How to update Letterbox for Max OS X after the latest 10.6.8 security patch:

When Apple released the most recent 10.6.8 security patch, that patch broke Letterbox (see also here), an insanely useful Mail.app plugin that allows all three Mail.app panels to be viewed vertically. This view maximizes screen real estate, which is very important for those of us on widescreen displays—which is to say, virtually all Mac users. But this 2010 OS X Daily post describes how to work around the last breakage caused by an Apple update. These are their instructions, except for the addition of two new UUIDs that I found for the latest version of 10.6.8:

* From the Finder, hit Command+Shift+G and enter ~/Library/Mail/ then hit Go
* Open Bundles (Disabled) rather than Bundles – note: if you have already opened Mail, the plugin is disabled, if you haven’t opened Mail yet, it will be in Bundles
* Right-click on Letterbox.mailbundle and select “Show Package Contents”
* Now open the “Contents” folder inside the Letterbox.mailbundle contents
* Using a text editor, open Info.plist (you can use TextEdit, don’t use Word)
* Scroll to the bottom of the Info.plist file and look for “SupportedPluginCompatibilityUUIDs” which is surrounded by key tags, below that will be a bunch of hex strings surrounded by string tags
* Add the following two strings to the bottom of the list (inside the array tags):

<string>064442B6-53C0-4A97-B71B-2F111AE4195B<string>
<string>588FF7D1-4310-4175-9980-145B7E975C02<string>

That’s the important part. The rest is fairly simple:

* Save these changes to the Info.plist file
* Go back to the Mac OS X desktop and hit Command+Shift+G again, then enter ~/Library/Mail/
* You’ll see these two folders again: Bundles and Bundles (Disabled), what you need to do is move the Letterbox.mailbundle plugin from the (Disabled) folder to the Bundles folder. Do this just by dragging the file from one folder window to the other.
* Relaunch Mail.app

You can also navigate to the folder ~/Library/Mail/Bundles on your own, without using the “Go” command.

A lot of people—especially the nerds likely to use Letterbox—have probably already moved to 10.7 or 10.8, though I still haven’t and am unlikely to in the foreseeable future.

The kind of e-mail you like getting from a student:

What I wanted to tell you was that as I walked to my car triumphantly, I was taken aback by a distinct but powerful desire to explain my new decision to you. Why? I felt so good about my choice that I think I wanted to be interrogated by you and your often-obnoxiously probing questions (that’s a compliment). I imagined how the conversation would go and the way you might challenge my choice to provoke critical thinking. Then I thought about how well I’d be able to handle the scrutiny and cackled. So thank you for unwittingly validating my big decisions.

Although I like getting this kind of e-mail, I wonder what it says about me that I can be characterized, accurately—or so friends tell me—as asking “often-obnoxiously probing questions.” Furthermore, I wonder what it says that I’ve caused that habit to be internalized in others, too.

Discuss in the comments section. Bonus points to answers that include obnoxious, probing questions.

(I asked the student in question if she minded me posting this excerpt, and she wrote back: “please DO use my comments in a blog post. I’m actually kind of regretting that I didn’t send you the first draft. I waited a good half hour or so and then tuned the language down before sending it because I didn’t want to risk offending you. :P The theme was the same (and still intended as complimentary).” Fortunately, I’m notably hard to offend.)

%d bloggers like this: