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by tmpchaos See Profile
last modified: 2008-11-10 09:27:14

Find instructions at ResExcellence. If you are using Jaguar, or even if you are not, you should probably have a look at this article at xlr8yourmac.com

Ed. note: In general, only systems with less than 512MB of RAM will benefit from having a dedicated swap file. If you aren't sure whether you need one, run 'top' from the Terminal after several hours of activity and see how many pageouts are listed. If it is a large number then you may benefit from a dedicated swap file.

by Homunculus See Profile edited by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2002-09-25 15:44:40

When Software Update shows you the unwanted updates, just select 'Make Inactive' from the 'Update' menu.

by JJ See Profile edited by tmpchaos See Profile

Here is a link to an interactive tutorial which will teach you the basics of using Terminal (the Unix shell) in OS X. And Here is a more advanced, 5 part (so far) tutorial.

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2002-10-10 20:34:29

This covers most of the basics: OSXGuide

by JJ See Profile edited by tmpchaos See Profile

Upgrade path for 10 -> 10.1.5
It provides the upgrade paths....what's required BEFORE attempting an upgrade.

Apple has started a separate document for 10.2 (Jaguar) upgrades and patches

And another page for 10.3 (Panther).

by leXicon5 See Profile edited by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2003-11-17 17:40:07

MacOSXhints is a site with more OS X hints, which are categorized.

by mkcompu See Profile edited by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2003-12-20 16:52:33

Apple has a document which describes what steps to take if you are experiencing any of these problems at startup: blue screen; gray screen; kernel panic; flashing question mark; broken folder icon (< 10.2) or the prohibitory sign (10.2 +).

Mac OS X: Troubleshooting a Startup issue

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2002-10-10 10:48:54

Here is a list of the most common processes and what they are:
Background Processes.

(ed note: Took a look 'up the ladder'; there seems to be useful info elsewhere on the site also, so here's the Main Link
(new ed not: this is the Google cached page of the process page: » ··· ie=UTF-8 )

by JJ See Profile edited by tmpchaos See Profile
last modified: 2004-08-28 21:36:41

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2003-12-20 16:54:00

The favicon cache of Safari often gets too full and causes performance issues. To empty this cache, quit Safari then open a new finder window by clicking on the Finder icon in the dock. Double click the "library" folder then open the "Safari" folder inside. Drag the "icons" folder to the trash and relaunch safari. If you do not want to have any saved favicons in the future, before relaunching safari, create a folder called "icons" to replace the icons folder that was dragged to the trash. Click on the new folder and click on the triangle next to privileges. Change them to follow these:

by mkcompu See Profile edited by rjackson See Profile
last modified: 2005-04-19 16:03:32

Apple has a good article discussing exactly what permissions are, how to change them, and what to do when (note I didn't say 'if') something goes wrong:

Permissions and troubleshooting permissions issues.

If you know something has gone badly wrong with your permissions, you might want to go straight to this FAQ article

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2003-12-20 16:55:36

Yes there are two: the Dr. Mac OS X Tip of the day which covers various aspects of OS X; and also the OS X Unix Tip of the day which provides unix command-line tips (i.e. for use in Terminal).

junco927 See Profile also found a unix tip of the day site which isn't OS X-specific right here.

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2005-04-20 21:05:17

Mac OS X Unleashed devotes about 1000 of its 1500 pages to the BSD subsystem of OS X, and goes into great technical detail. It's preferable to a generic BSD book as it takes into account Apple's deviations from the BSD standard. Find it at Amazon

Note: The second edition of Mac OS X Unleashed, which covers the substantial changes made to the unix subsystem of 10.2 (Jaguar) was published in December 2002.

And the third edition covering 10.3 (Panther) was published in January 2004.

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2004-03-05 10:25:41

Darwin is an open source core operating system. Darwin includes a full BSD implementation and the Mach kernel.

Here is a good start to find out what you can do with Darwin. It's not OS X and will not allow you to run OS X on an x86 machine, for Darwin is only the base level of OS X.

For more info, follow THIS link. It includes a version for x86 machines.

