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Posts posted by car1son

  1. Your Desktop is represented by a folder in your user home folder. May I assume you can open an ordinary Finder window ? If so, what happens when you look for the folder named "Desktop" in your home folder? Can you open it from within a Finder window? Are there any files inside it? (Maybe it vanished, or its permissions got messed up.)


    It would also be interesting to know if a second User account on the same Mac has the same problem. (You can create a second user account using the System Preferences, Accounts prefpane. A second user account is useful to have around for seeing if problems are system-wide or isolated to a user account.

  2. You can attach your Automator script to a folder by using Folder Actions.

    First, save the Automator script as "Plug-in" for "Folder Actions". (It'll get dumped somewhere in your Library/Workflows folder.)

    Next, in Finder, right-click (control-click) on a folder in in the contextual pull-down find "Enable Folder Actions". Then, right-click (control-click) again and select Attach Folder Action... and in the dialog click the left "+" and add the folder you want, then select the folder and click the right "+" and add the automator script you created.


    On the other hand, "demanding a password" isn't really something you can do in Automator. You could script an nput dialog to get the text, but that won't stop the folder from opening (and even if it did, it's dead easy to Force Quit the script!)


    Like Dolphbucs, I wonder if there isn't some better way to implement what you're really trying to accomplish. For example, if you're trying to protect the content of a folder from prying eyes, using an encrypted Disk Image may be more appropriate. And if you want to log the contents of a folder, using a simple shell comand such as "ls" to write the names, size, and time-modified of all files into a log file might be superior to a screenshot (since the entire set of files may not actually be visible on the screen at any given time.)

  3. "." and ".." are Unix conventions. "." is the current directory. ".." is the containing directory.


    For example, if you open Terminal, you will (default config) have the current working directory be your user folder, /Users/UserName/. The command "cd Documents" will change the working directory to "/Users/UserName/Documents". Then, "cd .." will change your working directory back "up" to /Users/UserName/. "cd ." generally does nothing. "ls -a ." will list the content of the current directory, just as "ls -a". "ls -a .." will list the content of the containing directory (folder).


    (By the way, if you "ls -a" in your home (user) folder, you'll probably see more than the three hidden .files you mentioned. Starting a file or directory name with "." is a convenient Unix trick for getting ugly and uninteresting stuff out of sight (unless the user adds -a to make it visible.) .Trash is another example. ".cups" has my printer config, ".mplayer" my mplayer config, ".ssh" my remote login info, and so on. Unix programs use these .things the way Mac apps use the Library/Preferences folders.)

  4. BTW, iLife has never had a serial number.

    Thanks, Graham - I've never actually bought a retail iLife, since it keeps coming free on my Macs. (I think there's an iWork on this iMac, too, but I've never used it. TextEdit is all the work I need.)


    Just a thought, but could it be that QT merely accepts incoming connections to update codecs and/or check for version updates?

    Usually software update is handled by an outbound connection (Mac calling to Apple, or whatever manufacturer.) And, QT is usually handled by Software Update.


    The only apps on my iMac that accept incoming connections are File Sharing (so my Powerbook and eMac can connect to it for file access), iTunes (so my PowerBook can use the Shared Music feature and play music off the iMac), remote login, and iChat.


    I checked the firewall log and QTPlayer is trying to listen for UDP packets on port 55093, which didn't tell me much.

    What's confusing is that this is a month-old update, and a Google search doesn't seem to show any hint others have commented on this bahavior. I don't have the biggest tinfoil hat on the web.


    Whatever, I rolled Quicktime Player back to v7.5.5 and the listening has gone away.

  5. Hmmm... interesting thought. That'd be change of style for Apple. I read that iLife 09 and iWork 09 retail boxes don't even need serial numbers - they just install straight from the retail DVD. (Unlocking the demo version still needs a key, I believe.) And, I also read that Snow Leopard will include all QTPro features standard, without the need to buy the Pro unlock key. So, it seems odd Apple would add a new piracy check into QTPro now as part of a routine update.


    Also, if it was an anti-piracy check, I'd expect QT to broadcast a UDP packet for other QT's to detect, and Little Snitch doesn't detect that (or any other outgoing network activity from QT) happening.


    I have noticed that the Firewall asks whenever I do an export from QT (not when I launch QT.) Since format conversion is one of the QTPro features, that behavior supports your hypothesis.


    Sorry to ramble, I just feel uncomfortable with any software talking on the net behind my back. The popup was a real eyebrow-raiser. (Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.) Thanks for the thoughful explanation.

