Solution: Apple Cinema Display stays dark ...

Right after the gift giving on Christmas eve i noticed that my Apple Cinema display that is connected to my iMac stayed dark after waken up from sleep mode. And I mean completely dark...

I tried to:

  • change the Brightness setting of the Thunderbolt display: did not help
  • removed the Thunderbolt cable a couple of times: did not help
  • rebooted my iMac: did not help

The funny thing though was that the USB drives that were connected to my Cinema display are correctly mounted from my iMac - so at least SOMETHING was working.


Disconnect the power cord

At tip from a forum helped worked for me: disconnect the power cord from the Thunderbolt display for a couple of minutes and plug it in again. SHABANG :) Not sure if that was really a solution, but for now I have my two-monitor setup again :) 

Posted on December 24, 2015 .

How to tackle small, time-based todos and never forget them again

Recently I stumbled upon a new new app for todos (I am not sure anymore, where I found it, but I guess it was from Belle Beth Cooper. She does some interesting blogposts on managing your life with tools and apps). 


Due App - Oh nooo... another todo app?

Well, that were my initial thoughts as well. But this app focuses on a specific type of todos:

  • those that are very lightweight
  • those that don't take a lot of time
  • those that need to be done soon (like today, tomorrow)


For the longer-living, heavier todos, I have my Wunderlist (where I can put notes to my todos, group them in lists, share these lists etc etc)


You can enter new todos pretty fast with a intuitive user interface that lets you specify the due time in a flexible way with very few taps.



It's fast to use ... and it really gets on your nerves (in a good way!)

And this app is getting really annoying when the time comes - it fills your notifications quickly (configurable of course) :)


But actually thats what you asked the app to do - remind you! ;) You can't really overlook this repeated notifications on your lock screen and need to do something about it:








You either mark it as "done" which would be lying of course) or quickly delay it directly in the lock screen (without opening the app):













And Due is intelligent

You can configure all kinds of settings, it reacts naturally on todos like "go running tomorrow 07:30", is timezone aware and many other features.



With a reasonable price of around 5€  it does what it promises and I love using the app - in addition to my other todo apps (like Wunderlist). The creators found an interesting niche in this crowded app-space and delivered a very polished, usable and beautiful app. I strongly recommend to check it out.


Posted on August 20, 2015 and filed under productivity.

How to update metadata of a link in Facebook postings

It sometimes happens, that you want to post something in Facebook with a URL in it and Facebook automatically fetches a preview-pic and some data. When this information is stale (or you suddenly want to update it), there is a cool way to force Facebook to refresh its cache:

As you can see, it shows exactly what was fetched, when and also offers a "Fetch new scrape information" - sweet!



Posted on August 13, 2015 and filed under development, productivity, social networks.

Tightly integrated Secure Gateway (SSH Tunneling) support now available in Royal TS/X and Royal Server!

One of the most requested features of Royal Server was to have a built in "Secure Gateway" or "SSH tunneling" feature. We have worked hard to fully integrate this in our Royal TS/X and Royal Server products - no external tools are needed and you will be amazed how easy it is to get it up and running!

What is a Secure Gateway?

A Secure Gateway is a component included in Royal Server that can be used to access computers through an encrypted SSH tunnel (aka port forwarding). Those computers are not directly reachable, only through the gateway server. Check out our more detailed blogpost!


How to configure the Secure Gateway in Royal Server?

The configuration only needs the IP and port to which the Secure Gateway should bind to. Additionally you can specify that packet compression is required and the current fingerprint of the server is shown. Hand this to your users so they can evaluate if they are connecting to the correct server.

At runtime, you can check how many sessions Royal Server is hosting and some metadata:

  • Client Host
  • Destination Host
  • User
  • Connect Time
  • Connected
  • Send Size
  • Received Size


And last but not least, you have to configure the users that are allowed to use the Secure Gateway.

Posted on April 23, 2015 and filed under development, Royal Server.

