Category Archives: Mac

Apple Inc., Macintosh Computers and Mac OS X

NIS under Mac OS X Leopard

After my LDAP server stopped working I had to re-configure my Mac to use NIS which caused me a lot of problems under Mac OS X in the past. But it seems that Apple actually fixed NIS support in Mac OS X Leopard. During the two days I used NIS as the directory service on my Mac I didn’t experience any login failures or NFS problems. AutoFS, the new automounter, even picked up the hierarchical Solaris-style automounter maps that my NIS server provides.

Since yesterday evening my Mac is using LDAP again after I managed to fix the LDAP server. But it is good to know that I can use NIS as backup solution.

Updating to Mac OS X Leopard

I recently updated my Power Mac G5 from Mac OS X Tiger to Leopard. I used the update option offered by the Leopard installation DVD which did a reasonable job. The process took about two hours and the machine started up without any problems afterwards. However, there were a few problems I had to sort out over time:

  1. The new automounter maps /home to an automount map called auto_home by default. If such a map is not available the directory /home will appear to be empty. Commenting out the according line in the configuration file /etc/auto_master fixes that problem.
  2. Emacs didn’t work after the update. It died with a Fatal malloc_jumpstart() error on startup. It seems that the update didn’t overwrite the Tiger Emacs binaries properly. Installing the Security Update 2008-002 fixes that problem fortunately because it contains an update for Emacs.
  3. Software Update refused to install the latest version of QuickTime with the rather cryptic error message The update “QuickTime” can’t be saved. The problem could however easily be fixed by removing the contents of the /Library/Updates/QuickTime folder.
  4. Safari had been made the default browser. This can however be changed easily using Safari’s Preferences dialog.
  5. The system didn’t know my private root certificate anymore. I had to reimport it using the program Keychain Access in the utilities folder.
  6. The configuration for my (network attached) printer was removed during the update. Re-adding it was however easy as usual.

I hope these hints will help other people to sort out similar update problems.

How not to handle bug reports

After installing Apple’s latest security update on my Mac I could no longer use the Emacs editor. The problem was easy to fix by correcting the permissions of the main binary.

I decided nevertheless to report this problem to Apple using their bug reporting system. A few days later Apple requested more information which I provided on the same day. Yesterday they closed my bug as a duplicate of another bug. Working as a software developer myself I considered this a reasonable course of action.

But when I logged into Apple’s bug reporting system this morning I discovered that I cannot access the bug that my bug is a duplicate of. As a result I will never know when the bug will be fixed and what caused it in the first place.

Thank you, Apple! 🙁