Systems Admin, Mac Geek, Network Nerd, Developer
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Channellock Long Nose Pliers are an Easy Recommendation

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Channellock Long Nose Pliers with Side Cutter

Every now and then, I search Amazon using minimal keywords, to see which brands or styles of certain tools might be trending. This time, I searched for “knife,” and the top result, taking the top half of the page was a “Buy it again” message with Amazon encouraging me to order another pair of Channellock pliers.

Well, that’s strange – somehow my search triggered an Amazon order history recommendation. Ah, I see what happened – these pliers have “knife and anvil” style side cutters.

I purchased this particular model two years ago, 8-inch pliers with model number 317.

Maybe Amazon’s algorithm thinks this is a consumable and that I should be replacing my order from two years ago?

I have been a fan of Channellock for a long time, and I own a couple of pairs of their pliers, including these long-nose pliers.

Channellock is usually an easy recommendation. Are these the best pliers though? No. Truth be told, I don’t have a single pair of Channellock pliers in my office tool box, where my pliers drawer is filled with Knipex, NWS, Xuron, and Engineer Inc pliers. However, I have Channellock pliers in my main box as well as project-specific kits.

Sometimes the pivots could be smoother out of the box, and other times the handles are distinctly plain and basic. Still, Channellock’s pliers quality is consistent and long-lasting.

This particular style of pliers has well-formed jaws, uniform and durable crosshatched grooves, and convenient wire cutting blades. I don’t usually like wire cutters on long nose pliers, but Channellock is one of few exceptions due to their better quality.

Channellock uses a “knife and anvil” cutter design, which tends to provide better performance than double-knife cutter blades. Have you ever used wire cutters or scissors that twist what you’re trying to cut before actually cutting them? These won’t do that.

Channellock advertises these pliers as being forged from US steel and being 100% made in the USA.

So no, these aren’t the best pliers, but I’d buy them again in a heartbeat. Amazon had the right idea in spotlighting these to me, but for the wrong reasons.

The brand has different styles of long-nose pliers, but the 8-inch with wire cutting blades is probably going to be the best general purpose choice for most users.

Buy Now via Amazon
Other Styles via Amazon

Raise your hand if you’ve got Channellock long nose pliers in your kit.

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6 days ago
if you’re a network nerd, or do any kind of fiber work in crowded, dense equipment with SFPs, look at the long reach needle nose that channellock makes: Channellock 738 8-Inch Needle Nose Long Reach Plier,High carbon Polished steel, CHANNELLOCK BLUE grips

HIGHLY recommended to remove SFPs, even stubborn ones, and giving you the precision to reach in, grab and manipulate a bail, and extract a transceiver. the extra inch or two these give you makes a big difference.
Seymour, Indiana
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Fission Exits the Mac App Store

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Paul Kafasis (tweet):

We want to be sure to our customers who previously purchased Fission via the Mac App Store are taken care of as well. To that end, we will be transitioning you over to our directly distributed version.


For almost twenty years, we’ve sold our software directly to our customers via our online store. Our fast and secure purchase process has served our customers very well. Since the Mac App Store opened in 2011, we’ve also experimented there. However, despite a decade of feedback from countless developers and users, Apple has made scant few changes and the store remains beset with issues. When you couple the many shortcomings and issues with Apple’s restrictive policies that preclude most of our software from appearing there, the Mac App Store is clearly a poor fit for us. With the removal of Fission, we no longer have any products in the Mac App Store.

Jeff Johnson:

I remember putting Fission in the Mac App Store, and it sucked, mainly because we had to mangle it and make the app worse for sandboxing.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

A damning indictment of the Mac App Store.

Jonathan Deutsch:

I’d love to see a follow-up to this piece about overall revenue with any other apps/app-makers that have left the Mac App Store.

Frank Reiff:

I’m thinking of removing my apps from the Mac App Store, the revenue from that source is constantly dropping and I’m really only offering it as a convenience for potential customers, especially those with a Mac App Store preference.

James Thomson:

When I was selling via both the Mac App Store, and Kagi, it got up to around 80% MAS sales, and the direction was pretty clear. For something like PCalc which is (less) unlikely to fall foul of App Review, I think it’s still the best place to be.


