This Domain Is For Sale

After 30 years, Autograph Systems is closing up shop effective January 1, 2021. At that point we will no longer need the or domain names. If you are interested in purchasing one or both, contact us by phone at +1 (570) 662-7718, or by email at

The final home page is found here.

Fixing a corrupted AppleScript file

Recently I had a problem with some AppleScript .scpt files being somehow corrupted such that opening them in a script editor (Apple’s or Late Night Software’s Script Debugger) rendered them as ‘garbage’ instead of a readable script. Actually, it appeared to be the compiled code being rendered as plain text: button labels, text properties, etc. were readable, but the commands, keywords, etc were not.

The key to identifying this situation is that the characters “FasdUAS ” appear near the top of the text.

Using Spotlight to view the file showed the script correctly, so I knew the information to recover it was ‘in there’ somewhere. But the Spotlight window provides no way to copy the data (jn 10.10 at least, which is where I am).

The solution to recovering these files is a bit bizarre: use Spotlight to ‘find’ the file, and copy the compiled script from the preview in that window. Paste that into a new script, recompile, and save.

Note: my first thought was to paste the text back into the corrupted script and compile that, so I wouldn’t have multiple files floating around. That seemed to work except that reopening the file opened as text, requiring a recompile each time. Clearly there’s something about the file that thinks it is plain text (probably .applescript) and finding that might be the key to repairing the original file.

But that’s a task for another day.

Moving Time Machine Backup Sparsebundles

So I was wondering: can I move a Time Machine sparsebundle file from one location to another and have Time Machine accept it without complaint?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: follow these steps:

  1. On the source machine, turn off Time Machine.
  2. On the Time Machine Server, move the sparsebundle to its new location.
  3. On the Time Machine Server, make sure the new location is a valid Time Machine backup destination.
  4. On the source machine, turn on Time Machine.


Fixing the eppc protocol

When Apple released Security Update 2015-002 ( they included a fix for the “FREAK” exploit. Unfortunately, that fix broke the eppc protocol. Fortunately, they fixed it in a subsequent patch for Mavericks. Unfortunately, for Lion/Mountain Lion you have to download a separate patch at Fortunately, it’s an easy patch. Unfortunately, Apple never released a similar patch for Snow Leopard. Fortunately, somebody else did. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who. Fortunately, I still have it and you can get it here.

See also this MacScripter Discussion.

Using GUI apps with Apache

For a project I am working on, I need Apache to be able to access an application running in the user’s GUI. The safest (I think) thing to do is to add that user to the _www group, like this:

sudo dseditgroup -o edit -a `whoami` -t user _www

(Replace `whoami` with an actual username, if you want to get specific.)