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LaCie USB floppy drive support in OS X System
I bought a LaCie USB Floppy along with my G4/450 DP, and of course the fact that OS X dosn't support it is rather frustrating. Even more so that LaCie offered no support on this drive whatsoever! The drive is not manufactured by LaCie at all, it's made by Y-E Data, a company in Japan;

They call it "USB Floppy Disk Drive FlashBuster-U" and "USB FDD SNAP-ON Color Cover Model". There are two other variants; one made for the early iMacs, and one for Windows. Just now, I received a mail from Y-E Data:
Apple will support USB FDD on Mac OS X with built-in driver. But current version of Apple's Mac OS X driver has problem with mount and un-mount operation. Please wait. Apple will fix this problem on future update.

If you want force to take USB Floppy on current version:
  1. Do not install driver from driver CD-ROM. USB floppy drive work with Built-in Driver of Mac OS X.
  2. Insert Floppy Disk to USB Floppy before connecting USB Cable.
  3. Connect USB Cable to your Mac.
  4. Floppy will mount on your Mac.
But, you could not un-mount and change floppy disk.

Apple release Mac OS update 10.0.4, we already test it but, it has still problem. Please wait Apple's next update.

Yoshi Sasaya Y-E DATA INC.
It's not a perfect solution, but it does help a bit. Thanx to Mr. Sasaya for his help! ;-)

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Use the clipboard in the terminal UNIX
Over on the MacNN forums, "kvm_mkdb" posted a couple of useful commands regarding the Mac OS clipboard. If you're in the terminal, and want the output of a command on the clipboard, you can easily get it. For example, to dump a detailed directory list to the clipboard, just type:
ls -al | pbcopy #
You can then paste the contents of the clipboard using pbpaste:
pbpaste > somefile #
This would send the clipboard contents into "somefile". Of course, that's not a great example, as you could have just sent the directory list to the file in the first place (ls -al > somefile). However, it's more useful if you want to paste into a GUI-based application such as Word or BBedit. No more mouse selection required; simply use pbcopy, switch to the GUI app, and hit command-V.

I can't find a 'man' page or help file for either of these commands - anyone know if there are more options available?
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Uptime stats in OS X? System
I am curious how long people have been able to keep their OS X systems up and running without a reboot for any reason. If you are not sure how to check this go to the terminal and type
It will then return something like:
6:00PM up 8 days, 15:04, 1 user, load averages: 1.24, 1.37, 1.45
The bit that says up 8 days 15 hours is what I am interested in. Reasons for rebooting would also be of use. For example I have found that over time my idle process time goes down so drastically that I must periodically reboot to improve overall system responsiveness and stability. But I also tend to get a kernel panic every 5-8 days as well. Others may find that they have to reboot into OS 9.x to use some app. 8.5 days is the longest I have been able to remain up thus far. I look forward to hearing about this...

[Editor's note: Seems like a reasonably interesting topic, given the relative lack of OS X news lately! Chime in ... my current uptime is 2 days, 23:15. Last reboot was due to a need to burn an iDVD.]
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Shell script for copying files and resource forks UNIX
Lots of people have been complaining or commenting on how there is no way to use the 'tar' command to backup, share, archive, copy, etc. files on the Mac that have resources and desktop information. Well after a few days of trial and error I have found a way.

I call it "tarw" - The tar Wrapper.

tarw is essentailly a perl script that uses the tar command to archive files individually. This allows you to archive resource forks, desktop files any data that you can get your hands on essentially. The current version simply ads support for resource forks and desktop information like creator, type and attributes. In the future who knows what is possible.

I have placed a gzipped file "tarw.tgz" on my iDisk you are free to download at:

To use the program, simply download and extract it. There is a readme file included with it.
Please provide feedback to this posting or if you like e-mail me I would love to hear what people have to say about it.

Good Luck and long live the Mac.

