I have been having issues with my keychains where the "XXX app has been updated. Do you want to allow the new version to access the same keychains?" dialog would keep coming up -- even after clicking Change All. No matter what I would do, the window would come back and end up hanging forever, forcing me to reboot.
After hours of frustration I found this article on unsanity.org that contained the fix. Open Terminal and type:
Although security on a Mac is debated heavily by both sides, I prefer to stay safe and use a standard account for my day-to-day uses, and an extra Administrator account for my, well, administrative uses. The thing that bugs me is that every time I log in, I see a this big login option, Administrator, and that easily tells someone that is physically stealing my notebook that he needs to crack the admin account, and not mine, to hack my system. I prefer to hide the admin account, but I don't really like to use the Terminal.
So, to the hint: from what I've seen, if you create an account named Administrator with a short name of Admin, the computer will automatically hide the account for you. However, this only works when the new Administrator account is the only administrator account in the system.
[robg adds: I tested this hint, and (somewhat to my surprise), it does work. Case matters, though -- make sure you capitalize the short name! In order to have the account auto-hidden, it does need (or so it seems at first) to be the only admin account. My first test failed, and that's because it was the second admin account on the machine. I then converted my standard admin account into a regular account, then created the new Administrator account. On my next login, the Administrator account wasn't listed in the login screen.
However, after logging in as the new admin, I then switched my standard account back to administrator and logged out. This time, the Administrator account stayed hidden. So it seems it has to be the only admin account when it's created, but after that, it will remain hidden if you add additional administrators.]
I was in a hurry trying to back up my iPhoto Library to an external Firewire 400 drive, and was disappointed to see that the Finder was going to take almost an hour to back up all 11GB of pictures I had. I went into Activity Monitor to see just how slowly the Finder was going, and found it was copying at 8MB/sec, with the Finder taking 60% of my PowerBook G4's CPU. So I canceled the copy, opened up Terminal.app, and executed the following command:
Activity Monitor showed cp using only 20% CPU, and maxing out my drives at 23MB/sec! What would have taken an eternity in the Finder took only 15 minutes, thanks to Terminal.
NOTE: If you need to copy files with resource forks, install the Developer Tools and use CpMac (in /Developer » Tools) instead of cp.
[robg adds: On a faster machine, I'm not sure there will be much difference in the speed -- I did a quick test on the Mac Pro (using a 3.22GB folder with a few thousand files spread through 160 folders), and both methods took about the same amount of time. In addition to the resource fork issue, note that cp won't copy OS X alias files; it just throws an error message during the copy.
ditto (included with OS X), however, seems to copy them just fine, and handles resource forks automatically. So I tested again with ditto instead of cp. Whereas the time gap with cp wasn't really measurable, ditto was about 15 seconds quicker than the Finder on my 3.2GB test copy. So if I were copying a huge folder, I'd probably try ditto, as it could save a few minutes of copying time.]
Yesterday my keyboard suddenly stopped working in anything except for authentication dialogs and the Dock (Command-Tab, Exposť, etc.). I think System Preferences had crashed while I was opening it, but I can't be sure. Luckily I had a second account I use for emergencies such as this, and so I switched across to it. The keyboard worked fine in this account.
I then went through the troubleshooting steps of renaming the Preferences folder in my broken account (using sudo in Terminal) and logging back in, but that didn't fix the problem. Renaming the Library folder, and even trying the same on my home directory, didn't fix the problem. Searching on Google produced only one hit in German. When "translated" with Google, the match suggested that reinstalling the latest combo updater might do the trick. Luckily it did.
I'm posting the information here so that if anyone else who doesn't speak German has the problem, the solution might be easier to find. The other error message you can see in the console.log is TSMProcessRawKeyCode failed (-192). I'd love to know what the problem was, and how it could only affect a single user account and yet not be a setting inside that user's home directory.
[robg adds: I can't test or confirm this one; comments as to the possible cause and alternative fixes are welcomed!]
I have a PowerBook that I move between various networks. Some of these networks have different proxy settings -- see this hint for how that can be handled.
