[Editor's note: Revised to reflect new links on Matt's own site]
PHP and mysql, when used together, provide a rich environment for creating dynamic database driven web pages. PHP is a script-like programming language that contains features that make it quite easy to pull data from mysql databases and integrate them into web pages. As an example of what they can do together, this site is created dynamically by PHP serving data from a mysql database (using a prewritten program known as GeekLog). Unfortunately, PHP support is not included in the standard Apache install that ships with OS X PB, and mysql is not part of the UNIX core installed by the PB.
Matthew Vaughn has created pre-packaged versions of both mysql and PHP which are easily installed via the Apple installer. He's also got the original Apache compressed online, in case you want to reverse the install. If you're truly adventurous, he also has a page of instructions on how you can build both components by yourself.
Matthew points out a couple of minor glitches with mysql, but everything works. There are also a couple of good threads on the MacNN boards about installation and autostart scripts for mysql.
I've found that the PHP site is a great place to get a handle on the language, and I've picked up the "SAMS Teach Yourself PHP4 in 24 hours" book as a reference.
So you want to get in on the latest Aqua craze and liquify your life? There are a few ways to create Aqua buttons, ranging from hard but rewarding (Photoshop files from scratch) to somewhat easier (copy/edit an existing Apple button). However, this is by far the easiest way I've found to do it.
A Japanese author, whose home page only hints at what his/her name might be ("Hide's Room"?), has developed Liquid Buttons. The button in this posting was created in about 10 seconds in Liquid Buttons.
You can download the program from "hshioura's" page on mac.com and try it out for yourself.
The biggest problem with the program (for us English speakers!) is that it's in Japanese, and you'll either get gibberish or Japanese text in the dialogs and menus. However, it's very simple to use, and trial and error will quickly lead you to the right way to create and save your buttons. A quick hint to get you started: design the words and colors you want, click the lower-left button, and then click the lower-right button to save your work.
Quite fun! If anyone knows more about the author, I'd love to provide more details...
If you don't like the basic screensaver that's included with OS X PB, epicware has made a number of additional modules available. These are free and easily installable, and you can find them all, along with installation instructions, over on Epicware's site.
Jordan Miller has created some custom login buttons and images to replace the standard OS X PB versions. This is a very easy hack that lets you further customize your OS X experience, and he has some nice looking images!
Surfing randomly the other day, I happened upon webmin, a collection of Perl scripts that are designed to help manage a UNIX system via a web-based front end. Webmin includes a mini web-server which serves up browser pages designed to help you visually manage a number of basic UNIX tasks, such as process management; scheduling tasks (including a visual scheduler, quite cool!); viewing system logs in real time, managing servers such as apache, dns, sendmail, and mysql; installing custom commands; and a numer of other key tasks.
You can get a flavor for the front-end from this screenshot of the Apache management panel. As you can see, it can customize nearly every piece of the Apache configuration file.
I downloaded and installed webmin just to see if it would work. It supports a huge number of UNIX variants, including freeBSD and Mac OS X Server. I told it I had OS X Server, and found that some modules worked, and some did not. The important ones (the scheduler, Apache configuration, system log browsing) all seemed to work fine. I had to edit a couple paths in the webmin settings, but this was easily done via the web browser.
One note of caution - this is a large package, consisting of over 4,000 files and 17+mb of disk space. It comes with a very nice installer and uninstaller, both of which worked as advertised ... with one exception. Make sure you install it on a volume with no spaces in the volume name, otherwise the installer will complain and fail.
Read the rest if you'd like to see how to install it.
User taylore posted on the MacFixIt forums (and gave permission for me to recreate here) a problem he noticed with Classic and sound output. Here's what he wrote:
"As users of Classic may know, you stop hearing sound output by Classic if you are playing sound from OS X simultaneously. This, for example, may explain why you're not hearing Eudora's New E-mail warning--particularly if you are playing MP3's through OS X.
Here's one I just discovered though:
If you have an MP3 selected in the frontmost window of the OS X Finder it will have the same effect!
The MP3 file doesn't have to be playing, the mere fact that it is selected will stop all sound output in Classic. Grrrr. Anyways, if you're having trouble getting sound to play from Classic (and it has been working previously), there's another thing to add to your checklist while troubleshooting."
The Stickies app in OS PB has some pretty cool features, including windowshades and styled text. However, one thing it seems to lack is a "Bring all windows to front" for when you have 300 stickies scattered on your desktop. If you click on a visible stickie from another app, you'll only get that stickie to come forward.
The only menu option is "Arrange all in front," which brings them all forward, but also stacks them like cards, forcing you to move them around again to read them.
The solution turns out to be simple ... just click on the Stickies icon in the dock. This will bring all the notes to the foreground while leaving them in their current positions. This is default behavior for apps when clicked from the dock, but it's most obvious with something like Stickies, where I tend to have a large number of small windows open.
There seems to be a recurring bug in the PB wherein you'll see a message which reads:
The System has detected a minor problem and corrected it - some of your preferences may be lost
Once you've seen this message once, you may see it over and over and over again. On the MacNN forums, "absmiths" found a solution to the problem. Do the following from a terminal to eliminate the message:
cd ~/Library/Preferences su root rm com.apple.finder.plist
If you now logout/login, the error message should have vanished.
As with all things beta, however, the effect of this on your system is neither known nor guaranteed!
If you feel the need to repair your OS X disk, you can try the "fsck" command. First boot your system into single user mode by holding s while it boots. When the "localhost@" prompt comes up, type the following:
This will launch OS X's disk check and repair tool.