MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on propagating permissions to enclosed items in a folder, managing items in the System library, burning iMovie projects to disc, and using multiple antivirus utilities in OS X. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.
Question: Permissions propagation to enclosed items
As part of an ongoing troubleshooting effort, MacFixIt reader "Ernst" asked:
What does "propagating [permissions] to the application package contents" mean?
This means to apply the same permissions to the contents of the folder or package for which you have altered the permissions. When you change permissions on a folder the system will only apply the changes to that item and not any items within that folder. In the case of applications (which as packages are essentially folders containing the application's resources), if you change permissions on the package, then only the outer folder of that program will hold the changes. It's only when you apply the permissions to all enclosed items within the package that you can be sure the whole application gets the changes you made.
To do this with the Finder's "Info" window, after setting permissions on a folder or application you will need to use the gear menu and choose the option to "Apply to enclosed items."
Question: recommendation for managing items in the System library
MacFixIt reader "JS" asks:
I was rereading(on the differences between various libraries in OS X) and was wondering, is it safe and a good idea to move the fonts which are in the HD/system/Library to where most of my fonts are stored which is the global library (HD/Library)?
In the past I've had kooky problems with an app not acknowledging the new location of a font and seeming to "find" a version of it stored on an external drive. At which point it would ask permission to use the that font even though a duplicate already existed in the system library fonts folder.
Doing so definitely has the potential to cause problems. The system library contains items that core system components use, and if these items are altered or missing, then system features might not display or load properly. Generally fonts from third-party sources are placed in either the global or user libraries and should be managed from there. If there are conflicts with the fonts in the System library, generally the recommendation is to first modify or remove those in these folders and reserve managing those in the System as a last resort to tackling the problem.
Question: Burning iMovie project to disc
MacFixIt reader "ewrite2" asks:
I'm having trouble burning a movie that I created on iMovie; I was wondering if you could e-mail me the steps to burn the program from iMovie onto a disk.
You will need to share the movie and thereby export it, and then open it in iDVD. If you have an "iDVD..." option in the "Share" menu in iMovie, then you can use that and the current project will be exported to iDVD for finalizing and burning. However, if you do not have this option then you can export it and import it manually into iDVD. Apple has a knowledgebase article with instructions for how to do this: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1095
Question: Using multiple antivirus utilities on OS X
MacFixIt reader "Rowland" asks:
As a competent user but not an expert I am totally confused as to whether one should use more than one anti-virus program as I have seen conflicting views on the subject.
I have iAntivirus on my Mac. Should I also have MacScan, for example, as well, just to be safe? Or is that overkill?
You can definitely have more than one antivirus scanner, but it is also true that they can conflict with each other, especially if they are performing simultaneous scans. I've found the best practice for having multiple scanners is to use one at a time, and keep the others disabled and quit. You might set up one to be a main scanner that is scheduled to regularly scan, and then periodically disable it to scan with another if you choose to do so.
In my opinion, having two scanners is likely a bit much, but not necessarily overkill since some may be better at detecting certain threats than others. The true overkill would be in how you have them configured. For instance, if you have three scanners with two of which you seldom use, then I wouldn't call that overkill. However, if you have two scanners that you have running every hour with all on-access features enabled, then I would call that a bit overkill.