As everybody knows, Mac OS X finds its roots in the Unix world, where there is a convention not to display filenames with a leading dot. It was therefore logical to follow this tradition.
This would need no comments if Apple had not pushed the limits a little too
far. Mac OS X creates files and folders with a leading dot not only on "its"
disks (disks formatted with the HFS or HFS+ formatting scheme, that is disks
formatted with 16bit and 32bit data structures), but also on FAT16 or FAT32
disks (so-called PC-disks) which happen to be mounted, even once, on a Macintosh
Apple, like Little Thumbling, leaves stones to find its way, even on disks which are not their property. More, on could ask whether Apple, even in the case of the HFS and HFS+ disks, really "owns" the disks and is allowed to do anything they like on "our" disks.
This should at least be an option.
See in particular Hostile Fork for some solutions.
Apple created two new standards called Apple Single and
Apple Double to store both file forks on any
magnetic medium. Apple Single files can't be recognized as such from the outside.
Apple Double files are stored in two files. The "normal" file is the one which
gets displayed in the Finder. It contains the data fork. The "other" file
contains the resource forks and some metadata. The name is the same, but with '._'
prepended. As the filename has a leading dot, it is not displayed normally.
On could call this a legitimate use of the leading dot feature.
You may want to delete those files, on a PC medium or even on a Macintosh medium. If the file begins with '._', caution, this is a resource fork file and you may need it (it could be a font, for instance). All others can be safely deleted, according to our experience.
A quick search on the internet gives a command line (to be entered in the
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
To restore the default behavior :
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE