macs were not yet on the radar of hackers, at least not in any great way. Coming from a Unix-based foundation, OS X (now macOS) was better prepared to ward off threats. Despite this I was forced to eventually seek out some measure of protection and recommended sources suggested the free version of Sophos was worthy of installation.

Initially this worked well, however there have been a few issues along the way over the years. About five years ago there was an issue where key files had been identified as potentially infected files – yikes! Thankfully they resolved that quickly. There has also been an ongoing niggling issue that affects Time Machine backups, it really slows these down considerably and I was always forced to disable whenever I remembered to connect my backup drive [I’ve woeful for a geek at doing so].

Tonight, I have been forced to uninstall Sophos as it was blocking all web browsers from accessing the internet. I was near pulling my hair out trying everything from restarting, quitting mDNSResponder, deleting my wireless networks, deleting caches, and even considering re-installing macOS Catalina.

Before re-installing macOS, I decided I’d try removing Sophos. Poor design of this app requires your connection to the internet and a functional web browser in order to manage its features, thus removal was my only choice. I don’t feel I can go without protection these days, so I may need to look at alternate options now, at least my web browsers are restored to me.

Apple TV+

Yesterday, I managed to gain access to Apple TV+ and was disappointed when the dialog didn’t display to reward me with one year’s free access in exchange for my iPhone 11 Pro , turns out I was a day early, the dialog displayed today and I had a grin ear to ear.

I began checking Jason Mamoa’s series See, a post-apocalyptic series in which the populace are blinded and twins are born with sight. Their sight is hidden from the tribe to prevent their likely slaughter. It’s an interesting series, I need to watch more to truly see how it’s going to progress.

Next I checked out Morning Wars, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reece Witherspoon. This has been panned, however I haven’t minded it, though agree it’s not perfect. Reece is great.

I briefly stopped by Snoopy in Space, lasting perhaps two minutes of I think the eight or so minute episode length. This really didn’t do anything for me, maybe it’s just the content that doesn’t suit rather than being crap itself.

Next I ventured to Dickinson, a period piece about Emily Dickinson and her struggles as a writer in society that only saw women in a particular role, something she challenged the notion of. I very much enjoyed this series forward to returning and watching more.

Finally tonight I am watching a series that reminds me of the series Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime Video in which the events of World War II are turned on their head, here too in For All Mankind the space race is re-examined and the Russians succeed in landing first on the moon, landing a huge blow to the American psyche.

I look forward to seeing further programs from Apple TV+ as they become available, I’m looking forward to the forthcoming Servant whenever it’s due. Great start!

No mail, just junk

Is there anything worse than junk mail, whether we receive it digitally or it clogs up our mailbox at home, few care for it, if any. I’d hazard most would reserve a special place in hell for those who send/deliver it to us as it’s just unwanted.

In my own neighbourhood we receive a fairly large quantity of junk mail on a weekly basis, and in our case we never actually read it, it’s straight to the recycle bin as it’s just catalogues for shops, or real estate flyers, food flyers, or some other assortment of crud. What incenses me greatly about junk mail is coming home to find one of these sadists has pulled out prior (unwanted) deliveries, thrown these on the ground in order to make space for their own items.

Were it not raining today I’d be heading to our local Bunnings, a hardware megastore, for the necessary items to affix a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign to our mailbox. I only wish this was a global phenomenon, government-led of course, whereby junk mail were no longer permitted thereby saving so many trees each year. Instead, all these catalogues were deliverable digitally to those who *choose* to subscribe, are looking to the bargains etc each week.

Now, if I could also find a way to have bills declared ‘junk mail’ 🤔

Adapting overnight oats to suit

The other day a regular email newsletter arrived in my inbox from MyFitnessPal that included some interesting recipes, one in particular peaked my interest. I don’t know if it was just because it mentioned chocolate in the title, but chocolate banana overnight oats really appealed to me, though the photo the included certainly didn’t hurt any either.

The recipe from site Eating Bird Food was a relatively simple one having few ingredients:

  • 1 cup regular, non-quick oats
  • 1.25 cups almond milk
  • 1 banana – half mashed/half chopped
  • 4 tbsp chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp black chia seeds

Combine half-cup milk and protein powder and set aside. Combine all other ingredients then add protein mixture and stir. Place into sealed container overnight in refrigerator.

Since first making the recipe I’ve adapted to suit as I wanted to tweak to my own tastes, especially as I’m not a fan of almond milk, substituting for low-fat lactose-free milk; yesterday I also replaced half the milk with plain chobani yoghurt which made for an extra creamy texture. I have also added melted peanut butter and blueberries. My next iteration I will swap the blueberries for peaches.

The eating bird food website has a number of interesting recipes worth your checking out.

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