Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Toolbar tricks Desktop
If you have a folder in your Finder toolbar, hold option and click to open that folder in a new window and close the old window. Clicking without option simply opens that folder in the existing window. Strangely, it seems to switch to icon view regardless of the view mode from which you click [editor - not on my machine; it seems random!]. If you command-click the folder, it opens in a new window without closing the old one.

Application icons that have been added to the toolbar can be used to switch to the given app, saving you a bit of time and mousing down to the dock to switch. Drag-and-drop apps (such as Stuffit Expander) can have things dropped on them on the toolbar.

Isn't OS X great?

Daniel J. Wilson [with additional info from robg]
  Post a comment  •  Comments (3)  
  • Currently 2.50 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (4 votes cast)
[3,161 views]  View Printable Version
Set the date and time automatically System
As I noticed my system time slowly drifting away from my WWV radio-clock time, I decided to re-check Date & Time settings and found that time wasn't being set automatically. Here's one way to keep your clock synchronized.

Open the Date & Time control panel, and go to the Network Time tab. Make sure Network Time synchronization is OFF (click the button to stop if necessary). Select MANUALLY, and enter an IP address for a Network Time Server (NTS) into the NTP field. There's a listing of appropriate servers at:

I used the actual IP address (instead of the server name) and it worked perfectly.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 1.33 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[21,856 views]  View Printable Version
Edit your shell config file System
If you'd like to change some of your command line login defaults, but don't know where to find the file, it's located here:


[name] should be replaced with your username, of course. If you don't have this file, you can create it from the command line or a GUI editor.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 2.17 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[9,442 views]  View Printable Version
Dock all of an app's windows Desktop
If you hold down the Option (Alt) key while clicking the yellow 'minimize' button of a document window, all of that application's open document windows will minimize into the Dock, and each will have its own icon.

Holding down Shift and Option makes all of the app's windows dock, but very slowly. This is the demo slow genie effect for multiple windows.

Unfortunately, and this is a bug or an egregious oversight, when you hold down Option and click one of the app's minimized windows, all of the docked windows do not restore.

By the way, shouldn't the verb for minimizing be, not "to minimize," but "to dock"? Dock your window.... just a thought.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 1.75 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (4 votes cast)
[3,041 views]  View Printable Version
Recreate the Control Panels folder System
If you really miss the old "Control Panels" folder, you can (more or less) recreate it using the dock. Simply navigate in the GUI to the /System/Library folder, and then drag the "Preferences" folder onto the right end of the dock.

Control click on the folder, and you get direct access to each the system prefs! Thanks to the X4U mailing list for this one...
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 2.57 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (7 votes cast)
[3,389 views]  View Printable Version
Terminal 101 - Handy aliases UNIX
Warning - For new unix users only... this is intended for mac users new to unix who wish to make the terminal a bit more comfortable.

You can define any number of shortcuts (aliases) to start up applications. For example, to start up TextEdit from the command line and open a file, all you need to do is type:

te main.C &

where: te is the alias you specify, main.C is the name of the text file that you want to edit, and & backgrounds the process (which means you can continue working in the command line).

To learn how to set this up and add to your UNIX knowledge, read the rest of the article ... and thanks to 'anonymous' for sending this in!
read more (449 words)   Post a comment  •  Comments (9)  
  • Currently 1.75 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (4 votes cast)
[21,341 views]  View Printable Version
Fonts and memory usage? System
Can anybody tell me if installed fonts (in System/library/fonts, library/fonts or users' folders) are always active and thus taking up memory, or are they activated when selected in an app?
  Post a comment  •  Comments (0)  
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[2,749 views]  View Printable Version
Navigate your hard drive with a browser Web Browsers
Try typing //Volumes/ in a browser window (I used OmniWeb, but they all should work). Pretty cool, it brings up the local filesystem so that you can navigate through it.

I don't know how useful it is, but sorta cool.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (7)  
  • Currently 1.25 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (8 votes cast)
[7,577 views]  View Printable Version
Permanently deleting a user's home folder System
As an administrative user, you can create a new user account by using the System Preferences: Users section and simply adding a user. Similarly, you can delete a user. The problem is, the deleted users directory doesn't go away, it is just renamed in the /Users directory to "username Deleted". You cannot throw out the Deleted directory using the finder, even as an administrative user. Here is where being able to get to the Unix core is so great.

With administrative power, you are one command away from deleting that unwanted directory. You are also one command away from deleting everything on your system. Here is the command:

sudo rm -rf /Users/"username Deleted"/

If you were to mistype the username and accidently remove your account, there would be no recovering your files. The destructive potential of the rm command is probably one of the main reasons the root account is somewhat hidden (just my opinion).

[Editor's note: You can use a slightly safer variant of the same command by simply adding and "i" to the "-rf" string; the revised command would read sudo rm -rfi /Users/"username Deleted"/ -- this will have "rm" ask you to confirm each file deletion]

Don't fear the command line, it can be a really great thing. But please, use caution anytime you have to use root privilages to rm a file or do anything else. Other than that, learn vi! Enjoy the Unix that your Macintosh is running.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 1.83 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[11,766 views]  View Printable Version
Share a single user's folder between two machines System
[Editor's note: See the comments for a solution!]

Anyone know how to move a single user's home -- not the entire 'Users' directory? I travel back and forth between two machines and would like to carry my "home" with me on an external hard drive. I tried editing the home directory in NetInfoManager, but it didn't seem to work.
  Post a comment  •  Comments (2)  
  • Currently 1.50 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (6 votes cast)
[5,663 views]  View Printable Version