How to Fix Web Sharing on Mac OS X 10.5

It appears that due to a fault in the Leopard upgrade from Tiger, it misses copying some Apache 2 config files across which means that if you want to use Web Sharing, you’ll just get 403 access denied errors when viewing http://<your local ip address>/<short user name>/. It is, however, possible to fix it with a bit of tinkering.

First up I needed to tweak Finder so that it could see hidden files and folders, so via Terminal I entered the following:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

To revert it back later I entered:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

After that tweak I was able to browse to /etc/httpd/users/ and copy all my *.conf files to /etc/apache2/extra/. I was asked for my administrator password after which I went to System Preferences / Sharing and turned Web Sharing Off then On to restart it. And with that I was able to access my local website again.

If however that hadn’t worked, I could have created a <short user name>.conf file in my /etc/apache2/extra/ folder with the following text in:

<Directory “/Users/short user name/Sites/”>
Options Indexes MultiViews
AllowOverride None
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Related links:

Preview songs in iTunes Store

Another niggle and this isn’t a Mac specific one, but I did wonder how to preview a song before deciding to buy it on iTunes:

iTunes Store Previews

To listen to a preview of a song in the iTunes Store, double-click the song. If your network connection is slower than 128 Kbps, the preview may sound jittery. Choose iTunes > Preferences (Windows — Edit > Preferences), and in the Store pane select the “Load complete preview before playing” checkbox.

Apple like their simple(ish) interfaces but a preview button next to the buy button wouldn’t have killed them! This was a little too obvious for me.

My favourite new blog

spEak You’re bRanes. It’s utter genius and it’s about page does a better job than I would of explaining itself:

This blog is dedicated to the dribble-spattered lunacy of BBC “Have Your Say” discussions. Part of me thinks that the right-wing “blogosphere” of America is encouraging its slow readers to get over to the BBC and add their ill-informed opinions… but another part of me fears that the sample is actually more representative… perhaps the majority of people in the world really are this awful and stupid.

This is possibly a better description though, from an avid reader: “I just love the way you’ve appointed yourselves as the moral arbiters of what is posted on HYS, as if you have something significant to contribute. That and your self-satisfied sanctimonious attitude…“. Bang on, bitch.

It’s not just the stupid, and sometimes sensible, comments that make it though, it’s the authors sarcastic remarks on them.

Whenever I’ve read Have Your Say I’ve been dismayed by the fact that people seem very serious about what they’ve written when it’s actually complete twaddle. It’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only one thinking that.

Very useful Mac OS X Tips

Via the font of all knowledge, Lifehacker. They’ve got a list of Top 10 Mac OS X tweaks and three of them came in very useful straight away.

Set your default browser – I use Firefox and in order to set it as the default you have to run Safari (which is like the Mac OS X equivalent of Internet Explorer on Windows) and tweak it’s options for what the default is. Strange place to put it… I’d have thought it was a System Preferences thing, but there you go!


Enable the Tab key – This did puzzle me that you could only tab into controls that were either text boxes or lists and would skip things like check boxes and radio buttons. Fortunately though, you can tweak it via System Preferences / Keyboard & Mouse / Keyboard Shortcuts.


Manage programs that start automatically – I’d installed Skype and wasn’t happy with the damn thing loading on startup! Could I find any info on what to do, nope (probably because I was searching for Windows style terms, like startup, runonce). Anyhoo, turns out it’s a piece of piss. Again in System Preferences, apps can be modified in Accounts / Login Items.


Yay for Lifehacker!