User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Apple Products »

a question about where to 'save'?


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
a question about where to 'save'?
Thread Tools
ironlung
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: "Chambana", IL
 
2005-02-02, 19:45

Hi. I am just about to make the switch (waiting for a check to get the powerbook). My only exposure to a mac is when I was a kid, a cousin gave me his apple laptop..i cant remember what it was but it was quite small, black and white screen but grey body. Extremely heavy battery. Anyway Ive pretty much always been a windows user. I like to keep my computer organized with different folders for different purposes and even different partitions for different purposes. I was reading a review of OSX on anandtech where the author says that you should keep everything in the 'home' directory because it makes it simpler. An equivalent to that would be (in my opinion) to put everything in the windows folder including mp3s, games etc. That just seems a bit ridiculous to me from the windows standpoint. Could some one please clear this out for me. I would also appreciate any advice on this matter, as in do you guys partition ur hdrives etc. Thanks
  quote
ironlung
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: "Chambana", IL
 
2005-02-02, 19:59

i have owned a powerbook before! it was a powerbook 100...i just browsed around until i found it.
  quote
SonOfSylvanus
Fro Productions(tm)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London Town
 
2005-02-02, 20:11

Think about looking at Apple's Mac OSX pages to find out more about your new future operating system (scroll down to the "Panther" information—Panther or OSX 10.3 is Apple's latest version of its OS—"Tiger" is the upcoming version expected Q1 2005).

Look at this screenshot to give yourself some idea of the folder organisation in Mac OSX:



The users "Home" folder (I have called mine "Me") is a folder designed for the storage of all your digital information. The pre-installed version of Panther will have some default folders within the Home folder including Music, Pictures, Documents and so on. You can add/delete folders at your convenience. The only area on your Mac that is restricted to Admin user access is the System Folder, which contains essential information to make your computer run!

Mac OSX applications such as iTunes, Mail and Safari store details that they need and that are specific to your usage in the Library folder of your Home folder (shorthand: ~/Library where ~ stands for your Home folder).

You can see in my screenshot a folder named "test". This actually represents another user's Home folder in the same way that "Me" represents mine. test's Home folder contains all of the default folders that "Me"does. Details that applications need and that are specific to test's usage are stored in test/Library. So you can see that several users can share the same applications while keeping their own personal settings (called "Preferences" in OSX terminology).

HTH


bouncy bouncy

Last edited by SonOfSylvanus : 2005-02-02 at 20:20.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2005-02-02, 20:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonOfSylvanus
"Tiger" is the upcoming version expected Q1 2005).
You mean H1 2005.
  quote
SonOfSylvanus
Fro Productions(tm)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London Town
 
2005-02-02, 20:21

Correctomundo. What Brad said.

Tiger is expected H1 2005

Thanks
  quote
ironlung
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: "Chambana", IL
 
2005-02-02, 20:26

thanks sonofsylvanus, that clears a lot of things in my head
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2005-02-02, 21:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightclub
I like to keep my computer organized with different folders for different purposes and even different partitions for different purposes. I was reading a review of OSX on anandtech where the author says that you should keep everything in the 'home' directory because it makes it simpler.
Something you need to keep in mind is that Mac OS X is organized quite differently than Windows. These are two entirely different beasts. Oh, where to start?

First of all, let's take a look at the overall "user" structure and permissions on Mac OS X.

There are basically two types of users on Mac OS X. Regular users and administrator users. This is similar to how Windows handles things, but I believe Mac OS X keeps a tighter reign on what goes on under the users.

By default, regular users have write access only to their home folder. They simply cannot modify things anywhere else in the drive. This is to keep them from wreaking havoc on the system files, applications, and user data that doesn't belong to them. If regular users want to change the contents of something out of their reach like the /Applications folder, they are presented with a dialog to "authenticate" as an administrative user.

Also, keep in mind that this prevents errant processes (worms, trojans, etc.) from being installed in the system. Of course, there isn't any such malware for Mac OS X and that's at least partly because of this security.

Administrative users, on the other hand, have a little more free reign over things. These users belong to the "admin" user group (more on this later) which has write access to a few additional things such as /Library and /Applications. This does not, however, give them explicit access to other users' files or the /System folder. Again, this is to protect people from being stupid. If you want to modify something as an admin users for which you don't explicitly have permission, you must authenticate for each action. This may seem like a burden, but it really is not because it will be very rare that you'll need to change something that doesn't belong to you.

Let me touch back on this "user group" thing I mentioned above.

In a nutshell, every file and folder in Mac OS X has nine basic attributes. There are three settings for three user categories. The user categories are:
  • owner
  • group
  • everyone
And the three settings for each of these are:
  • writable
  • readable
  • executable
If you have used Linux for any short period of time, these should be very familiar to you.

