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The future of macosxhints.com... Site News
The macosxhints.com site has taken off, far faster and bigger than I ever would have imagined. As of today, there are nearly 1,100 registered users, pulling nearly 700mb of data per day from the site. This led me to post a message late last night concerning the future direction of the site (you can read the original post in the remainder of this article). Since I have no revenue streams, the costs of maintaining this growing site were looking a bit daunting.

I asked for help and suggestions, and featured a poll offering some alternatives for the future direction of the site. I was amazed to wake up this morning to a number of emails with positive feedback and great suggestions, and over 35 responses to the poll in about five hours' of night time. Thanks to you, the macosxhints readers, I now have several good leads for new providers with substantially lower costs and unmetered bandwidth, which will alleviate my number one issue. A number of you have also donated to help cover the costs of running the site, which I greatly appreciate.

Based on all the input I've received, the future looks good for macosxhints.com. Read the rest of this article if you'd like to see what's going to happen here in the near future (summary - nothing bad!), as well as the story I posted last night.
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Toolbar command-click trick Apps
In some Cocoa applications, if you command-click the toolbar button in the upper-right corner of the title bar, the toolbar will switch between Icon Only, Icon & Text, and Text Only modes.

I haven't had the chance to test this in many applications yet (primarily because there are still so few available), but it does seem to function in Mail, OmniWeb, Address Book, and Project Builder so far.

Unfortunately, it does not work in the Finder, where it would probably be the most useful.
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Avoid a GUI freeze after sleep wake-up Desktop
This is in addition to the tips for added responsiveness.

I've been having problems with the Finder holding up on me after waking up from sleep. The Finder is rendered completely unresponsive as the the kernel takes up 50 percent of the CPU cycles. I then remembered what Steve Jobs said a while back about how Unix doesn't like to be put to sleep. I immediately thought the Energy Saver preferences.

Set the hard drive spindown to Never, and most of the large kernel freezeups should go away.

Hopefully this is fixed in 10.0.1, but for now, this is an adequate solution.
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Moving fonts between OS 9 and Classic 9 System
Today I noticed a bug (feature?) in the manner in which Classic 9 handles fonts added to its system folder. Theoretically, this should work just as it does in OS 9 - drag the font into the Fonts folder, and any non-running application that is then launched will see the new font. In copying over a number of fonts from my 'real' OS 9 to my 'Classic' OS 9 today, I noticed that they weren't seen when I launched my Classic application. After a bit of troubleshooting, I found the answer.

To make the fonts usable, I had to restart Classic, not just the apps running within Classic. Once I restarted Classic, I had all my new fonts available. I can't decide if this is a bug, or a limitation of how Classic works. In either event, install the fonts first, then launch Classic to save yourself a Classic restart (at least, that's how my machine is working!).
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Transparent windows in any Cocoa program System
Making terminal windows transparent seems to be a popular item, and someone asked if it would work in other apps. Well, it won't work out of the box, but there's a cool little hack that will make it work, at least for Cocoa applications.

This isn't quite perfect, as it will change the transparency of the title bar, scroll bars, etc. as well as the content, but it does make them transparent.

Read the rest of this article for the step by step instructions.

[Editor's note: I have not tried this on my machine yet. You should probably back up any file you are going to modify before you start. Sounds really cool, though!]
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How to view other non-European languages System
The default installation of OS X doesn't come with any other non-European language other than Japanese. Well, we all know this by now. However, there is a way to view Korean, Chineses and others by moving the respective fonts from the OS 9 fonts folder (or any other) into the fonts folder in /Library/Fonts [editor: corrected per comments] and voila!

Now go to the International setting in System Preferences in OS X and see your language displayed! Select the language and keyboard you need and now you should be able to view these foreign languages in Mail.app, Web Browsers and others.
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Play your MP3s in the Finder Desktop
If you use the finder in column view mode, there is a way to play an MP3 that is quicker than any app so far: simply clicking once on the mp3 file will display a play bar in the next column containing the entire track. It plays almost immediately. Some draw-backs: only one MP3 can be played at a time with this method, and only the front finder window will play sound. Still though, if you just want a quicky, this is pretty sweet.
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Play Zork on OS X! Apps
OS X may be the world?s most advanced operating system, but tonight, I took it back into the early 80?s. In the early days of the internet (or Arpanet, back then), a text-based game known as Zork was all the rage. I remember playing it on a TI Silent 700 dumb terminal with thermal paper, connected to the net at a whopping 300 baud.

Zork was the second big computer adventure game (after Adventure, of course), and it featured an amazingly detailed universe, and a slick English-language command parser. Infocom eventually published the Zork games for the PC, but my memories are strictly from the dumb terminal era. The first three Zork games are available freely on the web; more recent versions are still owned and protected by Activision.

Zork was originally coded in MDL (pronounced muddle), but over the years, it was rewritten in C, so I set out on a mission to get it running on OS X. After some searching, and a little bit of editing, I got it to work (as the screenshot shows; click here for a larger version). It turns out the hardest part was finding all the pieces. Read the rest of this article if you?d like to know how it works, and for step-by-step installation instructions.

If you don't want all the details and just want to play, grab the binary download of a UNIX Zork engine (Jzip), the first three Zork game data files, and a Read Me from my "Griffman's OS Collection" page.

And yes, I know about (and own) "The Lost Treasures of Infocom" I & II for the Mac; that's not the point -- I wanted to see if Zork could be run in a terminal window on OS X -- and it can!
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Double clickable mySQL installer Apps
Stories about mySQL seem to generate quite a bit of interest here, so here's one (last?) pointer to yet another way of getting mySQL running. This should be the easiest way of all - a Mac-friendly, double-clickable installer package. It's been tested by several people, and they've had good things to say about it.

You can find it here: http://homepage.mac.com/dylan_neild/FileSharing.html

CAUTION: If you have already installed mySQL (fully or partially), you should probably remove it prior to installing this version. On the MacNN forums, a poster claims that the package didn't work well with his previously installed version.
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Monitor your network traffic Network
Want to get down and dirty and find out what kind of traffic is on your network? Well, a packet sniffer is a great tool for this, and OS X has a copy of tcpdump, the open-source packet sniffer program, pre-installed.

Please note three things about tcpdump:

- It's a command line tool so you'll have to use the Terminal. (See the manual (man tcpdump) pages for options.)
- You have to be root to use it (or use sudo)
- It can be used for good or evil. Please make the right choice.

As a networking teacher, it's a great way to show students how insecure their network traffic really is (especially stuff like telnet and ftp).
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