New blog posts about Royal Server & new beta version

We have published more blog posts to cover all our Management Endpoint features that are in our release version of Royal Server. 


How to work with Terminal Service Sessions, Send a Message or even Restart the Server

New Royal Server Beta Version coming soon

Additionally, we are making good progress in our next beta version of Royal Server that will contain two of the most requested features of our user survey. 


Posted on April 8, 2015 and filed under development, Royal Server.

First steps with the tool "Synergy"

I have a MacBook Pro for all my programs and tools - except development. For this, I have a midi tower with an i7 that can easily run many instances of Visual Studio and some VMs. 

Since RDPing to this machine for development is (even on my local network) a bit laggy, I decided to give the tool "Synergy" a try. Its like Mouse Without Borders - but with the advantage of working cross-operating system. It used to be free - but with 10$ also not expensive. The alternative ( is much easier to configure, but with 49$ also 5 times more expensive. 


Installation and Configuration

For the OS X part - which acts as a server - drop it to the Applications and configure the server. First: configure the Screens:

In the center is my MacBook Pro and right of it is the Windows machine. 

In the center is my MacBook Pro and right of it is the Windows machine. 

This is the way of configuring Clients (machines). E.g. my MacBook Pro has its own screen and the Cinema Display but is shown as one, since its about computers, not screens. If you do not do this, your mouse is still trapped inside your host machine :)

For the Windows part, just install the MSI, configure the tool as "Client" and point it to the correct server (in my case the OS X machine). There is not much more you can configure (except Encryption). Also, make sure you autostart this program. 


Issues and how they can be solved

0. Unrecognised client name "machinename", check server config

You need to configure all allowed clients aka Screens - see above.

1. Client is connected but mouse is still trapped on server screen

In my case, I didn't had any client configured. First, you need to define "Screens" at the server config (see above).

2. Client can't connect to server

Check, if you can reach the server, if a firewall is blocking the required port or if you have different settings for Encryption on Client and Server.

3. Mouse clicks wont bring windows to front

This happened to me at the Windows machine and was the result of the Hot-fix KB3013455 of Microsoft (see this huge discussion on the Synergy forum). But uninstalling is not an option for me. 

What worked for me was two things:

  • install the latest nightly build (in my case that was a nightly build of synergy-1.7.1-master). See the current nightly built list here. But I expect that this code will be in some stable version soon (at first, i accidentally downloaded the 32-bit client, which was NOT helping. I have a 64-bit Windows, and the 64-bit client now works)
  • open "services.msc", look for the "Synergy" service, go to the "Log On" Tab and enable "Allow service to interact with desktop"

After this, restart Synergy on the Client AND on the Server. 

4. Send ctrl-alt-del to the Windows machine

This one is still open. For logging in, I still need a local keyboard. The usual ctrl-alt-fn-del does not work in this case :( The only way I have found that works is the on-screen-keyboard and pressing ctrl-alt-del there... UGLY! One more thing: for me, it works only when I press alt gr-ctrl-del, not the alt-key.

5. Laggy mouse when UAC comes into play

When you need to click that "Yes" button of the UAC, the mouse position is resetted to the center of the host and you need to move it back to the client. Also, after you have left the UAC the same happens again ... and it always takes around 2 seconds until you can move the mouse to the client screen. ARGH.


Windows only?

If you are in a pure Microsoft environment, you can also give Mouse Without Borders from the Microsoft Garage a try. 

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under development, productivity.

I am giving away most of my IT books - the hand-over

During the last two weeks I was having a cold - two times :) This brought some delay to my "I am giving away most of my IT books". But finally I start to organise the meet-ups where I will hand over the books!

So if you have entered your name/email to one or more of the books, expect an email in your inbox :) 

Thanks again for taking part and showing interest so the books can get a new home. I am looking forward to the hand-overs!

Posted on November 28, 2014 and filed under development, productivity, social networks.