Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Points arising from the miniMeet

Maybe we should have more 'less formal' meetings, since we got such a good turnout on Monday last. Probably the hint about less talk, more drink was persuasive. As promised, here's a more accurate version of what we thought we said, with links to follow:

Applejack for Leopard
Good news of the week for Leopard users is that Applejack, our favourite easy-use maintenance tool, has now emerged in a Leopard-friendly version. From what I understand, the basic tools were always compatible (they are just unix standard commands) but getting them to work automatically at start-up was the difficult procedure. Applejack installs in the expected way (follow the link to produce a standard .dmg package) but it works (gasp) from the command-line in single-user startup mode. This is good news, because it might allow you to fix a system fault that stops the full OS X desktop from appearing (so you can't ever use the fancier tools). If you haven't experienced single-user mode, you're in for a fright or a treat, depending on how much you like seeing screens of geek-script scroll past at startup... Think of single-user as the step before even 'safe mode': the route in is Command-S at power up - you'll know if it's successful from the aforementioned screens. When all is done the final screen of startup gives you the text message from Applejack, allowing automatic running through all the steps, or just 1 or 2 as selected.

It's the usual suspects: checking the file system, prefs, deleting caches, flushing virtual memory. It does no harm to run, say, once a month, or straightaway if you're experiencing 'strangeness' in the mac's behaviour. Get the package, which is free (but donations welcome) via sourceforge, at

Updates, updates
No sooner back from IBC and the Supermeet (see later posts) than Software Update is nagging me every other day it seems. BIG combo update to bring the OS up to 10.5.5, plus updates for Quicktime, iTunes, ProApps, Aperture, as well as the 'firmware' update to iPhone/iPodTouch which brought the Apps store online. A tip that I read years ago, and follow intermittently, is to do all updates in Safe Mode: whenever I have had a problem (and yes the MBPro froze after the last QT update) it's when I've ignored this advice. Then again, you might be as well to sacrifice a chicken or wait for the full moon.

New to this site
I've added a link on the rhs (couple of blocks down) to the 'Joy of Tech' online cartoon. Very geeky, pretty exclusively mac-based. What more do you want?