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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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10.0.4 update released System
Check your Software Update panel - it's out there! This is from the Read Me:

"The 10.0.4 Update delivers a significant number of improvements for USB devices including additional external device support for iTunes CD burning, improved battery life for many PowerBook G3 systems, and Classic compatibility improvements. This update also provides the latest security updates to OpenSSH and 'sudo' services and includes support for Apple's newest digital flat-panel, the 17-inch Apple Studio Display."

The list of modified files is way too long to post here -- you can see it yourself by doing this from the terminal:
[prompt] cd /Library/Receipts/10.0.4Update.pkg/Contents/Resources
[prompt] lsbom
Don't type the [prompt], that's just my representation of your command-line prompt. This will show you all the updated files installed by the updater.

NOTE: Apple has released (for the first time!) update notes which detail exactly what was changed, in easy-to-understand language. Give them a read-through to see everything that was updated (and why!).
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Install X on older Macs System
Back in the OS X Public Beta days, Ryan Rempel created a hack to get OS X installed on older machines. Now, thanks to Other World Computing, he's been able to create an installer that handles a number of the older machines with the release version of OS X. Read all about it (and download the installer) on Other World Computing's OS X for Legacy Macs page.
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Move the Users folder to a new partition System
[Editor's note: There's a previously published tip on moving the Users' folder - but I felt this alternate method merited posting on its own. Check both tips if you're interested in moving your Users directory to a new drive or partition.]

I have three partitions on my dual G4. One for OS 9.1, one for OS X, and one I wanted to use as some file repository. However, OS X does not allow guest-sharing of files outside of the Public folder. So, I decided to try and have MacOS X recognize the other partition as the Users directory. This is what I did:

- su-ed to root
- gnutar cf users.tar Users/
- mv users.tar /Volumes/TargetDisk/
- cd /Volumes/TargetDisk/
- gnutar xf users.tar
- rename original Users folder to Users-old
- cd /
- ln -s /Volumes/TargetDisk/Users Users

Now a symbolic link exists where the original Users folders resided. Then, you have to log out and log back in again. After re-logging, you should see that the system recognizes the Users folder on the other partition as the one with your home directory.

The only problem I had, was that some aliases may not work anymore. For example, I have an alias to the Favorites.html in OS9.1 in my Explorer preferences. That one, I had to reestablish. Apart from this, it works smoothly.
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