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Ejecting a 'busy' disk image System
While playing around with some of the latest OS X releases tonight, I managed to mount a disk image (for an image viewer called "Outlaw", which is pretty cool, BTW, for its instant infinite scaling) which simply would not eject. When I tried, I got a message stating that the image couldn't be ejected because it was in use. I knew this wasn't the case, as I had quit Outlaw and pretty much everything else except OmniWeb. To debug and solve the problem, I opened a new terminal window and typed:

fstat | grep "Outlaw"

fstat is a file status program which identifies open files, and then the pipe (vertical bar) passes the output of fstat to grep, the UNIX search program. I asked grep to find the word "Outlaw", which was part of the disk image name. The output of the command was:

robg TruBlueEnv 804 11 19 drwxrwxrwx 264 r /Volumes/Outlaw-0.1b1

TruBlueEnv is Classic, which somehow had the image file open -- even though I had no Classic apps running! At that point, I returned to the GUI, opened System Prefs and stopped Classic. I could then eject the disk as usual from the contextual menu.

So if you've got a stuck image file, take a look at fstat with a search on part of the volume name (to shorten the returned list!) to find what's making your volume busy. NOTE: There may be easier ways to do this (UNIX wizards, any thoughts?) but this was the first one that came to mind when I was faced with the problem.
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Column view keyboard navigation Desktop
An interesting thing I found: let's say you're about at the 4th level of your hard drive -- /users/you/documents/stuff/.

If you use the tab (and shift-tab) key when the Finder window is active, it will go through each active folder in your filepath forward (and backward) and essentially flip through all the columns you have. NOTE: It takes one extra "tab" to get back to the top level of the drive, as the tab prior to the last one seems to take you to the column containing the preview.

This is different than using the left/right arrow keys, which actively move your selection; the tab key simply changes the highlight column.

Once the column of your choosing is highlighted (the highlight is on the folder that contains your furtherest-right window), you can use the up and down arrow keys to move down into other folders within that column.

[Editor - Tip from Gorgonzola; modified by yours truly as I experimented with it. Pretty nifty way to navigate the finder, actually!]
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Remove zoom rects in the Finder Desktop
When you open a program you usually see zoom rectangles zoom out to the edge of the screen. This Mac OS feature is old and outdated. If you want to get rid of these open your "preferences" folder from "library" (the path is /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences).

Open "" with TextEdit and scroll down until you see ZoomRects with true below it (or something like that). Change "true" to "false" and save your changes. No more zoom rects!

[Editor's note: Good tip, and I believe TinkerTool and a couple of the other GUI tools let you do this without an edit...]

Panther proven!
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Resize open/save dialogs Apps
Hopefully everyone has realized you can resize the Open/Save dialogs in all OS X apps (including Classic, but it's not as useful there). Set the column width view to three or four columns to make navigating the dialogs easier.

What's interesting is that the settings for the Open/Save dialog are saved with each app, so you can (for example) have a wider width on BBedit than you do on I use a three or four column view in most places; this makes navigating much easier.

Thanks to Wilson N. for reminding me about the resize features!
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Fix for Software Update 'Unable to Connect' error System
According to a tip from Macworld, if you get an error about not being able to connect to the Internet when trying to run Software Update (or Sherlock or Mac Help), you should first open a browser and point it to Once you've done this, you should be able to run your update (or Sherlock or Mac Help).

Apparently it's related to an error in certain DNS servers (must include mine, as I've seen this error on occasion).

This hint courtesy of Mac911
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Mega-large desktop icons! Desktop
Not sure how I missed this one, but MacAddict published a hack to change the maximum desktop icon size - check it out; they have a pretty funny screen shot! So if 128 pixels simply isn't big enough for you, edit:


Find the DesktopView Options section, and then the IconSize key; below that is a single number; replace it with something much larger and save your changes. Logout/login to see the effects ... the MacAddict article has much greater detail, so check it out!
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OmniWeb and IE favorites import - caution! Web Browsers
Tonight I decided to import my IE favorites into OmniWeb 4.0 (final candidate 1). The import went smoothly; much better than it had in previous beta builds. All the folder structures were recognized and everything went into the proper spot.

However, when I relaunched IE, I found that my favorites had been 'flattened'. All the folders were really folders, not bookmark folders, which meant that the structure was seriously messed up. I've written OmniWeb letting them know there seems to be a problem, but in the interim, you might want to back up your IE preferences before you import them into OmniWeb. They're located in /Users/username/Library/Preferences/Explorer/Favorites.html. One complication on my end that may have caused the problem is the fact that I use an alias in that location which points to my favorites on my OS 9 disk.

I recreated the structure by opening the now-flattened file (using IE's File->Open), and then dragging each link into a new bookmark folder that matched my old structure. Took a while, but everything's back to normal now.

Moral of the story? The obvious one ... back up before you do anything!
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Keyboard application switching Desktop
[Editor's note: I'm certain I published something along these lines before, but I can't seem to find it! Yes, I know, with nearly 500 tips, I need a better indexing system. That's on the ever-growing list of things I'd like to do!]

I haven't read about this anywhere but i have just discovered it.

With multiple apps running in 10.0.2, press and hold command-tab and the dock will appear. Now while still holding command press tab (or shift-tab) and you'll be able to move forward (or backward) through your current running apps.
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Deleting locked files System
So, how many of you reboot into OS 9 just so you can empty the trash when you've got Finder Locked files in there?

How often does rm -rf fail on you with "Operation not permitted"?

You too can work around these problems with the terminal command:

chflags -R nouchg,noschg *

See the Man page for more info.

[Editor's note: I did this after doing a "cd ~/.Trash" in the terminal, to make sure I was in my trash folder. I haven't had the locked file problem, but for those that have, this could be a huge timesaver. If you'd like to see what it does first, put "echo " in front of the command.]
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OS X Benchmarks updated Site News
I have updated the benchmark results for the G4/733 running 10.0.2. I think my system needs a bit of prebinding tweaking, as my application launch times were mostly slower than 10.0.1, which doesn't seem right -- I'll experiment this weekend and see if I can't improve things a bit. Classic, however, is notably faster in task execution and (not benchmarked, but obvious) in application launching. And iTunes ripping speeds have increased from 4-5x on average to 6-7x on average, plus (of course) the burning ability. Overall, I'm quite happy with the update.

I've also added a permanent link to my introductory OS X Guide in the right-hand box, including a version number (currently 1.0). When a new version is uploaded, I'll update the version number in the box; this should make keeping track of updates easier. With any luck, version 1.1 should be out this weekend. I've added quite a bit, and thanks to all who contributed their suggestions!
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