Here are the install notes for the x86 installation of Darwin 7.x. It includes how to install Darwin 7.x

by Eric See Profile edited by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2004-03-25 22:34:18

This is what's known as a Kernel Panic, and it has been compared to the "Blue Screen of Death", which is familiar in certain Microsoft operating systems.
Click for full size

According to Apple's Knowledge Base article, a kernel panic "is a type of error that occurs when the core (kernel) of an operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly. A kernel panic may also follow when the operating system is not able to recover from a different type of error. A kernel panic can be caused by damaged or incompatible software or, more rarely, damaged or incompatible hardware."

The so-called 'grey screen of death' was introduced in OS X 10.2 and indicates that a kernel panic has occurred, which is essentially an unrecoverable system crash that requires a reboot. To see what caused the kernel panic, launch Apple System Profiler (it's in /Applications/Utilities) and select the log tab at the top right of the window. The log will be very technical, but you should be able to figure out what caused the problem.

leXicon5 See Profile has kindly pointed out an Apple document that explains in detail how to read and interpret the kernel panic log.

Thanks to Johnny See Profile for the Apple System Profiler tip

Johnny See Profile also tells us a little more in-depth information as to how the kernel works:

In any operating system that allows for multiple processes to run in a time-shared fashion, there must be a supervisor program that is responsible for stopping one process and resuming another, sharing the CPU and I/O resources so that all of the processes "appear" to run simultaneously.

It would be disastrous if one of these user processes executed an invalid instruction and that led to the loss of control of the supervisor. To prevent this, and to allow the supervisor to always be able to regain control, the memory space that the supervisor program runs in is protected - it can only be accessed when the supervisor has control. This allows the supervisor to intercept program errors of user processes and shut them down. If a user program crashes (tries to execute an invalid instruction or branch to or reference a memory location that it does not own, for example), the hardware on the CPU chip will branch to a specified location in the supervisor program's code. From there, the supervisor can remove the user program that last had control of the CPU, and continue with the next process in the queue.

If, however, there is a flawed instruction IN THE SUPERVISOR CODE, there is no "Supreme Supervisor" waiting in the wings to restart the supervisor. You can show mathematically that if the supervisor is notified by the hardware of a bad instruction and finds out that the instruction is in the supervisor's own code, there is no possible way for the supervisor to return to a known state without starting the machine over from scratch.

In Mac OS X, the supervisor program is known as Mach, aka the "Mach Kernel". If Mach goes to investigate the hardware's notification of a program error, and discovers that the error occurred while Mach's own code was in control, it has to "give up" due to the fact that there is no known recovery method.

This "giving up" is called a kernel panic. All the kernel can do at this point is try to branch to the "give up" code, which in Mac OS X draws the kernel panic screen and tries to write the current contents of all of the CPU registers and stack values to a file, and then it just waits for the user to restart.

In a nutshell, kernel panic means the kernel crashed and since it is the last resort for recovering from invalid instructions, it gives up.

There should not be any kernel panics if 100% of the code in the kernel is correct; but this can never be proven for all possible combinations of hardware and software. At present, the kernel panics in Mac OS X usually have to do with a particular combination of hardware, or faulty hardware, which the kernel has not been written to handle correctly, and when that particular combination occurs, the kernel executes an invalid instruction and goes through the panic sequence one it realizes that.

Now if the kernel gets caught in an infinite loop, the hardware has no way of knowing this (again, you can prove this with pure math), and therefore it will never put up the kernel panic information. The only way around this problem is to use an external separate CPU whose sole function is to check the main CPU (or rather, have the main CPU "check in" with it) periodically to see if the main CPU is stuck in a loop. This separate CPU is called a "watchdog timer", as if it is not "fed" (updated) by the main CPU it will "bark" (declare a loop status and restart the main CPU). Of course, if the code in the watchdog timer is faulty and goes into a loop, then you need a second watchdog to watch the first watchdog, and so forth.

