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Converting JSON into CSV

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Recently I needed to analyze some JSON data. Now, I'm no data scientist, so I wanted to convert my JSON data to comma separated (CSV) and "flatten" the data... just so I could use the data in Excel.

And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Installing High Sierra in a Parallels VM

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When macOS High Sierra was released around 25th September, I tried to install it in Parallels Desktop Lite. However, both a clean install in a Parallels Virtual Machine (VM), nor an in-place update did not work (the High Sierra VM would refuse to boot). I discovered the High Sierra installer converts the VM file system to Apple File System (APFS). However, Parallels does not support APFS, so here's how to disable the conversion and get High Sierra running in a Parallels.

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Installing MySQL on macOS

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There are many open source packages that require the "AMP" stack comprising Apache, MySQL and PHP (hence "WAMP" for Windows-Apache-MySQL-PHP and "MAMP" for macOS-Apache-MySQL-PHP). Since macOS 10.12 Sierra already includes Apache 2.4 and PHP 5.6, here's how to add MySQL 5.7.

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Further ways to lockdown apps like Kodi and VLC

guide macos vm

You have have read that CheckPoint, a cyber security research company, has identified vulnerabilities that may allow an attacker to compromise your computer using malicious subtitle files downloaded by popular media players including Kodi and VLC. It's not clear if this affects macOS too, but in light of this threat, here is a summary of how I further "lockdown" any apps I'm unsure of...

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Setting printer defaults in macOS CUPS

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I have experienced a couple of issues printing with the Ricoh printer drivers for macOS - at one location, I simply couldn't print, and at another, I couldn't get it to print "two-sided" (despite the correct duplex settings). In both cases, I reverted to the standard macOS driver, i.e. "Generic PostScript Printer" or "Generic PCL Laser Printer". This post details the steps to set printer defaults like duplex via CUPS.

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Workflow Action to add cheap IDD call prefix

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Does your service provider differentiate between standard or "premium" IDD and "budget" IDD like mine does? Typically, the standard + international call prefix will default to the premium option, but to use the the cheaper option, usually via voice-over-IP (VoIP), one has to specific a different carrier-defined prefix, e.g. 12300 (I just made this up, check with your telco). I can't find a built-in way to do this on iOS... enter the Workflow App!

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