Like many people, I have customized many thing about my OS X setup, not the least of which were app and folder icons. Via programs like CandyBar or LiteIcon, or manually, any and all folder/file/app icons can be changed.
Personally, I like the pure|icns set from Interfacelift. However, there is a problem when programs update -- in my case, Dropbox -- and change their icons back to a boring old Leopard blue. To return my custom icons, I wrote an AppleScript. Since this only happens every now and then, I didn't make the script executable; I just call it from Google's quick search box whenever I need it.
At any rate, this script will copy an icon from some location (file, folder, *.icns), and paste it via the Get Info window for any second location (file, folder, app) that you desire. Of course, change the first two POSIX paths to (1) where the icon should come from, and (2) where the icon should go.
Wouldn't it be nice to activate ExposÚ's Show Desktop mode via an icon on the Dock? Here's how to make one that does just that. However, be warned: this works only one way -- it shows the Desktop, but on clicking again, it does not bring the windows back. To get out of ExposÚ's Show Desktop mode, just click anywhere along the darkened screen border.
Create an AppleScript application. Open AppleScript Editor (Applications ╗ Utilities ╗ AppleScript Editor in 10.6) and paste in this code:
(* Show Desktop AppleScript by Mohan Noone, 2009 *)
activate application "Finder"
do shell script "/Applications/Utilities/Expose.app/Contents/MacOS/Expose 1"
Save the script, name it something like Show Desktop, set the File Format to Application, and select the Run Only option in the Save dialog.
Optional: change the boring script icon. Select the saved file in Finder and hit Command-I to open the Get Info Window, then do the same for the file with the icon you'd like to use. Then select the better icon from its Get Info Window, copy it (Command-C), select the script icon in the other Get Info window, and paste (Command-V).
Drag the saved file to the Dock.
Your Show Desktop icon is ready for use!
[robg adds: This works in 10.5 and 10.6, at least. For use in 10.5, you'll need to take /Utilities out of the do shell script line. I'm also not sure why you need to activate the Finder first; it seems to work fine for me with just the shell script line. Note that you can activate ExposÚ's other modes in this manner -- change 1 to 2 and you'll get ExposÚ's Application Windows mode, and 3 gets you All Windows mode.]
I found that most of my startup items were things that I didn't need right away (Google Quick Search Box, LaunchBar, etc.). A simple AppleScript can be used to avoid the pileup of programs all trying to open at once at login. The result: a much faster login time.
The script works by opening programs one by one, with a little time in between. This gives the programs time to load, and allows you to use your computer as soon as you enter your password. The code looks like this:
tell application "Google Notifier" to activate
tell application "LaunchBar" to activate
set volume 4
tell application "BOINCManager" to activate
tell application "Quick Search Box" to activate
tell application "RealPlayer Downloader Agent" to activate
So, immediately opened is Google Notifier. Shortly thereafter comes LaunchBar. Afterwards, the volume is set to half loudness, and some other programs open.
I use Boot Camp on my Mac, and quite often I create files in Windows and want those files on the OS X side as well. It's a pain to take out a USB flash drive and copy the files there, reboot, and copy them again. If the files are large, emailing the files to yourself may not work either.
One solution is Dropbox. As Dropbox works on OS X, Windows, and Linux, all you have to do is install Dropbox on your Boot Camp Windows installation, then drop or save any files in theree; they will automatically transfer into OS X the next time you boot back into the Mac OS.
After restoring from a Time Machine backup, I ran into this error when Time Machine then tried to create a new backup:
The backup is too large for the backup volume. xxGB is required but only yyGB is available.
This occurs because Time Machine sees your restored computer as a completely new set of data and is trying to do a full back up. To solve this issue, open the backup drive that Time Machine backs up to, and locate the following file:
Where computername is your computer's name, and 0022334455 is your computer's MAC address. Delete this file and have Time Machine do a new full backup of your system, and this error will disappear.
[robg adds: I've never had to do a full restore from Time Machine, so I haven't seen this error -- if someone else can confirm the problem and the fix, please post in the comments.]
I was working on a software organizing database in Bento, and I discovered that you can use the 'Choose custom image' window, available in a media field, to extract the icon of an application by dragging and dropping it onto the picture frame. I tested it in Address Book (the only other application I was sure had the same media field) and it worked, too.
In Address Book, for instance, edit a contact, then double-click on the picture field to bring up the custom window for setting that contact's picture. Drag and drop an application into the box, and its icon will appear. Or click the Choose button, and navigate to the Application in the file dialog. Once the icon is there, it can be copied and pasted.
This works in, at the least, 10.5 and 10.6.
[robg adds: While this works, it seems more of a curiosity than anything else -- you can copy any application's icon by just copying the application in the Finder, then opening a new window in Preview. I know we've run that tidbit as a hint before, but I couldn't find it when searching.]
Imagine you have made a world tour in August 2009 (summer time!) and you have used your digital photo camera to create pictures, videos and voice recordings.
In this guide I will not refer to these items by their specific characteristics (photo, video, audio), but simply regard all of them as "files." Secondly, we assume that the files are saved on a storage medium, which is very likely formatted as FAT (as specified in the DCIM standard for digital cameras).
