FEBRUARY 25, 2003
Killing the Undead
I ran the script, and, sure enough, the Dock quit. Woo hoo! Then, like the undead imp from the Hellmouth it is, the evil, evil Dock re-spawned itself. D'oh! Well, all was not lost. At least I had a nice little script that could use to force quit the Dock in case I ever needed it, so I decided to save the script out of the Script Editor as an application. (That's a hint, by the way. You might want to do the same thing.) But damned if that ball didn't keep-a-rollin'. Why would the Dock relaunch itself after a force quit? Is OS X somehow looking to restart the Dock automatically if it notices that it's not active? Would moving the Dock to another location fool OS X into thinking that it's not there and give up?
As much as I'd love to get into all the gory details of how, over the course of several hours and just as many caffeinated beverages, I applied my scary genius to solve a problem that most people probably could have been able to figure out in a minute or two, but alas, I'll just skip right to the system I worked out that got me back to the promised land.[an error occurred while processing this directive]First, if you didn't take my earlier hint about making a Quit Dock AppleScript application, open up Script Editor (Applications/AppleScript/ScriptEditor.app), type in the script I mentioned back there, then choose File > Save As, and save the file in application format somewhere on your system. I named mine "Kill Dock," saved it in the Applications folder (fig. 2), and added a nice skull icon I grabbed from MM Icons. By all means, feel free to go nuts here and let your creativity run wild with what you name yours and where you choose to save it. This is, after all, a site for creative professionals.
Fig. 2: Here's my handy-dandy Dock Killer AppleScript application.
Next, we're going to have some fun in the Terminal. Now, if the dreaded T word sends you into a complete panic, let me explain what we need to do first. The Dock "lives" in the System/Library/CoreServices folder on your boot disk, which is a folder that, by default, had been made mess-proof for your protection. Therefore, we're going to need the power of root access in the Terminal to move the Dock out of there.
"Whoa there, Skippy," as I'm sure you're now saying, "just what in the name of tarnation do we need to move the Dock for?"
Glad you asked. It turns out that if the Dock isn't where it's supposed to be, OS X won't be able to find it and, by extension, won't be able to restart it when it quits. But we DO need the Dock to start at least once, or else the Desktop is rendered useless. So we need to use the Terminal to move the Dock to the Applications folder. If you've already enabled root access, you can skip ahead. For those that have never wielded the awesome power of the superuser, I now offer my usual disclaimer that root access can really screw up your system, so don't blame me if you do something wrong, yadda yadda yadda. Fire up the Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal), and, at the command prompt, enter the following:
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