I just received an email indicating that my PayPal account had recently been limited for some reason.  The email is below and you notice that it provides a link for me to log in and see the reason and resolve the limitation.

This is a scam, and we can talk about why

If you receive an email like the one below, do not fall for the scam!

Notice several questionable issues with the email.

Screen shot of actual email I received

Screen shot of actual email I received

PayPal has been known to put limitations on accounts. HOWEVER, NEVER log in to a website from a link provided in an email.  PayPal won’t do this and neither should you.

Go to the website directly www.paypal.com and log in.

I did this and also clicked the link (in another browser) and found several differences between the two results.

First, take a look at what I found with the website that the email link brought me to.


bogus paypal scam link

The actual PayPal website login screen

Legitimate PayPal website login screen

Legitimate PayPal website login screen

Map your network

Well, the totally free linux approach is this command: (it does require sudo)

sudo nmap -sP

This will give you a list of all the hosts on your local network.

If you want a prettier report, you can use fingbox.  Fingbox has a great app for iPhone and Android but also has desktop apps for linux, mac, windows and even Rapsberry Pi.

Since I am working in a terminal using ssh, I downloaded the 32bit debian version of the file with the following command:

wget http://www.overlooksoft.com/packages/linux32/overlook-fing-2.2.deb

Their website has download links if you prefer to click a link.

Install as follows:

sudo dpkg -i overlook-fing-2.2.deb

Then scan your network with your new tool.

sudo fing

rsync – best cp tool

I recently had to move a bunch of stuff off one external drive to another.  After considering all my options, I settled on rsync.

Now, rsync will work both on mac and linux. Though it is not native to Windows.  See notes at the bottom regarding a Windows solution for rsync.

I am using a mac, and have found the following command to be adequate:

sudo rsync -a /Volumes/tosh1TB /Volumes/FreeAgent\ GoFlex\ Drive/

The sudo is for getting around the permission differences between files and directories. You will not need this if all the files and directories you are copying are owned by you.

The -a option will give you a recursive archive that maintains ownership and other file specifics that I didn’t want to lose.

For a Windows friendly rsync solution, my friends over at The Geek Stuff, have written up a nice article on DeltaCopy here.

Show directory size on mac

Sometimes I want to see how large a directory is prior to copying or to see what has changed.

The first and most basic way is with the du command.

du -h --max-depth=1 .

The command above will list all the subdirectories and their sizes for the current directory up to one level.

What’s my current directory? Well, that command is like so:


Here is an easy terminal command to show the current directory size:

find . -type f -exec ls -l {} \; | awk '{sum += $5} END {print sum}'

This will give a total count in bytes without listing pages of directories or files first.

If your directory has subdirectories that span multiple user permissions, proceed with sudo to avoid Permission denied errors.

After more work with directories, I put together a string that I am happy with. This will list size of  directories within a given directory up to your specified levels of directory.

du -h -d 2 /Volumes/yourdrive/Users/

So for the above command, I list all the directories up to 2 levels inside the Users directory with size in human readable format.

This lists each users directories so I can see what is using the most hard drive space.

Of course it is Music and Movies, who would have guessed it?

Oh, and check this crazy talk out… when stuck using windows