For more discussion on kernel panics in OS X, see here: »Can someone explain a Kernel Panic on the Mac?

by JJ See Profile edited by rjackson See Profile
last modified: 2005-10-30 12:44:58

    Core Image is a library of routines likely to be used by high-end image and video processing applications (e.g. Photoshop and Final Cut Pro). It should not be confused with Quartz Extreme, which is the engine for the eye candy of OS X's GUI (e.g. the fast user switching animation), and has relatively modest hardware requirements (an AGP Radeon or nVidia card with at least 16MB of RAM).

    If you use high-end image or video applications, or for whatever reason can't live without the "ripple" effect in Dashboard, you might want to consider buying a Core Image-compatible video card; otherwise don't bother.

    John Siracusa explains Quartz 2D Extreme, Core Image, and Core Video at some length in his review of Tiger. On page 19 he summarizes: "The GPU-powered graphics technologies [of Tiger] play less of a role in day-to-day performance increases than you might expect. Think of them instead as enablers of entirely new things (e.g., Core Video effects) rather the bringers of 'the snappy.'"

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2005-04-28 15:50:49

No. Despite much speculation, Apple has no plans for an x86 version any time soon. Probably the best place to ask the question would be in the Hardware Forum


Check out PearPC

Update again!
Here are some comments on PearPC from djeddiej See Profile:

    First of all, before you do this, you should install Mac OS X using a legitimate copy of the software. It is after all, a nice OS, and if you want to use it for many purposes, such as web-page testing, but don't want to shell out the money to buy an entire Mac, then this may be a viable option for you. As of this point in time, the EULA states that you can install Mac OS X "onto an Apple-labelled or Apple-licenced computer.", so the lawyers were not too specific - place an Apple sticker somewhere on your PC. (I had a lawyer review it to make sure).

    Secondly, your PC should be powerful enough to run it. For hardware, you should be running a Pentium 4 2.0 gHz or higher machine with at least 1 Gig of RAM (a minimum of 256 Megs of RAM will be set aside for Mac OS X when it installs successfully).

    It is recommended that you install it on top of an OS that has the minimum installation requirements, no extra screen savers, games etc running on it. PearPC with MacOS X can install on top of both Microsoft Windows and Linux-related Operating systems (you may need to a little search to see how other people have done it). Follow the guides available at the aforementioned sites carefully, and you can run Mac OS X on a PC!

by Eric See Profile edited by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2004-09-23 17:40:15

A new feature of OS 10.2.x (Jaguar) is the ability to view the log Jaguar creates when an application crashes quits unexpectedly (kernel panics are logged as well). The log provides technical details about why the application crashed and the state of the system when it happened. To view the log(s), launch Apple System Profiler (in /Applications/Utilities) and click the tab on the far right. The crash logs are sorted by application and date.

You can also use Console to view logs, which are located in user/Library. Note that the Console application included with 10.3 (Panther) has new features and is the preferred method for viewing crash logs (and all other logs) in 10.3

by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2003-12-20 17:04:14

If you want to print a list of files contained in a folder etc., open Printer Setup Utility and drag a folder or any mounted drive over it in the Dock.
The print dialog will open and you can either preview it, create a PDF or print it...
Great for including a list of files sent on CD to a service bureau.

by leXicon5 See Profile edited by tmpchaos See Profile
last modified: 2004-08-26 08:57:16

Mac OS X 10.3 ships with Safari as the default web browser and Mail as the default mail client, but you are free to choose your own. The "default" program is the one used by the system whenever you click on something that launches a browser or email.

To change your default browser, launch Safari and go to the Preferences. In the General pane, there's a place to select your default browser from a list of installed browsers on your machine.

Likewise, to change your default mail client, launch Mail.app and go to the Preferences. You can select from a list of mail clients or choose one not on the list by clicking "Select...".

For versions of OS X prior to Panther (10.3.x), the default browser and mail preferences are set using the "Internet" pane in System Preferences.

by rjackson See Profile edited by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2005-01-02 16:26:42

Sometimes Spotlight's index gets corrupted. When this happens, it won't find certain files or folders. You'll often discover this when you *know* a file exists somewhere but a Spotlight search doesn't uncover it. Here's what I recommend: Have Spotlight reindex the entire computer. Do it at night before you go to bed -- it'll be done when you wake up. Here's the command line way to do it:

Step 1: Open Terminal.app

Step 2: Type in: sudo mdutil -E /

Step 3: You'll be prompted for the admin password. Enter it.

