Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tool of the Day: Houdini for Mac

It's a little ironic that one of the most important tools I've used today is for the Mac, considering I don't actually own a Mac. What I do have are clients who have Macs and who have the need to edit files like .htaccess and ~/.subversion/config.

As far as the Mac Finder is concerned (look at me throwing out the lingo!) these files don't exist. They're hidden because they have a dot as the first character.

Fair enough. But how does one see them? In a couple of instances, I walked folks through using terminal and ls -a, but that was a bit excessive.

Turns out, the answer is simple: download and run Houdini, a free app. It seems to have a variety of features, but the main one I needed was the ability to turn off and on the showing of hidden files.

Bam. Clicked the turned off button, and the eyes of my Mac friends are truly opened for the first time.

Windows may be crufty, but it has been using the same arcane facility for years for enabling and disabling hidden files. I'll give it that.

1 comment:

  1. I've never used 'Houdini' I've used a handful of other preference tools like TinkerTools and such, but the suprising part is how many of the preferences can be set via the command-line with: /usr/bin/defaults