OS X 10.4 Tiger Boots from External Hard Drive

It’s so easy to install Apple’s OS X 10.4 Tiger on to an external Firewire drive that you can use as an emergency drive to boot from.

OSX Tiger installation image Finally I got around to upgrade Grace’s Mac to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger today.

But before I started with the upgrade, I wanted to make sure Tiger could run smoothly on the aging PowerMac (AGP) running at a meager 450Mhz, about half the speed of my Titanium PowerBook G4 (DVI).

Test install on the second 60GB hard drive went well. Speed was acceptable — no noticeable slow down or hiccups compared to Panther.

Then just out of couriosity, having read that booting OS X from external Firewire drives was possible, I installed Tiger on my spare 6GB Firewire/USB drive just to KNOW it’s possible. Not surprisingly, it booted like it should (a bit slow though).

If I am not mistaken, I don’t believe this can be done on a Windows OS since hardware information is inserted into OS’s registry, thus making a boot on a different machine impossible. In fact, just booting FROM an external drive can prove to be difficult without thorough knowledge about PC hardware and Microsoft Windows OS.

I also found a few articles (1, 2, 3) on installing an external boot drive using Linux. But even with Linux’s flexibility, it still requires some fiddling with MBR (master boot record). No plug & play there. One article, written by an IBM engineer, suggested booting from a USB 2.0 drive arguing USB 2.0’s popularity on standard PC hardware.

In any case, the upgrade was a success. Everything was mrigrated without major issues, though StuffIt Delux had some issues, that went away after patching a 9.0.2 updater.

I can’t imagine doing anything Windows now that I’ve had it so easy and simple on the Macs.

Taboo — Warning for Closing Multi-tabs in Safari

Simple warning system before user closes Safari windows with multiple tabs in them. I know I can’t use Safari without it.

Taboo is a very useful “hack” for Safari that provides a warning before a user quits or closes a winow in Safar with more than one tab open. This is extremly helpful because Apple built the damn Previous Page button so close to “Close Window” button. I can’t tell you how many times I have accidentally closed a window full of active links I was still using in Safari. Kudos to Adam Cohen for developing this great hack.

Taboo warning screenshot
Image courtesy to Adam Cohen’s Obsessive Compulsive Development, maker of Taboo.

Steve Jobs NeXT Demo

DrunkenBlog posted this cool presentation Steve Jobs did years ago when he was still running NeXT. A cool presentation with some great technologies. But It’s still no Mac!

DrunkenBlog posted a video of Steve Jobs demoing NeXT.

Steve Jobs demoing NeXT

Click to download the video (50MB)

To be frank, NeXT was butt ugly. But some of its technologies and innovations were quite impressive its day. DrunkenBlog posted another article about striking similarities in some of the apps under OSX and NeXT. I guess when being good just wasn’t enough, you just gotta ride on the cool kid to bring out the edge.

Has anyone noticed what was wrong with the video? Somehow Steve just didn’t quite look himself in that grown-up-wannabe attire. Maybe that was why NeXT didn’t do too well — he tried too hard being someone he wasn’t. He’s meant to be a rebel.

Video courtesy of OpenStep.se.

Using Screen Saver as Desktop Image

Not sure if this kind of thing is available on Microsoft Windows. But damn this is a great gimmick to show your friends.

This “trick” puts whatever you have on your Screen Saver as the desktop image. While it’s not all that useful, it’s a pretty cool trick to show your geeky friends. Sorry, Mac OSX only.

1. Open “Terminal” (Applications –> Utilities –> Terminal)
2. Type in exactly (no spaces or new lines):

ScreenSaverEngine -background

3. Press “Return”; watch the magic
4. To stop it, press: “ctrl” + “c” keys (in that order) within the Terminal

Cool huh?!

References from this Mac Dev Center article.