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Installer Observer

by Zach Schneirov

What is Installer Observer?
Installer Observer is a program designed to aid users in determining exactly what an installer has done to their system. One should use it to first Scan and Save the Initial Conditions of folders within and/or including their System folder. Then, after running the installer, he or she should have Installer Observer Load the saved system state and Examine the Changes Made. Installer Observer will report new files/folders, files/folders that have been removed, and files/folders that have been changed. For more detailed information on how to use Installer Observer, choose "About Installer Observer..." from the Apple Menu.

How does Installer Observer work?
The idea behind Installer Observer is simple: See what the system looks like before the installer is run, then find out what the installer has done by comparing the before and after states of the system. Thus, it is imperative that you have Installer Observer scan and save the initial conditions of your system before you do ANYTHING with the installer. If Installer Observer does not have a Saved System State file (that was made before the installer was run) with which to compare the current state of the system, it will not be able to detect any changes made by the installer. To streamline the detection of changes to the system, it is recommended that you have Installer Observer make a new Saved System State file before each installer that you run.

When examining folders, Installer Observer will look at each folder only long enough to determine if a change has occurred. If this is the case, it will then examine that folder in greater depth in order to determine exactly what changes have occurred in the folder and in which files they occurred in.

Installer Observer is completely free. You can use it whenever you want and give it to whomever you want, provided that this text file is included with it. If you wish to contact me, my email address is

You may download the most recent version of Installer Observer at

© 1999 Zachary Schneirov

Original file name: Read Me First! - converted on Monday, 1 November 1999, 17:40

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