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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century... Site News
... 5 ...


Well, it's midnight now. That means it's officially November 4th here on the west coast of the USA. And that means it's now been five years to the day since macosxhints.com launched. I really can't believe it's been that long; it still feels new and fresh to me, which is a tribute to the members of the community. Through all the years, all the growth in the scope of the site, and all the various versions of OS X, this community has remained friendly, intelligent, and willing to share their knowledge with fellow Mac users around the globe. And it's the quality of this community that keeps me coming back, day after day, to do my small part to keep the tips flowing. So thanks to each and every one of you who has helped make the site what it is today -- this really is a fanastic group of people to have the pleasure to "be virtually around" day in and day out.

Much has changed in five years, of course. When I look back at some of the posts from 2000 and 2001, it's obvious that many of us were struggling with the OS X transition, as well as with finding ways to work around all the 'missing pieces' from the Public Beta, 10.0, and 10.1 days. People occasionally ask me why I don't clear out the old "out of date" hints, and I always tell them that I enjoy having them around -- the hints and associated comments usually tell an interesting story, and it's sometimes just fun to go back and skim the subjects on some of the older hints. In some ways, macosxhints.com is both a collection of current, useful tips, and a museum for a trip back through the OS X time machine. I like that about the site, hence, I keep the old hints around. Besides, some of the old tips are still relevant, and figuring out which ones to delete would be quite time consuming...

As another measure of how far we've come, I spent a few hours playing with Motion, Garage Band, and iMovie HD (apps that weren't even around five years ago) to put together a little 'thank you' video for the community, in recognition of this fifth anniversary. There are two versions -- a 'big' 1.5MB 720x480 version and a 'small' 720KB 360x240 version. Both require QuickTime 7, as they're encoded with H.264. I've also had a couple reports that they may not play right in some browsers, though they worked for me on two different machines here. Feel free to download and view directly in QuickTime Player if you prefer.

Please keep in mind that I am not a video person by training; I just enjoy the power that these Apple tools give to even a 'non-pro' like myself. Sure, the result is amatuerish, but just the fact that I was able to cobble something together in only a few hours is a great testament to the power and (relative) ease of use of these apps. If I had more time, I'd probably do nothing but play with Motion all day; it's really a fun to use and impressively powerful program.

In any event, thanks again to the community for making the site everything that it's become, and enjoy your weekend -- and don't worry, the usual selection of hints will be coming a bit later this morning. I need to get some sleep first, though!

-rob.
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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: hsinha on Nov 04, '05 12:15:30AM

Happy Birthday Macosxhints! It is a very valuable resource for the whole community. Many thanks for the Hintmeister for doing such a great job! Cheers for the next 5!



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: imacusr on Nov 04, '05 12:34:04AM

If there is a Mac Hall of Fame, Rob Griffiths is a first-ballot shoe-in. Thank you so much for your immeasurable service to the community, and here's to five more years.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: pascalpp on Nov 04, '05 01:18:07AM

Congrats to Rob and all the great contributors here. Rob, you're the raddest.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: mark hunte on Nov 04, '05 01:27:21AM

Happy Birthday Macosxhints and its community, And many more happy returns to come.
Mark

---
mh



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: tice on Nov 04, '05 02:13:16AM

Yeah! Happy birthday from me too! : ) Great site, always good for a good tip to make the OS even a bit better. Thanks for serving this ... Greetings from Hamburg Germany.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: Jwink3101 on Nov 04, '05 03:12:37AM

Congratulations. I know i love MacOSXhint.com I check it everyday.

Look where it has taken you. It was first a hobby then it became a source of part-time income and now it has brought you to MacWorld. I think it is awesome.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: hdms on Nov 04, '05 03:13:48AM

Without a doubt, MacOSXHints has been one of the most important forums for the Mac platform. It is a place where newbies can learn first hand from the oldies, where the blatantly obvious can be revealed for the first time, and the obscure dissected by the masters for the benefit of all.

For those of us who are not overly technical or blessed with a degree in computer science, but love our Macs dearly all the same, MacOSXHints is a lighthouse shining over hazardous waters.

Thanks to Rob for helping us navigate our way...without his enthusiasm and commitment to MacX and this website, many of us would have foundered and been long lost by now!

If you haven't subscribed before - now is a great time to do so and continue the support of a truly iconic Mac institution!



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: bluehz on Nov 04, '05 03:50:27AM

It hard to even imagine this long strange trip we have taken from pre-OS X daze to today WITHOUT MacOSXHints! Congrats and thx Rob!



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: Ezra Balaraj on Nov 04, '05 03:59:47AM

Congratulations! Thank you very much for the wonderful experience. Here's to another 5 years.

---
EB



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: pierre_auclair on Nov 04, '05 03:55:04AM

Happy Birthday or should I say 'Joyeux Anniversaire' from France. Thanks again for your good and valuable work.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: rspress on Nov 04, '05 04:47:44AM

Happy Birthday MacOSXhints! Since finding this site about two years ago I have been here daily without fail since that time. I bow 5 times in your direction, since I am on the west coast as well I assume you are in the Bay Area/Santa Clara valley area.

BTW, clicking on the "big" video link made Safari go TU when the movie started to load.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: Nimitz on Nov 04, '05 05:10:50AM

Thanks Rob for these 5 years of Community work and for managing (y)our website competently and diligently.

Vele groetjes uit Belgie.



---
-----------
The Nimitz



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: Wintermute on Nov 04, '05 05:25:26AM

Gratulerer! Ha den äran! Congratulations!

I cant't remember when i started to read Hints, but it was way back when I still managed to read through all the hints. Which I can't say is possible anymore.

Over the years I've seen many hints of no interest to me, since they conserned applications I don't use, but I've never seen a hint which haven't been useful or worthwhile.

I look forward to the next 5%. And remember, there will always be an open folder for you on my disk.

---
There are 10 kinds of people in the world?
Those who think binary, and those who don't.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: Anonymous on Nov 04, '05 05:51:06AM

Congratulations. and many thanks for a most excellent and helpful site ! And here's to you and this site's continued success. And here's to the day when chickens have lips. And all that !



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: abyone on Nov 04, '05 06:16:06AM

grats Rob, thanks for all of the hard work.

I was wondering if you had any interesting stats for those five years, most commented on hint, most viewed, who has posted the most, month with the most traffic etc.

Not that I want you to work any harder or anything.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: abyone on Nov 04, '05 06:21:09AM

Of course, after I posted the question I see the handy-dandy STATS link at the top of the page. So many years and I never noticed!



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: robg on Nov 04, '05 07:23:58AM
Yea, and we just recently passed 100,000,000 database hits on the stats page. Database hits are cheap and easy, I know, but it's still been fun to see it climb over time.

Here are a few more stats that aren't on that page...
  • If you assume 250 working days a year, then we've averaged 6.39 hints per day, every day, for five years.
  • There are 11,269,162 total characters in those hints. Assuming five characters per word, that's 2,253,832 words over five years -- words that I kept. If you assume a fair bit of rewriting before saving a hint, it's probably at least 3,000,000 words total over that time.
  • 3,000,000 word total means 600,000 words per year. Break that down into 250 working days, and it's about 2,400 words a day. To put that in comparison, a typical two-page spread in Macworld is about 1,200 words. My hands hurt just thinking about it.
  • We're approaching 60,000 registered (free account) users, at 60 months online. That's a pretty constant average of 1,000 new registrants per month.
  • With the exception of five or so days in 2002, I have personally edited every hint published here. That week was the only true vacation I've taken from the site, and I had a friend serve in the editor's role for me. I've taken other vacations since then, but they've always involved posting the hints each day. Even when our daughter was born, the hints kept flowing -- waking up very early each day makes this possible. Just a heads-up, though, that I do intend to take some vacation time away from hints during the next year or so!
Though the above may sound negative in some ways, it's not meant to -- I love what I do, otherwise I would have stopped doing it long ago!

