Forum Question: On Using Onyx

I’ve done some reading that states OS X does run some housekeeping duties in the wee hours of the morning. My problem is that I don’t leave my Mac on all the time.

As such, I downloaded and installed Onyx as it has the ability to run those particular scripts on demand. However, I ran across this message when running the Preferences under the Verify tab:

/Users/mark/Library/Preferences/ Conversion of string failed. The string is empty.

I think the solution is to simply delete this item and iPhoto will create a new one, but I’m not certain. Has anyone run across this particular notation and if so, what was the correct action, if any, to take?

Finally, while searching for information about these housekeeping matters I found something that suggested to me that Snow Leopard will actually run such daily, weekly and monthly scripts at certain times when the computer is actually on instead of at fixed times in the early hours of the day.

Does anyone know if this is accurate? If so, does this make my download of Onyx superfluous in regards only to these housekeeping scripts?


— forkboy1965

Comments: 5 Responses to “On Using Onyx”

    1/5/10 @ 5:37 pm

    If you want to try the “delete it and iPhoto will recreate it” just don’t delete. Instead, rename. Rename it to and see what happens. That way you can undo your change if you want.

    Yes, I believe Leopard and Snow Leopard both run these maintenance tasks when it gets a chance. But you can check for yourself. Run Console (In Applications, Utilities) and look in the left sidebar for daily.out, weekly.out and monthly.out. These are the logs of these maintenance tasks. You can see exactly when they run.

    BTW, these tasks aren’t nearly as important as most people make them out to be. Just a little bit of housekeeping. You can see in the Console exactly what they do. Mostly, they look for temporary files like “stale files from /var/rwho” and “scratch fax files” that are no longer needed and remove them. Usually, it doesn’t find any.

    1/5/10 @ 6:02 pm

    Ah! Good call on the rename thing. That’s good advice regardless of the platform.

    I’ll check those out in the manner in which you discuss. I had heard that they aren’t that important, but I guess I’m looking to cross all my T’s and dot all my I’s.

    James Burke
    11/11/10 @ 12:57 pm

    Please excuse my ignorance, I am a new Mac user. I am experiencing the same problem. One question, how do you delete and rename /Users/mark/Library/Preferences/, when according to Onyx it is missing. I did a finder search, just of iphoto.plist, just to confirm that it is gone, and it is.



      11/11/10 @ 1:09 pm

      If you are a new Mac user, then you shouldn’t be using Onyx. What is the root problem you are having? Is something (iPhoto?) not working properly? If not, then don’t worry about that file.

    James Burke
    5/28/11 @ 2:35 am

    I don’t do anything fancy wt Onyx, but I do like to use it’s cleaning function. I used to have a mosaic option in my screensaver. Recently I lost this function, and I thought it could have something to wt the plist also being missing. Actually I am not as ignorant of Macintosh computers, as I first stated, but I have only had my iMac for about a year, so I am still learning.

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