While browsing the Mac OS X Forums (currently down for a server swap), I found a reference to a very detailed paper on how you can use BSD (the UNIX system underlying OS X) to stop spam and trojan horse programs from reaching your machine.
The author is Brett Glass, and he's posted the article on his website. It's very interesting reading. Highly recommended if you're remotely curious about this type of stuff; required if you're using the OS X version of sendmail as your mail server!
Under OS9, an often suggested fix for misbehaving applications was to "trash the preferences." While I haven't heard many reports of misbehaving apps under OSX PB, you can still try a similar trick if you are having troubles.
Each user's preferences are stored in the directory /Users/username/Library/Preferences/. Navigate there, and you'll see a bunch of different preference files, all ending in ".plist". If you want to get rid of one, I would recommend taking a "better safe than sorry" approach, since this is beta software. Instead of just deleting the pref file for the application in question, rename it to something like "appname.bad". That way, if for some reason your fix causes more problems than you had previously, you can go backwards.
When you now launch the troublesome application, it will create a new ".plist" file, since it can't find the old one. If everything works as expected, you can now go back and delete the ".bad" file.
As a side note, you can also view the contents of the preference files, since they're stored as plain text.
Browsing a few of the other boards and forums over the last few days, I noticed a few people have figured out how to make their Harmon Kardon Soundsticks function under OS X.
Navigate to /System/Library/Extensions/ and either rename (probably safer!) or remove the file AppleScreamerAudio.kext. You will probably have to be root to have permission to change this file. Here's how I'd do it via a terminal session. Comments are in [brackets], so don't type them!
> su [become root; you'll need to enter root password]
> cd /System/Library/Extensions/ [change to the directory]
> mv AppleScreamerAudio.kext AppleScreamerAudio.bak [rename the file]
> exit [ends root session]
> exit [ends terminal session]
Restart OS X and your Soundsticks should be working! Since you're disabling a portion of the system software, no guarantees on what else might break. However, others have reported success with no side effects.
Most screensavers feature a "fade now" corner which will instantly activate the scrensaver module. The built-in OS X screensaver does not inclue this useful feature. There is, however, a pretty good shortcut way of accomplishing the same thing. Here's how to do it.
In the finder (not in a terminal session), navigate to:
There have been some reports of people with totally dead Macs after running OS X. The causes seem very hard to pin down, but the common condition of the machines is an inability to boot off of a OS 9 CD. The machine is stuck running OS X, despite everything the user tries to fix the problem (including booting into open firmware, resetting parameter RAM, setting the system disk, etc.).
One final thing to try is turn the machine off, open it up, and pull the battery out of the motherboard. Wait a decent amount of time (five minutes or more), reinsert the battery, and restart. This should force your machine to forget about anything it thinks it knows, and go back to the factory configuration. Your CD drive should now boot the machine (when holding down 'C' during boot). I've seen reports of this working for more than one person, but there have been a couple poor souls that have tried this and are still non-functional.
Any other thoughts on potential solutions for those still stuck?
[Editor's note: See the comments for a discussion on recommendations]
I downloaded the .tar file containing the PHP documentation, and was just beginning to read the files when I came across this problem: long file names. It would seem that OS X Public Beta chokes on very long file names such as
The problem first came up as an inability for me to view certain pages in the PHP manual. I first though it was a bug in IE.
But then I then looked into the directory using the Finder, and discovered that while files with shorter names are recognized by the Finder as HTML files (due to their .html extension?), longer ones like the one I mentioned as well as many others, are not recognized. I though OS X is supposed to supported long file names, up to 255 characters?!?!?
If anyone can shed some light on this, I'd appreciated it. Thanks!
Although there's no real way to recover a lost root password, you can change the root password even if you do not know the current one. You must have physical access to the machine in order to accomplish this task. The following steps were originally noted on this MacNN forum, which contains a number of follow-up messages about security in general - well worth the reading time.
NOTE: The following information has been publicly disclosed on a number of Internet sites, and is not a new find. I'm simply repeating it here for the sake of completeness.
Read the detailed section of this article for step-by-step instructions on regaining access to your root account.
By default, Mac OS X uses a swap file (for virtual memory) which is installed on the same drive as your operating system. For best performance, the swap file would ideally be located on the fastest drive in your machine, which may or may not be the same disk as your OS. Unfortunately, there's no built-in GUI for changing a swap drive location.
A few days ago, there was a help request on swapping on another hard drive and subsequent comments that figured out how this could be done. I asked if patpro, one of the users involved, would mind writing a step-by-step instruction set on how to transfer swap. Read the rest of this article to see what he had to say ... well worth the time if you have a spare, fast hard drive in your system!
The stated requirement for OS X PB is 128mb of RAM. To really make it perform best, however, more seems to be much better. This is especially true if you run a number of large Classic apps, such as GoLive, Excel, Word, Photoshop, etc.
The amount of disk swapping that goes on drops dramatically with increased RAM, making the system much more responsive overall. There was even a notable difference between my home (192mb) and work (320mb) machines, which are otherwise identical G4's, so I decided to upgrade the home machine.
I ended up adding 256mb (for about $150), and the differences are dramatic. I hardly ever hear my hard drive now, unless I'm accessing it. Read the rest if you want the details on where I bought my RAM...