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Version info from the command line System
In this MacWorld forum thread, JohnKFisher asked about getting OS X version info when connecting via SSH to another OS X box. After some back and forth, PaulM contributed the easy way to get this info:
[11:13am robg ~]% sw_vers
ProductName: Mac OS X
ProductVersion: 10.0.4
BuildVersion: 4Q12
Just type 'sw_vers' and you'll get the info on what version of OS X you've connected to. PaulM also points out that the traditional UNIX command is 'uname -a', and that this returns Darwin information on OS X:
[11:13am robg ~]% uname -a
Darwin localhost 1.3.7 Darwin Kernel Version 1.3.7: Sat Jun 9 11:12:48 PDT 2001;
root:xnu/xnu-124.13.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc
[Carriage return added for easier readability]
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Numerical computation tools Apps
Gaurav Khanna sent me a pointer pointer to his page of heavy-duty numerical computation tools for OS X, including gcc, g77, MPI, and OpenMP. Check out Gaurav's ports here:

This stuff is way over my head, but if this is your field of interest, check out Gaurav's page. If you have feedback for him, just use the email link at the bottom of his page.
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Backing up OS X System
Many people have asked about creating bootable backup of OS X. Over in the MacFixIt forums, there was an interesting conversation about this a while ago. In this thread, "Sparky the Wonderpig" gave a fairly simple solution to the problem ... more interesting are comments from other posters concerning how it may be addressed by a future update from Apple.

If you're interested in backing up your OS X volume now, check out Sparky's method ... and let's hope we see an official tool from Apple soon!
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Use Sherlock to arrange your files Desktop
[Sumbitted by brodie]

If, like me, you have loads of mp3's, or .sit(s) .bin(s) all downloaded into one folder, or several diferent folders, you can throw them all together in one clean move without having to find them all and drag them painstakingly one at a time.

Just open up your destination folder, open Sherlock and search for their common property (ie their name or .sit suffix). Select them all and drag them into the desitination folder. You can then, if you need to, delete all your partially downloaded mp3's by opening the folder in list view, select size to arrange and delete ...etc.

[Editor's note: Not specific to OS X, of course, but a good organization speed-up tip in general]
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Execute shell scripts in the Finder UNIX
[Submitted by smhaunch]

I'm not sure if this has been reported before, but there is a simple (and quite slick) way of running shell scripts from the finder.

Simply append '.command' to the script name,e.g. test.command, when the script is double clicked from the Finder a terminal window will open and the script is excuted.

The script will of course need execute permissions (chmod ug+x will do the trick) in order to run.

Tip courtesy of Peter Fraterdeus at the O'Reilly Mac DevCenter.
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Make OS X re-run the initial setup assistant System
Over on Macintouch's Mac OS X Reader Reports (well worth reading, as there's a ton of good info collected there!), Paul Christensen posted some information he received from Apple's tech support group regarding the initial setup assistant (which configures your primary user account, among other things).

According to Apple, to re-run the assistant, you need to:
  1. Boot into single-user mode (command-S during startup)
  2. Once the command-line prompt appears, type the following:
    mount -uw /
    cd /private/var/db/netinfo
    mv local.nidb local.old
    rm ../.AppleSetupDone
When you hit RETURN after typing exit, OS X will restart and the setup assistant will launch automatically. So if you've somehow messed up your primary OS X user, this is a good fix that may get you up and running again, even if re-running the OS X installer does not.
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Speech recognition accuracy and external speakers System
The Speech Recognition system in OS X seems to work MUCH more accurately when external speakers are powered down - if you are finding it somewhat frustrating to constantly repeat yourself, try turning off any external speakers you have - it made a world of difference for me.

Hopefully this is one of the bugs Mr. Jobs said were being fixed with the .1 update.

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Mac OSX and cable access in Australia Internet
Telstra, the ex-government telecommunications monopoly down under, has 100% of the ADSL market in Australia and is the leading cable supplier.

They are exceedingly ignorant about all things MacOS especially Mac OS X. The following non-Telstra FAQ has information about connecting MacOS X to Telstra ADSL, and has links to a freeware non-classic client for Telstra Cable (a boon for Australian OS X users)
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Set up a network printer via LPR/IP Network
I'm an instructor at a small technical college and the only Mac user in my department. Our network is heavy on Windows, as expected, with some UNIX. Our Graphic Design department uses Macs, of course.

Anyway, our printers are HP LaserJets shared over the network. They support all types of connections, including Appletalk and TCP/IP. Under OS X, the HP PPDs are only available using LPR (TCP/IP) printing and I couldn't seem to get that working. I had to use Appletalk instead which only allowed me to print Postscript. (I try to print text, as from BBedit and get an error message.)

Just this afternoon, however, I figured out how to connect to the printers using TCP/IP so I now have full use of the HP PPDs.

From the Print Center, select Add Printer and from the connection type pulldown list choose LPR Printers using IP. Enter the IP address (or IP printer name if it's registered) and uncheck the Use Default Queue on Server box. In the queue name field, enter in the name that you want to use for that printer. (Try not to use spaces. Use underscores instead.) Select the printer type from the pick list and click on Add. The printer will appear in your printer list and be ready to go.

My problem was that I was trying to use the default queue rather than setting up my own queue name. (Ironically, this came to me while teaching a group of students how to set up LPR printing in Windows.)
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Quick access to your home directory Desktop
You know how the Desktop folder is inside your home directory under Mac OS X? Well, if you select the desktop and Cmd-Up Arrow it will open a window to your home directory.

A quick short-cut for those "old dog" Mac users like myself that haven't yet gotten used to the browser...

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