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Documents:OSX Panther Tips 10.3

1. Reducing Panther boot times

Joachim Buechse A number of users have been suffering slower startup since installing 10.3.2. Steve Minnick got a simple solution from Apple support, which he posted to the Apple discussion boards. I have investigated the technical details and described this a couple of days ago in a detailed post: Topic: HOWTO: Slow 10.3.2 startup fix

So far the responses were extremely positive. In short either one of the following commands will bring startup performance back to the pre X.3.2 level:

sudo ln -s /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheControl /usr/sbin/

sudo cp -p /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheControl /usr/sbin/

There is a certain consensus that the ln solution is better than Apples original cp solution.

Furthermore we found out today that some users could not get their (foreign) keyboard setting to stick when using autologin in 10.3.2. The above fix also cures this problem.

BootCacheControl is called during the startup process to create a cache of files needed to boot (up to the point were the login window is displayed). In the 10.3.2 version the executable is called from /etc/rc script twice:

- BootCacheControl - BootCacheControl tag

both times its called using a shell variable set in /etc/rc which points to /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheControl (and if this would not exist it would point to /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl.) But there is another important call of the executable from the loginwindow process later:

- /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl autostop 15

Unfortunately the file /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl does not exist on a(ll) updated 10.3.2 system. The copy command above takes care of that problem.

2. Hidden capabilities in the Panther Calculator

Norman Palardy thanks Norm :)

Navigate to where the Calculator is installed (likely the Applications folder.)

Control click the application and select "Show Package Contents."

Navigate to Contents/Resources in the Calculator Contents. In this folder you will find: ExpressionSheet.calcview Graphing-2D.calcview Hexadecimal.calcview

Move these to the Contents/Plugins folder

Start the calculator and behold; 2d graphing, an expression worksheet mode, and a hexadecimal calculator with boolean operations

Also adding these plug-ins can also be accomplished by using the "plug-ins" section of the Get Info window. The only unusual thing is that you must click the "open" button (or, presumably, double-click) when on the <xxx>.calcview folder.

There is also an rtf file in the ExpressionSheet.calcview/Contents/Resources/<xxx>.lproj with information about the expression syntax.

3. Creating smaller PDFs using Mac OS X

Mike Platteter Like many Mac OS X users who use the Save As PDF... feature, I am dismayed at the size the PDF file is, especially when a lot of images are used. What I like to do with my documents is have a lot of high resolution images in the document so it looks great when printed (usually at 300DPI) Trouble is, when you want to send a proof to copy to someone, the file size is often too large. So I just discovered a way to generate smaller PDFs. Here's how. Select File > Print... Select ColorSync from the pull down that usually says Copies & Pages Select Reduce File Size from the Quartz Filter menu Then click the Save As PDF... button.

If you compare two PDFs using this, one with the Reduce File Size option enabled and one without, you'll notice that the PDF is smaller. A test I did shrunk a 6.1MB file from Microsoft Word to 2.6MB by simply enabling the Reduce File Size option.

Additionally, you can create your own Quartz Filters by using the ColorSync Utility in the Applications/Utilities folder. (Or, click on the Add Filter option from the Quartz Filters pop up in the above steps)

On the toolbar, click on the Filters icon. You can add a new filter on the left pane by clicking the Add button. Then the easiest way to affect PDF file sizes is to select the Images tab, and choose Compression from the pop up.

4. Finder bug dealing with symbolic links
Erick Wong

The Finder in Mac OS X 10.3 (tested with 10.3.2) contains a serious bug with respect to symbolic links which could lead to inadvertent data loss by users with administrative access.

The problem appears to lie in the new authentication code in Panther Finder which allows privileged file operations to be carried out with the appropriate password. To reproduce it, use the Terminal command line to first create a folder which owned by root and writable only to root. Then create a symbolic link within that folder, to any file (preferably one that is unimportant).
Sample session:
% cd ~/Desktop
% mkdir foodir ; cd foodir
% touch foo
% ln -s foo bar

Now navigate to the newly-created folder from the Finder, and drag the symbolic link (which appears to the Finder as an alias) to the Trash, authenticating as necessary. A moment later, we see that the symbolic link is back to where it started, and the file in the Trash is actually the TARGET of the link!