-rob.

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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: kwielandinstl on Nov 04, '05 08:28:52AM

Way to go!

Keep up the good work, this site is really a valuable tool.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: benfsmith on Nov 04, '05 09:33:20AM

I would be interested to learn more about the typical poster and commenter. What are the average and highest number of hints posted by the posters and comments by the commenters?



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: robg on Nov 04, '05 03:20:29PM

I'll see what I can figure out ... could be interesting!

-rob.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: breen on Nov 04, '05 07:48:03AM

Congratulations, Rob. The hard work has paid off, and it's a well-deserved payoff.

Here's to many more!

Breen



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: faochris on Nov 04, '05 08:34:25AM

Thats great to hear, I love macosxhints.
Its funny becuase it is also my birthday to day too!

---
my-ilife.com



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Video
Authored by: iRideSnow on Nov 04, '05 08:33:10AM

Watching that video was the most painful 18 seconds of my life!

Rob ;)



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Video
Authored by: robg on Nov 04, '05 08:35:53AM

I warned ya :)

-rob.



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Video
Authored by: stephenpen543 on Nov 04, '05 08:46:20AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

Thats all I need to say :-)

---
I ain't what I should be
I ain't what I will be
But I ain't what I was



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: brycesutherland on Nov 04, '05 08:57:43AM

Dork...

:)



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: GlowingApple on Nov 04, '05 09:06:06AM

Thanks Rob and to everyone at MacOSXHints.com. Thanks to the ingenuity and creativity of everyone on this site (along with a great OS by Apple), I have a computer that is more useful and fun than I could have imagined. It has certainly made my homework easier and made my job more efficient as well!

---
Jayson --When Microsoft asks you, "Where do you want to go today?" tell them "Apple."



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: payrolldude on Nov 04, '05 09:23:46AM

A GREAT resource to a GREAT platform! Thanks to Rob and all of the contributors!



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: the_webmaestro on Nov 04, '05 10:20:17AM

It's been a member of my 'daily' bookmark group for 5 years... Thanks for the hints!

---
Father of Jeremy Logan



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Greets from Denmark!
Authored by: miska on Nov 04, '05 11:50:27AM

Tillykke!

MacOSXHints' depth and insight make it into my preferred form of nourishment.

Well done everyone!



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: euskir on Nov 04, '05 12:14:31PM

Happy Five Years Robg!!!!!!
Not only one of the more hepful communities on the web, one of the more friendly too.
Thanks to you and to all the members of Mac OS X Hints.



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: TvE on Nov 04, '05 12:46:56PM

C:\NGRTL8NS

Just like Apple had banners on the busses etc. when M$ launched Win '95 ;-P

Does anyone have a URL to a picture?

Hmm - I am unable to make a backslash\ unless I escape :)



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: krove on Nov 04, '05 01:20:27PM

Seems like just yesterday, I was installing Mac OS X Public Beta on my Graphite iMac DV SE...

Those were the days.



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Coming in late, as always...
Authored by: Peter Maurer on Nov 05, '05 11:16:38AM
Looking at your birthday video, I was quite surprised by the fact that the number of hints increased more or less perfectly linearly over these past five years. Doesn't that mean that the ever increasing numbers of MOSH members are getting less productive?

;-)

But seriously: Congratulations! I've learnt a lot from this site. (Consider yesterday's Spotlight-related addition to your favorite utility as a birthday present. If only I had known...)

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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: TheJoker on Nov 06, '05 11:49:07AM

Many more years! This really helped a lot for many times and really shows the difference between Apple-Users and the rest of the world! :-)
Joachim



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Serving up the hints for 5% of a century...
Authored by: mmulhern on Nov 06, '05 12:12:08PM

Congratulations! This is the first site I logon to each morning. Keep up the great work.



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