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Install a more powerful 'vi' editor UNIX
VIM ('Vi IMproved') is a replacement for vi that features a ton of enhancements, including colored syntax highlighting for a number of languages (Java, C/C++, HTML, PHP, PERL, etc) and the ability to save edited files as HTML with syntax colors. If you like using vi, you'll love VIM. Thanks to macosxhints reader jpzr, a friend from Poland, for the information on how to get this working! I followed his tips, tweaked a couple of things, and installed it with no problems.

Read the rest of this article if you'd like the step-by-step instructions on installing VIM for OS X. NOTE: You need to have the developer tools installed to compile VIM, and you should be fairly comfortable in the terminal ... then again, if you're using vi, you're probably quite comfortable in the terminal!
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Aliases in mail.app messages Apps
In Mail.app, you can drag and drop a folder from the finder onto the body of a new mail message. Mail will ask if you want to copy the entire folder, or make an alias. I made an alias of a folder, and sent the message to myself. When I got the message and clicked on the folder alias, it popped up the finder window of the folder!

Warning-- If you try this with a folder containing lots of items/subfolders, the resulting mail message will be HUGE. It seems as though mail tried to attach everything in the folder--even tho the folder itself was an alias.

I'm wondering what would happen if you sent a folder alias to another OS X user? Probly just a broken link would result? What if the folder exists in the same place on the recipient's machine?

Read the rest of this article if you'd like to see the mail.app messages from this aliased email.
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Add words to the built-in dictionary System
This is another one for the department of the obvious, but I finally noticed that it's quite easy to add words to the system-wide dictionary (the Public Beta had no means of adding words). The dictionary is used in Cocoa apps such as OmniWeb, TextEdit, and Stickies.

To add unknown words, simply control-click (or right click if you can) on the underlined word, and you'll get a contextual menu that contains suggested corrections, as well as "Ignore Spelling" and "Learn Spelling". Cool!
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Scroll by page in Omniweb with Intellimouse Web Browsers
I learned by accident that the Microsoft Intellimouse's scroll wheel will scroll one PAGE at a time in OmniWeb if you "press-scroll" the wheel.

Ironically, Microsoft Explorer (v5.1b1) doesn't exploit this feature.
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Log detailed information on crashes System
While trying to help me debug a glitch on my particular DragThing installation, James Thompson pointed out a nifty little tool built into OS X but not enabled by default. The tool is called "Crash Reporter," and it's quite easy to enable.

Open a terminal session, navigate to /etc, and edit (in vi, emacs, or pico) hostconfig. Add a new line (at the end, if you wish) that reads
CRASHREPORTER=-YES-
Save the changes and exit the editor. On your next reboot, the Crash Reporter will be active. To make it work immediately, type
sudo /System/Library/StartupItems/CrashReporter/CrashReporter
in the terminal window [Note: I haven't tried this myself, and a posted comment seems to indicate that it doesn't work; a reboot may well be required.]

Once activated, when an application crashes, you'll get a dialog box with the option to write details to a log file. If you say yes, details are written to a log file kept in /var/log/crash.log. Some of the info there can be useful, if not to you, then to the author of the program in helping them debug the problem.
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Detailed article on Apache, PHP and mySQL UNIX
Webmonkey has posted an in-depth article covering Apache, PHP and mySQL on Mac OS X. It's written with a UNIX novice in mind, and walks you through the steps required to get each application running. It also includes an overview of Tenon's iTools.

A good read, and helpful if you're just getting started with this stuff.
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Editing your system's appearance System
There's a new thread on the MacNN forums that discusses the how-to's of editing the Mac OS X extras.rsrc file, which controls the overall appearance of the system. The first post is a nicely detailed how-to, and there are a couple of clarifying follow-ups.

You'll need a copy of Theminator, which is no longer actively distributed, but can probably be located on the net with some sleuthing.

So head on over to MacNN and give the article a read if you're interested in modifying your system's appearance. Note that anyone distributing modified extras.rsrc files has been hit fairly heavily by Apple legal, so you should plan on keeping your modifications to yourself.
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Learn HTML with OmniWeb Web Browsers
Another great reason to use OmniWeb -- OmniWeb's View Source is also an HTML editor!

The source pane is fully editable. Save will save over a local file and will make a new local file if it the page was serverd from a web server. Additionally, Store will store it back onto the server using WebDAV.

The kicker is that you can play around with remote files that are not your own VERY quickly.
Find any page on the web, View Source, make a few changes, and hit the Redisplay button. Voila! You will see your changes back in the browser in context with the rest of the original page. Pick apart layouts tricks at light speed...
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Make (some) apps run without a dock icon System
If you'd like to have an application running, but without a dock icon, there's a way achieve this by modifying the application's plist file. Read the rest of this article if you'd like the (fairly simple) instructions.

NOTE: This one goes in the clearly 'experimental' category. I have not tried this myself yet, but the source (the X4U mailing list) is generally good, and it seems to make logical sense. Use at your own risk!!
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Killing a root process UNIX
How can one kill a root-owned process? I installed mysql and have it loading itself automatically on login. However, I need to kill it to reconfigure it and I realized I can't do so. In process viewer it shows that it's running, and that it's owned by root, but it won't let me kill it because I'm not root. If I use terminal and use the su command to become root, it doesn't show the mysqld process, only ps and tsch.

Any ideas how to either kill the process from within OS X or how to switch to the root user in terminal such that I can see the processes?

Thanks. Philip
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