The severity of this bug is exacerbated by the fact that many of the symbolic links in an OS X installation exist in privileged directories and link to critical system files. I personally discovered the problem while going through the archived system of a machine I recently upgraded to Panther using "Archive & Install".

In the archived copy of /usr/sbin there is a symbolic link to AppleFileServer in /System/Library/CoreServices. Since the symbolic link uses an absolute pathname, the old link actually points to the WORKING executable in Panther. If I had not had the fortune of noticing the strange behaviour of the link reappearing after I trashed it, I would never have noticed that AppleFileServer had been moved to the Trash before emptying it!!

5. Built-in hard disk file system check: fsck -y
1) restart the machine with the command (apple) + S keys held down, this will boot into single user command line mode;
2) at the prompt type "fsck -y" (without the quotes) and hit return, this launches a disk diagnosis/repair routine;
3) repeat step 2) until you get a clean bill of health with "The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK";
4) at the prompt type "reboot" and hit return.

6. The Magic of the Option Key

Option + double click on folder = closes the window the folder resides
Option + click on desktop or other application = hides the current application after switch
Option + click on the date = turns clock on and off
Option + about this Macintosh = about the finder
Option + empty trash = trashes locked items without asking
Option + window shade = window shade all open windows
Option + collapse window = collapses all windows
Option + save = saves all
Option + print = print all
Option + double click on connected user in file sharing monitor = send message
Option + dragging item to another directory or desktop = copy to new location
Option + resize window box = full screen view
Option + eject = eject and leave behind
Option + arrow keys + desktop picture control panel = Moves desktop picture
Option + Command + Escape = Force Quit
Option + Command at Start up = Rebuilds Desktop
Option + Command + P + R at Start up = Zaps the PRAM
Option + Command + Shift + Delete at Start up = Forces start up drive to go off-line and start up off another drive with blessed system
Option + Command + Tab as inserting disk = Initializing Disk
Option + Command + Power = Force Sleep
Option + Command + Power + Shift = Force Shutdown
Option + Command + Memory Control Panel = Startup Memory Test Option
Option + Command + Control + Shift + Apple Menu = About MacOS Team
Option + space bar = non breaking words (when typing)
Option + Command + Control + Mouse Drag = Create Alias where mouse button is released Other Key Commands
Space Bar at Start up = Loads Extensions Manager before start-up
Shift at Start up = Extensions Off
Tab Key in save dialog box = switches disks to save onto
Shift Key five times = enables Easy Access Control Panel

7. The Magic of the Command Key

Command + A (when inside window, desktop, or document) = Select All
Command + C = Copy (what is selected or highlighted)
Command + D = Duplicated (folders and Files)
Command + E (selected disk) = Ejects
Command + F = Find File
Command + I (on selected files or folders) = Get Info
Command + K (in some control panels and installers) = User Mode or Configurations - Uninstall (installers)
Command + M (on selected folders or files) = Make Alias
Command + N = New
Command + O = Open
Command + P = Print
Command + Q = Quit
Command + S = Save
Command + V = Paste
Command + W = Close
Command + X = Cut
Command + Y (selected disk or selected recently moved files) = Put Away
Command + Z = Undo
Command + . = Cancel
Command + Option + E = Eject and Leave Behind
Command + Option + S = Saves All
Command + Option + P = Prints All
Command + Option + W = Closes All
Command + Option at Start up = rebuild the desktop
Command + Option + P + R at Start up = Zaps the PRAM
Command + Option + Shift + Delete at Start up = Forces start up from another external drive
Command + Shift + 3 = Screen Shot
Command + Shift + 4 = Selection cursor to select an area for a Screen Shot
Command + Caps Lock + Shift + 4 = Screen Shot of selected window
Command + Shift + Control 3 = Screen in Clipboard
Command + Shift + Control 4 = Selection cursor to select an area to dump in Clipboard
Command + Caps Lock + Control Shift + 4 = Shot of selected window into Clipboard
Command + at Start up = Disables Virtual Memory
Command + Option + E (selected disk) = Eject and leave behind
Command + Option + Escape = Force Quit
Command + Control + Startup Key = Soft Restart
Command + Option + Tab as inserting disk = Initialize Disk
Command + Shift + Clear = Number Pad Mouse Control
Command + Delete Key = Move to Trash
Command + Click + hold inactive window title bar = Moves Inactive Window
Command + up and down arrow keys in save dialog box = Go into and back in directories
Command + D in save dialog box = Desktop
Command + Tab Key = Rotates Applications
Command + Option + Power key = Force Sleep
Command + Option + Power key + Shift = Force Shutdown
Command + Click on Finder Window Title = Disk Backtracking
Command + Option + Memory Control Panel = Startup Memory Test Option
Command + Option + Control + Shift + Apple Menu = About MacOS Team
Command + Option + Mouse Drag = Create Alias where mouse button is released
Command + R with alias selected = Shows original
Command + Up Arrow = Opens parent folder
Command + R with alias selected = Shows original
Command + Up Arrow = Opens parent folder
Command + Down Arrow = Opens selected
Command + Right Arrow = Hierarchal view of selected folders in list view
Command + Left Arrow = Closes hierarchal view of selected folders in list view
Command + Shift + Q = Quits a running "stay-open" script
Command + Mouse drag in window = Scrolls without going to side bars

