If you open the menu item "connect to server" and write localhost, you will be connected to the same machine on which you are working. You will asked the user for the login. If you choose a user with administrator priviledges, you will asked to connect either to the volume of that user or the to the entire volume.
If you choose the entire volume, you can navigate over the full set of directories of the volume. This means that you will be able to see also the classic Unix directories such as /etc, /usr, /tmp etc. In this manner, you can use the GUI to navigate to the hidden directories on MacOsX.
Just one warning: inside these directories, there are some UNIX links that are displayed as folders even if they point to normal files. If you click over some of these folders, the Finder seems to go to an infinite loop. In this case, in order to regain the control of the machine, press the button on the keyboard used normally to startup or shutdown the system. It will apperar a pop up window that will ask you to shutdown the system or to put it in "stop" mode.
If you choose "stop", the system will break the connection to the localhost server and then stops. Then, pressing a button of the keyboard, the system immediately restart without loosing anything except the freezing connection. You will be able to continue working normally.
[Editor's note: Interesting tip; I haven't yet tried this myself, but it seems like an alternate method to get to the hidden UNIX folders quite easily. Just watch that infinite loop caution!]
I downloaded and started using the Prefling dockling (as suggested in a comment to my story on direct access to preferences). However, one thing I liked about my method was the rollover name in the dock was something meaningful to me. "Prefling" just didn't strike my fancy.
So I tried renaming the dockling in the Finder and then dragged it to the dock. No go; the rollover name was still "Prefling". A little experimentation found the solution, and it's fairly easy and should work for any dockling.
Make sure that the dockling to edit is not running - drag it out of the dock before you start. In the Finder, navigate to the dockling you wish to change; mine are in the standard Applications/Dock Extras folder. Control- or right-click on the dockling application itself and select "Show Package Contents". In the new window that opens, you should see (at least) a folder named "Contents". Open this, and you'll find "info.plist".
Open this file in a pure text editor (BBEdit lite, jedit, or use vi in the Terminal), and look for the following lines (these are from the Prefling dockling, but they'll be similar in all the docklings):
Change the text between the <string> tags and save your changes (make sure you save as text only!). Drag the app back to the dock, and you should see that the rollover now has the name you gave it.
To be safe, make sure you make a copy of the dockling before you start, just in case something goes wrong.
If you're ever booted in OS 9 (as I was earlier) and have a need for something that's in your OS X mailbox (which I did), I found that that it's fairly easy to find that something from OS 9.
Apple's mail.app stores your mail in ~/Library/Mail. Inside that folder are a series of directories for each email account you have enabled, along with a folder called Mailboxes. Inside of Mailboxes, you'll see Deleted Messages.mbox and Inbox.mbox. These are both plain-text files which can be opened and searched by almost any text processing application; I used Alpha in OS 9. I was able to find the data I was looking for, and then closed the file (without saving any changes, of course!). Later, when I rebooted into OS X, I found that (as expected) the mailbox files still work normally in mail.app.
I believe this only works for POP-style mailboxes where the mail is stored locally; I don't think it can be used to view your mac.com IMAP mailbox, for example.
In an interesting example of 'coming full circle', Ambrosia's Maelstrom (an Asteroids-based space shooter with great playability) has been released as an OS X native application! I say 'coming full circle' because this version of Maelstrom was ported by Sam Lantinga from his Linux port of the original version of the game, which was written for the Mac IIsi (yes, it's that old!).
Even more impressive, the game now includes support for multi-player network play over the internet, and full source code is available. You can read all about it on the Maelstrom 3.0 home page, and you can download the game by clicking this link.
It plays great under OS X, and brings back fond memories of hundreds of wasted hours. If you think you're good, you can even enable the 'network high scores' option, which will show Internet-wide Maelstrom high scores ... I don't even come close to the bottom of the list!
One note of caution: On my G4/733 with the GeForce3 card, the game ran fine in full-screen mode. When quitting, however, my screen was completely black. OS X was working fine; I just couldn't see or do anything! So you may wish to exercise a bit of caution (quit all other apps, for example) before you try full-screen mode the first time.
"httptunnel creates a bidirectional virtual data connection tunnelled in HTTP requests. The HTTP requests can be sent via an HTTP proxy if so desired. This can be useful for users behind restrictive firewalls. If WWW access is allowed through a HTTP proxy, it's possible to use httptunnel and, say, telnet or PPP to connect to a computer outside the firewall."
