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Setting up Apache access restrictions per user UNIX
[Editor's note: .htaccess is a means of placing password protection on web sites, and pages within sites. digidoodle had been trying to get it working for each user's individual site on Mac OS X ... here's what he discovered]

I just submitted a question that has been nagging me for days about how to get .htaccess files working, and I just figured out the very simple answer.

I had been spending all my time messing with the setting in the main httpd.conf file, and then realized that in the private/etc/httpd/users directory is a small config file for each user.

This is the file where the following change needs to be made:

AllowOverride none changes to AllowOverride AuthConfig

Every other source I found on the web talked about altering httpd.conf, but changes to this will not effect the pages within any particular user folder. Hope this helps somebody else!

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Using BBEdit to work on system files UNIX
No need to learn vi or pico to edit system files, you can use the great BBEdit editor to work on system text files.

Read the rest of this article if you'd like to make it easy to open BBedit from the terminal to work on system files! Thanks to Marc L. for submiting this tidbit!
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Restart the dock script Desktop
[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:
DOCKPID=`ps aucx| grep Dock | grep -v Server | cut -d ' ' -f 4-5`
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!!
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Make NetInfo recreate its databases Apps
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.
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Keep your mailbox from overflowing Internet
With the release of and OS X, Apple switched the 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, 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). won't download and remove your mail unless you actually (a) delete it, or (b) move it to another mailbox. This has led some users hitting 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.
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Prevent Classic from starting up Classic
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 to a new location. From the terminal, you'd just do
mv '/System/Library/CoreServices/Classic'[space]
[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.
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Limit size choices on dock resize Desktop
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.
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Force IE to use the 'right' Expander Apps
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:

slur writes:
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.
reverend writes:
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'[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!
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Keep folders on the left side of the dock Desktop
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.
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Open terminal in a given directory System
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!
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