I just stopped by The Computer Store, and had the sales rep look up Mac OS X in the Apple system. As of today, Apple has entered the part number in their systems, meaning that resellers can now take orders. So I reserved the very first copy at the Beaverton store.
I asked if they were going to do "Midnight Madness" for OS X. The rep told me he's not sure yet when they'll be opening on the 24th. He told me they opened at midnight for the OS 8 launch, and that was fine with Apple. But he also said they got in "a lot of trouble" with Apple over the iMac launch. I asked if they opened at midnight that evening as well. He said, grinning, "Well, it was midnight on the east coast!"
On a side note, they had one of the new G4 Titanium machines. This was my first chance to see one up close and personal. Incredibly thin, amazing screen, solid keyboard, and reasonably light. And the white apple on the cover glows with the light from the screen on the other side when the machine is on - a very impressive effect. Tempting, even though I have absolutely no need for one.
[UDPATE 2/2: As reported on the net, Apple has rolled out a PB rebate program; here's the text of the email that I just received:
"Thank you for being one of the pioneers who beta tested Mac OS X. Your feedback has helped make Mac OS X the world's most advanced operating system. To show our appreciation, we are offering you a $30 discount on the final version of Mac OS X.* You will also be among the first to receive Mac OS X when it ships on March 24, 2001. Again, thanks for helping to make Mac OS X the world's most advanced operating system."
I'm called (the online store system didn't work as described in the email) and ordered my $99 copy today, and will purchase a $129 version for work on Saturday the 24th - I'll keep the local dealer happy, and get a usable copy as quickly as possible!]
Is is possible to tar the active OS X system (as with LinuxPPC)?
Has anyone determined which files/directories are best to backup in case of a system corruption? By this I mean if you just "tar czf / backup.tgz" you get all disks and loads of stuff you could easily reinstall.
I would like to move my install to a new machine, which I have a clean install of OSX on, but not reconfigure everything as I have spent a lot of time setting things up! I would like to take my tar from the old machine and install/overwrite the new install. Any ideas what will happen?
I have seen the discussion about re-blessing the System, but I don't think it applies if you are going straight from OS X - OS X.
[Editor's note - See the comments for a discussion on the options...]
If you click the expand icon in OS X (the green "+"), it's default behavior is "zoom to fit," where it will zoom the window only as large as needed to fit the text. 'applenut' over on the AppleInsider OS X forum pointed out that if you hold down option and hit the zoom button, the window will zoom to fill the screen.
Cool trick, and I hadn't even tried it in three months of use with the PB. Well-behaved apps (I tried IE 5) will leave enough room at the bottom of the screen so that you can reach the bottom edge of the window without activating an auto-hidden dock.
This one's fairly old, and may or may not work when 1.0 ships, but it's kind of fun. Over on this AppleInsider forum, there's a discussion on dock and poof hacking. Out of that are a set of instructions on how to change your dock's 'poof.' I've detailed the method in the remainder of this article, in case you're interested.
Out of that discussion, this page, created by Synoptic and others, contains a selection of pre-modified docks and poofs, ready for use with OS X. If you want to see what's possible with just a little bit of work, check it out and download some of the alternatives!
One of the biggest issues in the day to day acceptance and usage of OS X will be the presence of native device drivers. These drivers are required for things like USB to serial adapters, printers, SCSI cards, scanners, video cameras, and other peripherals that operate on USB, SCSI, or firewire.
If native drivers are not available, the only method of using these devices will be to boot back into OS 9.1 -- they will not work in Classic using their 9.1 drivers (based on what I've been told and read, having asked the question in a few places).
To help track native device drivers, I have added a new category ("Drivers") to the links section of the site. There are (obviously) other web sites that track these kinds of things (use VersionTracker and search on "drivers," or go to Mac OS X Apps and look in the drivers section); I'm doing so here only out of personal interest - I want to have one fast and easy way to find all the drivers I will personally need in OS X final!
Since this was a rapidly-changing beta OS until very recently, I would expect that between now and March 24th we will see a number of OS X drivers announced by the major manufacturers. If you see any release announcements, or find a reference to available OS X drivers, feel free to submit a link, using "Drv-" as the lead-in to the name so that they're easily identifiable in the "What's New?" box.
