View Full Version : bob and osx, i hate them both!

Feb 25, 2002, 10:44 PM
So my friend recently installed osx on his computer. He was paranoid about registering with apple so he entered a bunch of bogus info and told it not to register with apple. When osx finally started up he was now know as bob bob. and the computer was bob bob's computer and his short name was bobbob. well this drove him nots and he came to me for help. we changed the computer name in the sharing preference. changed his user name in users. but the short name is grayed out. even after logging in as root the short name for bob is grayed out. Anyone know how to change a user's short name in osx?

my friend now hates bob and osx, and will probably return osx because hes so frustrated with it right now. he also had some other pretty big problems.

all of this just convinces me even more that osx is not ready for average users. for advanced users its fine. we dont even think about most of the stuff we do. but mac os has lost a lot of its user friendlyness and intuitiveness. seems like apple is trying to attract pc users by making it more pc like and in the process they are making it a lot harder to use.

i didnt realize after all these months of using osx how difficult it is to do anything if you are an average user. i never even tried to do things like change my short name so i didnt think that not being able to do something so simple would drive someone so nuts.

Feb 25, 2002, 11:45 PM
When you first set up OS X, it tells you exactly what your name and short na,me will be, and gives you the ability to easily change them both.

Why didn't you just change his short name there and then?

Feb 25, 2002, 11:49 PM
yeah. real helpful. thanks.

look he installed it on his own. i wasnt around until after the problem. dont be a jerk. if u dont know how to help then just say so.

i think its a legitimant complaint, i mean you cant change your own name? thats stupid. there has to be a fix for this. im hoping its something simple i just overlooked.

rEd Eye
Feb 26, 2002, 12:01 AM
I find the fact that you cannot move OSX files around freely,like you can in OS9 to be a major annoyance.
OSX's file management definately reminds me of windows systems.
Wish you could just throw stuff around the same way as in OS9.
Burn todays system folder to cdrom for later use,casually disable and remove half your system,move program folders wherever convenient etc.
And as far as for the average user is concerned,the whole gui is pretty hurtin so far,for a commercial OS,not much happening there.The real power of OSX lies in the console,but as if most people will ever touch that.
But even the command line aspect of OSX is so stripped down,that it is pretty bare bones as of yet.
I'm not jumping in all the way just yet!Wait for it to mature(I hope)into something that actually blows the lid off the way things are done?

rEd Eye
Feb 26, 2002, 12:03 AM
I believe that you can boot off of the OSX cdrom to change your user and password info?
Read th' manual!

Feb 26, 2002, 12:15 AM
Try this...

In the user system preferences create a new user with the attributes you want, then delete the user you don't like.

I haven't really looked at NetInfo a lot yet, but I think I read somewhere that the short name is used by some system services and changing it will not be picked up by those services properly which is why it is locked.

As far as being able to "throw stuff around" like in OS 9, any OS based on concepts such as secure multiuser, multitasking, etc. is going to be more picky about what you can do with it and still have it work. However, if you really want to put anything where you want, log on as root - you can do anything you want. Just make sure you have a good backup first.

Feb 26, 2002, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
yeah. real helpful. thanks.

look he installed it on his own. i wasnt around until after the problem. dont be a jerk. if u dont know how to help then just say so.

i think its a legitimant complaint, i mean you cant change your own name? thats stupid. there has to be a fix for this. im hoping its something simple i just overlooked.
Wah hey, ok buddy, calm down. It may have been useful info for next time... Anyway, here's how to do it.

Open NetInfo (Applications>Utilities>NetInfo)

If you haven't enabled root, go to Domain>Security>Authenticate. Then do what it says.

Then go to Domain>Security>Enable Root User. Then do what it says. DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSWORD!!!

Now make sure you can change stuff, you need to be the root user. Click the lock at the bottom left of the window. User name is "root" and pass is what ever you just set it up as.

Go to /
Go to users
Go to bobbob or whatever his name is
Then you can edit "name" by double clicking on it.

Voila. See, I'm not such a bad guy after all. :D

Feb 26, 2002, 12:50 AM
As gbojim suggested, you could use the Users pane in Sys Prefs to add a new user and delete the old one, but you'd lose all your settings. One way to get around that is to delete all the stuff in your new user's home folder and copy over all the stuff from bobbob's home folder. You may have to be logged in as root to do this though, I'm not sure.

