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10.6: Upgrade iStat Menus prior to Snow Leopard install Install
After installing Snow Leopard, all my menu bar icons disappeared. After some digging, I found out that version 1.3 of iStat Menus is not compatible with Snow Leopard (version 2.0, released shortly after Snow Leopard shipped, is compatible).

I had a problem, though, because the uninstaller is located within the iStat Menus System Preferences panel. Since the panel would crash every time I tried to open it in Snow Leopard, here's how I solved that problem. First, I downloaded the 1.3 installer from the web site, Control-clicked on the package and chose Show Package Contents from the contextual menu, and found the uninstaller tool in the Contents » Resources folder. As soon as I had this uninstalled, my menulets returned.

So make sure you upgrade to version 2.0 (assuming you're running 10.5) prior to upgrading to Snow Leopard. Alternatively, uninstall iStat Menus 1.3 before upgrading.

[robg adds: I modified this hint quite a bit, as it was submitted prior to the release of iStat Menus 2.0.]
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10.6: Install QuickTime Player 7 to black out other displays Install
One of Snow Leopard's many refinements is QuickTime X, which comes with a new, simplified version of QuickTime Player. The new player focuses on elegantly displaying video, but loses most of the editing capabilities that have been a core feature of QuickTime since 1991. The new version doesn't even have a Preferences window, and you'll notice that the QuickTime pane in System Preferences is gone too.

Fortunately, QuickTime Player 7 still works. In fact, the old version of the player (7.6.3) is a custom install option, and is also available as part of the Optional Installs package. The description says "for use with older media formats," begging the question of what else QuickTime X doesn't do. On the bright side, you don't need a QuickTime Pro key any more to take advantage of the editing features in QuickTime Player 7 (more value for your $29).

QuickTime Player 7 has the option of blacking out additional displays when playing a movie full screen. QuickTime Player X annoyingly doesn't have this option, which is quite distracting when trying to enjoy a movie without your work getting in the way. Here's a workaround if you have a Cinema Display: in Display Preferences, under options, you can program the display's power button to turn the display off. Voila, a black screen. I suppose if you have any other display you could just turn it off the normal way.

Comments on what other features from QuickTime Player 7 you wish were included in QuickTime Player X? Maybe eventually it'll grow a Preferences window again.
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Change Terminal prefs on the 10.5 and 10.6 install discs Install
If you're like me and you need accessibility options, then you know that the install disc (this hint works with both the 10.5 and 10.6 installers) poses many problems. Fortunately, there's a work around for that tiny 12 point font in Terminal.

When you open the Terminal app from the Install Disc, you can't access Preferences. Go to the Shell menu and click Show Inspector, or use Command-I. Now click the Settings tab. Double-click on any of the view options. This will change the window and bring up preferences in the background. I use the Homebrew settings, but with a 24 point font (normally, it's 20 and I use Universal Access.). Then I can click on the Change Font button and it works just fine. You have access to the other settings as well.

Note that I wouldn't change every setting, because they won't be saved the next time you use the installer.
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10.6: What to do if asked to find System Install
I just installed 10.6 over 10.5, and when I restarted the final time, a window came up right after login asking for me to locate system

I called Apple Support, and their advice was just to hit Cancel. The window doesn't come back on future reboots, but this does seem to happen once for each account on the machine.

Just wanted to share that it seems to be safe to cancel it.

[robg adds: I haven't seen this on any of the four Macs I've upgraded here; not sure what might trigger the event.]
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10.5: Set up Clojure on Leopard Install
Clojure is a hot new programming language on the Java platform that's getting lots of attention lately, but setting up a development environment on OS X can be a bit of a pain.

To make things simpler, I created ClojureX, a free set of scripts and installation instructions for this task. ClojureX can:
  • Download and build the source code for Clojure, clojure-contrib and JLine (a readline like library for Java)
  • Download editor support packages for TextMate and Emacs
  • Create a symlink for the Clojure startup script in /usr/local/bin
  • Install support for TextMate via the clojure-tmbundle
  • Configure Emacs to use clojure-mode, Slime and swank-clojure
  • Keep your Clojure installation up to date via a simple git submodule update && ant
More info can be found in this blog post.

[robg adds: Just in case the source ever vanishes, I've created a mirror on Mac OS X Hints. However, your best bet for the latest and greatest is via the link to the tree on github.]
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10.6: A caution on changing brightness during install Install
Just a short tip for those about to install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. When you insert the DVD to install 10.6, the installer does something a little different than previous installers -- it pre-installs a bunch of stuff onto the 10.4/10.5 machine before it reboots with the DVD to finish the installation. I guess this is done to speed up the installation.

