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Share one desktop between 9.1 and X Desktop
[Editor's note: Although this probably has no side effects, always be cautious when messing around with system-created folders! The thought of having one desktop in both mode is certainly appealing!]

I was sick of having two different desktop folders in Mac OS 9 and OS X, so I decided to combine them into one. Here's how I did it
  1. I fired up the terminal app and found out where everything lived:
    OS 9 desktop folder = /Desktop Folder/
    OS X desktop folder = /Users/username/Desktop
  2. I deleted the folder from /Users/username/Desktop with an rm -R Desktop
  3. I logged in as root and did a ln -s /Desktop Folder/ Users/username/Desktop
After logging out and logging back in, OS 9 and OS X now share the same desktop folder!
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Arrange your desktop by filename Desktop
The finder's desktop preferences let you snap the desktop icons to a grid, yet somehow the icons always get randomly rearranged. The easy Classic-like fix is to turn on the 'arrange by' desktop view option (which I belive is currently hidden). I did this with prefedit (or any xmlproperty editor) in the following property:

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder

Look in the DesktopViewOptions property for ArrangeBy which you can set to "dnam" for sort by name or "kind" for sort by kind. Save your changes...

Now log out and log back in and your desktop is sorted. I found a desktop sorted by kind with the trash can on the desktop and a couple of good aliases ("Home", "Print Center", MacOS 9 Apps, MacOS X Apps, etc...) makes the desktop suddenly look very much like Classic.
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hope this helps
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Darwin FreeBSD Ports Collection UNIX
rlucia writes: "Now we have some patches to The FreeBSD Ports Collection to make it working on Darwin 1.3 (as shipped with Mac OS X). I also patched pkg_* from FreeBSD source tree to use with Darwin. The work is at early stage but I could compile and install (also deinstall) lots of packages."

Check it out at Darwin pkg, Darwin ports or compiled packages files.
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Using TextEdit on HTML files Apps
TextEdit is a WYSIWYG editor. If you open up an HTML file, and you don't just see HTML tags, but you actually see the web document.

You can shut this off by specifying in the preferences to turn rich text encoding on or off for HTML files.

Sorta a neat feature, I wish the turn off rich text was a menu command as opposed to a preference.
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Mac OS X and RedHat7 netatalk issues Desktop
[Editor's note: John K. submitted this writeup a few days ago, and I managed to lose it in my inbox for a bit. My apologies for the delays in getting this posted, John!]

John writes:

My OS X install does not work well with netatalk, the unix AFP file server. When I log in as guest and mount a share, it displays correctly, but the following problems occur:
  • Copies do not work at all. I get an error -43.

  • Changes to the directories don't get displayed, and attempts to use the directory after a change can cause OS X to crash.

  • I cannot authenticate myself anymore. I think this is probably because I have a vanilla RedHat 7 and am missing some kind of library necessary to do secure authentication.
This was all a real bummer, because I backed up my disk to this server. If you're using netatalk, it's a good idea to move the data to an Apple server before upgrading.

If you're stuck (like I am), there's a utility, megatron, that can make macbinary files which can be ftp'd or copied via NFS, and then unmacbin'd by Stuffit Expander. I'm working on a tool to run megatron on a large number of files, so it won't be so difficult to recover from this snafu. I'll post the link here when it's done.
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Drag and drop issue with jEdit Apps
I wanted to edit the index.html file that sits in the ~/Sites folder. If you double-click this file, Explorer opens. So I picked it up and dropped it on my jEdit icon in DragThing. Poof - the file vanished! jEdit is a Java-based text editor, not some kind of auto-deleter, so it looked like there was a bit of a problem. A quick look showed it wasn't in the trash, and I couldn't use Sherlock to find the file, since I have about 2,500 index.html's on my machine ... so it had basically vanished into thin air.

As an experiment, I duplicated a text document, renamed it to "XXXYYYZZZ" and dropped that onto jEdit. Same results - poof, file's gone. But this time I launched Sherlock, and searched for the file. No sign of it on any disk. So once more, I went back to the finder, duplicated a text file, and named it the same thing as before. Dragged it onto jEdit, but this time, I got a message about there already being a file with that name in the location, and did I want to rename the file?

This was the enlightenment I needed. I went to the finder, right-clicked on the jEdit app, and chose Show Package Contents. There, sitting inside the jEdit application bundle, were all my test files, and the missing index.html file! Somehow, dragging and dropping the document on jEdit moved it into the app bundle, instead of launching jEdit.

I tested this with a couple other apps, and couldn't repeat the behavior. But I can repeat it consistently with jEdit. So if you use DragThing, and you seem to have dropped a file and had it vanish, check the bundle for the application you dropped it onto -- it may very well be there!
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Cool uses for the command key Desktop
Most people know by now that you can hold down the command key and drag around a background window without bringing the window to the front. However, I also discovered that you can hold down the command key and do just about anything in a background window that belongs to a Cocoa application without bringing the window forward. You can resize the window, move scrollbars, click buttons, and pop up menus, among other things.

You can't, however, click buttons that are in customizable toolbars. This is because you can command-drag a toolbar button to a different position in the toolbar, or off of the toolbar completely, regardless of whether the window is is front or not.
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How to run a compiled UNIX application UNIX
[Editor's note: See the comments for the answer]

I built a hello world simple application that built great. That simply means that it compiled. I did this in my home directory in a terminal application. It compiles to a.out. When I try to run this application it says I cannot find a.out. Any clues on how I can make this work?
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Apache-mySQL-PHP installation tutorial UNIX
[Editor's Note: This is the most detailed how-to I've received in six months' running this site! I have not used the tutorial, mainly because I already have this group of programs running, but this looks like a very good step-by-step on how to get them installed. -rob.]

[Second editor's note: I received a referral to another site with a step-by-step guide for compiling all three of these programs from source; I haven't used it, but it's a similar step-by-step tutorial, but it doesn't use any package files.]

Compiled and partly written by Vip Malixi with contributions from Scott Anguish, René Voorburg, Matthew Vaughn. The following tutorial is a comprehensive set of instructions for installing a new version of Apache (1.13.19), along with PHP 4.04 and mySQL 3.23.28. In order to follow these instructions, you will need to have (a) root access [detailed elsewhere on the site] and (b) the developer tools installed.

If you'd like to see how this is done, please read the rest of this article for a thorough, step-by-step guide to the process.
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Batch convert document--application links Apps
One of the best new features in OS X is the ability to batch-convert application links for various documents. Before finding this, I had inadvertently started up Classic simply by clicking on a .jpg file that could have been viewed in Preview instead. To make the files open a different application, shift-click to select as many of the same document type as you want (for example, 100 .jpg files), then choose Show Info from the File menu in the Finder. Select Application in the pop-up menu and you will be able to select any application you wish to open the files. Once you've made your choice, the batch-conversion is nearly instantaneous.

Elobornola
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