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Finder file rename bug identified System
Over in this MacNN forum thread, 'JoeyA' identified a rename bug in the Finder, which I've verified on my machine.

If you have a filename that is less than six characters in length and starts with a number, then you cannot modify the name to start with a zero. If you try in the Finder, the name will revert to the previous setting. The only workaround in the Finder is to lengthen the name to at least six characters and then add the zero (this can be one step). After the change is made, then you can re-shorten the name.

Alternatively, you can rename the file in the Terminal with (for example) "mv 3abcd 03abcd" and it will work fine.

Admittedly, this bug won't hit most of us, but if you're having trouble renaming a file with a leading zero, this appears to be the cause.
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ADSL USB Modem connection Network
I' m about to get an Alcatel ADSL modem in two weeks; the connection is PPPoA going through the USB modem. As far as I can find there are no drivers yet for this (a link here which is a BT unoffical FAQ.) So has anyone got a USB ADSL Modem working (PPPoE seems to be built into OSX already?, but of course BT requires me to use PPPoA via USB)

On the alcatel website there are drivers for Win32 Mac (Classic) and Linux. Any idea if the Linux can be compiled or another workaround?
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Modem initialization freezing the system in 10.0.4 System
There is a problem with my 10.0.4 that is increasingly apparent. Whenever I click on the Connect button in the Internet Connect application (used to dial up a PPP connection), my superb ultrafine preemptive multitasking goes to hell. Everything freezes, nothing responds, only the mouse is moving (rather hopping from place to place). Force quit of course does not appear either if I press cmd-alt-esc. I even rebooted several times, thinking that my OS X simply froze. But if you wait long enough, eventually everything resumes, the Mac dials up the connection and everything is fine. The delay caused is not fixed a varies from time to time.

My guess is there is a delay when setting up the modem with AT commands, some sort of hardware interupt which hogs the system. I have no direct evidence or solution, however.

Does anyone have any idea what's going on?
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Code Red and OS X firewalls Internet
Recently I started seeing lot of activity in my Apache logs. For those that don't know, they are at /private/var/log/httpd (access_log and error_log). The code was: - - [07/Aug/2001:04:06:38 -0700] "GET /default.ida?
%u8b00%u531b%u53ff%u0078%u0000%u00=a HTTP/1.0" 404 27
[Editor's note: Carriage returns inserted, and repetitive "X" characters snipped, to aid readability; this will appear as one line in your log].

If you're seeing this then it's not a threat to your system. It's someone's machine running windows NT 4.0 with IIS 4.0 or 5.0 enabled, Windows 2000 servers, or betas of XP with the Code Red worm running on their box. This probably means they don't know about it and it doesn't hurt us except it bloats your access logs. The information on it can be found at

I have a question. Is there a way to set a deny rule for this with ipfw. Anyone?
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Using tcpdump over a PPP connection Network
Tcpdump is great and I was looking ahead using it. The bigger was my surprise when I could not, because tcpdump does not recognize my PPP internet connection (or better the ppp0 device) as being configured. Apple's Network Utility has the same sort of problem (it shows only en0, even while being on-line via PPP). Here's an example:
root# ifconfig ppp0

ppp0: flags=8055 mtu 1500
inet --> netmask 0xff000000
root# tcpdump -i ppp0
tcpdump: ppp0: Device not configured
Please help - how can I get packet monitoring on PPP working??
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Debugging a RAM upgrade and slow OS X performance Install
[Editor's note: Here's a story of a user experience with a RAM upgrade that was anything but normal. If you upgrade your RAM at some point in the future and are faced with extremely slow system performance, you may want to remember this article's suggested fix...]

I recently installed additional RAM in my G4 450DP running OS X v10.0.4. I went from 640MB (128MB + 2x 256MB DIMMS) to 1128MB by adding a single 512MB DIMM. The installation was NOT routine.