What's the point here? Security. Your ~/Documents folder, for example, is readable by you (the owner) but not by anyone else. You can have things that you can read and write but others can only read (like protecting shared documents), things that are writable but not readable by everyone else (like a drop box), and several other combinations.

The "group" category is there so you can apply special permissions to more than just one specific user. The /Applications folder that I mentioned above gives the "admin" group write access.

Now that you should understand users, groups, and permissions, let's think about security in a more general sense.

Yes, as an admin user you can technically put files anywhere you want on your computer. You can even modify the permissions so anyone can write to anything, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a security standpoint. This permissions system is the whole reason people clamor about Mac OS X being so secure. Take that away and you might as well be running Windows 3.1 with no security infrastructure at all. Not smart.

Of course, Mac OS X in a more general sense encourages you to keep your personal files tucked into the existing structure of your home folder. You'll find that some applications are hardwired to look for things in you home folder or will save things there by default. The default location for open and save dialogs is your home Documents folder.

Before I shut up, I'll point out one feature that truly epitomizes the logical way Mac OS X is structured. Library. What's this? Well, Library is the name of a folder, several folders actually. There are three important ones I'll discuss:
  • /Library
  • /System/Library
  • ~/Library
The Library folders are where your applications keep their settings and support files. This is where you'll find preferences, fonts, caches, databases, scripts, and just about any files that you don't explicitly save yourself. So, why are there three of them? Three words: permissions and inheritance.

/System/Library is not writable by anyone. This contains files that belong to the system and that apply to everything everywhere. This includes the default system frameworks and libraries.

/Library is stored at the top level of your hard drive. It is only writable by admin users. You would store in there files that you want to apply to everything. For example, if you put a font in here, all users will have access to it in their software. If you put a screen saver here, all users will be able to select and use it.

~/Library is located in your home folder (the ~ is unix shorthand for your home, as SonOfSylvanus mentioned). Each user has one and it is only accessible by that specific user. Files you place here will apply only to you (or a given user). If you put a font here, only you will have access to it.

Why did I go to the trouble of explaining the Library hierarchy? It's because this is an excellent example of how Mac OS X is logically organized. It may seem a little weird at first, but you will soon come to greatly appreciate it. Stick to the default organizing principles and it'll make your life a lot easier. This includes using your home directory for your own things.

*whew!*

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Send a message via AIM to torifile  
2005-02-02, 21:16

Brad, do you pull out a word processor to write some of your posts? You must because that little text box just ain't enough for all that.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2005-02-02, 21:33

*hugs TextEdit*

  quote
ironlung
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: "Chambana", IL
 
2005-02-02, 21:48

thanks brad...that helps a lot. Are there any websites that I could use as a resource? I will be completely new to osx...so a reference where I could look things up would be great (windows help sucks..hardly ever used it)
  quote
kaupena
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-02-02, 22:02

This is just my own two cents, but for a single user system I prefer keeping a partitioned drive. The first partition for the system software and programs/files that have to be there, and the second (larger) partition for everything else. This set-up saved me the last (and only time using OSX) time my system completely crashed. I was able to do a clean installation on the system partition without even touching anything on the storage side. I do still save sensitive files in the protected areas, but it's certainly possible to be a lot more flexible than having to put everything there.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2005-02-02, 22:17

Just a small word of warning. Partitioning can also be a pain, too, because the size you set is immutable (sans reformatting the whole sucker or buying special software) and some applications will keep using the location for your home folder on your startup partition. Even if you go to the trouble of figuring out how to change where Mac OS X thinks your home folder should be, some apps may still be hardcoded to the old /Users/yourname path.

I tried the partitioning thing a couple years ago. After a while, I couldn't stand it, but that's just me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightclub
Are there any websites that I could use as a resource?
This would be a good place to start. Seriously, if you've got questions, we've got answers. MacOSXHints.com is another pretty good resource, but it can get pretty technical at times. If you like cutting down trees, I've heard excellent reviews of Mac OS X: The Missing Manual.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
ironlung
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: "Chambana", IL
 
2005-02-03, 12:29

thanks for your input everyone
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HTML question... Wickers Programmer's Nook 16 2019-07-29 22:46
Easy way to save .mac emails ?! Barracuda Genius Bar 3 2005-05-05 17:43
Windows question: DVD ripping software torifile Third-Party Products 24 2005-04-29 16:16
video capture question Mac+ Genius Bar 11 2004-10-03 21:19
airport express, digital out question. piwozniak Apple Products 6 2004-07-15 09:59


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:54.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2021, AppleNova