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First find your current sleep setting by opening Terminal in OS X and entering this at the prompt:

pmset -g | grep hibernatemode

That should return you something like “hibernatemode 3”. Remember this number, send an email to yourself, write it down on a scratch pad, whatever it takes to remember your default mode. Mode 3 keeps your RAM powered during sleep to allow super fast wake-up, but also writes an image file of all memory onto disk in case power is lost.

To change the hibernate safe sleep setting to not create an image file on the disk, i.e. mode 0 (mode zero, not the letter ‘o’), enter the following in a Terminal window:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

Enter your password when asked to do so. This prevents Safe Sleep from saving your memory contents to disk, in large part the cause of not being able to wake MacBook’s from sleep.

If you’d like to get back about a gigabyte or more of disk space, delete the memory image file with the following Terminal command:

sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

Macworld has a great article with more information about safe sleep and hibernation on MacBooks.

While watching a tv series encoded with divx, in avi package format on a Macbook installed with Leopard, I noticed that Front Row would randomly crash and return to the desktop.

First step in investigating what was causing the crash is to look at the syslog.

  • Open up Terminal (Applications => Utilities => Terminal)
  • Go to the /var/log directory (cd /var/log)
  • View the syslog file (less system.log)
  • Go down to the latest entries in the log file (Shift + G)
  • Look for a line saying “Saved crashreport to /Users/[username]/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/Front Row_2008-04-27” or something to that effect. The username will be your Mac OS X username and the date attached to the Front Row text will of course be different.  These crash logs are created whenever a program you are running stops for some unknown reason (i.e. a crash).
  • Press “q” to quit the “less” program.
  • Goto the CrashReporter directory (cd /Users/[username]/Library/Logs/CrashReporter). Replace [username] with your username.
  • Open the latest Front Row crashlog with “less” (less Front Row_2008_2008-04-27). If you’re having trouble typing the name, just hit the Tab key, which will attempt to fill in the blanks as best as possible, creating spaces with escape characters.
  • Look for the line saying “Crashed Thread” and note the number beside it. In my case it was “22”.
  • Now use the search function within “less” by hitting forward slash “/” then typing “Thread 22”. This is case sensitive so make sure you capitalize “T” in Thread.
  • You should see Thread 22 Crashed: followed by what file was related to the crash of Front Row.  In my case it was listed as “com.yourcompany.XviD_Codec”.

If you continue reading, you’re doing the following AT YOUR OWN RISK.  You can royally screw up Front Row and any type of movie/video watching by performing the following, so if you have any qualms, do not perform the next steps.

My fix was to move the AppleIntermediateCodec.component and AppleMPEG2Codec.component files from /Library/QuickTime to a backup directory and replace it with Xvid_Codec 1.0 alpha.component which is detailed in another post on how to watch xvid encoded avi files on Mac OS X. To move these two files elsewhere, create a backup directory on your home directory (mkdir ~/QuickTime_backup) then use the “mv” command (mv AppleIntermediateCodec.component ~/QuickTime_backup/) (mv AppleMPEG2Codec.component ~/QuickTime_backup). Now install the alpha xvid component for Mac.

Make sure QuickTime isn’t running, or fully Quit QuickTime and then start Front Row and attempt to watch the same file that was causing Front Row to crash before.

The reasoning behind removing these two QuickTime codecs is that they aren’t on another MacBook book of mine, which doesn’t have Front Row crashing problems.  That’s the only logic I have behind this fix.

So far, the change has worked.

Best of luck.

With large files, sometimes it’s easier handling them split into many smaller files.  In order to rejoin the files one typically uses a file joining program.  I came across two that could possibly perform file joins: MacHacha and Split & Concat.

Turns out that MacHacha has some issues, perhaps related to Leopard, as after reaching the last file of a 75 part file series, it simply hung on searching for the next part (which didn’t exist).

Split & Concat on the other hand, handled the files without issue and has the option of specifying the output directory though the Options button before the start of a join session.

My vote goes to Split & Concat for file joining software on Mac OS X.

  1. Vista sucks.
  2. OS X rocks.
  3. Web Apps.
  4. Mac Bling.
  5. Mac at Last Gen PC Price.
  6. Bootcamp parachute.

Points 1 & 2 are self-explanatory.

