I noticed on MacFixIt today that someone commented on the system.log file getting filled with data from the Adaptec SCSI drivers. So I took a look at system.log in the /var/log directory, and was surprised at what I saw:
May 15 10:01:41 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, freeze May 15 10:01:41 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateGenerationChange (nop) May 15 10:01:41 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, unfreeze May 15 10:01:42 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, freeze May 15 10:01:42 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateGenerationChange (nop) May 15 10:01:42 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, unfreeze
As you can see, all those messages were written in the span of two seconds. My system.log file was over 5.5mb in size, and the system had backed up about six previous logs, all over 2mb in size. You can see these in the list as system.log.0.gz, system.log.1.gz, etc.
I deleted the backup log files, and will remove the drivers later tonight (see the Adaptec ReadMe for instructions on how to do so).
So if you've noticed some vanishing drive space, and have the Adaptec drivers installed, check your log files!
I'm pretty sure almost everyone has tried the trick of putting an alias of your hard drive(s) in the dock. However, this thread on the MacFixIt boards has a great tip from 'johnq' for putting one icon with all your drives (including removables) into just one dock icon. The process basically involves creating a symbolic link (from the terminal) to your /Volumes folder, and then making an alias of that symbolic link so that you can use a customized icon in the dock.
Head on over to MacFixIt and read all about it! Quite cool...
[Editor: I haven't installed Tomcat on my machine, but just glancing at the page of instructions linked here shows them to be easy to follow and clearly written. Probably well worth the visit if you want to get Tomcat and Apache working happily in X.]
The /etc/hosts file by default is ignored by OS X. Though it is possible to import hosts into the "machines" directory (see tips here on macosxhints), there is also a way to configure lookupd so it consults /etc/hosts directly.
lookupd can use different agents to lookup hosts: e.g. DNSAgent which consults DNS, FFAgent which consults local files like /etc/hosts, and CacheAgent which will keep a local cache. The trick is to tell lookupd which agents to use in which order.
Read the rest of this article if you'd like the details on making OS X use your local hosts file before it uses the DNS servers.
[Editor's note: I highly recommend that you do not use a root-enabled GUI Finder unless you really really know what you're doing. It's easy to do Very Bad Things to your system without truly intending to do so. With that warning, this is actually a fairly interesting trick. Use at your own risk, of course!]
I had to move around a bunch of files in the /usr directory and I really loathe using mv and cp in the CLI. It's so cumbersome! Of course, you can't drag-and-drop, because the user you're logged in as has no write privileges to /usr. There's a simple way around this, however.
Read the rest of this article if you're interested in creating a root-access Finder.
OK, i know its been said in various ways on this site, but i'll say it again, as i found out today how similar OS9+ and OS X are. If something changes in your OS X enviroment, some configuration, the look of your desktop, your mailbox has suddenly added more boxes, folders are in the wrong place, or like me, all of your invisible files become visible, SCRAP THE PREFERENCES relative to the change.
if you're unsure if it's the preferences, then login as someone else and see if it stays the same, if it doesn't, its more than likely to be a prefence change, so dump it in the trash. you wont have to delete it, it wont work from the trash. after you RESTART, if the problem still hasn't changed, you can move it back (say yest to "replace new with old") no harm done. OS X isn't that different after all.
[Editor's note: I published a similar tip back in December, but it bears repeating. It's good advice, and you can find your user's preference files in your home directory, then in Library/Preferences]