  6. I only yesterday finally updated my iMac to 10.5.6 and Quicktime 7.6 via Software Update. All seems well, except this morning, while using Quicktime player (QT Pro) to do some minor editing (saving pictures from some videos), the Firewall suddendly popped up to ask if I wanted to allow Quicktime Player to accept incoming network connections. Now, I wasn't doing anything in QTP that would have needed any network access (I know it can use the network to stream content).


    Why would the Quicktime Player ever need to accept an incoming connection ? (If I was going to allow that, I'd also have to open up my router.)

    Apple's description of the 7.6 QT update only says the usual boilerplate, "includes changes that increase reliability, improve compatibility and enhance security." It doesn't say anyting about a new feature where QT listens something to contact it.

  7. Wow, your Finder is really sick, crashing every 90 seconds or so.


    It would be an interesting experiment to see if it happens to a different user account. If you don't currently have a second user account on your Mac, you can use the System/Preferences... Accounts prefpane to create one. Then log in as that other username and just open and close windows to see if Finder behave better. That will help determine if your have a system-wide problem or some account-specific issue.


    Either way, you might mentally review what software you have installed. Simple applications probably aren't a problem, but stuff that's more intrusive into your OS is worth reviewing: Menubar hacks, automation tools, diagnostic software, antivirus, Network monitors, Wiretap, EyeTV, CandyBar, that sort of thing.


    (Also, if you have TechToolPro or DiskWarrior, you might ask it to scan your hard drive's Volume and Finder info, in case the root cause is corrupt disk info.)


    For a system-wide problem, you might consider an Archive and Install from your 10.5 install DVD, to put OSX back to initial condition (followed by a session with Software Update to bring it back up to current rev (there's a 10.5.11 ? OMG, why am I still on 10.5.5 ? Whatever, downloading the current "combined updater" from Apple prior to the Archive & Install can save you time.)


    If it's a problem specific to the user, and you can't think of any oddball software you have installed, you can play some games to isolate the issue by first removing the user Library folder to return the account closer to virgin status, and steadily putting things back. If it turns out to be account-specific, LMK if you'd like some suggestions on how to proceed with that.)


    PS. The crash log would be more interesting seen from the start (stack & thread trace) rather than at the end. Usually these logs can only be interpreted by a true Finder exegete, but sometimes it drops a clue to us mere mortals. :)

  8. Time Capsule is intended to be able to keep backups for several Macs at the same time, without confusing them. So, without actually having tried what you plan, I would expect Time Machine/Capsule to treat your new computer as exactly that, and make a new backup for it.


    I can think of two things that might change that, slightly, but I'm speculating in absence of experience...

    First, if you Name your new Mac with the same name as the old one, it might think it's the same machine (Time Capsule may not care about the name, though, and might use a h/w identification such as the Ethernet's MAC address.) Either way, Time Machine would see it as a different disk, and treat all your files as needing a new back, so it would still copy everything again.


    If you migrate to your new Mac by restoring your old Time Machine backup from the Time Capsure, TM might treat it as the same machine and same set of files for continued incremental backups. The only time I have tried to restore an entire machine from a TM backup, I did it to the same Mac it originally came from. In that case TM continued incremental backups from there. I don't know how it would work out using a different Mac.

  9. Depends on where you're downloading from.


    DRM-free music from the iTunes Store ("Plus" tracks) does indeed contain your Apple ID (email address.) (I'm not sure if that's added by the iTunes Store before downloadiing or by iTunes after downloading.)


    Downloaded podcasts also get modified by iTunes after downloading, to add iTunes-specific tags. AFAIK, that doesn't insert and info that would identify you, just info that let's iTunes identify it as a podcast and which podcast it is for. (If you remove a podcast file from iTunes and then add the file back to the library, it puts itself right back into the same Podcast.)


    Non-iTunes Store videos added to the iTunes Library are originally left as-is, but if you add any of Apple's tags (or add cover art), it can take iTunes 10-15 minutes to re-copy a large video file to make room for the extended tags.

  10. One or more of the user's preference files may be corrupt.


    First, Quit Safari Go to the user's Library/Caches folder and delete the Safari folder. Re-try Safari.


    Next, I'd try removing the preferences (Quit Safari. Go into the user's Library/Preferences folder and drag com.apple.Safari.plist to the desktop, try Safari again.)


    If that doesn't help, try removing the resto fo Safari's files (Quit Safari, go to the users Library folder and Drag the Safari folder to the desktop. Re-try Safari.) There are several files in that Safari folder, including Bookmarks. If this fixes Safari, you may want to try to recover those.)


