why I love my Network

I’m firmly in the @injenuity “The Network is People” camp. And I freaking LOVE my network.

I’ve been experiencing an annoying glitch on my MacBook Pro since upgrading to MacOSX 10.5 – nothing serious, but occasionally it’d bug me. What happened was, if I opened a Finder window to /Users – it would show every user’s home directory except mine. I mean, I know it’s there, because all of my files are there. And if I used Terminal or remote SSH login, the directory was certainly there, as were all of my files. If I used Finder’s Go to Folder command (Command + Shift + G) I could enter “/Users/dnorman” and all was well.

But it was annoying.

Every once in awhile, I’d try to debug. I’d use Terminal and navigate to /Users. I’d run ls -l and I’d see this:

$ ls -l
total 0
drwxrwxrwt   7 root     wheel     238 23 Mar 15:17 Shared
drwxr-xr-x  13 demo     demo      442 14 May  2006 demo
drwxr-xr-x@ 47 dnorman  dnorman  1598 31 Mar 18:12 dnorman

The other user directories had either a + or no symbol after the file mode section. My directory had a @. WTF. I’ve tried looking through man. man ls. man chmod. Couldn’t find any mention of @. Try googling for @. Not helpful. This is where the gaping holes in my *NIX geekery are exposed. I was completely stumped.

Finally, I decide to try checking with the LazyWeb. I posted a tweet to roughly describe the problem – as best I could in the 140 character limit – and…

Waited 3 minutes before @thepatrick responded with a hint, and another one.

So, a few seconds later, I was running a new (to me) command via the command shell, finding out about xattr to list extended attributes about files.

$ xattr -l /Users/dnorman
0000   00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00    ........@.......
0010   00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00    ................

Bingo. There’s some funky bit set. So, how to nuke it. I ran man xattr and found it has a -d flag, which is used to delete attributes by name. So I ran this:

$ xattr -d com.apple.FinderInfo /Users/dnorman


My home directory now properly shows up in Finder. Everything’s hunky dory.

The power of my Network, harnessed with a simple LazyWeb plea, solved in 3 minutes what I’d struggled for 5 months to solve on my own.

I love my Network. It’s the people.

Thanks, Patrick. I owe you a $beverage.