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OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Minor Eccentric Behavior

All kinds of glitches may befall you, occasionally, in OS X. A menu doesn’t open when you click it. A program doesn’t open—it just bounces in the Dock a couple of times and then stops. A program freezes.

When a single program is acting up like this, but quitting and restarting it does no good, try the following steps, in the following sequence.

First Resort: Repair Permissions

An amazing number of mysterious glitches arise because the permissions of either that item or something in your System folder—that is, the complex mesh of interconnected Unix permissions described in Chapter 13—have become muddled.

When something doesn’t seem to be working right, therefore, open your Applications→Utilities folder and open Disk Utility. Proceed as shown in Figure B-1.

This is a really, really great trick to know.

Click your hard drive’s name in the left-side list, click the First Aid tab, click Repair Disk Permissions, and then read an article while the Mac checks out your disk. If the program finds anything amiss, you’ll see messages like these. Among the text, you may recognize some Unix shorthand for read, write, and execute privileges.

Figure B-1. Click your hard drive’s name in the left-side list, click the First Aid tab, click Repair Disk Permissions, and then read an article while the Mac checks out your disk. If the program finds anything amiss, you’ll see messages like these. Among the text, you may recognize some Unix shorthand for read, write, and execute privileges.

Second Resort: Look for an Update

If a program starts acting up immediately after you’ve installed OS X 10.9, chances are good that it has some minor incompatibility. Chances are also good that you’ll find an updated version on ...

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