Do’s and Dont’s

Posted: January 7, 2008 in backup, hardware, Mac OSX
Tags: , , , ,

Do you ever do something only to have it blow up in your face, or not work, or just make your life miserable and wish you could hit the undo button, but there just isn’t one? This was the case for me twice last week.

My first screwup was installing Leopard on a G4 iBook. Not so much the idea of doing it, that part is fine, but you do need to take heed of a few warnings before going down that road yourself. Uninstall all your “haxies”. Make sure you get all of them. I remembered this warning from something i read at some point, so i uninstalled APE manager and the only haxie i thought was on the G4 iBook. As it turns out i missed one. The one obvious haxie was clear dock. It was a nice way to make the dock less noticeable in os 10.4 but 10.5 has it’s own version built in, so i disabled it and removed it. The other haxie i forgot about was iScroll2. iScroll2 is a great program that basically allows the older mac laptops to scroll like the newer ones do when you place two fingers on your trackpad and drag them. i find myself cursing at laptops that do not have this feature. Anyways, i realized as i was trying to restart after installing Leopard that something was amiss. i could not get past the initial boot screen, the finder would not load. This was the first instance of me reaching for that UNDO button. So, digging out a firewire cable, booted up in Target Disk mode and connected to my MacBook to peruse the ibook’s HD in search of the culprit. After some digging around i found iScroll2 and removed it, and voila – fixed! After booting up and finalizing the install of leopard, i took a chance and reinstalled iScroll2 on the ibook. it works perfectly, it just can’t be installed when leopard is being installed.

My second faux paux was using the application Monolingual to gain back some space on my MacBook hard drive. Nothing against Monolingual, it does save you some room on your mac by removing all the languages you do not need, but the program is open source and as good as it is, it screwed up a program on my mac that i use daily.  I was pulling out my hair for a bit trying to figure out what happened a few days after using  Monolingual when i tried to open PasswordMaster and it would not work.  A sinking feeling settled into my gut and i began to mentally list all the programs i had that were password protected, or websites i needed passwords for, etc.  Again, where was that UNDO button. It was quite a scary feeling. After a few moment so panic, i realized it must have happened when i stripped off the unused languages and decided to open the console to see what file was trying to be accessed that was no longer working or possibly didn’t even exist any more on my mac. I was getting the error “an exception of class nilobjectexception was not handled”. For some reason PasswordMaster was using the file located in system/library/textencodings/unicode encoding.bundle and it was causing the error and it had been edited the same day i ran Monolingual. Thankfully i had been running Time Machine for a few days before the problem occurred so I simply went back and restored that file, restarted my Mac and all was well with my PasswordMaster program again. As a good samaritan i contacted the good folks at to let them know about the bug. It’s not a major thing and i supposed it could have been much worse, but it is an error that needs to be investigated and fixed before it happens to someone else a little less computer savvy.

If nothing else, the above makes me realize that good working backups are always worth the time and effort, and i recommend them before doing anything to your system, whether it is something as simple as removing unused languages or installing an updated OS, make sure you have everything important backed up somewhere, or even better cloned so you can just restore and try again, that truly is the best kind of UNDO button.



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