Archive > June 2006

Half-kingdom for the Desktop

21 June 2006 » In Tech » 1 Comment

Last week was the first time I had to do a hard shutdown on my Powerbook. It was a strange feeling. There I was, doing something that used to be a regular occurrence in the Windows world, and now it really bothered me that I had to hold down the Power button for 5 seconds and wait for my Mac to commit temporary suicide. And I was apprehensive for a good reason.
After powering back up, I discovered that my desktop (lowercase) was gone. No icons, and I could not drag anything to the background at all. I still had ~/Desktop folder but it seemed to be disconnected from the actual display. No one I asked about this has encountered the problem before, but I had a hunch it had to do with a corrupted preference file or something similar.
After much muckying around (creating a new user, making sure its desktop was operational, running Preferential Treatment over all .plist files, doing a binary sieve on the .plists to find the offending one) I narrowed it down to A bit more yahoo’ing revealed that the culprit was a “secret” preference called CreateDesktop. If set to false, it tells Finder not to display the desktop. Brilliant. Somehow this got turned off during the hard shutdown and my desktop got lost at sea. Anyways, if you ever get sick of your Desktop (or want to restore it, like I did), you can change the setting via:
defaults write CreateDesktop -bool <false or true>
Until later. I am going to go click on all the icons.
UPDATE: Fixed the HTML escaping of the command (the bool arguments were hidden).

Conference Update

20 June 2006 » In Talks » 1 Comment

I gave the Unicode talk, which is slowly evolving, at the PHPConf in Moscow in May (more on that trip later) and at the New York PHP Conference last week. The slides for both can be found on the talks page. Next week is the ApacheCon Europe in Dublin and then OSCON in Portland last week of July. Stop by and say hello. Unicode is not scary, I promise.