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pudge (1)

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Journal of pudge (1)

Tuesday June 18, 2002
01:43 PM

Mac OS X Trials

[ #5745 ]
I've been running Mac OS X as my primary OS on selected days recently; today I've run Mac OS X all day long. Someday I will likely switch to it permanently, and I need to start getting more familiar with it. Plus, I think I will use Mac OS X primarily at YAPC, because Mac OS 9 has some problems with sleeping (programs crash pretty frequently when sleeping/waking), I need access to both for my talk, if I need to look up something at a moment's notice I won't want to reboot, etc.

So anyway, each time Mac OS X is easier to use, but I also keep uncovering more annoyances. Some notes:

  • It took me awhile to get maccvs working. I tried using maccvsX, which is the Mac OS X version, but it was incompatible with the lsh private key I use with maccvs/MacSSH. So back to maccvs (which is Carbon, so no worries).
  • BBEdit is Carbon, but its dialog boxes stink. I hate the paned dialogs in Mac OS X anyway -- they are almost entirely unnavigable by the keyboard, take up too much real estate, are far more difficult to find things with than the Nav Services in Mac OS 8/9 -- but in some Carbon apps, it is even worse. I can't hit Return to "click" the glowing blue buttons, I can't hit cmd-D to get to the Desktop. A folder called "" shows up as "osdn".
  • I cannot find any way to expand subfolders in the Finder. In Mac OS, I can option-click the arrow in list view and get everything underneath. I use this for a very functional purpose: I expand out everything, sort reverse by date modified, and can quickly see what has changed. No such luck in Mac OS X. I found that if I option-click to close a folder, then upon opening it, the top-level subfolders will be opened. What the heck kind of sense is that supposed to make?
  • Eudora for Mac OS X doesn't do SSL. So I need to get company email under Classic. Sigh. I could try fetchmail, I suppose, but that is just more work.
  • The Keychain works differently. I don't know if I like it or not. One thing that is nice is that you have fine-grained control over which apps can access a specific key without warning. What I want, though, is what is under Mac OS, where I can let an app access without warning until the computer is restarted, or until the app quits. Better yet, I should be able to let it access without warning only for a specified time period, or until the Keychain locks again.
  • I miss lots of little things. It takes a long time to get everything working the way I want it. Example: I have a few FKeys (remember those?) to put my sig on the clipboard (works from any app) and others to quote text for pasting in email. I am sure there is a good way to do this in Mac OS X, so I can hit cmd-shift-9 in any app to get my sig or quote text, but I don't know how. Another example: I would normally post this right from BBEdit, but I need to adapt the Perl script first (install SOAP::Lite and its dependencies, move script somewhere where it will work, test, debug if necessary, etc.). Lots of little things.

I am sure there is and will be more, but this is just what I have today, that I can recall. On the upside, I installed WirelessDriver in preparation for YAPC; since the TiBook's AirPort reception stinks, I can use my external WaveLAN card. Under Mac OS X with WirelessDriver, I can have both cards driven at the same time. Under Mac OS 9, I have to restart to get the drivers to recognize one card or the other.

But regardless of all this, I am getting to the point where I can use Mac OS X without having to run screaming back to my comfortable and heavily customized and personalized Mac OS environment. It helps that Mozilla, BBEdit, maccvs, DragThing, Interarchy, Eudora (except for SSL) -- all my most commonly used apps, except for MacPerl, which still works fine under Mac OS X -- are Carbonized. So it is getting better.

Speaking of which, I have this program called compare_slash which uses Mac::Glue to talk to Interarchy and BBEdit, fetching local and remote files, comparing them with BBEdit, using BBEdit to reconcile differences. It works flawlessly under Mac OS X with MacPerl stuck in Classic, and BBEdit and Interarchy in regular Mac OS X. When I do switch to Mac OS X permanently someday, if I don't get those Mac:: modules ported, I will continue to use MacPerl often.

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  • It's dead-simple to set up a tunnel to do this. Not quite as convenient as automatic SSL, mind, but it's doable. (It is, in fact, what I use on my OS X box)

    You can use stunnel if you don't have shell access to the machine your mail's on, or you can use ssh if you do have shell access there. For example:


    will log you on to, and also set up local ports 143 (IMAP) and 25 (SMTP) to automatically forward to ports 143 and 25 on the
    • This took some doing ... I got fink to install stunnel no problem, but it wasn't working. I finally realized that Eudora under Mac OS X was still set to check SSL, and I could only turn it off by launching Eudora in Classic (it was greyed out!). So now I just have two "Personalities" in Eudora, one for accessing work IMAP while in Classic (directly) and one for Mac OS X (via stunnel). Sigh. :)

      Thanks for the tip, that end is working well.
      • I gave up and have my eudora set to always use the local connection. A bit of a pain, since I have to fire up an SSH session even when I'm at home, but, well, it works.

        (OTOH, I have the problem where I managed to get SSL busted on my mail server, so an SSL connection directly through Eudora's not possible anyway, but...)