Discusses all things Mac and Apple related.
Contact: Richard Corzo. Meets the second Monday of each month, 7:00
p.m. at the DACS Resource Center.
DACS Community Forum: http://forum.dacs.org/
News and Notes
In April our member who had migrated from a PowerBook to a new MacBook Pro last July was still having some lingering problems in his new OS X Lion system. He was unable to save an edit to one of his files. I asked him to select Get Info from the context menu (right click or Ctrl click the file) and look at the permissions for the file. There are three permissions, one for the user, one for the group (for example, staff) to which the user belongs, and the last permission for everyone else. What we saw was very odd because no matter how long we waited, the group permission kept saying “Fetching….”
I did a web search to see if this was a problem experienced by others and found this very interesting page on CNET’s MacFixit site, “File group permissions constantly displaying 'Fetching...' in OS X.” This was indeed a known problem for some who had migrated from a previous version of OS X. The solution first involved entering a Terminal command to set the proper group for the user. Then it required rebooting into the Recovery partition and starting the “resetpassword” utility there to reset the permissions in the home directory. Finally after booting back into the main OS X partition, it advised opening Disk Utility and run Repair Permissions.
This process indeed fixed the problem he was having with the file (which was in his home folder), and also appeared to help with a problem he was having in updating GarageBand.
We moved on to my scheduled topic which was to take a look at an antivirus program for the Mac. I had read about some Mac malware that had invaded some Mac machines at Apple and Microsoft and wondered if I might also be at risk. I remember being prompted in the past to update my Canon printer drivers. I was now suspicious as to whether that was legitimate, since software updates are now part of the Mac App Store.
Since I was familiar with the Windows version, I decided to try the avast! Free Antivirus for Mac (http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-mac2). It was in the form of a .dmg (OS X Disk Image) file that contained the application. After installing the application into my Applications folder, I opened it and ran a scan on my Mac. It took a while but basically only found Windows malware in the spam it found in my e-mail folders. You wouldn’t want to accidently pass this malware on to your Windows-using friends, but it wouldn’t directly harm your Mac. It’s hard to say whether running an antivirus program is necessary on the Mac, but it’s nice to know that there is an option to do so.