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10.5 Allow non-admin users to add and remove printers System 10.5
pMy techs and I were searching for a way to allow non-admin users to add and remove printers under 10.5. Unfortunately, we could only find a few hints that involved modifying /etc/cups/cupsd.conf -- which did not really meet our needs (those hints did not allow a standard way for a non-admin user to remove printers). So, here's our solution...

Please note that we have only tested this a few times, but it seems to work. What we're doing is editing /etc/authorization. More specifically, we're changing the system.preferences dictionary item within the authorization file so that the group string is set to everyone, rather than admin. One way to do this through the GUI is to copy /etc/authorization to your desktop, add .plist to the end of the filename, edit the file with Property List Editor, save, and remove the .plist extension. Then replace the original authorization file in /etc with your edited copy -- please make a backup of the original before replacing! Be sure to check permissions of the new file after copying it. This seems to open up the ability to add/remove printers to anyone -- beware, though, that it also opens up a few, select, other System Preferences, but nothing that cannot be managed through Workgroup Manager.

After some more testing, we plan to blast out our modified /etc/authorization file with FileWave -- unless we get flamed on here for some obvious mistake :-). As for a CLI method, here's what seems to work (and potentially could be pushed out via Apple Remote Desktop):
$ cp -pr /etc/authorization /etc/authorization-original
$ cp -pr /etc/authorization /tmp/authorization.plist
$ defaults write /tmp/authorization rights -dict-add system.preferences "<dict><key>allow-root</key><true/><key>class</key><string>user</string><key>comment</key><string>MODIFIED BY SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR TO ALLOW ANYONE TO ADD PRINTERS. Note: This does open up other system preferences. - Checked by the Admin framework when making changes to certain System Preferences.</string><key>group</key><string>everyone</string><key>shared</key><true/></dict>"
$ mv /tmp/authorization.plist /etc/authorization
Hope this helps someone else out too!

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.5: Modify the login window with Workgroup Manager System 10.5
I have always liked the result of this hint (and others like it in 10.4) that allowed me to customize the login window, but a quick search of the archive seems to show that no such hint exists for 10.5 (although I grant that I didn't try this one in 10.5). The existing hints for Workgroup Server don't address the login window specifically. However, I have figured out how to make all sorts of modifications to the login window by using Apple's free Server Admin Tools.

To modify your login window, follow the instructions in this hint to download and install the Server Admin Tools and open Workgroup Manager. (Note that the link I provided in the previous paragraph will download the version for OS 10.5.5. There are other versions as well. Search for "server tools" if you need a different version.)

Now that you've set up Workgroup Manager, here's how to view and change your local settings:
  1. There are five tabs on the left side of the window: a person, several people, a rectangle, two rectangles, and a bullseye. They correspond to users, group's computers, computer groups, and "all records." (Your configuration may not show the bullseye. I may have turned that on in the app's preferences, but I can't remember.)
  2. Click the computers tab (rectangle). Click the lock button on the far right side of the window to authenticate so that you can do some editing. Once you've authenticated, the New Computer button in the toolbar should become clickable. Click it. It'll add a computer to the list called Untitled.
  3. On the right side of the window, in the General tab, give your computer a name and a short name (I chose Mac Mini and mini, respectively).
  4. In the Network tab, fill in the fields with your computer's ethernet MAC address and IP address. (I'm on a LAN, so I used my LAN IP address: In the lower-right corner of the window, click Save.
  5. Now, in the toolbar, click Preferences. Make sure that your computer (mini) is still selected in the computer list. The right side of the window should show several icons with labels. Click the one that says Login. That part of the window should change to a set of tabs with options. Select the Window tab.
  6. From here, you can change all sorts of settings. Change the Manage setting to Always. Be aware that Workgroup Manager does not necessarily import your current settings. Check all settings in the current tab, even the ones you didn't plan to modify, to make sure that they correspond to how you want them set.
  7. To change the login window so that it displays the time, change the Heading menu to Time. Click Apply Now, then click Done. That's it.
There are all sorts of other goodies in here that can be changed, but the standard disclaimer naturally applies: you can really mess up your system using Workgroup Manager, so don't change something unless you know what the effect will be (or you're feeling brave). It may be possible to edit only the settings you're interested in by clicking the Details tab when you're back to viewing all the preference icons, choosing the plist from the list, and deleting the keys in the plist that you didn't intend to modify (the list was empty before I altered anything). But I haven't tried that.
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10.5: Fix a CUPS printing problem in 10.5.5 System 10.5
There seems to be a bug in the OS X 10.5.5 update that make many printers behave oddly. I have found that printing to Adobe PDF Queues, Xerox, and Oki printers exhibit the same problem: the printout can be randomly zoomed, rotated, or offset each time you print!

The fix I have found that works on all 50 of my office's Mac Pros is to replace the pstops file in /usr/libexec/cups/filter directory with the one from a 10.5.4 machine.

Obviously this is an important system file, so make sure you backup first!

[robg adds: I can't confirm either the problem or the fix; the two printers I have here seem to work fine in 10.5.5.]
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10.5: Keep Boot Camp partitions off the desktop System 10.5
I wanted to prevent the Boot Camp partition from showing up on my user's destkop, while not preventing other mounted disks from showing there. I had tried editing the /etc/fstab file, but ran into glitches when putting that into an image (OS X and Windows XP) and mass-duplicating it for my 6,000 MacBook users. I then noticed that Boot Camp would pick up what the volume's name was in Windows, and name it in OS X accordingly. So I simply put a dot in front of the name while booted into Windows, and rebooted into OS X.

