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Open and close the CD tray with the keyboard Desktop
If you have one of the Apple Pro keyboards, the eject key now opens AND closes the CD tray in OS X 10.1. The good news for you non-Apple keyboard users is that the F12 key appears to do the same thing on most every Mac that has a tray-based CD system.
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Quit and hide apps while tab-cycling Desktop
To hide an application while command-tabbing between your open apps, simply hold down "H" while that application is highlighted in the dock. Similarly, hold down "Q" to quit the selected application. This is a great way to hide or quit apps without making them active first.

The only thing to watch is that there's no "undo" for this -- once the app is hidden, it's hidden until selected. And when you release the "Q", the selected application quits immediately.
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DVD screen grabs in 10.1 Apps
[Editor's note: Tickingtimebomb contributed a tip on DVD screen grabs, which I wasn't able to test prior to posting. When I was able to test it, I had trouble replicating the results. In my haste to correct the tip, I chose to delete the posting and replaced it with the following. That was a mistake; I should have left the original posting in place and corrected the information. Sorry for the error in judgement, and credit for the following tip goes to Tickingtimebomb! -rob.]

It IS possible to take screenshots of DVD's, at least on some Macs. I was only successful when using SnapzPro for OS X and a bit of a contrived process on a machine with an NVidia GeForce3. I could not take snapshots on an ATI-equipped G4/350. If you've got an NVidia card, however, here's how it worked for me...

To take a DVD screenshot, launch the DVD player first, and find the image in the film you wish to capture. Pause the DVD player, and make sure the window is positioned such that no Finder windows will cover any portion of the image. Now activate the Finder and launch SnapzPro (even if it's already running) from your Applications folder. Once it's launched, immediately press the SnapzPro activation keys (shift-command-3 by default, but I switched them in 10.1 to shift-command-5). Do NOT click on the DVD player again, or you will have to re-launch SnapzPro. If you've done this right, the SnapzPro window capture menu will come up, and you can then capture a region or the whole screen, and the DVD output will be included.

This worked on the three movies I tried it on, but if anyone knows of an easier method, please let us know via the comments!
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Turbocharge your mouse tracking! System
Thanks to this thread on the ArsTechnica boards, one of my nagging criticisms of OS X can now be addressed. If, like me, you prefer a mouse that moves at warp speed, you can hack the speed in both 10.0.4 and 10.1.

Using a terminal, edit the .GlobalPreferences.plist file in your ~/Library/Preferences directory. If you're using Pico, for example, type:
pico ~/Library/Preference/.GlobalPreference.plist
Once the editor opens, use control-W to search for "scaling". You'll see a couple lines that look like:
Note that I've used square brackets instead of angle brackets, due to parsing issues with HTML. Change the number in the "[real]" line to a higher value. 1.7 is the maximum you get through the control panel; I'm using 3.2 now and like it on my 1600x1200 screen. Values over 10 may not work; I tried "15" and it became "1.5". Save your changes (control-O in Pico) and then quit the editor (control-X).

I'd actually tried this months ago, but the mouse didn't seem to change speeds at all. As the thread points out, the key to making it take effect is to simply (argh!) logout and login again. You should now have a turbocharged mouse. Note that if you use the Mouse preferences panel and change the speed slider at all, you'll (obviously) lose your hand-edited value and have to repeat this process to speed up your mouse.
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Recovering from invalid resolution settings System
i got 10.1 on Saturday from Comp USA, and came home to install it over my 10.0.4 install. it took forever, but seemed to work ok. I logged into my existing account, and opened the System Prefs to change the monitor settings to 1600x1200, which is the resolution i prefer. i guess i accidentally selected 1600x1200 @85Hz, because it kicked me into the monitor's "Out of Scan Range" screen. In earlier versions of the Mac OS, holding down the mouse button would bring back the previous setting. not so in OS X.

i could no longer use OS X, because it kept booting the computer up in an invalid range and i couldn't see the OS to change the resolution. The mac has handled this kind of thing far more elegantly than Windows for at least a decade - to revert to this kind of unintuitive behavior is just inexcusable.

in any case, i could not do a thing to make this work. zapping the PRAM no longer resets the monitor values to a default like 640x480, and disconnecting the monitor, shutting down, booting, shutting down, plugging in the monitor and booting didn't do it either. After asking around on another BBS, i was able to get the system back. deleting the file:


while in 9.2 and rebooting into X worked fine. It inherited the settings from 9.2, and i'm now working from 10.1 again.


December 20 2001 Update: An alternative method of solving this problem is to restart with the shift key down during a reboot - this seems to now indicate to OS X "reset the monitor at startup" instead of "disable extensions". This solution courtesy of this thread on the MacNN forums.
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Lazy man's Software Base Station Network
hey guys

I had seen the previous post on setting up a software base station via the terminal, but I couldn't get it to work for the life of me. I then saw this free ethernet router program called geeroute.

You simply install the program, and set the client machine with the correct name server on your network and set the router address as It worked with an ethernet network, so I wondered if it would work with airport.

So I just set up the Airport settings on my G4 with as the Airport IP (like they used on the Software Base Station) and set the subnet mask as Then I used as the router address on my Pismo. I gave the Pismo the IP address, set the subnet mask, and put in the name server.....and it WORKS!! You can have a software base station up and running in less than 5 minutes!
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Use copy and paste to move files and folders Desktop
You can use contextual menus to copy files in the Finder. Control-click on the file you want to copy, and from the pop-up menu, choose "Copy [filename]". Then, in the folder you'd like to copy the item to, control-click in some whitespace and choose "Paste item." The entire file will be copied. If you choose "Paste" in a text editor, only the name of the file will be pasted.

[Editor's note: This is truly a 'copy' operation; the original files are left untouched. If you are trying to move the files, then remember to delete the originals after you've verified that the 'paste' worked successfully.]
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Allow time zone changes in 10.1 System
Upon upgrading from OS X 10.0.4 to OS X 10.1 some users might experience that they can't set the time zone. The fix is to open a terminal and type:
sudo rm /var/db/TimeZone.cache
Then log out and log back in and you should be able to change your time zone.

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Accessing SMB/Windows Shares from 10.1 Network
10.1 claims to be able to access Windows (aka Samba) shares through Finder. It does, but getting it to work is not obvious. According to a KnowledgeBase article, you do "Connect to Server.." in finder and enter a URL of the form:


Two things to note:
  1. The actual url might require a username, in the form of:


    where Username is a user that can log into the box.

  2. You cannot access shares that require Microsoft's Active Directory Service for authentication (as far as I have been told). It seems that this requires a different kind of password encryption not supported by OS X
I have not been able to determine how to do the mount on the command line, but it is probably done via the mount command as normal in unix with smbfs as the filesystem type.
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Enabling PHP in 10.1 UNIX
Apple has included PHP 4.06 in OS X 10.1. Stepwise has the instructions necessary to make it functional - just uncomment the following four lines in /etc/httpd/httpd.conf:
LoadModule php4_module        libexec/httpd/
AddModule mod_php4.c
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps
Stepwise has a nice page of info on changes in 10.1 that covers this and other aspects of the upgrade; give it a visit to see some things to keep in mind as you upgrade.
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