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Mac OS X Database and System Administration

Managing MySQL on Mac OS X
There are myriad ways to control and manipulate information on a MySQL server -- some are stand-alone GUI apps, some are web-based, and of course the venerable (and powerful) command-line option is always available. Robert Daeley shows some of the most useful tools. Dec. 13, 2005

Using Perl to Manage Plist Files, Part 2
Part 2 goes into much more detail on managing Plist files. You'll change some values and save the altered Plist file back to disk. Then you'll loop over entries in a Plist file, get a dump of the NetInfo database, and print all the users in the database using Perl foreach loops. To do that you'll convert the Cocoa dictionaries and arrays to Perl hashes and arrays. Finally, you'll create a Plist file from scratch, build the sample Xgrid cal job listed in the Xgrid man page by creating the structure using Perl hashes and arrays, and then convert them to Cocoa equivalents. Aug. 2, 2005

Using Perl to Manage Plist Files
A common question is how to manage complex Plist files with scripts. The defaults command, which is often used to manage simple values in Plist files, does not easily manage the nested arrays or dictionaries that are present in most Plist files. In this first article of a two-part series, James Reynolds pulls together a little Perl and Cocoa to solve this problem. Jul. 29, 2005

Automated Backups on Tiger Using rsync
Previously on Mac DevCenter, the rsync command was discussed in Intro to Tiger Terminal, Part 2. One of the uses for this command is to compare the files on your internal drive to those on your backup drive, and only archive the files that have changed. Richard Hough explains. Jul. 22, 2005

Exploring the Mac OS X Firewall
Like so many tools built in to Mac OS X, the firewall just works. But what is really going on inside it? Peter Hickman explains why the firewall works so well, and then takes you inside and shows you how to fiddle with things. In the end, he returns you safely to the default settings. Mar. 15, 2005

Applying "Digital Hub" Concepts to Enterprise Software Design, Part 6
So far, Adam Behringer has covered an enterprise software architecture based on a flexible hub that stores and vends data to a number of cross-platform tools and apps using a standard XML spoke. In this final installment, he shows you how to use web services to pull weather information out of the database hub and chart the data using Perl and AppleScript. Feb. 25, 2005

Scripting Dot Mac
Recently we compared .Mac to Spymac's Wheel, and in the process provided a good overview of .Mac services. One of the tools missing, especially for those who want to publish web pages on their .Mac account, was server-side scripting. Well, just because it isn't in the package doesn't mean you can't do it. Take a look at this tutorial and see how. Feb. 18, 2005

How to Use mutt, FastMail, and Together on Your Mac
Many Linux users who are adding Mac OS X to their computing life look to combine the control of command line with the convenience of GUI. In this article, Philip Hollenback, a seasoned Linux user himself, shows how to bring these worlds together on Mac OS X using mutt, FastMail, and Jan. 18, 2005

Getting in Tune with AirPort Express
Last month, we discussed how to extend your wireless network with AirPort Express. Now, Michael Brewer takes a look at streaming music using this technology. Nov. 12, 2004

Extend your AirPort Network with AirPort Express
Sometimes one access point just isn't enough for our wireless networks, even at home. Wei Meng Lee shows you how to extend your network with AirPort Express, and explains what's going on under the hood. Oct. 12, 2004

Wireless Security and the Open1X Project
Open1X is an open source project focusing on network security. The wireless adoption of this technology is referred to as 802.1X. In this interview, Matthew Gast travels to the University of Utah to talk to Chris Hessing and Terry Simmons, who are intent on bringing standards-based wireless security to Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows clients. Sep. 21, 2004

Applying "Digital Hub" Concepts to Enterprise Software Design, Part 5
So far, Adam Behringer has covered an enterprise software architecture based on a flexible "hub" that stores and vends data to a number of cross-platform tools and apps using a standard XML "spoke." In this fifth installment, he shows you how to build (with Cocoa) a client module that will work with the XML data. Sep. 17, 2004

