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Leopard a touch spotty

I've come across a few more (very minor) Leopard glitches.

Help - I'm pinned under this heavy scrollbar!

The first is that if you have a Finder window with no horizontal scrollbar, and you then click on a file that's right at the bottom of a file list and which, by displaying it's preview, forces a horizontal scrollbar, then the file list doesn't get pushed up. That results in the image on the right - notice how you can just see the blue highlight of the X11 file poking above the horizontal scroll bar?

One potatoTwo potato

The second is with the dock and X11 (not sure if it's an issue with the app or the dock). If you put X11 in the dock, and then start it (from the dock), the icon you put in the dock bounces forever and a new X11 icon pops on the bottom of the dock (like it does for apps that are not in the dock already). you can see above I even sometimes get two extra icons. Note that I'm not starting any additional instances of X11 or any X apps besides the initial default xterm.

Update: The multiple X11 icons also appear in the Command-Tab bezel.

Update 2: It seems there are some pretty massive changes to X11 in Leopard. For the better Apple has switched to, but that (and other) changes have been major and some bugs have slipped through. The change to launchd is interesting - while non-intuitive (in an X11 way) it makes X11 apps more intertwined with the main OS.

Anyhoo, thankfully the maintainer is on the ball and has posted an update to solve the two most glaring issues - the faulty three-button emulation (critical on a laptop) and multi-monitor support. Go to for more. I still get some really wacky behaviour when my monitor resizes (eg. by plugging my 22" crt into my 12" powerbook) but it's better.

07:44 PM, 28 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Leopard glitch unmounting disk images

I've found what seems to be a recurrant glitch on my new Leopard install - disk images just don't unmount via the Finder. Download and mount any .dmg and no matter how many times you drag them to the trash, click the eject icon in the sidebar or right click->eject, they stubbornly stay mounted.

It seems to be a Finder issue rather than with the disk image driver since a simple umount /Volumes/DiskImageName makes them disappear pronto.

Update: Further, Finder also gets terribly confused in some circumstances where you mount two (different) images with the same volume info. I got into one state where there was one volume showing in the sidebar that wasn't even mounted. A swift relaunch of the Finder sorted that out...

Update 2: Seems after relaunching the finder the original issue itself went away.

07:32 AM, 28 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (1)

TimeMachine takes you back to a time before teh Internet

So I easily got an Amazon S3 storage bucket mounted under Leopard, but it turns out Time Machine doesn't support network mounts.

Well it's not that it can't, it actually does - but it won't show you any disks that it doesn't think are local (eg. disks served by Airport Express apparently work fine), so Apple evidently have decided that my net connection isn't fast enough for backups so I'm best off not even trying :(

So let's start hacking :) The TimeMachine preference pane binary has the following methods:

@interface AppleTMPref (Private)
- (BOOL)_isSupportedNetworkMountPoint:(id)fp8;

@interface AppleTMSettings : NSObject
- (BOOL)isNetworkBackup;

@interface TMBonjourBrowser : NSObject
    NSNetServiceBrowser *_browser;
    NSMutableArray *_netServices;
    NSImage *_serverImage;

- (id)init;
- (void)dealloc;
- (id)_dictionaryFromAirPortDiskData:(id)fp8;
- (BOOL)_isLocalNetService:(id)fp8;
- (id)_volumesFromNetService:(id)fp8;
- (id)bonjourDisks;
- (void)netServiceBrowser:(id)fp8 didFindService:(id)fp12 moreComing:(BOOL)fp16;
- (void)netServiceBrowser:(id)fp8 didRemoveService:(id)fp12 moreComing:(BOOL)fp16;
- (void)netServiceDidResolveAddress:(id)fp8;
- (void)netService:(id)fp8 didNotResolve:(id)fp12;


@interface SnapshotUtilities : NSObject

+ (BOOL)mountPointIsNetworkVolume:(id)fp8;
Time to crack out F-Script...

05:30 AM, 28 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (2)

Leopard Amazon S3 network storage

Ok so I'll write this up better later, but here are the steps I followed to successfully mount an Amazon's S3 network storage bucket under Leopard:

