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Install Java 1.5 onto 10.3 Panther Install
Download the J2SE 5.0 for Tiger file from the Apple website. Drag the resulting .pkg file onto the Desktop, control-click on it, and choose Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Navigate into Contents and trash the InstallationCheck file. Finally, run the pkg file, and there ya go!

Now you can put the new Java onto 10.3, even though Apple says you can only put it on 10.4.

[robg adds: I have not tested this one, and I have no idea if there are any dependencies in 10.4 that would prevent the new Java from working properly (even though it's installed) under 10.3. If you know more, please feel free to comment...]
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Change Apple's installers to update non-boot volumes Install
Some of Apple's software updates won't let you update any volume but the one with the boot system. This is limiting when you want to make a pristine system on a separate drive or partition. I tracked down the behavior to (among other things) a JavaScript function inside of the .dist file within the installer package. To disable the "target boot volume only" limitation, you can do the follwing:
  1. Make a copy of the installer package (.pkg) file. If you downloaded the update as a .dmg file, just copy it to your Desktop.
  2. Right- or control-click on the package file and select "Show Package Contents" from the contextual menu, and navigate into the Contents folder.
  3. Open the .dist file in a straight-text editor (e.g. BBEdit, TextWrangler). The file will be named based on the package name, so for the DVDPlayerUpdate.pkg file, it's DVDPlayerUpdate.dist.
  4. Find the function volumeCheck(){ section, and comment out the following code using standard HTML comment tags, as seen here:
      if( != '/'){
        my.result.message = system.localizedString('ERROR_BOOTVOL');
        my.result.type = 'Fatal';
        return false;
    Save the file, close the package, and run the installer.
The installer should now allow you to target any otherwise-valid volume and run the update on it. Note: if you try to run an OS update against an incorrect or non-system volume, it still acts to prevent that error. This should only disable the boot volume check.

[robg adds: I can't necessarily endorse running updates on non-boot volumes, but neither do I have evidence that it causes problems. As with many things on this site, proceed with care. Read on for more info on different variations, as well as the back story on how the author found this fix...]
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Manually install packages via the Finder Install
I recently stumbled across the following problem: The Installer would crash when trying to install a package (.pkg) I had downloaded. What to do? Of course, one solution is to use Pacifist, but 20 bucks is just too much to pay for manually installing a package once in a while.

Now a .pkg bundle essentially contains an Archive.pax file, which is an archive of the files to be installed, so another solution is to use pax in the Terminal. But the man page for pax is not exactly enlightening; I just want to quickly decompress a pax file, for heaven's sake!

But as is often the case, the obvious solution is the last one you would think about. Simply copy the Archive.pax.gz file out of the package bundle and double click it in the Finder! The Finder then happily decompresses everything in a folder, and you can install everything manually.

[robg adds: This older hint talked about using the Terminal to peek inside packages; with the changes in OS X since it was written, it's now possible to do this sort of thing from the Finder.]
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Simpler installation of Treo VoiceDialing from a Mac Install
Palm's Special instructions for installing Treo Voice Dialing from a Mac support document is unnecessarily difficult for Mac users. It requires a memory card (SD or MMC), which is not necessary in order to do the job.

The following was done using a Treo 650 running Palm version 5.4 with the Treo 650 Updater 1.15 update for Cingular installed. It is synced with a Mac running OS X 10.4.2 and Palm Desktop 4.2.1. Read on for the how-to...
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Restore lost Adobe PDF printer after Archive and Install Install
Once again, I lost my Adobe PDF printer by doing an Archive and Install. In case this happens to anyone else who needs to print to Distiller, this old hint from the Adobe forums is still relevant:
  1. Quit Acrobat and Print Center if they are running.
  2. Delete the application that's installed in /Library/Application Support/Adobe/
  3. Launch Acrobat 6. You will be prompted to authenticate the installer by entering your password.
  4. Launch Print Center and verify that Adobe PDF has been added to the printer list.
On one machine that I upgraded, I had to restart before Adobe PDF showed up as a printer.
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Install TomTom Navigator 5 on Palm from the Mac Install
I received my copy of TomTom 5 yesterday and was happily amazed to see a Mac installation application on the CD. However, my joy was shortlived as the installation didn't work. So, for those of you trying to install TomTom 5 using the Mac installer on a Palm device (mine is a Tungsten T3), here is my experience.

As I said, I couldn't get it to work -- the installer placed the .cab files in the right place, but when I performed a Hotsync operation, the files would not get installed onto my Palm.

Refusing to use Virtual PC to perform the installation, I searched the net and found out that the Mac installer installs a Hotsync Conduit designed for Windows on my beloved Mac. Luckily, there is a Mac version available [92KB download]. I have no idea if this is provided by TomTom themselves (the URL is clearly not theirs), or if the kind and knowledgeable Frenchman mentioned here wrote it himself. Either way, once I installed this in /Library/Application Support/Palm Hotsync/Conduits, everything worked like a charm.
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A subtle fix for hard-to-diagnose installer hangs Install
This one's probably only for UNIX geeks who have customized their tcsh (or bash) environment with a .cshrc (or .bashrc or similar) file. I just got done debugging why the Canon ip3000 printer driver installer was hanging in the middle of installation.

It turns out that I had aliased rm to rm -i, so I would not clobber files as easily. Unfortunately, the Canon installer used my tcsh environment in its script. This is bad form, I would say.

Inside the script was a section that tried to delete some files using rm. Since the alias was present, it was waiting for me to say y but, of course, that was futile since it was not being run in a Terminal window. I removed the alias I had in my .cshrc, and the installer worked fine.
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How to downgrade to QuickTime Pro 6 Install
The QuickTime 7 upgrade wipes out your Quicktime 6 Pro without notice or permission. Here's how Apple customer service told me to get it back:

Previous versions of QuickTime, including a reinstaller for QuickTime 6, are available from Apple's QuickTime support page.

[robg adds: This reinstaller only works in 10.3.9; 10.4 requires QuickTime 7.]
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10.4: Install Tiger from an iPod Install
Tiger only hintI had an eMac that wouldn't take the Tiger DVD, so I've found this alternative (and rather simple) method to install Tiger on it...

Turn your iPod into a bootable Tiger installation disk. Here's how:
  1. Make a backup copy of your iPod if necessary (it will be erased in the next step!)
  2. Using Disk Utility, format (Erase) the iPod.
  3. Use the Restore feature in Disk Utility to create an image of the Tiger DVD on your iPod (drag the DVD into the source textbox; drag your iPod into the destination textbox).
  4. You can then plug your iPod in any Mac and launch the Install Tiger software, let it reboot, and follow the instructions to install it!
When you're done, you might want to re-erase the iPod, and restore the latest iPod Software on your iPod.

[robg adds: This tip could help those without a DVD drive in their machines, nor access to a traditional FireWire drive, install Tiger without sending back their media for CD versions.]
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10.4: Use the Migration Assistant with USB disks Install
Tiger only hintI recently replaced the hard drive in my girlfriend's iBook. After removing the old drive, I put it in a USB external enclosure. While I was installing OS 10.4 onto her machine, the Migration Assistant appeared. It allows you to transfer file from another partition or another Mac via FireWire. However, it says nothing about USB. I plugged in the old hard drive via USB and tried it just for kicks.

It worked!

So despite the apparent lack of support, you can transfer your stuff via USB as well as FireWire. Hope it helps.
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