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Quick ASCII character table view UNIX
I've seen a few applications on VersionTracker to display the ASCII character set.

If you don't need a fancy GUI, open a terminal and type man ascii instead.
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[8,406 views]  View Printable Version and sendmail Apps
[Editor's note: See Geoff's comments; apparently this only works the first time you try it! There's an alternative suggested in the comments which may work better.]

I have managed to get to handle sendmail mail by cheating... I am assuming that you're running sendmail OK but have been using mail or pine or somesuch to read mail.

Do this:

in the terminal, copy the folder heirarchy of another of your mailboxes (in ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes).

Switch into the newly created directory, and instead of mbox, do:

ln -s /var/mail/user_name mbox

where user_name is your username. Restart and you should now be able to manage mail downloaded from sendmail in

If anyone knows a better way, preferably from within instead of silly hacking, please let me know!!!

Geoff Saulnier - Mac, *NIX, perl, hack!!

[Editor's note: I'm not running sendmail locally, so I have not tried this myself]
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Access privileges after password change System
I recently changed my password as administrator in osX. Now everytime I want to do anything that involves the keychain I have to give my password whereas before it would let me have access automatically. This is particularly annoying when I want to access my email, (I use Eudora 5.1). Is there anyway to get my keychain to recognize my new password without me having to enter it everytime?
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Show rulers in TextEdit Apps
I just discovered this. Command-R shows a MacWrite like ruler in TextEdit. I looked for help on this topic but found nothing. Don't know how to make the different tab types work but the added functionality is a welcome discovery.

[Editor's note: I'd overlooked this one myself, as I usually use TextEdit in plain text mode. To enable the rulers, you must first make sure you're in Rich Text mode (Edit -> Make Rich Text). Once you've done that, you can, indeed, show the rulers.]
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SETI script and the Console app UNIX
I run the SETI@home command line program on both cpus in my OSX box. After doing this for many months I finally got sick of seeing their terminal icons in the dock, so decided to run SETI in the background and not tie up a terminal (or two) to monitor SETI output.

Read the rest of this article for an excellent tutorial on how to set up Seti to run without requiring a terminal window...
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Use an unsupported burner in iTunes Apps
(this trick has been around for OS 9.1 before, but I adapted it for OS X)

If you have a CD burner similar to one supported by Apple (for instance a MATSHITA CD-RW CW-7585 which is the same as the CD-RW CW-7586, apart from the maximum cache RAM), it's very easy to have it seen by iTunes 1.1.1.

First log in as root. Then go to:

[Editor: Broken onto two lines for narrower width; enter as one path]

and find the plugin for you CD burner maker (here "MatshitaCDR.device-plugin"). Make a copy of the file for safety. Then open the file with an hex editor and locate the string with the supported CD burner ID (here "CD-RW CW-7586"). Change it for your CD burner ID ("CD-RW CW-7585"). Save the file. Reboot and you're done!

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Reveal document path with command click Desktop
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere, but document title bars in OS X apps (at least the few I've tested like TextEdit and Graphic Converter) behave like the title bars for OS 9 folders when you command-click on them.

Namely, if you command-click on the title of the document, it turns into a menu showing the location of the file (parent folder, then its parent, etc. all the way to the drive it's on). Selecting a folder or drive from the menu opens that folder in the Finder. Note, you have to click on the center of the title bar where the text of the title is.

Similarly, clicking and holding the document icon in the title bar let's you do things like move the file (by dragging it to folder), or open it with another application (by dragging it over an application in the dock or Finder). It doesn't appear that you can use this to move a document to the trash however (moving an active document to the trash would be an odd thing to do usually).

[Editor: Note that this is default behavior for Cocoa apps such as TextEdit. In OS 9 (and hence, Carbon apps), it's my understanding that it was possible to have this behavior, but it was not enabled by default. So you may or may not see it in Classic and Carbon apps.]

Kirke Lawton

(Love this site, BTW. Hope this tip helps someone. To me it's one of those "little things" that is so cool about the Mac way.)
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Use the terminal to login as another user System
This may seem basic and stupid but it sure helped me out... I have too keep several of my X boxes logged in as a normal user because they are public machines. However I found that whenever I needed to do anything that calls for admin access (ie prebinding), I had to log out and log back in, which is not very convinient.

So I tried typing login in a terminal window and it let me login to terminal as an admin so that I could run the prebinding comand. Handy or not it is cool to know!

[Editor's note: Definitely handy if you login as a non-admin user at times, and want quick access to the admin account!]
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macosxhints turns 0.5! Site News
It only seems fitting with the 500th posting to the site to mark the passing of the six-month anniversary (as of today!) of macosxhints. In that time, the response has been tremendous - we now have nearly 2,000 registered users, roughly 100,000 page views per month, and somewhere around 20gb of monthly data transfer! Wow.

A big thank-you to everyone who has contributed their tips and comments to the system, and a very heartfelt THANKS! to all those who have donated to the ongoing costs of the site.

I'm still looking for a new hosting provider, and have one or two potentials with whom I'm trying to finalize the arrangements. Once the move is done, I'm going to add a true tech support forum board to the site - that's the number one project on my to-do list.

Again, thanks to everyone for reading and contributing their knowledge over the last six months. I've learned more about OS X, UNIX, and Macs than I ever would have guessed possible in that short time frame, thanks to the macosxhints community. I can't wait to see what the next six months brings!

-rob griffiths
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Get your IP number from the terminal Internet
[Editor: Revised completely to reflect the tips added to the comments - thanks everyone!]

If you have a dynamic IP address (one that changes every time you connect to the net), there are a number of GUI tools that will display it for you. However, if you want to be able to get your IP number from a terminal session, the following appears to be the easiest way. The command uses 'wget' to read the contents of a web page that returns your IP address as seen by the external web server, and then processes the web page to extract the IP. The command to type is:

wget -q -O /dev/stdout |[space]
  grep '<H1>' | sed 's|</*H1>||g'

NOTE: Shown on two lines for a narrower window; enter on one line and replace [space] with an actual "space" character.

You'll get a single line containing your external IP address. Note that this will only continue to work as long as doesn't change the format of their web page! Thanks to everyone (see the comments) who contributed to the development of this tip.

Read the rest of this article for an explanation of how it works, and a way to make an easy to use "alias" that will make it as simple as typing "showmyip" or whatever you'd like to call it.
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