    Note that many of Safari's preferences wil reset to their defaults when you do this, and will need to be set up again.

  11. A couple of ideas:


    If you're willing to collect the files into groups mannually, just select a bunch of the files (in Finder, I suggest List view) and then control-click (or right-click) on the batch and select "Compress" from the context popup menu. That'll make an Archive.zip of those files, send it to your friend, and he can unzip to recover the files. Repeat with next batch of files until you're done. (Keep track of where you are by using List view in Finder and setting the Label of already archived files,


    It you're looking for something a little less manual, you can select all the files and again control-click (or right-click) and select Compress, making one giant Archive.zip file. Then (move the Archive.zip into its own folder) go to the Terminal, cd to the file with Archive.zip, and use teh split command to break it up into equal size pieces. "split -b1000m Archive.zip myxferfileset" will create a set of 1GB (1000m) files named "myxferfilesetaa", "myxferfilesetab", "myxferfilesetac", "myxferfilesetad",.... and so on. (On Mac you could also use the Split&Cat program, http://www.xs4all.nl/~loekjehe/Split&Concat/ to avoid having to use the command line.)

    On a Mac, once you have all the split files, they can be reassembled into the original with the cat command ("cat" is the concatenate command) in Terminal "cat myxferfileset?? > Archive2.zip" and then unzip the new Archive2 file.

    [HMSRedoubtable:~/SPLITETST] me% ls
    [MyMac:~/SPLITETST] me% split -b1000m TESTFILE.zip mybigxferfileset
    [MyMac:~/SPLITETST] me% ls
    TESTFILE.zip		mybigxferfilesetai	mybigxferfilesetar	mybigxferfilesetba
    mybigxferfilesetaa	mybigxferfilesetaj	mybigxferfilesetas	mybigxferfilesetbb
    mybigxferfilesetab	mybigxferfilesetak	mybigxferfilesetat	mybigxferfilesetbc
    mybigxferfilesetac	mybigxferfilesetal	mybigxferfilesetau	mybigxferfilesetbd
    mybigxferfilesetad	mybigxferfilesetam	mybigxferfilesetav	mybigxferfilesetbe
    mybigxferfilesetae	mybigxferfilesetan	mybigxferfilesetaw	mybigxferfilesetbf
    mybigxferfilesetaf	mybigxferfilesetao	mybigxferfilesetax
    mybigxferfilesetag	mybigxferfilesetap	mybigxferfilesetay
    mybigxferfilesetah	mybigxferfilesetaq	mybigxferfilesetaz
    [MyMac:~/SPLITETST] me% cat mybigxferfileset?? > FOO.zip
    [MyMac:~/SPLITETST] me% diff FOO.zip TESTFILE.zip


    On Windows, you send all those "mybigxferfileset*" files to your friend. You could use the same split/cat commands if your friend has installed CygWin ( http://www.cygwin.com/ ), which is a collection of unix commands (including "cat") that run on Windows. Or, it can be done without extra software with the old Windows "Command Prompt" using the COPY command ( "COPY /B myxferfilesetaa +myxferfilesetab +myxferfilesetac +myxferfilesetad (....) ARCHIVE.ZIP" )


    I tried the above, using split on the Mac and COPY on Windows XP (under BootCamp) and it worked fine. (I did edit up a COMBINE.BAT file with teh COPY command and all the file names on the Mac side, since my Windoze skilz are pretty lame and I didn't want to type all those filenames.)


    There's a Windows utility HJSplit ( http://www.freebyte.com/hjsplit/ ) that does something similar, but I haven't used it.


    You might look at MacPAR (http://www.xs4all.nl/~gp/MacPAR_deLuxe/), which can create some PAR checksum & recovery files to detect and repair any file corruption that may happen when the batch gets transfered.

  12. I like Time Machine: it's simple, and keeps a deep backup (so if I accidentally ruin a file, I don't find my backup is a copy of the ruined file. TM backups use more space, but I think keeping the history is worth it.) I only power on the TM external drive when I work on "interesting" projects (and I exclude some areas from TM backups, such as podcasts, so I don't filll up the TM volume with volatile cruft.) Time machine seems happy with that intermittent connection, and I did one successful trial restore of a TM backup using the Leopard install DVD. I'm happy enough with it that I've dropped my old, pre-TM daily and weekly backup process.


    But, I also have a separate external drive with a CCC clone (and in my case, it's bootable.) I only update the clone irregularly (~bimonthly), but I like being ready to go if anything happens. (However, I have noticed that when booted from the clone, TimeMachine doesn't think of the backup as being from the same disk, so some care is needed to avoid having TM re-copy EVERYTHING from the clone, possibly purging a lot of good backup data to make room for the copy of the clone.)

