David Madore's WebLog: Mac OS X for Unix gurus, anyone?

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Mac OS X for Unix gurus, anyone?

Is there a book or a Web site somewhere that explains all about Mac OS X (and Mac hardware or firmare) for those who know already all (or almost all, or all that is worth knowing) about Unix? I understand the underlying BSD (“Darwin”) layer pretty well, but the functioning of the various toolkits built over it is very much obscure to me.

My immediate concern is that since I installed the latest “Mac OS security update” on my mother's iMac, it doesn't work any more: actually, after boot, it gives a completely blue screen (with only a mouse cursor) in which the login window doesn't display as it should, and doesn't seem to react to anything. It appears that the login program is constantly respawned and constantly segfaults. I suspect that a critical system library has been damaged, deleted or misplaced, and the login application won't start because of it; but since I don't know how to test this hypothesis, or, even if I were certain, how to recover the original file, I'm pretty stuck there. I don't even know how to force the Mac to reboot (other than by logging remotely and running the shutdown program). Even less do I know how to force a boot from a CD, and that's a trouble. Unfortunately, Apple's Web site is utterly useless: for example, a Google search for “boot from CD” on Apple's site returns only four useless pages—hello?

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