all those folders you’ve never dared to look inside

  • Posted: 08 December 2008 04:13 PM

    Ever found yourself with time on your hands, feeling a little bored but ready to grapple with the fundamentals of something new? Then found yourself looking at and twiddling aimlessly with your Mac and then find yourself staring at all those weird folders the OS contains? Ever wanted to know what all the folders are for? Ever asked the question? Maybe it is my particular sadness…

    I click on my account name. And a window opens with a load of folders.

    Pictures
    TaoUSign
    Sites
    Music
    Public
    Library
    Documents
    Movies
    Desktop
    Downloads.

    Let’s admit that it is fairy clear, even to a balloon head like me, what Downloads, Desktop, Movies, Documents, Music and Pictures contain.

    But what is that ‘TaoUSign’? I click on it and all it contains is jseccssm.dylib And what’s it doing there all out on a limb?

    ‘Sites’ contains a folder ‘imges’ wirh 2 cheesy gifs, 1 crummy jpg, something called a png file and a file marked index.html.

    ‘Public’ contains a subfolder ‘Drop Box’ which is completely empty.

    Am I missing out on something in my life here? Or is it nothing exiciting. If so, can I bin them?

    The one I really would like to get in to folder by folder is ‘Library’. But let’s leave library for next time…...

    [ Edited: 08 December 2008 04:16 PM by martinp ]      
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    Posted: 08 December 2008 04:25 PM #1

    TaoUSign I have no idea about - all the references I could find were in French (which I can read, kinda), but weren’t very helpful. It looks as though it might be something to do with Mozilla/Firefox, but other than that, I can’t be sure.

    Sites is where you can put your own website. That is *your* website, as opposed to anyone else who has an account on your computer. For example, my domain name is daemons.co.nz, and my name is laurie, so anyone going to http://www.daemons.co.nz/~laurie/ would find a directory of - well - not a lot. But that’s how it works. If I still had an index.html file there, it would be picked up by your web-browser and you’d get to see something about more structured.

    Public is for other people to put stuff in your directory space. If you have another account, navigate to their directory and you’ll notice that their Public and Sites directories are the only ones that you can do anything with - the other ones are locked down. The Public/Drop Box directory is “write only” - so you could drop a document or image in there so they could pick it up; the Sites directory is “read only”, so you could look at *their* website.

    Don’t, don’t, don’t touch the Library directory. Just don’t. You’ll regret it. Did I say “don’t” strongly enough.

    [ Edited: 08 December 2008 04:34 PM by Laurie Fleming ]

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  • Posted: 08 December 2008 04:47 PM #2

    Thanks Laurie


    feels like I’ve just started a new part of my life….

    Always wnated to know…


    Okay, are you ready for library - one by one?

    Colourpickers then Compositions and Favourities are my first three - and they are all empty…

         
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    Posted: 08 December 2008 09:09 PM #3

    The Library contains all the system voodoo. Basically, you can poke around, but I wouldn’t move, add, or delete anything without knowing exactly what you’re doing. You could very well end up with another broken Mac.

         
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    Posted: 09 December 2008 12:07 PM #4

    Also there are 3 Libraries. 

    YOURUSERACCOUNT/Library, which contains stuff associated with your home directory and your use of applications.  The most important ones are Application Support and Preferences, a lot of the others are empty. 

    /Library - which has most of the Application Support and Preferences and Preference Panes of things you have installed.

    System/Library -> has the System installed stuff, never touch this, nothing outside of Apple system software should ever be installed here by any other 3d party.

         
  • Posted: 09 December 2008 12:15 PM #5

    Thanks for that, I was going to get round to the other 2 libraries - eventually.

    Funny that so many of them are empty.


    Believe me, I have no intention of moving or deleting anything.
    I am just trying to understand what they are.
    There is a lot of work goes into the OSs and it might help me understand and appreciate it more.

    So, if it is not the worlds most uninteresting question, Colourpickers is empty. Why ? What does it do?

         
  • Posted: 09 December 2008 05:08 PM #6

    martinp - 09 December 2008 04:15 PM

    Thanks for that, I was going to get round to the other 2 libraries - eventually.

    Funny that so many of them are empty.


    Believe me, I have no intention of moving or deleting anything.
    I am just trying to understand what they are.
    There is a lot of work goes into the OSs and it might help me understand and appreciate it more.

    So, if it is not the worlds most uninteresting question, Colourpickers is empty. Why ? What does it do?

    I have no idea. Here’s a wild but plausible guess. If you had a customised colour selection tool, such as a Pantone-based system, which needed to be universally available to all applications that ran under your account and which needed access to the palette, this is where the system would store the relative files for that “colorpicker”.

    Yeah… it could happen.

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    Karate ni sente nashi

         
  • Posted: 09 December 2008 05:11 PM #7

    Ooh, I’m an “Apple fellow”. Just noticed that. What an honour. Thanks, TMO.

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    Karate ni sente nashi

         
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    Posted: 10 December 2008 10:36 AM #8

    Pretty much everyone with more than a few hundred posts is an Apple Fellow.

    It took me a while to figure out that there wasn’t someone called “Apple Fellow” going around posting like a madman.

         
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    Posted: 10 December 2008 11:56 AM #9

    martinp - 09 December 2008 04:15 PM

    Funny that so many of them are empty.

    Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean they’re empty.  Sounds like something from Kung Fu, but it’s true smile

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  • Posted: 10 December 2008 04:32 PM #10

    I have no TaoUSign folder on my system.

    I have no FoxFire or Mozilla installed (I use Safari) and so maybe that is the reason.

         
  • Posted: 10 December 2008 04:39 PM #11

    <<Funny that so many of them are empty.


    “A place for everything and everything in it’s own place!”

    (Even if IT doesn’t exist yet or at that moment.
    Or even if IT is “hidden.”)

    Ah!  The satisfaction of good computer science.

         
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    Posted: 11 December 2008 06:24 AM #12

    PSMacintosh - 10 December 2008 08:32 PM

    I have no TaoUSign folder on my system.

    I have no FoxFire or Mozilla installed (I use Safari) and so maybe that is the reason.

    I have both FireWire and Mozilla, but no TaoUSign. According to the French forum that someone mentioned above, the folder is installed as part of a navigation certificates system (whatever that is); in the case of the forum, it specifically relates to online tax returns. Perhaps you have used some sort of online service that required electronic signatures, or some other form of security system.

    Incidentally, there’s an English-language page at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/228032 that also refers to TaoUSign in a FireFox context, but also related to French taxpayers.

    ?A place for everything and everything in it?s own place!? Sounds like my mother!

         
  • Posted: 11 December 2008 08:20 AM #13

    Spot on. That must be it. I have used it for tax purposes.

    Aux armes citoyens! All you need is love!

    So, I won’t delete!

         
  • Posted: 11 December 2008 09:30 AM #14

    So, au suivant! Next stop ‘Compositions’ and ‘Favorites’.

    Both empty. More kung fu stuff going down on these 2?

         
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    Posted: 11 December 2008 09:42 AM #15

    martinp - 11 December 2008 12:20 PM

    Aux armes citoyens!

    Et bien… ?a se voit que t’es Fran?ais. :-D