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Use longer short names in Jaguar Install
One 'feature' on X that was giving me headaches was the eight character limit on short user names. This is a huge issue for migrating users in the future who already have long IDs.

So my coworker clean installs 10.2 today, and now he can enter a nine character short name. There are no longer any notes to use only eight characters, and no error is thrown when the user is created. Joy!

[Editor's note: I haven't tested this one on my machine.]
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Adjust volume while setup assistant is running Install
When you first install OS X, the Setup Assistant may blast the "Welcome" video music at a high volume. However, you can adjust the volume or even turn it off by pressing Option and one of the volume keys on your keyboard. This will launch System prefs in the background and you can drag it to the side of the Setup Assistant's splash screen and adjust the volume.

[Editor's note: We've published the hint on option-volume adjustments before, but this is a unique application of the shortcut! As an aside (and because I wanted it documented somewhere here on the site after searching the web for the last 20 minutes), the music playing during the "Welcome!" video is "Sofa Rockers" by Kruder and Dorfmeister.]
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Bypassing a stuck Setup Assistant Install
After installing MacOS X Server, I had one of the most frustrating times ever. The Assistant would lock before the last part of the config process, and quitting or killing the application would do nothing, except relaunch the whole thing again.

The only way I could find to get through this cycle was to generate the file the system uses to make sure the "First Time Assistant" is needed.

If you have the same kind of problem, just type the following from a remote connection or in single user mode (commmand S at start up):
touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
And you know what the best part is? YOU ARE DONE!
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Tips to expand zip archives with long filenames Install
This hint started as a tip from avanham, who wrote:
I downloaded the Java SDK 1.3.1 API documentation from and had always thought that some of the pages were missing because some of the links did not work. Recently, I discovered that they were, in fact, in the archive but that their names had been chopped short. This only happened with the long names like:


which ended up being something like:

The solution to this was to unzip the file into a UFS (BSD) formatted partition. I am not sure what the maximum length of an HFS Extended partition is, but obviously it is not enough.
This problem intrigued me, as both OS X and HFS+ support 255 character filenames, so I wasn't sure why UFS might be required to successfully expand the archive. A bit of experimentation seems to have found the answer.

Read the rest of the article for the results of my experiments with OS X, zip archives, long filenames, and the terminal.

If you'd rather skip the article, the conclusion of the experiment is ... to expand an archive that may have filenames in excess of 31 characters, use the terminal ('unzip') or OpenUp; StuffIt Expander does not appear to handle long filenames successfully, at least based on my research.
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Easily install hidden programs as startup items Install
I recently installed iTunes 2.0.4. As per the Read Me, I deleted the application and its Dock alias first. I also removed the iTunesHelper app from the Login Items pane of the Login System Preferences Panel, assuming that the iTunes installer would put a new one in its place.

It didn't, however. So how to get it back? I knew the iTunesHelper was hidden in the package, so I couldn't access it through Login's Add... button. I originally thought I'd just create an alias to the iTunesHelper and add that, but in the end I didn't need to. Just dragging the app onto the Login Items list is enough.

So, Show iTunes' package contents using the Finder's contextual menu. Navigate to the Resources folder, find iTunesHelper and drag it to the open Login Items pane. Done!
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Alternative method to opening a .sea file Install
If you have problems opening an '.sea' (self extracting archive) just replace the '.sea' extension with '.app'.

After I downloaded the last Espon 750 driver in '.hqx' format, Stuffit expanded the '.hqx' archive, then when I double clicked on the '.sea' file, stuffit launched and did nothing. So I hilighted the '.sea' archive, typed 'Command-i' and change the '.sea' extension to a '.app' extension. After all, an auto-extractible archive is a kind of application!

I then double clicked on the archive and it happily extracted itself.
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Delay system restart after installation Install
If you're performing one of those annoying installations that require you to restart your mac, but you really don't feel like it yet, you can cancel it by simply having an active process running in the terminal ('top' works just fine, though I always happen to have 'pine' open).

When the restart tries to quit the Terminal application, Terminal will yell at you and give you the option to cancel, which, if you select it, will cancel the logout altogether and let you restart when you feel like it.

This is unlike OS 9, which would allow you to delay a restart in order to save a document or close a connection in a telnet app, etc., but would continue the logout as soon as you quit the offending application.

[Sudo Editor's Note: You should really restart your machine if asked by an installer, as certain system functions may not perform properly until you do so.]
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Prevent Software Update failures Install
After applying the 10.1.3 update last night, I fired up but couldn't find the SSL option for the life of me. After a bit of investigation, I found the problem: The updates expect the Apple-provided applications to be kept where they were installed. For example, the updater expects to be located in /Applications/ During an obsessive-compulsive fit last month, I had organized all of my Applications into subfolders. I had moved into /Applications/Network. Apparently the OS has no way to keep track of such moves.

If you're obssesive like me, create a /Apps directory and categorize things under there. Leave all apps in /Applications--don't move them. Instead, create aliases (symlinks) to your new Apps directory.

[Editor's note: I would have bet this tip had been published here previously, but I don't believe it has. This is an annoying bug in Apple's current installer, and it's hopefully on their list of things to fix!]
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Some VISE installers fail if app is moved Install
I was having major problems with Office updates and Toast updates. My problem with the updater installers was different than the typical one, although I had seen frequent mention of it in online forums. You'd start the installer (Entourage/Hotmail and Network Security and Toast Titanium) and it would hang on "Gathering Information" until you force quit it.

The problem is that the VISE installer is looking for the program in the Applications folder on the same partition as the System folder. If it's not there, it can't find it and hangs, which happens with the Toast Titanium updater from VISE as well. This is a major problem as many people are installing OSX on its own partition, away from everything else, as a reinstall requires reformatting the system partition.

A quick fix is to uninstall Office, then reinstall it under Applications on the System partition. Updates like a dream. Then you can move it anywhere. But, I'm not sure what I'll do with the next update. It's clearly a problem the VISE folks need to work on.

[Editor's note: I can't vouch for this as I don't have Toast and Office v.X is installed in the Applications folder. Can anyone else verify the problem?]
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QT Streaming Server on OS X Client Install
QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS) can be installed without any problem even on MacOS X client. I know that this could be a stupid hint, but in every ReadMe about QTSS MacOS X Server 10.1 is required.

Checking the QTSS FAQ, I found that it's fully compatible with MacOS X Client, even if this configuration is not supported by Apple. The only disclaimer is that AppleCare does not support QTSS on OS X Client.
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