Feb 26, 2002, 01:00 AM
hey... im wondering if they (apple) can know if you have un registered software...in osx because you have to register or login in and give a password? is it like xp in this way?

Feb 26, 2002, 01:37 AM
Beej is right - you will lose the settings if you don't copy them over. I forgot.

You will also definitely have to be logged on as root to copy the files from the old user's directory to the new one. In addition, once you have them copied, you will have to make the new user the owner of those files before the new user can use them. To do that:

- Open a terminal session.
- cd /users
- If you are not logged on as root su root then enter the password when prompted
- chown -R name_of_the_new_user name_of_the_new_user

In the last command, name_of_the_new_user is the short name of the new user you created.

You are done at the command prompt. There may be a way to do this from finder but I haven't checked.

Feb 26, 2002, 02:04 AM
hey thanks guys. :) you probably noticed im a bit on edge. lets just say the week isnt starting off well. You probably noticed my testy posts in other thread, i apologize.

id test some of this stuff out on my own machine but it seems i fried osx but disabling portions of the kernal i didnt think i needed. got a little overzealous. it was a clean install with nothing much on it so no biggie but i havent reinstalled yet, and my other osx machine is 10.2 which is just a mess.

ill let me buddy know what you guys said tomorrow. hope everything goes well.

all the advice ive been giving him has been over AIM so its pretty difficult to communicate. he tried creating another user. and then transfering's the bobbob user's library files over. im not sure exactly what he did but apparently that killed the second user. bob still worked. :) i was laughing my ass off everytime he signed back on to aim and said what happened. seemed like things just kept getting worse, especially because a few times he misread what i told him to do, and he did the wrong thing. it was funny in an extremely aggrevating way.

in addition to frying my osx drive i also killed os9 today. spent a couple hours on my custom fixit cd. disk repiar wouldnt touch it, techtool wouldnt touch it, norton to the rescue. took 5 passes with norton disk doctor but im back up and running. i plan on backing everything up (just did this a couple days ago so that shouldnt take long) and wiping everything and starting over.

ah the joys of computing. ive been spending too much time editing the system lately. luckily things have a way of letting me know when im getting too cocky.

Feb 26, 2002, 02:49 AM
Just be glad you haven't fried your processor like I just did. Reinstalling an OS is a lot cheaper... :)

Feb 26, 2002, 03:35 AM
Originally posted by krossfyter
hey... im wondering if they (apple) can know if you have un registered software...in osx because you have to register or login in and give a password? is it like xp in this way?
We'd know if it was. I don't send my rego dees off anyway. They'd get sick of me, I'm always fiddling and reinstalling...

Feb 26, 2002, 06:11 AM
The best way to resolve the problem in one step:

1. Delete OSX.


Feb 26, 2002, 06:50 AM
Just click "cancel" when it tries to send the rego info. Then in your home dir there is an alias to the info, command-r to find the original, delete it, delete the alias, and never worry about it again... :)

The Grimace
Feb 26, 2002, 06:59 AM

The simplest way to do this is via NetInfo Manager (Applications -> Utilities -> NetInfo Manager). Launch it as an Admin, and 'Click the lock to make changes' (its at the bottom of the window). Select the 'Users' folder (middle pane, very bottom. Probably hafta scroll down). Once you select the 'users' folder, you will then also see a list of said users. Select the one to edit. The bottom half of the NetInfo window displays 2 items; property and value. Look for the property 'name'. Double-click on it's value (bobbob in your friends case), and change it. Voila!

When I tested this with our 'Guest' account, I did it with a separate, Admin account. You may have to create, then delete, a separate 'Admin' account yourself. Or do it via 'root'. Then again, the 'bobbob' account may work just fine for this matter.

Hope this helps.


Feb 26, 2002, 09:46 AM
There's just no way around multiple users in OS X. It is a Unix operating system that has inherent multi-user capabilities. To change the way Unix works as far as multi-users go, you'd lose the ability to operate under a true multiuser environment alltogether.

If you only create one user on your machine, you'll never run into problems. The only problems you should have is locating preference files for the user (which aren't stored in the same place as in OS 9--they are in the User's folder similar to how the multi-user environment stores them in OS 9).

