OS X User Account Control Popup: “finish_installation” wants to make changes.

Playing with my Mac this evening, the following system popup appeared, while I’m browsing around the web:

“finish_installation wants to make changes. Type an administrator's name and password to allow this.”

I’m always a bit suspicious, esp. if it shows up when I’m wandering around the web in Chrome. I assume nothing can get out of the sandbox, but who knows? I’ve already disabled the Java plugin, and nondescript programs asking me to type in my admin password always make me pause.

Various Google searches return non-helpful results, since it splits “finish” and “installation”, and, again doesn’t do order-dependent or phrase searches. And since most of the phrase is pretty non-unique, the results aren’t great.

But, I did manage to find this post on MacRumors.

Turns out the “finish_installation” is part of Sparkle, which is that handy-dandy autoupdate framework. But it’s not helpful when you don’t know which app is requesting the update, and/or if this app is legit.

So open up Activity Monitor, and Inspect the finish_installation process, which will tell you what you want to know.

Digging up info on the finish_installation process.
Digging up info on the finish_installation process.

In this case, the app to be updated is the Amazon Cloud Drive program, which is legit.

Shows us where this executable is being called from.
Shows us where this executable is being called from.

spatial_ref_sys and geometry_columns

Let’s say you have a little accident while messing with the schema of your PostGIS-enabled database, and the spatial_ref_sys and geometry_columns tables get wiped out. When you go to install a GeoDjango-enabled app such as the example “world” app, Python will yell at you, and you will be very sad:

It fails, because you accidentally dropped some very important PostGIS tables from the database. So you google a bit and find this: http://postgis.refractions.net/documentation/manual-1.5/ch02.html#id418654 which tells you what you need to do to set up a clean PostGIS installation.

So you dig around in the shared host, until you find where the PostGIS files are, and in particular spatial_ref_sys.sql:

So you try to run spatial_ref_sys.sql, and it fails, and you are sad:

Normally to create the missing table, you would run the postgis.sql script, and it would create these tables alongside the various GIS stored procedures. On a shared host, this probably won’t be possible, because you won’t have the permissions:

If you dig through postgis.sql for the proper CREATE TABLE statements, you’ll see something like:

You can pop these into a PostgreSQL admin shell and recreate these tables. Then you just have to rerun the spatial_ref_sys.sql file, and you should see:

Then, when you run the Django management script again, it should succeed.