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PDF file as desktop background Desktop
Instead of choosing a jpg file for a desktop background, you can also select a PDF file to use as desktop background.

This is specially cool when you want to see sharp text. And most of the times a PDF file is smaller than a JPG.

Marcelv
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Mail.app Activity window Apps
I just discovered (a colleague of mine) that when you double click on the rotating arrows in the main window in the Mail.app, the activity window appears. That's a bit easier than selecting it in the Window menu.

Marcelv
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Disable ATI extensions for better perfomance Classic
This is something I saw somewhere else but cannot remember where.

If you disable all of the ATI extensions in Classic (which aren't needed if you're running OS X) then you seem to get better performance in some Classic applications.

[Editor's note: As an expansion of this theory, there's a bunch of stuff that I've disabled in Classic - nearly everything, in fact. I basically installed just the base OS with networking, and nothing else. Then I installed (running the "Classic" 9.1 natively) all my apps that put bits into the system folder (Office98, goLive, etc.). Then I restarted into X and set my lean OS 9.1 as my Classic volume. You can definitely improve performance and decrease loading time by thinning your Classic system -- which is another argument for having your "real" OS 9.1 on another partition, so you don't have to mess around with extension sets.]

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Change the version number System
This is completely useless tip, but OS X stores the version number in /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist
If you edit this file, you will be able to make it say Mac OS 3 (build 3p14) in the about this mac.

Pi

[Editor's note: This shouldn't bother anything like future upgrades, since they look elsewhere to see if they're needed ... however, use at your own risk. During the Public Beta, people had great fun changing the version number and publishing screenshots to confuse forum readers!]
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Safer file manipulation in the Terminal UNIX
By default in OSX, terminal commands like move (mv), copy (cp) or remove (rm) can overwrite or delete existing files without prompting you whether it's really want you want to do. These commands can be dangerous to use especially when using * for designing multiple files. To be automatically prompted for confirmation before each file is processed, create yourself a .cshrc file in your home directory and put the following lines
alias mv 'mv -i'
alias rm 'rm -i'
alias cp 'cp -i'
Another thing I find very useful is to have the target directory listed automatically when issuing a cd command. This can be done as well by adding the following line in your .cshrc file:
alias cd  'cd \!*;echo $cwd; ls -FC'
For these changes to be effective, type source .cshrc or open a new terminal window.

[Editor's note: Please see this related conversation on aliases in another macosxhints' posting. Aliases can live in a number of locations; .tcsh is one of them, but the referenced article gives an alternate, (possibly better?) location for these types of files.]
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Adaptec beta drivers and disk space System
I noticed on MacFixIt today that someone commented on the system.log file getting filled with data from the Adaptec SCSI drivers. So I took a look at system.log in the /var/log directory, and was surprised at what I saw:
May 15 10:01:41 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, freeze
May 15 10:01:41 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateGenerationChange (nop)
May 15 10:01:41 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, unfreeze
May 15 10:01:42 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, freeze
May 15 10:01:42 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateGenerationChange (nop)
May 15 10:01:42 mach_kernel: ADPT_OSI_IndicateQueueFrozen: id 4, unfreeze
As you can see, all those messages were written in the span of two seconds. My system.log file was over 5.5mb in size, and the system had backed up about six previous logs, all over 2mb in size. You can see these in the list as system.log.0.gz, system.log.1.gz, etc.

I deleted the backup log files, and will remove the drivers later tonight (see the Adaptec ReadMe for instructions on how to do so).

So if you've noticed some vanishing drive space, and have the Adaptec drivers installed, check your log files!
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View all volumes in the dock System
I'm pretty sure almost everyone has tried the trick of putting an alias of your hard drive(s) in the dock. However, this thread on the MacFixIt boards has a great tip from 'johnq' for putting one icon with all your drives (including removables) into just one dock icon. The process basically involves creating a symbolic link (from the terminal) to your /Volumes folder, and then making an alias of that symbolic link so that you can use a customized icon in the dock.

Head on over to MacFixIt and read all about it! Quite cool...
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Detailed how-to on Tomcat and Apache Internet
I wrote a detailed account of how to set up Tomcat servlet container on MacOS X and how to integrate it with Apache. It includes instructions on building the elusive mod_jk.so.

http://www.worker-bee.com/misc_dev/install_tomcat.html

I hope it is useful to folks!

[Editor: I haven't installed Tomcat on my machine, but just glancing at the page of instructions linked here shows them to be easy to follow and clearly written. Probably well worth the visit if you want to get Tomcat and Apache working happily in X.]
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Using a 'hosts' file Network
The /etc/hosts file by default is ignored by OS X. Though it is possible to import hosts into the "machines" directory (see tips here on macosxhints), there is also a way to configure lookupd so it consults /etc/hosts directly.

lookupd can use different agents to lookup hosts: e.g. DNSAgent which consults DNS, FFAgent which consults local files like /etc/hosts, and CacheAgent which will keep a local cache. The trick is to tell lookupd which agents to use in which order.

Read the rest of this article if you'd like the details on making OS X use your local hosts file before it uses the DNS servers.
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Option-delete in Cocoa to erase previous word System
Dunno if this has been mentioned already but I just noticed that in Cocoa apps, hitting option+delete erases the word located to the left of the cursor.
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