If you want to change the short-name of the user, Unix doesn't allow a straight change. Therefore, you have to create a new user (who has admin privledges), copy all of the files from the old User's folder to the new user's folder, then delete the old user. Its an easy process, but one that should be done as root. Use NetInfo to enable root user, log out, then log in as root to make changes.

Its a bit round-about, but is necessary for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is security.

My only other point is that most users will never be forced to deal with these issues. Mac OS X does a good job of hiding most of the ugliness of Unix and shortnames from the user. And it will only get better in these regards.

Everyone will come around as the OS X experience gets easier, better and more stupid-proof like the original Mac OS was.


Feb 26, 2002, 10:52 AM
it really doesnt hide things all that well for the average user. the average user sees a library and a documents folder in his harddrive and saves to a documensts folder and then cant find it. because it is saved in his personal documents folder. all your preferences can be stored in like three or four different places. and the short name appears every single time you log in. hardly hidden.

i agree people will learn to deal. but if you see something (like the short name) you will want to change it.

Just think about icons. half the icons you want to change you have to log out and log back in to see the change. and then maybe 10 percent require root access change. These are freaking icons for crying out loud, how are icons a security risk.

osx still has a lot of rough edges that deter novice users. those of us who have been using it for awhile just start to be blind to them much the same way a windows user becomes blind to the crashes and ugly interface.

dont get me wrong im normally sing the praises of osx, thats why my friend picked up a copy in the first place, but on these forums where i know people are knowledgable i dont worry about pointing out the few rough edges. i know u guys know that im nit picking and that osx is still way cool

Feb 27, 2002, 09:12 PM
its a network OS, period. you will need multiple users with multiple levels of access. that's just the way it has to be. we are now living in a networked world, and the days of doing whatever the hell you want with your OS are gone. if YOU can do whatever you want with your OS, chances are someone else can too. What do you want, security or the ability to move stuff wherever you feel like it? I choose security. UNIX is the past and future. Just watch as the UNIX-coders jump on to the bandwagon. I'm excited to see a renaissance of at-home coding.

Feb 27, 2002, 10:12 PM
I figured there was an easy way to do that if you are not familiar with the command line.

Feb 28, 2002, 06:12 PM
just thought id let everyone know, that none of teh suggestion worked. seems like changing all that stuff just messes things up.

i wasnt around when he tried it, but i guess it basically killed bobbob. no apps wouldnt launch.

he brought the computer over. i wiped the drive. installed everything fresh, and set everything up. it was up and running fine for a few hours then he took it home decided he wanted to install some language packages that i hadnt installed (no he didnt speak any of these languages he just thought it was neat). he booted from osx tried installing just the language package but actually installed the whole OS over again. that again really messed things up.

the thing that concerns me about all this is apple has made everything so confusing for the average user that they screw everything up no matter what they do. i shouldnt have to hold my friend's hand everytime he wants to upgrade his sytem. hes not an idiot. but for all the "security" that is supposed to be in place it seems that all teh security does is make things harder to use, and in the end does not really make anything more secure.

i love osx. dont get me wrong. but i dont reccomend it for the averag user. its too hard to use. im sure it will get better so thats why i feel ok telling people to not buy new computers and not upgrade their old ones. ive been telling everyone to wait until the hardware is fast enough and the os is out of its infancy.

anyway, if got another drive to wipe and osx to install over again. lates

Feb 28, 2002, 06:45 PM
I've found this thread most entertaining!!! :p

Feb 28, 2002, 07:10 PM
glad we could entertain you eyelikeart. ive been calling my friend bobbob just to annoy him. reading back over the thread i realized how terrible my typing is. im surprised you guys can understand me after all my typos.

thought id also let you know that i fixed my own osx without a reinstall. marked all the extensions i disabled, im going to go back over them one at a time later to see which one was causing a problem. talked to a couple developers today about creating a extension manager type utility, they seemed interested but i guess apple has been sort of close lipped about what all the extensions do, so it would be difficult to create a manager without that info.

well since everything is working again i think ill go find a new way to break things.

Feb 28, 2002, 08:06 PM
why do I not have these problems?

