Sunday, October 28, 2012

Panoply of things: haxors

Ok, now for something a bit more lighthearted: a couple kludges I've been working on.

First off, a bit of background: where I work we run all Mac clients, and some severely outmoded Xserves, which will with any luck eventually be retired in favor of well maintained Linux virtual servers and a couple Macs/Xserves to roll out Open Directory, Work Group Manager, and AFP.

So, one of the "fun" things we have going is OD controlled network user home folders shared over AFP from a G5 Xserve. Besides being a bit of a hassle on the server side it leads to a delightful variety of issues on the client end.

For example, did you know that a fair number of Mac programs assume the user folder only lives at /Users? With pure network accounts this causes a wide variety of fun issues, from software refusing to launch to absolutely terrible snafus when applications can't decide if they should save application support files to /Library/Application Support, ~/Library/Application Support, or /Volumes/Network/Server/Users/~/Library/Application Support. My best solution so far has been to put things in /Library/Application Support, which typically solves the problem.

In a similar situation I discovered that for Adobe CS 5.5 InDesign to allow network users to use the fonts in /Applications/Adobe InDesign/Fonts is to set the folder contained files to read/write for everyone. Local user accounts were fine, it was only the network accounts that were unable to see the fonts in that folder.

As a teaser, I've spent some time building SheepShaver standalone VMs for internal use so I can transition the last of the remaining PPC computers out of service. Someday soon I'll do a writeup on making stable SheepShaver classic Mac OS virtual machines to run OS 7.5-9 on modern Mac hardware.

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