8. Create HFS+ and FAT32 partitions on one external drive.

9. Create your own System Preferences Panel

10. Change your Bootpanel (this is lame but fun)

11. Build a Terminal-Based Bandwith Monitor (bmon) by Michael Coyle and Scott Chitwood

Bmon is a commandline program that comes in very handy for watching the throughput of data ports. While there are several GUI utilities to do this, the fact that Bmon is a terminal program allows you to log into a remote server and monitor its throughput. In fact, it's installed on the ResEx server so I can use it to make sure the computer's connection is up to speed.

You must have the Developers Tools installed to build the program. Download the source code here.

Once the file is unstuffed open a terminal. Using the cd command (change directory) navigate to the bmon folder. You can enter the location manually or drag and drop the folder into the terminal after typing cd and a blank space.

Here's how it looked in the command line for my installation

cd /Users/scottc/ResExcellence/Submissions/Next\ Posting/12-08\ bmon/bmon-1.2.1

Then enter each of the commands noted below and wait for the output to stop scrolling before moving on in the list.

sudo cp bmon /usr/bin/
sudo cp bmon.1 /usr/share/man/man1/

Then open a new terminal and type bmon to see the display.

You can change the disply mode by entering a single letter: (o)verview (g)raphical (d)etailed

Type man bmon to access the manual where you'll find more information on using bmon.

12. Changing the Terminal Prompt by hoshi

First, make a plain text document called .login in your Home folder (note the file name begins with a dot to make it invisible!). Copy the following text and past it into that document:

alias cd 'chdir \!$; source ~/.setprompt'

Now make another plain text document in your Home folder called .setprompt and paste in the following text (again, note the file name begins with a dot to make it invisible):

# file: .setprompt
# assign the prompt variable multiple lines
# escape (quote) the newline each time
set prompt = "\
# pwd = print working directory
# This is the prompt. Feel free to customize.
x--> "

Re-login to your computer and run the Terminal app.

Now whenever you change directories you will see a new prompt displaying the current directory path. For example, type this in the terminal:
cd ~/desktop The prompt will now show something like this:
Users/artkast/Desktop x-->

13. Change the Camera Icon in Iphoto

14. Enabling Php in OSX Panther

15. System will not Boot (time to boot into open firmware mode)

a: boot into open firmware mode (command+option+O+F)

b: Type in ("boot-device") This list hard drive info

c: Take the info you just found and type : setenv boot-device "info found without quotes"

16. Can't Run "fsck -y" In Single User Mode
There are several ways to do a "File System Check" in OS X. One that is popular with more hard-care computer users is to boot into what is known as "single user mode" and to run "fsck" from the command line. (If you don't know what this all means, or if using the command line scares you, you can safely ignore this and run File System Check, when you need to, by restarting your Mac with the Shift key held down.)

Users have found that running fsck -y in Single User Mode doesn't work in Panther / because journaling is turned on by default..

Instead you can use "fsck -yf". The "-f" "forces" the system to run fsck.

However, this Apple KnowledgeBase article says that, thanks to journaling, running fsck is no longer necessary , and it suggests that running fsck in single user mode is no longer necessary, and in fact may not even be advisable.

Apparently in this article Apple is saying that you can run fsck, by forcing it (-f) but that you should only do so to verify the file system and that you should not let it fix anything (-n). In fact, when you enter single user mode there is a message that says something to the effect of 'fsck is not necessary because the volume is journaled'.

