Mac OS X

Leopard and SoftRAID

If you use a RAID 0 array created by SoftRAID 3.6.4 as the boot drive on your Intel Mac and you feel the urge to install Leopard on it, don't. Just be patient until SoftRAID 3.6.6 comes out. Also, get your head examined. You should not be running striped RAID as your boot drive! *grin*


Leopard firewall

OS X Server 10.4 has an excellent firewall. It has a nice UI, lets you rearrange firewall rules by dragging and dropping, and is basically a sweet interface to ipfw. I haven't checked if they've made any changes or improvements on OS X Server 10.5.

What I can tell you is that it is a crying shame that Apple didn't take that nice firewall interface and put it into OS X 10.5. I understand their motivation (make it easy for Aunt Betty to feel secure) but I want more control. More at and Leopard firewall takes one step forward, three steps back. Alternatives are WaterRoof and DoorStop.


Mann pages

For a long time I've just used the man command to look up man pages inside Terminal. I find this frustrating. I downloaded a copy of ManOpen years ago but for whatever reason I don't use it. Mostly because I have to resize the window every time. Anyway, fast forward to today when I resolved to spend 10 minutes solving this problem. Here's my solution.

1. Download Bwana and drag it to your OS X Applications folder.
2. Add the following line to your /Users/username/.profile file:

mann() { open man:$@; }

This adds a bash function named mann that opens the man page in Safari, complete with hyperlinks and searchability. So now I can type, e.g., mann lookupd. Yay! And it has the following bonus: whenever I look up a unix command, I now think of Boris.


Solution to iMovie 6.0.3 consistent crashes

For a while now, my copy of iMovie HD has been crashing when I try to open it. I've been putting off finding the solution since I haven't needed to do much with iMovie, but today I needed it.

I first reinstalled the iMovie 6.0.3 update. No luck. Then reinstalled QuickTime 7.2. Still crashing. An examination of ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/iMovie HD.crash.log showed this thread as the culprit:

Thread 5 Crashed:
0       	0x90811125 CFRetain + 56
1         	0x67e01f56 -[MediaGrabberiTunes _loadMusicThreaded] + 733
2           	0x927f52e0 forkThreadForFunction + 123
3   libSystem.B.dylib              	0x90024227 _pthread_body + 84

That led me to a thread on iPhoto crashes on Apple's discussion forum, with solution posted by Terence Devlin: start up GarageBand.

I started up GarageBand, quit it, and now iMovie HD is working fine. Although Terence recommended saving something from GarageBand, I found that just starting the application was enough. Apparently something in GB's initialization routine fixes the problem.



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