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Remote control of X from any system! Apps
If you have fast network access, there's now a quick and easy way to have total remote control over your OS X box, including the GUI. A protocol known as VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is the key, and it offers servers and clients for nearly every platform.

There have been a couple of clients for X released (which allow you to connect to other VNC servers), but there hasn't been a server (well, there's one you can run if you install X Windows on X first, but that's a big project in itself!). There is now, however, an OS X VNC server package available which runs native under Aqua, and takes about 30 seconds to get running.

If you look closely at the screenshot (or look at the larger image), you'll see that it's my Aqua desktop being viewed from a Windows98 machine. Over my LAN, this was nearly as fast as working locally on my desktop. To work remotely, though, you'll want a fast internet connection on your X machine.

Getting this working is incredibly simple. Here's how:
  1. Update: is no longer a Mac-related website; the domain expired and it's now run as a porn site! Do not try to visit there!]

  2. Install the program and launch it.

  3. Get a client (viewer) for another machine (or even for your OS X box). You can pick a viewer for common platforms or less common platforms. You could also try searching macosxapps or VersionTracker for VNC clients for OS X.

  4. Launch the viewer and enter the IP number and port of the server. You should now have remote control over your OS X machine!
For more information on the server (including a script to launch it at startup and some speed tips), visit [see Update note above!]. With VNC and SSH, I now have complete remote control over my OS X system, from nearly any platform available -- cool!
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Use old system sounds in X System
If you'd like to take some of your old System 9 alert sounds and use them in OS X, it's apparently fairly easy. I had this snipped from somewhere, and never got around to posting it. I have NOT tried this on my machine (haven't been in OS 9 lately!), so use at your own risk (but it doesn't look too dangerous).

Simply boot into OS 9.1, run the desired sound through a sound conversion program (perhaps Sound Converter Pro) to make it an AIFF format, and then drop it the into /System/Library/Sounds folder. When you reboot into OS X, the sounds should be available.
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Directory list shortcuts UNIX
in the terminal, the command "ls" lists the directory contents of the directory you're in.
"ls -l" lists the directory contents in "long" format, allowing you to see each file's/directory's privileges.
"ls -la" lists the COMPLETE directory contents in "long" format, including all . files.

simply typing "l" is equivalent to "ls -l"
simply typing "ll" is equivalent to "ls -la"

[Editor: And typing "alias" will show you some other pre-defined shortcuts!]

hope this helps!

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Empty all trash cans at once System
Being inherently multi-user, OS X creates a trash can for each user. There's no simple (GUI) way to empty all of these trash cans. Even if you're logged in as root, you have to remove each one individually. Over in this MacNN forum, however, 'MickS' posted a one-line terminal command that will empty all of your trash cans at once. Warning - this is not un-doable, and you won't get any 'Are you sure?' messages before the trash is emptied.

To empty all the system trash cans at once, start a terminal session and type
sudo find / -name ".Trash" -type d -print | xargs rm -fr
You'll have to enter your admin password, but then it should just run. NOTE: I have not tried this myself yet, so use at your own risk.
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Mac OS X Terminal Basics FAQ UNIX
I originally wrote this FAQ because I moderate the OS X General Discussion forum at MacNN, and there have been a ton of newbie UNIX questions recently. I figured I'd compile a FAQ: essentially UNIX for the Mac User -- An Introduction that would explain some fundamental concepts and would get a Mac user a little more confident about the big black deep that lurks underneath Aqua.

Trust me. I know how some people feel about this frightening new UNIX core -- I've seen it time and time again. This FAQ may get you on your way to using UNIX more, maybe, but above all I really hope it dispels some fears by spreading information about some basic topics. The known is always less feared than the unknown.

The FAQ is located here.


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Tab key in the Finder Desktop
Strange I didn't read that anywhere: did you ever try to use the Tabulation key in Finder X ? If the window is:

-- in icon view, you will move from an icon to the next one (as in OS 9);
-- in list view, you will CHANGE the column display type (DIFFERENT from OS 9, and much better);
-- in column view, you will move to the next column, or RETURN to the first column if already in the last one !

This is really smart IMHO. Also you can do the same in reverse order, using shift-tab instead.
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Use Terminal's Shell-Library menu Apps
If you save your terminal sessions, you can use a convenient menu to access them. It's easy! Save your terminal sessions into ~/Library/Terminal/

Quit and restart Terminal and they will be in Shell->Library.

Mr. Sharumpe
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Double-click remote connectivity (with SSH) UNIX
I am lazy and don't like to type ssh whenever I want to log in to a remote server to check my mail.

So, using the Terminal I created an executable file like this:
echo 'ssh' > click_me
chmod 755 click_me
Then, from the Finder, get info on the file 'click_me' and set the default application to Terminal. Double-click and voila!

Even better: put the 'click_me' file in your startup applications, and your prompt will be ready and waiting at login.
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Run an AppleScript from the command line System
Want to run an AppleScript command real quick from Terminal? It's easy!

1. Run "osascript".
2. Type your script, for example:
tell application "Dock" to quit

launch application "Dock"
3. Type Control-D when done.

You can also supply a filename to "osascript" to run the script inside, and you can compile—but not run—script files using "osacompile".
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Use color-coded Finder windows Desktop
I doubt I'm the first one to think of this, but color coding several regularly used Finder windows can improve their visual difference when they are minimized to the Dock.

Just select the window's view options from the View menu, select color for background (or picture if you so desire), and choose away! I use colors from my desktop pic so everything is color coordinated.

Daniel J. Wilson
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