Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun
Want to Peek in a Package? Check Out Pacifist!
Like other modern operating systems, Mac OS X offers a standard method of installing software. These packages are created with Apple's PackageMaker utility, which is included with the free XCode developer tools. If you've installed these tools, you can find PackageMaker in the Developer/Applications/Utilities folder. In many cases, the package does a fine job of installing the software that you want. However, there may be times when you'd like to peek into a package and see what makes it tick. If only there was a way to peek inside a package...
Pacifist offers several options after you launch it. One option which should interest just about any Gadget reader is "Open Mac OS X Install Packages," which of course requires that you have a Mac OS X install disc handy. Once Pacifist completes this operation (which can take some time) you'll be greeted with a view that shows the individual components that make up the Mac OS X installation package.
View the Contents of a Package
This is where the fun begins. In addition to being able to view every file that makes up a package (which can also be done by selecting "View Package Contents" via a Finder Contextual Menu) you can also Extract the contents of a package, and even Install the application or components from a specific package. This can be especially useful if you've lost or damaged a part of Mac OS X, and would rather not perform an installation of the entire OS.
Pacifist also offers the option of opening a package other than the Mac OS X installer. You can also choose to Update Prebinding Information, which helps Mac OS X know about any package components that you've recently installed. So take the opportunity to make the most of your packages today, and be sure to give Pacifist a try.
Have any other Gadgets that let you peek into the depths of Mac OS X? Send an e-mail to John, and he'll explore it.
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at
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