3. Web Apps

People are no longer afraid of not being able to run their Windows apps because… nearly everything is becoming a web application. The only thing you need to run a web app is a web browser, which is free and already installed.

Most devastating to Microsoft’s crumbling empire was/is GMail. Email is the most used Internet service. Everyone gets email (even possibly the AOLers).

GMail virtually eliminated spam. And now, everyone has a GMail address.

GMail, is a web app.

Web App = Operating System Agnostic. Bye-bye chains of Windows servitude.

4. Bling

People like to show off their richesse. Ladies will buy a thousand dollar Louis Vuitton handbag to hold a set of house keys. Why not a sleek sexy Macbook Pro to hold their SSH keys?

5. Price… not so bad

Macs are more expensive than a similarly equipped PC. Regardless, with a Mac you’re getting more style, functional form, sexiness, and envious looks from the Dell drones. Mac’s are simply “badass”. Walk into any Apple flagship store and everything will make sense.

Now, consider the purchase price a current Mac. Most people buy a new computer every 3 to 5 years. The price of their last computer was likely similar or even more expensive than the current Mac / Macbook they’re eyeing. Perhaps this is why Mac sales can grow, even in a recessionary economy.

6. Bootcamp

The idea of plunging into uncharted waters of Mac-land is a scary prospect to the long-term PC crowd, myself included. Knowing that if you really needed to, you could jump back into Windows with a quick reboot, or through VMWare Fusion while still running OS X… is the golden parachute.

Bootcamp eliminated the worry of becoming the prodigal son and returning to the Windows scene, tail between legs.

Even if the newly converted enlightened never touch bootcamp, simply having it as an option, handholds a lot of people through the Windows to OS X transition and sells a lot of Macs.

Brilliant marketing.

Have I forgotten anything? Have your say by leaving a comment.

Fastest Browser - SafariSo something that came as a bit of a surprise to me was that on certain sites, Safari is 4-5x faster than Firefox on page rendering.  Recently I’ve been doing lots of work on SalesForce.com and I was thinking: “Man, their site is hella slow”.

 After talking with a friend in Paris accessing the same site, but without all the slow loading issues I decided to give Safari on Leopard a try. The exact same pages, the exact same actions produced very different results.  Safari is by far the “fast browser” and Firefox, the slow browser, at least on OS X.  Pages that I would have to wait between 6-7 seconds to finish loading in Firefox would come up around the 1 second mark (or less) in Safari.  This is an enormous difference when you’re talking about browsing as 5-10 seconds is an eternity to wait for something to load, but too short of a time to do anything meaningful besides becoming frustrated.

Now if only Safari could navigate links using the keyboard only like it’s possible in Firefox.  In Firefox you can simply Ctrl + F to do a word search on the page (which is part of a link), when the partial word/link is highlighted, hit Esc to clear the search highlighting and you’re left with a cursor focused link that will respond to an Enter button press with opening the link.  Brilliantly fast, much faster than finding links through the mouse. Somehow we need to generate enough noise so that the Webkit (which is the basis of Safari) developers to take note and build this into the next release of their software. 

The following is a summary of how I created a dual boot setup of OS X Leopard (10.5) and Tiger (10.4) on a MacBook Pro, keeping the original Tiger installation intact and available through alt/option booting during system startup. Always Always Always make a backup before you try any shenanigans like I do below. The best way to do this is with an external drive connected to your machine via FireWire or USB 2.0 and using cloning software such as SuperDuper!Leopard screenshot

Step One: Boot from Leopard

Boot from the Leopard install dvd to allow repartitioning your Tiger-installed hard disk without erasing the disk first. Insert the Leopard install DVD into the dvd drive. Ignore the pop-up Finder window. Shut down your Apple computer (don’t use restart). After your Apple has shut down fully, press the power button to start it.

When you hear the power-on “chime”, press and HOLD the Option button (just left of the Apple/Command key, also known as Alt or two horizontal lines, one diverging before connecting with the other). If for some reason your Mac doesn’t make a noise when you boot up, just press and hold the Option button when the screen lights up. Hold the Option button down until you see a grey screen with two (or more) options displayed. One of which will be a picture of a hard disk and another of the Leopard OS X Install DVD. You may have more bootable disks to choose from if you have more than one partition on your hard disk.Using the arrow keys, move to the Leopard Install DVD and hit Enter. This will boot into the Leopard install program.

