Setting up my New Intel Mac


Update October 2006: Check out Fortran and Call_External for how to re-compile the Fortran code with C wrappers for the IDL call_external calls.

Update November 2006: Forwarding an X11 Session through SSH

Update October 2007: Modifying .Xdefaults to get the scroll wheel to work with IDL X11 widgets

Update November 2007: Resolving an aggravating issue with 10.4 Spotlight.

Update January 2008: Importing archived email into Mail.app from maildir (kmail?) format.


Update May 2008: ipfw

$ sudo /sbin/ipfw add deny udp from any to any 2222 out
$ sudo ipfw list
02000 allow ip from any to any via lo*
02010 deny ip from 127.0.0.0/8 to any in
02020 deny ip from any to 127.0.0.0/8 in
02030 deny ip from 224.0.0.0/3 to any in
02040 deny tcp from any to 224.0.0.0/3 in
02050 allow tcp from any to any out
02060 allow tcp from any to any established
02065 allow tcp from any to any frag
02070 allow tcp from any to any dst-port 22 in
12190 deny log tcp from any to any
12290 deny udp from any to any dst-port 2222 out
65535 allow ip from any to any
http://prefetch.net/blog/index.php/2006/08/13/locking-down-the-os-x-firewall/


Update 12 June 2008: Getting Mail.app to Display Outlook Messages at a Normal Font Size (Courtesy of one Andreas Amann)

There actually already is a way to achieve this - not officially documented but it works: you can use the following trick to force Mail to always use a larger minimum font size on received messages - some HTML messages might not look exactly as intended but at least you can now read them:

1. Quit Mail
2. Open the Terminal and type in the following:

$ defaults write com.apple.mail MinimumHTMLFontSize 13

3. Restart Mail.app and your HTML messages are readable.

Of course you can set the point size to whatever you like.

(What this actually does is add a key to

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist
So if you ever delete that file, you'll have to re-add the key.)


Update September 2008: Unzipping multiple files from the command line (e.g. Terminal)

"Installingcats.com" explains why

$ unzip *.zip
will not unzip all the files in the working directory. (You can tell you're having this problem if it gives you a "Caution: Filename not matched" error.) Instead, you have to use:
$ unzip \*.zip

IDL "Process idl bus error" under Mac 10.4.11

This can be solved with an X11 update:

http://www.nntpnews.net/f1936/bus-error-idl-6-3-mac-os-x-6702015/

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10464


Upgrading from 10.4.11 to 10.6 (Feb. 2010)

This was much more painful than it should have been.

Also, the IDL bus error is back, since it's no longer possible to downgrade to that particular version of X11. These people had the exact same problem but never did succeed in getting IDL 6.3 to work properly under Leopard.

The problem was "solved" (as it was in the thread) on another computer of mine by installing IDL 7.1, but it would be nice to fix it for real.

IDL 7.1 install: required re-editing .MacOSX/environment.plist to point to the new version's directory, then log out, then log in again.


New bootable backup procedure (2012)

Getting a new version of rsync and using it to make a bootable backup.