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Changing the system font (Cocoa only) System
"Oneota" posted instructions on how to change the system font in this MacNN forum. It requires a copy of PrefEdit (findable on macosxapps), and a couple of easy edits. If you mess up, the font change is simply ignored, so you won't cause any real trouble with your system.

This hack only works in Cocoa apps, so it won't help at all with the Finder or Explorer. Things like OmniWeb and TextEdit, though, should work just fine with your new font.
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Drag Thing for OS X Apps
DragThing was my favorite launcher utility for OS 9. The author's been working on a new version to support OS X, and posted a screenshot back in December. A week or so ago, he posted some more shots (taken in OS 9) of the latest builds. Based on the screenshots, he's added some very nice features. He's also commented that he hopes to release the new version very close to March 24th's release of OS X 1.0.

This is great news (for me, at least) as the dock and DragThing together will make a great team to make OS X even more usable!
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UNIX MP3 encoder UNIX
Vasantha Crabb has compiled the LAME MP3 encoder for OS X. This is a command-line program which will (duh) encode an audio file into the MP3 format. Here's what Vasantha had to say about it:

"Although not fast, LAME is a high quality MP3 encoder, using the GPSYCHO psycho-acoustics/noise shaping model. The quality of the encoded files is much better than that of SoundJam and iTunes."

You can find LAME on Vasantha's download page, where you'll also find the latest version of the Links text browser, and EasyLookup, which does quick whois, finger, and DNS lookups.
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Quick restart when logging out Desktop
I find myself frequently rebooting to play games, and the process can be made quicker with our old friend, the option key. When you quit the Desktop, you are presented with the Shutdown/Cancel/Log Out panel. Hold down the option key when it appears and Shutdown becomes Restart. Nifty.
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PB ONLY - Using the OS 9 app switcher Desktop
[Editor's note: This was probably one of the first hints I published, but it was lost in my database crash back in November, so I'm repepating it now ... -rob.]

If you like the OS 9 application switcher, you can still use it in OS X. Simply launch a Classic application, and tear off the application switcher menu. Even after you quit the Classic app (you need to leave the environment running, but you can kill the app), you'll have a fully functional application switcher in OS X - new programs get added, quit programs go away, etc.

I'm not sure if this will survive the transition to OS X final or not - I don't see why not, but we won't know for sure for another 33 days or so!
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Application switching with the dock Desktop
When using the dock to switch applications, the modifier keys change how the desktop view of running applications behave:
  • cmd+option+click: Switch to selected application and hide all others.
  • option+click: Switch to selected application and hide the current application.
  • cmd+click: Open and switch to a new finder window containing the selected application (I just found this one this morning; I can't believe I hadn't tried that in over three months of using the PB!).
As far as I can tell, no other combinations (shift or control) do anything useful.
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Classic internet apps in OS X over PPP dialup Classic
After struggling for several days trying to get Adobe GoLive and Outlook Express to have internet access in OS X, I was finally told that this is impossible if you are on PPP dial-up, and that you can only do this if you access the internet over your ethernet network.

Not quite! What no one seems to know (at least no one seems to mention it) is that you can use a "Port Reflector" to allow these apps to use your PPP connection. Wickedly Simply Software has created such a program and once it's setup, it's pretty much automatic. The shareware version times out at 10 minutes (then you have to close the program and restart it), so it's definitely a "try" before you buy. But I gladly paid the $10 charge to be able to use GoLive and Express.
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Changing application/file associations System
[Editor's Note: See the comments for the answer to the question]

I would love to be able to configure which application is launched to open documents of various types (html, .gz, etc). Is this possible?
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Remote Aqua sessions System
[Editor's Note: See the comments for a discussion on the possibilities of remote control of Aqua sessions]

Hi!

I would like to know if anyone has successfully run Aqua-Applications on a remote machine (like one can do under X-Sessions if x-forwarding is allowed).

Thanks for any info on this.

ralf
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mySQL administrative tools Apps
If you've installed mySQL and PHP for creating web-enabled databases, you've probably become quite familiar with the pure UNIX interface to mySQL. For example, you'd type DESCRIBE tablename for a list of the field definitions in a table; to add a row to a table, the syntax is INSERT INTO tablename (fieldname1, fieldname2) VALUES (expression1, expression2). In other words, completely un-Mac-like and non-intuitive ... but quite powerful!

While you can't avoid all of this hassle of the non-GUI interface, there are a couple of tools out there that make managing mySQL databases much easier. The first is an OS X (Carbon) application called MacSQL Monitor from Runtime Labs. This is a shareware ($40) package that puts a very nice Mac GUI on your mySQL databases. The demo version has limited export capabilities, and will run 10 queries each session.

My personal favorite, though, is phpmyadmin, from phpwizard.net. This is a collection of PHP scripts designed to help you manage mySQL databases, and it's available free of charge. Through the web-based interface, you can easily create tables, browse records, run queries, modify properties, drop tables, and add/delete entire databases. It's the tool I use when I have to work in the raw database files on the macosxhints website. Read the rest of this article if you'd like an overview of installing myphyadmin.
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