Until now I had been using Get Info the hard way, open and close for each file, but recently, I noticed by accident that by not closing the "Get Info" window and just clicking on a drive, a file, folder, or an application ... I noticed that the information was updated on the fly.
I'm sure this is old news to some but for me it saves a few key strokes and was a nice touch. :-)
[Editor's note: The one-window Get Info interface has both pros and cons ... this tip is the "pro" side; the "con" side is that it's very hard to compare more than two files at once. If you have just two, it's pretty easy to click back and forth and note the difference. If you have three, it's just tedious. Personally, I'm hoping for an option for multiple Get Info windows at some point in the future]
Hello, I've sucessfully installed Ruby, a great newish scripting language. I recommend you try it out. Anyways, it works fine by itself, but I am having problems getting it to work as a script in Apache. I've installed mod_ruby, and have followed their directions. However, I can still not get it to work under Apache. Anyone had any luck?
For those that didn't know it, MacMame (a universal arcade game emulator that can run 2,500 games!) has been carbonized for a while now. There's a new release (download 0.53) out now, and it runs quite nicely in OS X. At left is a quick snapshot of Galaga running on MacMame on OS X -- here's a larger version if you'd like a clearer view.
I ran into a couple of minor visual glitches with a few games, but they are generally quite minor and most games ran perfectly. MacMame provides a large number of options for configuring the video, and it's usually possible to find a setting that looks good and performs well. UPDATE: The 0.53 version (released 8/15/01) seems to fix most of the video glitches I was having. The games now look perfect!
Performance on my G4/733 was (expectedly) fine, even without telling MacMame to hog the CPU. One of the nice things about older arcade games, though, is that they don't require huge amounts of horsepower. MacMame also ran very nicely on our iBook 500.
MacMame relies on original ROM files for the arcade games that it plays. Follow the links on the MacMame web site as a good starting point. From a legal perspective, you should own a full-size arcade version of any ROM you download, as they are still technically not in the public domain.
NOTE: Make sure you also download the new OpenGL plug-in for OS X (and OS 9). It's in the downloads section of the MacMame site, and it lets you apply OpenGL effects (bilinear filtering to smooth the jaggies) to MacMame's games.
If you grew up playing the video games of the 1980's, MacMame is a must-have OS X application!
On very rare occasions, the OS X Finder will lock up and not respond to keyboard or mouse actions. It happened to me tonight when I tried to move 300+ items from my iDisk to a SCSI SyQuest drive - I'm not sure if it was a bug in iDisk, the Finder, or the SCSI drivers. In any event, the Finder showed only the spinning rainbow, and clicking on it in the Dock revealed an "Application not responding" message. The machine was still quite usable (other open apps were doing fine and were fully responsive), but I wasn't sure how to resolve the Finder problem -- I couldn't launch any new applications (such as the Terminal or Process Viewer) since the Finder was unresponsive.
In addition, the usual escape route (command-option-escape) wasn't functional. The dialog box would not show up on the screen, regardless of which app was in the foreground.
I could have used another computer to connect and quit the Finder via "ps aux" and "kill", but that seemed like cheating. The only app I had in my dock (the only way I had to start programs) that wasn't running was CPU Monitor. On a lark, I launched it and noticed that it has two very useful menu items for troubleshooting system lockups - under the Processes menu, you can choose "Open Process Viewer" or "Open Top".
Either one of these was enough to solve my problem -- opening Top launches the Terminal, from where I could open a new window and use "ps aux" and "kill" to relaunch the Finder, or I could (as I did) use ProcessViewer to do it directly.
The moral of the story? To prevent a Finder lockup from rendering your machine unusable, keep one of CPU Monitor, Terminal, or ProcessViewer in your dock at all times. My personal choice is CPU Monitor, since I can get to either of the other apps through CPU Monitor. With one of these apps in your dock, you should (barring a dock lockup!) be able to launch a program to help you restart the Finder.
The nice aspect of working in OS X, of course, was that everything was back to completely normal once I restarted the Finder -- and, much to my amazement, I found that the copy that had locked the Finder had actually completed!
[Editor's note: It appears that if you don't have an Epson USB printer, you're out of luck. My serial Epson 800 isn't on the list, which is not all that surprising, but still a little disappointing. It is several years old, so maybe it's a good excuse for an upgrade. Anyone know of affordable Ethernet-capable color printers supported in OS X? I'd love to share one printer amongst two Macs and two PC's.]
For those of you using a Cisco VPN server, they just released the Mac OS X version of their VPN client software. Ask your VPN support person, whoever that may be, for the specifics.
[Editor's note: I can't find any reference to the OS X Client on the Cisco web site, so it does appear you'll need to talk directly to your Cisco rep. If someone has a URL with more information, please pass it along as a comment to this article...]
Some people may not have noticed the free drawing program which comes with OSX. It's located in Developer/Applications/Extras and it's called Sketch. It's only installed if you do the developer install. It's a simple drawing program, with lines and circles and type, similar to Microsoft Draw. It's nice for simple diagrams when Illustrator is just too much work. The only catch is you have to save your work as a Sketch file (.sketch) before you can Save As a TIFF or PDF file.
[Editor's note: You'll also find Bomb.app (a program to show that a dying program won't affect the system) and WorldText.app (a TextEdit replacement with some nicer features) in the Extras folder - it's worth a look if you've installed the Dev Tools.]
Opera was crashing on me constantly, so I decided to trash my Opera preferences. Little did I know (until I was emptying the trash) that my Opera prefs folder contained 38,000 items! After waiting for about 10 minutes, I still had 35,000 items left to empty. I decided to bail out and do it from the command line, where it took approximately 15 seconds! A simple rm -r * to empty my .Trash folder did the trick.
[Editor's note: If you're new to the terminal, be very careful with the 'rm' command. There is no going back, and there's no confirmation (by default). To do this safely, you should first type cd ~/.Trash (to make sure you're in your trash directory) and you may want to use rm -ri * which will ask for confirmation on each file. Although this won't be fast, you'll be confident you're deleting the right files before they're all gone! A wise friend once said to me that there are two types of UNIX users ... those that have "rm -r *"ed the wrong directory, and those that will...]
Ken at Omni Group just posted a quick note in this MacNN forum thread to let everyone know that OmniWeb's UI is much slower than expected when using the Graphite OS X theme. Switching to the Aqua theme will resolve the issue in the current release, and Ken writes that he's fixed the bug in the next release.