An Advanced Guide to Enterprise Application Distribution
Tracking package installers can be a fairly simple task. However, how do you track and deploy applications that use third-party installation mechanisms? In this article, Philip Rinehart provides an overview to some of the commonly overlooked issues that enterprise administrators must deal with when deploying non-package installers. Aug. 24, 2004

Making the Jump to Subversion
Subversion can run standalone or on a network as a repository server with multiple clients. The preferred client/server configuration uses Apache and WebDAV for network communication. It's a powerful alternative to CVS, and Adam Swift shows you the ins and outs in this tutorial. Aug. 10, 2004

Inside SSH, Part 4
In Part 3, François Joseph de Kermadec investigated more advanced SSH techniques, including editing configuration files. Now in this final installment, he shows you how to administer computers remotely, including running software updates, disk utilities, and more. Aug. 6, 2004

Mo' Betta Indexes
Apache has had the same skin since around 1995. And while it's true that visitors interact with the pages of your site more than the HTTP daemon, the only real snapshot they'll receive is through your site's auto-indexes. So why not take some time to put some spit polish into them? Aug. 3, 2004

Applying "Digital Hub" Concepts to Enterprise Software Design, Part 4
The "hub" of most enterprise software systems is a database. However, getting the information from the database to all of the applications that need it and then back again can be a challenge. Here in part four of his ongoing series, Adam Behringer shows you how. Jul. 30, 2004

Ruby/Tk Primer, Part 3
In Part 2 of this series, Chris Roach spent some time with the Tk library. Now in this final installment, he pulls together all of the pieces so you can finish your demo application. Jul. 27, 2004

Ruby/Tk Primer, Part 2
In part one of this series, Chris Roach introduced you to programming basics in Ruby, and in the process, created the back end for the GUI we're working on. Here, he spends some time with the Tk library. Jul. 23, 2004

Inside SSH, Part 3
In Part 2 of this multipart series delving into the Secure Shell on Mac OS X, François Joseph de Kermadec showed you how to securely fire up the Secure Shell and start communicating. Now, in Part 3, he digs deeper, showing you more advanced techniques including editing configuration files. Jul. 20, 2004

Inside SSH, Part 2
Here in Part 2 of this multi-article series on tapping the power of the SSH server inside your Mac, François Joseph de Kermadec shows you how to securely fire up the Secure Shell and start communicating. Jul. 13, 2004

Inside SSH, Part 1
SSH is said "not to trust the network and to put minimal trust in the server or the domain name servers used by the network." In other words, SSH will consider the environment it is working in as a dangerous one and will try to rely as little on it as is possible. In this first article in a three-part series, you'll delve into SSH and learn how to master its power. Jul. 9, 2004

Unix Gems for Mac OS X
Mac OS X users benefit from the platform's Unix underpinnings every time they launch their system. But the Unix heritage brings more to the table than power and stability; it also includes dozens of time-tested, useful utilities. In this article Kevin O'Malley shows you three Unix gems he thinks you'll start using right away. Jul. 6, 2004

Ruby/Tk Primer: Creating a cron GUI Interface with Ruby/Tk
In this first installment of a three-part series, Chris Roach shows you how to use Ruby and Tk on Mac OS X. This tutorial creates a program that will act as a GUI-based front end to the cron daemon. Jun. 25, 2004

More LDAP in Mac OS X Server
Now that you have your OpenLDAP server running smoothly, how about some additional tricks to better incorporate Address Book and email clients such as SquirrelMail? Tony Williams shows you how. Jun. 18, 2004

Applying "Digital Hub" Concepts to Enterprise Software Design, Part 3
In his previous two articles, Adam Behringer described how to build a flexible enterprise database. Here, in part three of this series, he shows how XML can provide great flexibility for database output applied to other applications. Jun. 18, 2004

A Basic Guide to Enterprise Application Distribution
Keeping your software updated on your diverse Mac network requires attention to detail and perseverance. In this article, Philip Rinehart shows you options for tracking installations on your business or educational network. Jun. 8, 2004

LDAP in Mac OS X Server
Typical network services problems, such as enabling all of your computers to use the same login information to authenticate users, can be solved with directory services. Panther has the built-in tools, but they're still less than elegant. Tony Williams shows you how to piece them together. May. 25, 2004

Applying "Digital Hub" Concepts to Enterprise Software Design, Part 2
In his second installment of Enterprise Software Design, Adam Behringer walks you through the design of a database that works today, and more importantly, down the road as business needs change. May. 21, 2004

Integrating Xgrid into Cocoa Applications, Part 2
Last week in Part 1, Drew McCormack showed you how to install and start using Xgrid. Now in Part 2, he covers integration with Cocoa using a little program called Photo Industry. This will be an Xgrid-enabled app, and what's more, it will be a standalone app, not an Xgrid client plugin. May. 18, 2004

Integrating Xgrid into Cocoa Applications, Part 1
In this first of two articles exploring Xgrid, Drew McCormack provides you with a little background information, then moves to installation, and finishes off with a command-line script for distributing compilation using Xgrid. May. 11, 2004

Applying "Digital Hub" Concepts to Enterprise Software Design
The essence of the digital hub is that there is one entity that stores data, and many modules connected to the hub and to each other through the hub. This hub-and-spoke architecture works well to solve many business problems, where you have many users doing many different tasks based around one set of data. Adam Behringer explains how to apply these concepts to effective enterprise software design. May. 4, 2004

BBEdit: Its Unix Support Doesn't Suck Either, Part 2
In part one of this two-part series, Kevin O'Malley introduced you to BBEdit's Unix support features. Now, he shows you how to put BBEdit to work via filters, scripts, and more. Apr. 30, 2004

FileMaker-to-Oracle Migration with FmPro Migrator on Mac OS X , Part 2
FileMaker Pro 6 is a terrific database, as long as you stay within the confines of its design. In part one of this series, David Simpson provided practical migration information using FmPro Migrator on Mac OS X to automate the move from FileMaker to Oracle. Here in part two, he goes through the steps of completing a FileMaker-to-Oracle transition. Apr. 2, 2004

Creating Online Help with Tinderbox
Apple's online help system, Apple Help, has a dubious reputation among some Mac users, mainly because of poky performance. But Panther has improved the situation. Matt Neuburg built an online help system for a Mac application using a note-taking hypertext outliner called Tinderbox. He outlines the process in this article. Mar. 30, 2004

Setting Up Apple Remote Desktop
Whether you need to administer lots of computers in the workplace or the classroom, Apple Remote Desktop will make your job easier. Here's a walkthrough of its setup and basic operations. Mar. 26, 2004

Scheduling Tasks in Panther
Mac OS X gives you several tools to help execute tasks at certain times of day and on a regular basis. To manage this, the system uses a set of utilities called cron and periodic. In this book excerpt from Running Mac OS X Panther, James Duncan Davidson takes you inside the ticking brain of your Mac. Mar. 5, 2004

A Security Primer for Mac OS X
A hands-on overview of the security tools built into your Mac OS X computer, including recommendations for best practices to protect your data and identity in an otherwise dangerous world. Feb. 20, 2004

Automated Backups with Existing Tools
Backing up your hard disc is the job nobody wants to do -- and even more so, no one wants to spend a lot of money doing it. Fortunately, Apple gives you everything you need in Mac OS X. You just have to pull it together. Peter Hickman shows you how. Feb. 10, 2004

Sanitizing Mail on Panther Server
With Mac OS X Server 10.3, Apple has replaced Apple Mail Server with Postfix, which allows you to use common UNIX and open source tools to perform various tasks with your mail. One of these tools, Procmail, lets mail messages be processed with special "recipes," such as the Anomy Sanitizer. Here's how to set it up. Jan. 27, 2004

Using WebObjects: More Practical Tips and Tricks
In this third installment of Josh Paul's WebObjects series, he shows you more tips and techniques for configuring Direct to Web applications. Jan. 16, 2004

Panther and Active Directory
Unlike the LDAPv3-based Jaguar strategies we examined previously, Panther's capabilities have been specifically engineered by Apple to work in much the same way that a Windows client would when joining and participating in an Active Directory. In this updated article (April 2004), Michael Bartosh takes you inside this world and shows you what's new. Dec. 9, 2003

