[Editor's note: See the comments for a better solution, as well as a GUI-based way of doing this]
Sometimes the desktop will do something stupid - like leave some of the 'poof' effect on the screen or whatever else. The best thing to do is just restart it. Killing it will make it automatically restart. Here's a little unix script to find it's process ID & kill it:
#!/bin/sh DOCKPID=`ps aucx| grep Dock | grep -v Server | cut -d ' ' -f 4-5` kill $DOCKPID
Type this script in your favorite editor (command line or GUI), save it (as PLAINTEXT) to a file, say Desktop/dock.restart. Then, make it executable by doing this in a terminal:
chmod +x dock.restart
Then, double click it in the finder. It'll ask you to choose an application to use to run it. Select Terminal as the program to run it. You'll probably have to make it show you all applications in order for that to be selectable.
After that, just double click it whenever the dock is being stupid!!
NetInfo can occasionally get cranky, especially if you have been mucking around with it. If you have hosed your netinfo database you can force the machine to rebuild it.
In single-user mode (boot while holding down command-S, or see the tip here on how to quit into single-user mode), remove /var/db/local.nidb, which is your local netinfo database. Also remove /var/db/.AppleSetupDone, then reboot. You will see a registration page again and can create a new admin account and go from there. Be careful to remap your privileges if necessary.
Also, if you are having problems with the database, but don't want to trash the whole thing, you can just remove /var/db/.AppleSetupDone and reboot. Go through the registration and create a new account with a DIFFERENT name than any you already have. This doesn't recreate the database, it just adds a new admin user to it.
With the release of mail.app and OS X, Apple switched the mac.com email server from POP to IMAP. For most users, the change won't have a dramatic impact. However, there's a key difference between IMAP and POP. With POP, you retrieve your messages from the server, and (unless you tell it otherwise) they're deleted from the server. IMAP basically functions the other way around - when you're looking at your email in mail.app, you're actually looking at the IMAP server (those who know IMAP better than I can probably give a better description of the actual process). mail.app won't download and remove your mac.com mail unless you actually (a) delete it, or (b) move it to another mailbox. This has led some users hitting mac.com disk limits due to a large amount of email kept on the server.
If you'd like a simple method to prevent this from happening, read the rest of the article. This solution was distributed by Ron C. to the X4U mailing list.
If you don't want Classic to ever start up, Brian M. sent in an easy solution - simply move (in case you want it later) the file /System/Library/CoreServices/Classic Startup.app to a new location. From the terminal, you'd just do
[Replace [space] with an actual space character, and enter as one command].
Paul C. had another idea which may also work, and would put a dialog onscreen each time Classic tried to launch:
You should be able to do this by removing "Classic Support" and "Classic Support UI" from the 9.1 System Folder. You'll get asked when Classic is about to start whether you want to install certain items that Classic needs; I think if you answer "no", then Classic won't start up.
Either of these methods should prevent Classic from launching.
Noticed this one posted on one of the MacFixit forums tonight.
You can force the dock to only resize to non-interpolated icon sizes by simply holding down the option key while you drag on the vertical bar. You'll only see the "native" dock sizes; all interpolated icon sizes are skipped.
I received several replies to the query on the Help Wanted page regarding IE and the 'wrong' (Classic) version of Stuffit Expander launching after a download. In no particular order, here are all three replies:
Download the latest version of Stuffit Expander, version 6.0.1 from Aladdin Systems and dump the pre-installed version that comes with MacOS X. The newest Stuffit Expander and DropStuff are FAT Carbon applications that run under MacOS 9 or MacOS X.
Try a symbolic link:
1) Begin a terminal session
2) Type (on one line; replace [space] with an actual space character):
ln -s '/Applications/Utilities/StuffIt Expander.app'[space]
3) Go into IE and choose the symlink as your new 'helper app.' The symlink should be available.
And finally, submitted by my friend Jim, a very easy to implement solution:
Simply go to Log In on your Systems Preferences. Put Stuffit Expander in there to start at login and all is well. It will run all the time (but who cares - it takes 0.01% of the CPU while open). This little trick insures that Stuffit Expander will open in OS X and not go back to Classic just to unstuff.
Not one, not two, but three separate solutions -- I'm impressed!
This thread on the MacFixIt forums discusses a hack to move items that would normally be on the right side of the dock (folders, hard drive icon, etc) to the left side of the dock. It's quite interesting, and some people might like to have things on the left instead of the right.
It requires a bit of work in the terminal and an editor, but it's not too intimidating.
It's been noted here before that holding down command-option and dragging an item to the dock will force an application to try to open whatever you drop on it.
Tonight, I noticed a really cool variant on that trick. If you'd like to open a new terminal window in a given directory, simply drag that folder to the Terminal icon in the dock while holding down command-option. Terminal will open a new window, leaving any that you have alone, and 'cd' into the folder that you dropped on it. The first line you see is your prompt with the path showing that you're in the directory you dropped! I love the subtle niceties in X!
Bart Van den Broeck wrote in with the following tip for extracting individual files from the OS X installer package. Bart writes:
On MacFixit's Mac OS X late-breakers page a few days ago it was suggested you could "extract individual files" from Installer packages by decompressing the entire archive and than getting individual files from that. Since I don't have loads of hard drive space to spare, I figured out a better way. I hope some of you with limited HD space might benefit from it.
Read the rest of this article if you'd like to learn how to extract individual files...
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!