    Also, I backup projects to DVD at milestones, and burn several DVDs of doc folders each 1st-of-month.


    If I was doing only one backup, I'd go with Time Machine.

  13. You have probably already done this when you installed OSX or first started your Mac, but check your System Prefrences / International, and make sure your Language to choice is set to Icelandic: (On the Inout Menu tab, check Icelandic and check "Show input menu in menu bar" and then select the Icelandic language from that input menu.) Then, us "Force Quit..." from the Apple menu and resatart Finder.

  14. First, is there any chance the Mac is trying to boot FROM the firewire drives? Hold the Option key down during power-up and manually select the internal drive for boot to see how that works. Check System Preferences / Startup Disk to make sure its first choice is booting from the internal drive.


    Just for yucks, zap the pram. Press 4 keys: Command, Option, P, and R. Hold these keys down simultaneously when turning on Mac.

    ( http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379 )


    Final idea: Boot in Verbose mode. Hold the Command-V keys down during power-up. The Mac should boot in verbose mode, meaning instead of the "apple screen" you'll get a bunch of white text scrolling up on back background, reporting each step in the boot process. When it gets stuck, you can check the last few lines on teh screen to see what the heck it's doing. This may provide a clue to resolving the issue.

  15. You can boot off the Leopard install DVD and use Disk Utility from the DVD to repair the volume.

    Disk Warrior is pretty good at straightening out disk file structure issues, if you own it or have $100 to buy it. TechTool Pro is also capable of disk volume structure repair, just not as comprehensively as Disk Warrior.

  16. Or you could leave the artist as it is, and just set the album artist to the main artist. I think this will achieve what you want.

    I hadn't noticed iTunes' handling of that before. If you set the "album artist" to group tracks into a single album, when you use iTunes to browse music by artist, the list of artists still shows both the actual artist of the tracks (e.g., "Britney Spears" and "Britney Spears featuring the Ying Yang Twins"), but when you select the artist "Britney Spears" the tracks by "Britney Spears" and "Britney Spears featuring the Ying Yang Twins" both show up in the track list.


    But, this doesn't seem to be the behavior on my iPods (an old 3G B&W and a new Classic.) There, selecting "Britney Spears" doesn't list the tracks by "Britney Spears featuring the Ying Yang Twins".

  17. Sorry, if you select by artist, "Britney Spears" and "Britney Spears featuring the Ying Yang Twins" are two different artists as far as iTunes is concerned. (If you search by Album "Blackout", using either Compilation or Album Artist will work for you, though.)


    You could just lie to iTunes and set the Artist to just "Britney Spears" (using the comment field to sort all the performers out.) I've done that with some of my Musical collections. E.g., for "Avenue Q" I set the cast to "Avenue Q Original Broadway Cast", and use the comments to credit, e.g., "Stephanie D'Abruzzo & Rick Lyon".


    Or, ou could make a playlist. Or, use a Smart Playlist for "Artist contains Britney Spears." E.g., I have a Smart Playlist that selects "Artist contains Paul Simon", which collects all of Paul Simon's works, whether with Art Garfunkel or solo or with any of his many other collaborations. I did something similar with an extended Beatles smart playlist. Of course, that's a hassle if you have a lot of artists you want to treat that way.

  18. Because Album names aren't necessarily unique, iTunes usually decides two tracks are part of the same Ablum if they have the same Album name and Artist. Being part of the same Album shows up in coverflow and Album groupings.


    You can override that default in two ways: "Part of a Compilation" means different artists worked on the different tracks on the same Album (such as Musicals or "Greatest Hits of the 60s"-type albums; iTunes ignores the Artist name and groups all tracks based on just the Album name. (You can see how that would fail to do the right thing if you had two compilation albums with the same name.)


    Setting the "Album Artist" has much the same effect - iTunes then groups tracks into a single Album based on the same Album name and Album Artist name. This is more useful if you have two compilation albums with the same name.

  19. The question, and Apple's comment, confuses me, because I'm running 10.5.5 and haven't noticed that function missing. I just typed cmd-F in Finder and entered a word I knew was in file names I'd been working on, and it found matching files on my boot drive, files on a mounted external volume, and files stored in a mounted disk image. (The search is set to "This Mac")


    Perhaps rebuilding the Spotlight data for the volume your Mac isn't searching would help? (System Preferences / Spotlight / Private - add the volume to excluded searches, then remove it again.)