Customize FileMaker Menus with Fast Tasks
As you know from designing your FileMaker templates, creating buttons to control new functions can get out of control fast. But there's an alternative called Fast Tasks that lets you streamline your designs by incorporating pop-up fields into your templates. Alan Graham shows you how. Nov. 18, 2003

Scripting Mac OS X
As an administrator, when you think of automating tasks, you naturally think of scripting. James Reynolds shows you how to apply a variety of scripting languages to automate your workflow on Mac OS X. Nov. 7, 2003

Using WebObjects "Direct to Web" Technology
"Direct to Web" takes RAD and injects a shot of technology steroids to create RBRAD, or Rule-Based Rapid Application Development. Through the use of an EOModel file and a D2WModel file, you can create a full-blown web application in just a few simple steps. Josh Paul shows you how. Nov. 4, 2003

An Introduction to WebObjects
WebObjects is most often referred to as an application server; however, it's much more. WebObjects consists of a set of frameworks which allow you to write cross-platform, server-distributed applications, and a set of tools to help you write them. Josh Paul takes you inside WO and shows you how to get your feet wet with this introductory tutorial. Sep. 26, 2003

Control Your Mac from Afar
Do you want to control your Mac, or one that you're responsible for, from a remote location? If you're running Mac OS X, you can take advantage of a variety of built-in Unix and AppleScript tools to control your computer from afar. Harold Martin shows you how. Sep. 19, 2003

Version Control on Mac OS X, Part 3
In his last article, Kevin O'Malley showed you the ins and outs of CVS. Now, in this final article of the series, he looks at creating software releases using the CVS tag and branch commands, as well as some Mac OS X GUIs for interacting with a CVS repository. Aug. 29, 2003

Open Directory and Active Directory, Part 3
In this third and final part of Michael Bartosh's series on Mac OS X's Directory Services architecture, he looks at data. If you haven't read part one and two yet, you should take a look before reading this final installment.  Aug. 26, 2003

Open Directory and Active Directory, Part 2
In this second part of Michael Bartosh's series of articles examining Mac OS X's Directory Services architecture, he looks at access. If you haven't read part one yet, you should probably take a look before moving on with this one. Aug. 12, 2003

Version Control on Mac OS X, Part 2
In his first article of this series, Kevin O'Malley looked at what version control is, its terminology, and what systems are available under Mac OS X. Here in Part 2, he shows you one of the most popular version control systems, CVS, on a sample project under Project Builder. Aug. 8, 2003

Open Directory and Active Directory, Part 1
For the last number of months, Michael Bartosh has been working on this series of articles for Mac DevCenter readers that examines Mac OS X's Directory Services architecture in depth and explores how to integrate these services with Microsoft's Active Directory. This is the same topic that Michael will be discussing in person at the O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference. Aug. 5, 2003

Open Database Connectivity in Jaguar, Part 2
In Part 1 of this series, Andrew Anderson explored the intricacies of setting up MySQL with ODBC under Jaguar. He now turns his attention to configuring PostgreSQL to work in this open database structure. Here's the step-by-step on how to get things running. Jul. 25, 2003

Version Control on Mac OS X, Part 1
At heart, CVS and other version control tools are vital for projects that involve multiple developers. As the Mac continues to gain favor in the developer community, we thought that a complete overview of version control would be an useful series residing on the Mac DevCenter. Kevin O'Malley begins this exploration today with a look at what version control is, its terminology, what systems are available under Mac OS X, and some basic examples. Jul. 18, 2003

In Sync with CVS
Apple's Backup and iSync applications are great for Dot-Mac subscribers, but some folks prefer to "roll their own" when synchronizing data among machines. The open source tool, CVS, is a good solution for "do it yourself" types. James Duncan Davidson shows you how to set it up. Jul. 15, 2003

Playing with Keyed Lists on Mac OS X Tcl/Tk Aqua 8.4.2
Many Unix developers have been waiting for the Tclx and Expect extensions of Tcl to be ported natively to the Aqua environment. Tcl has been available for the Mac, but without the bells and whistles you see in Unix. Recently many developers got their wish when Apple posted it on their open source web site. Michael Norton gives it a spin. Jun. 27, 2003

