2004.01.20

Last night I had a project to work on. I sat staring at my Sony 17″ Trinitron monitor while transferring files and all of a sudden there was a bright flash and the monitor went dead. Since I didn’t kick out the power cord, and there was no UPS beeping, I determined that my monitor finally died. The smell of something burning was also a tip off…

I’ve had various syncing problems with this monitor before, so I did some tests. Reboot, no good. Connect to PowerMac 8500, no good. Connect to Motorola StarMax, no good. So I smashed it into tiny bits. (Ok, in reality I just took it off the desk and put it on the floor.) Next I tried to put an old Apple 15″ monitor onto my G4. Well, after digging through boxes to find a VGA adapter. That didn’t work. Syncing issue I was guessing… I rebooted, zapping the PRAM with the hopes it would set the system to 640×480. Again, no good…

Luckily I was able to actually use my Mac, sort of. I ssh’d in via the iMac. Upon doing so I discovered that it had booted off of my backup drive. I found that interesting. Obviously resetting the PRAM changed where the system looked for a startup drive/folder. This just would not do, as I at least wanted my system up and running, doing it’s (cron) job and so on, even if I couldn’t see it. What to do?

bless. That’s what to do…

From our old pal, the knowledgeable Mike Bombich comes Some Useful and Interesting Terminal Commands for Lab Managers:

You can use the bless command to bless a System folder. This is particularly useful if you want to install system software by imaging rather than a standard installer. bless can also be used to bless a Mac OS 9 system folder, which is handy if you need to bootup Classic, but the system folder is not blessed. Finally, bless can be used to set the startup disk from the command line!

That last bit bless can be used to set the startup disk from the command line was what I was looking for. A few attempts to get the syntax right and my G4 was running off of the correct drive. All is well with the world again. Except the monitor, which will be replaced tonight…

bless you Mike Bombich!

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