[OS X TeX] [OT] Mail & Top Posting

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Fri May 27 18:10:32 CEST 2005

Le 27 mai 05 à 15:57, Herbert Schulz a écrit :

> One thing I don't like is that Mail encourages top posting in  
> replies since the cursor is initially at the top of the page. I've  
> got my Signature at the bottom of the page, where I want it, but  
> I'd like the cursor to start just below the quoted text. Is there a  
> way for me to have Mail do that?

I thought there was an option in Mail to control that (top-posting or  
bottom-posting), but I can't find it any longer now.

Another solution is Thunderbird <http://www.mozilla.org/products/ 
thunderbird/>, with the advantage of getting multi-platform but the  
disadvantage of losing access to some OS X niceties, like SpotLight  
for email messages. Thunderbird has an item for choosing top-posting  
or bottom-posting, in the pref "Composition and Addressing" for each  

One more thing about Mail in Tiger: it uses a custom format for  
mailboxes, no longer the Unix format which was the norm up to and  
including Panther. Namely, you no longer have a single huge plain  
text "mbox" file inside a .mbox bundle, but a multitude of .emlx  
files, one per message. Which means, once your mailboxes will have  
been converted by Mail for use in Tiger, that you will lose the  
ability to migrate them afterwards to another mailer should you  
decide a switch. The mbox file at the time of the conversion will be  
kept, but none of the messages received afterwards will be added to it.

> P.S. In all previous reincarnations of OS X I was able to get away  
> with a nice stable system by simply doing an Update. With Tiger I  
> ended up doing an Archive & Install because of the horrible  
> instability I was seeing. Spending most of a day figuring out what  
> I had to carry over from the Previous System folder was a pain but  
> things where better although one more thing really helped out (and  
> Spotlight helped me find the information which I forgot I had!).  
> Delete everything in your ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ directory.  
> Anything that is needed will be recreated. I had to reset a few  
> Preferences, e.g., my Screen Saver, but things have been much  
> better since I did that.

After having done several Archive & Install over the years (for  
Jaguar, Panther and Tiger), I now expect 2 to 3 days for the whole  
process: downloading all the software (or finding the CDs on my  
shelves) that installs through Apple or custom installers; backup  
texmf.local; repair disk/permissions then install OS X and Xcode then  
run System Update; reinstall all installer-based software, including  
TeX, XeTeX and additions to texmf.local; browse through Previous  
Systems to ensure nothing has been forgotten; burn installers on CD  
or DVD in case uninstall scripts are required afterwards.

For example, Windows Media Player, iWork, Adobe Reader, cocoAspell,  
NeoOffice, ManOpen, etc., all install components inside the system  
directories. For them I consider safer, though time-consuming, to  
rerun the installer scripts or software rather than move back the  
components from /Previous Systems/Previous System1/Library/Internet  
Plug-Ins/ etc., in case I forget something.

> There are a few other gripes, e.g., the Finder Find is crippled  
> since it is Spotlight based and won't look into ``hidden'' folders  
> like /bin/. I'm back to using Locator, which uses the locate  
> database (updated automatically by Macaroni every week), to do  
> those kinds of searches.

It's not absolutely necessary to do this:

- Open a Finder window, launch a search and press the Other... "key"  
in the "bookmark bar" at the top of the window. This will create a  
panel in which you can add permanently, and then check, directories  
to be searched.

- Open another window, use Go To Folder (Cmd-Shift-G) to make appear  
a hidden directory such as /usr.

- Drag this directory to the panel, where it will be added permanently.

- Back at the top of the window, press the + button then click on the  
item in the first column and choose Other... in the menu that  
appears. Then, in the new list that appears, locate the line starting  
with Visibility and select it.

You're done. I find this extremely inconvenient, and I do hope that,  
at some point, a pref will be added to go back to good ole' Panther  
Find window.

There is also, I think, another solution but that seems to be  
discouraged by Apple on Tiger: make all files and directories  
visible, including those with name starting by a dot or the /usr etc.  
directories. There are two ways to do this:

- From the command line, using the "defaults" command. In Terminal, type

     defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

See <http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Porting/Conceptual/ 

- Assuming you've installed Xcode, double-click on ~/Library/ 
Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist. This will open the file in  
Property List editor. Click on the Root triangle at the top left of  
the window, press the button "New Child", then enter  
AppleShowAllFiles, then Boolean, then Yes. I found this this morning  
in "OS X in a Nutshell" (extremely useful book, halfway between hard- 
core Mac OS and GUI on one hand, and hard-core Unix and CLI on the  
other hand), I can't wait for the Tiger version.

After either way, when you log out then on, or simply relaunch the  
Finder, you'll see all normally invisible files and folders appear  
magically. However, as some have remarked on the OS X forums <http:// 
discussions.info.apple.com/webx?13 at 412.y0b1acwBYhi.6@.68ade492/1>,  
all the icons, for either visible or invisible files, are dimmed  
(though effective). It's open to interpretation whether that's a bug  
or an intended behaviour, to discourage the user from activating the  
option (knowing that trashing some invisible directories can render  
the system completely unusable and irrecoverable, forcing a new  

Bruno--------------------- Info ---------------------
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