Misc Stuff


Homebrew is a package manager for OS X that gives your Mac some additional Unix/Linux command line, including installing and uninstalling open source software via a repository. I came across it while trying to install iperf on my Mac. Though the iperf zip for Mac was available, installation was neither intuitive or well documented. Once I installed Homebrew, installing iperf version 3 was as simple as opening Terminal and typing:

Homebrew can be found at http://brew.sh/.

It is installed by opening Terminal and entering in the following:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

I have not tried it yet, but it appears that Scoop does a similar job for Windows (http://scoop.sh/).


Haven’t tried this one yet. MacPorts is an alternative (some claim a much better alternative) to Homebrew. find it at: https://www.macports.org

Password Assistant

This little utility accesses the built-in Mac password assistant so that you can generate passwords without opening the Key Chain utility. It is currently installed using Homebrew (see above), but is is necessary to “Tap a new Cask” (new repository) first. Once you finish installing via Terminal, use Finder to locate it in the Applications folder. To add the Cask and install Password Assistant type the following in Terminal:

brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask

brew cask install password-assistant


Iperf is a simple and effective way to test network throughput. It is available for Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, Android, iOS from the official website: https://iperf.fr/. Iperf is run from the command line and can either act as a server or a client by simply using either the -s or -c switch. Highly useful. To install on a Mac, first, install Homebrew, then enter the following into Terminal:

brew install iperf3


Need to see both path and packet loss for your network connection? Pathping is built into the Windows command line and can give you a nice view of the performance at each hop. Simply type pathping followed by the ip address or domain name for the route you want to trace and hit enter. For example:

pathping google.com

By default, pathping will query with 100 pings, however the number of pings can be set anywhere from 1 to 255 using the -q switch. For example to limit queries to 50 pings enter:

pathping -q 50 google.com

Highly useful and free. You have to love it!


Lately, some ISPs have been blocking ICMP which causes Pathping to terminate prematurely. In my case, Pathping stops at h0p 4 which is the first hop outside of my own network — not very useful. Fortunately, WinMTR works where Pathping fails! WinMTR is a small portable utility that can run continuously, track the number of packets sent and received, display best, average, worst, and last RTT, and can export the results as either a text or HTML file. Better than pathping and still free. You have to REALLY love it!

HTML5 Speed Test

Need an internal speed test for your organization? Federico Dossena has created a really nice, completely open-source solution and is giving it away. I use this internally for testing workstation connection speeds without the variables created by testing over a public network.

This has become so popular with our technical staff that a recent problem with the server brought my several notifications the following day. Available from https://fdossena.com/?p=speedtest/index.frag or may be downloaded from Github at https://github.com/adolfintel/speedtest .

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