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AppleScript to switch from OS 9 to OS X Classic
I've written an AppleScript to change my startup disk to OS X when I'm booted in 9:
tell application "Startup Disk"
set startup system folder alias to alias
end tell
tell application "Finder"
end tell
Of course, change "OSXDisk" to the name of your disk containing OS X, and watch as I've broken the "set startup" line into two rows for easier display on the page -- enter it as one long row.

Why not just press the Option key when starting up to choose OS's to boot into? Because I have my ADB Wacom tablet, Kensington 4-button mouse and keyboard attached to my G4 with an iMate. I sure wish I had a similar AppleScript to change startup disks and restart when in OS X...
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Toggle scrollbar-click behavior System
dunno if somebody else has pointed this one out already:

in the general controls panel one can specify how clicks in the scrollbar are handled: old-style mac os-way (scroll one page) or next-style (scroll to that position).

whatever you choose: holding the option-key (alt) while clicking toggles the behavior. :)

comes in handy on long web-pages...
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-43 errors when emptying Trash System
Some archive files (typically .tar.gz created on other systems), when decompressed into folders, will then be untrashable. An example is the GNU LibObjects distribution (not from Darwin). When you try to empty its folder from the Trash, you get -43 errors.

I have created a little droplet app to address this - DropObliter8 - available from my iTools disk at

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ALERT - Tenon XTools 1.0.2, 10.0.1, and the PB Apps
The installer for XTools 1.0.2 erased my Applications folder, /etc, /usr, and root home directories, and much more! Other users had experienced such problems with earlier versions, and Tenon promised to re-release the application only after resolving the issue. I installed on Mac OS X 10.0.1 over XTools beta10 when Mac OS X started to fail during the system optimization step.

The Tenon XTools discussion board at has more information about similar problems suffered previously by other users.

-Wolf Naegeli
[Editor's note: Please see the comments for a response from Tenon; the install issue is particular to those who installed OS X over the PB and then upgraded to 10.0.1; thanks for the clarification, Tenon!]
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Eudora images and Internet
If you get mail with a picture from somebody sending mail with Eudora and you try to read it in you might need to tell them to re-send that picture as an attachment and not embedded between lines of text. If they don´t the only thing you see of that picture is a tiny little purple icon. Me and a friend triple checked this in mail sent with Eudora (5.x) and we also used AppleDouble, AppleSingle, BinHex and Uuencode data fork. So ask them not to paste or drag & drop any pictures between lines of text. They can paste the picture after the last word or as an attachment.

I don´t know if is to blame but I know the problem will end up in Apple's for MacOS X. The different encodings do not affect the jpeg-picture or the message.

URL of a bad example in

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Don't use files as home pages with IE 5.1! Apps
If you ever use Microsoft's Internet Explorer avoid using a file:/ URL as your 'Home Page' in the 'Internet' section of the System Preferences app.

I use OmniWeb 95% of the time and had set my 'Home Page' to a file:/ URL. When I tried to use IE some time later it crashed EVERY time I launched it. No error messages or clues. It had been a while since I made the Home Page change so it didn't register as a possible cause.
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Retaining OmniWeb as the default browser Web Browsers
OS X lets you specify any browser you'd like to use as your default (the browser that's used when you click on a URL) in the Internet system prefs panel. I prefer OmniWeb, and have told OS X so on several occasions. Unfortunately, for many people (myself included), this setting is lost between restarts.

A workaround was snipped from Resexcellence and sent to me, but I can't find the original on Resexcellence, so I can't provide a direct reference. However, if you'd like to make it at least a bit easier to get OmniWeb back as the default, read the rest of this article for the how-to.
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Using the built-in firewall software (ipfw) UNIX
Mac OS X contains built-in firewall software, known as ipfw. You can use this to protect your machine from outside entry, but it's not trivial nor GUI-friendly. If you want that, go get Brickhouse from Versiontracker.

If you'd prefer to work directly with UNIX, Daniel Cote has published his ipfw configuration file, along with some tips on how to use ipfw in Mac OS X - you can read the article right here.

NOTE: You should really understand exactly what it is you're doing before you going mucking about with the firewall software! For a more simplistic approach, try Brickhouse or any of the hardware routers.
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Quoting replies in Apps
If you'd like to reply to an email quoting just a subset of the original message, it's incredibly easy in Apple's Open the email you wish to reply to, select the text you wish to quote, and hit the "Reply" button (or Command-R). Your selection now shows as the only quoted text in the reply.

I spend much of my time in Eudora trimming text I don't want to quote; makes it quick and easy! I love the subtle touches in well written applications!
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Modify Cocoa apps shortcut keys per user Apps
I snapped this tip up on Apple's mailing list: Full credits to the author, Mike Ferris.

You can modify any keyboard shortcut in any Cocoa app using the very powerful defaults system. The key you want to modify in your defaults database is NSUserKeyEquivalents.

The following example would set the Activity Viewer menu item of to be command+shift+A:
defaults write NSUserKeyEquivalents '{"Activity Viewer"="@$A";}'
The odd characters before the 'A' in the previous command, specify the modifiers:
  • @ = Command
  • $ = Shift
  • ~ = Option
  • ^ = Control
To use other keys, such as Delete, you will have to use their Unicode codes like this:

@U0008 which would mean command+Delete.

This is really good, since it does not involve modifying the original application, and only applies to your environment, leaving that of others unchanged. I will try to make an app to handle this proceedure some time in the future.
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