The system ran normally before installation. After installing the DIMM, all system operations were noticeably slow. The boot process took longer than normal and even the insertion point in the login window blinked at a dramatically slower rate than normal. I could type my username and password blind and not see the character echo for close to 2 minutes.

Once logged in, all my login apps would attempt to start and then quit prompting the standard system message. It would take about 3-5 minutes between each app to get the quit-message. At no time was I able to do anything useful in any application. The system was just too slow. The pointer did move as fast as normal...the system was just unresponsive to clicks or drags.

Read the rest of this article for more detail on the troubleshooting Alex did, and his eventual solution...along with a question about why this happened.
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Use the Finder to browse hidden directories System
I discovered the following.

If you open the menu item "connect to server" and write localhost, you will be connected to the same machine on which you are working. You will asked the user for the login. If you choose a user with administrator priviledges, you will asked to connect either to the volume of that user or the to the entire volume.

If you choose the entire volume, you can navigate over the full set of directories of the volume. This means that you will be able to see also the classic Unix directories such as /etc, /usr, /tmp etc. In this manner, you can use the GUI to navigate to the hidden directories on MacOsX.

Just one warning: inside these directories, there are some UNIX links that are displayed as folders even if they point to normal files. If you click over some of these folders, the Finder seems to go to an infinite loop. In this case, in order to regain the control of the machine, press the button on the keyboard used normally to startup or shutdown the system. It will apperar a pop up window that will ask you to shutdown the system or to put it in "stop" mode.

If you choose "stop", the system will break the connection to the localhost server and then stops. Then, pressing a button of the keyboard, the system immediately restart without loosing anything except the freezing connection. You will be able to continue working normally.

[Editor's note: Interesting tip; I haven't yet tried this myself, but it seems like an alternate method to get to the hidden UNIX folders quite easily. Just watch that infinite loop caution!]
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Setting up sendmail for SMTP usage UNIX
I managed to set up sendmail as SMTP and have it actually start up properly during boot-time. The instructions can be found here:

It also explains why it did not work before.

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Changing a dockling's displayed name Desktop
I downloaded and started using the Prefling dockling (as suggested in a comment to my story on direct access to preferences). However, one thing I liked about my method was the rollover name in the dock was something meaningful to me. "Prefling" just didn't strike my fancy.

So I tried renaming the dockling in the Finder and then dragged it to the dock. No go; the rollover name was still "Prefling". A little experimentation found the solution, and it's fairly easy and should work for any dockling.

Make sure that the dockling to edit is not running - drag it out of the dock before you start. In the Finder, navigate to the dockling you wish to change; mine are in the standard Applications/Dock Extras folder. Control- or right-click on the dockling application itself and select "Show Package Contents". In the new window that opens, you should see (at least) a folder named "Contents". Open this, and you'll find "info.plist".

Open this file in a pure text editor (BBEdit lite, jedit, or use vi in the Terminal), and look for the following lines (these are from the Prefling dockling, but they'll be similar in all the docklings):


Change the text between the <string> tags and save your changes (make sure you save as text only!). Drag the app back to the dock, and you should see that the rollover now has the name you gave it.

To be safe, make sure you make a copy of the dockling before you start, just in case something goes wrong.
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Access's POP mail boxes from OS 9 Apps
If you're ever booted in OS 9 (as I was earlier) and have a need for something that's in your OS X mailbox (which I did), I found that that it's fairly easy to find that something from OS 9.

Apple's stores your mail in ~/Library/Mail. Inside that folder are a series of directories for each email account you have enabled, along with a folder called Mailboxes. Inside of Mailboxes, you'll see Deleted Messages.mbox and Inbox.mbox. These are both plain-text files which can be opened and searched by almost any text processing application; I used Alpha in OS 9. I was able to find the data I was looking for, and then closed the file (without saving any changes, of course!). Later, when I rebooted into OS X, I found that (as expected) the mailbox files still work normally in

I believe this only works for POP-style mailboxes where the mail is stored locally; I don't think it can be used to view your IMAP mailbox, for example.
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