osx

Wacky Leopard Bug #2: Missing Keychain file after upgrade

I updated my old Powerbook [previously running Tiger] to Leopard yesterday. Simple upgrade: backed the entire drive up to the backup partition, dropped Leopard in, ran the Upgrade Mac OS X install, and walked away for an hour and a half while it chugged. It booted up fine, I installed the available software upgrades — Apple, do we really have to download all of iTunes and Quicktime every damned time? — and rebooted again.

Launched Safari, and was presented with a dialog that told me that there was no Keychain file. I told Keychain Access to verify my Keychain, and it told me that the file was missing the extension. Turns out that Safari was right, and there was no keychain file at all. I rooted around in the backup, copied the old Keychain over, and re-ran Keychain first aid; it repaired the keychain, and all seems well now.

Edit on Nov 12: I guess all isn’t fine; the laptop requires the keychain to be unlocked the first time Safari is launched, and creating a new keychain and deleting the old one didn’t seem to fix it. I’ve seen various solutions for this posted on the Apple forums and around the net, and I’ve yet to find one that fixes my exact problem, but I haven’t spent more than 15 minutes or so looking into it.

Wacky Leopard Bug #1: Duplicate Hard Drives in Finder

Several times an external [USB] hard drive has accidentally become disconnected without ejecting it [wheelychair + loose cord == oops], and both times I end up with two instances of my main hard drive in the Finder [but not on my desktop.] Both of them function just fine, but they don’t go away if you force quit Finder … they stick around until you reboot.

Edit: This seems to be related to the backup/restore method I use [post detailing that coming soon…] — I had a disk image with the same name as my primary hard drive mounted, and that seems to be the cause of the problem. Remounting the drive and the disk image generally fixed things, however the problem didn’t show up consistently.

“Deep Sleep” on MacBook Pros

My MacBook Pro has an “alleged” deep sleep mode. I say alleged, because the sleeping part of it seems to be SO DEEP that it never ever wants to wake up. I like to sleep, too, so I empathize a little bit with Lord when he never wants to wake up, but eventually, I need him to work, and have to give him a hard shake on the shoulder — and even after that, he’s still really groggy. What to do?

So here’s the situation: The laptop goes into deep sleep for some reason [last night I left it running on battery power and I fell asleep without putting it to regular sleep]. When I need to wake it up from deep sleep, I tap the power button. It shows the “grey and blurred” version of what was last displayed, with the odd little progress bar at the bottom. The progress bar grows until it disappears, and the display returns to normal. However, nothing works — I can’t raise/lower the screen brightness, move the mouse cursor, type, or do anything. It just sits there.

Am I missing some sort of magic trick that must be done here in order to fully restore my session? Do I need to wait for longer than 5 minutes or so?

What I end up doing is hard-restarting the computer. It sits for ages on the grey screen with animated circle-thing — at least 3 minutes, an eternity in today’s computing world! — and then goes into the normal boot sequence. When it finishes booting, things are as normal, but all that extra booting time doesn’t seem to mean a thing, as it’s not restoring all the contents of my RAM; I just get a normal boot.

OSX 10.4.10 on a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Mac Book Pro with 4GB of RAM.

[Edit: This is my first post to Talkin’ About using Red Sweater Software’s MarsEdit 2, and it’s pretty swish so far. Looking forward to exploring it a bit more!]

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RSB on Recently Viewed Mail Smart Folders

Daniel at Red Sweater Blog wrote an interesting post about using Mail’s Smart Folders to create a Recently Viewed Mail Smart Folder — seems like a pretty keen tip to me.

I’m giving it a try, and in addition to his Recently Viewed parameters, I’m also excluding it from a few mail folders that I’m unlikely to refer to as often, such as the folder where “Someone has replied to your topic/blog entry/etc” mail goes, and some mailing list folders.

Depending on how you filter and store email, that might not be necessary — or it might be easier to tell it to only look for Recently Viewed mail in certain folders, as opposed to not in certain folders.

Super-fast Mail Act-On

If you use Mail Act-On to apply filters to your mail within Apple’s Mail.app, and you use one of your rules much more than any other, here’s a quick tip: assign the trigger key to the same key you use to invoke Mail Act-On. A quick double-tap of your chosen key can file mail 1.8 times faster than conventional Mail Act-On methods!

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iTunes 7 and Shared Libraries

Users with multiple computers should be aware that Library Sharing between iTunes 7 and previous versions is not enabled. I have three primary computers in my home; two running OS X Tiger and one running Windows XP. My main music library is on a USB hard drive connected to my desktop computer, and on my laptop and Windows computer I normally listen to music via shared libraries, streamed over my wireless connection.

I upgraded to iTunes 7 on my primary desktop, and have discovered that computers [both Windows and Mac] running iTunes 6 [and I assume lower] can no longer connect to the iTunes 7 computer’s shared library, with a “Shared Music Library Name is not compatible with this version of iTunes.” error message.

However, iTunes 7 is still able to connect to shared libraries on both Windows and Mac iTunes 6 clients — so if you’re an early-adopter and listen to friend’s or co-worker’s music, you don’t have much to worry about … but if they like to listen to your music, you should consider staying with iTunes 6 or encouraging them to upgrade to iTunes 7.

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Work Around that Annoying iChat Pause

Recent versions of iChat automatically pause your voice [and video] chat sessions if you start a file transfer, for the duration of the entire transfer. This is OK if it’s just a small file, but if it’s anything larger than a few MB, you probably don’t want to be stuck on mute while waiting for the transfer to finish.

There’s a dirty workaround, though: stop the voice chat, start the file transfer, and restart the voice chat. The voice chat ignores already existing file transfers!

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Monolingual for OSX

In high school, I didn’t want to learn French, and in the part of Canada I come from, your choices for non-English languages are: French. So I took some other class, which probably had an educational value about as dubious as French. Now, I look at totally cool-looking french RPGs like Vermine and go “Man, not learning French was really dumb of you.”

So, really, I’m not that proud, but it does mean I can take great advantage of Monolingual for OSX, a rocking piece of freeware that will root through the language files in the system and various applications and delete the non-English ones that you choose. This little app immediately saved me over 1GB of space on both my laptop and desktop — nothing to sneeze at, especially if you like having a small boot partition.

If you try it out, be sure to read the FAQ! There’s a “gotcha” with regards to Adobe applications, but it’s one of those great gotchas that is easily worked around … if you read the FAQ.

MacZOT.com and SubEthaEdit

BLOGZOT 2.0 on MacZOT.com is some wacky promotion where, if enough people blog about SubEthaEdit from CodingMonkeys. MacZOT and TheCodingMonkeys will award $105,000 in Mac software to bloggers.

I’ve not used SubEthaEdit, but from what I know about it, it has some really great collaboration features, but is also a fine text editor if you don’t need those features.

This is an interesting promotion that seems pretty simple on the surface: A percentage of people that get the application for free — if the goals are met — will go on to be future customers and evangelists, while a certain percentage will use it but not ever bother to upgrade to a new version. Another group will dislike it, but only a very small portion will dislike it and complain about the quality: it was free, after all.

And, of course, the nature of the promotion means it will be frequently talked about in the Mac “blogosphere” until the next shiny thing comes along.