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Add a keyboard shortcut for Hide Others Desktop
Apple thoughtfully gave us command-H to hide the active app, but didn't provide a shortcut for hiding other apps. Jacco R. wrote in with a way to modify the Finder to provide such a shortcut.

Warning - Make sure you have a backup before you start hacking the system files! Also, this hack only works in the Finder, not any other applications. Finally, I have not tried this myself, but Jacco included a screenshot, and stated that it definitely worked in the Finder.

If you'd like to hack your finder to provide a Hide Others keyboard shortcut, read the rest of the article...
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Improve Classic Performance Even More Classic
This may be an obvious one for the power users, but still:

If you only plan to use OSX you can just do this, otherwise you may want to have a separate OS9 install for classic and one for booting into natively.

Don't install 9.1 taking the defaults. Choose a custom installation and rmove all the extras (text to speech, IE/Outlook, etc) basically only installing "Base" and the default networking. You may also want Quicktime and the standard fonts. Beyond that you don' t need the rest of OS9 to run apps under OSX, as OS X does much of the work for OS 9.

By removing all the extra I've reduced my Classic launch time from a minute and twenty seconds to twenty-two seconds.
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Launch mySQL at system startup UNIX
The following tutorial explains how to get mySQL (via safe_mysqld) started at system boot. "It took some time, but it's working now."

Read the rest of this article if you'd like your mySQL server to launch when you start your machine.

[Editor's note: I haven't installed this yet myself, but I will, and I'll comment back if I have any problems]
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Jump directly to files in the Finder Desktop
I discovered that you can jump to file names - sort of - in the Finder. You just have to hold down the shift key to do it. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it doesn't recognize multiple keystrokes - so you can only jump to the first file starting with a specific letter.
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Reduce the X to Classic visual shock Classic
If you want the transition between classic and Mac OS X to be less visible you can install a theme (appearance) in Classic. The ultimate theme must be Liquid or another one called Aqua Theme. This makes classic look like OS X Aqua style.

Themes can be found on my iDisk in the public folder, the user name is jaws.

[Editor's note: Themes can really help make Classic feel more 'correct', but Apple has come down hard on those distributing Aqua themes, so they may be hard to find. I know of one other, called Aqua III, which has also been seen around the net. According to this poster, you can find some themes on his/her iDisk. I'm not sure how long I would expect them to remain there...]
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Finding UNIX commands using 'apropos' UNIX
As you get more adventurous in terminal mode, you may wish to explore UNIX commands to get your work done. There's a command called "apropos" that searches all the man(ual) pages for keywords, and voila, a list of appropriate commands appear.

BUT - OS X's "apropos" doesn't work until you establish a "whatis" database. How? Simple:

1) Start a terminal session and get into su mode (root).

2) Type the follow line exactly:

3) Wait several seconds for the root prompt to appear, and quit the terminal session.

Now, you can start a terminal session as yourself, and the "apropos" command will work. For more information about apropos, type "man apropos".

[Editor's note: I published a related tip quite a while back, but I'm sure not everyone has dug through all the pages, so I thought this was a good chance to bring it up again. Note that the makewhatis will also run if you leave your machine on regularly; it's part of a scheduled task that runs (if I recall correctly) weekly.]
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PostgreSQL compiles on OS X Apps
As many of you know well, PostgreSQL is a yet another open source SQL DBMS [Editor: ala mySQL, but a bit more robust, from what I've read]. Although they claimed compatibility of the database with OS X as of v7.1 and certainly it compiled, a few regression tests had always failed up until recently.

But, not any more. I grabbed the RC-4 source and it compiled just out of the box. Now, you have another choice for your database solutions.

Now, if I could only get its perl interface working...
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Airport Software Base Station kills Classic net access Internet
If you have Airport configured to behave as a Software Base Station, it will prevent classic applications from accessing the Internet.

[Editor's note: This tip points to an article on how to use Mac OS X's UNIX core to create an emulated Airport Base Station.]
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OS X crashes on PB Lombard due to RAM expansion System
If any of you have had problems with OS X crashing a lot (perhaps even during installation) on PowerBook Lombards, you are not alone. Lots of people have had this problem. It appears to be caused by the presence of RAM modules beyond the base 64MB. If you have a RAM upgrade in your top slot, OS X should work fine after you remove it.

It is unclear what is causing this problem, at first people said it was due to tighter memory tolerances, but then reports came in about even apple RAM upgrades causing the crash. Now it seems like it may be a lingering hardware bug that wasn't revealed by previous OS's. You can read lots more about this on the MacFixIt Forums in this thread.

Apple does not have a fix for this yet, in fact they appear to be denying that it is a problem, so I encourage anyone else experiencing this bug to fill out a bug report form.

Patri Friedman (
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See temporary vCards in Address Book Apps
The Address Book application reads and writes from a single pool of addresses each user owns. (Library/Addresses/...). There are a bunch of them that get added, by Mail, I assume. You can view them by adding a new category called TEMPORARY (uppercase is important), then viewing the Temporary addresses category that's already listed in the main window. (That you can't see them already may be some kind of bug.)

Here's the step by step:

In Address Book, create a new item. Then, click on the Categories button. You should see a dialog to set the categories. Click on the round plus (+) button. For the new category, name it "TEMPORARY" - no quotes, all caps. Click OK to save it. Then, cancel the new item. That's it.

Go back to the main screen and change the popdown to Temporary Items. The new all-caps Temporary category won't show up anymore, and you'll get to see more entries here than you did previously. That's why I think this is some kind of bug in Address Book.
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