DO NOT hit continue when the Leopard install window has loaded.Using the mouse, navigate up to the top menu bar and choose Utilities, then Disk Utility. Once Disk Utility has loaded you should see your Apple computer hard disk, the Leopard install dvd, and possibly other Disk Utilitydisks if you have them attached to your computer.

Choose the hard disk that you want to install Leopard on. By default this should already be selected. For me the Disk is a 111.8 GB Fujitsu MHW2… drive with Macintosh HD underneath it (that’s the volume, within the Macintosh hard disk, you can have multiple volumes inside one hard disk). From here you should see the partition map of your Macintosh HD hard disk, a rectangle standing tall, outlined in blue.

Above the right hand side window will be five choice buttons: First Aid, Erase, Partition, RAID, Restore.

First Aid:You will want to Repair your Macintosh HD before doing any partition changes, regardless of whether you know it is verified or not already. Paritioning will fail if the disk is not error free and verified within this install session. Verifying the disk within Tiger does not mean that Leopard Disk Utility will consider the drive error free as was the case with my install. Thus, repair the disk once you get to this step, even if you had previously verified the disk in Tiger.

Step 2: Resizing + Creating Partitions

After Verify Disk step is completed, we’ll resize the current Macintosh HD Tiger partition and create a second Leopard partition with the free space. NOTE: The resize and creation of a secondary partition will LIKELY FAIL if you have Parallels installed in your Tiger system disk/volume. For the repartitioning to complete without “no space left on device” error, I was forced to delete my Parallels Windows XP SP2 virtual disk, which was roughly 10GB in size.

There are some files that Disk Utility Partition program cannot move when performing its resize and repartiton operation. The Parallels virtual disk file is one of these immovable files. When Disk Utility comes across this file, repartitioning failed with the error: “no space left on device”. The solution in my case was to reboot back into Tiger, load up Parallels, and simply delete the virtual Windows XP installation (I skipped deleting the floppy drive) which deletes the virtual disks as well. I chose this because my Windows XP install is already backed up onto an external USB 2 drive clone of my Tiger system created through SuperDuper!. I’m guessing that you can simply move this file off to some secondary external drive, replace it after, and everything will be handy dandy, although I have not tested this.

EDIT: Yozlet mentions in the comments below that removing large files (1GB+) can also help avoid the dreaded “no space left on device” error while repartitioning the drive. Here are some tips on finding and removing old files on your Mac to avoid the “no space left on device” error.

Dual Boot Leopard and Tiger Partitions

Click and drag the bottom right hand corner of the Volume Scheme (the blue outlined rectangle which represents your disk, Macintosh HD) and drag it upwards, making the volume smaller. I chose around 30GB for the Macintosh volume, out of the entire 110GB disk. This leaves a healthy chunk (80GB) of unused disk space on the drive. Beneath the blue rectangle Volume Scheme there are plus and minus buttons. The plus button when clicked will add a partition to your disk. Click this to add a generic volume onto which we will install Leopard. After clicking the plus button for adding a partition, I again had to adjust the size of the Macintosh HD volume where Tiger resides, back down to about 30GB. After this, click Apply, then Partition on the pop-up window. Go make some coffee while it does the partitioning.

After you’re well caffinated partitioning should be finished and you’ve got a pristine empty partition on which to install Leopard.Exit out of Disk Utility and you’ll see the Leopard install screen again. Click Continue from here and you’ll be asked where to install Leopard. Here we choose Leopard on our hard disk. After that, continue with the install as per normal.

Step 3: Transfer

Near the end of the Leopard install the setup program will ask if you already own a Mac and want to transfer previous settings and applications. For this step choose from another volume on this Mac. Obviously the volume we’ll use is the Tiger volume that we’ve preserved on this computer. After that, I choose User files and settings, Applications and network settings. You can choose what you desire here, but I left it at that. Any programs or settings that didn’t make it over should be easy enough to replace, reinstall after. This step can take the better part of an hour depending on how much data you’re transferring.

Best of luck. Keep that backup handy.

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