Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.1 and stall on startup System
Ever since I upgraded my Powerbook to 10.1, I've been experiencing a hang on boot-up when the OS indicates "Starting Directory Services". This delay has been as long as five minutes or more.

I wasn't getting this on my G4 tower, so I knew that it wasn't necessarily a 10.1 thing, but something that 10.1 brought out. I looked through my message logs (/var/log/message.log) and saw that lookupd was attempting to contact a lot of other machines and failing (lookupd is a software agent that acts as a network information broker).

I also remembered that I had been fooling around with lookupd, trying to set up an ad filter for web browsing and had added a directory called "locations" in my Netinfo database as part of that. I removed the directory using Netinfo Manager and now my Powerbook boots and shuts down quicker than it ever did, even in OS 9.

[Editor's note: This specific tip may not affect a lot of users, but the general tip is to make sure you check the log files to see what's happening to your machine, wether it's a startup stall or any other abnormal behavior.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 2.29 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[4,398 views]  View Printable Version
Keyboard navigation of the menu bar and dock System

One of the nicer features in OS X 10.1 has hardly been mentioned anywhere. I'd completely overlooked it myself, and it took a nice tip from Luis R. to enlighten me. With the release of 10.1, Mac users can now use their machines without a mouse. I'd noticed the Universal Access panel, which enables things like Sticky Keys and Mouse Keys, but it seemed like a real pain to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer to the menubar whenever you wanted it.

Luis pointed me to the Keyboard prefernces pane and the Full Keyboard Access tab. Check the box that says "Turn on full keyboard access" and choose between control and function keys, letters, or custom-defined letters.

Once enabled, you can access the menu bar and dock solely with the keyboard. Use the arrow keys after activating the menu bar or dock to navigate, and use ENTER to select items. Use the up arrow in the dock to display and select the pop-up menus.

Full keyboard access works great in Cocoa and Carbon applications, but not at all in Classic (as you might expect).
  Post a comment  •  Comments (11)  
  • Currently 5.00 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (1 vote cast)
[4,383 views]  View Printable Version
Install the ScriptMenu menubar widget System
If you haven't visited Apple's AppleScript for OS X pages yet, you're missing some good stuff. For example, there's a page of toolbar scripts that can make a number of scripts accessible in the Finder.

But the real gem is the Script Menu menubar widget. As you can see in the screenshot, this menubar widget gives you system-wide access to the scripts stored in /Library/Scripts. In addition, you can easily add other scripts to the collection simply by dropping them into your user's Library/Scripts folder.

Even if you're not an AppleScript fanatic, this widget is worth a look. For example, try "Info Scripts -> Font Sampler" for a cool demo of AppleScript's power.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (4)  
  • Currently 1.33 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (3 votes cast)
[4,813 views]  View Printable Version
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.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (6)  
  • Currently 4.67 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (3 votes cast)
[6,550 views]  View Printable Version
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.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 3.50 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (2 votes cast)
[2,990 views]  View Printable Version
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!
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 3.75 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (4 votes cast)
[10,198 views]  View Printable Version
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.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (14)  
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (3 votes cast)
[14,355 views]  View Printable Version
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.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 3.22 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (9 votes cast)
[49,511 views]  View Printable Version
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!
  Post a comment  •  Comments (10)  
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (3 votes cast)
[5,256 views]  View Printable Version
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.]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (5)  
  • Currently 2.33 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (3 votes cast)
[7,396 views]  View Printable Version