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10.5: Set a FireWire drive's mount point
Authored by: aGr[j5(6WU on Oct 15, '08 12:20:17PM

I can answer one part for you: the reason it mounts on the Desktop is so you'll have a simple way through the GUI of ejecting the volume once you're finished with it. The volume you mount appears at the mount point as an alias of a mounted share, and of itself offers no "eject" functionality (i.e. right-clicking will not give you this option, nor will the File menu). Without the Desktop icon you'd be unable to eject the volume without Disk Utility or the Terminal. However, if this is something you'd be happy with, simply open the Finder preferences and elect not to have mounted volumes show on the Desktop or even the Sidebar. That'll take care of it.
I think it's likely, however, that another reason OS X insists on showing the mounted volume on the Desktop/in the Sidebar is so that you won't forget about it, and tug out the source hardware unwittingly. Something I know I'd be likely to do.

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