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A hack to script system preferences System
Is there a way to script the system preferences? Specifically, I want to be able to have the monitor resolution change at login to suit each user's preference.
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Remote activation of auto-login System
If you want to enable automatic login on Mac OS X remotely you can to this by using ssh and the niutil command. This requires that you have enabled "Allow remote login" in the System Preferences, of course.

1) Open an ssh session to your Mac.

2) type su to become root.

3) To enable the automatic login, the property "username" must be found by loginwindow in the local netinfo database. Here is how you do it:
niutil -createprop -t localhost/local /localconfig/autologin[space]
username user_to_log_in
(NOTE: shown on two lines; replace [space] with an actual space character and enter on one line)

Replace "user_to_log_in" with the username of the user who will be automatically logged in on restart.

4) Type "reboot" to restart you mac and see if it worked.
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10.0.3 update is out... System
Check your software update panel ... I just installed it, and I'll post back details after I restart!

OK, here are the details. The modified files list seems to indicate that there have been changes to the BSD kernel, ADB I/O, CD storage, DVD storage, graphics I/O, networking, PCI, and a number of other areas. I've posted the whole list in the remainder of the article, in case you'd like to see it (it's not too long).

As for the operational changes, I can't say that it feels much different, but I'll have more to say after I get a chance to re-run my benchmark suite this evening. Apparently it squelches one bug in the Finder dealing with folders with large numbers of items. If you had over some relatively small number (600ish) in one folder, all the Finder would show was 539. They'd be there (you could see them in FTP or the terminal), but the Finder wouldn't work with them.
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Customizing the OS X keyboard map System
There have been a couple of help requests for remapping the OS X keyboard. There's very little info out there right now about this topic, but I just stumbled across a bit of evidence that it should be possible, although more difficult than it has been in the past.

Reading the MacAddict forums, I came across a thread called OS X Key Mappings. In that thread, there's an email posted from Marcel Bresnick, the author of "PrefEdit," who also has written some OS X Server 1.x keyboard mapping hacks. Here's a snippet of his response on customizing the OS X keyboard maps:
The keyboard layouts are stored in:


The * has to be replaced by the respective language name. Every language package contains 32 keyboard maps for _all_ keyboards, so there are in fact 224 (!) keyboard definitions. (This doesn't make sense, looks like a quick hack to implement Macintosh keyboards on top of Darwin...) If you want to do it right, you would have to repeat the keyboard redefinition for all language packages.
He goes on to explain how to edit the files (in theory, not step-by-step). Head on over to MacAddict and read the rest of the Marcel's email for an overview of how the process would work. Warning - this editing is not for the timid, and if you mess up, you'll have no keyboard -- so back everything up first, and make sure you know how to use single-user mode!
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Custom app icons that work in the Dock System
I'm sure most people have noticed by now that using the Show Info cut & paste method of changing an app's icon doesn't work quite as well as one would like. Specifically the app will revert to showing its original icon when in the dock. Here's how to change an apps icon(s) permanently...

To do this you may need IconComposer which can be found in /Developer/Applications after installing from the Developer CD. I say "may" because you can do it without this tool if you just want to substitute one app's icons for another's.

For this explanation we will give Sherlock the icons from Chess. Hey, its just an explanation.

Read the rest of this article if you'd like a step-by-step on replacing an app's icon more permanently than copy/paste appears to...
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Access privileges after password change System
I recently changed my password as administrator in osX. Now everytime I want to do anything that involves the keychain I have to give my password whereas before it would let me have access automatically. This is particularly annoying when I want to access my email, (I use Eudora 5.1). Is there anyway to get my keychain to recognize my new password without me having to enter it everytime?
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Use the terminal to login as another user System
This may seem basic and stupid but it sure helped me out... I have too keep several of my X boxes logged in as a normal user because they are public machines. However I found that whenever I needed to do anything that calls for admin access (ie prebinding), I had to log out and log back in, which is not very convinient.

So I tried typing login in a terminal window and it let me login to terminal as an admin so that I could run the prebinding comand. Handy or not it is cool to know!

[Editor's note: Definitely handy if you login as a non-admin user at times, and want quick access to the admin account!]
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Ejecting a 'busy' disk image System
While playing around with some of the latest OS X releases tonight, I managed to mount a disk image (for an image viewer called "Outlaw", which is pretty cool, BTW, for its instant infinite scaling) which simply would not eject. When I tried, I got a message stating that the image couldn't be ejected because it was in use. I knew this wasn't the case, as I had quit Outlaw and pretty much everything else except OmniWeb. To debug and solve the problem, I opened a new terminal window and typed:

fstat | grep "Outlaw"

fstat is a file status program which identifies open files, and then the pipe (vertical bar) passes the output of fstat to grep, the UNIX search program. I asked grep to find the word "Outlaw", which was part of the disk image name. The output of the command was:

robg TruBlueEnv 804 11 19 drwxrwxrwx 264 r /Volumes/Outlaw-0.1b1

TruBlueEnv is Classic, which somehow had the image file open -- even though I had no Classic apps running! At that point, I returned to the GUI, opened System Prefs and stopped Classic. I could then eject the disk as usual from the contextual menu.

So if you've got a stuck image file, take a look at fstat with a search on part of the volume name (to shorten the returned list!) to find what's making your volume busy. NOTE: There may be easier ways to do this (UNIX wizards, any thoughts?) but this was the first one that came to mind when I was faced with the problem.
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Fix for Software Update 'Unable to Connect' error System
According to a tip from Macworld, if you get an error about not being able to connect to the Internet when trying to run Software Update (or Sherlock or Mac Help), you should first open a browser and point it to Once you've done this, you should be able to run your update (or Sherlock or Mac Help).

Apparently it's related to an error in certain DNS servers (must include mine, as I've seen this error on occasion).

This hint courtesy of Mac911
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Deleting locked files System
So, how many of you reboot into OS 9 just so you can empty the trash when you've got Finder Locked files in there?

How often does rm -rf fail on you with "Operation not permitted"?

You too can work around these problems with the terminal command:

chflags -R nouchg,noschg *

See the Man page for more info.

[Editor's note: I did this after doing a "cd ~/.Trash" in the terminal, to make sure I was in my trash folder. I haven't had the locked file problem, but for those that have, this could be a huge timesaver. If you'd like to see what it does first, put "echo " in front of the command.]
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