Update (2021-09-08): Steve Troughton-Smith:

Alternate take on the Mac App Store: I only joined the MAS in the past two years after years of my apps being iOS-only. It has since grown to ~30% of my revenue, a chunk that didn’t exist before, and, as competition is low, the App Store editors are eager to show off great apps.

Mike Rockwell:

How can anyone watch so many developers leave and/or completely ignore the Mac App Store and continue to think that the iOS App Store is actually good for the platform?

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9 days ago
couple of points:

the App Store is a good concept, and i don’t agree with the naysayers who damn it completely.

the problem is Apple’s struggle to balance security, privacy, and the needs of developers.

Apple continues taking the 800lb bouncer approach, by trying to police things at the door, because there is inherent risk in them allowing somebody in, having an “event”, and shaking trust in the platform. Apple doesn’t have any recourse, as things are, if a developer does something shady, and the potential damage far outweighs any punitive things Apple could do afterward.

personally i think Apple could do more to cultivate developer relations, and relax their draconian BS for developers with a proven track record (panic, rogue amoeba, wil shipley, etc, and yes even Microsoft, Netflix, etc). but even that carries risk.
Seymour, Indiana
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The Best Multi-Bit Screwdriver

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A screwdriver might be the single most essential tool for minor home repairs. It’s the ultimate kitchen-drawer tool, and it can help with loose hinges, toy batteries, and wobbly door handles, all on the fly. But to get the most out of a screwdriver, you need one with a good bit selection—a comfortable handle and a nice ratcheting action are pluses, too. In eight years of researching and testing screwdrivers, we’ve found that the MegaPro 13-in-1 Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver is the one tool that gets everything right. Other screwdrivers might have additional features or a finer ratchet, but for a solid ratcheting action, fantastic bit storage, a useful selection of bits, and an oddly comfortable handle, the MegaPro 13-in-1 is the screwdriver to beat. This is also one of Wirecutter’s longest-standing picks: We’ve been recommending it since we started writing about screwdrivers in 2013.

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17 days ago
I’ll stand by my Wiha Ultra Driver. at this point i plan to be buried with it.
Seymour, Indiana
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Gerber Gear Prybrid Utility Knife – Instant Regret

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Gerber Prybrid Utility Knife Multi-Tool Features

I purchased a Gerber Prybrid utility knife a couple of weeks ago, thinking it would be an interesting and more compact alternative to common construction-focused models.

The Prybrid has a sliding utility knife blade, a cord cutting notch, a pry bar, bottle opener, and some other minor features almost nobody will ever use.

It’s a somewhat outdoors-themed utility knife and pry bar.

Although, Gerber says:

With a convenient dual-ended design, the Prybrid Utility is the only tool you’ll need for quick tasks at the job site.

My Prybrid has been sitting on my test bench due to time constraints and other priorities, but I thought it might be nice to post about it as a follow-up to my recent Coast DX126 folding utility knife review.

Gerber Prybrid Utility Knife

So, last night I opened it up, checked it a bit, and oh boy, instant regret.

For a utility knife to be jobsite-friendly, you’ve got to be able to change blades fast, right?

Somehow while changing the blade, sorry – while trying to change the blade, something on the tool cut two of my fingers. I didn’t notice, I just realized my fingers were wet and I saw the blood. I washed up and applied bandaids to the cuts. I really don’t know what happened here.

But there is something I do know – I greatly dislike tools that make it difficult to change out accessories.

Maybe I’ll get a feel for things with time, but I did not have an easy time changing the utility knife blade at all.

Did I get a dud? Are my fingers weaker than I thought?

Did I do something wrong? I haven’t a clue, because Gerber doesn’t provide any instructions with the knife, just a standard sheet of precautionary statements that they seem to include with each and every multi-tool, knife, or similar product.

I found a quick video online, and it made blade changes look relatively easy. It reinforced what I thought I had to do, but it just didn’t work.

Gerber Prybrid Utility Knife Extended for Blade Change Front

To change out the blade, you extend the knife all the way out. There are 3 blade positions – closed, extended for use, and extended for removal.

Do you see the large T-shaped tab that covers the blade? That is what’s applying locking pressure to the blade.

Gerber Prybrid Utility Knife Extended for Blade Change Rear

There’s a small protrusion that holds the blade into position from sliding in and out.

This tab needs to clamp the blade with enough pressure so as to help prevent the blade from intentionally pulling out from the knife, and so it’s pretty strong.

