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Using Flags in Mail for organization Apps
Organizing your e-mail can be difficult. There are Smart Mailboxes, of course, but what if you would like more arbitrary control?

Apple's Mail app includes seven flags of indifferent colors (a bit like the old Finder labels, ahem). But what if you can't remember what each color represents? Once you have flagged a message with a given flag, you will see a mailbox for it appear under Flagged. Click on the triangle next to Flagged to see the mailbox associated with each Flag.

Each of the mailboxes may then be renamed by right-clicking on it. The new name for the flag will now appear everywhere that the flag's name appears.

[crarko adds: I assume this is Mavericks only, but I could be forgetful.]
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Dismiss repeated alert windows in the Calendar Apps
I recently imported an .ics file into the Reminders app, but it turned out all the events were already in there, and the Calendar app balked at them, one at a time, repeatedly. I was continuously presented with an alert window which said that the event already exists and I could either cancel, go offline, or revert to server (the default). After hitting return a few dozen times, I decided I would write a quick AppleScript, and do something else while it worked. I'm sure a number of Hints followers might balk at this strategy, but it worked for and I didn't care how crude it was.

I just wanted to select the default button (revert to server) in every alert window, so all I needed was a script that would hit the return key every second. I wrote this in script editor, brought one of the alert windows to the front, then Command+clicked the "Run" button in the Script Editor (so it wouldn't bring the script window to the front):
repeat 1000000 times
	tell application "System Events" to keystroke return
	delay 1
end repeat
And that's it. I saved the script so that if I ever get in a similar situation, I can just edit the script to hit the key I want.

[crarko adds: I have not run into this issue, but if you do get it, having some idea for relief is probably quite welcome, even if it's not the most elegant. If there are alternative superior methods, please suggest them in the comments.]
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Older Core Duo Mac and Windows 8.1 System 10.6
Computers like the Intel "Mac Mini 2,1" were left behind with Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.8) and Boot Camp 4. These restraints keep older machines from the benefits of current mac features, applications, and supported installs of Windows 8. However, these machines are well within the Microsoft system requirements for Windows 8.1 and installs are possible.

The older Core Duo Mac series cannot boot into 64-bit operating systems, and is excluded from modern versions of OS X, but Microsoft still supports 32-bit processors, giving many old Macs the opportunity to be re-purposed with a modern OS. I can confirm that if you use Boot Camp to install Windows 7 32-bit (no key needed) on a Core Duo Mac Mini, you can upgrade to Windows 8 32-bit from within Windows 7, and then do the same for Windows 8.1 (provided you have a license key for the final OS). Boot Camp 4 drivers work well for the 32-bit Windows 8.1, but I installed each one individually instead of using the BootCamp package installer. All of the hardware functions; however, I have not installed the Boot Camp shortcuts for startup disk selection, or for the onscreen display of volume and brightness controls.

I'm not sure if this is much of a tip, but the Windows 8 install disk freezes on a CD-ROM selection screen and I haven't seen these tips anywhere else online. I've read that new Windows 8 disks have a specialized MBR that doesn't work with older Macs, and EFI boot was added to Macs built much later.

I have replaced this Mac Mini with a much more capable iMac, but I like that the old computer can still serve a purpose. Sometimes, it's really convenient to have a Windows PC close by, even if it is not needed every day. It's even better when that Windows PC is a Mac. It's also nice not to have to restart into Windows 8 on my main Mac.

P.S.- Right now, this Mini is acting as a HTPC in my living room with a Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad, and a Windows MediaCenter remote and ATSC tuner.

[crarko adds: As someone with a lot of older hardware still around, I appreciate ideas like this. Never been a huge Boot Camp user (preferring virtualization) but I see where this could come in handy.

Note to all: I'm back again for a while, and my hope is to try to post something every day. I know the site has been pretty slow, and your continued help by submitting your hints and ideas is always very welcome. Thanks. -- Craig A.]
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Move the Terminal cursor position with the mouse UNIX
Which Terminal gurus among us hasn't wasted too many minutes to count arrowing around the manipulate the cursor while deep within the confines of the command line?

The Terminal gurus who know this trick, I guess: Hold down the Option key and click where you'd like the cursor to move, and Terminal rushes the cursor that precise spot.
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Poor Man's Text Expander Apps
I use Tactor's (http://onflapp.wordpress.com/tactor/) regexp functionality to expand my custom text macros. For for example, I can define something simple like MYEMAIL => tom@foobar.com. However regexp allows me to do more interesting things as well, like creating links: wiki:MyDocumentation => http://pages.intranet.com/docstore?page=MyDocumetation?view=html.