  1. create an amazon web services account
  2. sign up for amazon S3
  3. download MacOS X S3 Browser
  4. install MacFUSE Core for OSX 10.5
  5. get your Amazon S3 key ID & secret (you'll get an email from Amazon with an url about that after signing up)
  6. login and create an Amazon S3 bucket using the S3 Browser you downloaded (I called my bucket "12inch-timemachine" for backing up my 12" Powerbook)
  7. download s3fs.cpp from the s3fs project
  8. you'll need to add the following line to the top of the file somewhere:
    #define __off_t off_t
    (props to Roberto Saccon for figuring this out)
  9. compile s3fs.cpp with the following incantation:
    g++ -Wall -D__FreeBSD__=10 -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -I/usr/local/include/fuse -L/usr/local/lib -lfuse -pthread -lcurl -lcrypto `xml2-config --cflags --libs` -ggdb s3fs.cpp -o s3fs
  10. create the file /etc/passwd-s3fs with your amazon s3 key id and secret separated by a colon ie:
    example-id:example-secret-key (note that you'll want to be careful about the permissions on this file)
  11. mount the S3 bucket as an OSX directory like so eg:
    mkdir ~/s3
    ./s3fs your-bucket-name ~/s3 -ovolname=Flubber
    where Flubber can be whatever you want the mounted volume to appear named as
  12. you can now access the mounted volume at your mount point (in the above example ~/s3) or as a Finder Volume which you can see by going to "Computer" in the Finder's "Go" menu. Not sure why it doesn't show up in the Sidebar)

Update: It seems Leopard, by default, doesn't show network volumes on the desktop by default. You can turn that on in finder preferences, but your volume still won't show up in the sidebar (under either Devices or Shared). A simple solution is to us the local option like so:

./s3fs your-bucket-name ~/s3 -olocal,volname=Flubber
Unfortunately that still doesn't allow it to work with time machine. You also get a folder icon on the desktop instead of a disk icon, but it's in the sidebar under Devices now. The icon even has a working eject icon which is handy, but it leaves an annoying folder icon in the sidebar.

Update 2: the ping_diskarb option seems to help keeping the Devices icon current:

./s3fs your-bucket-name ~/s3 -olocal,ping_diskarb,volname=Flubber

Update 3: The previous must be in my imagination:

On Mac OS X 10.5.x, both these options [ping_diskarb, noping_diskarb] are no-ops

05:18 AM, 28 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (7)

Leopard Finder Cocoa?

I don't remember hearing about this, but default Cocoa text shortcuts (eg. emacs keys like Ctrl-a for home, Ctrl-e for end) work in Finder now.

03:44 AM, 28 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Leopard - first usability suck

Well I rushed out and bought Leopard, mostly for the garbage collected goodness of Objective-C 2.0.

The look and feel changes are mostly nice, but I have found one minor tweak that irritates me no end - and doesn't make sense to me from an HCI point of view.

If you have opened a drop down menu, and you decide you are happy with the existing selection, it used to be that you could "dismiss" the menu and leave it as it is by clicking anywhere on the screen outside the menu.

Now you need to either click on the selected option to re-select it, or if there happen to be unavailable options in the menu (ie. greyed out) you can click them as well.

Now that sucks from an HCI standpoint in two ways. First, to execute this relatively common action you now need to click in a quite small area instead of simply flicking your wrist and clicking. Secondly it is inconsistent with the menus in the menu bar, where you can click anywhere outside an open menu to dismiss it.

Update: It seems to have been another "glitch" because after a reboot I can no longer replicate it. Little bugs happen - at least it's not a change in the ui thinking.

03:35 AM, 28 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (2)

Kimi Raikkonen - Champion of the World!

The perfect outcome I was daring to hope for!! My prediction was for Lewis and Alonso to take each other out on the first corner, but it seems somehow fitting for Alonso to miss out on the championship by simply fading away.

Kimi really deserves this championship. He's driven fantastically all season in what was a new car and new tyre for him. After years of unreliability with McLaren it must feel all the sweeter.

Well done Kimi, great job. Have a vodka for me :)

02:38 PM, 21 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Mount Amazon S3 on your Mac

Roberto Saccon has successfully used a FUSE based S3 driver to mount an Amazon S3 bucket as a regular Mac volume.

That + time machine in the upcoming MacOS X 10.5 will make for a very cost effective and scalable backup solution.


01:14 AM, 21 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)


Mark Webber qualifying 5th at Inter Lagos - brilliant! Massa on pole - even better (although I would have preferred to see Kimi in P2).

By the way sorry everyone for the dearth in technical posts - been a bit busy lately with a few things (including working on my lap time down at Wakefield park - 1:24 is my best so far :).

11:28 PM, 20 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)


I said at the start of the race that Mark Webber would be great in the wet.

Even the ITV boys thought he had a chance at Lewis for a win once the safety car period ended. If not, a dead certain second place - bettering his previous best of third.

Even throwing up in his own helmet didn't stop him.

But Sebastian Vettel smashing into him did.


Pity that Webber couldn't get a 10 place boost instead of Vettel recieving a 10 place penalty for the next race.

07:46 AM, 01 Oct 2007 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)


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