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Maelstrom for OS X released! Apps
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.
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Make a 'tunnel' through a proxy server Network
From http://www.nocrew.org/software/httptunnel.html:

"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...

Skinlayers
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QuickTime preview 'throttle' in the Finder Apps
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...
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Free stuff for iMovie2 Apps
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.

If you go to http://www.apple.com/imovie/freestuff, you'll find a ton of free goodies, including some nice artistic backgrounds, sound effects sets, and looping music tracks.

While you're there, also check out http://www.apple.com/imovie/freestuff/audio.html, as that page seems to have even more background sound sets that are not linked from the primary 'freestuff' page.
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Pop-up access to individual system prefs System
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.
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Using Pine (UNIX) for POP-based mail UNIX
[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.
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New TerminalBasics version 2.0 posted System
Neal Parikh has updated his TerminalBasics PDF to version 2.0, and it now includes a fairly extensive section on pico and emacs, and other sections have been rewritten and expanded. It's linked in the box at left, or just click here if you're feeling lazy ;-).
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Sherlock and the 'Unexpected error' message Apps
On occasion, for no apparent reason, Sherlock will get stuck in an infinite loop of error messages reading "An unexpected error occurred. If you continue to encounter problems, quit and start again." If you click "OK", you get the same error message again and again and again. The only way I found to resolve the problem was to restart.

A new Apple TIL article points out the actual cause and provides a workaround. The error can occur when you have a graphic file on the clipboard. The solution is to copy something else (plain text) to the clipboard before trying to use Sherlock.

I hope we get a better solution than "copy some text first" in the 10.1 release!
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Enabling meta-key Emacs shortcuts in Cocoa apps System
Notice how Cocoa apps actually have emacs bindings? At least on the control-key anyway (try control-A in a text field in OmniWeb). How would you like to have those meta (option) key bindings available as well? It's simple enough to do. Just copy this file to your ~/Library/KeyBindings directory (make one if you don't have it).

For more info check out this page on gnufoo.org.

[Editor's note: You may wish to visit the page first to make sure of what you're downloading. And if you don't use Emacs and/or like their keyboard-editing shortcuts, then you probably won't be interested in this hack all that much!]

[Submitted by semios on Thu Jul 26.]
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Fun with the UNIX command interpreter UNIX
This is probably one of the oldest ones in the book, but for the new UNIX users out there...open a terminal and type "Bill Gates" (without the quotes) and read the response for OS X's opinion of what you're trying to do.

This friendly advice is due to the shell trying to 'correct' what it thought you might have typed incorrectly. There are probably hundreds of others like this, but this one seems to get the most notoriety, for obvious reasons.

[Submited by macgeek007 on Thu Jul 26.]
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