Mac OS X Hints
Check It Out: Create a Fully Functional Drive Pop-Up Menu in the Dock
You can use any folder you store after the divider mark in the Dock as a navigable pop-up menu. Just click and hold on the folder, and a new window showing the folder’s contents will appear; any folders within that folder will pop open when you roll the cursor over them. This works fine—for everything except your Volumes folder, which contains all your hard drives, CD-ROMs, and other mounted media devices (you can open this folder in the Finder by selecting Go: Go To Folder and entering
/Volumes). If you try putting your Volumes folder in the Dock, you’ll find that your boot disk is hierarchical and that other volumes and CD-ROMs are not. But by using the power of Folder Action Scripts, you can easily create a self-updating, fully navigable Dock pop-up folder.
Start by creating an empty folder called MyDrives in your Documents folder (you might also want to give this folder a nice hard-drive icon from www.xicons.com ). Next, download the Update Drive List script. Double-click on it to open it in Script Editor, and replace
usernameherein the first line with your user name. Save the script and click on the Run button. Then move the script to your user’s Library: Scripts: Folder Action Scripts folder (create the last two folders if necessary). This script takes care of updating your MyDrives folder when you insert or remove an ejectable drive, such as a CD-ROM or FireWire device.
In the Finder, choose Go: Go To Folder, and enter
/Volumes. Control-click on the Volumes folder and choose Configure Folder Actions. In the dialog box that appears, make sure that the Enable Folder Actions option is selected, and then click on the plus-sign (+) button at the bottom left. In the Open dialog box that appears, press Command-shift-G, enter
/Volumesagain, click on Goto, and then click on Open. You’ll see a pop-up list of scripts to attach; select the script you just put in the Folder Action Scripts folder (it should be near the top), and click on the Attach button. You can close the Folder Actions window when it reappears.
Drag your MyDrives folder into the Dock, and you’re done. You’ve now got a fully navigable pop-up folder that will always show your currently mounted drives. Note that every time the script runs, it sends the old aliases to the Trash. So if you often mount or unmount CDs, FireWire drives, and the like, your Trash will get pretty bloated.
Unix Tip of the Month: Utilize Extra Space on CD-Rs
When you burn a CD-R from the Finder, you may be wasting precious space. Many CD-Rs today ship with 700MB of capacity, yet the Finder will only use 670MB of that space. How, then, can you use the extra space? It requires a quick trip to Terminal, but the answer is pretty simple.
Start by creating a new folder in the Finder, and then drag in all the items you wish to burn (up to 700MB). Open Terminal and type
cd ~/Desktop; then press the enter key (this changes Terminal’s active directory to your user’s Desktop folder). Now type
hdiutil makehybrid -o myburn.iso(note that there’s a space after the
iso), but don’t press enter. Instead, switch to the Finder, drag and drop the folder you just created onto the Terminal window, and press enter. Terminal should fill in the full path to the folder, and the enter key will then execute the command. What have you just done? You’ve just used the
hdiutilUnix command to create a hybrid disk image named myburn.iso (you can choose whatever name you like, but use .iso for the extension). You’ll see the message “Creating hybrid image” in your Terminal window, as well as an indication of the task’s progress. When finished, you should see a disk image called
myburn.isoon your desktop.
You can now either use Disk Utility to burn this image, or you can just type
hdiutil burn ~/Desktop/myburn.isoin Terminal—insert a blank CD-R when prompted, and then just sit back and wait. When it’s done, you should have a burned CD-R with nearly 700MB of data on it. Create an autoupdating Dock folder that contains your mounted volumes to navigate to anything, anywhere, with a simple click-and-hold.