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Making movies with Snapz Pro for OS X Desktop
In case you missed it, Snapz Pro for OS X has been released by Ambrosia Software.

If you don't own an LCD monitor and a video camera and have been looking for a way to make OS X movies, Snapz Pro is one solution. Making movies is quite straightforward - after installing the software (no restart required, of course), hitting shift-command-3 will activate Snapz Pro from any application.

Once activated, simply click on the large MOVIE button, and then move the highlighted area to the portion of the screen you'd like to film. Drag the corners to expand or shrink the area to be filmed. You can also set a 'camera type' and target FPS in the bottom of the dialog box prior to starting.

Once you're ready to film, double-click inside the region. You'll hear "Action!" and your mouse actions are now being recorded. When you're done, hit shift-command-3 again and you'll hear "That's a wrap!" and recording will cease. Set the quality level you desire and save your QuickTime movie (by default, it goes in your Pictures directory).

Although the frame rates for large screen movies will not match what you can achieve with a separate video camera and LCD monitor, Snapz Pro does an admirable job with a heck of a lot less effort.

In addition, Snapz Pro makes taking pictures of the entire screen, a region of the screen, or (very cool) objects on the screen completely trivial. Ambrosia has written a very solid OS X application, and they'll be getting my shareware fee shortly!
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Solution for CD/DMG mounting problems! System
Eric Poelzl found the solution for those of us that can't mount CDs or DMG files. He has posted it in Apple Discussions. Open NetInfo Manager (in Applications/Utiltiies) and see if there is a Unknown User (click on 'Users' in the Directory Browser area). If not, you have to add it back in. Create a new entry with the following settings:

realname: Unknown User
expire: 0
name: unknown
uid: 99
passwd: *
home: /dev/null
change: 0
shell: /dev/null
gid: 99

Save your changes and you should be able to mount your CD's and DMG files again.

[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself, and be careful working in NetInfo; if you mess something up, you could make your system unusable.]
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Enable 'Change Application' button Desktop
If you go to change the default application to launch a file with a specific filename extension, say ".jpg", and you find that the "Change Application" button is disabled, you can fix this from the terminal as follows.

Note: you'll need the developer tools installed.

Let's say you have a directory of .jpg files that you want to fix.
cd my_jpeg_directory
foreach filename (*.jpg)
/Developer/Tools/SetFile -c "" $filename
This removes the "Creator" attribute from the file and this enables the "Change Application" button in the Finder's "Show Info" panel (command-I). To fix just one file use...
/Developer/Tools/SetFile -c "" filename
[Editor's note: There are also GUI apps that can delete creator codes; check macosxapps or versiontracker and search on 'creator']
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Setting up OSX - An instruction list Install
I have been using OS X from the moment it was in beta and have acquired quite a bit of experience dealing with the many intricacies of this multifaceted operating system. Recently, I had to do a complete reinstall after a hard drive failure. I grabbed this opportunity (always look at the bright side...) to set up a quick "from OS X to custom geek toy" list. A step-by-step walkthrough is given at:

Thought this might be useful to y'all.

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Synch iTunes between OS X and OS 9 Apps
To synchronize your playlists between iTunes for OS X and OS 9, simply replace the OS 9 iTunes library file (found on your OS 9 drive, /Documents/iTunes/iTunes Music Library) with an alias pointing to your OS X iTunes library (/Users/yourname/Documents/iTunes/iTunes Music Library).

[Editor's note: I accomplished the same result by going to the "Advanced" tab in preferences and setting the "Music Folder Location" to point to the same spot in both iTunes X and iTunes 9.]
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Apple's NetInfo Manager documentation Apps
NetInfo Manager (in /Applications/Utilities) is a very powerful utility for dealing with a number of advanced topics in Mac OS X, including moving a user's directory, managing groups, and setting passwords.

Until now, documentation has been hard to find. The X4U mailing list, however, contained a pointer to a 1.9mb Apple PDF file called "Understanding and Using NetInfo". There's a ton of information in this document that you may find useful and/or interesting if you'd like to more about the inner workings of OS X. Although it's written relative to OS X Server, it should be generally applicable to the consumer OS X package as well.

I've also added the URL to the permanent OS X links page here.
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Use TinkerTool to access GUI tweak options Apps
It's been mentioned here before, but TinkerTool is one of the nicer GUI-modification applications out there (and it's freeware!). A new version (1.4) was released yesterday, and it's added some nice new features, including:
  • Remembers the dock pinning and orientation setting between restarts
  • The ability to add a subtle drop-shadow to the dock (which looks VERY nice!)
  • More control over anti-aliasing, affecting more areas of the OS
If you haven't checked it out yet, you should take a look at it! It's a great example of wrapping a Mac-friendly GUI around some ugly terminal commands, resulting in a powerful and easy to use application.

If you download it today, use this link to download from the European site - the US mirror has not been updated yet with 1.4.
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Modify the Installer window Install
You can hack the Mac OS X installer window -- the one with the Mac OS X CD on it when you're installing updates.

It's at /System/Library/CoreServices/Assistant/Resources/background.tif.

There's even a vintage Assistant icon that dates back to the NeXT days (the file dates at 1.29.98). With a little Perl, you just might be able to rotate images for that boring installer window.
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OS X Server Blue Screen of Death problem OS X Server
It seems that OS X Server 10.0x users may find themselves in Windows land with a blue screen of death and virtually no way back without having to resort to reloading the OS. I'm not sure if this is specifically related to the MP G4's (I'm using a dual 533MHz G4 with 640MB of RAM and 2 internal 40GB ATA drives),but I think it's worth noting anyway.

In searching through Apple's Discussion boards I came across a couple of posts with solutions and thought it would be useful to post that info here as well.


[Editor's note: If you have Mac OS X Server and are experiencing the blue screen, read the rest of this article for a couple of proposed solutions.]
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Making OS X Server accept POSTs from CGIs OS X Server
This tip applies only to Mac OS X Server versions 10.0.3 or 10.0.4. It does not affect the consumer OS X release.

There's a bug in the Server release which prevents the Apache web server from receiving any data sent via a CGI using the HTTP POST method of data submission. Since nearly all web-based forms use a POST submission method, this is a fairly major glitch.

Apple has published a TIL article that details a surprisingly easy workaround - you need to start and stop the Apache webserver from the terminal, not with the GUI tool. Use sudo apachectl start and sudo apachectl stop from the terminal, and disable the automatic launch of the webserver in the Server Admin GUI.

I'm assuming Apple will squash this one in 10.1, but for now, at least they've posted a solution.
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