This brings up the question of what do you do when the journal is incorrect and you need to repair the file system? My best guess is that what you need to do in that event is to startup from your OS X installer CD-ROM and run Disk Utility's "Repair Disk" function.

I would appreciate feedback on this issue. Write to:

17. Good list of Tools Thanks to Kernelthread

18. Tool to fix Safari and Internet Explorer Vulnerability
Good idea to go ahead and patch this Apple is soon to come out with a fix but here is an alternate until then: Don't Go There, GURLfriend! 1.0 a test for the exploit resides here:

19. Installing Final Cut Pro 4 on older G3 Macs running OSX
I found this information here:
more info here: Final Cut Pro on older Macs

The solution:
1. Copy the Final Cut Pro 4 installer from the DVD onto your desktop. While holding down the [control] key click on the installer alias and select "Show Original". Open the Packages folder and inside it there will be another Packages. Open it and copy the FinalCutPro401.pkg file to your desktop. The file should be around 224MB in size.
2. Open the Package Contents of the file on your desktop by holding the [control] key, clicking on the icon and selecting "Show Package Contents".
3. Open the InstallationCheck file (located in the Resources folder) in a text editor and the "zero" in the last line in this section to a "one".
$hasG4 = 0;
$hasG4 = 1;
4. Save your changes and run the installer.

Now, to run the program, you have to do one more hack. This requires that you have Final Cut Pro 3 installed, or access to a computer that does. There may be an easier way to do this step (one that does not require FCP 3), but this is the only trick I've found to work.
1. Find the Final Cut Pro 3 (not 4) app on your computer. Control + click on it and select "Show Package Contents". Copy the Info.plist file inside the Contents folder onto your desktop.
2. Control + click on the installed Final Cut Pro 4 app and replace the Info.plst file inside the Contents folder with the copy you made on your desktop.
3. Enjoy using Final Cut Pro 4 on your G3 Mac!
Note: this procedure installs only the core Final Cut Pro 4 application. Live Type, Compressor, Soundtrack and Cinema Tools will not be installed.

20. Convert .dmg files to .iso [Computer Tips]

Use this terminal command to convert a .dmg to .iso:

hdiutil convert /path/to/file.dmg -format UDTO -o /path/to/file.iso

Graphics For Nothing And Your Quartz Extreme For Free
By Scott Sheppard - Editor-in-Chief - OSXFAQ

brought to you by PodShop
Finally - The perfect companion for your iPod.

Get it at

How to enable Jaguar's Quartz Extreme on older machines with PCI graphics or with less than 16 MB of VRAM. For FREE !!!

How do I know if Quartz Extreme is working?

Go get this cool freeware. It will tell you if Quartz Extreme is running.

There is great little freeware app. It is called Quartz Extreme / Check from Marc Liyanage Software (

This small Cocoa app checks and displays if Quartz Extreme (OpenGL acceleration for Quartz) is active on your Mac

Then if it is not you can try this little fun tip.
Open the config file...

System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources// / Configuration.plist

Find the following:


Change IOAGPDevice to IOPCIDevice if you have a PCI graphic card in it.

If your graphic card has less than 16 MB of VRAM, find the following:


And change the 16 to 8
There you go ...
All good to go !!
Enjoy !!

Apple File Server (AFS) - Add Share Points
By Adrian Mayo - Editor - OSXFAQ
Share directories over AFS.

When you enable Personal File Sharing (in System Preferences - Sharing), users on other (client) machines are able to connect to your (host) machine and mount selected volumes. By default, the list of volumes presented to the client consists of the home directory of each user on the host. Apple does not provide an easy way to share other directories such as /Applications or /Users/Shared.

Such "share points" can be added using the NetInfo utility in /Applications/Utilities. Fire up NetInfo and in the top pane navigate to / config. Add new entries as show below:

'directory_path' is the full pathname of directory you wish to share 'name' and 'afp_name' are both set to the name of the share. This can be anything you wish, and will appear as such on the list of volumes in the client's 'Connect...' dialogue.

If you are not comfortable using NetInfo, see Tuesday's tip.

Connect as a non-admin user to test the new share point. Connecting as an admin user allows you to mount the entire disc, and consequently you won't see all the individual share points.
Enjoy !! :-)
Panther 10.3.4

Information on the hidden files in OSX and OS9 Invisible Files Link

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