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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Quick OSX question


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Garrett
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Is OSX like windows, the more you use it, the more it slows down? I go to pick up my new baby tomorrow, I just tossing in my mind if I should format and reinstall or just let it be and reset PRAM.

Thanks for your input in advance

--Garrett
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meltbanana314
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OS X has a very nice journaling filesystem called HFS+, so it doesn't need to be defragged like Windows does.

Leave your computer on once a week/month at night and it will run cron jobs to clean the cache and make sure everything is nice and speedy, or you can do that by yourself with CronniX, OnyX, or TinkerTool.

Some people say you should reinstall OS X over the hard drive on first boot to gain more space that the extra language packs take up, but I say just leave it.
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Garrett
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I'm buying a used iBook
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witeshark

 
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Yup, agreed with the above and I'll add this: Much of what slows windows pcs down is spyware. That and viruses and worms depend on the windows indefensible file system core - the registry. We simply don't find that in any Unix based system as OS X is
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technologist

 
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Why would you zap the PRAM? Resetting PRAM is a troubleshooting technique (and not even a particularly effective one.) It's sort of like jiggling the handle on your toilet: it's worth a try when you have no better ideas.

I'd suggest you re-install anyway. OS X doesn't accumulate crud like Windows does, but it can be deliberatlely screwed up if you try hard enough. You never know what the previous owner might have done.
A fresh install won't take more than an hour or so, anyway, and you'll have a pristine environment.
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meltbanana314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witeshark
We simply don't find that in any Unix based system as OS X is
We have a registry. It's called NetInfo, and it borrows ideas from the Windows registry and the /etc directory in UNIX.
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witeshark

 
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That is so far different from the windows registry that there is no sense in comparing the 2 at all And it's protected, unlike the windows registry
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Garrett
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Yeah, I understand about the spyware. See, I run with no Virus protection on my computer, have since 00 and never had a problem. How do I go about formatting and reinstalling? If I have the 3 10.3 CD's do I just stick #1 in the CD rom drive in while in OSX or do I boot from the CD? I am clueless. Tomorrow will be the first day, I have used OS X. I have played with a Mac before, but in all honesty, it was 9.2 not X, and 9 just sucked.

--Garrett
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witeshark

 
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Yup, boot off the CD and choose from the options in the menu that comes up. Then I suggest getting the software updates that have come out since that release
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meltbanana314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witeshark
That is so far different from the windows registry that there is no sense in comparing the 2 at all And it's protected, unlike the windows registry
That's like saying Chevies and Fords are far apart... both have differences and similarities and both have a purpose... the main difference is how they are implemented. The implementation on Windows is pure chaos. NetInfo is a bit more organized.

Plus, attacks against NetInfo haven't really been tried yet, so who is to say if it's really that secure? Given enough time, people can find ways around anything.
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witeshark

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltbanana314
That's like saying Chevies and Fords blah blah <snip> Plus, attacks against NetInfo haven't really been tried yet, so who is to say if it's really that secure? Given enough time, people can find ways around anything.
Wrong!!!! Open Netinfo manager in Finder. See the password prompt? Let's see if you can find it and explain how that can be by passed by a web site viewing or and email
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meltbanana314
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I find your blind faith in OS X disturbing. (Look at your signature.)

Perl, Python, Tcl, and Ruby (not to mention AppleScript) are all integrated with OS X. Now, the possibility of this happening is *very* small, but a well-crafted script from any of these languages could possibly over-ride any password system using a buffer overflow or some other exploit. I'm not saying that it will happen, I'm saying that it could. Just because something is password protected or encrypted doesn't mean it's secure. Just a few days ago some students from Asia broke the SHA-1 encryption code, for example.

The best defense against attacks is common sense. Thinking you're secure by using an operating system other than Windows is not common sense.

As my Geometry teacher (who also happens to have a CS degree) said: "Be paranoid. Be very, very paranoid."
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witeshark

 
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Disturbing? If you use OS X's File Vault, the frustration of cracking a password or making any useful, gainful access to the file system is just too much and would most likely prove a waste of time to even the most motivated. In comparison, the windows registry is absolutely indefensible and exposed. SP2 is a poor short lived work around at best. Mine is hardly a blind faith I understand computing security well. It's why my Linux box isn't ever on line; there is still work to be done on the kernel but it's still a far cry from windows!
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meltbanana314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witeshark
Disturbing? If you use OS X's File Vault, the frustration of cracking a password or making any useful, gainful access to the file system is just too much and would most likely prove a waste of time to even the most motivated. In comparison, the windows registry is absolutely indefensible and exposed. SP2 is a poor short lived work around at best. Mine is hardly a blind faith I understand computing security well. It's why my Linux box isn't ever on line; there is still work to be done on the kernel but it's still a far cry from windows!
Here's the thing: ALL PROGRAMS HAVE BUGS. FileVault could potentially have one that is big enough to be counted as an exploit. So could NetInfo. We haven't seen any proof of this yet, but depending on FileVault to protect you is not a smart move, and thinking that OS X applications like NetInfo are infallable is just as dumb. Again, be paranoid.

I'm skeptical of OS X's security measures because I should be. Just because a person has FileVault, a set of hardware/software firewalls, ssh tunnels, and a tinfoil hat doesn't mean they are safe. Someone could write and release a devastating piece of malware for OS X next week, or next month, or maybe never. But thinking that you are safe at any level of security is a bone-headed move.
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technologist

 
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It is true that no security architecture is perfect. There have been dozens of vulnerabilities found for OS X, and there doubtless will be more in the future. OS X has (present tense) security vulnerabilities nobody knows about.

What OS X has in its favor is a more compartmentalized approach than Windows. What goes on in one user account usually stays in that user account. A vulnerability in a network service is usually restricted to that service, and disappears if the service is disabled. Majorly stuff up is usually the exclusive privelage of admin users.

Registry/NetInfo is a good exampe. The Registry is used by everything: Apps, drivers, and the OS. All the eggs, one basket. NetInfo is just for network services (hence the name.) One rougue user-space application can't touch NetInfo without admin privelages. True, if an active network service is compromised, you're hosed; that's the risk any internet connected computer faces.

Being skeptical is a good policy, but that goes for any OS. Don't run as admin. Don't run apps you don't trust. Turn off unneeded network services. Keep your firewall on; better yet, use a seperate hardware firewall. Update often. Encrypt sensitive files. Add layers and compartmentalize.
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