[Editor's note: I haven't tried this myself yet, but it sounds like a handy command-line utility!]
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10.0.4 resolves (some?) USB issues System
Just a quick note to let you know: I have a Logitech USB optical 2-Button Wheelmouse (3-button if you include the wheel!). It used to freeze if left unused for more than about 15-20 minutes. Pointer would not move, but mouse seemed to be registering the movement (optical LED lights up).

With update 4, I have not had a freeze in 4 days. Seems they fixed some USB issues - Yipee!!

Geoff Saulnier - Mac, *NIX, perl, hack!!
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Leaving messages 'unread' in Apps
By default, Apple's will mark a message as 'read' as soon as you click on it. There's no preference setting to prevent this from happening, but a member of the Apple mail team gave one workaround on the X4U mailing list.

Simply move the "preview" horizontal divider (the line that separates the incoming mail list from the message body) all the way to the bottom of the screen. The easiest way to do this is to double-click the line itself. This causes the Preview panel to vanish, and messages will no longer be marked read as soon as you click on them.
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Available memory and printing problems System
Symptom: Print Center says your document is printing, but nothing is happening.

If you have a printer supported by X that prints sometimes but not at others, it may be that you have too many applications open, thus preventing Print Center from getting the RAM it needs. I've discovered that X (any build) doesn't provide an error message saying "there is not enough memory for this task" (or some such).

Like many others, I've gotten in the habit of leaving my frequently-used apps open all the time, and with 617 Mgs of RAM, I thought I had plenty of memory to spare.

But on trying to print some docs, the Print Center would open and say the doc was printing (no error message) when in fact nothing was happening. When I tested with a one-word doc ("testing") it would print fine.

I quit several other apps, and now my more complicated doc printed just fine.

So if suddenly your printer is unresponsive, try again with fewer applications open in the background!

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Advanced FTP server setup info Network
A reader is looking for information on some advanced FTP server options in OS X. He's tried the various boards and had no luck, so I'm posting here in case there are any answers out there. He writes:

I've looked near and far and have heard from many other people the same problem. Finding a concise document to set up a FTP server on OS X is hard to find. Basically I am looking for some tips on these few tasks which I can not figure out and I believe would help many other OS X newbies:
  1. I have set up a ftpchroot file to resrict users to their home directories, but how do I provide them a link in their home directory to a community folder for all of them to upload and download from?
  2. How do I limit access to say two logins per user, and limit their bandwidth?
  3. How do I go about setting up groups in user administration say so that all FTP users would be in thier own user group of FTP?
If anyone could shed some light on these relatively simple tasks which are complicated to us newbies please please feel free to provide some answers. Thank you.
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Command-release dock submenus Desktop
If you command click an item in the dock, it reveals that item. But I noticed that this also works if you are inside a folder's popup menu in the dock and command release on an item. It will reveal that menu item in the Finder.
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Resolve SSH problems in 10.0.4 UNIX
I have seen some scattered reports of problems connecting to other systems using 10.0.4 (which includes OpenSSH 2.9p1, according to Apple's documentation). The connection begins, but then terminates with the message "Disconnecting: Bad packet length -898731090", or just fails to connect. To help debug the problem, you can try using SSH with a -v option, which is verbose mode and will show you the details of the connection attempt.

The X4U mailing lists have had some discussion on this topic, and have come up with three possible solutions:
  1. Try connecting with the 'blowfish' encryption scheme (ssh -c blowfish
  2. Compile and install OpenSSH 2.9p2 on your OS X box (there are instructions on StepWise)
  3. Upgrade the other machine (if you can) to OpenSSH 2.9p1 or later
  4. Try forcing SSH to use SSH1 instead of SSH2 (ssh -1 [noticed on MacFixit this morning]
  5. Regenerate your SSH keys (use ssh-keygen at the command line) [from the comments below]
Each of the above methods has worked for at least one user. Personally, SSH is working for me just as it did before the upgrade, but if you're having troubles, try one of the above solutions.
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