Category Archives: Mac

Virtual happiness

I should add “on the Mac” to that title, but I’ll avoid any born again references for now. By virtual, I’m referring to the ever so wonderful virtualization, the ability to run a guest OS within another (see wikipedia entry on virtualization for more). For me, on my iMac, I’m using VirtualBox. It’s opensource, from a company which was recently purchased by Sun. My primary use will be quick access to an OS to test configurations or run (windows-only) software. I currently have debian and ubuntu versions, will get a Windows (Vista probably) as soon as I am willing to shell out the $$. Right now, for the few windows-only apps I have, I VNC to my seldom used windows boxes (Vista, Win2k).

VirutalBox has guest edition software for Windows and Linux which adds nice features such as mouse pointer integration and integrated windows. Plus, sharing host directories is very easy. These features are available in the other commercial virtual host solutions I’ve looked at.

OS installation was a breeze for the Linux distributions, as I simply downloaded the iso images and mounted it as cdrom for the guest installer to use.


More fun stuff, played with Automator recently because I wanted to find a quick way to set image tags for multiple images. You can do it manually in, but wanted a drag and drop solution. I guess I got inspired after watching a recent ScreenCastsOnline podcast (; as a demo, they showed building a workflow for scaling images by 50%. After a bit of searching, I found an Write IPCT Tags action on (

With that action, can create static workflow, or can prompt for all the tags to set.

Using Spotlight to find system files (Leopard)

Well, I just get done writing a happy shiny post about being on a Mac, and now I have to grumble a little bit..

It all started because I was trying to find the location of the apache root by searching for a file I knew would be there, index.html.. But no matter what I did, Spotlight would not show the files I knew had to be there…

After some trial and error and some Google searching, figured out this was because of something new in Leopard… Only way to search system files is via the finder:

  1. enter the search term on the finder window
  2. (after the search bar shows up) click the “+” to add search option
  3. In first menu, choose “Other …”
  4. Choose “System Files” from the list that pops up (and check to place in menu to avoid this step later), click “OK”
  5. Now back at the Finder, choose “include” from the second menu

Now you can use this to find all system files

Return to all things Mac

I became a Unix/C geek back in ~1983; before that, not much mattered, although I do remember by DG Eclipse RDOS days rather fondly. I purchased a Macintosh in 1985 and was fully entrenched in everything Mac both for work (development along with Unix/X) and personal use until about 1999.  After that it was just occasional use as, although I continued with Unix/Linux, I eventually wound up Windows based — primarily to co-exist with various company IT. I picked up a used iMac (lime) in 2003 and loaded up OS X (Panther) and started to enjoy it a little bit, mostly hampered by the underpowered iMac. Can’t say I did much except use it as a browser and iTunes station (without any iPod) for most of the time.

But I finally got fed up with the lame Windows releases and convinced myself that a new iMac was the way to go… So, around Thanksgiving 2007,  I  bought a shiny new 24″ iMac 2.4 Core 2 Duo, 2 GB, 500G….. Ah, life is good once again! Can’t believe how I lasted this long — computer nirvana once again!