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Might this be it?
Authored by: magnamous on Jan 25, '07 07:14:46PM
I rooted around in the system folder and found this file:
/System/Library/CoreServices/Search.bundle/Contents/MacOS/Search
I opened it in TextEdit and searched for "delay". I found what seemed to be a relevant variable name called "keyboardDelayForPartialSearchString". I tried using the defaults system in the Terminal to set up a preference file setting for it, but I haven't been able to get it to work. I don't know whether it has to be a number or a string or something else, and I don't know whether it has to be in the global com.apple.spotlight preferences or can be defined on a user-by-user basis, or whether this is all entirely irrelevant and has nothing to do with setting a preference for the delay. But, hey, I thought I'd mention it in case someone with more knowledge than I have can noodle around with it and figure it out.

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