Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Syslogd Overwhelming Your Computer?

If your Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) system is unexpectedly sluggish, logging might be the culprit. Run Activity Monitor (Applications/Utilities/ folder), and click the CPU column twice to get it to show most to least activity. If syslogd is at the top of the list, there's a fix. Syslogd tracks informational messages produced by software and writes them to the asl.db, a file in your Unix /var/log/ directory. It's a known problem that syslogd can run amok. There's a fix: deleting the asl.db file.

Launch Terminal (from the same Utilities folder), and enter these commands exactly as written, entering your administrative password when prompted:

sudo launchctl stop com.apple.syslogd

sudo rm /var/log/asl.db

sudo launchctl start com.apple.syslogd

Your system should settle down to normal. For more information, follow the link.

Visit Discussion of syslogd problem at Smarticus

 
 

Star Trek: The Screen Saver

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This set of After Dark modules from Berkeley Systems should be an instant hit with Star Trek fans, what with modules like one that displays detailed technical information from "Scotty's Files," a Starfleet Final Exam that you can actually take, a Planetary Atlas manual, displays of various ships panels, a display of the tunnelling Horta, a screenful of tribbles, and Spock walking around messing with things. In this respect, there's little wrong with the $40 package.

To play the devil's advocate, I can't recommend Star Trek: The Screen Saver to anyone who isn't a serious Star Trek fan. Sure, the graphics are the correct licensed versions, as are the sounds, but too much of the package feels like a grade B remake of "Captain Kirk Meets The Flying Toasters." In some ways, the fact the hokey graphics aren't a problem; much of the original show's sets were equally as crude. However, I think the displays suffer from translation into another medium - like cartoons of TV shows or stuffed animals based on comic-strip characters, they always feel slightly wrong.

Overall, then, Star Trek: The Screen Saver is a must for the serious Star Trek fan, but not necessarily appropriate for your average After Dark module collector. Note that unlike the More After Dark module package, After Dark itself (and the MultiModule and Randomizer modules) comes with Star Trek: The Screen Saver. This is convenient and also convinces me that Berkeley correctly identified their audience.

Berkeley Systems -- 75300.1376@compuserve.com

 

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