Translation: As long as your proxy allows access to web pages, and you have access to both a machine inside the firewall as well as a machine outside the firewall capable of running httptunnel, you can run any one TCP/IP service through the firewall -- such as Apple Filing Protocol (iDisk, iTools, AppleTalk/AppleShare via TCP/IP), gnutella, Unreal Tournement server, etc. -- between the two machines.
Read the rest of this article if you'd like a step-by-step how-to on getting httptunnel working on OS X...
Caught this one over on the MacAddict OS X Tricks forum, posted by Jasoco. You'll need a two-button mouse to make it work...
In the Finder, use column view and select a QuickTime movie such that you can see the 'preview' square in the far right column. Start playing the clip in the preview window (just click the Play icon; don't double-click the movie).
Once it's started, click-and-hold on the fast-forward button on the right edge of the screen. As you're holding down the left mouse button, click-and-hold the right mouse button. The FF/RW buttons turn into a little slider that lets you control how fast you go backwards or forwards through the movie.
I couldn't find a key to hold down that would mimic this behavior, so it looks like it's restricted to two-button mice. Strangely enough, it also does NOT work in the actual QuickTime Player; only in the Finder.
I'm not sure what value this is, but it's sort of interesting...
Although this is not strictly OS X-related, I've been playing with iMovie2 a lot lately (working on a project for my wife's company), and thought I'd pass along a pointer to some free iMovie stuff that can further enhance your projects.
A tip published in December of 2000 pointed out that the System Preference panels are stored in /System/Library/Preferences. At that time, about all that was said about this was that you could double-click an individual pane, or drop the panes into the dock for fast access. For some reason, I failed to mention that you could also drop the entire folder into the dock for easy pop-up access to any individual preference panel, as seen here. I use this and the Volumes in Dock pop-up to make navigating to prefs and hard drives quite easy.
There are three ways to get the pop-up in your dock...
EASIEST: In the Finder, click on your OS X hard drive, then the System folder, then the Library folder, then the Preferences folder. Drag this to the dock. You now have a prefs pop-up, but it doesn't have a custom icon, and everything is named with ".Preference" at the end of it.
HARDER: As before, highlight the Preferences panel, but now cmd-opt-drag it to your home folder. Then highlight the System Prefs application in the Applications folder and copy the icon. Select your new shortcut and paste the icon. Drag the new shortcut to the dock. Now you have a custom icon, but you still have ".Preference" after each item.
HARDEST (but still easy): Create a new folder in your home directory (or wherever you have write access), and name it with the words you'd like to see when you roll over it in the dock. I used "SysPrefs". Open a new Finder window and navigate to the /System/Library/Preferences folder again. This time, select all the prefs files inside of the folder, and cmd-opt-drag them to your new SysPrefs folder. Edit each new shortcut name in SysPrefs to remove the ".Preference" ending, and copy/paste the System Prefs application icon as in the "Harder" method. Drag this folder to the dock, and you'll see the results pictured here.
Note that the custom icon will NOT survive restarts in 10.0.4; you'll have to re-drag the customized folder in each time you restart. Hopefully 10.1 will address this issue.
[Editor's note: Submitted by phlbbrtn on Sat Jul 28]
I came to Macs from being a PC Linux user previously. One thing I have missed in the Macintosh world is my all-time favorite mail reader -- Pine. Pine is a plain-text Mail User Agent. It is designed to be used primarily on networked UNIX systems. Thus it is not set up to perform all the functions of Mail.app or Outlook Express. All you can do with it is read, write and send mail. It also has an Address Book. But for accessing your mail you need a Mail Transport system like Sendmail, Postfix, or Qmail. For POP mail accounts you need, in addition, something like Fetchmail to get your mail from your ISP.
I had been wondering, since installing OSX, if there was a way to use Pine in OSX -- as a Terminal program. The trouble with that is that you would have to make the effort to configure Sendmail [editor: and this has been described to me as one of the tougher things to do in UNIX!]. But mine is a single-user Mac with an ISP and a POP mail account. Sendmail is overkill. Yesterday I figured out how to do it.
Read the rest of the article if you'd like a step-by-step guide on how to install and use Pine with your POP-based email accounts.