Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Mac OS X Hacks

I sit here at Borders with a stack of Mac OS X "hacking books" on the solid oak coffee table in front of me. (Of course, the books are not alone, I have bought a mug of coffee and a scone that sit nearby.)

I've just scanned all of them and they are helpful to varying degrees. Some of the chapters are not what I would classify as "hacks" since they just tell you how to set up some of the system preferences. All you'd need to do is explore a little in the main system menus to find these "hacks." You don't need the books for this sutff. To me, a "hack" is getting down and dirty, digging deep into the operating system, examining the file layouts and directories, understanding where the OS keeps all it's stuff, and how to exploit it.

I guess "hack" as well as "geek" see more books so the publishers make sure they include these words in the titles. It never used to be popular to be geekey. And it wasn't the word geek that I heard growing up, but that's another story.

Anyway, the "Mac OS X Panther Hacks" seems most helpful, although I learned lots of stuff from "Mac OS X, The Missing Manual" and "AppleScript." Trouble is, none of them address the really deep stuff I want to know about the file formats of the Mac. Back to the shelves.

I'm sitting across from the magazine shelf. I need to move. Some of the dogs from the "Animals" shelf are staring me down. I try not to look up as I type this. Their ugly mugs are just above my notebook screen's edge so it's distracting. I need to move.

Angela, at the coffee bar, is banging the coffee filter clear of the previous grinds. Man, does that hurt the ears! Ouch. I think it's time to go.

I spend so much time in here I ought to bring a cot.

Weinberg's Second Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.