You have created three files in America/Los Angeles (UTC-0700), three files in your hometown Europe/Vienna (UTC+0200) and three files in Asia/Bangkok (UTC+0700), and at the end of the summer, you return to your hometown Europe/Vienna.
This guide shows you how to correctly bring your files' timestamps from a local time zone-based file system (such as your external flash drive, formatted as FAT32) to a file system using coordinated universal time (UTC) (such as your internal hard disk, formatted as HFS+) using the Finder on MacOS X.
By now, everyone knows how to delete a file or folder from time-machine using the Gear menu in Time Machine's Finder view. But I was puzzled by the problem of deleting entries for an entire external disk I no longer had. Because that disk was no longer available, I could not simply attach the disk and then use Time Machine to delete the backups for it. You also can't do this with the Finder (it won't let you edit the Time Machine folder). And you probably would prefer not to do it by hand in Terminal, since there might be Time Machine database entries this would gum up.
The solution is to navigate in the Time Machine interface not to the disk itself, but to the backup entry for that disk on the Time Machine disk itself. Specifically, in Time Machine's Finder view, select the Time Machine disk, then enter the Backups.backupdb folder, and drill down to find the last entry for the obsolete disk. Then tell Time Machine to delete all backups of that entry. The original disk need not be connected!
If you think about this, it's an unexpected behavior since it's outside the standard paradigm of pointing to the "real file" you want to remove the backups of.
This is handy because Time Machine promiscuously tries to back up even temporarily-connected drives which might not be your own, leaving you with orphan backup entries you don't want. This has only been tested on 10.5, but probably works the same way in 10.6.
A while back, Time Machine on my DP G4 running 10.5.8 started failing, after having run for several months without any problems. This is the error from the logs:
Starting standard backup
Backing up to: /Volumes/Athena/Backups.backupdb
Event store UUIDs don't match for volume: Entwife
Event store UUIDs don't match for volume: Fangorn
Backup content size: 60.9 GB excluded items size: 56.9 MB for volume Entwife
Backup content size: 60.5 GB excluded items size: 56.9 MB for volume Fangorn
No pre-backup thinning needed: 145.59 GB requested (including padding), 931.15 GB available
Error: (-36) SrcErr:NO Copying /Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/AIUtilities.framework/Versions/A/AIUtilities to /Volumes/Athena/Backups.backupdb/Treebeard/2009-10-03-235253.inProgress/9C37B727-1C30-42C6-B3AA-D0AB9FF4DBF6/Entwife/Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/AIUtilities.framework/Versions/A
Error: (-8062) SrcErr:NO Copying /Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/AIUtilities.framework/Versions/A/AIUtilities to /Volumes/Athena/Backups.backupdb/Treebeard/2009-10-03-235253.inProgress/9C37B727-1C30-42C6-B3AA-D0AB9FF4DBF6/Entwife/Applications/Adium.app/Contents/Frameworks/AIUtilities.framework/Versions/A
Copied 0 files (3.4 MB) from volume Entwife.
Copy stage failed with error:11
Backup failed with error: 11
So I tried all the usual fixes:
I reformatted and rebuilt all my drives.
I ran Disk Utility to repair the drives and permissions. More than once.
I reapplied the 10.5.8 Combo Update.
I was backing up to a WD 1TB My Book Studio. I tried backing up the internal drive instead, but that failed too.
If I excluded an application from backup, it failed on the next app in the line.
I found nothing online (Google, Apple, et.al.) that said do X, Y, and Z, and all will be well, even though this error is all over the web. Not even this KB article helped.
I arrested all the usual suspects.
In short, nothing worked. But, "He that perseveres to the end, the same shall be saved." I still don't know the cause (old age prehaps) but I found a solution. I booted from my 10.5 DVD, archived and installed OS X, and then updated my software from there to 10.5.8. Problem solved.
[robg adds: This seems like a very particular issue, but just in case it's happening to anyone else, here's one solution at least.]
I just wasted a couple of days trying to make Apple's Disk Utility RAID tool create a mirror of my Mac Mini's internal drive on an external FireWire drive. I finally gave up as the external partition was getting constantly corrupted (and the advertised "automatic rebuilding" didn't work).
I successfully used a mirrored RAID on an older G4 Tiger system with two internal drives, but according to the folks at SoftRAID, Apple's software RAID is basically intended for XServes and isn't even tested on external drives.
None of Disk Utility's help files give you any warning about this. In fact, in Snow Leopard, they don't accurately reflect the operation of the program: I saw a Demote button on the RAID setup panel that wasn't even mentioned in Help, and some of the RAID procedures described in Help simply didn't work.
I gave up on the RAID idea and instead have scheduled SuperDuper! to periodically make a Smart Update image copy of my boot drive to the external drive. Not quite as secure, but a lot less hassle! If you don't have an XServe and you really, really want a RAID, it appears that SoftRAID may be the best solution. It isn't cheap, though ($129 download).
[robg adds: If you've used Apple's RAID tool successfully on a recent Mac OS release, feel free to share your experiences. I've never tested it, so I can't confirm the above experiences.]