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Cron and seti@home UNIX
This has become a major area of frustration for me. Specifically, I'm trying to get the command line version of setiathome to kick off on startup (and automatically if it goes down). In the past, I've had no problems with getting the Rhapsody version of seti@home running in a cron job, but that was before MacOS X as we know it came along. To make a long story short, I have tried every variation of users' crontabs to get this line in the cron execution pipe, and nothing seems to want to kick the process off. I have even resorted to Cronnix (excellent app) to get the job done. The line as it appears in my various crontabs:
0 * * * * cd [path to my seti dir here];[space]
./setiathome -nice 19 > /dev/console 2> /dev/console
[Editor's note: Line break inserted for readability; it's really one line, and replace '[space]' with a true space character.]

I'm on the verge of giving up, but postings on this site have given me hope (someone is making this command work).

Perhaps I'm missing something really obvious, but in any case, I need help. How do you make a cron job kick off? What am I missing -- or misunderstanding? Links to a good Cron or MacOS X (or FreeBSD) UNIX tutorial?
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Mac OS 9.2.1 update available online System
Apple has quietly released the OS 9.2.1 update. It's available now on the Mac OS X home page - look for the "Classic Update" link on the right-hand side of the page. It's an 82mb file, and both one-piece and multi-part downloads are available. It does not show up (yet?) on Software Update.

Important: From the online Read Me file:

"You can install this version of Mac OS 9.2 on any of the following computers: Power Mac G4, Power Macintosh G3, PowerBook G4, PowerBook G3 (except the original PowerBook G3), iMac, and iBook."

In other words, OS 9.2.1 can only be installed on machines that are capable of supporting OS X. The Read Me contains no information detailing what's been changed, other than offering "improved Classic compatability."
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Apps won't launch System
A few days ago I noticed a small problem with my OS X installation on my Beige G3 266 desktop... iTunes simply will not launch!

I don't know if anyone else has had a problem with their applications not launching, but I've tried a few remedies. I trashed all iTunes preferences, gotten rid of the "Music Library File" and reinstalled iTunes from scratch. All to no avail.

I have compared permissions to other OS X machines and those and everything else seems to be identical. Thus it seems to be some sort of problem besides iTunes.

Anyway, has anyone else had issues with any applications not launching? The specific symptom is that the dock icon will bounce once and then cease to do anything.

Thanks for any help!
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Outside access to local Apahce server Network
I am attempting to serve a site off my home machine (a G3 w/cable modem connection). I successfuly (I thought!) installed Apache-PHP-MySQL using the hints on this site. I have been happily coding PHP pages, creating and using MySQL databases, etc., and everything works like a charm when I view locally.

However, no one can seem to access the site from outside. Specifically, I have pointed (via a free domain hosting service) to my IP address; the redirection works, but then the browser hangs at "Connecting to [IP address]..."

This is mysterious to me because:

1) When I view the site "locally", I do NOT use, but rather the IP address assigned by my ISP (this is assigned using "DHCP" but does not change; I've checked numerous times). I thought this meant my request would go out over the internet and "re-enter" my box from the outside, but apparently not...

2) I KNOW I was able to access the site from outside in the past, and don't know what has changed in the meantime!

I've tried serving from /Library/WebServer/Documents as well as Users/pwebster/Sites and neither seems to work. I even messed around with various settings in httpd.conf, including Port, Listen, etc., thinking it was my ISP blocking Port 80, but to no avail. Ditto with pwebster.conf, .htaccess files, etc.

Anyone had this problem and/or have suggestions as to a fix? This is driving me absolutely crazy! Thanks in advance...
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Finding missing services System
I recently downloaded OmniDictionary from the OmniGroup and was wondering why it wasn't appearing in the Services menu. I found the following on the Omni Group web site: -

Mac OS X 10.0 only registers Services from aplications installed in /Applications, /Developer/Applications, or subfolders thereof, so if you want to use the Service provided by OmniDictionary you'll need to install it in one of those locations. Services can be provided by applications installed in /Network/Applications if the NSServicesFromNetworkApplications default (in NSGlobalDomain) is set to YES.

In order to keep my /Applications folder clean I had been placing apps that I had installed into a sub-folder of /Applications called User Applications. Once I moved my apps in /Applications I had several new entries in Services (OmniDictionary being one), woo-hoo!

The information on the OmniGroup web site implies that apps in subfolders of Applications would register as services (if applicable), but this doesn't seem to be the case.
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Pop-up folder substitute Desktop
Here's a substitue for pop-up folders. It works best with Finder windows, but can be applied for others.Take a window, resize it to a small size but so that you can still see the name of the window, and drag it to the bottom on the screen (should only see the title bar). Now hitting zoom will reveal the window in full. Hitting zoom again will return the window to the bottom of the screen. This is easier to use when the dock is is located on the side of the screen. Enjoy.
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Deleting or renaming badly named files UNIX
In the spirit of learning from others' mistakes, I'm sharing the following slightly embarassing story.

In the process of trying to use my web host's Linux OS "tar" command to compress a directory while excluding another, I managed to create a file called "-X". When I went to delete the mistakenly-named file, I quickly found myself stuck. Typing "rm -X" didn't work, because 'rm' interprets the "-" as the sign for a command-line switch, and it doesn't know what to do with "-X" as an option, leading to "unknown option" errors.

Thinking I was smarter than the box, I then tried to use the various UNIX quote characters to 'mark' the hyphen: rm "-X", rm \-X, and rm '-X'. None of these worked; each generated the same error message about unknown options. On my Mac, I would have simply used the GUI and dragged the file to the trash. On the Linux box, though, I was stumped - no GUI available, and a badly named file stuck in my directory.

One amusing ("You won't believe what I've done now...") call to a UNIX-knowledgeable friend provided two options. The first is to use two hyphens to let 'rm' know that there are no command-line switches: rm -- -X. The second is to refer to the file via its relationship to the parent directory: rm ./-X. Either of these will work just fine to delete the file (or you could use "mv" with the same syntax to rename it if you want to keep the file).

At least with OS X we have the option of using the GUI to correct our stupid mistakes! As such, there's an easy way out for X users ... but perhaps this story will save someone some command-line frustration at some point in the future. And please, all you advanced UNIX wizards out there, hold the snickering to a minimum! ;-)
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Keep a folder in a standard state Desktop
If you want to keep a folder in a standard state (for whatever reason) then the following is one way of doing it (I'm sure there are others). Making the folder read only is another way, but this may not be what you want to do.


Create a list of the files in the directory that you want to keep standard e.g. the root level of your hard drive ( '%>' represents the prompt):
%> cd /
%> ls >/filelist
This creates a file at the top level of your hard drive called 'filelist', which we'll use to compare contents to. If you are using this to keep the top level of your hard drive clean then run 'ls >/filelist' twice so the 'filelist' file does not get deleted or moved!).

Now if you execute the commands:
%> cd /
>%> rm -r "`ls | grep -v -x --file=/filelist`"
it will delete all files and folders in root except those listed in the file called "filelist".

or (a safer way to go about cleaning the top level of the hard drive!)
%> cd /
%> mv "`ls | grep -v -x --file=/filelist`" ~/Documents/
which will move all files and folders not listed in the filelist from root to the current logged in users 'Documents' folder (or any other path you care to specify).

One use for this is to make the last example into a shell script that would run at startup (discussed elsewhere on this site) and this would then move all files that had been saved loose on the HD (root) to the users Document folder, thereby keeping the hard drive tidy.
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Use regexps on header filters Apps
The default header filters in will fail to filter out headers like "Delivered-To:". To fix this, in the Preferences --> Viewing panel, on the Show Header Detail pop-up, click Custom then double click on the "To" filter, and change it to "^To:".

These filters are Regular Expressions, or regexps. They are patterns that match text. In regexp, a caret (^) at the beginning of the string means "the string starts with".

^To: - matches only strings that start with "To:".

The original pattern "To" happens to match the word "To" at the end of "Delivered-To". That's why you see that extra header line.

[Editor's note: regexps are incredibly powerful, and for those new to UNIX (like myself!), incredibly obtuse and confusing. I've been doing some reading on the web about them, and I found a tutorial written by Jan Borsodi which I found to be thorough and easy to read. Worth a view if you'd like to know more of what you can do with regexps; "^" is just the tip of the (large!) iceberg!]
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Using Get Info the easy way Desktop
Until now I had been using Get Info the hard way, open and close for each file, but recently, I noticed by accident that by not closing the "Get Info" window and just clicking on a drive, a file, folder, or an application ... I noticed that the information was updated on the fly.

I'm sure this is old news to some but for me it saves a few key strokes and was a nice touch. :-)

[Editor's note: The one-window Get Info interface has both pros and cons ... this tip is the "pro" side; the "con" side is that it's very hard to compare more than two files at once. If you have just two, it's pretty easy to click back and forth and note the difference. If you have three, it's just tedious. Personally, I'm hoping for an option for multiple Get Info windows at some point in the future]
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