Article Title: Opening a data set under Mac OS X
Article Name: GENERAL8
OS Platforms: Mac OS X
Last Updated: 09/02/2005

TOPIC:

This Tech Tip explains how to open RiverTools data sets on Macintosh computers running Mac OS X.

DISCUSSION:

Since the Mac OS X operating system is Unix-based, the native file selection dialog used by RiverTools 3.0 can be confusing to users who are unfamiliar with Unix. For example, there is a Unix convention that every directory (i.e. folder) contains two subdirectories called "." and "..", and these are synonyms for the current directory itself and its parent directory, respectively. The parent directory is simply the higher-level directory that a given directory is contained in. If you double-click on ".." in the Directories area of the file selection dialog you will go up one level in the directory tree to the directory that contains the current one. The highest possible directory, which contains all of the other directories on your computer is called the "root" directory and has the synonym "/".

You can navigate to your Macintosh desktop as follows:

  1. Choose Open Data Set from the File menu.
  2. Click repeatedly on the ".." in the Directories area of the dialog, until you get to the root directory, "/". As you scroll down through the list of directories you should see "Desktop Folder", but don't double-click on it. Instead, scroll down to the directory called "Users" and double-click on that one. You should see your login name somewhere in the resulting list of directories, so double-click on it. This is your "home directory".
  3. Now scroll down in the resulting list of directories, and find a directory called "Desktop". This is where all of the items on your desktop are actually stored; it is the "directory path" to your desktop files.

Similarly, you can navigate to files on the RiverTools Data CD as follows:

  1. Choose Open Data Set from the File menu.
  2. Click repeatedly on the ".." in the Directories area of the dialog, until you get to the root directory, "/". As you scroll down through the list of directories you should see "Volumes". This directory is your access point to files on external volumes such as CD-ROM drives, external hard drives, USB drives and floppy drives. Double-click on "Volumes".
  3. Now double-click on on "RT30_Data_CD" or some other volume in the list to access files on that volume.

Note that in both of these examples, you can also perform Steps 2 and 3 by simply typing the full path to the directory you want to go to in the Directory text box toward the top of the file selection dialog. For these two examples you would type: "/Users/your_login/Desktop" and "/Volumes/RT30_Data_CD", respectively.

Prior to Service Pack 3 for RiverTools 3.0, there was also a bug such that file and directory names that contained blank spaces would not open properly. This bug was fixed in Service Pack 3, which is available on the Downloads page of our website, along with instructions. You can check whether or not you already have Service Pack 3 by choosing About RiverTools from the Help menu and looking for "(SP3)" in the line that gives the "Build date".


If you have any additional questions or comments, please contact Rivix Technical Support for assistance.

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