I collected the following illuminative posts from Barry Sharp on system memory management from the Apple discussion boards.
- Dennis Hill
[Editor's note: Dennis suggested I cut this down to a concise summary, but I thought I'd just publish them as they were written by Barry; he obviously has a great deal of knowledge about Mac OS X! These emails were originally sent by Barry to Ted Landau at MacFixIt, and then were posted to the discussion group where Dennis found them. So if you'd like to learn a lot more about OS X's usage of memory, read the rest of this article. It's a bit long, and can get technical at times, but I found it very interesting.]
Stefan Arentz has discovered a security hole in Apache which affects Mac OS X Clients serving pages off of HFS+ formatted volumes and using .htaccess for protecting directories. Since HFS+ doesn't care about capitalization, but Apache does, you can access a protected directory (say "test") by using a version with capitalization ("tEsT"). Apache won't see this as a request for a protected directory, and HFS+ will return the file, since it doesn't care about the capitalization. Instant password protection workaround.
Stefan has posted a thorough description of the bug on SecurityFocus; check out the article for more information, along with a suggested workaround until Apple releases a patch of some sort (if they do).
If you are serving pages from an HFS+ disk, protected with .htaccess files on your OS X client box, this article and workaround are a must read!
Not sure if this has been posted here yet, but though it might be of interest. Turning your OSX box into a mailserver by replacing sendmail with Postfix. Very easy to follow guide and thorough explanations.
I tried everything I knew, or could find via Help, to get permission (booted in OS 10.0.3) to empty my trash, without success, including reinstalling OS X. I noticed something peculiar (after much trial and error): when first booting under 10.0.3, the Trash icon would show as empty, but as soon as it was clicked on, it appeared full.
Here's how I got things back to normal: while booted under X, I opened the trash (successfully), then double-clicked on the "Desktop (System 9)" folder and created a new folder. I then Selected All files in the OS X trash and dragged them to this new OS 9 folder.
The move was successful, and since then the OS X trash has behaved normally. The next time I booted under OS 9, I dragged the new folder (filled with OS X trash) to 9's Trash and successfully emptied it (using Option/Empty Trash, as some files were locked). I regained the appropriate amount of disk space, and the problem has not recurred as of this posting.
I don't know, but suspect, what happened: I think I must have put some files that originated under OS 9 into the OS X trash.
If you use the Address Book application, there are some pretty nifty things you can do with it. While reading this month's MacWorld (pick it up if you don't have it yet; they have some great OS X info in this edition!), they mentioned one tip I hadn't run into yet.
Open the address book, and click and hold on the little "person" icon next to any name. You'll see a mini business card appear, which can be dragged anywhere. Drag it onto the desktop, and a little "virtual business card" appears - simple double-click access for anyone's address. Drag it into a Cocoa application, and the field names and values for that card will be pasted as text. I'm sure there are more tricks, but those two are quite useful all by themselves. I haven't spent much time with the Address Book (keeping my fingers crossed for Palm!), but it's a handy little application.
Tip: How to easily keep your Powerbook from trying to connect to internet when on the road and off line.
Go to Network panel in System Prefs, Under the 'Locations' popup, select 'Edit Location'. Duplicate any existing location, and rename it something like 'Off-line'. Now go to the 'Configure' popup and select 'Advanced'. On this screen uncheck ALL of the connection types - and Save. Now you can switch easily at any time from the new 'Apple' menu's location sub-menu. When you select your new 'Off-line' location, your Powerbook will not keep trying to connect to internet.
I have a supported HP inkjet printer connected to my PowerBook via USB. The printer works great in OS X (especially with the new drivers), but I cannot print from classic. I am wondering if there is some majic set of extensions that need to be turned on or off to get something to print from Classic. It seems as if it the print job hangs in Print Monitor (Classic), and can not be passed on the Print Center (OS X). Has anyone figured this out yet?
After a lot of tryouts, I figured how to have the function keys F1, F2, etc., working (in Cocoa app only). In particular, I like to have F1 = undo, F2 = cut, F3 = copy, F4 = paste. As you will see I also have F9 = save (faster than Cmd-S) and F12 = check spelling.
If you're interested in defining your F-keys in Cocoa apps, read the rest of this article...
While looking for an easy way to access root UNIX directories in Finder, I have found following: Typing 'open /usr' in the terminal will open Finder window with the appropriate unix directory (in column view as a folder 'Private'). Also, typing 'open /private' will open a window with the root directories 'cores', 'Drivers', 'etc', 'tmp' and 'var'.
[Editor's note: You can also use the "Go -> Go to Folder" menu item and type the path to the folder to open a sub-folder; this doesn't seem to work (thanks sjonke!) for top-level folders.]