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Long file names? System
[Editor's note: See the comments for a discussion on recommendations]

I downloaded the .tar file containing the PHP documentation, and was just beginning to read the files when I came across this problem: long file names. It would seem that OS X Public Beta chokes on very long file names such as
  • language.basic-syntax.instruction-separation.php
The problem first came up as an inability for me to view certain pages in the PHP manual. I first though it was a bug in IE.

But then I then looked into the directory using the Finder, and discovered that while files with shorter names are recognized by the Finder as HTML files (due to their .html extension?), longer ones like the one I mentioned as well as many others, are not recognized. I though OS X is supposed to supported long file names, up to 255 characters?!?!?

If anyone can shed some light on this, I'd appreciated it. Thanks!

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identd function not working in IRC Network
If you are an IRC user, and you notice that your identd function only seems to work when you're logged in as root, head on over to this thread on the MacFixIt forums for a quick edit fix to make it functional again.

I've also noted the how-to in the body of this article just for posterity, but please, support all the Mac sites by reading the original over on MacFixIt!
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Recovering a lost root password System
Although there's no real way to recover a lost root password, you can change the root password even if you do not know the current one. You must have physical access to the machine in order to accomplish this task. The following steps were originally noted on this MacNN forum, which contains a number of follow-up messages about security in general - well worth the reading time.

NOTE: The following information has been publicly disclosed on a number of Internet sites, and is not a new find. I'm simply repeating it here for the sake of completeness.

Read the detailed section of this article for step-by-step instructions on regaining access to your root account.
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Bringing all application windows forward Desktop
This was written into another tip a few days back, but it's worth repeating. If you have an application with multiple open windows (such as Explorer), there's an easy way to bring all of the windows into the foreground -- simply click on the application in the dock.

If you just click on one of the application's open windows, only that one will be brought forward, possibly leaving the rest obscured behind other windows. A quick click in the dock, however, will force all the open windows to the foreground.

This is a basic functionality of the dock, but it doesn't seem to be documented anywhere that I can find.
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URLs in the Dock Desktop
[Editor's note: I've revised the below hint to reflect the really easy way to place URL's in the dock (as described in the comments), but I've left the contributed hint in the body for context and the truly adventurous!]

Ever wonder how to put a URL in the dock, like Apple's Mac OS X Feedback URL? Here's the easy way - drag them to the right side of the dock from any of the OS X browsers. Read the rest of the message for a method of creating them with an editor.
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Cool jEdit/RBrowser/OS X feature Apps
This morning, I was editing some of the site files in jEdit, and transferring them to and from the server using RBrowser (both jEdit and RBrowser are described in articles elsewhere on this site). At one point, I needed a version of a file from the server which was newer than the version I had open in jEdit.

I had RBrowser download the file to my editing directory, and then I returned to jEdit. When the RBrowser download completed, I received the following message within jEdit:


I'm not sure if this is a native feature of OS X (doubtful) or something that is written into jEdit (probably), but whichever it is, it's very cool and useful! No longer will I edit and save a file, only to then remember that I had downloaded a newer version sometime earlier.
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Force an App to open a File Desktop
If you drag a file from the OSX Finder to the various icon on the Dock, you'll notice that only certain apps will highlight to show that they will accept that type of file. However, sometimes you want to force an application to open a type of file, even if it doesn't "know" about it. To do this. hold down command and option when you drag the file. You should be able to drop the file on any application.
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Protect your machine with TCP wrapper Network
TCP Wrapper allows you to protect your machine's daemon, such as FTP, telnet, etc. It's a filter that use IP numbers and hostnames to restrict access. TCP Wrapper is already in MacOS X, but the configuration file is not provided, so there is no protection at all, and there won't be until you create one and edit it to suit your needs.

You can see a sample hosts.allow file at this URL:

http://www.patpro.net/images/hosts.allow

Copy this file into /etc/ and edit it. How to configure the file is pretty obvious as soon as you take a look into it so I don't detail this part (the file is commented with basic instructions).

WARNING: Be really careful when working on a remote machine, messing up the hosts.allow can prevent you from connecting again to that computer.
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Move your swap file to another drive System
By default, Mac OS X uses a swap file (for virtual memory) which is installed on the same drive as your operating system. For best performance, the swap file would ideally be located on the fastest drive in your machine, which may or may not be the same disk as your OS. Unfortunately, there's no built-in GUI for changing a swap drive location.

A few days ago, there was a help request on swapping on another hard drive and subsequent comments that figured out how this could be done. I asked if patpro, one of the users involved, would mind writing a step-by-step instruction set on how to transfer swap. Read the rest of this article to see what he had to say ... well worth the time if you have a spare, fast hard drive in your system!
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Easily work with remote files Apps
Many OS X users will probably be connecting to other remote systems frequently. I do so every time I want to upload new images or features to this site, or to transfer a file to or from the office. There are a number of ways to do this using either the command line (ftp, ssh, scp) or graphical FTP clients (Transmit, NetFinder, Fetch).

There is an alternative program available known as RBrowser, which has one unique advantage that I really like. Although it will function as a normal graphical FTP client, it can also do the same for ssh (secure shell) and scp (secure copy) connections. Basically, it will present a finder-like view of your remote host, but it does so using ssh to make the connection, and scp to copy files. This is great for me, as my ISP has a three-minute timeout on FTP connections, but no limit on ssh connections! No more reconnect delays after a more-than-three-minute local editing session! Read the rest for some more features and pricing both now and post-beta.
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