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Editing preference files Apps
There are (already!) a number of programs around that let you edit the OS X preference files with a GUI-based tool as opposed to the command line. These give you easy access to settings such as dimming hidden apps in the dock, showing hidden files in the GUI, changing Cocoa apps default fonts, etc. Here are pointers to a couple of them that have been updated for OS X Final:

TinkerTool from Marcel Bresnik Software

osxsettings from
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Enabling the root password (three ways) UNIX
Strong Warning: You should only enable root if you really really need it, really know what it's for, and realize the security implications of enabling root! You can do everything you need to do with "su do", so root is really not needed ... with that said, here's how to enable it - please understand what you're doing and why before you do this!

The "root" user (also known as the superuser) is the most powerful UNIX account. The root account can do anything to any file or folder, anywhere on the system. For that reason, it's considered quite dangerous, and only needs to be used (occasionally) by advanced users.

Because of the dangers of operating as root, Apple has chosen to hide the root account in OS X Final. However, there are a number of ways to enable it. The easiest is to boot off the install CD, and look under the Install menu for the "Password Reset" option. You can use this to change your own password if you forget it, and to enable the root account. This utility will not run if you copy it to your hard drive! It only works when booting from the CD.

Read the rest if you'd like to know how to do this from within OS X, and skip the CD-based reboot.
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Move and corner your dock Desktop
One of the most-discussed features that appeared and then disappeared from interim builds was the ability to move the dock from the bottom of the screen to the top, left, or right sides, and to force one edge into a corner. These functions have returned in the final, and will probably be one of the most-implemented hacks on the system. I expect a full GUI tool for this within a week from someone, but for now, read the rest of this hint if you'd like the command-line instructions. They aren't too hard to follow, so don't be intimidated if you're new to OS X and/or UNIX.

UPDATE: If you'd like to do this the really easy way, get Docking Maneuvers, which puts a simple, effective GUI around the whole process! No UNIX required!
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Alternate genie effects System
The "genie effect" is what happens when you click the yellow "minimize" button. You'll see your window get sucked down into the dock, as though it were being drawn into a funnel. While quite cool the first few times, some people (me!) have found it a little annoying after a while. Those with slower machines may also find it something of a CPU hog.

Luckily, Apple included a way to change the genie effect, but chose not to put it into a GUI tool at this time. I'm sure someone will have one written within a week, but for now, here's how you do it. Open a terminal session (the Terminal application is inside Applications/Utilities), and type one of the following:
defaults write mineffect genie
defaults write mineffect suck
defaults write mineffect scale
The "genie" option is normal behavior, "suck" is sort of hard to describe but it's more like a reverse twisted genie, and "scale" (my personal favorite) simply reduces the window equally from all sides while dropping it to the dock. The other nice thing about "scale" is that it's blindingly fast (on my G4/350, while the genie lags a bit), so windows vanish very quickly.

To activate any of these settings, you'll need to logout and login again.
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Force quit from the dock Desktop
If you'd like to force-quit an app without using cmd-opt-esc or process viewer, simply hold down the option key and then click-and-hold the app's icon in the dock. You'll see a new "Force Quit" option in the pop-up menu.
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Installing v10.0 on a Beige G3 Install
If you're having problems installing OS X v10.0 on a Beige G3, you're not alone. It appears they may be susceptible to issues surrounding 3rd party hardware and/or previous OS X installs. This thread on the MacNN forums has a good discussion on how to get it installed and running, and discusses some of the issues people are facing.

As is usually the case with situations like this, some are reporting no problems at all; others are having a very difficult time getting OS X installed.
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Easter egg in DragThing 4.0 Apps
In the brand-new DragThing for OS X (it also works in 8.6 and later) there's a very cool easter egg for you to unearth. It's not too hard to find, either (although I had an inside tip ;-). So as not to spoil it for everyone, read the rest of this article ONLY IF you'd like to know where to find it (don't read the comments, either, as there may be spoilers there). Otherwise, install DragThing4 and start looking! NOTE: It appears the egg only works in OS X; I cannot make it appear in OS 9.1...

NOTE: DragThing4 will not run on the PB; I tested it on my "Staples edition" OS X 10.0 release. I'm not sure if it works with post-PB builds. And in a bit of editorial, I have to say that DragThing4 simply rocks. It's the perfect companion to the dock, and could potentially replace it, if there were a way to 'genie' windows to DragThing instead of the dock. Great job, James!
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In case you've been sleeping... System
... Apple updated their OS X pages today, and they've added a bunch of content and some new system movies. Well worth a visit to their OS X Page if you haven't visited lately. Oh yea, they also mentioned that iTunes and iMovie (apparently it's now free?) would be available for download on Saturday!
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Changing screen size on a studio display? System
maybe i'm missing something, but is there a tool available in OS X to change the screen size (width and height of image, not resolution) of a studio display with ADC? (that funky apple display connector with power + signal in one)

this monitor (the clear 17" CRT one) has no panel controls, and there's lots of unused space on the tube's screen.

i've used macs in the past, but i'm certainly no hack. i believe this monitor ships with a display software CD which i don't have and might be strictly for 9.x?

any tips would be greatly appreciated.

[Editor's note: From the comments, it appears this has not yet made it into OS X v10.0...]
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Automatically change the desktop picture Desktop
[Warning!! Do not run the script in the comments here! It will work, but after a few uses, it will cause minor system errors. Use at your own risk! See the comments for a discussion on alternatives and next steps...]

A posting over on the MacNN forums got me interested in trying to come up with a way to automatically change the desktop picture. If I can find a way to change it from the terminal, then the next steps become somewhat obvious (and maybe easy?) -- write a shell script to pick a file at random from a folder, and then issue the command to update the desktop pic and get it to display. Finally, schedule that shell script as a 'cron' job to run however often you'd like a new desktop picture.

I made a bit of progress, but not much. Please read the rest if you're interested in trying to help me figure out how to make desktop pictures change automatically...
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