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New poll posted on 'Other' System Preferences items Site News
The recent menu bar item count poll was quite popular, so this time, I thought I'd find out how many 'Other' System Preferences panels we all use. I asked the same question back in 2005, and the average was somewhere around three or four; it will be interesting to see if it's increased over time or not.

For the record, there are 10 on my main Mac (Apple Qmaster, DivX, Flip4Mac, GeekTool, Growl, MenuMeters, MercuryMover, teleport, TypeIt4Me, and Witch).
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No new hints today... Site News
We're closed today in observance of Memorial Day in the United States. The hints (including a new Pick of the Week) will return tomorrow.

-rob.
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New poll on menu bar icons posted Site News
I just posted a new poll on menu bar icons. More specifically, how many programs do you keep installed on the right side of the main menu, including Spotlight? Count only those things that provide separate functionality, not just a count of visible things. If you show the weekday and the time, for instance, that's one, not two. If you use MenuMeters to put your Quad core machine's CPU usage in the menu bar, those four bars are one function, not four. (But if you also show MenuMeters' disk, network, or memory features, each of those count as separate functions.)

I was quite surprised by the total on my machine -- usually 19, sometimes 20 or 21 depending on what I'm doing. (Due to a 20-question poll limit, all answers above 18 are lumped together.)
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The return of the favorite browser poll! Site News
It's been over a year since our last browser wars poll, so it's time for another one! This always-popular subject (over 17,000 votes last time out!) is one of my favorites as well, and we've run enough of them to see some trends over time (click for a larger version):
(Note for the chart purists out there: the time units on the X-axis are not linear, even though they are shown as such. They reflect the dates of the previous eight polls, not identical time spans on the calendar.) As you can see, Safari leads the pack, but Firefox is cutting into its lead, and may even surpass it with this poll.

To make things a bit simpler this time, any browser that received less than 25 votes in the last poll (DeskBrowse, Netscape) was lumped into Other for this poll. I haven't added any new browsers to this poll, primarily because I'm not aware of any major new releases in the last year or so.

So have at it -- let's see if Firefox surpasses Safari this time out. Spread the word, and let's see how many OS X users we can get to reply this time.
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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted Site News
With this week's renewed attention on "Mac clones" -- we published five articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) on the subject this week on Macworld.com -- I thought it'd be interesting to gauge the interest level in these machines, so I've posted a new poll on the subject.

You'll note that one of the poll answers is "Yes if Apple makes it legal to use OS X on one." What this means is that Apple would offer a version of OS X that was legal to use on a generic PC, and that they would do their best to insure that system updates didn't break OS X on these "generic Macs."

As a side note, calling these machines "Mac clones" is quite a misnomer. A clone is an exact copy of something, which clearly these machines are not. Instead, they're more like "Generic Macs" -- OS X-running machines that are made up of a collection of generic PC parts. Regardless of what you call them, though, it will be interesting to see if Psystar gets off the ground, and what, if anything, Apple decides to do about them.
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About this morning's site changes... Site News
The 2008 April Fool's Day edition of macosxhints.com has now vanished into the sands of time. For those who are curious and weren't around earlier today, for a few hours this morning, Mac OS X Hints went retro:
That's just a bit of the home page; click the image for the large version -- but be warned, it's a huge (1024x3824, 513KB) PNG file. If you'd like to see the hints with the comments that were posted, just download this 960KB archive; each story and its comments are stored as an individual PNG within the archive.

(For those who may be new here, I have a long history of doing something different each year on April Fool's day. The intent isn't necessarily to fool anyone, but just to have a bit of fun to counter the other 364 days of the year. If you're interested, here are all the past April Fool's Day posts: 20032004200520062007).

The feedback on this year's stunt was generally positive, and it was actually quite a lot of fun to work on -- as someone commented, it's amazing to glance back and see just how far we've come in a relatively short amount of time. While searching for OS 9 information, it became obvious just how different things were back then, and how really nice it is to be working with OS X. The road here wasn't always smooth, but the end result has (to me, anyway) been worth the struggles.

Hopefully everyone got a least a little laugh out of our brief blast down memory lane today...and if you don't like this sort of thing, well, then I suggest you mark April 1, 2009 on your calendar and stay away from the web that day :).

-rob.
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New poll on drive space posted Site News
As I was doing some (digital) housecleaning this weekend, I wondered about drive space in general -- how much do we all have? So I figured I'd post a hard drive capacity poll to see how much storage space the typical macosxhints.com reader has at their disposal.

The only restriction is that the drives must be used in some way with your Macs, so don't count those 25 full-size external SCSI drives you've got stored away in the closet, just in case "SCSI might make a comeback someday!"

Personally, when I tallied it all up, I was surprised to find we've got over 3TB of storage space here across all our Macs...
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macosxhints is closed for President's Day... Site News
To make up for the lack of new hints today, you could review all 473 10.5 hints, in case you missed some over the last few months. Or if you're really feeling motivated, you could browse the entire database of hints (11,300+) from oldest to newest, then test and comment on every hint's 10.5 compatibility :).

We'll return as usual tomorrow, of course.

-rob.
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New poll about iPod ownership posted Site News
So we're five-plus years into this iPod revolution...just how many iPods do you own? I was quite shocked to find that we own seven iPods*, but I have a feeling that's nowhere near the top of the charts. Due to limits on the length of polls, I had to make some buckets for the upper end, so if you're over the top, go ahead and post a comment with your specific total :).

[Seven iPods*: My wife has an iPod mini and an iPod nano, and my collection includes a first generation Shuffle and nano, third generation 30GB iPod, fifth generation 80GB iPod, and the 8GB iPhone. I use the nano when running, fifth gen 80GB iPod for travel, and the iPhone pretty much goes everywhere. The others should be sold, but I can't bring myself to part with them :).]

-rob.
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Hints will return tomorrow... Site News
Macworld's offices are closed today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr's. birthday. We'll return with the usual slate of new hints tomorrow.

-rob.
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