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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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Changing default Ethernet connection rate? Network
I have two Macintosh computers at home and I have them interconnected with each other using a router, (Netgear RT 314), my problem is that my newest Mac is a G4 Cube with auto negotiation on the ethernet port. The router also uses auto negotiation and neither computer nor router will talk to each other. This problem was solved using a utility called "Duplexer Tool" which works fine in OS 9.1, and that solved my ethernet problem by setting my G4 cube to 10 Mb/s, and letting the router set itself to the same speed.

I cannot do this in OS X as the Duplexer tool only works in OS 9.1, now in OS X there is a command "ifconfig" which seems to address this problem, but I do not know how to configure this to set my Ethernet port to 10 Mb/s. Can anyone help me, and is this a fairly common problem?

Thank you.
Paul Cooper

[Editor's note: About the only value I can add here is that there's a file called "iftab" in /etc that needs to be edited. It contains this line:
en0     inet    -AUTOMATIC-
which needs to be changed to specify the connect rate, I would imagine. Anyone have any info to help configure an Ethernet card manually?]
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Install and use Toast5 Preview without a reboot Apps
In this MacFixIt forum, 'Rosyna' has identified a way to install and use the new Toast5 OS X preview release without quitting all applications and rebooting (which the installer will force you to do).

Check it out if you're a licensed Toast5 owner and want to save application quitting and a reboot prior to burning data CD-R's.
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Apple's 10.1 information page System
While I don't try to maintain macosxhints as a news site (there are many others that do it much better than I could ever hope to!), I am posting this one news blurb.

The demo of 10.1 at this morning's MWNY keynote was quite impressive (even if it was on a dual G4/800 ;-). However, there was much about the update that was not announced. If you haven't yet, make sure you check out Apple's Mac OS X New Version information page. There are a number of details there (like not just resizable column view, but individually resizable columns) that are quite interesting.

We have to wait until September to get it, but the good news is that it appears Apple has been listening to its customers.
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Sherlock word substitutions file Apps
I wonder if anyone noticed this but Sherlock includes English substitutions for the same words with different tenses.

Check /System/Library/Find/English Substitutions.

Editing this file can further refine your searches if you're particular over tenses.

If you're wondering why Sherlock won't search certain folders (including /System), that's because they're listed in the SkipFolders file in the same directory.

[Editor's note: If you plan on editing this file, I'd recommend making a backup copy first (sudo cp 'English Substitutions' 'English Substitutions.bak')]
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Use phpmyadmin to manage mySQL databases UNIX
I published a pointer to this program earlier, but it was buried with some other mySQL information, and I felt it was worth its own article.

If you use mySQL databases on OS X, phpmyadmin is one of the better database administration programs I've run across. It's free, and it gives you browser-based access to all your databases. You can add and delete tables, databases, and records, create queries, change data, etc., all from your favorite web browser.

You can find phpmyadmin on the web site. The latest version is on the downloads page.

Until recently, phpmyadmin did not get along nicely with OmniWeb (the database names wouldn't show up, making it tough to use the program!). However, there's a release candidate of phpmyadmin 2.2 on the site, and it works very nicely with OmniWeb. There may be a couple of bugs, but I didn't find anything major in 30 minutes of working with it at lunch today. If you're working with version 4 of PHP, make sure you download the version for .PHP files (not .PHP3 files).
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