I also had the problem that I wanted NTP to be working, and some of these networks were filtering the ntp packets. It is possible to set /etc/ntp.conf, just like a standard unix ntp daemon. Unfortunately, ntpd will decide that a bunch of the time servers are unreachable, and will stop trying. When you wake your Mac on another network, ntp will lose contact with its last servers, decide it can't do anything, and shut itself down. So I wanted to kick ntpd when I connected to a new network.
The first step was to add iburst commands to the ntp setup, and to decide that SystemStarter restart "Network Time", when run as root, would restart ntpd. I then needed a way to get ntp to be kicked when my network config changed. I found the solution to that in this blog posting: Apple's System Configuration framework keeps track of network connections and when they change. This can be accessed through the scutil command.
Initially I found scutil difficult to use. The man page is horrible, but if you run scuti and then type help at its prompt, then you get a better list of commands.
Now most of you probably know about holding down the Command (Apple) key to drag a background window without bringing that window to the foreground. But you might not know about this...
I was waiting for a copy process to run one day and had Terminal open in the background, so I started fiddling as some would. I discovered that the Command key trick extends to selecting (at least text) and drag-and-dropping as well.
[robg adds:This hint describes some of the other things you can with the Command key and objects in background windows. I tested today's tip and found that it worked as described as long as the background app (where you start dragging the text) was a Cocoa app. I could, for instance, hold Command and drag a selection in a background Terminal window, then Command-drag that text to either a Cocoa or Carbon app, and drop it. At no point would either of the background apps come to the foreground. I had no luck with a Carbon app (using BBEdit and Word) as the frontmost background app -- they both came to the foreground as soon as I Command-clicked within their windows.]
Even after trying this hint, I was still unable to get Windows XP to keep the right time. I could sync it over the internet using the Internet Time sync feature, which would fix it, but after a few hours, it would mysteriously go wrong again.
Then I found this page, which has some neat tips about adding new time servers, and (more importantly) making the automatic syncing more frequent. After changing the registry value (it mentions to a smaller value like 60; make sure you aren't in base Hexadecimal), and logging out or restarting, Windows will sync the time more frequently, correcting it when it goes wrong.
It's not the best solution, and the problem still occurs, but it shouldn't be noticeable anymore.
[robg adds: No, we won't regularly run Windows hints, but as noted on the linked tip, if they seem general enough and relate to the basic system, we will -- there are a fair number of Mac users who do run Windows on their Intel Macs, and this information can be of use to them. Note that we've only run a handful of such hints since the Intel Macs shipped, so there's no fear of the site's focus changing! :) ]
Often, a user may set up a preset via the Print dialog box, for example, to use when printing a photo with high quality settings. If the user forgets to reset the preset to defaults, the OS does not do this for him. One way to reset this, of course, is to go to File » Print, select the default preset, and then print the document. This wastes ink, paper, and time. But if one selects the default and then clicks Cancel, the previously-selected preset will still be in effect.
The workaround is to go to File » Print, select the default preset, but then click Preview instead of Print. Once the Preview window is open, simply click Cancel; the default preset is now selected for subsequent print jobs.
I've been a Mac user since the 512, yet this took me by surprise. Suddenly the type on just about everything on my desktop seemed a bit darker and a little blurry. I was convinced that my monitor was going ... or worse, the computer was not sending it the correct voltages anymore. I was minutes from getting it ready for repair, then I decided to look around a bit.
Somehow I had hit a keystroke combination which barely engaged a zoom feature -- just about 1% or so, barely off of zero. I didn't even know I had a zoom feature! I went to the System Preferences » System » Universal Access, and turned Zoom off (how did it get turned on?). This immediately brought my monitor back to the razor-sharp images I had been looking at for years. Whew! A close call, based on a very simple thing that many of us forget is even there.
[robg adds: The keyboard combo is Command-Option-Equals, and I think Zoom is enabled by default.]
I just got done re-installing OS-X (an old Microsoft habit, I guess), and was installing XCode when I realized that almost half of the installation size of XCode is the documentation. I need that documentation, but hate to see 1.3 Gb of my hard drive gobbled up by something that is:
Not demanding on resources
Only rarely used
So I hatched the hare-brained idea to compress it -- and it worked! I've cleaned up the code, so fire up Terminal and do this: