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Cocoa "optimizer" application System
I wrote a silly little Cocoa application that will optimize the system in the same fashion that installing the development tools optimizes the system.

http://www.codefab.com/unsupported/Xoptimize_v0.1.dmg
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Installing just the printer drivers Install
When I installed OSX for the first time, I deselected the "Additional Printer Drivers" option to save drive space. However, when I purchased an Epson 777i last night, I didn't have the OSX drivers I needed, and you can't download them from Epson.

If you try to run the OSX installer from the CD-ROM, it prompts you to startup from the CD. If you start up from the CD and run the installer, it wants to reinstall ("update") the entire system. The solution is to double-click on the installer Package on the CD-ROM, located at:

Mac OS X Install CD/System/Installation/Packages/AdditionalPrinterDrivers.pkg

This launches an installer which just installs the additional printer drivers.

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Rename the trash can Desktop
If you find the word 'Trash', which appears when you mouse over the trash can in the dock, to be not quite what you want, it's easy to change. Open a terminal and type:
% cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj
% sudo vi InfoPlist.strings
(don't type the % signs; those are the command-line prompt symbols)

This one-line file contains the name for the trash can. Change the name, save the file (in vi, use 'w!' to override the read-only warning), quit the dock (see the comments for a clean way to do this!), it will restart, and you'll have a new name on your trash.
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Problems with Apple's package installer System
Scott Anguish of Stepwise has written a very good article that discusses some serious problems with Apple's package installer program. It's a bit technical at times, but a couple of key tidbits include:
  • If a package installer encounters a directory that already exists, it will set its permissions and ownership to the permissions of the version in the archive. If the installer maker wasn't very careful with the permissions settings, you may find your Applications folder has new permissions which make it impossible to use (jCalendar originally shipped with such a problem, and the author has now switched to a disk image installer as a result)

  • If you have a symbolic link that points to another directory (if you've moved your Applications directory, for example, and replaced it with a link to the new location), the installer will replace the link with a directory, and any files below that directory will be installed in place. This can also have serious side effects, including disabling your system completely.

  • If the installer package requires your password to launch, then code inside the package that's owned by root will be executed with full root privileges. This makes it very easy for malicious code to damage areas of your system which would normally be protected.
In short, until Apple resolves the problems with the installer maker, you should treat any .pkg file with extreme caution - it could easily disable key portions of your system, and it would be fairly trivial for a malicious hacker to create an installer that does a number of Very Bad Things using root privileges.

This is a tricky situation, as some products (such as mySQL and PHP) seem to require an installer, based on their need to put pieces in a number of locations. In general, avoid the package installers if you can, but if you can't, make sure you (a) have a backup of important data before proceeding, and (b) know and trust the source of the package.
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Remove extra printer drivers System
If you navigate to /Library/Printers, you'll see folders for Canon, Espon, and HP printers. There's no real need to keep the printer drivers lying around for printers you don't have, so you can remove the extra folders to free up some drive space. Since these folders are owned by root, you'll need superuser status to delete them.

Once you cd /Library/Printers, you can just type sudo rm -r [directory_name], where [directory_name] is one of EPSON, Canon, or hp (do NOT type the square brackets). Note that if you do this, future use of any of the deleted printers will (obviously) require re-installation of the drivers. Use at your own risk, but my Canon and hp driver folders have been gone for weeks with no real problems.
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Boot into Aqua from single user mode UNIX
If you boot into single user mode [Editor: command-S at startup; this is the mode from which you can run a file system check, fsck] you can boot into Aqua/Finder by typing:

exit

This appears not to work if you've mounted the drive with write access. It also works if you've entered single user from Aqua by typing the following in the Terminal:

sudo shutdown now
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Keychain locking out mail.app access System
Rob F. wrote in with an issue a few days ago:
I had been running in OS 9.1 for a couple of days. When I booted back into OSX tonight and started mail, I was asked for my keychain password. I have never opened Keychain but no problem, I thought, and typed my user password. No go. So how do I get around this issue?"
Rob F. later wrote back with the solution ... so if you're locked out of an OS X application due to a keychain you haven't used, read the rest of the article for instructions on how to fix the problem.

Thanks to Rob for submitting the solution, and my apologies for the delays in getting it published!
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Enabling mod_dav with Apache 1.3.19 and PHP Internet
This is really only relevant if you've followed the instructions from StepWise on how to configure and install Apache 1.3.19 and PHP 4.0.4pl1. What I discovered was that when you restart Apache, it will basically hang because of an error related to the apxs binary in /usr/sbin (take a look in the Console app for the exact error).

If you want to run your web server with WebDAV capabilities enabled on it, you will need to download the latest version of mod_dav, configure and install it, replacing the pre-installed module for Apache. The information for installing mod_dav can be found on the mod_dav site, but I will summarize it here.

Read the rest of the article for an excellent how-to on installing WebDAV support onto your new Apache...

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Quick hide/show of toolbar customize panel Desktop
Try shift-clicking the Finder toolbar show/hide widget (in the upper right-hand corner) - the toolbar customization pane will appear! Cool!

Shift-click again, and it disappears!

Daniel J. Wilson
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Fix for PHP bug reporting error UNIX
If you create a PHP page in Dreamweaver or similar Macintosh application, any bugs will be reported as being on line 1, no matter where they are. This is because the PHP parser is expecting Unix style line breaks. Since it doesn't find them, it thinks the entire page is all one line. This doesn't hurt the running of the PHP code, but it does make it very hard to find any typos or other bugs in the code.

The easiest way to fix this is to open the PHP document in BBEdit and Save As. Click on the OPTIONS button, and select Unix line breaks.

Also, if you are looking for a good SQL tutorial, with a live SQL server, check the following URLS:

www.sqlcourse.com
www.sqlcourse2.com
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