Open Database Connectivity in Jaguar
One of the features included in Jaguar is ODBC (Open Database Connectivity), which allows programs to connect to databases from different vendors using the same set of connectivity protocols. Andrew Anderson introduces you to this functionality and shows you how to put it to work. Jun. 20, 2003

Installing a Wiki on Your iBook
The documentation says that installing PHPwiki for Mac OS X is a snap, but Giles Turnbull discovered that things can get pretty sticky. He called upon the developer talents of Matt Hunt to walk him through an installation on his iBook. This step-by-step conversation with the two of them will get your Wiki up to speed quickly. Jun. 5, 2003

Location, Location, Location: Tips for Storing Web Site Files
So where do you store your web site files on your Mac OS X development server? The Sites folder, aliases to other locations on your hard drive, virtual hosts? Patrick Crowley (of shows you what he's learned from his experiences. May. 16, 2003

Personal Security on Jaguar: The Secure Shell, Part 1
Many of us shred paper records of personal information to keep it from dumpster divers. Yet sometimes we forget to take those same precautions with our digital information. This first part of a two-part series brings you up to date on easy security measures you can take by tapping the tools built into Jaguar. May. 1, 2003

Implementing BIND on Mac OS X
The Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) distribution is a suite of Unix utilities that works with the Domain Name System. The nslookup and dig utilities are a part of the BIND distribution, but the named DNS server is what people most often refer to as BIND. The DNS server portion is what we will be focusing on in this article. Apr. 15, 2003

Virtual Hosts, mod_rendezvous_apple, and Apache on Mac OS X
In this article, Joe Maller shows you a three-step workaround for serving locally-named virtual hosts to Rendezvous clients. Apr. 8, 2003

Inside Samba: Windows Sharing for the Mac
Samba is one of the most successful open source projects around, and has been ported to Linux, various BSDs, and Darwin/Mac OS X. Currently it provides disk and print shares, acts as a WINS server, and performs NT4 primary domain controller duties. Jason Deraleau takes you inside Samba and shows you how to configure it on your Jaguar Macintosh. Mar. 18, 2003

FileMaker Pro Design Tips
When designing a FileMaker database for clients, co-workers, or friends, a clean, attractive user interface is important. Alan Graham shares some favorite tips gleaned from years of experience. Mar. 7, 2003

Securing Your TiBook (or Any Other Mac OS X Machine)
Here's how to make your Mac OS X laptop just a bit more secure by enabling a BIOS password, and by plugging some of the local and network openings. Ian Darwin takes you deep into your Mac's firmware and shows you how. Feb. 18, 2003

Introduction to FileMaker Pro
In this first installment in our new FileMaker Pro series, we introduce you to this polished, powerful relational database. Alan Graham sets the table for things to come. Feb. 14, 2003

PHP's PEAR on Mac OS X
The PHP Extension and Application Repository (PEAR) is an online repository of high-quality, peer-reviewed PHP classes that conform to a rigorous coding standard. In this article, Jason Perkins shows you how to install, configure and use the PEAR Package Manager on Mac OS X 10.2 Jan. 21, 2003

Mac in the Enterprise: An Odyssey
Apple's current "Switch" campaign focuses on individual users. But what about Mac OS X in the enterprise? Marley Graham, an IS manager, explains how his irrigation supply company in Southern California uses Apple technology to keep the orders flowing in. Jul. 23, 2002

PostgreSQL for Mac OS X
Having just made the switch from Windows 2000 to Mac OS X, Michael Brewer decided to flex some of his database skills on his new iBook. In this tutorial he walks you through an installation of PostgreSQL. Jun. 7, 2002

The AltiVec Difference
AltiVec is a high performance vector processing expansion to the PowerPC architecture that Apple has incorporated into its G4 computers. Many applications dramatically improve performance by enabling AltiVec. Craig Hunter explains how. Apr. 5, 2002

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