When I bought OSX, I also bought one of those big fat 1000 page books.
(Jesse Feiler, it is not bad but not to advanced)

I bought OSX largely because of the language package system. As I understand it, they are default installed. You just need to go in the Sytem Preferences>International panel to set it up, you can change your app language on the fly and system language with a login.
So my wife logs in and gets Japanese everything, I log in a nd get English everything.
Way cool. try that with any other OS
But I am really choked that Apple does not seem to include this feauture in Appleworks, does not switch languages, anybody confirm?

Feb 28, 2002, 10:08 PM
i'm with you eyelikeart - i liked the dirt dug up on os x. this thread is really the stuff i expected Mac-ies would write on os x when i first joined macrumors.

i found setup assistant, if that will help (though the problem's been solved).
it used to be in my Applications folder but mysteriously moved to /System/Library/CoreServices (what th' ????). it's the program that launches first time you start up os x and the one in which you register.

Feb 28, 2002, 10:28 PM
I bought my first Mac (G4 533) less than a year ago and already I feel more comfortable and capable in OSX than I have ever felt with a Windows OS.

This year my dad (age 54) bought his first computer ever. It's a Mac running OSX. He tells me all the time that using a computer is so much easier than he had imagined.

He calls me for help from time to time, sure. But mostly he moves his TiBook from home and office networks seamlessly, sends e-mail, surfs the web, rips and plays music - as well as running his biz apps. All this in his first month of computing - with little to no assistance at all.

So I can't really sympathize with your friend's misfourtine. His paranoia, his lack of patience, his tendency to tinker I'm sure, have gotten his into troubles far more serious than this one. If a bad username is the worst of it, I'd advise him to cut his losses and move on...

On the other hand - if he simply reads the manual, pays attention, and follows instruction, he might have a well working OS (on either side of the field).

PS - Go ahead and tell him to boot from the OSX CD if he's ever interested in changing his Admin name.

The Grimace
Feb 28, 2002, 11:30 PM
"boot from the OSX CD if he's ever interested in changing his Admin name."

This is good advice, and something to remember.

"So I can't really sympathize with your friend's misfourtine."

This is cold. Not everyones experience is going to be the same, and there certainly are peculiarities to Mac OS X. Personally, I've accidentally relaunched (I think thats what happened...) the Finder as root, and then did something that allowed me to 'Force Quit' it. Didn't re-launch until I quit every other app. Don't know exactly what I did, either. And this was with 10.1.3. So have a little compassion.


Mar 1, 2002, 01:03 AM
you are right about that.... not everyones expierences with osx are the same.

i for one am very pleased with osx. i am having no problems with it. i can only imagine what osx will be like 3 years down the road. im sure it will be more of a force to be reaconed with ...it already is

Mar 1, 2002, 09:39 AM
I don't think so,
It is a totally different world now,not the old OS any more, requires an investment of time.

I agree with tfaz1 100%.
You can't make assumptions that it is the ols OS, it works great if you come from the other side etc.

Mar 1, 2002, 10:27 AM
OS X is the best OS I have had the fortune (good or bad) to use. For the normal user (someone that is not a developer of software) it is rock solid. The learning curve is not all that large, and most people can learn it fairly fast. Granted, it has some system requirements that prevented some people from installing it onto their older systems, but you get that with any OS.

On the whole, my own experiences with OS X have been excellent. In all the months that I have been using it, I have only had ONE kernel panic, and that had to do with using a 512MB PC133 memory chip in the lower slot on my rev a TiBook (works fine in the upper slot).

I would like to see some of the software developers/makers get their software up to OS X (native not classic), but that will happen eventually. I have contacted the ones that I care about, and have previous version os, and they are working on it. I heard back from the people who make Poser, and version 5 will be OS X native. No real ETA on it though. I have version 3, but won't update until it is OS X native.

Is there anyone in here that is running OSX exclusively, with no OS 9 installed on the same computer? I am getting ready to go that way, and would like to hear some real world feedback first. If you prefer, just slide me an email via my profile.... and thanks... :D

Oh, and 3 weeks and counting until HD day :D

Mar 1, 2002, 02:58 PM
whats is this HD day you talk about?

Mar 1, 2002, 03:00 PM
alpha tech I found this the other day...I dont know if you know about it...it has a lot of resources for osx...

the osx page (http://osx.hyperjeff.net/)

Mar 1, 2002, 03:11 PM
HD Day is March 23rd... the day I get to pick up my brand spankin new 2002 Harley Davidson Softail Standard motorcycle... :D:D:D