Basic Questions About the Safari Flaw

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by GITANAJAVA, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. GITANAJAVA macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Have ibrik, will travel.
    #1
    Hello,

    This is the "Blonde Treading Mac-Water" checking in with some VERY basic questions (after having read several news articles and all the posts in MR about the Safari flaw).

    When I bought my iBook G4/v.10.3.9 (Jan. 05), the "open safe files" option was unchecked. I only checked it after an Apple staffer recommended it in response to my confusion -- whenever I would download known software and files I was confronted with an on-screen challenge saying something along the lines of "Where do want to put this? What application do you want to open it with? Ya-da, ya-da."

    The Safari "download safe files" option is UNchecked now, due to the latest news. However, I still don't know how to handle that on-screen challenge. I didn't know then, I don't know now. My questions:

    1) How am I supposed to know what thingamy opens another thingamy and where something properly belongs when it's generated by a source other than myself?

    2) With the aforementioned option unchecked, can I expect to see the challenge even when accepting updates from Apple?

    3) Is there any hope for an ordinary, everyday Mac'er to just operate/use computing without being either a Luddite or an Uber-programmer?

    As much as I like my G4, I regard it with the same affection and attitude I have for a favorite hammer or my car: it's a tool. I don't want to build, re-build, or re-design the tool. I will maintain the tool and use it appropriately, keep up its certificates and licences, but I don't want to know the provenance of the wood in the hammer's handle or who attached my car's boot.


    :::sigh of slight discouragement:::
     
  2. bu113t macrumors member

    bu113t

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Location:
    Howell, MI
    #2
    I think you should be fine with this option unchecked... shouldnt make a difference when youre doing updates.

    If you want to know what a file actually is after yove downloaded it, right click it (or ctrl-click it) and go into Get Info. In here it should tell you what the file actually is next to the item marked "Kind" at the top. I believe this item it marked as a unix command or some such... The Kind should always match the type of file you think you are downloading.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3

    Well, this question has two parts. Firstly, usually the OS will determine which app should be used to open a file. I find it's pretty rare that I get asked. In the instances when I do get asked, I just think to myself what sort of file I am trying to open and then think of a corresponding app in my Applications folder that looks like it'd work. The worst thing that can happen if I get it wrong is that the file will open with a scrambling of strange characters because the app I chose doesn't know how to use this file.

    As for the second bit, most things can be kept wherever you like however it is very advisable to keep the apps in the Applications folder. This means that when you download an app from the internet, it'll usually give you a DMG and you merely have to then drag an icon that looks like an app (don't drag if it looks like an open box or a clamp) to the Applications folder in the sidebar. If it looks like an open box or a clamp, just double click it and follow the prompts. :cool:



    Updates form Apple generally come through Software Updater so this option does not affect them. However, if you choose to manually find an update from Apple on their downloads page, then this option applies as normal.

    The option is attached to Safari and therefore anything downloaded by Safari will (well, should) comply. :)



    BAM! Sorry, is this rhetorical?... :D

    In short, don't worry about the virus. I let Safari automatically open my safe files and will continue to do so until I hear about an actual virus that is more malicious. :)

    I hope that didn't diverge too much into unneeded technical aspects. I hope it made a little bit of sense. :eek:
     
  4. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

    Joined:
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    Have ibrik, will travel.
    #4
    'Ta, MJ!

    No, you didn't go too tekky for me; no, my 3d question wasn't totally rhetorical. When I'm researching the 'net or the forums for an answer I can comprehend to a question I'm not at all certain how to ask, I feel as though I'm in the deep end of the pool without any floaties.

    Back to your post: I did understand most of it. Although I cannot illustrate with a recent particular instance, I have had several occasions in the past year when I would download various things from trusted, recommended sources (most of these are related to my consulting practice). When I attempted to "open", that challenge screen appears. A couple of clicks this way and that, another screen pops open saying "Recommended Applications" (I think?) with some entries greyed out and others coloured per my Finder prefs. This is the stage where I'm entirely flummoxed.

    Overall, though, your post -- and your stance on the Safari open -- is the best assistance I could hope. Merci beaucoup, ami!
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5

    Ha. :D

    Don't worry, by no means are you the most clueless newbie on these boards. I agree, quite a lot of this technical babble can be quite flummoxing but you're managing to understand what I'm saying so that's a good sign. :cool:



    Did you eventually get them open? Were they files meant for a PC? The greyed out options are apps that OSX thinks probably won't work with the file. It's taking a guess by keeping some apps highlighted but still letting you ultimately make the decision.

    Just out of interest, what was the file extension of these files (if they were all the same)? A file extension is the last three (generally three) letters after the full stop (period) in a file name. Usually OSX will ask you once which app to use and then continue to automatically use that app each time you open a similar app. :)
     
  6. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

    Joined:
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    #6
    Arrrrgghhh, all of your questions are perfectly pragmatic and had I a better recollection of the occurences, I'd tell you the extensions. In the meantime, how might the extensions give me a clue?

    I need all the breadcrumbs possible for my Hansel & Gretl trail!
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    Well, the extensions tell us what the file is and therefore what app could open the file. Example: a file named GITANAJAVA.doc will be a Microsoft Word document.

    Now, a lot of these extensions aren't self explanatory but that's what we're here for. If you post something that you are having trouble finding the right app to open with then MacRumors will gladly point you in the right direction as to an app that'll work.

    Generally speaking, this is a bit of a non-issue since you thankfully only really have to do this once for each file extension type at most. :)
     
  8. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Have ibrik, will travel.
    #8
    Gawd, I *am* slow! Read your last paragraph three times before what you meant really sunk in. That's fab news :)

    Yes, the HMS MR has an "all hands on deck" crew, doesn't it? God bless all who sail on her.

    This discussion helped, too__

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=182556

    Again, thanks. Definitely feeling a bit more optimistic about the Mac cruise now! :D
     
  9. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #9
    The main thing is just to NOT DOWNLOAD RANDOM UNKNOWN FILES - or open a 'jpeg' that runs like an application :). Security measures are nice, but they won't stop stupidity.

    Stay away from the pr0nz and don't go off to ukranian sites and click links for fun - bad things happen.
     
  10. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

    Joined:
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    Have ibrik, will travel.
    #10
    Thank You for Your Input, CJ

    Thanks for your input, CJ. I was careful to state at the beginning of this discussion that I was not referring to material from BFE, just standard stuff that I, as a b-b-basic user hiccoughed about. ;-)
     

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