Anyhow, during this process, do not be tempted to turn down the brightness of your screen while this is happening. I did that, and when the machine rebooted from the DVD, the brightness of the screen was turned down to zero and I couldn't see anything.

So, do not turn down the brightness, even one above zero (which is what I did), or you will be faced with a black screen because the brightness keys do not work in the installer boot. Fortunately, I had another drive with an installation that was able to boot my Mac, and I turned up the brightness and rebooted again to continue with the installation.
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Triple boot a Mac mini with OS X, Ubuntu, and Windows Install
Over the last few days I, have been struggling with installing Windows XP and Ubuntu on my Mac Mini, while of course retaining Mac OS X as the primary OS. Why triple boot? Well, because only Ubuntu can repair ext3 filesystems. Or because only Windows can run Mobipocket Creator. But most of all, because it is possible. Here I will describe the process and caveats I ran into.

Goal: Install three OSes on the Mac Mini, which is a March 2009 Mac Mini (2.0GHz. 2GB 1066 MHz DDR SDRAM, GeForce 9400M integrated graphics, 320GB HD, 8x SuperDrive, Mini DisplayPort and mini-DVI, five USB ports, one FireWire 800 port). The objective is to install Mac Os X 10.5.8, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, and Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit (using ubuntu-9.04 desktop--amd64.iso).

Read on for the step-by-step how-to...
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10.5: Create an updated OS X install on a to-be-sold Mac Install
When reselling or gifting a pre-owned Mac, it's convenient to ship it without any accounts, but with all updates and legally-included packages. This is actually quite simple to do. This process uses a number of well-known techniques, which are listed in the order that they are executed. Boot the Mac's original or retail Leopard Install DVD (Hold the 'C' key during startup). When selecting the drive during the OS X install, click the Options button and set it to 'Erase and Install' for a clean install.

Once the initial install is complete, reboot again to the Install Disk. After selecting the default language, immediately choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu. Set the password for the System Administrator (root) user and click the Save button. Quit out of Password Reset, and quit again out of the Installer to restart the Mac. Hold Command-S during restart to enter Single User Mode. Enter the following to turn off the Welcome sequence:
$ /sbin/fsck -fy
$ /sbin/mount -uw /
$ touch /private/var/db/.AppleSetupDone
$ exit
The Mac will now boot to the login window. Log in as root with the password previously set above.
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An AppleScript app to force Setup Assistant to run Install
There have been past hints (in 10.5; from 2001) about how to force the initial Setup Assistant to run again, but these methods were both very manual and required booting in Single User mode.

I've created an AppleScript app -- Clean -- that will allow you to 'clean' any attached OS X volume (other than the current startup volume). The script removes all the home folders, and the netinfo database (Tiger) or user info plist's (Leopard+), then forces the initial Setup Assistant the next time the 'cleaned' volume is booted. The application is completely written in AppleScript and can be edited, so feel free to make whatever customizations and modifications you want.

This allows you to take a fresh OS X install, add any software and run any updates you'd like, and then give it to the end user as though it were a brand new system. It's also useful if you're selling your Mac and just want to clean off all your info.

[robg adds: I have mirrored the program here on macosxhints, in case the original ever vanishes (Clean Newest versions will be found at the author's link, so check there first. I've looked through the source of the script, and it looks fine, but I haven't tested it myself. It is destructive, of course, so make sure you know what you're doing before using it.]
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Installation tips for a 10.5/Boot Camp hard drive upgrade Install
I just upgraded my MacBook Pro to a new hard drive and wanted to share the easy way I used to get everything back on the new drive. I had researched this topic and many of the articles I found were old. This method definitely works with the latest software used as of March, 2009. In my case, I'm running OS X 10.5 with a Boot Camp partition running Windows.

Assumption: You have a Time Machine backup of OS X on a separate FireWire/USB drive.

Before removing the old hard drive, you need to back up your Windows installation. (OS X is covered by Time Machine, so no worries there.) Use Winclone to image your Windows Boot Camp partition to your external FireWire/USB drive. Then replace the old hard drive with the new hard drive.

Begin install of 10.5, and after the language selection screen, choose Restore from Backup from the menu at the top of the screen (mouse over that area to see the menu). Choose the Time Machine backup you want to restore from. It took an hour or two for a 120GB OS X backup to be restored. At this point, OS X is back exactly as it was, except for minor things like Spotlight indexes. So go ahead an log in.

Now run Boot Camp Assistant and create a partition for Windows -- it can be larger than your previous partition without causing any problems. Then use Winclone to restore your Windows image to the new Boot Camp partition. This took about 90 minutes for my 32GB backup. When done, boot into Windows. It may want to check the disk; I let it do so. When this task finished, Windows rebooted and everything worked great -- it even expanded the Windows disk for me from my original 32GB to 40GB.
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