(thanks to enckwanzer)

by cbrigante2 See Profile edited by rjackson See Profile
last modified: 2005-09-12 19:35:21

This is all controlled in OS X by the Launch Services database. From time to time, you may notice wacky goings-on that may indicate it's time to rebuild this database. These symptoms can include:

  • "Open With" context menu showing duplicate apps

  • "Open With" showing programs you no longer installed

  • Certain file types open with the wrong application

  • Finder shows the wrong icon for some files

All of these can be repaired when you rebuild Launch Services. To do so, open up Terminal.app (in /Applications/Utilities/) and type (or paste) the following command:
Then log out and log back in (or restart). Everything should now be fixed.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • For Yosemite, the correct command is: [code] /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user [/code]

    2015-01-08 08:49:10 (TamaraB See Profile)

by rjackson See Profile
last modified: 2005-12-20 15:42:36

Legally, no. The license for OS X does not allow it to be installed on non-apple hardware at this time. Technically, it can be done, but you must overcome some protections apple built into OS X to prevent people from installing it on any old PC.

Since, at this time, installing OS X is not legal, our forum will neither discuss it nor provide help on making it work. Other sites on the internet may be able to help you.

For info on emulating Mac OS (Classic) on x86, see this entry: »All things Macintosh »Can I run Mac OS on x86?

by Daemon See Profile edited by rjackson See Profile
last modified: 2006-01-16 09:00:26

(Note: Apple's plans for supporting Windows seem to be partially unknown, so this FAQ entry may sometimes be out of date or otherwise inaccurate)

Yes! Apple recently released a utility known as Boot Camp that allows you to easily install Windows XP on your intel-based Mac, and should allow you to install Windows Vista when it is released. Please note a few things about Boot Camp:
  • You have to buy a full-version of Windows XP (upgrade versions will not suffice)
  • Windows running on a Mac will be just as vulnerable to viruses/worms/spyware/etc as it is on any other computer. Make sure you keep your machine up to date
  • Boot Camp is currently beta software, which means it is not up to Apple's normal quality standards, and may change in the future
  • OS X 10.5 "Leopard" will include the final version of Boot Camp, and may include virtualization support that will allow you to run Windows programs without rebooting your computer or leaving OS X!

by Daemon See Profile edited by rjackson See Profile
last modified: 2006-04-09 20:48:03

Here is how you can get your mail log info from Apple Mail:

Go to Library/Scripts/Mail Scripts/Turn on Logging.scpt

When you click on the "Turn on Logging.scpt" item, it will ask you if you want to RUN it? The answer is YES. If you run it with Apple Mail closed it will launch it, and begin to log everything that is going on. To find the log info that Apple Mail is recording, go to "Console" in Utilities and click it on.

Keep your Apple Mail running because once you close Apple Mail, the logging process STOPS, and would have to be re-Run if you wanted it to continue logging info the next time.

by ReneeRC See Profile edited by tmpchaos See Profile
last modified: 2006-12-14 20:39:09

Mac OS X Tips Archive

by leXicon5 See Profile edited by tmpchaos See Profile
last modified: 2007-03-10 22:55:17

In all versions of OS X once a User has been created, a file called .AppleSetupDone appears and is located in /var/db. If you boot the machine to single user mode by holding down command key and the letter S, you can mount the file system and remove this file.
Power the unit holding down command key and S
type mount -uw /
Change directory, cd /var/db
Remove the file, rm .AppleSetupdone
Exit single by either typing exit or restart with reboot.
When the system restarts you will run through the entire setup as if the unit was brand new. Creating a new user account will give you access to the machine as an administrator.
After creating this new user account, you will be able to open System Preferences and select Groups and Users. Then, after unlocking the the Preference Pane, select the User account you wish to change the password for and select Reset Password. As always, when you change the password for a User, whether it be with the Password Utility from install media or via this route, make sure you rebuild the keychain. You will have to authenticate for each service as you launch it until the new password is in your new keychain.

(From »www.smalldog.com TechTails)

by tmpchaos See Profile