Gerber Prybrid Utility Knife Blade Change Tab

So, there’s this itty bitty little tab that you have to push, and with enough strength to counter the spring tension, all while carefully pulling the razor-sharp utility knife-style blade.

With practice or a bit of break-in, maybe I’ll be able to finesse it a bit more. In theory, or with practice, I should be able to hold the knife carefully, push the locking tab open to relieve pressure on the blade, and then gently and carefully remove the blade. But, I’m not there yet.

Right now, I feel that I need 3 hands to safely change blades on this – one to hold the knife, one to release the locking pressure, and one to safely remove the blade.

Putting a fresh blade back in? That’s a very similar challenge.

To insert a new blade, you have to push the locking tab open and hold it open while guiding the blade. If you don’t open the locking tab with enough pressure, it squeezes the blade and fights any efforts to carefully bring it to the proper locked position.

Looking at online reviews, there’s a lot of positivity for the Gerber Prybrid knife and pry bar. I do like its overall design and construction, but the blade change process is literally painful.

This is supposed to have a tool-free blade change process, and I found it to be way too awkward.

The problem here isn’t so much about the knife, but my expectations. When a tool is designed around replaceable utility knife blades, I expect it to allow for fast, easy, and safe blade changes. The design here is not fast or easy, at least in my early experiences so far.

However, that the spring-tension locking tab is so strong is also a good thing, as it reduces the chance of blade pull-out.

Oh, and one more thing – I did read some online complaints about the Gerber Prybrid knife not being compatible with all brands’ utility knife blades. So, if I end up using this knife enough to formally review it, I’ll have to get much more familiar with the blade change process. Great.

This Gerber is up there on the “terrible blade change process,” right next to the newest Dewalt folding retractable utility knife that I recently reviewed.

I think that the Gerber Prybrid might be an okay “just in case I need it” type of EDC tool where a single blade will last a very long time before needing to be reversed or changed. But in my mind and usage, utility knife blades are for frequent use, and that doesn’t mesh well with difficult blade change mechanisms.

I also bought the Gerber Prybrid X, a similar tool that works with hobby knife blades. Unfortunately, the Prybrid X looks to have a similar blade change design.

Gerber Prybrid X Blade Change Example

Hmm, maybe this is the problem – Gerber shows a fingernail being used to put counter-pressure on the Prybrid X’s locking tab. I trimmed my nails a couple of days ago; was I supposed to grow out a nail in order to change the blades on these tools?

I’m sure I’ll settle on a safe technique eventually, but right now the process feels very precarious and intimidating.

Just to be sure, I tried to change the blade one more time, to see if it would be easier. I did change and replace the blade yesterday – just once – maybe this second go around would different. Nope.

Maybe my fingers are just too wimpy for this tool, as everyone else online seems convinced blade changes are easy with this tool.

Gerber Prybrid Utility Knife Blade Mechanism

I took a look at Gerber’s introductory promo video.

Ah, okay – they show that to change a blade, you hold the knife handle in your right hand, both sides of the blade with your thumb and middle finger, and use your pointer finder to unlock the spring tab.

I tried doing it this way and I reversed my hands. I tried to use my thumb again while holding the handle in my right hand and blade in my left.

My short nail doesn’t do much, and if my nail was longer, it’d likely bend or crack.

How did I get the blade out and reinserted the first time around last night? I cheated and used pliers.

Maybe this is why Gerber doesn’t include any instructions with the knife, because there’s just no easy way to do this properly. I’ve watched the blade change in their intro video several times, and have concluded that they’re using magic.

Gerber Prybrid Utility Knife Bottle Opener Closeup

In case you’re curious, I think this is what cut into my finger until I noticed the blood – one of the corners of the bottle opener claw is rounded, the other is pointy and much sharper. I’m thinking I was concentrating too hard on safely avoiding the blade’s cutting edge that I might have awkwardly gripped the tool too tight and at the wrong angle.

Yup, I cut my finger on the bottle opener while trying to be super careful about not cutting myself on the blade I was trying to remove and reinsert.

There are aspects I immediately like about this tool, but boy does the blade change design really sour my early opinion. I’ll either find a way to change the blade in a quick, easy, and safe manner, or just live with the idea that it’ll take a bunch of other tools.

