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.HFS+ Private Directory Data?

You'd think they'd give it up.


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CUPERTINO (Rixstep) — You'd think they'd give it up. Now they've got a new file system, mostly ready for prime time, save for horrific times on deleting files. But hey, it's a big step.

A big step that should have meant an end to all that beige box nonsense. Ensconced - isolated - in a complex with a Jolly Roger flying from the roof, they got into Pascal when the rest of the world knew Wirth's play toy tool was that and no more. They built programs that looked more like nocturnal reflections by Grace Hopper.

They visited the mysterious grounds of Xerox, and their leader admitted he was so blinded by the WINDOWS that he didn't notice anything else - until he made the trek to Redwood City, that is.

Then they came back to their own offices and literally tried to stuff all that LRG stuff into their box, instead of the other way around. They built a file system with no hierarchy. And tried to pretend there were 'folders within folders'. And so forth.

And they rushed the product out the door with two running applications.

Now, so many years later, things are improving. Or are they?

See the blue streak? That's because there's something fishy at the end of that filename. '.HFS+ Private Directory Data(?)' is resident in your root directory. Most people know what that is by now. But did you know what the offspring of Arno are still doing with it?

That blue streak is an inadmissible bastard variant of the old carriage return line feed sequence. When all the rest of the world went 'this-a-way', Apple went 'that-a-way'. Again. And the 'engineers' at Apple know this, of course.

Now, in their totally modernised Unix™ 'Rock-Solid Foundation' operating system (which they inherited from NeXT after failing to make their own) that ugly blue streak character is basically 'outlawed', so you can't get it in any modern text editor. Or text entry field anywhere. (Basically the same thing as it's all based on NeXT's NSText.)

So that's why they do it. Because they don't want you to be able to access it. They think you're stupid. And they don't want flak if you screw up.

But hold on - it gets worse. The total 'size' of that directory is 96 bytes, which should clue any engineer into the fact that there's gunk on it. (Directories up there are normally 64 bytes.) Have another look.

Note the '?' at the end of the filename. Good old High Sierra shell recognises that there's something wrong.

Now check the coordinates. Coordinates? you may ask. Yes, this is all for your beloved Finder. Or File Viewer with a less threatening name.

Check 'location.h' and 'location.v'. They're both set to 16384. You got a screen that's 16384? Nope. Those coords are way the F out there.

Now check 'upper,left' and 'lower,right'. Those are the extent (size) of the displayed icon. So zero size. Cute.

Now check FinderFlags. 5000. Translating to 'kIsInvisible' and 'kNameLocked'. Whoah. Looks like someone's scared.

You guys don't wanna use standard Unix™ tools to secure your precious file? No? You don't know Unix™ yet? Uh OK.

So, until you get up to speed, we gotta put up with this nonsense in our new file system?

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