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Installing applications...
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Jan 17, 2008, 08:23 AM
hi all,

i'm new to macs and was wondering how they organise/ install software. i presume there is no such thing as a registry as in windows - but i'm confused as to whether applications install components into the OSX system folder (again as PCs do...) or if they can simply run from wherever they're located kind of like an application that runs directly from an exe file eg. calc.exe or cmd.exe (windows calculator and command prompt respectively).

i ask since i would like to run software from an external drive - i am the proud owner of a new MBP 2.4 17" running leopard. but would like to install photoshop and vectorworks to a lacie firewire800. would i just put the contents of the application into a folder on the external drive? how does this work with dmgs? do they give you the option of where you would like to install the software or do they automatically install to the application folder on the system drive?


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Jan 23, 2008, 02:20 PM
Paolo, I'm pretty sure you can run VectorWorks off of your external Lacie however I 'll concern about speed problems. Suggestion, install VW on internal HDD and save files on your external.

I hope this helps.

Mac Elite
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Jan 23, 2008, 11:37 PM
Would it really affect speed? Once it is loaded it's in RAM. It should be no problem to run most program from any location, but some programs may take issue with it (one's that have been badly made, which includes some of Apple's).

Programs on a Mac will create preference files in the Library folder within your Home folder. Have a look around that and you will see what I mean.

With disk images (.dmg) you download from the internet, you should copy the application to wherever you like. Most programs you can actually run from the disk image with no problems, but there is little point. After copying, eject the disk image and then chuck it.
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Jan 24, 2008, 12:23 AM
Why do you want to put the app on the external drive? I'm pretty sure it can be done, but I am pretty sure you don't want to do it. Put the app in the Apps folder on your main hard drive, and the scratch folders / files on the external - you'll get better performance that way.
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Jan 24, 2008, 02:05 AM
Mac software installation is nothing like Windows. For larger applications, there are usually some files installed in /Library/, but the apps themselves should be able to be moved and run from any drive you have. FYI, the most analogous structure to the Windows Registry in OS X is probably LaunchServices, except for the fact that LaunchServices doesn't suck.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
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