- lauch Tactor (it is free app)
- go to preferences -> regexp
- add regexp
you can use capture groups here, e.g. wiki:(w+)

- set the 'matched key' to ACT_TEXT - this will place the result into the clipboard
- set the 'matched key' to what the resulting text should be like
you can use the regexp substitution here, e.g. http://foobae/$1

- expanding is done by selecting the text macro in a text (any text field should work) and choosing 'Expand Selected Text' from the top bar menu.

This method is kind of technical to setup but very powerful. If one is not afraid of a bit of programming, it is possible to create full-blown macro scripts as well.

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Google search from within iTunes Apps
You want to do a Google search on a song from within iTunes? Press Shft-Cmd-L. Safari will open and present the results of a Google search.

I am running iTunes 11.1.3 with OS 10.9.1
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Avoid a cluttered download folder by using /tmp System
First thing I do when I get a new system is to redirect downloads from ~/Downloads to /tmp.

The advantage with this adjustment is that in /tmp files older than a week is automatically deleted (and at every restart). Almost all files I download don't need to be stored, for example:

1. Installers. Run the installer (or dmg) from /tmp and then forget about it and it is automatically deleted within a couple of days.

2. PDFs I just want to read (or possibly print) once.

3. Templates, e.g. expense reports and similar (typically .doc or .xls). I download it, fill it in, generate a pdf and e-mail to the appropriate recipient. No need to keep the original template.

4. Torrents. Download the torrent, add it to your torrent client and then there is no need to keep the original torrent file around anymore. Besides, a lot of the files I download using torrents I just "use" them once so they can be also be downloaded to the same folder as the torrent is stored in, that is /tmp.

If I ever need a file that has been deleted from /tmp I just go to the browsers download history and download it again. Happens me maybe once or twice/year. So much easier than trying to find a file among hundreds of randomly named files in the Download folder.


I also always drag /tmp to the sidebar in the Finder and use it for - ta-da - temporary storage of files I work with briefly. Then I never need to cleanup my Downloads or Documents folder ending up in situations where "Hmm, what is this six months old file? Should I keep it or not?". If I put it in /tmp I know that

The very few downloads I want to store more permanently I just select Save as… when I click the download link and directly store them where they are supposed to go.

I just wished I could change the download folder for applications such as Bluetooth receive file, Skype, Mail.app etc. They still fill up my download folder in a very useless way.
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Applescript to work around a Finder bug in Mavericks System
Mavericks introduced several bugs into the Finder. One of them is that in List View, the Finder frequently loses track of the column widths, and makes the Name column so wide that the other columns aren't visible unless one scrolls the window horizontally.

The following Applescript resets the column widths to something sensible. It uses a couple kludges to work around some *other* Finder bugs that Mavericks introduced.
-- Reset the width of the Finder's Name column to something sensible. 
tell application "Finder"
	set thisFolder to target of front Finder window
	set the current view of front Finder window to list view
	-- In previous versions of OS X, the next line would tell the Finder to set the width
	-- to exactly 300. In Mavericks, the Finder uses it as a *minimum* width.
	set width of column id name column of list view options of Finder window 1 to 300
	-- The following kludge is necessary to get the changes to "take". I got it from 
	-- Dr. Drang at www.leancrew.com/all-this/2013/10/quick-switch-to-big-finder-icons
	close front Finder window
	open thisFolder
end tell
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Import lists into Reminders app on Mac from a plain text file. Apps
I wanted to import lists into the Reminders app on the iMac. (iCloud syncs the lists to other devices ... when sync is functioning correctly.) The Reminders app's import function acts only on .ics files. Went seeking solutions for plain text files.

Found Ben's Applescript at http://benguild.com/2012/04/11/how-to-import-tasks-to-do-items-into-ios-reminders/.

It provides a nice technique to import a list from a plain text file into the Reminders app on Mac OS X.
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Bash Function to open man pages in new terminal window UNIX

When I'm stumbling around the command line, I usually need to keep various man pages open for reference. I always forget I can get a dedicated man window from the Help or Contextual menus. This bash function allows you to open a man page in a new window directly from the command line.

function man { if [ $# -eq 1 ] ; then open x-man-page://$1 ; elif [ $# -eq 2 ] ; then open x-man-page://$1/$2 ; fi }

Just put this function in your .bashrc file, and when you use the man command, the information opens in Terminal's Man Page specific window setting style. If you don't want to override the default 'man' command operation, you can change the function name to something else.

This function expands on OS X's x-man-page url scheme. And of course, there are plenty of alternate ways to view man pages such as in preview, ManOpen, or Bwana.

Smallduck is the true author of this hint; I'm merely spreading the word.
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