I hope to have compiled a thorough list of available native drivers prior to the official launch date, as this is one of the first things users will be looking to find for their shiny new OS.
Last night, I installed the OS 9.1 update on my OS X box. This means that Classic no longer functions in OS X. However, you can use both if you like, as long as you can install a second OS 9 folder. If you have more than one partition (in particular, an OS X and an OS 9 partition), simply upgrade your "real" 9.04 to 9.1, and leave the OS X version alone at 9.04.
After the upgrade, I found that the Classic Preferences couldn't see my 9.04 folder; it just saw the 9.1 folder, which meant I couldn't use Classic.
I restarted into 9.1, and then used the System Disk utility to select the OS X partition's OS 9.04 folder as the boot drive, then rebooted into 9.04. Once there, I again used the System Disk app to select OS X, and booted into OS X. I was then able to specify the 9.04 folder as the Classic environment in the Classic prefs dialog.
It seems OS X 'remembers' the last OS 9 folder you used, and uses that one as the Classic environment. This can be a bit dangerous if you have two 9.04's on your machine, and you're trying to keep one 'clean' from OS X. I haven't tested it, but it appears that if you simply boot into your 'real' 9.04 and then launch OS X, you'll change the Classic environment to your real OS 9.04. It would appear the safest way to do this would involve running whatever you needed in your real environment, then booting into the OS X 9.04 system, and then booting into OS X.
Hopefully this will all be moot point when OS X 1.0 ships.
He gave a very exciting demo of the new OS X features, including (amongst other things) hierarchical capabilities in the dock, the return of the Apple menu at the left edge of the screen, customizable finder navigation features, and (amazingly cool!) QuickTime movies playing in the dock! Also, it looked very fast in general use (of course, he was probably on the fastest new machine).
In addition, he introduced some very cool new hardware and software. Go to MacCentral's notes live from the keynote for all the details. The most interesting things (to me, anyway) were DVD recording hardware in the new high-end G4's, iDVD, iTunes (for free!), built-in Finder-level CD burning in the new boxes, and (of course) the Titanium PowerBook!
In all, it was a very impressive show. The most relevant OS X items of interest were the price ($129) and the ship date (Saturday, March 24th).
On a related note, anyone interested in buying a slightly used G4/350 AGP? ;-) I'm thinking I really really want one of the new 733mhz machines ... and I wish I had some viable excuse to need a new G4 Titanium PowerBook!
[Editor's note: The following applies to the Public Beta only. The current release version of OS X does not contain SSH; search the site for articles on installing SSH if you'd like to use it. Rumor has it that the first OS X update will again include SSH]
If you access your OS X box remotely, you can do so through an incredibly simple-to-use Telnet server (simply click "Turn on remote Telnet access" on the Sharing System Preference panel). However, this is not the best way to connect to your OS X box - your passwords are transmitted in cleartext (non encrypted), meaning that they could be intercepted by those with malicious intents.
OS X includes a built-in secure remote access package known as SSH (Secure SHell). However, there is no GUI for enabling SSH, which is unfortunate (hopefully this will be changed prior to final release). It is not, however, overly difficult to enable SSH using a terminal session, if you're reasonably comfortable with editing files in the shell.
If you access your machine remotely, and you would like to do so more securely, read the rest of this article for information on how to enable and use SSH.
One of the known bugs with the PB is that when you reboot into OS 9, one or more of your drives may have become invisible. It won't show on the desktop, but Sherlock will find items on it, Disk First Aid will see it, etc. For some reason, the visibility bit on these drives is being turned off (or the invisibility bit is being turned on ;-). OS X ignores the bit, so the drive shows up. OS 9, however, respects the setting and promptly makes the disk(s) invisible.
Alsoft has published a free utility that will restore the visibility of these disks when you boot into OS 9, and has a further description of the problem and its cause. You can read about and download the fix from this page on Alsoft's site.
You'll have to fill out a short form to get the program, but it's free of charge.