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



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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

sudo rm /var/log/asl.db

sudo launchctl start

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

Visit Discussion of syslogd problem at Smarticus


Guy Kawasaki Is Back!

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As the Macintosh has matured over the years, some people moved on, and the Mac world was the poorer for it. But one familiar face from the days of yore has been popping up again lately: ex-Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki. Guy is a managing director of the Garage Technology Ventures venture capital fund, and he was all over Macworld Expo in San Francisco showing off FilmLoop. It was great to see him back in the Macintosh community again, and thanks to the blog at the very end of 2005, I think he'll once again be something of a public figure.


In classic Guy fashion, this isn't Just Another Blog (its tagline is "Blogger. n. Someone with nothing to say writing for someone with nothing to do." Ouch). Instead, Guy's blog is filled with the kind of practical wisdom he's been dispensing in his books since the days of "The Macintosh Way." His more recent books have, needless to say, taken a bit more of the venture capitalist point of view (hence the titles: "The Art of the Start," "Rules for Revolutionaries," "Selling the Dream," and "How to Drive Your Competition Crazy.") but they're amusing, insightful, and useful for almost anyone starting a new project, giving a presentation, or trying to figure out how to stand out from the crowd. Guy's blog postings have exactly the same qualities, and the blog format may actually be a more effective presentation method for some of his ideas, since they come in small, periodic chunks. Much as I like Guy's books, I find that I read them, get all fired about implementing some of his ideas, find myself snowed under by some project, and never get around to doing what I'd planned. Perhaps the constant nudges from Guy's blog will actually cause me to think and act.

(And if you're new to the Macintosh world and haven't the foggiest idea who Guy Kawasaki is, pick up a copy of "The Macintosh Way" and read it - used copies are about $5 on Amazon and the blog has links to all of his books.)

One area in which Guy has long excelled is in community building. He was always a huge supporter of user groups within Apple, and in fact, I chatted with him in-between our talks at the User Group University (the attendees were all user group leaders) the day before Macworld Expo in San Francisco. I'd just finished speaking to the group - along with Chris Breen and Bob LeVitus - on how user groups can revitalize themselves and stay relevant in today's age, so it was particularly interesting to see Guy's recent post on community building. Excellent points, and the comments are also equally as worthwhile for anyone interested in user groups or just bringing people together. [ACE]

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