Tip of the day
A Case For ~/
Today a OS 9.2.2 machine I was (supposed) to use today decided it didn't want to start up. After I zapped the PRAM (twice), I got the Happy Mac icon... but it didn't go away. It stayed on the screen.
I restarted, booted off the CD, and tried to reinstall the system. Except I only have a 9.2.1 disk, not a 9.2.2 disk. So, it won't let me install unless I do a clean install.. which, since the machine wasn't mine, and I know there's a lot of custom extensions, control panels, and fonts, I wasn't willing to mess with.
So I got thinking that wouldn't it be nice to just be able to easily reinstall an OS X system (even if it's a version higher than the disks you have.. ala having to reinstall 10.3 on a 10.3.4 machine) - to reinstall an OS X system while keeping all the user's custom applications and such.
Then I realized there is a way - install everything in ~/. Now, I haven't installed OS X on a system in a while, so it could be that the contents of the /Applications folder is preserved, but I know the contents of ~/Applications is. I'm also not sure if the contents of /Library is kept around or not either (but again, I know ~/Library is.
However, Apple has said that, while /System/Library is theirs, I don't remember them saying anything about /Applications or /Library is. Yet, installing your own custom software in ~/Applications guarantee that it won't be touched... as well as making your OS X system very easy to backup (just backup your home directory!)
This approach creates two problems, however:
Putting everything in ~/ gives you the following advantages though:
OS X (may be) easier when you learn to that you can place files anywhere you want, as long as it's in your home holder