Mac OS X: Cocktail Brilliance

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 20th, 2003 • 6:48 pm

I’ve just discovered that the excellent Cocktail utility includes a button for creating “symbolic links” easily without HAVING to use the CLI in Terminal.

The need to resort to the Terminal had been keeping me from moving my “Mail” folder from its default location inside my home library folder on my startup volume to my “Documents” volume.

Now Cocktail lets me move the “Mail” folder to my “Documents” volume, create a symbolic link to it and put the symbolic link inside the home library folder. It looks just like an alias, but it’s not an alias. Using an alias in this particular situation would not work. Using a symbolic link does. Mail happily continues to function as if my “Mail” folder was located in its default location inside my home library folder. Yey! (If you want to do this, remember to quit the Mail application first before moving things around and creating the symbolic link.)

The fact remains, of course, that Mail should not have such a limitation in the first place. Indeed, it doesn’t even seem consistent with the “logic” behind file organization in Mac OS X. The home library folder contains all kinds of preferences and support files, but should it really contain one’s entire email archive? At the very least, it seems to me that the default location should be inside the user’s “Documents” folder. The user should be able to back up all his documents by just dragging the “Documents” folder to a backup volume. Instead, he has to remember to also backup the “Mail” folder inside the home library folder.

This also applies to the “AddressBook” folder that contains all your Address Book entries and is located… in the “Application Support” folder. Doesn’t make sense.

Backing up personal data should be a no-nonsense procedure. Instead, Apple releases a lame Backup application for .Mac subscribers only, and then scatters crucial data all over the place. No wonder most people don’t back up their data properly and end up losing tons of precious data when an accident happens!

One Response to “Mac OS X: Cocktail Brilliance”

  1. Fredric Leipsner says:

    I have installed mac os x and need some help in cleaning up my computer.
    I know there is a lot of stuff to trash and need some help in freeing up some memory but most important make this machine do what I know it could

    Thank you


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