After doing this, the partition no longer shows the hard drive icon on the desktop. It doesn't hide the partition from Finder windows, but it does not show it on the desktop. It was a quick and dirty solution that also worked with the image I created. I believe this only works in the newest version of Boot Camp.

[robg adds: I've marked this one 10.5-only for now; if you've got Boot Camp in 10.4 and can test it, please post in the comments.]
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10.5: Add date and time stamp to web receipt filenames System 10.5
After upgrading to Leopard, I found that when I was printing a web receipt, I had a number of duplicate 'Save PDF to Web Receipts Folder' options in the PDF menu of the Print dialog box. When testing the duplicates, the web receipts seemed to end up in different odd places.

This was in part due the fact that I had created an Automator workflow (see previous hint) for 10.4. In Leopard, there is a new built-in item ;Save PDF to Web Receipts Folder' that comes from this file: /Library » PDF Services » Save PDF to Web Receipts Folder.pdfworkflow. Control-click on the pdfworkflow file, and navigate into Contents, where you'll find the working part of this bundle, a python script named tool.

This script creates a folder Web Receipts folder in your user's Documents folder, and puts web receipts in there. I wanted to customize my receipts with the time embedded directly in the filename, and change where the receipts were saved. After digging around a bit, I found this article, which explains how to do both those things.

I customized the file slightly differently; read on to see my solution...
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10.5: Restore a folder's view options to default settings System 10.5
I have most of my folders set to open with the defaults I've set for icon size, view columns, etc.; plus a few folders which have their own customized settings. In Tiger and earlier, there was a button on the View Options panel to restore a customized folder to the default view, but we lost this with Leopard.

To restore a folder to the default view settings in Leopard, open the View Options panel (Command-J, or View » Show View Options) then hold down the Option key. With the Option key down, the 'Use as Defaults' button will change to 'Restore to Defaults.'
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Go to new iCal entry after adding it in Mail System 10.5
As noted with this previous hint, you can use data detectors in Mail to add events to iCal. It turns out you can go directly to this entry in iCal. Instead of choosing "Add to iCal", if you hold the Option key it becomes "Edit in iCalů". Clicking on that opens iCal and shows you the new entry (although you must hit the edit button to actually edit it).

[kirkmc adds: Also, if you click a data detector triangle, you get a Create New iCal Event... menu item; choose it and you get an iCal-like dialog in Mail to create the event. But if you hold down the Option key, the menu item becomes Create New Event in iCal; note the lack of ellipsis. Choosing this menu item creates the event directly in iCal (and opens iCal if it's not running).]
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Show all events in iCal search results System 10.5
There's no way easy to remove old events in iCal. In older versions, I could simply open the search results and shift-select the events. In the 10.5 version of iCal, search results are simply empty when no search term is used. I played around with some search terms, and found that you can display all events in iCal by entering "_ (that's quote-space). You can then delete old events by selecting them, right-clicking and choosing "Cut".

[kirkmc adds: You can have iCal automatically delete events older than a certain number of days in the program's Advanced preferences, but this hint shows how to view all the events on all your calendars. While noodling with iCal, I found that there's an easier way to do it: just enter a single apostrophe (') or period (.) in the Search box. Both of these seem to display all my events.]
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Script to list all filesystem objects with ACLs System 10.5
Access Control Lists (ACLs) are active by default in Leopard. The OS checks ACLs before it checks the standard POSIX (rwxrwxrwx) permission bits. That means it's possible to have what appears to be a secure file or directory, but a bad ACL could allow rogue processes or rogue users to gain access.

This isn't just a problem of user misconfiguration. In the last three years, I've submitted vulnerability reports to four major software vendors, because their OS X installer packages altered the POSIX permission settings (and sometimes ownership) on some important files or directories. If an installer package adds or alters an ACL (to your tax records, for example), it might go unnoticed (but could make you quite unhappy when you found out).

Unfortunately, there aren't any good tools to find ACLs, or to verify that they haven't been altered. Apple's Verify Permissions feature in Disk Utility has a history of bugs, and it's quite slow. Because Disk Utility is a closed implementation, it isn't even clear that it checks ALL filesystem objects (it appears to only check what Apple wants to check). And although it reports that ACLs exist, it isn't clear that it checks all the contents of the ACL metadata.
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Make Spotlight results easier to read System 10.5
By default when viewing a Spotlight "all results" window or a Smart Folder or Search, the view is set to "icon view" and the file names are truncated, making it very hard to find the exact file you want.

You can switch the search results to "list view" but you may find that the setting doesn't stick. Well, there's good news. Under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, there's a way to make the view settings for all Smart Folders and the "All Results" search window stick.
  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Under "Search for" in the sidebar, click on one of the search items (for example, All Documents). (If you don't have any smart folders there, just do a Spotlight search and choose Show All.)
  3. Switch the view to "List view" or whatever view you are comfortable with.
  4. In the menu bar, click View > Show View Options, or press Command-J on your keyboard to open the View Options window.
  5. Check "Always open in list view".
  6. Close the view settings window, and then close the Finder window.
From now on, your search results will be easier to hunt through.
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