Maybe I’ve got to do some finger exercises, thicken my callouses, or follow Cosmo’s advice, where they say more Biotin – vitamin B7 – could help improve fingernail strength.

Following are some purchase links, if you’re interested. Maybe one day I can recommend it, if either the blade change tab breaks in a little or I find the process less clumsy.

At the time of this posting, the Gerber Prybrid tools have more than 2,100 reviews and ratings for the two color options combined, with most being very positive.

If you have one of these tools, have your experiences been like mine? It seems very popular, and so I can’t help but think that either there’s something wrong with my tool, which doesn’t seem all that likely, or something wrong with me. I like to think that I’m fairly competent and experienced with all kinds of knives, but one has me stumped.

Buy Now: Green via Amazon
Buy Now: Grey via Amazon

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35 days ago
i have this same knife and hate it for other reasons. the biggest is that it’s HEAVY. i guess this means the pry bar portion will be durable, but damn, it’s got some gravity to it.

probably farther up the chain than the blade changes is that it’s physically huge. again, i obviously had incorrect expectations for it, but it’s a handful. it’s something to have in a bag or toolbox, maybe, but it’s kinda useless. it’s not a good utility knife, it’s a mediocre prybar, and that’s about it….
Seymour, Indiana
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New U.S. Antitrust Bill Would Require Apple and Google to Allow Third-Party App Stores and Sideloading

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New bipartisan antitrust legislation that targets Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store was today introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Marsha Blackburn, and Amy Klobuchar.

The Open App Markets Act [PDF] is meant to create "fair, clear, and enforceable rules" that will protect competition and strengthen consumer protections. According to the three senators, Apple and Google have "gatekeeper control" of the two main mobile operating systems and their app stores, allowing them to dictate the terms of the app market.

Under the terms of the bill, which applies to companies that own or control an ‌App Store‌ with more than 50,000,000 users, Apple would not be able to require developers to use its own in-app purchase system, and it would be required to allow developers to distribute apps through alternative app stores.

Apple would need to provide "readily accessible means" for iPhone users to install third-party apps or app stores outside of Apple's own ‌App Store‌, and it would need to let customers choose third-party apps and app stores as their defaults while also hiding standard Apple apps.

Other wording in the bill would prevent Apple from retaliating against developers that decided to distribute apps using alternative means, and Apple would also not be allowed to unreasonably preference its own apps. The company would need to provide developers with access to operating system interfaces, development information, and hardware and software features.

In a statement, Blumenthal said that the legislation would break the competitive hold that Apple and Google have over the app market while providing mobile users with more control over their devices.
"This legislation will tear down coercive anticompetitive walls in the app economy, giving consumers more choices and smaller startup tech companies a fighting chance. For years, Apple and Google have squashed competitors and kept consumers in the dark--pocketing hefty windfalls while acting as supposedly benevolent gatekeepers of this multi-billion dollar market. I'm proud to partner with Senators Blackburn and Klobuchar in this breakthrough blow against Big Tech bullying. This bipartisan bill will help break these tech giants' ironclad grip, open the app economy to new competitors, and give mobile users more control over their own devices."
Blackburn said that Apple and Google's refusal to allow for third-party App Stores is a "direct affront to a free and fair marketplace, and Klobuchar said that the legislation levels the playing field and will ensure an "innovative and competitive marketplace."

In an interview with Reuters, Blumenthal said that he found the "predatory abuse" of the two companies "deeply offensive on so many levels." He said that he expects companion legislation in the House of Representatives "very soon."

Earlier this year, U.S. lawmakers introduced sweeping antitrust legislation that would result in major changes to the tech industry if passed, with the measures coming as the culmination of a 16-month antitrust investigation.

Update: In a statement to MacRumors, Apple reiterated its commitment to ensuring that apps are delivered to customers in a way that is safe and trustworthy.
"Since our founding, we’ve always put our users at the center of everything we do, and the App Store is the cornerstone of our work to connect developers and customers in a way that is safe and trustworthy. The result has been an unprecedented engine of economic growth and innovation, one that now supports more than 2.1 million jobs across all 50 states. At Apple, our focus is on maintaining an App Store where people can have confidence that every app must meet our rigorous guidelines and their privacy and security is protected."

This article, "New U.S. Antitrust Bill Would Require Apple and Google to Allow Third-Party App Stores and Sideloading" first appeared on

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36 days ago
pomp and circumstance legislation. but apple continues to play with fire here.
Seymour, Indiana
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1Password 8 for Mac Early Access

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Dave Teare (tweet, MacRumors, Reddit):

Categories now sit atop your item list as a simple dropdown filter, giving the sidebar plenty of room to show all your vaults and their accounts.

You’ll also notice an indicator next to each shared vault, making it easier to see which vaults are private and which are shared. No guesswork. And items show who they’re being shared with.

Throughout the app you’re in more control, with more contextual information available at all times. Try dragging-and-dropping an item from a personal vault to a shared vault. When you do, 1Password will show you who will gain access to the item so there’s no doubt about what’s happening.


I personally use Collections to hide family vaults that I only need access to in case of emergency and don’t want to see every day. It’s also great for hiding production work accounts until I explicitly require them.


[The] next generation of 1Password gives you more power to recover data, starting with item drafts, the ability to restore recently deleted items, as well as being able to revert to previous versions of an item.

Dave Teare (tweet):

What makes this [Linux] release even more amazing is it was created from scratch and developed using new languages and techniques most of our team never used before.


The backend is written in Rust, a true systems programming language known for its safety and performance. Rust compiles directly to native code and avoids the overhead associated with runtimes or garbage collection.

On the frontend side of things we used web technologies to allow us to create an entirely new design language for 1Password.

The new Mac app uses Electron, too, as you can immediately see from how the fonts and controls look. A two-person team can write a native AppKit app, but a team of 473 starting with a mature AppKit codebase has other priorities.

bgentry (also: Miguel de Icaza):

The most disturbing part about this is that their support team has been misleading people on Twitter all morning, not truthfully answering straightforward questions about whether the app is Electron

The language and compilation status of the backend are not relevant to whether the frontend is native.

Curtis Herbert (Hacker News):

The blog post screenshot had me all “yay, looks like it matches the new sidebar style in macOS, wonder if it is Catalyst or SwiftUI?”, then I opened the preference “window” … which is an Electron-style modal inside the main window.


To minimize file size and maximize performance, we’re offering separate Apple silicon and Intel builds.

A hallmark of Electron.

Of course, you can see why a company would want a cross-platform solution to reduce the number of codebases that need to be developed and kept in sync. It’s interesting that, even though there’s already an iOS version, they decided not to go with Catalyst. As to Apple’s other cross-platform technology…

Roustem Karimov:

We have a large Apple dev team and had a parallel SwiftUI codebase being developed for about 6 months. It had some advantages but overall it underperformed on macOS and the UX was worse.


What’s more concerning is the shortcut change. ⌘\ is deep in my muscle memory, but more importantly it’s in my (less tech savvy) family’s muscle memory. I strongly urge you to consider retaining the default shortcut bindings in the final release.

Dave Teare:

1Password 8 has a new Quick Access feature that’s activated by ⌘⇧Space and supports Go & Fill.

Dave Teare (Hacker News):

Even though memberships won by a long shot, our existing apps already supported both so we continued to offer standalone licenses. This included support as well as new features and updates for license holders.

In our new apps, however, we needed to revisit this approach…


We’d like to thank you for supporting us all these years and provide a special trade-in discount for your license. Simply email us your license and enjoy 50% off your first 3 years.

The new version drops non-subscription licenses, standalone vaults, and support for Dropbox, iCloud, and 1PasswordAnywhere.

I’m not sure what I’ll do from here. I’ve been using PasswordWallet myself since the writing was on the wall for standalone vaults and my favorite feature in 2017. But the rest of my family is still on 1Password/Dropbox. Much as I don’t like these changes, I’m not sure there’s a multi-user product that’s better.

Ricky Mondello:

No matter what anyone else does with their offerings, iOS and macOS have a built-in, free password manager. I love our new, Mac-native interface in macOS Monterey, which has clear, helpful security recommendations (including breach warnings!) and a verification code generator. :)

This is a temping option because it’s fully integrated and built on iCloud Keychain. Although it’s not inherently multi-user, you can configure a single Mac with separate accounts for different users.


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37 days ago
i predict this is going to be a spectacular blunder.
Seymour, Indiana
35 days ago
I’m left wondering why. Is this change for its own sake? Greed? A dev push related to internal culture shifts?
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