Home » Taming the Beast – Part 1

Taming the Beast – Part 1

After a few days of exploring Tiger on the Mini, I had a small but important laundry list of things that simply must be fixed before I can use it. First, the system seemed sluggish, which is odd because everyone that is happy with Tiger remarks on its speed. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the Classic environment didn’t work at all. It would hang very early in the startup, and take the system disk with it! Inspection of the logs shows “disk error” messages during the times when Classic was starting up. Disk Utility didn’t show any problems, and so it was time to hit the web. I did manage to get everything sorted out. The rest of Part 1 is a log of the process. Part 2 will address the iBook.

In looking for solutions to my problem with Classic, I first checked Apple’s knowledge base. That turned up nothing useful, the problem is too new. I did, however, find some helpful people in Apple’s support forums. Unfortunately, none of their suggestions helped but I think they did help others. Our Mini just had a slightly different problem with similar symptoms. You can read the three posts I found: one, two and three. I eventually decided the only quick solution was to re-install. So, I backed up everything important (primarily our iPod playlists which are not on the iBook) to an external disk, and made another copy of everything just in case. Then I decided to try an “Archive and Install” operation. In theory, if this solved the problem it would be less work to restore all of my apps and configuration than I would face in an “Erase and Install.”

If you read my First Impressions posts, you may recall that Spotlight brought the system to a crawl after the Upgrade install, to the point where it took a long time just to get a password prompt for first login. Not so with the “Archive and Install” method. Login was quick. The animations were a little less smooth than usual and there was a brief pause after the Spotlight icon appeared and before the rest of the desktop and Dock were ready. After that, Spotlight’s influence was noticeable but non-interfering: I could explore the system freely with only occasional, brief delays. Once Spotlight finished indexing it was very zippy. It was at this point that I decided to explore the “damage” done by the “Archive and Install.” My desktop, documents and iTunes seemed to be in good order. I found a few configuration and app issues that warrant mentioning. Here’s the list and how I fixed them.

  • X11 wouldn’t start. Fixed by reinstalling package from Mac OS X Install DVD::System:Installation:Packages:X11User.pkg
  • Printer was no longer configured. Fixed by attempting to print, then selecting “Bonjour Printers” on the Printer dialog. Remember that Rendezvous is now Bonjour.
  • I had a shortcut to Macintosh HD::Developer on my shelf (on the left in the finder). It didn’t work anymore, the message was “The volume for Developer cannot be found.” I re-installed XCode (don’t know if it worked before re-installing the package) from Mac OS X Install DVD::XCode Tools to try to fix my shortcut. The shortcut still didn’t work, so I removed it and dragged a new shortcut that did work.
  • Garage Band couldn’t find loops, other resources. Fixed by re-installing bundled software only from Mac Mini Restore CD.
  • Installed KeySpan USB/Serial Driver 1.8 for USA-19HS. Tested with MacTNC 1.1
  • OSXVnc works, the startup item needed to be reset from the Preferences menu.
  • NeoOffice/J seems to work.
  • Celestia works.
  • GPGMail update from 4/29 is compatible with Tiger (v1.1)
  • Desktop Manager wouldn’t start. Fixed by getting the latest version.
  • Fink Kstars starts but must manually start dcopserver and kill 3 kdeinit processes before Kstars will load. Fixed by reinstalling all of fink.
  • New fink refused to install Lesstif due to missing Automake 1.6, but Automake 1.9 was installed. This appears to be due to a restriction in 1.9 that precludes installing 1.6. I forced the installation of Lesstif with no ill effects, and sometime later another program needed 1.6, installed it, and removed 1.9. I haven’t noticed anything broken yet, but I am still a bit puzzled.
  • Yacas won’t build, but there is a Mac native installer.

  • Install new XCode.
  • Install new CHUD.


    • iMovie/iDVD untested.
    • Mail untested.
    • Quicken untested.
    • Glade2 doesn’t seem to start with new Fink.
    • iWork untested.
    • Missing Sync / Palm Conduit untested.

  • Leave a Reply