Tuesday, July 26, 2011

com.apple.dock.extra.xpc needs to take control

After my recent Mac OS X 10.7 Lion upgrade I was greeted with a dialog box after reboot telling me that
com.apple.dock.extra.xpc needs to take control of another process for debugging to continue. Type the name and password of a user in the "Developer Tools" group to allow this.

No problem, I thought, and entered my credentials. Alas, to no avail. My name and password were rejected, which had me a little panicked at first, because I thought the OS upgrade might somehow have botched my account, potentially locking me out of my Mac later.

Hitting cancel would only get rid of the message for a few seconds, then it would reappear, again and again.
Turns out the solution was quite easy: Go the Mac App Store and download Xcode 4.1. Once the installer has finished downloading, run it to replace the Snow Leopard version of Xcode 4.0 with a Lion compatible one. Once that is done, the message will not appear again.

Please note: Maybe I could somehow have fiddled with my accounts privileges and group memberships, but as I needed Xcode anyhow, installing the correct version seemed the logical thing to do.
And by the way: Should the Xcode 4.1 installer seem to take forever, make sure there not this little popup hidden behind some of the other Windows on screen:

The installer will stall, until you close iTunes and the iTunesHelper (which may be running, even if iTunes is not. Use Activity Monitor to quit iTunesHelper if needed.)

Update: Apple has released an update to the Xcode 4.1 installer (4.1.1), which will fix this (iTunes) problem. As the release notes say, if you have already installed it, there is no need to update, as the included software is the same as before:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lion Finder Source List Icon Size

[Update]As can be read on Mac OS X Hints here, this setting also applies to the side bar in Mail.[/Update]

Apple has - as was to be expected - slightly modified the appearance of many Mac OS X controls in 10.7 "Lion". Some of those changes have caused protest and debate around the net, but I believe this is just the same as it is with face-lifted car designs, which means in a few weeks everyone will have gotten used to the new style and consider the previous version old-fashioned.

However, there is one particular little issue that I could tell I would not come to like immediately: The icons - and more importantly the font-size - in the Finder's left hand sidebar is way bigger than it was in Snow Leopard. This makes the source list look much more cluttered in my opinion.

At first, I headed for the Finder's View Options context menu, but there's nothing there to change the sidebars appearance. A little more digging then brought me to the General preference panel in System Preferences (previously called Appearance). There you can make the desired change:

The following pictures show the three choices (Small, Medium, Large) with Medium being the default. Set to Small the Finder looks much friendlier again.


Oh, and while you're at it, you might also want to change Show Scroll Bars setting to When scrolling, instead of Always or Automatically based on input device if you like me sometimes use an older mouse.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Short Story on a Waste Of Time

This is about wasting a lot of time, effort and some energy on an unfortunately not so successful transition from smaller to bigger disks. Actors include a few external drives, Time Machine, an iMac with a dying system disk and me, being a little stupid. Fortunately there were no really serious consequences, however if I ever face a similar situation again, I might come here and read up on how to migrate systems and backups more sensibly.