Clean re-install of Mac OS X

Today I have spent some time re-installing Mac OS X on my MacBook. It has been over a year now since I have bought the MacBook, and have only once done a clean install on it so far

It is now a lot faster as I don’t have any junk lying around running in the background. That’s one problem of installing various bits of software to see what it does and then not using it again. Maybe I should unsubscribe from the VersionTracker daily mail of new software releases. I’ve also gained around 20GB on my internal hard drive. 
Of course prior to the clean re-install, I had create a complete bootable backup of my hard drive, thus allowing me to selectively recover anything that I need.

I should now be able to use the OpenOffice.org CWS tools again as I’ll setup my local cvs server on a different port than the default port.

Can launch PPC apps again

Since installing the Quicktime 7.2 and iTunes 7.3.1 updates on my MacBook, I’ve been unable to launch PPC applications through Rosetta. It appears that having Java 6 installed has caused the prebinding process to crash.

Following the process documented in a comment by Darlene on a blog, I’ve been able to launch PPC applications through Rosetta again. The process is basically removing Java 6 and then force running the prebinding process. I didn’t even need a restart which is nice.
EDIT: I’ve also had to download and install Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 5 to get Java working again.

British Summer Time from tomorrow

It’s that time of year again when all the clocks in Europe change again. Tonight at 1AM the clocks all jump forward an hour. Being in the UK, it is nice that during the Winter, my current time is GMT/UTC. However, during the Summer, I’m an hour out from GMT/UTC. This does confuse me at the start of the summer. The change in sunrise and sunset compared to local time is annoying too.

Thanks to Pavel, I learned a new flag for the the date command on unix based systems. If you run date -u, you get the current time in GMT/UTC rather than your current local time when running the command without the flag.

Apple posts an FAQ about the X11 for Mac OS X

Apple have released Technical Note TN2165, an FAQ about the X window environment (X11) for Mac OS X.

There are several interesting things in the tech note including:

  • OpenGL does not support off-screen rendering.” Even with OpenGL not being enabled in OpenOffice.org, I get redraw issues with part of the window being off screen. This happens in both when scrolling the document and opening a new dialog that partially appears off screen. When the section of the document or dialog is moved on screen, then it doesn’t draw properly. I’m now wondering if this problem is not just with OpenGL, but with X11 in general.
  • XDarwin is no longer recommended.
  • It is technically feasible to make cmd+v work across all X11 applications.
  • XInputExtension is not yet implemented.” Could this be why OpenOffice.org on the mac has some issues with the input of some international characters? (Please correct me in the comments if I’m wrong with this assumption.)
  • OpenGL has the same problem as the command osacompile, in that it won’t run/work unless the user is root or the currently logged in user of Mac OS X.

OpenOffice.org now works again with X11 1.1.3

With the newly released X11 update from Apple, which fixes the font problems, OpenOffice.org no longer has an issue with starting. All OpenOffice.org users on the Mac should update to the latest version of X11, to fix any issues that they have with X11.

Apple’s X11 update

Apple released an X11 update on 1 November 2006. It fixes a but that I commented about, regarding the cmd+tab and the X11 windows not coming forward.

On the other hand there appears to be an issue with the fonts in that build. This seems to affect the current official release of OpenOffice.org on the Mac. I didn’t notice it at first because I have been using builds made by my ooobuilbot MacPort1.

The current workaround is to remove the Vera fonts from /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF. For more information please see issue 71096.

Two Weeks and had to re-install OS on MacBook

Today I came accross a nice little problem on my MacBook that I have only had for 2 weeks. I had a bit of a crash and oh dear, I could no longer launch application after a Safari hang. On reboot, it just hung. So I ended up doing an archive and install, with no ability to transfer the user over to the new system 🙁
So I’m now back with a clean system, albeit with only 8GB of space left on a 80 GB HD. Hopefully this isn’t going to happen again.
So now I’m off to the time consuming task of pulling back all my old settings.

 

MacBook loses battery life with single core

I’ve been trying out the MacBook on both dual and single core mode. With the help of CoreDuoTemp Utility and Apple’s Developer Tools, I have found that it will always run at full processor speed of 2 GHz when you use the processor in single core mode. On the other hand under dual core mode it will generally run at 1.5 GHz, occasionally dropping to 1.333 GHz.

Even while it is compiling fink in the background, the processor is mostly running at 1.5 or 1.83 GHz in the lower powered parts of the compiler, slower than the 2 GHz max per core.

I do think that the power management could be improved to allow the processor to SpeedStep down to the minimum 1 GHz. Maybe someday Apple will produce a firmware update that will do this.